Showing posts with label Self-Belief. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Self-Belief. Show all posts

Friday 24 November 2023

5 Benefits of Daily Optimism

There is increasing evidence that being optimistic about life has measurable benefits, not just for your mental health, but your physical well-being too. Scientific studies have shown that as you become more optimistic, your life will improve in all sorts of ways. You’re even likely to have a longer life, just from being more hopeful and positive. 

Among the many benefits of being optimistic are:


1.    Optimists are healthier


Optimists not only rate their own health and wellbeing as better, but studies have also shown that optimists have better mental and physical health than pessimists. In a study of the effects of positive psychological well-being, optimism was found to be the biggest predictor of improved heart health. Optimists also have lower blood pressure and cholesterol and a lower risk of developing heart disease.


2.    Optimists live longer


A study by the University of Pittsburgh found that of the 100,000 women studied over eight years, optimists were less likely to die from any cause than women with a more pessimistic outlook.  That was confirmed by a later Harvard study that showed the women who had a positive outlook had a much lower risk (nearly 30% less) of dying from serious illnesses. 


3.    Optimists are happier


It might seem obvious that an optimist would be happier than a pessimist. But it has been shown that optimists are not just sunnier in their dispositions, but they are measurably happier in their relationships, jobs, and life in general. They deal better with stress, are more resilient in bad times, and produce less cortisol, the stress hormone that leads to inflammation and a lowered immune system.


4.    Optimists have smoother career paths


Researchers from Duke University found that the optimistic MBA graduates they studied were more likely to find a job, earn a higher starting salary, and have more frequent promotions than the pessimists in the group. Optimists also deal better with negative feedback, seeing it as an opportunity to improve and increase their chance of promotion in the future. 


5.    Optimists roll with the punches


Life’s adversities do not crush an optimist; they remain hopeful about the future. Optimism helps you deal with whatever limiting beliefs you have developed and shows you a way out. Being positive about life’s possibilities means you focus on what you can do. It boosts your confidence and makes you more likely to look for constructive solutions. It stops you feeling stuck or at the mercy of other people. If you’re optimistic, you know you can do it!


Tuesday 21 November 2023

6 Ways to Cultivate Optimism Each Day

You might be surprised to hear that optimism is not an innate quality. Optimism and pessimism are ways of looking at yourself and the world through a positive or negative filter. Once you think of them as reflections of your mindset, it becomes much easier to believe you can change. Like any new behavior, you need to practice every day for it to become a habit. Try these six suggestions to cultivate your optimism every day. 


1.    Keep a journal


Journaling or keeping a diary allows you to process events and to get a different perspective on them. It encourages self-reflection and captures insights into your thinking and behavior. You can write down what happened during your day and document, not just the bald facts but how you did it, what you did to make it happen and what you did right. And, importantly, how it felt while you were doing it. Don’t just record the good things (a promotion, a presentation or meeting that went well), remember to write down the thing that didn’t go so well and reflect on what happened, how you dealt with it, and what you might do differently next time. 


2.    Laugh


Consciously notice the funny side of things and write them down. If the technology didn’t work, and you had to give the presentation without the slide deck, or the power went out, or there was a fire drill in the middle of your crucial meeting. What can seem like a disaster at the time can also be looked back on as a comedy of errors.


3.    Write to your future 


Write a letter or a journal entry that sets out the future you want. What job are you doing? Are you running your own business? What have you learned? What has changed? Imagining how your future life looks and feels can be a powerful motivator.


4.    Keep a kindness list


Have a page in your journal where you note down kind gestures. Write down when you are kind to someone, or when someone is kind to you. Even little things count, like opening a door for someone or letting them go first in the line for coffee. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they mount up, and your ever-lengthening list will give you a different perspective on things.


5.    Say thank you


Write a letter or email, phone or visit someone (a person outside your family) who has been genuinely kind to you. Tell them how much you appreciate what they did or said and how it has affected your life. 


6.    Choose positivity


Make the positive choice to develop and maintain an optimistic outlook. Do this every morning when you wake up. Decide that today is going to be a great day. Everyone will have some level of suffering in their life. Choosing to be optimistic will make it easier to bounce back from the bad times and to enjoy and be certain of the good times. 

Friday 20 October 2023

5 Ways To Boost Emotional Growth

Emotional growth, also known as emotional maturity, is being wise enough to understand your feelings and apply that understanding in your life. People with emotional maturity are good at handling difficult situations in a calm, non-invasive manner.


They also know when to reach out for help or acknowledge that they need a break for fear of burning out. This level of self-awareness allows you to identify your emotions and those of others around you. Thus, it will enable you to enjoy better relationships and live a more fulfilling life.


Several studies have been carried out on the value of emotional growth, especially in the workforce. Their findings show that the highest performers were those who displayed high levels of emotional maturity.


So, it’s not just about regular intelligence anymore. Emotional growth is just as important in both your professional and personal lives.


Let’s take a look at five ways to boost emotional growth.


Become More Self-Assured


Emotionally mature people know how to communicate their thoughts and beliefs in an assertive yet respectful way. They earn people’s respect because they know they come off as neither being too passive nor too aggressive.


They’re good at being direct and getting straight to the point. Still, they consider others’ opinions and respect what they have to offer.


Learn to Listen


There’s a difference between hearing someone speak and actually listening to what they’re saying. Most people just nod their heads as they wait for their turn to speak.


But actively listening means you pay close attention to what someone is saying before offering a valid response. It also means you hone in on the speaker’s nonverbal clues. This helps avoid any misunderstanding or mix-up that might take place during the conversation.


Maintain a Positive Mindset


Your thoughts determine your outlook on life, which determines your behavior. Hence, being aware of your mood and doing what needs to be done to have a good day is a great way to boost your emotional growth.


For example, you’re late for a meeting because you got stuck in traffic. Rather than complain and fuss all day over what happened, you can choose to keep an open mind.


One way to do that is to write down an uplifting quote that makes you smile and keep it at your desk. You can also practice mindfulness meditation or just go for a walk during your lunch hour.


Be Your Own Motivator


People who work on their emotional intelligence are self-motivators. They recognize that success comes from the inside. They don’t wait for others to cheer them on or for circumstances to magically align in their favor.


Instead, they set goals, and they work hard to attain them. They also remain steadfast in the face of challenges and don’t let setbacks get them down.


Empathize with Others


Learning how to empathize with others isn’t easy. First, it requires that you take a close look at your own emotions and self-worth, which can be intimidating at first.


Yet, once you get past those initial barriers, you’ll find that it’s quite liberating. Empathy is also more about empowerment and emotional strength than anything else.


There’s nothing better than being able to relate to others. It’s a great way to find common ground based on mutual respect, despite any differences in opinion or belief people may have.


A Final Note


Emotional growth, or maturity, is being aware of your feelings and subsequent actions. It’s how you interact with others and listen to what they’re really saying. It’s also your ability to empathize with others and identify with them on a basic human level.


By boosting your emotional growth, you have a better understanding of how you see yourself and those around you. As a result, you can achieve more, learn to be proud of your accomplishments, and give yourself the encouragement you need to do even more!


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