Showing posts with label Mental Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mental Health. 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.

 


Friday 3 May 2024

Be More Productive with These 3 Tips


Everyone knows that productivity is essential to success, but being productive is often easier said than done, especially in the age of the internet when many people are working from home. If you want to become more productive but aren't sure how to begin, try following these three easy tips to get you started.

 

Tip 1: Have A Plan

 

It’s extremely difficult to be productive if you aren't sure exactly what you have to do. This is why you need to start your journey to productivity by having a plan. This can be a plan for the day, the week, or even the month, whatever suits your work style. 

 

It's best to make the goals small and achievable daily—this will help you stay focused and on track. It will also help keep you motivated as you will feel accomplished every time you cross something off the list. 

 

Tip 2: Don’t Give In To Distractions

 

This is a tough one. Distractions come in all shapes and sizes, everything from technology (your phone) to food and even your friends or coworkers. The best way to start being more productive is by finding an area you can work in with little if any, distractions. This could mean removing the TV from your office or finding somewhere to work that isn’t the kitchen. 

 

Then you should commit to not picking up your phone or checking your email for a specified period of time while you work. You'll find this helps tremendously with keeping you on task and preventing you from wasting time on something you don’t need to waste time on.

 

Tip 3: Take Breaks

 

Numerous studies have shown that your brain works most effectively when it takes frequent breaks from a difficult task. Some people like to specify and time these breaks using a timer for maximum productivity. But you don’t have to rigidly schedule breaks to benefit from them. Even just stepping away from your desk for five minutes because you're frustrated at something can do wonders for your productivity levels, as well as your mental health. 

 

Although it can be difficult to stay on task, it's quite easy to boost your productivity simply by having a plan, avoiding distractions, and taking adequate breaks. Employ all three in your life, and you'll likely be surprised by how much your productivity increases!

 


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!

 


Tuesday 9 January 2024

3 Ways to Supercharge Your Brain Power Through Exercise


You know exercise is good for your physical health, but did you know it’s also good for your brain? The latest neurological research has shown that there is a so-called ‘magic protein’ called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) that has the power to supercharge your brain and improve your memory. And it is stimulated by cardiovascular exercise!

 

BDNF can rewire and build new neural pathways in the brain, especially in the crucial areas that control memory (the hippocampus) and analysis, thinking, and decision-making (the frontal lobes). Your frontal lobes are where most of the intellectual activity of the brain takes place, from processing the data that’s coming in all the time to problem-solving and making ethical decisions.  And you can keep these critical parts of your brain bathed in BDNF by merely increasing the amount of exercise in your daily routine. 

 

If you find it hard to commit to regular exercise, here are three ways you can make it easier and supercharge your brain at the same time. 

 

1.    Make it Fun

 

The key to maintaining an exercise regime is to choose an activity or activities that you enjoy. Not everyone likes going to the gym, but there are many other ways to increase your heart rate and get the BDNF pumping. 

 

Dancing, swimming, hiking out in nature, and bike riding will all get your heart rate up, and you’ll enjoy doing it. Even brisk walking will help. As a bonus, exercise will boost your endorphins, too, making you happier and more relaxed. 

 

2.    Schedule Your Exercise

 

It’s easier to stick to a regular exercise plan if you schedule time in your diary. Set aside time and increase your sessions until you’re exercising for thirty minutes, four or five times a week. Like any other habit, once you make it a priority, it will become just another part of your regular routine like brushing your teeth. 

 

3.    Make it Musical

 

Research has shown that music can increase motivation and happiness. Exercise will be much more fun if you’re bopping away to your favorite tunes. Even housework can become a brain-boosting dance routine when you’re vacuuming along to music that makes you smile. Turn up the volume and start cleaning to the beat!

 

Create a playlist of your favorite songs, and you will find that exercise is pleasurable and much easier to stick to when there’s upbeat music to encourage you!

 


Friday 5 January 2024

5 Steps to Living Your Purpose


Maybe you’re working hard to achieve your dream life. Perhaps you’re an entrepreneur, or aiming for promotion, or trying to get your business off the ground. If you’re finding success a bit of a struggle, maybe you need to find your life’s purpose to lift you above the pack and change your mindset from struggle to success. 

 

Finding your purpose is like finding a magic key to help you align everything you do and focus on getting to your best life now. Here are five steps to help set you in the right direction. 

 

1.    Look Within

 

Too many people look to others for the answers. Too many people follow a path that’s not their path. Only you can know what your dream life looks like. The answer to your life’s purpose lies deep within you. All you have to do is tune into it. Journaling can be a helpful tool to allow your subconscious to speak your truth. Or meditation, or brainstorming. The important thing is that you look into your own heart. 

 

2.    Trust Your Intuition

 

Learning to trust that inner voice that tells you that the conventional way of doing things isn’t right for you. Whether it’s a college degree or a selling technique: if it doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to do it! Find your own way of living your life, and you’ll be much more likely to feel content and to be successful. 

 

3.    Get Friendly with Fear

 

Many people choose to live safe, conventional lives, too afraid to do things differently or to take a chance. It’s ok to be scared of the unknown. You can choose to face your fears and to lean in to meet challenges head-on. 

 

Deciding to live your own life according to your values and your passion means being able to look fear in the face and step right out of your comfort zone. 

 

4.    Don’t Be Bound by Your To-do List

 

It’s easy to become a slave to the never-ending checklist of things you need to do before you can live your purpose. You only get one shot at life.

 

Have a look at your current list of tasks. How many of them will move you closer to living your best life? How many can you just scrub out or delegate to someone else? 

 

5.    Realize that You Already Have What You Need

 

Maybe the most important thing to know that you don’t need expensive courses or workshops, or the right suit or car. You already have everything you need to start living your life’s purpose. It’s all within you. What really matters is what you do with it. And today is the best time to start!