Tuesday 23 July 2024

6 Important Reasons Why Living with Purpose is Important


Like most people, you’re probably focused on achieving your goals and making the most of your potential. But maybe you have overlooked something that turns out to be fundamental not just to your success, but to your happiness?

 

Living with purpose may be more important than you’ve given it credit for. Experts agree that finding meaning, finding, and living your life’s purpose has wide-ranging benefits, some of them a little unexpected.

 

1. Purpose Can Help You Focus

 

When you have a clear concept of your life’s purpose, it’s easier to focus your energy and your actions on what you want to achieve. You know where you want to go and how to get there. Purpose acts as a guide and a map on how to reach your goals.

 

2. Purpose Makes Gratitude Easy

 

Living with purpose can help you to feel more contented with your life as it already is. People who are aligned with their life’s purpose report greater satisfaction with their present circumstances because they know they are focused on what they want out of life.

 

3. Purpose Sharpens Your Passions

 

Knowing your purpose also helps you focus on what fires you up. It helps you to find your passions and go after them.

 

4. Purpose Helps You Live in Alignment With Your Values

 

Doing the work of your purpose and working out what matters to you in life helps you to align everything you do with your deepest held beliefs and values. Deciding to live a meaningful life means you are not so tempted by the things that will lead you off the path of purpose.

 

5. Purpose Makes You A Better Leader

 

Having a boss who has a clear vision of where they want to go and how to get there is very inspiring for employees and clients alike. Clarity of purpose inspires trust and respect, and it’s a great motivator.

 

6.    Purpose Helps You Live Longer

 

Perhaps the most unexpected benefit of finding and living your life’s purpose is that it can add years to your life span. Researchers in Japan found that men who had a purpose in their life lived longer than men who didn’t. Knowing your purpose can help you deal better with stress and the ups and downs of life.

 

People who are living a purposeful life, aligned with their deepest values, tend to worry less and deal with stress and anxiety better. They have better cardiovascular health and suffer less from depression, insomnia, and anxiety. 

 


Friday 19 July 2024

6 Reasons why Finding Your Purpose Matters


At first glance, it might not seem important to live your life with purpose. After all, so long as you get through the day and are reasonably happy or content, it's all good, right? Not really. Without purpose you're missing out. 

 

What happens when you try to live your life without purpose? 

 

Purpose Gives Drive

 

Purpose gets us going and makes us eager to start the day. Without purpose, you might feel your day is aimless to the point where there's no reason to try setting goals. Left unchecked, this can affect mood and even lead to depression. It's no wonder purpose is one of the most important things to drive us forward.

 

Purpose Builds Relationships

 

Purpose is one of those things which really bring people together. Having common interests and goals creates strong bonds. Without purpose, you might find it harder to connect to others, especially on a deeper level. 

 

Purpose Gives Direction

 

Decisions can seem difficult sometimes when you have no purpose. When you are not working toward a goal or interest, it's easy to waver or let others lead the way. But purpose means you weigh decisions against what's important to you, meaning you honor yourself. More important, you keep to your own set of values every time you're faced with a choice.

 

Purpose Gives Value

 

Without purpose, you might wonder whether you're making a difference. In contrast, purpose tells you you're making a difference and adding something to the world with every action that honors this purpose.

 

Purpose Reduces the Need to Keep Up with Others

 

If you worry about what others are accomplishing, it's probably because you're unsure of your own purpose. With purpose, it becomes less important what those around you are doing because you're more interested in your own personal journey.

 

Purpose Reduces Stress

 

We experience stress most when things around us feel out of control. With purpose, you know your direction and have a pretty solid idea of what you need to do to get where you want to go. Even more important is how purpose helps you get back on track if you're sidelined for a crisis, giving you firm direction and control when things around you feel like they're out of your hands. This all reduces stress and helps you deal with challenges calmly and reasonably.

 

With purpose, your life changes for the better. It's no wonder taking the time to figure out what you're all about is crucial to a healthy and happy life. Take the time for yourself. You won't regret it.

 


Tuesday 16 July 2024

The Stress Relieving Value of Accepting Your Differences


Were you ever teased as a child? A lot of us were. Some kids will make fun of others who are fatter or skinnier, taller or shorter, or different in some other way. They, unfortunately, learn this behavior from adults who likewise chastise their colleagues, friends, and others for nothing more than being different.

 

This becomes a big problem when several children attack another child and declare some difference to be negative. When this behavior is ongoing, the different child can begin to feel low self-worth. After all, if everyone is telling her that she's different and that her differences aren't good, they must be right.

 

Why else would they all be saying the same thing? That child becomes upset with the person she sees in the mirror. Why is she overweight? Why is her skin different from others? Why wasn't she given the intelligence that all her friends have? This leads to self-doubt, low self-esteem, and in some cases, risky and unsafe behavior.

 

Stress Is a Killer, but It Doesn't Have To Be

 

Obviously, that's a very stressful scenario. Unfortunately, this is a common situation for not just children but teens, young adults, and even older grown-ups.

 

It causes so much stress, both physical and mental. The stress starts to build up because the differences are seen as negative. The marvelous, unique individual that was created is not allowed to be who they really are. They try not to be themselves.

 

On the physiological side of the equation, this chronic stress produces chemicals that lead to anxiety, depression, and other negative feelings. Ask any doctor, and they'll tell you stress is related to most chronic illnesses and many major causes of death.

 

Your differences don't have to be stressful. They shouldn't be. When you embrace who you are, you realize you have much to offer the world. You're fine just like you are right now. This leads to confidence and less stress. You aren't as anxious about trying to please others by fitting into some silly idea they have of who you should be.

 

Your confidence and self-esteem go up when you accept and love your differences. 

 

You'll also find that certain people in your life want to manipulate you rather than accept who you are. Perhaps you should move on from these people and spend more time with supportive individuals who encourage your uniqueness.

 

Be happy with who you are. You're the only "you" that will ever be created. There will never be another human being exactly like you. When you embrace that fact and look at your differences as advantages, you'll suffer less stress and anxiety and enjoy more self-love, fulfillment, and success.

 


Friday 12 July 2024

How Avoidance Actually Creates More Stress


When you have an especially difficult or stressful task on your plate, it can be very tempting to avoid completing said task. Or if you don’t like to think about a subject because of an experience, it can seem easier to just not think about that topic. Both of these situations are known as avoidance, and though it may be tempting to engage in this behavior, it causes more stress than it relieves. 

 

You Won’t Stop Thinking About It

 

If you’ve ever experienced trauma, it can be tempting to avoid all thoughts of things that may remind you of the trauma you experienced. Although this may be less painful in the short run, the truth is, long term, this will stress you out more because the thoughts of your trauma will always return until you genuinely learn to deal with them rather than avoid them. The same holds for certain physical tasks. You may put them off because you don’t want to think about them, but this will only stress you out more because you will have to keep thinking about the task instead of simply completing it now.

 

You’ll Run Out Of Time

 

When you put off a task, you may momentarily relieve your stress by telling yourself you will complete the task later. But this is worse than doing the job now because later you will experience more pressure as you are faced with a fast-approaching deadline. This is especially true if you haven’t left yourself enough time to complete the task and have to rush at the last minute. 

 

Avoidance Creates Conflict

 

Maybe a coworker is waiting for you to complete your work so they can get started on theirs. And if you didn’t leave yourself enough time before the deadline, you may cause them to be late on meeting their deadline as well. This can cause a conflict between you as your coworker may be upset that you made them late. And when you experience conflict in your relationships, this only adds to your overall stress level rather than lowering it.

 

Although it can be extremely tempting to avoid certain tasks or put them off, this is a flawed approach as it will only cause you more stress in the long run. This is because avoidance doesn’t solve any problems. Instead, it just creates conflict, which leads to increased stress in the future.

 


Tuesday 9 July 2024

If You Want Less Stress and Anxiety, Learn to Empathize More


Stress is a killer. You might hear someone say, "The stress at my job is killing me!" They could be overstating the situation. In many cases though, stress can quite literally kill you.

 

Chronic stress is related to the six leading causes of death. It's believed that more than 75% of all trips to the emergency room or a doctor are stress-related. So the next time a friend tells you stress is killing him, you might want to take that statement seriously.

 

Ask anyone you know and they'll tell you of a stressful situation they experienced recently. This is an unfortunately common occurrence. You might have too much stress in your own life.

 

For a number of reasons, you can benefit from stressing less and relaxing more often. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, just learn to empathize more.

 

How Empathy Leads to Less Stress and Depression

 

An empathetic person can place themselves in the emotional experience of someone else. That's the first part of empathy. The part of the empathetic process some people forget is responding in a way that's helpful.

 

You see a coworker has a huge workload. She's stressing out and you know there's no possible way she can hit a proposed deadline. You communicate to her that even though her productivity is excellent and she's a great worker, you don't know how she's going to get everything done. 

 

You just paid her a compliment. You saw her emotions were frazzled and she wasn't in a good place mentally. So, you said something nice about her ability on the job.

 

The next thing you can do after you identify with her situation is to provide assistance. Offer to help her tackle some of her responsibilities. When you do, your coworker will thank you. She'll experience less stress, and science tells us that you'll also have less stress, anxiety and depression.

 

When you learn to recognize that someone else is experiencing negative emotions, you want to help. This is the response for most people. What also happens is that you subconsciously recognize that you're not in that situation. You can understand your coworker's emotional stress, but you aren't experiencing the same thing yourself.

 

Dr. Jamil Zaki is a psychology professor and the director of the Social Neuroscience Laboratory in Stanford. He says empathy can help you see past the many differences people have. It helps you move past prejudice or bias. These are negative emotions. They can produce a stress response in your body. Empathy doesn't allow that to develop.

 

Dr. Zaki also says empathy makes people happier in their relationships and even more successful at work. Studies show us that an empathetic person learns how to process his or her own emotions properly by being able to recognize the emotions other people are going through. That means being more empathetic in your life cannot only help others, but it can also give you a wonderful boost of less stress and more peace of mind.

 


Friday 5 July 2024

A Simple 3-Step Process to Practice More Empathy


An empathetic person can identify with what someone else is experiencing. They may have had the same experience before. This isn't necessary to practice empathy. You might just be very good at putting yourself in another person's mindset.

 

Someone tells you they lost their job. They're going through so many different negative emotions. They're concerned about their mortgage payment and other financial issues.

 

A person that loses a dream job could start wondering what happened. It took them a long time to get the job they always wanted. They might have been a great employee. Then something occurred that was out of their control. Perhaps the company went bankrupt.

 

This individual could start questioning his own role in the failure of the company. A ton of different negative emotions might be experienced. The empathetic person is able to fully embrace the emotions the other person is going through even if they've never lost a job before.

 

You might want to help your friends and family members by displaying more empathy. You care about them and want to help them when they're in need. If that's the case, simply put into practice the following three-step technique for showing empathy.

 

Step 1 – Listen Actively

 

You might be a good listener. But are you an active listener? Do you just sit there with a blank expression and take in everything that's being said?

 

An active listener uses body language, facial expressions and eye movement to let the person speaking know that they're engaged and present. They are truly and deeply listening. 

 

You use open-ended questions to try to get more information from the speaker. Active listening uses anything at your disposal to get the speaker to share more information. You communicate to that person that their feelings are understood.

 

Step 2 – Validate the Experience

 

People often tell you what's on their minds because they want you to validate what they're saying. They need to know that it's okay to have certain feelings or think a specific way. When you validate a tough situation, someone's experiencing, you let them know they're not alone.

 

You validate an experience by adopting the same feelings and emotions. Tell the person that you're sharing the experience with them and that it's okay. They should recognize whatever emotions are happening. Then the empathetic person tries to figure out what can be done to fix the problem.

 

Step 3 – Offer Advice

 

Empathy is a two-part process. You take on the perspective of another person. You develop an understanding emotionally of what that person is going through. The second part involves action. You provide assistance of some kind. You try to help the person with their struggle. 

 

One way you can do this is by offering smart advice. Remember to think about their situation and not yours. Don't include any bias or judgment. Put yourself in their shoes and then give them advice to help them out of their problem.

 

Showing empathy means you care. It tells people you're putting your own interests aside for a while. The three-step process we just covered can help you show empathy to the people you care about. You'll find that you benefit as much as they do by making an emotional connection.

 


Tuesday 2 July 2024

8 Techniques That Stop Anger in its Tracks


You can’t believe they did it. Of all people, turning on you this way. You want to react in kind, drawing on the anger flowing through you to lash out. Make the other person hurt every bit as much as you do right now.

 

Wait a minute. You can’t. You’re not that person. You don’t want to BE that person. You’re better than this.

 

But how do you stop anger in its tracks before it gets the best of you?

 

Take a Walk

 

The physical act of walking will burn off some of the adrenaline while getting outside, giving you a distracting change in scenery. And it works even better if you’re walking away from the object of your anger. Sometimes all you need is some space.

 

Pay Attention to your Muscles

 

Like walking, exercise is good. Also, anger tends to tighten you up, so a good stretch, or even better practicing progressive muscle relaxation, will knock the tension out.

 

Say Something

 

Choose a pet phrase or mantra which calms you. Say it several times, slowly, and deliberately to put your focus elsewhere.

 

Visualization

 

Escape somewhere else. Remove yourself from the situation that has made you mad and find a quiet place where you can visualize something peaceful. Build in as much detail as you can to make it as real as possible. Stay in this vision until you feel yourself start to calm down. 

 

Do Something Grand

 

Take your anger and turn it into activism. How can you use this to change the world? Sign (or start!) a petition. Volunteer. Get involved in the community and make the world a better place. 

 

Write About It

 

Journaling can help you to work through your emotions in a way that might even help prevent you from getting mad the next time around. Understanding what it was about the event which triggered you will help reshape the trigger entirely.

 

Switch Perspective

 

It can be hard to use empathy when you’re upset. But if you can see things from their perspective, it might help you to calm your response. Many times, anger comes from misunderstanding the situation.

 

Forgive

 

This technique falls under expert level of anger management. By being the bigger person and forgiving the other, you’ll find you no longer have reason to be mad at all.

 

The key to all of these is simple: don’t let anger take control. The last thing you need is for you to fall under the power of negative emotion. Use the anger to make a better place or let it go entirely. In the end, you’ll be happier you did.