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5 Effective Ways To Deal With Pressures In Life

stress management

5 Effective Ways To Deal With Pressures In Life

Do you ever feel like you're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Or, at the very least the weight of the people around you? Nothing weighs you down like pressure and too much of it is likely to leave you feeling frustrated, angry, and sad. In extreme cases, you may find yourself bubbling over and knocked out by overwhelm and burnout.

It isn't just work deadlines that get you, it can also be financial obligations and the burden of daily life. Money, in particular, is a rising cause of anxiety and stress for Americans. Combined with the stress of excessive working hours, a lack of control and support, and it's no wonder so many people are feeling under pressure.

We all react differently to pressure, some people swear it makes them perform better while others recognize the damage it can do to their performance. It is much easier to remain focused on a task when you're calm. So, let's look t five effective ways to deal with pressures in life.

1. It's The Process, Not The Outcome
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is detach from the outcome and remain focused on the work that you are doing. It is much easier to live your potential if you remove the obstacles you face mentally. If you focus on the process, rather than the outcome, it will reduce the likelihood of performance anxiety.

2. Organize
How do you organize your day? How do you manage your thoughts? You can't store it all in your head. The best way to deal with thoughts and responsibilities is to have an external organization system. It might be that you write out a daily to-do list, it could be that you prefer a digital calendar. Whatever it is – it removes the pressure of memorizing everything you have to do and worrying about forgetting something. Your list is your bible and will serve as a reminder for everything you need to do or deal with. You will notice a serious dip in the pressure you carry.

3. Deal With Negative Thoughts
If you struggle with negative thoughts this will only add to the pressure you feel. One of the ways you can manage these thoughts is through re-framing them. When you are faced with a negative thought, start by putting things into perspective. As frantic worry starts to overtake you, stop and remind yourself that no matter what it is you're faced with that you can handle it. It's not the end of the world, work through it by deciding your next steps – first, I'm going to do x and then I'll do y, and do this until you have successfully reframed your thoughts and empowered yourself.

4. Know Your Limits
Your brain can only keep it all together for so long. So, if you're dealing with tens of thousands of thoughts daily (you are), as well as a list of things to do, and a glut of problems, your brain can only maintain for so long. Understand that your brain has limitations and start going easy on yourself. Be realistic. Do not expect to carry all of the solutions all of the time. You literally can't.

5. Breathe Through It
When you are faced with a crisis, too much pressure or you feel overwhelmed, press pause and breathe through it. Count to ten as you inhale deeply and exhale and allow yourself a moment to clear your brain of worries. Let your mind have enough time to recalibrate so you relieve some of that pressure and allow yourself to think more clearly to deal with the problem at hand.

This 12-Second Trick Trains Your Brain to Be More Positive

Checking my Flipboard app this morning I came across this article by Sarah Ashley on Purewow.com which I think you'll find very interesting too...

Having a positive mental attitude is essential to physical and emotional health. Positivity helps us deal with (and bounce back from) setbacks more easily. Unfortunately, being upbeat can feel as daunting as climbing Everest. The good news is it only takes 12 seconds to shift gears from mumbling, “yuck,” to shouting, “yay!” from the top of a mountain (Everest or otherwise). Here’s how to trick your brain into being more positive—and why it works.  

First, let’s address the elephant in the room: negative thoughts. They are normal. In fact, humans gravitate towards negativity! According to neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson, PhD, our brains react more strongly to negative feelings and better retain lessons learned from bad experiences (versus good ones). In other words, painful stuff imprints itself more easily on our brains. This negativity bias kept humans alive during our hunter-gatherer days, which is great. For the 21st century? We could all probably use a little less negative thinking in our lives. ...

Read on here: This 12-Second Trick Trains Your Brain to Be More Positive - PureWow

This Doctor Says Humans Actually Need 7 Kinds of Rest

Here is a very interesting article written by Jessica Stillman I found in Inc magazine which I suggest you read asap:

We're only a week into 2021 and we've already had a coup attempt, a rampaging new strain of Covid, a halting vaccine rollout, and even attack squirrels (murder hornets and meth alligators are so 2020). It does not appear we're in for a restful year. But even if the world makes it hard to relax, at least one doctor insists we all need to find a way to reset and recharge anyway.

And that's more complicated than just switching off your brain and switching on Netflix every once in a while.

In a new TED Ideas post, Saundra Dalton-Smith insists "we go through life thinking we've rested because we have gotten enough sleep -- but in reality we are missing out on the other types of rest we desperately need" and outlines the seven types of rest that are essential for human flourishing

1. Physical rest

This is the usual definition of rest we're all familiar with. But while we know we need to spend a decent number of hours in bed to stay healthy, a steady drumbeat of studies shows a large proportion of us still don't get enough physical rest.

2. Mental rest
Always have a tornado of thoughts swirling in your head from the moment you wake up to the moment you (finally) fall asleep? You need more mental rest, and even if you sleep a solid eight hours a night, you're not going to feel fully recharged until you get it.

"The good news is you don't have to quit your job or go on vacation to fix this. Schedule short breaks to occur every two hours throughout your workday; these breaks can remind you to slow down. You might also keep a notepad by the bed to jot down any nagging thoughts that would keep you awake," suggests Dalton-Smith.

3. Sensory rest
Staring at screens all day and all night means your eyes never get a proper rest, but this isn't the only reason many of us never give our senses a break. Noisy cities, pinging notifications, and blaring music all contribute to constant sensory stimulation. Your brain needs a rest now and again. Consciously close your eyes and give yourself the gift of silence for short periods throughout the day...

Read on here  

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How Thoughts and Thinking Control Your Emotions

How Thoughts and Thinking Control Your Emotions

Your emotions are controlled in two ways: thoughts and actions. Any thought or action you take will create an emotional response. If you can’t adjust your thinking or thoughts and actions together, it is unlikely that you will be able to control your emotions. Thankfully, it is possible to control your thoughts. This means that you can also manage your emotions.

Positive thoughts and thinking lead to positive results. This is a common philosophy many people strive to live by, and you should too. The more you think positively throughout your day, the more your emotions will stay positive. Likewise, any action you take will also lead to thoughts. The more positive energy you put out into the world, the more positive energy you will receive.

This is mainly due to how powerful emotions can feel especially negative ones. Negative emotions and energy are hard to shake off and are contagious to others. If you have a negative emotion before you do something, chances are it won’t be done well because you are not at your best.

Have you ever noticed how, when you start your day off badly, it feels like the rest of your day keeps going wrong?

This is likely because you never got over the bad mood and keep thinking and acting negatively. If you make a mistake or notice you are in a lousy mood, brush it off quickly, do something to help, you focus your thoughts differently. If you can, laugh, and then move on. Chances are, you will make fewer errors and you will also be happier throughout your day.

Your thoughts can lead to three different responses to your emotions:

  • Negative – If you have a negative thought, it is likely your action will be adverse, and your emotions will match the negativity of those actions.
  • Positive – Positive thoughts can lead to more positive actions and emotions. In a more positive state, your brain is active, and you are likely to try your best, leading to fewer mistakes and better decision making.
  • Neutral – A neutral or indifferent response can lead to both a neutral or negative response because being indifferent means you are not wholly responsive, which can lead to poor judgments or lackluster work. However, sometimes a neutral reaction is better than a negative one.

As you can see, what is going on in your mind can produce unwanted emotions that can negatively affect your life. The emotions can affect how you act, which then impacts your life in an even more negative way. This is why many strive to think more positive thoughts because it is one thing they can control on this wild ride of life. 

10 Ways to Reduce Everyday Stress

10 Ways to Reduce Everyday Stress

Stress is responsible for many problems in people's lives. Stress causes worsened health problems, poor-quality work, and unsatisfying relationships. Managing and reducing stress is essential to everyday life if you want to be happy and fulfilled.

Identify Stress Starters

Take the time to see if there are obvious things that are causing stress and figure out how to solve it. If it is work-related, can these tasks be delegated to others, or can you find a better position? Or maybe as you identify stressors, you realize that your stress is increased after you had your coffee for the day.

Eat A Well-Rounded Diet

The old saying, ‘you are what you eat’ will always be true. Most of the time, if you don’t feel good, it can be traced to a poor diet. Unnatural food and unnatural or overly processed food and sugar are known to make stress worse.

Exercise Daily

Exercise reduces stress because anytime you exercise, you activate hormones that make you feel good. Conversely, the hormone cortisol is responsible for stress and is significantly reduced during exercise, so you both reduce hormones that make you feel stressed and boost hormones that make you feel good through exercise.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleeping poorly means an increase in cortisol in your blood, which leads to stress. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night to function optimally. Likewise, don’t oversleep. Adults typically don’t need more than 9 hours a night of sleep.

Drink Enough Water

Dehydration can also increase cortisol levels, so make sure you get enough water per your weight. The standard message of drinking eight glasses of water a day applies but double-check with your healthcare professional to find out how much you need based on your weight, health, diet, and other factors unique to you.

Get A Blood Test

Stress can easily be caused due to underlying medical conditions or your vitamin levels being off. Get a comprehensive blood test to see where you may be having issues. Low vitamin D, B12, and iron are responsible for symptoms of stress.

Laugh Often

Get those feel-good chemicals activated by laughing. Laughing reduces muscle tension, increases oxygen intake, and reduces your heart rate and blood pressure— all reducing your stress.

Meditate Daily

Meditation uses mindfulness techniques to achieve a mental and emotionally stable state of being. This is why it is such a great technique to reduce stress, as this is the primary goal. Even five minutes daily after you wake up can make a big difference.

Practice Breathwork

Breathwork encompasses easy breathing exercises that can be done right away when stress feels overwhelming. It is as simple as holding your breath for a few minutes or following a phone application that has you tailor your breathing to the imagine. These exercises work by having your focus on other things while also bringing in a sense of relaxation due to increasing blood oxygen levels from regulated breathing patterns.

Listen to Music and Get Moving

Music and moving around are great medicine for many problems, not just stress. Moving and music can make people feel happy and energized. The more you produce feel-good hormones, the more your cortisol levels will decrease too. So, turn up that music and cut a rug.

When in doubt, don’t be afraid to seek the advice of a health professional if your stress is taking over your life. However, these ten ways to reduce everyday stress are a great way to start.

Why Physical Health Is Just as Important as Mental Health

Why Physical Health Is Just as Important as Mental Health

The hard truth is how you treat your body with exercise and food can impact your life in harmful or detrimental ways, including your mental health. If you opt for a poor diet, avoid drinking water, and don’t move around much, it is likely your mental health is reduced too.

Your physical health is as important as your mental health because the mind and body work together. Your physical health is based on eating a proper diet, and incorporating exercise into your daily life, along with other things. If you aren’t healthy physically, your brain isn’t at it’s peak either. Below are a few instances and issues related to physical and mental health issues that you want to watch for, since they can lead to diminished functions and a shorter life expectancy.

                            

Worsening Mental Health Symptoms

A poor diet can lead to weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle that can ultimately lead to depression and stress. Some mental health conditions also cause you to eat a poor diet. For example, if you have anorexia or orthorexia, you may be using food in unhealthy ways that contribute to worsening mental health symptoms.

Decreased Mental Focus

Poor nutrition from an improper diet often leads to symptoms of brain fog. This affects your ability to focus and perform optimally. Most people are walking around dehydrated too. Dehydration can also lead to issues that keep you from using your brain to its full ability.

Weight Gain and Obesity

Those who have a poor diet and lead a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to be considered obese. Obesity can cause many health problems, including depression and even death. While everyone should practice body-positivity, understand that obesity is a health condition that has many issues associated with it, and it can be prevented.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Research shows that twenty percent of deaths above the age of thirty resulted from a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for longer than four hours each day can decrease your life expectancy exponentially, so get moving more. If you’re trapped inside, turn up the music and dance it out. You only need to do it for 30 minutes a day to change your health for the better dramatically.

Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Obesity and other symptoms of poor physical health can lead to cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the USA. Even if you’re not obese, a lack of vitamins and nutrition can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety.

As you can see, treating your body right and doing what is needed to improve your physical health is just as important as working on your mental health. If you only focus on improving your mental health and ignore your body, you may waste your time focusing on the wrong solution, when your physical health is really to blame.

Always work on both. Thankfully for some, all you have to do is change or eliminate bad habits that lead to poor physical health, and your mental health will improve. Get moving every day and be sure to hydrate appropriately. The better you treat your body, the more your mental health will improve. However, don’t be afraid to get mental healthcare if you’re doing all this and still suffering.

Cultivating Happiness Despite Trials and Tribulations

Cultivating Happiness Despite Trials and Tribulations

It is easier for people to dwell in their unhappiness because the feelings they experience can be overwhelming. However, happiness can be a choice, and there are ways to cultivate it despite the trials and tribulations you may be experiencing.

  • Record lessons you learned – Through every hardship, there is a lesson to be discovered at the end. Without failure, you cannot learn, and sometimes failure is the best to learn. Anytime you feel down, think about what lesson you might need to learn and then find a way to be grateful for that lesson.
  • Practice gratitude – Learn to be thankful for what you have at any given time. If you feel hopeless, stop, and look around. Find gratitude in the simple things in life. The air smells good. You have running water. You love your cat. Whatever it is, you will start to feel better and happier almost instantly. Practicing gratitude is a great exercise to bring positivity and perspective to your world. Try writing down three positive lessons you learned each evening before bed in your journal.
  • Know your purpose – Give yourself time to figure out what you want to do with your time and what your purpose is. What do you enjoy doing, and what makes you truly happy? Is there something that you can’t wait to get up to do, or is it hard to go to sleep because you just want to keep doing that thing? Explore that more and start doing more of what makes you feel good.
  • You can be sad while being happy – It is essential to understand that the feelings of happiness and sadness can be experienced at the same time. You could be sad about a situation you are going through while being overwhelmingly happy about a different situation you are in that maybe you wouldn’t even be in the first place if the other situation didn’t happen.
  • Try to choose happiness – Any time you make the conscious effort to choose to be happy, you’ll find that life is much more enjoyable. If you find yourself being sad too often, take a step back and say, “I am going to be happy right now” and do it. Let go of whatever it may be that is making you unhappy, you can’t change it right this minute anyway, so move forward.
  • Know your life goals and destiny – Keep on this path no matter what. Achieving your goals and continuing on the road that is taking you to your goals will keep you happy no matter how many obstacles get in the way. Just keep going on as you jump right over each burden and pick yourself back up each time.
  • Do more fun things – Don’t wait around for fun things to happen to you. Make them happen. What do you enjoy doing the most? Figure it out and do it, and don’t be afraid to do it alone or to invite people to do it with you. It is okay to do things alone, but it is also ok to do something because you want to and have those you love to experience it with you.

Working towards happiness may not seem easy, but it can be done if you follow these tips. Don’t let negative feelings control you. Actively work on learning the lessons you are supposed to be learning in life so that you can experience true happiness.

The Most Overrated Emotion: Guilt

The Most Overrated Emotion: Guilt

Guilt is an emotion people experience when they do something wrong (or think they did something wrong) whether they did it on purpose or not. Guilt is frequently an emotion people express when they fail at something or don’t accomplish something they worked hard toward. Guilt can be positive but more times than not, guilt is harmful and can be an overrated emotion.

Guilt is a Distraction

Guilt is more of a distraction than a useful emotion. Guilt distracts and detaches you from reality while you feel hopeless and sad about what you did. Instead, that time could be used to solve the actual problem or to forgive yourself or the person that may have caused that feeling in the first place.

Guilt is a distraction from the lesson to be learned. We often dwell on failing instead of why we experienced the failure, which distracts from learning from your mistakes. Instead, take the failure as a sign that you need to learn something. What did you miss? Discover it and realize it was a lesson, and eventually, you will overcome the obstacle if you don’t let guilt win first.

All Effort is Lost

Guilt makes you forget about all the effort you already put into it, which ultimately wastes even more of your time. Why did you also put in any effort if you were going to waste it by feeling guilty? Be proud of the hard work that you did even if you ultimately make a mistake or you didn’t succeed at a level that you thought you would.

Used for Control

Guilt is often only used to control large groups of people. Cults will use guilt to make their followers feel bad about themselves. They do this so that they can get more members to do what they want them to. They watch what you do and find any action they can find, elicit guilt from you and trick you. Guilt is a potent tool to control you because your desire to want to feel better now relies on them.

Guilt is Unhealthy

The feeling of guilt is ultimately very unhealthy, both physically and mentally. It can cause high blood pressure, stress, and many other mental illnesses that can show up right on your body. This includes baggy eyes, weight gain, or even nausea and vomiting in severe cases.

Letting go of guilt will give you the freedom to learn and grow. Even when you make a mistake that doesn’t mean you are dumb or a bad person. The actions that you take next is what will determine that. Instead of dwelling on the mistakes, you made learn from them. Use that time to learn about yourself, so you avoid repeating the same actions. In time you will genuinely understand how useless and overrated guilt is.

6 Steps for Living in The Moment

6 Steps for Living in The Moment

Living in the moment is freedom. When you can live in the here and now, you’ll gain freedom from worry, self-doubt, and guilt. Living in the moment promotes better health, improves relationships, and helps overcome stress. Use the following six tips to learn how to live in the moment for a happier and healthier life.

  • Get out of your mind – Any time you notice you're in your mind and thoughts but not actually enjoying or participating fully in whatever you’re doing right this moment, get out of them. Use a word or strategy to help you notice when this happens, such as grounding by seeing right where you are. When you overthink everything, it’s hard to move forward. The more you think, the more you will likely mess up or become stressed.
  • Don’t focus on your future – Instead, do the thing you’re worried about. Do it now, if possible. Yes, maybe you want a house, but you don’t have the money for the down payment. It’s okay, don’t worry. Start saving money and move on from that thought. Please don’t dwell on the fact you are not in a home yet. The only authentic action you can take right now is to save money, so focus on that. Only focus on what you can make happen.
  • Be ok with nothing – Living in the moment means you may not always be actively doing something. You might just be sitting there, and that is ok. Look around you and see what you might not have noticed before while you were to worry about doing something. You might find or learn something new about yourself. Boredom is a catalyst for creativity.
  • Let go of the past – Forget about the mistakes you made in the past.  View your mistakes as learning lessons never to repeat. Stop using the valuable time you have now thinking about your past mistakes or what could have been. Instead, if you are thinking about “what could have been,” go out and make it happen now.
  • Understand your why – Why do you feel the need to live in the moment more? What exactly are you doing that is preventing it? Focus on it and see what you can do to fix it or eliminate the roadblocks in place, preventing you from focusing on the now.
  • Lose track of time – Stop looking at the clock every time you go somewhere or while you are doing something. Living in the moment means you are enjoying it, and time will go by fast. Don’t distract yourself with things that don’t matter now, like what time it is. If you look up and are worried about how much time has passed or that the event is about to be over, you are already distracting yourself. Immediately stop and get back to what you were doing.

Living in the moments allows you to value life and free yourself from stress and other needless worries. It will enable you to open your life to contentment and ultimate happiness. If you work on living in the moment, you will find yourself feeling happier in the long run.

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