Showing posts with label Perfection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Perfection. Show all posts

Friday 14 June 2024

5 Steps To Defeat Perfectionism Once and For All

We all have moments where we fall into perfectionism. For some of us, this might happen kind of often. For others, it's reserved for those special occasions where we have a project where we can't rest until we get it right.


While occasional super-attention-to-detail is okay, it’s when we make perfectionism a way of life where it becomes a problem. Those are the times where we finally need to take charge of our lives and learn how to let go.


Try this:


Start at the Core


Why are you so wrapped up in perfectionism? Are you truly trying to become a better person somehow, or are you just trying to impress someone else or meet expectations from those around you? Neither of these reasons is very healthy, and both need to be addressed.


Drop the “Should”


The moment you start using this word in a conversation, especially regarding your action, you're already driving yourself crazy. Remind yourself you don’t need validation from anyone. You’re good just by being you.


Rewrite the Script


What are you telling yourself as you throw yourself into perfectionism? Do you think this is the path to success? Or do you have other unrealistic expectations of the outcome? Here's where you switch up your self-talk to get out of any negative spaces and unrealistic outcomes.


Drop the Comparisons


Speaking of self-talk, just who are you holding up as role models? Has this too become unhealthy, going from "I want to be more like them" to "Why can't I have everything they do?” Wouldn’t it feel better to celebrate where you are right now and all the effort you’ve been putting into things?


Show Some Mercy


Perfection never allows for excuses. If you can't succeed, you're automatically a failure. By chasing imperfection, you learn the value of self-forgiveness and the ability to let go of your mistakes in favor of embracing the lessons you can learn from them.


You wouldn’t think these steps are all so very important at first glance. After all, is chasing imperfection worthwhile?


The answer is a resounding, "Yes!" Perfection is what pulls us away from others and gets us so tangled up inside with worry and stress about getting things right; we negatively impact our mental and physical health. 


With this in mind, isn’t it time to let go and enjoy life once and for all?


Tuesday 17 October 2023

Healthy Coping With A Traumatic Event

Traumatic events tend to trigger all sorts of feelings, like stress, nervousness, sadness, anger, and more! These events can be personal, like an assault or abuse. They can also be a global crisis, like a flood or a pandemic.


Nevertheless, these experiences can leave an emotional and mental toll. However, if dealt with in a healthy way, the symptoms can slowly get better. Keep reading to find out more.


Symptoms Brought on by a Traumatic Event


Unfortunately, most of us will be exposed to traumatic events during our lifetimes. In response, we suffer from what experts refer to as ‘traumatic stress.’


Sometimes, we’re not the victims of the events but mere witnesses. Yet, we can still suffer from traumatic stress just the same.


Below are some of the ways this stress can manifest itself.


Emotional symptoms, such as:


  • Disbelief and shock
  • Sadness and grief
  • Feeling jumpy and nervous
  • Anger Irritability
  • Shame or guilt
  • Helplessness


Physical symptoms include:


  • Getting flashbacks and intrusive thoughts
  • Aches and pains
  • Cold sweats
  • Increase or loss in appetite
  • Shallow, rapid breathing
  • Feeling dizzy or nauseous


Coping with a Traumatic Event


Some people find outlets for their symptoms, and with time, they usually get better.


Others, however, develop acute stress disorder. This is when the symptoms are much more intense, thus, much more difficult to go away on their own.


The good news is that psychologists and other medical experts have rounded up a handful of healthy ways to cope with the aftermath of a traumatic event.


Embrace Your Emotions


Often after going through something traumatic, the last thing we want to do is rehash our thoughts and feelings. But avoiding your feelings isn’t a healthy way to deal with what happened.


While taking some time for yourself is normal, too much avoidance can be disruptive. It can even prolong your stress and delay your healing.


You can face your feelings on your own by writing in a journal. The other option is to talk it out and find support from loved ones, peer groups, or mental health professionals.


Find what makes you comfortable, and slowly but surely, you’ll find yourself getting back in the groove.


Prioritize Self-Care


After a traumatic event, especially after that first month, things like good sleep, healthy eating, and exercise can easily slip your mind. All you want to do is stay in bed under the covers out of harm’s way.


However, the best thing you can do to push through this difficult time is to make a conscious effort each day to get up and do right by yourself.


Studies show that regular physical exercise releases stress and anxiety. It also signals your brain to release feel-good hormones, which improve your mood. So, why not start with something simple like taking a 15-minute walk outside?


Other self-care ideas include:


  • Eating well-balanced nutritious meals
  • Getting quality sleep each night
  • Spend time in nature
  • Practice mindful meditation
  • Do yoga
  • Find a creative outlet, like music or art


Establish a Routine


There’s safety and comfort in the familiar. That’s why getting back to your daily routine is important.


Some people can get back after a few days, while others need several weeks. The important thing is to structure your days in a way that there are set times for certain things.

Even if your work or school schedule is disrupted, you can create and maintain a new schedule to give you a feeling of security and control.


For example, get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. It may take a few days to get the hang of it, but getting quality sleep each night will make you feel less anxious and speed up the healing process.


It also pays off to create a schedule for your meals, workouts, and me-time. Having that structure and sense of control can help minimize your feelings of helplessness and anxiety.


A Final Note


It’s normal to have a strong reaction after going through a trauma. Yet, the good news is that there are healthy coping mechanisms to get you through a traumatic event.


Remember to take one day at a time. Also, give yourself the love and empathy you need to heal and recover. Then, as the days pass, your symptoms will begin to improve, and you’ll start feeling like your normal self.


Friday 13 October 2023

Connecting Mind And Body For Improved Health

There’s always an ongoing conversation that goes back and forth between the mind and body. Your body directly affects your thought process, and vice versa.


Here’s another way to think about it: the way you move and interact with your surroundings molds how you feel, think, and behave. You might be surprised to know that this connection starts early in life. In fact, the earlier young children become mobile and reach cognitive milestones, the faster they develop and maintain their mental health. And it continues as we age. 


Exercise and physical activity in adults help promote healthy physical and mental aging. When you work out, you keep your body fit, and you stimulate your mind. So, it’s a win-win!


What Is The Mind-Body Connection?


The mind-body connection is the intertwining of both the mind and body. This connection is so powerful that your body may experience a physical response, like nausea, crying, or a stress-induced headache if you think of something.


While this physical response may not be one of your favorite things, it’s basically why you and your ancestors have managed to survive up until now. In other words, the mind-body connection is why you’re alive today.


How Does The Mind-Body Connection Work?


There are four primary parts in your brain that have a direct effect on the mind-body connection. The first is the emotional cortex, which is responsible for dealing with your emotions.


The second part is the hippocampus, which deals with how you consolidate your memories. Then, you have the prefrontal cortex that allows you to strategize and decide what to do.


Finally, the amygdala is what controls your fight-or-flight response. Your brain turns on this response when your body feels there’s an external threat.


As a result, it releases large doses of cortisol, the stress hormone. In times of danger or trauma, this hormone signals your lungs and heart to make you breathe faster.


Not only that, but they pump your muscles full of adrenaline. This is what helps you either escape danger or fight your way to safety.


The amazing thing is that each physical symptom you experience is also something you feel emotionally, and vice versa. So, for example, if you sprain your ankle, the physical pain can also be accompanied by a sense of anger or sadness.


On the other hand, if you experience a panic attack, you feel a tightness in your chest, nausea, and just achy all over.


What Are The Benefits Of The Mind-Body Connection?


The Dalai Lama XIV once said, “If the mind is tranquil and occupied with positive thoughts, the body will not easily fall prey to disease.”


Science has proven this relationship because so many of our emotions and thoughts are in constant communication. Everything from the immune, endocrine, and peripheral nervous systems, many of our organs, and all our emotional responses share common chemicals that go back and forth.


Now, let’s look at why this connection is so important and how you can use it to improve your overall lifestyle.


Boost Attentiveness


Knowing how the mind and body connect encourages you to pay more attention to your thoughts and emotions. Hence, you can use this connection to your advantage.


For example, if you’re not doing well emotionally, your body will give off specific cues. If you’re in tune with them, you’ll know exactly how to react before you become too overwhelmed.


One of the best ways to do this is by being mindful of your thought patterns and how you talk to yourself. Start to focus on when negative thoughts come into your mind and why some negative self-talk starts the way it does. By knowing that, you can give yourself a chance to stop them before they escalate and become too much to handle. Once you do that, you’ll end up dealing with emotions in a healthier way, which allows for fewer physical setbacks.


Learn to Release Emotions


Knowing how you feel and what triggers bring on certain thought patterns can go a long way in helping you release pent-up or negative feelings. For starters, you become better at finding activities that affect both your mind and body, like learning various breathing techniques, positive visualizations, yoga, and much more.


As a result, you begin to know what your body is feeling and find the best ways to calm your mind. This comes in extremely handy if you’re prone to stress, anxiety, and depression.


Develop Healthy Habits


When you’re able to deal with difficult emotions, you become more in control of your thought patterns. Thus, your overall well-being gets a nice boost.


For example, you pay better attention to your needs. So, you don’t get easily dragged into drinking, drugs, or binge eating when you’re in a bad mood. Instead, you engage in different physical activities to release the pent-up emotions. You also start to eat and sleep better, hydrate more, and manage to stay consistent throughout.


That’s when you’ll finally realize that you’ve made a conscious effort to develop healthy habits by living a balanced lifestyle. Over time, maintaining mental and emotional stability will become a way of life.


Tuesday 10 October 2023

Exercises To Be More Positive

According to recent polls, Americans are more anxious and stressed out than ever before. From inflation costs to post-pandemic stressors, war threats, and unrelenting pressure at home and work, people can’t help but feel uneasy and overwhelmed.


Luckily, there are things you can do to help ease the impact of stress on your daily life. For example, you can establish a routine that supports your mental and physical well-being.


Another is to do physical and mental activities that can help you become more positive and less apprehensive.


This article gathers some of the best exercises to help you relish a more positive lifestyle while successfully dealing with that feeling of restlessness that comes with living in times of uncertainty.


Physical Vs. Mental Exercises To Be More Positive


Through years of research, scientists have discovered that both physical and mental exercises impact how we see the world and our place in it. Our self-confidence increases, we have a more positive mindset, and we get sick less often.


Physical Exercises


Science tells us that physical exercise improves our overall health. We lose weight and get in shape, so our physical health gets a nice boost.


But that’s not all. When we work out regularly, we don’t just look good, we also start feeling good about ourselves as well.


Studies show that after just 15–20 minutes of exercise, your brain releases feel-good hormones. These chemicals flow through your system and begin to lower anxiety and depression. They also improve your self-esteem, lift your mood, and enhance cognitive functions.


The best exercises you can do to be more positive are aerobic exercises that get your heart pumping and the blood flowing through your veins.


Also, if you do these exercises outdoors in the fresh air, you’ll get double the benefits. One study shows that working out in nature improves self-esteem, reduces stress, and makes you feel more cheerful.


Mental Exercises


If you’re looking for ways to be more positive-minded, there are many mental exercises you can do like creating a vision board or starting a gratitude journal.


By practicing these exercises, also called mental health activities, you can do a bit of soul-searching and look inward to gain a better understanding of who you are. The better you know yourself, the easier you’ll find it to navigate through life’s ups and downs.


You know what your values and principles are, so whenever you’re at a crossroads and have to make a decision, you have a clear vision of what works best for you.


50 Positive-Thinking Exercises


  1. Practice positive affirmations
  2. Engage in physical activity
  3. Do some gardening
  4. Listen to your favorite music
  5. Read more
  6. Socialize in person
  7. Meditate
  8. Do yoga
  9. Learn a new language
  10. Dance
  11. Learn Tai Chi
  12. Get good quality sleep each night
  13. Play brain games like chess, Sudoku, puzzles, and crosswords
  14. Learn from the past
  15. Practice forgiveness
  16. Work on visualization
  17. Celebrate your victories
  18. Learn how to control negative self-talk
  19. Express gratitude
  20. Let go of the things that don’t make much difference in the long run
  21. Volunteer
  22. Do something thoughtful for someone you care about
  23. Create a daily self-care routine
  24. Focus on your breathing
  25. Do something creative
  26. Find your happy place
  27. Accept the things you can’t control
  28. Smile more
  29. Limit the amount of negativity you allow into your life
  30. Be kind to yourself
  31. Avoid catastrophizing
  32. Believe in yourself more
  33. Learn from your mistakes
  34. Do one thing each week that makes you feel uncomfortable
  35. Create realistic goals
  36. Read one positive quote each day
  37. Create a vision board
  38. Set clear boundaries when your workday ends and your personal time begins
  39. Learn a new skill
  40. Choose accountability over playing the victim
  41. See the good in your world
  42. Know that you’re worthy of good things
  43. Sit up straight
  44. Make it a point to learn something new every day
  45. Be constructive in your criticism of yourself and others
  46. Know your strengths and weaknesses
  47. Practice compassion
  48. Use the mirror technique
  49. Make peace with the past
  50. Turn off technology for 30 minutes each day


Monday 17 July 2023

Mental Toughness - The Ability to Self-Monitor

Self-monitoring is a valuable personality trait that helps people inform their behaviors and actions appropriately in any given environment. While this trait can help people “fit in” to the current surroundings more naturally, it can also be an excellent way to fortify your mental toughness. 


What Is Mental Toughness?


According to Mental Toughness Inc., “Mental toughness is the ability to resist, manage and overcome doubts, worries, concerns and circumstances that prevent you from succeeding, or excelling at a task or towards an objective or a performance outcome that you set out to achieve."


Self-monitoring and then acting in a way that may go against your natural instincts is challenging and requires notable mental toughness to achieve.


What is self-monitoring?


According to the psychology experts at VeryWellMind, “self-monitoring is a personality trait that involves the ability to monitor and regulate self-presentations, emotions, and behaviors in response to social environments and situations.” 


When you are self-monitoring, you are paying close attention to how you are behaving and responding to what is happening around you in a socially appropriate way.


Sometimes, self-monitoring can feel easy and natural. For example, when you are in a quiet, fine dining restaurant, you likely feel the urge to keep your voice calm and low. On the contrary, if you’re in an amusement park with friends, you probably feel the urge to laugh and talk loudly. In each of these very different scenarios, you are gathering environmental information to inform your actions – and then using that information to make personal decisions about how you’re going to speak, act, and behave.


In other situations, self-monitoring can be difficult. If you are having an argument with a friend, you may feel tempted to immediately release your frustrations by yelling at them. However, your self-monitoring skills may remind you that yelling isn’t going to solve the problem – in this case, it is better to take some deep breaths, remain calm, and keep your voice steady.


When you exercise self-monitoring in this way, it is a true sign of mental toughness. Going against your natural instincts can be challenging! 


If you struggle with self-monitoring, what are some strategies you can use to get better at using it?


If self-monitoring doesn’t come easy for you, it is possible to improve these skills. Consider employing the following strategies to get started:


1. Practice using your observational skills. 


Spend more time listening and observing during interactions and conversations with others rather than trying to respond. You can learn a lot about your surroundings and the people around you this way. With this valuable information, you can begin self-monitoring your own behaviors and choices to match what is happening around you more closely.


2. Engage in stepping away from situations so you can process what is happening before reacting.


In many situations, particularly shocking or surprising ones, you may feel an immediate urge to react in a certain way. However, you can engage in some self-monitoring practice by choosing to step away from the situation momentarily. This gives you a few private moments to calm down, assess the situation, and then decide a plan of action.


3. Pay close attention to yourself, especially in different social situations. 


Whenever you find yourself in varying social situations, such as out with friends, in a meeting at work, hanging out at the community park, and anywhere else you find yourself on a regular basis, pay close attention to how you act when you’re there.


Taking note of specific patterns in your own behavior can help you improve your own self-monitoring. For example, you may notice that people seem surprised by the volume of your voice when you actually pay close attention – this can help you determine a course of action to modify this behavior in future situations.

Monday 10 July 2023

8 Power-Ups for Reclaiming Confidence

There is nothing more crippling than losing your confidence.


Without confidence, everything gets harder. You struggle to concentrate. Tasks feel overwhelming. If you stay there, you’ll even find a more long-term emotional impact, where you might fall into depression or become bogged down in indecision. Without confidence, you lose all forward progress.


This is why it’s so important to reclaim your confidence after suffering a blow. For a fast boost, try these eight power-ups.


Do What Makes You Uncomfortable


When you take risks, you stretch yourself in surprising new ways. This is a powerful feeling. Why? It takes confidence to step outside your comfort zone. Trying something new forces you to act with confidence, whether you started out feeling it or not.


Find Your Purpose


Knowing what you’re destined to do is a fantastic feeling and fills a person with confidence. If you’re unsure why you’ve set a particular goal, or are questioning what you’re doing, you’re not likely to feel confident at all. Solidifying the goal in your mind is a rapid boost to confidence then. 


Keep Trying


It’s normal to experience failure from time to time. This kind of disaster can easily destroy confidence. You regain this confidence when you get up and try again. 


Learn Things


Knowledge truly is power. When you really understand something inside out, you tend to be very confident (at least in that area). Continually learning new things expands your knowledge base. As a result, your confidence extends in new directions as well. 


Drop the Idea Things Have to be Perfect


When nothing is ever good enough, confidence falters. How are you supposed to feel sure of yourself when you’re feeling things are always unfinished or lacking somehow? By accepting things as they are, warts and all, you’ll find you’re relax more and even become more confident in what you’re doing because you’re telling yourself that what you have or are doing is exactly what you need.


Dress for Success


How we present ourselves to the world really can affect our mental state. Wearing what makes you feel good about yourself will restore confidence. A change in attitude is only a change in outfit away.


Trust Yourself


When you doubt your instincts, you’re telling yourself you don’t really know what you’re doing. This is why it’s so important to ‘go with your gut’ when faced with a challenge. This kind of trust instills confidence in your ability to judge a situation or outcome.


Look Forward


Confidence has a hard time standing up to ghosts from the past. When you get caught up in your previous failures or uncertainties, confidence falters. Instead, look forward to positive emotions. When you recognize your potential, you start seeing just how amazing you are.