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Avoid These Four Things to Better Manage Your Stress

Avoid These Four Things to Better Manage Your Stress

Harboring stress or doing activities that allow stress to foster instead of dissipating only leads you to make poor decisions that prevent you from achieving your life goals. While you can’t eliminate all stress, you can and should avoid things to manage it better.

You’ll want to live with mindfulness and take action to control and prevent as much stress as possible. Your mental and physical health relies on your ability to manage stress in order to live a more fulfilling and happier life.

Here are four things to avoid to manage your stress better:

Tobacco and Alcohol

Many of the properties found in tobacco and alcohol make the symptoms of stress or anxiety worse. Alcohol and many other drugs send messages to your brain to increase your cortisol levels, causing a hormonal imbalance and further growing the negative response your brain has and perceives due to stress.

Alcohol prevents you from achieving a normal balance in hormones and causes a “yo-yo effect,” which can cause even more damage as your brain constantly tries to repair.

Too Many Sugary Foods or Drinks

Sugar affects your brain in a similar way to drugs and alcohol, while also increasing inflammation. Due to this numbing effect, your body will crave more sweets while stressed too, as stress interferes with the response. However, instant relief isn’t worth the damage inflammation can create throughout your body.

Being Sedentary

Inactivity only intensifies stress, and you prevent your brain from getting the necessary hormones it needs. Exercising releases endorphins that help make you feel good in a healthy way, without any damage your body.

Negativity and Toxic Positivity

Both of these things serve only to make stress worse and keep you down. They are two useless habits that keep you in a downward spiral while also affecting those around you.

While easier said than done, these activities should be avoided or limited from your life if you want to live with less stress. The more stress you harbor, the more likely you are to miss living the life that truly makes you feel happy and fulfilled.

Thankfully, while difficult, stress can be managed as long as you have the proper tools and resources. So find ways to stick to a healthy diet, get moving as must as possible, and avoid negativity to get started on the right path.

Three Powerful Ways to Let Go of Guilt Daily

Three Powerful Ways to Let Go of Guilt Daily

Feeling guilty is toxic to our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. It delays growth and prevents us from fully enjoying and experiencing life – the stress, sadness, and overwhelming feelings that guilt brings can wreak havoc on our bodies. The additional stress leads to making poor decisions and a more stressful life.

If you live with daily guilt, take the time to learn how to let it go and understand what is causing it for the sake of your health and happiness.

Here are three ways to let go of guilt to live a more free and happy life:

Understand and Accept It

The first step to releasing guilt requires your ability to truly recognize it, understand it, and then accept it. Write down what you are feeling and the thoughts running through your mind as you deal with it. Look to the reasons as to why you are feeling this guilt and truly face it head-on.

Be truthful and don’t hold anything back. You are the only person that will read this journal, and if you want to improve, you must be honest and share everything. The more detailed and specific you are, the more likely you are to let it go. 

Own Up to Your Mistakes

Many of the feelings that come from guilt are due to mistakes you have made personally. Instead of avoiding responsibility, own up to them. Recognize that you are human and will make more mistakes even after this one. Owning up to your mistakes means you need to take the time to recognize them and note what you can do to improve. Avoiding responsibility only allows the guilt to flourish.

Don’t Dwell or Punish Yourself

Forgiveness is crucial throughout the journey and process of freeing yourself from guilt. Everyone makes mistakes, but dwelling on the act alone instead of improving it is where the real problem starts. It prevents you from recognizing why it happens and what tools or information you can use to do better the next time.

Forgiveness allows you to acknowledge your faults and then take action to improve them to keep moving forward in a positive direction. Living without guilt does not mean you won’t make mistakes; instead, it recognizes its value.

Don’t let your guilt prevent you from enjoying your life any longer. Instead, use these tips to get rid of guilt completely. Guilt is not a useful tool; it only hinders your progress and success in life.

The Importance of Building Healthy Family Relationships

The Importance of Building Healthy Family Relationships

Research shows that building healthy family relationships is crucial to the overall development and wellbeing of a child’s life. Healthy families provide a large support system that makes it easier to go through life as you feel more supported, understood, and valued.

Growing up, the family relationships you’ve experienced – both negative and positive – supply you with the tools and information you use now to communicate and form bonds with others. This shows just how important maintaining healthy family relationships is as it can affect all areas of your life. In other words, the healthier your family relationships are, the healthier and more successful your life will be.

The following are more of the common reasons and tips regarding why building healthy family relationships are important to your whole life:

To Improve Your Social and Communication Skills

Your first social situations are usually with family. If your family has healthy communication skills, you’ll likely continue that with others. If you’re having issues having conversations with your family, try preparing some conversation topics to bring up for discussion each evening.

To Improve Your Emotional and Intellectual Development

The family dinner is about more than nutrition. It’s about developing your intellect, too, not to mention your emotional IQ. Talk about emotions with your family and how you feel about different things so that you can practice doing the same with new people.

To Improve Your Confidence and Feel More Secure

Having challenging conversations at home with your family is a safe way to express ideas and get feedback. This helps you feel safer and more secure, while building your confidence in social situations.

To Improve Your Empathy and Trust with Others

The relationships you develop in your family help you build empathy for others as well as learn how to trust others. Strong, trusting relationships with your original family will spread to others. If you didn’t have that growing up, make sure your kids do and work on that in yourself more.

As you can see, building and maintaining healthy family relationships is very important as it can significantly impact all areas of your life. It allows you to achieve more in life by increasing your confidence, giving you more trust in others, and improving your communication skills. Overall, improving your family relationships only enhances your life and strengthens your chance of happiness and success.

Do Men and Women Handle Emotions Differently?

Do Men and Women Handle Emotions Differently?

Intuitively, many believe that men and women handle their emotions in different ways. But, there are certainly men who are more emotional and women who are not. It could be a societal aspect where men are taught to “man up” and keep their emotions in check while women are told they are the nurturers in a relationship and should express emotions more readily.

The book, “Men Are from Mars and Women Are from Venus,” lays out why we are different from each other. It could be that these differences complement each other and help to round out a family. Of course, men and women will continue to complain to their friends about the opposite sex. It makes you wonder if this is simple posturing. There are plenty of stories that play off these differences.

While women may believe man are callous and cold, the truth is men do experience emotions. They just do it in a different manner than women. Many men do get choked up when they see an emotional movie. They just try to keep it from coming to the forefront. Some men have no problems with expressing those emotions.

There are women who don’t want their men to be too emotional. They view them as being weak and even when overdone, as being effeminate. It’s a delicate balance as they don’t want their men completely emotionless.

Hollywood movies often reinforce the stereotypes between men and women. People who grew up watching John Wayne movies saw the Duke as being a tough guy. Men would model themselves based on his characters. It’s not much different with the movies shown today.

Another factor that may explain the differences between how men and woman express emotions is one of biology. Women have different hormones than men. These hormones can affect how people feel those emotions.

It’s important to note that many studies on the differences between men and women are centered around the study of the brain. While science has come a long way in the past 50 years or so with these studies, the brain is still a highly complex organ. In the grand scheme of things, we know very little about it. Therefore, how much do we know about emotions in either sex? What will we know 50 years from now about the brain? No one can say for sure, but it is likely to be very different than what is known now.

Should You Suppress Your Feelings?

Should You Suppress Your Feelings?

People are wired with emotions. Therefore, when you suppress your emotions, you are going against your design. That can cause harm to you physically and emotionally.

There is a time and place for everything, including expressing emotions. It’s probably not the best idea to shout in the middle of a busy location. In this day and age, people could mistake your actions when doing this.

Keeping your emotions bottled up will eventually lead to stress and other adverse mental conditions. If this continues for too long, it can cause you to become depressed and can lead to problems with alcohol or drug abuse. For instance, many people turn to sleep aids or worse, like Oxycontin and other opioid-type drugs. These are highly addictive and only mask the symptoms. They are seldom used to cure conditions.

Many people are taught to suppress emotions by their parents and grandparents. These generations were taught to do the same and felt it was a true sign of character to be able to keep your emotions in check. During their time as kids, there was less information about the effects of emotions than there are currently.

Some people still adhere to the old ways of not expressing emotions. Expressing emotions is similar to complaining, and no one wants to hear it. However, modern studies are pointing to suppressing emotions as damaging.

There are classes that allow you to let off some steam. People have different ways to accomplish this. Some will play sports like basketball while others will work out at the gym. Meditation is another, more tranquil way to reduce your stress.

Sometimes all you need is to talk to someone about what you are feeling. You are letting your guard down when you do this so make sure you find someone you can trust. If you choose a coworker, make sure you don’t disclose so much to leave you vulnerable should that person tell what you said to others in the workplace. If it gets back to your boss or another person who you may be talking about, it could have negative consequences.

Keeping your emotions inside is never healthy. However, you need to try and find the right time to express those emotions. But finding that time is crucial to your mental and physical wellbeing. It is not worth getting sick because you aren’t willing to express yourself. The benefits of letting it out will lead you to a better life.

Top Three Ways To Feel More Satisfied In Life

Top Three Ways To Feel More Satisfied In Life

Are you truly satisfied with your life? If not, you aren’t alone, as being satisfied with your life isn’t always an easy task for anyone. Below are the top three things you should do if you want to feel more satisfied with your life.

1.Exercise
Exercise is great for you both physically and mentally. Exercise helps to keep you in your best shape while also releasing endorphins that make you feel happy. And if you do manage to exercise enough, you will be able to transform your body into the physically fit shape you’ve always wanted to be—which will also help you in the happiness department. Don't be afraid to start small. Just try to get your body moving in some small way each and every day!

2.Be Grateful
One of the best ways to feel more satisfied with your life is by practicing gratefulness for all the amazing things you have already. If you spend all your time wanting for the things you don't have or being jealous of others for the things they do have, this will make you unhappy with your life. To efficiently practice gratefulness, you should make a daily list. Take some time to brainstorm all the amazing skills, people, and things that you have in your life. Then when you find a moment that you are feeling down, look back at this list and remind yourself how good you have it.

3.Release Stress
You have probably already realized that stress is a major hindrance to feeling satisfied with your life. This fact is why you should do everything in your power to lower the stress you feel daily. Start each morning with some relaxing yoga or mindful meditation. Then make sure you are allowing yourself enough time for self-care each day. Ensure you regularly engage in practices that help you to release stress. When you are faced with an especially stressful moment at work or your home, don’t underestimate the power of a deep breath, taking a break, or even reaching out to a friend for some help.

Feeling more satisfied in life is no easy task, and it will take you some time to accomplish it truly. If you exercise, practice gratefulness, and work to release stress every day, you may find that satisfaction with your life is right around the corner and well within your reach. 

5 Surefire Ways to Release Regret

5 Surefire Ways to Release Regret

Regret happens. What doesn’t have to happen is you holding on to it forever. Releasing regret is a process, one that is different for every person and every situation. However, you can give various forms of releasing regret a try and learn about yourself in the process.

1.Practice Daily Gratitude
Practicing daily gratitude is a great way to consistently remind yourself of all that you have. Family, friends, a home, food to eat, maybe even a cute puppy to come home to. Whatever your gratitude is toward, reminding yourself of it is a great way to reflect on the good in your life and make the regrets seem less important in the grand scheme of life.

2.Trust the Journey
Reminding yourself that even the adverse events in life are part of a bigger journey allows you to look at the larger picture. Yes, you regret this one mistake. But, did that one mistake lead you down a different path that had good outcomes? Everything happens for a reason, trust that in time you will find out why that mistake or loss occurred.

3.Learn to Release Emotions
Emotions in the grand scheme of life (once again; are you seeing the bigger picture yet?) are fleeting. Learning to release your feelings when they are not serving you will aid you now and in the future. Stop beating yourself up for something that happened in the past and learn to move on with a clear mind and focus.

4.Accept the Lesson Learned
Situations or actions we regret typically offer us a lesson—if we are open to learning it. Accept that you learned a lesson and move on with it. Living through a challenging event means nothing if you don’t continue living and implement what you learned into your future life.

5.“What If-ing” the Past Doesn’t Change the Future
Living in the land of “what ifs” is tempting. However, “what ifs” literally mean nothing in the practice of daily life. You can spend hours or even days guessing at a different outcome, but it doesn’t matter. Those what-ifs will never directly impact your future other than to steal from it. Stop reliving it and move on.

If you are living your life being swallowed alive by your regret, start exploring ways to release it and move on. You deserve a life that is fulfilled and happy, not a life that leaves you stuck in the past and wallowing in disappointment.

Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Laughter Is the Best Medicine

You have probably heard the term laughter is the best medicine. It may even be a bit cliché at this point. However, it still holds quite true. If you are feeling down, forcing yourself to smile or laugh can turn your mood around.

If you are in need of a pick-me-up, make sure you hang out with people who are upbeat. If you are with others who are down as well, it’s going to be difficult for each of you to get out of your funk.

No one can truly be happy 100% of the time. If you are unhappy more than you are happy, it could be time to seek some help. But, part of your therapy could very well be to use laughter.

There are clinics that promote laughing as part of the group. It entails gathering in a circle and forcibly laughing while the group participates. Depending on who is running the event, each person may take a turn laughing and then the group joins after the last person completes the exercise. It seems strange to outsiders, but participants are proponents of the methods. They get a good feeling after the sessions, and many say they make great friends in the process.

Laughter can help lower stress as well. It releases endorphins in your brain which are responsible for you feeling good. It is even believed to help in producing antibodies which can fight disease. This could be how the phrase, laughter makes the best medicine, came about.

You may feel strange yourself early on when incorporating laughter into your routine. But, even if it is forced, as you do more you'll get more used to it, and it will stop feeling strange over time. You will have the tools you need to change your mood. After a while, you will find yourself laughing for real rather than forcing it.

It will improve your general outlook on life. People you associate with will also take notice and want to hang out with you more. Give it a try for a consistent period. Notice the changes that you experience in your feelings. It is likely you will never go back to the way it was.

 While no one can guarantee using laughter will make you live longer, it won’t hurt you in any manner. The question is, why wouldn’t you use it if you’ve got nothing to lose?

How to Be More Assertive in Your Relationships

How to Be More Assertive in Your Relationships

It's only natural to want to please your partner and friends or simply be accepted by someone. However, you should never try to be someone you are, not just to be accepted or loved. If you're not a person who speaks up easily, you'll need to devise a strategy to help.

Standing your ground can be intimidating in always any situation. Being more assertive in any relationship, especially new ones, is challenging, but it's crucial to build a happy life together and individually. After all, what is life about if not for relationships?

Assertiveness helps you do the following:

  • Establish proper and healthy boundaries.
  • Provide clear, honest, and open communication.
  • Nurture a healthy and well-balanced relationship or partnership.

Thankfully just like any other skill, you can practice assertiveness that enables you to build stronger and more healthy, mutually beneficial relationships.

Be Honest and Truly Genuine

Never sacrifice your values, and don't be afraid to speak up even if it feels scary and uncomfortable. While partners should respect you, you can't blame the partner for your miserable condition if you don't speak up. You can't even assume they should know if you've never told them how you feel.

Improve Your Listening Skills

Assertiveness includes being respectful and courteous when sharing your needs but taking the time to listen to others as well. Make a conscious effort to understand their perspective, even if you don't agree. Being assertive does not mean one person gets only what they want when they want. It relies on the idea of an equal partnership.

Remember Empathy

Again, being assertive doesn't mean you will always get your way, or should you be rude and disrespectful to others. In fact, if you don't have empathy, patience, and respect for your partner or friends, you are not in a healthy relationship.

Be Truly Committed and Know Your Intentions

In other words, don't be indecisive about what you want before you communicate it or expect others to understand your expectations. If you're unsure what you want, it'll be difficult to relate it to your partner or friend. Keep doing the work needed to learn what you really want to ensure to let people know.

Being assertive doesn't mean that you are displaying aggression and control or authority over anyone but yourself. You won't always get your way, but that doesn't mean you can't feel heard, validated, and understood.

Signs You Have Formed a Healthy Adult Relationship

Signs You Have Formed a Healthy Adult Relationship

Relationships lead to more happiness and success for most people. Science proves that social connection is needed for excellent mental and physical health. With that said, it is vital to understand the difference between a good and bad relationship. Just because they can be healthy doesn't mean all of them are, and you shouldn't be wasting your time and health in a bad one. Check out the common signs below to help you identify when you have formed a healthy adult relationship.

You Take Time to Learn Each Other's Hobbies or Interests

Everyone takes the time to learn what each other enjoys, even if it's not something they are too interested in in the long run or partake in. It can be fun to learn something new from your partner, even for a moment.

There Is Open, Clear, and Honest Communication

You are never afraid to speak up and respect your partners ability to share their feelings or thoughts. Even if something is a little complicated, you never feel that you must shy away, or walk on eggshells to reach your goal.

Conflict Doesn't Escalate and Is Solved Quickly

Most moments of miscommunication are solved easily and are never blown out of proportion. It is normal to experience frustration or to be irritated, but it should never be escalated to the point of no return. Healthy relationships know how to communicate quickly to solve pain points.

You Really Listen and Want To

You want to listen, and you feel heard during most conversations. This doesn't mean you talk all the time, but when the time comes, each should listen to and try to understand the other person’s perspective.

It's Always A Judgment-Free Zone

While you may have many disagreements, this doesn't mean you should feel judged by your partner. Each of you should take the time to understand their perspective and give them the respect they think they need. Just because you disagree doesn't mean your partner can't do it without judgment.

It's a Real and Equal Partnership

Relationships should never be one-sided. This, of course, depends on your relationship and should be clearly communicated. For example, one relationship splits their chores while others don't, and each feels equal and validated. It is up to you and your partner to make this decision; however, if you feel resentful, something is missing.

Every relationship is different. However, all relationships require honest communication and more to be successful, healthy, and rewarding.