Showing posts with label Health and Wellness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health and Wellness. Show all posts

Friday 17 May 2024

Getting Enough Sleep Can Change Your Life


If you regularly skimp on sleep, or maybe don't sleep well, it may be time to change your sleeping habits. 

 

Getting a good night's sleep is important because the amount and quality of sleep you get can profoundly affect your life. And you may not realize just how much getting enough sleep could change your life.

 

The Health Consequences Of Not Enough Sleep

 

It may not seem like getting enough sleep is a big deal. After all, who cares if you are a little bit tired at work? Well, according to Amita Health, not getting enough sleep can cause considerable damages to your health. Not getting enough sleep has been tied to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, stroke, and diabetes—all of which are dangerous conditions. And it isn't just your physical health that suffers—because your mental health can suffer too. Not getting enough sleep can make you more prone to conditions such as depression and anxiety, both of which can negatively affect your life.

 

Your Relationships Will Improve

 

Now that you know the problem with not getting enough sleep, you're probably wondering how sleep can change your life. One of the ways getting enough sleep will benefit you is that you will have better relationships with others. When you are constantly tired and short on sleep, this can lead to you being short-tempered with those around you. This short-temperateness can lead to problems in both romantic relationships and friendships. When you start getting enough sleep, those around you will probably notice your mood shift and be much more willing to spend time with you!

 

Your Career Will Advance

 

Besides just improving your health and relationships, getting enough sleep can help you further your career. This is because career success goes hand in hand with building relationships. It's hard to build relationships at work if you are grumpy or constantly tired. Also, when you are tired, you won't work as efficiently. Once you are getting enough sleep, you will have better work relationships and get things done faster—the combination of which will change your career—for the better. 

 

Overall, it can be difficult to prioritize sleep, but it needs to be done. When you get enough sleep every night, you improve your health, relationships, career, and ultimately your life! So, stop skimping out on sleep and make it your priority today!

 


Tuesday 14 May 2024

Five Signs You Might Need to Focus on Emotional Healing


What is emotional healing? It's the process by which you recover emotionally and mentally from a negative life experience. You can't keep tough times from appearing in your life. When you are emotionally healthy and balanced, you deal with those difficult situations that inevitably pop up, and you can move on with your life.

 

Sometimes, we don't understand we need emotional healing. That's the problem. If you suffer some injury and have a broken bone, you can see it. You can certainly feel it. You know you have to get it fixed.

 

This isn't always the case when your emotions are out of whack.

 

You might think your emotional responses to your experiences are correct and healthy. They may be anything but. Here are five signs you could use some emotional healing to live a more complete and fulfilling life.

 

You Don't Experience a Wide Range of Emotions

 

You have access to 34,000 different and unique emotions. That's what psychologist Robert Plutchik believed. He stated that most of us only experience eight primary emotions most of the time. These are anger, sadness, disgust, trust, fear, joy, surprise and anticipation.

 

If only a couple of those are usually present, you probably need more emotional balance. This could indicate that you aren't properly processing situations and human interactions. 

 

Low Self-Esteem and a Poor Self-Image

 

This is an offshoot of what we just talked about. You constantly look down on yourself. Everyone has times when they doubt their abilities. That's only normal. We recover and move on. The emotionally unhealthy person usually has a low sense of self-worth, even when there is evidence this isn't the case.

 

You Have Difficulty Trusting Others

 

A lack of trust can come from emotional imbalance. You must love yourself and truly believe you can overcome a bad relationship experience, or you'll never trust others.

 

You Can't Move Past a Negative Experience

 

Life can be difficult, at times seemingly impossible. It might look like you'll never recover in the middle of the most trying hardship. You will. Don't embrace and hold onto negative emotions. Practice gratitude for the great things in your life. Lean on your support network and get whatever help you need if you can't seem to let go of negative emotions.

 

Constant Anxiety and Stress

 

Chronic stress is a killer and has been directly linked to many common causes of death. A constant display of stress and anxiety could mean you're not always responding to life correctly where your emotions are concerned.

 

There is no miracle pill you can pop to always enjoy perfect emotional balance. You will have ups and downs, experiencing difficult times that hurt you emotionally. 

 

For you to live your best life and for those that you love, you need to learn to recognize a negative life experience, give it its due, and then move on. Consider seeking help if you often display these signs of poor emotional health.

 


Tuesday 30 April 2024

10 Effective Strategies to Boost Your Productivity at Work


Introduction

 

Productivity plays a crucial role in achieving professional and personal goals, making it an essential skill to develop. It involves effectively managing time, setting clear goals, and maintaining focus on tasks. However, it's important to avoid falling into the trap of toxic productivity, which can lead to burnout and decreased overall well-being.

 

Setting Clear Goals and Priorities

 

Setting clear goals and defining priorities is key to increasing productivity. By breaking down tasks into manageable milestones, you can enhance focus and motivation. One effective technique is the five-minute rule, which involves tackling quick tasks immediately, helping to overcome procrastination and build momentum.

 

For example, if your goal is to complete a report, you can break it down into smaller tasks like conducting research, outlining, and writing sections. By setting these milestones, you can track your progress and stay motivated throughout the process.

 

Time Management Techniques

 

Effective time management is crucial for improving productivity. One technique is time blocking, where you allocate dedicated time for specific tasks. By creating a schedule and sticking to it, you can increase efficiency and avoid wasting time on non-essential activities.

 

Another technique is the Pomodoro technique, which involves working in focused bursts of 25 minutes, followed by a short break. This method helps maintain concentration and prevents burnout. Reflecting on the reasons for procrastination and developing coping skills, such as breaking tasks into smaller steps, can also help overcome productivity challenges.

 

Eliminating Distractions and Increasing Focus

 

Eliminating distractions is essential for staying focused on tasks. Limiting distractions, such as turning off email notifications or putting your phone on silent mode, can help maintain concentration. Techniques like the Pomodoro technique, where you work for a set period and then take a short break, can also help improve focus.

 

Creating a conducive work environment is equally important. Closing doors or using noise-canceling headphones can reduce interruptions and increase concentration.

 

Taking Breaks and Managing Energy Levels

 

Taking breaks and managing energy levels are crucial for sustained productivity. Incorporating regular breaks decreases stress, prevents burnout, and improves overall productivity. Engaging in physical exercise, even a short walk, can boost mental health, enhance focus, and increase energy levels.

 

For instance, taking a 10-minute break every hour to stretch or do a quick breathing exercise can help refresh your mind and improve productivity when you return to work.

 

Delegating and Outsourcing Tasks

 

Knowing when to delegate or outsource tasks is essential for increasing productivity. Delegating tasks to others can reduce workload and allow you to focus on high-priority responsibilities. Identifying tasks that can be effectively handled by others and providing clear instructions and expectations can help streamline workflow and increase overall productivity.

 

For example, if you're overwhelmed with administrative tasks, consider hiring a virtual assistant to handle routine administrative duties, allowing you to focus on strategic tasks that require your expertise.

 

Using Productivity Tools and Apps

 

There are various productivity tools and apps available that can enhance efficiency and streamline tasks. These tools can help with time management, task organization, and collaboration. Some recommended productivity tools include project management software, time tracking apps, and note-taking apps.

 

For instance, project management software like Trello or Asana can help you organize and prioritize tasks, while time tracking apps like Toggl can assist in monitoring your work hours and identifying areas for improvement.

 

Developing Healthy Habits and Routines

 

Developing healthy habits and routines is essential for boosting productivity. Maintaining a clean and organized workspace can improve focus and reduce distractions. Additionally, eating healthy and having regular meals can help maintain energy levels, improve focus, and prevent afternoon slumps.

 

For example, scheduling regular breaks for meals and incorporating nutritious snacks can provide a steady source of energy throughout the day.

 

Continuous Learning and Skill Development

 

Continuous learning and skill development contribute to increased productivity. By acquiring new skills and knowledge, you can stay competitive and adapt to changing work environments. This can involve attending workshops, taking online courses, or participating in professional development programs.

 

For instance, if you work in a technology-driven field, staying updated with the latest advancements and learning new programming languages can enhance your productivity and effectiveness in the workplace.

 

Conclusion

 

Productivity is crucial for achieving professional and personal goals. By implementing the strategies discussed in this article, such as setting clear goals, managing time effectively, eliminating distractions, and taking breaks, you can reduce stress, enhance work efficiency, and achieve your desired outcomes. Remember to prioritize your well-being and avoid toxic productivity, as a healthy work-life balance is essential for long-term success.

 


Friday 15 March 2024

6 Tips For Transitioning Into Retirement


It’s no secret that experiencing change can be a challenge. You’ll find this is true even when the transition you’re going through entails something long desired. The reason is, by and large, people are creatures of habit. So, when life’s rhythms get altered the upheaval can be immense.

 

The decision to bring your career to a close is one that invariably brings many feelings to the surface. Some of these feelings will be positive, and others, not so much.

 

A little bit of planning can help you through this process in as seamless and painless a fashion as possible. The following six tips for transitioning into retirement will help you on your path.

 

1.     Mitigate Financial Risks

 

Recent studies1 have shown there are five major financial risks facing retirees: policy risk, market risk, health risk, longevity risk, and family risk.  Of these, the risks that most consistently become a problem for people are longevity risk (outliving resources) and health risk (medical bills/long-term care).  

 

The good news is that these are risks you can mitigate in many ways. For example, you can take care not to underestimate how long you will live, be realistic about the expenses involved in healthcare, and acknowledge the possibility of needing assistance later in life. 

 

In addition, if you take good care of yourself (physically, mentally, and emotionally) now, you will increase the likelihood of aging with grace and potentially reduce your medical needs and overhead later.

 

2.    Be Realistic About Spending

 

Paying close attention to what you spend each month before you retire will give you a sense of your monetary needs.  If you find that they are too high, begin paring down your expenses and reducing your overhead: the fewer places you hemorrhage money, the better.  Even if you have ample resources, it’s wise to pay attention to your spending to avoid unwanted surprises down the road. 

 

3.    Practice Prevention 

 

Your health and wellbeing should have been your priority throughout your life, but as you age, it’s untenable for them not to be. The difference between enjoying your retirement, or suffering the experience, can easily come down to lifestyle choices.  

 

So, if you haven’t already, make physical activity a part of each day, aim to eat a rainbow of food, cultivate sources of creativity and joy in your life, and spend time with people you love. Doing these things could lengthen your life, prevent illness and injury, and simply help to make your life better.

 

4.    Have A Plan

 

Work consumes a great deal of time. If you head into retirement without considering what those suddenly vacant hours will look like, you could leave yourself feeling unmoored. Creating a schedule for yourself that incorporates healthy habits into your daily routine can be a game changer.

 

According to a study for Psychology of Aging, “the retirement transition is multi-dimensional. The transition involves two developmental challenges: adjustment to the loss of the work role and the social ties of work, and the development of a satisfactory postretirement lifestyle.”2  

 

Anticipating these impacts in advance, and consciously facing them through planning and preparation, increases your chances for a happy retirement.

 

5.    Learn To Relax 

 

Learning to relax may sound silly, but many people are so conditioned to be busy that suddenly having free time can lead to an identity crisis. To counter this possibility, consider beginning a mindfulness practice such as meditation. Learning to sit, be still, and reflect inward will confer myriad health benefits and help ease you into retirement.

 

6.    Don’t Wait To Enjoy

 

Life is better when lived fully. Waiting for a future date to truly savor your existence can be a monumental waste of precious time. Life offers few guarantees, so if you want to avoid regrets, then make today matter. Once retirement begins, double down.  

 

Fill your moments with things you’ve long wanted to try. Vie to expand, rather than contract, as you age. Stay engaged, keep moving, and consciously cultivate your vitality. Doing this will help you transition smoothly into retirement and, what’s more, will foster a life worth living.

 

References:

 

  1. ​​Hou, W. (n.d.). How Well Do Retirees Assess The Risks They Face in Retirement? Center for Retirement Research. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/IB_22-10.pdf
  2. van Solinge, H., & Henkens, K. (2008). Adjustment to and satisfaction with retirement: two of a kind?. Psychology and aging, 23(2), 422–434. https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.23.2.422

 


Friday 16 February 2024

4 Techniques for Handling Negative Emotion


We don’t always do the right thing. We eat too much. We stay out too late. We make mistakes, break promises, and live a life that isn’t always in keeping with our goals.

 

All of this leads to negative emotions: guilt, shame, even anger come creeping in to derail your attempts to get back on track. How can you handle these kinds of negative emotions without letting it ruin your day?

 

We start by looking at three ways you have used to handle it and then move on to one technique you should be using all the time.

 

Avoiding the Emotion

 

Don’t we love pretending we can make the emotions go away? We bury them, suppress them, explain them away, sometimes even turning to things like drugs or alcohol just to make them stop. The problem? Anytime you’re avoiding something because of negative emotions, you’re letting the emotion control you. The better solution? Give yourself room to understand it, and deal with the underlying cause. 

 

Pretending the Emotion is Not There

 

This coping mechanism is a little different. You fall into it by denying you ever felt the negative emotion in the first place. Here the problem is, the more you deny an emotion, the more it grows until it can’t be ignored any longer. Your solution, this time, is simple. Acknowledge the emotion. Accept it for what it is and let it fade on its own.

 

Becoming the Emotion

 

Sometimes the negative emotion is so powerful it becomes part of who you are. At some point, you might even start taking a certain amount of pride in it. You start saying, “Well, I’m just a mad person” or even bragging about how worse off you are than anyone else. Now you’ve become the emotion. The solution? Let the feelings process. Journal, talk to a friend, whatever you need to do, do, to let the emotion move on. Pro tip? Start encouraging positive emotions, allowing them to come in and replace the negative.

 

Learn

 

Learning the lessons of your emotions is perhaps the strongest technique of all. When you realize negative emotions are useful in your life and are there to teach you about yourself, doors start opening. You begin to see different possibilities. Feelings as educational tools have no power to control you at all, but conversely, have the power to change you in very positive ways. Like when you’re feeling angry about injustice, and you use this anger to create positive change in the world.

 


Tuesday 13 February 2024

How to Deal With a Difficult Emotion Using Mindfulness


Mindfulness has a great many uses and is often prescribed by self-help gurus, doctors, writers and others as a tool anyone can use to improve their mental health.

 

Often these focusses on the long-term benefits of being more present and aware. At the same time though, mindfulness can also be used like a scalpel to deal with more acute problems. Here we will look at how it can be leveraged for instance to tackle specific emotions as they arise.

 

Turning Towards Emotions

 

Normally when we experience negative emotions, we react either by trying to ‘fight them’ or by trying to suppress them. This can be described as almost ‘turning away’ from our emotions to try and deny them their power over us.

 

Unfortunately, this ultimately tends to result in our becoming more stressed or upset as the emotions bubble under the surface, or as we frustrate ourselves in trying to fight them.

 

Instead, mindfulness teaches us to turn towards our emotions. What this means, is that you are going to listen to the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing and then simply acknowledge them. Now you say ‘I am stressed’, ‘I am embarrassed’ or ‘I am upset’. Don’t be ashamed or upset that emotion exists but simply recognize that you are currently in that state.

 

People get upset sometimes. People get angry sometimes. But if you’re simply aware of your condition, then you can be aware that perhaps the thoughts you’re thinking aren’t completely objective. What’s more, you should keep hold of the knowledge that emotions aren’t permanent. In other words, you’re feeling angry right now and as such your thoughts shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But in a few hours, you will likely feel better and then the world will seem like a brighter place again.

 

This creates a subtle but powerful shift. No longer is the world a terrible place and thus you are upset, now you are upset and thus the world seems like a terrible place. The difference is that you now know that belief is not true.

 

Debriefing

 

What’s more, being aware and accepting of your emotions in this way will allow you to assess them in a kind of ‘debriefing’ and to look at what triggered them, how you dealt with them and what they made you think and do. The more you break down and intellectualize your emotions, the more you will find you gain control over them.

 


Friday 9 February 2024

The Four Building Blocks of Every Emotion (and Why This is Important)


What are emotions, really? 

 

We know enough about emotions to be able to define them fairly well. We can talk about being 'happy' or 'sad' because we've understood these concepts since we were small. But truly understanding an emotion can seem complicated, especially when you're pushed to explain it.

 

Every emotion is made up of four parts. Let’s explore first what those parts are.

 

The Stimulus

 

For an emotion to happen, you need something which will inspire it. This can be anything at all. Generally, emotions come from outside sources, though they can also arise from your thoughts. You never know what might raise an emotion – a smell, a taste, a memory, a person, a place, or even an activity you're taking part in will inspire emotions. Even babies will be inspired to emotion through simple things like being hungry, uncomfortable, amused, or even by the smell or sound of their caregiver.

 

Your Awareness

 

A situation alone won't be enough to inspire emotion. At some point, your mind will become aware of the situation. This can be a conscious or even unconscious thing. We start paying attention, and this stimulus suddenly matters to us in a way the other things around us don't.

 

The Judgement

 

Are you okay with this stimulus? Your unconscious self already knows your likes and dislikes and is already steering you toward either a positive or negative emotional response. 

 

The Reaction

 

Your physical self is already figuring out the situation and is responding. For example, you might not have noticed the spider that just scuttled across your hand, but your eyes have widened significantly, and you might have felt a chill. This is followed very closely by the physical reaction (in this case, pulling your hand away) and possibly even a verbal expression (a scream, perhaps, if you're afraid of spiders).

 

Why is this important?

 

If you want to change your feelings, start with these building blocks. You'll always have a stimulus, and your awareness of things isn't always within your control. But how you feel about the stimulus can be reshaped. Go back to the spider example. If you don't want to be afraid of spiders, you might rehearse a different reaction, starting with a new judgment. You tell yourself spiders aren't scary and try not to react when you see one. Eventually, you won't feel the 'fear' anymore but might move to disinterest or even curiosity when you see a spider.

 

This takes time, but taking control of your emotions is invaluable. The key? Be consistent as you work on this change; soon, it will come naturally.

 


Tuesday 16 January 2024

3 Unique Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp


No matter what we do, we all have to reckon with Father Time eventually. 

 

You might already be feeling the effect of time. Maybe you don’t bounce back from a night out like you used to. Are you one of those people who let out some sort of grunt every time they get up from the couch? How is that hairline looking? 

 

If any of those sound familiar to you, then you already know that time comes for us all. 

 

Sadly, time also comes for our brain. It’s natural to get a little more forgetful or have more trouble focusing as you age. You don’t have to accept it graciously, though! If you follow these three unique tips, you will ensure that your mind stays sharp. 

 

Drink a Cup of Coffee


Now, this is the kind of tip that I can get behind! Starting your morning with a cup of coffee is not only a delicious way to wake up, but it can also increase your focus. Some studies have even shown that caffeine has an enhancing effect on long-term memory

 

Have a Laugh

 

This tip might even be more enjoyable than enjoying a nice coffee. Find a way to laugh a bit more. You will have to figure out what makes you laugh, but typically throwing on a funny movie or standup routine works. Other people might need more social interaction. A quick call to a close friend will usually include a few good belly laughs. 


Whichever way you get your kicks doesn’t matter, though. What does matter is the fact humor has been shown to improve student performance and decrease the stress hormone cortisol. This stress hormone can contribute to memory loss and other cognitive issues. A good laugh might help your memory! 

 

Pick Up Something Heavy

 

Ok, it might not be quite that simple, but at the end of the day, that is what strength training is. While all exercise is good for your health (brain and otherwise), resistance training is especially adept at boosting cognitive function.  

 

If you aren’t sure what strength training means, it is basically weightlifting. There are many programs for beginners, such as StrongLifts and Starting Strength, but working with a trainer to get the basics down is highly recommended. 

 

Keeping your mind sharp is not only important but also downright vital to a truly happy life. If you are bored with some of the traditional ways to keep your mind sharp, try one of the three suggestions above. You might have so much fun that you don’t even realize you are working to stay sharp! 

 


Friday 12 January 2024

5 Different Ways to Practice Mindfulness


Want to become more mindful in your life but aren’t quite sure where to start? There are several different ways to practice mindfulness. Read on to find out more. 

 

1.    Meditate

 

The best way to increase mindfulness in your life is by setting aside time every day to meditate. Meditation creates a space for you to spend quality time with yourself! It allows you to evaluate both your emotions as well as your physical feelings. It can also help relieve stress and induce a calmer demeanor. If you want to become more mindful, you really must spend time in meditation each day.

 

2.    Spend Time Outside

 

Spending time outside in the fresh air can do wonders for your mentality. And the best part is, you don’t need any special training to implement this in your life. Start by going for a walk in a park near your house and paying attention to all the scenery around you.

 

3.    Start Your Day With A Purpose

 

Another way to practice mindfulness is by starting all of your days with a clear purpose. This can be done by waking up early and having a morning routine that lets you start the day relaxed and prepared. This morning routine can be meditating when you first wake up, completing breathing exercises, or even going for a nature walk before work.

 

4.    Watch What You Eat

 

Watching what you eat doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go on a diet. In this day and age, meals have become quick periods where you eat as fast as possible. Slow down, take each bite with purpose, notice all of the flavors you are consuming. And then pay attention after you finish eating to see how different foods affect your moods and health. You may be surprised by what you discover about your favorite foods. 

 

5.    Take Frequent Evaluation Pauses

 

Sometimes your life can be so hectic that you don’t spend any time on yourself. No matter what your schedule is like, now is the time to work in frequent pauses. These pauses don’t have to be long, just a few minutes to breathe deeply and evaluate how you feel and what you are thinking. You will find these mindful pauses will do wonders for stress relief.

 

Overall, leading a more mindful life isn’t that difficult. Simply start by trying one or a few of the items on this list, and you’ll be feeling more mindful in no time at all!