Monday, 23 October 2017
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
Saturday, 14 October 2017
Friday, 13 October 2017
If you can't seem to find yourself motivated because of several reasons, take a deep breath and try to motivate yourself with these simple yet effective tips:
1.Close your eyes, and visualize yourself reaching your goals.
2.Try something new today.
3.Take a walk in a park, and let nature reset your mind.
4.Make a to-do list. You'll feel encouraged as you cross off items.
5.Get more sleep. Sleep deprivation could be making you less motivated.
6.Drink coffee for a quick jolt.
7.Start exercising, and you'll feel like yourself
8.Take a small step. You don't have to immediately immerse yourself in the project and see it until completion right away. Just make baby steps, and take it one day at a time.
9.Wake yourself up from your slump with a cold shower.
10.Have a reward system, so you'll have something to look forward to.
11.When doing a task you don't want to do, play energizing music to help you get through it.
12.Get the hard stuff done first thing in the morning. Once you're done with the most challenging projects, you'll be able to tackle the others with ease.
13.Prepare early so you're not in a rush. When you're late all the time or feel rushed, this may stress you out and kill your motivation.
14.Push yourself. Realize that getting things done means giving yourself a little push sometimes.
15.Grow your willpower. Read The Willpower Instinct for how to do this.
16.Make motivating yourself into a habit. Read The Power of Habit to help you learn how to form habits.
17.Set a deadline for a task to spur you to get it done before the time is up.
18.Focus. Doing too many things at once can overwhelm you, so drop the multitasking and focus on one thing at a time.
19.Get a friend to join you to make whatever you're doing more enjoyable.
20.Clean up your home or your workspace, and you'll feel like you can get more done in a decluttered environment.
21. Let go of your fears, and you may feel brave enough to take on challenging tasks.
22.Eat right. Treating your body well will put you in a better place mentally.
23.Take a break to get some rest and recharge your mind.
24.Do something you enjoy when you first get up. Whether it be drinking hot chocolate while reading a chapter of a book you're currently glued to or taking a hot shower, start your day off on a positive note.
25. Share your goals with others. Being public about your goals will give you a sense of accountability, which may make you more inclined to get going.
26. Fake it till you make it. Act like you're motivated, and it'll become a reality in time.
27. Focus on the positive instead of the negative, and you'll feel more inclined to start new projects and take risks.
28. Bring light into your room. Open up your curtains. Let fresh air into your room by opening up windows if it's not too cold and if it's not polluted outside.
29. Find out what it'll take to get there. When you set a goal for yourself, begin by doing some research, and you'll be done with the first step.
30. Encourage others, and you'll automatically start seeing encouragement from them in return. It's a cycle of positivity!
31. Don't compare yourself with others or you'll get discouraged. Compete against yourself.
32.Have realistic expectations. Know yourself and how far you can go.
33.Stay excited. Experiment and keep coming up with new tweaks so you won't get board.
34. If you fail, pick yourself up and keep going. Don't let it derail you or cause you to lose confidence, which ends up affecting your motivation.
35. Keep track with a journal. If you track your progress, you'll be able to see it, which will help motivate you to continue or try even harder.
36. Read biographies of the people you look up to for inspiration.
37. Listen to motivation stories from audiobooks, Ted Talks, documentaries, and more.
38. Place motivational quotes around your home and workspace. They can come in such forms as a sticky note on your memo board, a note taped to your mirror, or an inspiring quote on a coffee mug.
39. Volunteer. It'll help ground you and make you realize that you're fortunate, so you should take the opportunity to make the most out of your life.
40. Read The Last Lecture. It's a book written by a professor who managed to squeeze the most out of his final days after a terminal cancer diagnosis.
41. Dress to impress yourself. You'll feel like you can get more things done when you're putting your best foot forward.
42. Write down a few things you're grateful for. If you have a more positive mind-set, you'll find yourself more motivated and looking forward to what's in store for you.
43. Reflect on the times when you worked hard and succeeded at your task.
44. Remind yourself that it's better to try and fail or succeed than living with regrets.
45. Give yourself a pep talk, and tell yourself that you are awesome.
46. Drop the projects that you might not be totally committed to and focus on the ones you're really passionate about.
47. Tell yourself that nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
48. Know that only you have the power to create your dreams and generate motivation.
49. Write down where you see yourself in five years, and stick that note in a visible place.
50. Turn it into a challenge with a time limit. You can create your own or join an existing one. There are plenty of challenges that already exist out there, such as the NaNoWriMo, which challenges participants to complete a novel in a month.
51. Set your alarm clock to remind you when it's time to start on your task.
52. Find something you truly enjoy, and do it. Pick up a hobby or start a collection, and it'll make you excited about life.
Thursday, 12 October 2017
If we ourselves haven’t experienced a mental illness, most of us know someone who has. One in four adults—about 61.5 million Americans—wrestle with mental illness each year, and 13.6 million live with a serious, ongoing illness such as bipolar disorder or major depression.
October 6 to 12 is Mental Illness Awareness Week, so we’re posting stories and tools over the next few days to foster conversation and break down misconceptions about mental illness. As you read, may you be encouraged in your own life and better equipped to help others in the journey.
I thought I was going to die that night. My body was trembling all over, my chest was tight, and my head swam. I sat on the edge of my tiny dorm room bed, staring blankly into space thinking, I’m going to die in my sleep.
So I prepared accordingly. I texted “Love you!” to my mom. I said good night to my roommates and left my door slightly ajar. I asked God to forgive me for all my sins. I turned my iPod on repeat and listened to John Michael Talbot singing Jesus’ words over and over: “I am the Resurrection, I am eternal life.” Eventually, I fell asleep.
When I woke up the next morning and found that I was still alive, I went to my college’s health clinic. The nurse who examined me looked at me with a mixture of puzzlement and concern. “There’s nothing wrong with you,” she said. “But what you described sounds a lot like an anxiety attack.”
That moment at the health clinic was the beginning of my journey to identify and deal with the anxiety that had been happening for a few months without me understanding it.
A Different Kind of Fear
Anxiety is different than fear, in intensity and in manifestation. When we’re afraid of something, it’s usually because we have enough data to suggest our fears could become reality—for instance, freaking out about failing a test because we don’t have enough time to study properly.
An anxious mind, however, is like an oversensitive car alarm, shrieking a warning where no danger exists. It only takes one muscle twitch to convince me I might have a life-threatening medical condition. My anxiety is disproportionate to the situation. Anxiety also creates actual physical symptoms, like wobbling legs, a feeling of breathlessness, and the sudden conviction that you’re about to die. And while the emotional and physical experiences can be triggered by things that make everyone fearful, like exams or job interviews, they can also come on suddenly from, say, pounding music, too little sleep, or seemingly nothing at all.
Anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental health issues among adults, but they can make a person feel like he or she is the only one suffering from them. Those of us who suffer from anxiety often get trapped in our own head, focusing on our body and emotions rather than the world around us. And since the struggle is largely internal, it often goes unseen; others think we’re fine when in fact we’re panicking. It can be a very lonely feeling.
Where Is God?
Before I understood my anxiety, I felt trapped in a spiral, unsure if there was a way to escape the worry. I was quick to believe the lies sloshing around in my brain—that I would never be able to stop being afraid, or worse, that fear was the most rational response to life. It felt—and still feels, sometimes—like a fight I could never win, a hole I was perpetually trying to climb out of but inevitably sliding back down into, all the way to the bottom.
And where was God? For a while, I thought that anxiety was a consequence of a poor relationship with God. Maybe if I trusted God just a little more, I would think, or learn to be a little more confident in his good plans for me, my arms and legs would stop shaking so much.
But as I started to recognize that my anxiety was a disorder, not an attitude, I realized that I couldn’t change it with sheer willpower. I found help through therapy and developing coping techniques—and I also started coming to terms with the fact that anxiety might be a constant struggle. Understanding this helped me see that God wasn’t condemning me for my anxiety. Rather, he wanted to see me freed from fear and restored to wholeness.
Hope for Healing
If you also suffer from anxiety, I want you to know that relief is out there. Although my anxiety has by no means disappeared, I’ve come a long way from the night I was expecting to die. I can recognize the mental patterns and symptoms of anxiety and be proactive to keep from being consumed by fear. Two action steps are particularly important in finding hope and relief:
Let those around you know you’re struggling. Hiding away won’t help you, and the support of family and friends is essential in the journey.
Be sure to seek the help of a therapist. Techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy can give you tools to change harmful thought patterns and reduce your anxiety.
Above all else, God has given us the ultimate weapon against fear—the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ. He stepped into a world that seems to invite more fear, not less, in order to deliver us from the powers of darkness. And when it feels like those powers of darkness are inside our own minds, the resurrection gives us the only true comfort. Our broken thoughts, like our broken world, are being renewed by Jesus. May God give us the grace to cling to this hope, despite our shaky arms.
You might also want to read Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission. (Read an excerpt here.)
Kathryn Brill graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University in May, where she studied English an
Originally posted on
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
A young couple I have treated for some time came into my office recently. Lisa was angry with Justin because he had been (in her opinion) distant and unloving towards her in recent weeks. No matter how hard she tried to please him, nothing seemed to work, and she began to wonder whether he had lost interest in her. After I asked Justin certain key questions, it became clear that he had gradually become depressed and, in doing so, had lost interest in pretty much everything that had previously given him pleasure – including Lisa. Once Justin’s depression was adequately treated, he became the warm, loving and attentive man with whom Lisa had fallen in love and chosen to spend her life with.
There are some important lessons to this story.
First, depression is not always obvious. It can masquerade as something else (in this case, lack of interest in your partner).
Second, it is valuable for friends or loved ones to learn the tell-tale signs of depression so that they can offer help as early in the process as possible because depression is a painful condition, both for the person suffering from it and his or her loved ones.
So, here are seven tell-tale signs of depression that will help you determine if your friend or loved-one is developing depression:
1. Loss of interest in things that were previously pleasurable. Sometimes this loss of pleasure – also known as anhedonia – may not be complete. So your loved one may gravitate only to those things that are easily enjoyed and require the least amount of effort, such as playing video-games, sitting in front of the TV or surfing the Web. This readily leads to thoughts or comments such as “You have plenty of time and interest for surfing the Web, but not when it comes to spending quality time with me.” Engaging with another person and meeting that person’s needs require more effort than surfing the Web and therefore may be an early sign of depression.
2. Sleep difficulties. This may take the form of trouble falling asleep, or waking up during the night or the early hours of the morning. You may find your loved one in another room, trying to while away the time. This may disrupt your own sleep and may feel like abandonment, leading you to say things like, “Not only isn’t he/she available for me during the day, but even at night.” Again, it’s important not to take the symptom personally, but recognize it as what it is.
3. Eating changes – too little or too much – with corresponding weight changes in the expected direction. A husband (for example) can readily become angry with his wife and blame her for eating too much and gaining weight, misinterpreting the symptom as a sign that she no longer cares as much about their intimate life and is therefore “letting herself go.”
4. Anger and irritability. A depressed person struggles to get through the day. Ordinary obstacles and challenges become more difficult and can lead to frustration and the feelings that go along with that. This is another tell-tale sign of depression that is easy to take personally.
5. Expressing negative thoughts. You might feel enthusiastic about something and your friend or loved one might come back with a “downer” of a response, such as “I don’t think that will amount to anything,” or “What does it matter? It makes no difference.” Such negative thoughts are a cardinal symptom of depression, yet sometimes they feel almost calculated to throw a dampener on things. The depressed person is not trying to make life difficult for others even though that is often the effect of depressive thoughts and utterances.
6. Suicidal ideas. These may take a passive form such as, “I don’t care if I live or die” or a more active form, such as “Sometimes I feel like driving the car off the road.” Always take such statements very seriously. There is a common myth that if a person is really suicidal, they don’t tell others about it; they do it. By this ererroneous logic, if the person is telling you about it, you might mistakenly conclude that they won’t actually do it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only are such statements key elements of depression (which warrants treatment in its own right), but they suggest that such treatment is urgent.
7. Loss of confidence in oneself and optimism about the future is sign of a depression. Depressed people feel poorly about themselves and their future. If your friend or loved one is usually more self confident and optimistic and this then changes, suspect depression.
If you detect one or more of these signs in a friend or loved one, you may want to look up a more comprehensive list of symptoms for major depression in the standard manual for psychiatric conditions, the DSM-IV.
Once you suspect depression, do encourage your friend or loved one to seek consultation and treatment with a qualified person, not only for his or her sake, but for yours. Sometimes it can also be helpful and comforting for you to offer to accompany the person to the consultation.
Wishing you Light and Transcendence,
Saturday, 7 October 2017
Since I’ve started being honest about my mental health, I’ve noticed that my relationships have changed – mostly for the better.
There’s more trust there. We’re able to talk about bigger things. Now that I’ve opened up, the people around me have started to open up, too.
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And it’s made me think about how much time I’ve spent being not-the-best friend when I wasn’t open about what I was dealing with (meaning depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and obsessive thoughts).
I want to say sorry.
I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t message you back because I overthought a response, then decided that ignoring you entirely would make you hate me less than taking a few hours to send a text.
I’m sorry I declined your calls, scared to reveal that yes, you had woken me up, because I’m still in bed at 3pm on a Sunday.
I’m sorry I backed out of plans at the last minute because after getting ready much too early, my anxiety jumped in to remind me of all the dangers outside my house.
I’m sorry for lying, for covering things up, for pretending I had food poisoning or other commitments.
Some other stuff I don’t feel proud of:
All the times I pushed you away because I didn’t want you to notice that I wasn’t being myself. The times I got angry for no reason, was irritable, and decided the easiest option was to cut you out of my life instead of letting you in.
The moments I wasn’t 100% invested in our conversations, when my attention wandered as you told me what’s been going on – because I was too busy thinking about what a rubbish person I was and obsessing over mess-ups.
The times I let myself drift because I didn’t feel like I could keep up with the rest of you, going out, going for runs in the morning, working on stuff together.
I felt embarrassed.
Ashamed that the simplest things suddenly felt impossible, that my brain wasn’t a safe place for me to be anymore, that I was scared of turned on light switches, open doors, footsteps behind me.
I’m sorry for doubting that you’d understand. I’m sorry that my brain told me I couldn’t trust you or rely on you, that telling you would what was happening would be a mistake.
That’s the thing about depression – it becomes your biggest secret and your closest friend, and pushes everyone else away in the process.
Depression hides the person people know and love. It makes you irritable, withdrawn, suddenly uninterested in all the things you used to get excited about.
It tells you that you don’t deserve friends and loved ones, and makes you believe that if you were to tell anyone your thoughts, they’d recoil in horror.
That’s why actually opening up and being honest – which is a big part of being a good friend, if you didn’t know – feels so f***ing scary.
You’re scared that they’ll reject you. That they’ll say something pushes you over the edge.
Trusting someone with your biggest, heaviest secret gives them power: to hurt you or help you get better.
To avoid that, I pushed people away.
I became a good actress. I said I was fine, that something had come up when you asked to spend time together, I made sure to stick to ‘safe’ topics when we talked so I wouldn’t let things slip.
I wasn’t a good friend because I wasn’t being myself. I wasn’t letting people in.
And I’m sorry about that, because it wrecked a lot of friendships, made me miss out on years of great talks with my mum, who I kept at a distance so she wouldn’t figure out what was going on in my head, and held me back from making connections with new people.
I’m working on that now.
I’m learning that the people I care about care about me, too. They won’t hate me just because I’m sad, or judge me for being scared – they just care that I’m okay.
I’m working on trusting people. I’m working on listening to the people I love instead of the negative voice in my head that tells me everyone hates me and I’m generally sh*t.
It’s okay to need a little help from the people in my life to get through a time that’s not all that great.
The people I want in my life aren’t the ones who’d ditch me when things get tough. They’re the ones that are there to listen when I need it, who know, now, that they can open up to me too, and they’re the ones that help me to stay sane every day – more than they know.
So now I’m done with the sorries – although I’m sure there are more to come with further unanswered texts and ditched plans – I want to say thank you.
Thank you to the people who’ve stuck with me when I haven’t been the best friend in return. Thank you for listening. Thank you for caring.
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When your brain turns on you, you need good friends more than ever. And I’m so glad I’ve got you.
I’m getting better. And I’ll get better at being your friend along the way.
Friday, 6 October 2017
Mental Health is a challenge in public health policymakers theory. Lots of people are suffering from mental diseases. So organizations on mental health are trying their best to take proper action against mental diseases.
Nevertheless, I’ll take that risk and offer 10 of the top mental health organizations based in the United States, in my humble opinion. In this post, I’ll cover the first 10 organizations
My informal criteria for including an organization on the list included: a) being well-established and credible; b) having goals of education and raising awareness; c) having a well-organized website with extensive resource links.
The organizations aren’t ranked, just listed in alphabetical order. Here we go.
1) Active Minds – Active Minds is a network of over 400 campus-based chapters which provide a forum for college students to get together and raise awareness about mental health issues and to promote help-seeking for mental health concerns. Active Minds was founded by Alison Malmon, who lost her brother to suicide.
2) American Association of Suicidology and 3) American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – I considered whether to include only one or both of these organizations, but in the end I had to list them both. Both AAS and AFSP are dedicated to suicide prevention and collectively they provide an impressive array of helpful programs and resources, both for professionals and for those affected by suicide loss.
4) American Psychological Association – I need to disclose that I’m a member of APA, so this pick may be a little biased. There are a number of similar sites representing various mental health professions, but it’s hard to beat APA for its wide array of resources, including a large number of top scientific journals and books, a “Help Center” of consumer-friendly information to help cope with various life challenges, and an active program of mental health advocacy efforts.
5) Anxiety and Depression Association – ADAA is dedicated to the prevention, treatment and the cure of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and trauma-related disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They provide useful resources about treatment options, education about these conditions, and promotion of new scientific advances in treatment and prevention.
6) Brain and Behavior Research Foundation – BBRF bills itself as the world’s leading private funder of mental health research. It has awarded over $346 million through thousands of grants to support scientific research dedicated to alleviating suffering from mental health conditions. Its website also provides extensive information about mental illnesses and new research discoveries.
7) Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation – A program of Boston University, CPR promotes research, education and service to improve the lives of persons with psychiatric disabilities. A unique feature of this center is its long-standing promotion of a recovery-based approach to treatment. The center’s extensive publications and other resources are a real treasure trove of helpful information.
8) Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance – DBSA provides a national network of in-person support groups as well as online support groups, educational resources and a mental health provider locator service related to the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood-related disorders.
9) The Flawless Foundation – A relative newcomer compared to most of the other organizations on this list, The Flawless Foundation, founded by advocate Janine Francolini, strives to reduce stigma and raise awareness about mental health through a variety of progressive programs and initiatives, including a very active social media advocacy presence.
10) International OCD Foundation – The IOCDF promotes education, research and advocacy in the treatment and prevention of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). They offer both professional resources and support for individuals and families. Additional sites feature information on hoarding disorder and body dysmorphic disorder.
I really do believe the old adage that knowledge is power. These organizations offer a wealth of useful information to help educate, empower, and support those with mental health conditions and the people who care about them.
Take some time to access these great resources, and feel free to support one or more of these organizations if you want to get more involved. I’ve covered the remaining 10 organizations on my top 20 list in a separate post.
Here’s a question: What other mental health organizations have you found helpful? Please leave a comment. Also, please subscribe to my blog and feel free to follow me on Twitter, “like” my Facebook page, or connect on LinkedIn. Thanks!
Thursday, 5 October 2017
Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Hi everyone! Recently, I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like to, and I apologize for that. I’ve been stressed with school, work, and other life happenings. Because I’ve had a lot of stress in my life recently, I want to talk to you all today about some healthy ways to handle the stressors of everyday life.
When we’re stressed out, it’s very easy to form unhealthy habits to cope with it. These unhealthy habits could include smoking, “eating our feelings” as I like to call it, drinking, or forming irregular sleeping patterns. Instead of succumbing to unhealthy stress relief methods, I have compiled a list of different ways we can positively deal with stress.
Here’s the list!
Start waking up earlier. The earlier you start your day, the more likely you are to be productive.
Prepare for the morning the night before. If you get your clothes, purse/bag, meals, etc. prepared for the next day right before you go to bed, you’ll be much more relaxed in the morning when you’re getting ready for your day.
Wear more comfortable clothes. If your work clothes are uncomfortable, see if you can purchase more comfortable ones. You will be a lot more relaxed if you have clothes that fit well.
Avoid relying on substance aids. Substance aids can include tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, or drugs of any kind. Unless you are prescribed something, try to avoid taking it to cope with your stress.
Keep an agenda. Whether you use your phone or keep a physical planner is up to you. If you make sure to write down appointments, deadlines, and important dates, you will be much less stressed because you won’t ever forget anything.
Check your agenda often. It doesn’t do you any good if you don’t look at it!
Say “no” more often. I’m guilty of being the type of person who tries to take on everything at once. It’s important to know when to say “no!” We are all just human. As much as we’d like to be perfect and do everything, we have limited time and energy. It’s okay to say “no” to things we can’t handle when we’re already busy and stressed.
Evaluate your priorities. We must find balance in our lives and prioritize the things that are really important to us.
Fix or abandon toxic relationships. We can have toxic relationships with anyone in our lives. I’ve personally had toxic relationships with friends and significant others. I’ve become much happier now that I’ve cut those people out of my life. However, not all toxic relationships are easily avoidable. If you have a toxic relationship with a family member, for example, you might want to work as hard as you can to fix it instead of abandoning that person altogether. It’s important for you to try to remove the toxicity from your life, regardless of how you do it.
Manage your time well. Spend more time on the things that are top priorities in your life, and you will find greater success in the areas that are important to you.
Focus on what you can control. Some of life’s stressors are out of our control. Instead of lingering on things you can’t change, try to work on the things you can change. Chances are, you will relieve so much stress just by shifting your focus.
Find opportunities in life’s challenges. Life presents us with challenges in many forms, and many of them contribute to our stress. Try taking a different perspective on challenges in your life. Instead of viewing them as challenges, turn them into opportunities.
Read a book. Taking an hour or two to sit down and read a great book will help your mood more than you realize. It’ll let you escape from your stress for a while and delve into a different world.
Watch a funny movie or TV show. Let yourself laugh a little by watching your favorite comedy.
Talk to someone you trust about your feelings. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or a professional, talking about your feelings to another person often helps to alleviate stress.
Write in a journal. If you don’t feel like talking to someone about your feelings, you could also write them down in a journal to get the negativity out of your system.
Have a bubble bath. Get your bath bombs ready. Relax and enjoy a nice bubble bath.
Cook yourself a healthy meal. Instead of getting fast food or takeout, opt to cook yourself a healthy meal. You might find that the act of cooking itself is a great stress reliever. And you’ll feel fantastic after eating a healthy, home-cooked meal!
Make time to exercise. Set aside a certain amount of time every day or week to exercise. You’ll feel great, boost your self-esteem, and love yourself more!
Pursue a passion project. A passion project is simply a project you can work on consistently that you are passionate about. (Mine is this blog!) Think about something you’re truly passionate about. It could be writing, cooking, painting, building things, etc. Then, set aside time each day or week specifically for your passion project. Doing the things we are passionate about helps us to relieve stress and live more fulfilling lives.
Spend time with your friends, family, and loved ones. Often, spending time with the people we love makes us feel happier. Call up your best friend to hang out or organize a family get-together.
Be extra kind to the people around you. Putting smiles on other people’s faces will warm your heart and make you a happier person. You could volunteer for a cause you care about or even do something as simple as holding the door for someone. Kindness and happiness often go hand in hand. Be extra kind, and lots of good karma will come your way.
Take a break from social media. Social media can be very overwhelming sometimes. You may find that taking a break from it helps to relieve your stress. Your break could be for a couple of hours, or it could be for a week. Whatever you feel comfortable with doing!
Let go of the past. We can’t change the past, even when we wish we could. If there’s something in the past that you’re unnecessarily holding on to, make an effort to let it go and move on with your life. There’s no sense in stressing out over things that have happened in the past. We should learn from our mistakes in the past, but only focus on the present and future.
Smile! If you smile more often, you’ll likely feel at least a little happier just from the act of smiling. Give it a try!
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The old saying that “Prevention is better than cure” certainly holds true for stress management. Regarded as a clinical problem, stress is experienced by almost every individual in varying forms and degrees every day. This is primarily due to the hassles, demands and frustrations of daily life. Besides this, you would also be surprised to find out that much of your stress is also due to a disorganized, and cluttered lifestyle. In small doses, stress can definitely help motivate and stimulate you to get things done. But, if the level of pressure gets too high, it might affect your mental and physical functioning. Here are a few ways in which you can reduce and eliminate stress…
What is stress?
Stress is regarded as a normal physical response that is experienced when there is an imbalance between demands imposed on us and our ability to cope with them. Contrary to what most people believe, stress is not necessarily harmful. For many people, stress acts as a motivation to help them perform better.
However, when the level of stress surpasses our ability to cope with it, we often feel hassled and drained. Also, it is vital to understand that the same amount of stress may be different for different people. Tasks that are easy for you to handle might be quite stressful for a second individual. Hence, identifying our stress level is as important as recognizing the triggering factors.
Stress Response: The stress response is your body’s way of protecting you during conditions of emergency or extremely stressful situations. This theory dictates how an individual reacts to situations that are challenging – both physically and mentally. Whenever your body senses any kind of danger, it immediately triggers a rapid, automatic process called the “fight or flight” response or the stress response. This mechanism involves releasing hormones and glucose into your blood-stream to provide alertness and extra energy.
Major Causes of Stress or Stressors:
One of the biggest causes of present day stress is financial problems. Lack of money can lead to many unwanted situations like piling up of debts, credit card payments and other such conditions. In fact, financial stress tops the list of stressors as it takes a heavy toll on your mind and body.
Another major cause of stress is issues in the workplace like conflicts with colleagues, working for excessive hours or extra work pressure.
Sometimes, stress may also arise due to relationship hassles or conflicts with spouses, children and relatives.
Stress may also occur due to health concerns. Conditions like heart disease, hypertension or eye problems may become a major cause of life stress for many individuals.
Tips to Control Stress: In order to lead a healthy and stress-free life, it is vital to follow certain guidelines or steps. They will help you get a better control over life and alter the way you view stress or its trigger factors.
Regular Exercise: Not surprisingly, exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stress. A regular 20-30 minutes of physical activity every day is vital to decrease stress hormones like cortisol and increase your body’s feel good chemicals called endorphins. Besides this, certain forms of exercise like martial arts or boxing can act as an outlet for releasing all your vent-up emotions and frustrations.
Relaxation Techniques: This not only involves taking time to relax everyday but also employing certain basic relaxation techniques. This involves deep breathing techniques, meditation and practicing different yoga postures to relax your body muscles.
Balanced Diet: What you put inside your body also determines your ability to cope with stress or anxiety. A balanced diet comprising fresh fruits and vegetables is a must to reverse the negative impacts of stress and lead a healthy life.
Avoid Stressful Situations: As far as possible, ensure that you avoid unnecessary arguments, conflicts or any other stressful situation. Try to keep yourself calm in every way and avoid
indulging in unnecessary situations.
Sleep: Finally, a regular 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is also important to relax your mind and body. If you face any difficulty in sleep, you can also make use of relaxation techniques like listening to music or reading a book.
originally posted on indiatimes.com
Monday, 2 October 2017
Fear that they might never "make it" doing what they are passionate about
Fear that keeps them from following their heart
Life is too short to let fear make big decisions for you.
Thursday, 21 September 2017
For all the time executives spend concerned about physical strength and health, when it comes down to it, mental strength can mean even more. Particularly for entrepreneurs, numerous articles talk about critical characteristics of mental strength—tenacity, “grit,” optimism, and an unfailing ability as Forbes contributor David Williams says, to “fail up.”However, we can also define mental strength by identifying the things mentally strong individuals don’t do. Over the weekend, I was impressed by this list compiled by Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, that she shared in LifeHack. It impressed me enough I’d also like to share her list here along with my thoughts on how each of these items is particularly applicable to entrepreneurs.
1. Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves. You don’t see mentally strong people feeling sorry for their circumstances or dwelling on the way they’ve been mistreated. They have learned to take responsibility for their actions and outcomes, and they have an inherent understanding of the fact that frequently life is not fair. They are able to emerge from trying circumstances with self-awareness and gratitude for the lessons learned. When a situation turns out badly, they respond with phrases such as “Oh, well.” Or perhaps simply, “Next!”
2. Give Away Their Power. Mentally strong people avoid giving others the power to make them feel inferior or bad. They understand they are in control of their actions and emotions. They know their strength is in their ability to manage the way they respond.
3. Shy Away from Change. Mentally strong people embrace change and they welcome challenge. Their biggest “fear,” if they have one, is not of the unknown, but of becoming complacent and stagnant. An environment of change and even uncertainty can energize a mentally strong person and bring out their best.
4. Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control. Mentally strong people don’t complain (much) about bad traffic, lost luggage, or especially about other people, as they recognize that all of these factors are generally beyond their control. In a bad situation, they recognize that the one thing they can always control is their own response and attitude, and they use these attributes well.
5. Worry About Pleasing Others. Know any people pleasers? Or, conversely, people who go out of their way to dis-please others as a way of reinforcing an image of strength? Neither position is a good one. A mentally strong person strives to be kind and fair and to please others where appropriate, but is unafraid to speak up. They are able to withstand the possibility that someone will get upset and will navigate the situation, wherever possible, with grace.
6. Fear Taking Calculated Risks. A mentally strong person is willing to take calculated risks. This is a different thing entirely than jumping headlong into foolish risks. But with mental strength, an individual can weigh the risks and benefits thoroughly, and will fully assess the potential downsides and even the worst-case scenarios before they take action.
7. Dwell on the Past. There is strength in acknowledging the past and especially in acknowledging the things learned from past experiences—but a mentally strong person is able to avoid miring their mental energy in past disappointments or in fantasies of the “glory days” gone by. They invest the majority of their energy in creating an optimal present and future.
8. Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over. We all know the definition of insanity, right? It’s when we take the same actions again and again while hoping for a different and better outcome than we’ve gotten before. A mentally strong person accepts full responsibility for past behavior and is willing to learn from mistakes. Research shows that the ability to be self-reflective in an accurate and productive way is one of the greatest strengths of spectacularly successful executives and entrepreneurs.
9. Resent Other People’s Success. It takes strength of character to feel genuine joy and excitement for other people’s success. Mentally strong people have this ability. They don’t become jealous or resentful when others succeed (although they may take close notes on what the individual did well). They are willing to work hard for their own chances at success, without relying on shortcuts.
10. Give Up After Failure. Every failure is a chance to improve. Even the greatest entrepreneurs are willing to admit that their early efforts invariably brought many failures. Mentally strong people are willing to fail again and again, if necessary, as long as the learning experience from every “failure” can bring them closer to their ultimate goals.
11. Fear Alone Time. Mentally strong people enjoy and even treasure the time they spend alone. They use their downtime to reflect, to plan, and to be productive. Most importantly, they don’t depend on others to shore up their happiness and moods. They can be happy with others, and they can also be happy alone.
12. Feel the World Owes Them Anything. Particularly in the current economy, executives and employees at every level are gaining the realization that the world does not owe them a salary, a benefits package and a comfortable life, regardless of their preparation and schooling. Mentally strong people enter the world prepared to work and succeed on their merits, at every stage of the game.
13. Expect Immediate Results. Whether it’s a workout plan, a nutritional regimen, or starting a business, mentally strong people are “in it for the long haul”. They know better than to expect immediate results. They apply their energy and time in measured doses and they celebrate each milestone and increment of success on the way. They have “staying power.” And they understand that genuine changes take time. Do you have mental strength? Are there elements on this list you need more of? With thanks to Amy Morin, I would like to reinforce my own abilities further in each of these areas today. How about you?
Cheryl Snapp Conner is a frequent speaker and author on reputation and thought leadership. You can subscribe to her team’s bi-weekly newsletter, The Snappington Post
Originally posted on forbes magazine...
Monday, 18 September 2017
Think back to last time you really wanted to do something but didn’t? What stopped you from doing it? Did something change your mind? Was there a voice inside your head? Whatever the reason might have been, let’s take the time to stop and question what might be going on with our fears and how we can get beyond these fears so we can start pursuing things we’ve always wanted.
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Fear is an interesting little thing as it can act in ways where we don’t even know it is present. For example, we might want to do something that first requires a few things to come into place. The scenario might be getting a new job. Next thing we know we start saying to ourselves; “Well where would I work? How would I get there? How do I quit my current job? What if I can’t get another job?” These are only a few of many stories that we may begin looking into when we have that initial thought of changing our job situation. Although we sometimes call this; facing the reality of the situation and doing what’s realistic, truth is, this sequence of thoughts and rationalizations all stems from fear.
Here are some key of points to help you overcome your fears.
1) Feel The Fear and Move Forward Anyway
How many times have you been about to do something and fear is creeping up on you as you get closer and closer to doing it? In these times, right before you are about to jump with both feet in you feel the fear at its highest and then seconds or minutes into it all, the fear dissipates into nothing. This is by far one of the most powerful ways to get beyond and rid your fears. Just Do It! (Nike paid me to say that.. j/k) By taking the leap and confronting your fears, you do the one thing that we allow fear to stop us from doing -doing what scares us. My feeling is, more often than not, just doing it will get rid of the fear from that moment forward when it comes to the challenge you face.
2) Let Go of The Past
When we face a situation that we may have experienced before, fear can arise if the previous outcome made some kinda of undesirable impact on us. Maybe in the past we weren’t quite prepared for the experience, we needed to gain a lesson from it, or it just happened to turn out how it did. This doesn’t mean we need to close up and never go after it again. Looking back to the past and fearing a repeat outcome puts the control into the hands of one instance that no longer even exists! You are a new person in each moment and are ready to make adjustments as you go. Sometimes all it takes is a few small tweaks and what may have once provided a challenge in the past is now easy to move through. Either way you learned something! Let go of the past and try again!
3) Stop Looking For Obstacles
‘It’s too hard! I’m too tired! I don’t have time?’ I know these ones fairly well myself. There have been some situations in my life where I would have loved to do certain things and delayed them for quite some time due to these 3 sayings. Of course, these are not the only 3 excuses we like to come up with to put something off, but these certainly are common. Obstacles are one of the easiest ways for our minds to bury a fear. Obstacles appear real, they are quantitative and qualitative, they are easy to describe to others and others often agree with them. Given all of these qualities, it’s easy to see why we look out for obstacles all the time, but it does not mean that we are not using obstacles to mask our fears. After all, an obstacle is truly only as big as we make it. You can see it as a road block or as a necessary challenge along the path to your goal. See the obstacle for what it is, don’t give it anymore power than it needs and take the steps to move forward. There is little need to make them so serious.
4) Avoid Judging Outcomes
Have you ever been unsure of why something happened when it happens? Only to find out a few days, weeks or months later that it ended up greatly assisting your situation? It was inall moments leading up to your realization that you may have judged the experience as being bad, negative or not ideal. Instead of seeing the outcome as a succes no matter what, we define and categorize how it should have happened. This way of looking at our goals or choices creates fear in having certain outcomes play out. Often times the reason things happen the way they do is beyond our understanding at a particular time. We might want to judge or feel upset about why things happened, but they are part of a bigger plan. To help address your fears in this situation, go beyond reason and beyond judgement. There isn’t always an obvious reason why now is the time or why something might or might not happen. Go with how you feel beyond the unnecessary chatter of the mind and know that no matter the outcome, you successfully created that experience for yourself. It is likely the experience will provide you with positive growth no matter the outcome. After all, the mind is the only one who creates fear or who sees an outcomes as a failure.
5) Too Little, Too Late
How many times have you put off doing something only to find out it was now too late to have a go at it? I know myself I have experienced this one a few times and while regret might like to sneak its way in, that isn’t much help either. This one can also play with us in a couple ways. Either fear puts off what we are wanting to do, or the fear of having too little time makes us immobile because in the end we are afraid of failure. Either way, to address this fear is to simply take action. The journey is what’s important in the end. Whether the end result happens in time or not, it doesn’t help to keep putting things off. Let’s learn from our choices of waiting too long and choose to get going on actions now that we would like to take. When we get moving on something and face it head on, you notice quickly that your fears diminish.
My final thoughts are this when it comes to fears: they are there because something created them. Most of the time it was because of an experience of the past, judgment of an outcome or because we are afraid to fail. A combination of these thoughts exists in almost all of us and do nothing but create suffering and immobilization in what we want to do in life. While it may not be easy, starting today, take the steps to begin implementing some of these tactics when it comes to your fears. You can never fail, you are never wrong and there’s no need to judge or be judged on an outcome. I repeat due to its importance, the journey through life is what is most important, not the outcome. This goes for everything you choose to be part of.
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