Contrary to popular belief, worrying can be somewhat healthy. It keeps us on our toes for possible problems that may arise. “The first step in making anxiety work for you rather than against you is to recognize it when it shows up. So much of our behavior is driven by anxiety, yet we rarely notice or name it,” says Julian P Humphreys Ph.D., PCC. But if you live with anxiety, you would know the feeling of continually worrying about almost everything in your life. For some, it is so intense that it stops them from doing anything productive.
This amount and intensity of worrying go far beyond what healthy should be. In this world, there are too many triggers for anxiety to peak. Whatever the reason is, do NOT believe it. Your anxiety is lying to you 24/7, and here’s how.
Anxiety Filters Your Thoughts And Your Reality
Anxiety imprisons us in our little world where the worst possible things are always bound to happen (or so we think). It blinds us from seeing that life is not at all black and white and makes us believe that the odds are against us. “Anxiety is characterized by excessive and unrealistic concerns about the future, emotional and physical tension, and patterns of avoidance–avoiding people, responsibilities, or harmless situations,” says Joel Minden, Ph.D.
More often than not, we believe it. Anxiety is so good at diminishing our success to nothing and inflating the smallest setbacks to extreme failures. So if you find that you have a habit of always invalidating your success, then you might want to blame anxiety for that.
Anxiety Constantly Tells You No
Anxiety can put even the most confident people down. It places you at the center of everything, making you believe your actions (or lack thereof) impact other people negatively. At work, you may think that your co-workers are thinking of how incompetent you are. At school, you may feel like everyone is gossiping about you. Even in your house, you may feel unloved. All these feelings can happen even when they’re not the case at all. You can be in a healthy environment surrounded by great people but still, feel anxious.
Anxiety Steals From The Future
While depression borrows from the past, anxiety steals worries from the future even when it’s not happening yet. It feeds off our uncertainty and twists our hope into self-sabotage. Anxiety misleads us by saying that the future is happening now. It plagues us with what-if scenarios we keep making up in our head.
Controlling Your Anxiety
Now that you know how anxiety lies, you now have a better grasp on what to do next. Like with most things, the first step in overcoming anxiety is to acknowledge its presence and be aware of its lies.
Once you are at peace with it, you need to ground yourself slowly back to the reality that you know. It might mean getting in touch with your inner self, surrounding yourself with good friends, listing down the things you should be thankful for, or whatever your coping mechanism is. With this comes zooming out and putting things into perspective, reminding yourself that everything is okay as of the moment, contrary to what your brain is telling you.
Most importantly, remember to be more forgiving to yourself. You are human, and you have a vast margin for mistakes. Just as well, celebrate what you need to celebrate. Your success, no matter how small, are valid. It is okay to let in negative emotions, but do not let them linger. “Sometimes, it’s important to step back and examine what type of accommodations you make to avoid anxiety or to consider how anxiety interferes with your everyday life,” says Amy Morin.
While it takes a great deal of emotional maturity and self-understanding to dissect your emotions healthily, it will surely save you in the long run. Take control of your anxiety. Cheers!
Do you ever wonder what the secret to success is? What do other individuals have that you don’t? Is there really such a thing as the chosen few?
Instantaneously, when people think of creating and integrating significant changes in their lives, the first thing that one could think of is how distant those dreams are and how treacherous the path can be. Looking at challenges and demands at a pessimistic point-of-view can significantly influence the way people mold their future. As what psychologist Emma Seppälä, PhD, pointed out, “If you want to be happier and more successful in life, it’s important to fight the brain’s natural tendency to focus on the negative. Instead, try looking at the world through a positive, self-compassionate mindset.”
To love and to be loved are what most people desire in their lifetime. In some of our relationships, we tend to become selfish, always asking for more. On the other hand, some seem to lose themselves to gain their loved ones. No matter what happens, always remember to only settle for unconditional love. According to Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D., “Love is unconditional when it endures despite unfavorable circumstances.”
Often misunderstood, unconditional love is caring about the one you love without expecting something in return. Some people consider it as a utopian, unrealistic idea since we all have our needs of our own. However, it does exist for both familial and romantic relationships. According to John Amodeo Ph.D., MFT, “The ideal of unconditional love is a noble one. We want to be loved as we are, and perhaps we’d like to see ourselves as capable of selfless love.”
You Expect Less And Love More
There are parts of the brain that light up when we have already found unconditional love. These are related to the brain’s reward system. Therefore, if we give or receive unconditional love, it provides us with a sense of fulfillment and nobility.
In loving unconditionally, you do not expect much. It leads to fewer disappointments, less stress, and fewer frustrations. You feel content and happy with simple things. Having the right amount of selflessness in you will surely take you to places.
You can also discover many things you thought you could not do in the past. You become more open, understanding, and empathic towards the love of your life and others. Eventually, you will realize you are already making the most of everything rather than making a fuss out of small things.
You Deserve To Be On The Receiving End
It is crucial to note that giving unconditional love does not equate to one-sided love. It does not mean staying in a toxic relationship. That is unhealthy, which contradicts the objective of what we have been talking about. Unconditionally loving someone is caring about them regardless of circumstances, not how they treat you. “Make space in your life to deliberately reconnect with the loving feelings you have for your partner, even if recent interactions have made you feel distant or angry,” says Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.
To love unconditionally does not mean to give everything the other person wants. It may result in resentment by the one on the receiving end. It is why we encourage you to wait for the right person and the right time patiently. There is no guarantee when, where, and how, but it will be worth it. You know you have found unconditional love when the other person does the following:
- Not shaming or judging you for your failures
- Encouraging you and understanding your fears when you get vulnerable
- Telling you the truth and vice versa
- Forgiving you freely and vice versa
- Not picking fights about petty things nor holding grudges
- Respecting you and aiming for a healthy resolution even when you are arguing
- Not making you feel like you have to prove yourself or your love
- Inspiring both of you to be selfless and to prioritize each other’s needs genuinely
- Getting through hard times and celebrating good times with you
- Accepting and supporting you even on your bad days
- Bringing out the best in you and vice versa
You can only begin to love others unconditionally if you have already stopped changing the way you are. It might sound cliché, but you cannot provide others with what you do not have for yourself. Therefore, the first step to having unconditional love (for others and yourself) is self-love.
We acknowledge how difficult it is to love with no conditions. We are all humans and can only take so much after all. However, it is possible to show and find that kind of love. You deserve to love and be loved unconditionally.
Positivity has something to do with a person’s overall health. It could affect his mental and psychological being by working on specific measures in increasing self-determination in a pretty unexpected way. Getting more positive ideas and concentrating on something productive can give you the inevitable success that can work through your actions. Your thoughts create a logical perspective that you can unquestionably use on a daily basis. “Understand that positivity attracts positivity through the laws of attraction. Keep a gratitude journal. Choose to be your best cheerleader rather than your worst critic,” said psychotherapist Joyce Marter.
So how can you use your positive thoughts for opportunities and growth? Here are some of the best ways you can use your optimism for self-empowerment.
Lowers Your Fear – Your fear will make you vulnerable, so the exposure to the things around you is your best way to understand every unmanageable situation. Positive thoughts (together with determination) will make you tear down the invisible barrier that hinders you in doing something beyond your limits. You’ll be able to appreciate the hardships of life and make better decisions that can help you become an ideal person.
Boosts Your Self-Confidence – Your optimism can make you discover great things about yourself that can somehow surprise you. It will try to motivate you to do the things you thought you couldn’t do. It will give a strong feeling of self-worth that challenges you to become a better version of yourself. Your positive thoughts will create a dominant control over your universe and use it to create a reachable outcome from what you think is an impossible goal. As what Catherine Moore, Psychologist, MBA noted, “With the right mindset, it may be possible to handle challenges better and pursue success without getting down on yourself.”
You Learn To Take Risks – Your fears and lack of confidence happens to be a significant problem when you try to get out from your comfort zone. However, your positivity can work its way to give you the determination in your life-changing decisions. You will eventually learn to take the risk. You’ll realize that your efforts will bring out the best in you.
You’ll Recognize Happiness – The clear and positive thoughts is a beneficial way to check the emotional aspects that you need to understand about yourself. Through optimism, you’ll be able to appreciate the small things that significantly matter. Your mindset can promote awareness of the current issues you need to deal with in your life. You’ll soon become happier and determined your goals in life.
Teaches You To Appreciate Yourself – Having a positive thought is something you should always do. It will make you appreciate every little effort you make for yourself and other people. The feeling of self-worth and self-respect will give you positive energy that will slowly diminish all the negativities you have in your mind.
As what Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury, BA , a certified psychiatric counselor, said, “Optimism is all about how we perceive things.” Your optimism will become your power to see things differently. And by looking at the beautiful sides of life, you will merely appreciate that there is always something you can contribute to the world. You will realize that you are not just a person you know you are, but will eventually become a persona that you thought you could never be. You have to understand that success is always part of you and the only thing that makes it near there is your positivity.
Nowadays, an individual’s daily habits center around reading Facebook updates, Instagram stories, and tweets. It’s a little bit different before wherein most people read books every day—before they sleep at night, after meals, or during break times at school. If you’re one of these people who do not make an effort to read regularly, there is a chance you’re missing out a lot. Here are some perks you can get from reading.
It Boosts Intelligence
Those who engage in this activity, especially during their early life, tend to grow up more intelligent. In a study in 2014, researchers measured the difference between the cognitive development of around 1,900 sets of twins. The experiment revealed that in twins living in a similar environment, the early reading skills tend to be the deciding factor on who would do better on verbal and non-verbal tests. “Reading gives your brain a different kind of workout than watching TV or listening to the radio,” according to Ken Pugh, PhD.
Reading also stimulates the brain. If you keep it active and engaged, the lesser chances of losing its power. Just like the other muscles inside the body, you have to exercise it regularly to keep it healthy and active. Aside from reading, you can also boost your cognitive stimulation through activities such as chess and puzzles. Keith Oatley, an emeritus professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, proposed that “reading produces a kind of reality simulation that “runs on minds of readers just as computer simulations run on computers.”
It Lowers Stress Levels
Most people consider reading as a great form of entertainment. No matter how much stress you feel, these thoughts will most likely go away if you immerse yourself in a great story. A well-written novel will bring you to all kinds of places and realms which will take you away from your present reality. Being exposed to these kinds of environment will eliminate your tension and will allow you to relax.
It Will Expand Your Vocabulary
The longer the time you expose yourself with books, the more words you learn. They will inevitably make their way into your daily conversations. Having a high level of vocabulary will help you in your communication skills at work or school and will boost your self-confidence in presenting in front of a broad audience.
This skill will also help you climb your company ladder faster since promotions come quickly to those who are well-spoken, well-read, and knowledgeable in various fields.
It Enhances Your Memory
“Brainy pursuits make the brain more efficient by changing its structure to continue functioning properly in spite of age-related neuropathologies,” Robert S. Wilson, PhD. When you read a book, you need to recall many details such as the characters, their backgrounds and personalities, and the arcs and subplots of the story. If you think about it, all of these are difficult to remember. However, the more you establish your habit of reading, your brain will be able to remember all of this information with relative ease.
It Improves Your Writing Skills
Take note that reading goes hand in hand with your writing skills. When you familiarize yourself with well-written publications, there is a big chance that these will influence your writing style. If you are more exposed to fiction books, the cadence and fluidity of your pieces will improve. On the other hand, if you prefer informative books, it will be easier for you to create a write-up full of facts.
Books are tools for a healthier and more productive lifestyle. Although you don’t directly see their benefits, they come to you in various ways, from improved memory to stress relief. Establishing the best reading habits will bring out a better and improved version of yourself.
Often when someone is about to climb up a career ladder to success, happiness will get in the way. It’s like being torn between two lovers, always caught between which to choose – success or happiness.
Why is there always a need to choose between those two? Can’t we just have both? It’s not about being greedy, but why not if at all possible?
Opportunity Knocks Not Just Once
Have you considered the thought of achieving success on your own terms, not dictated by some people who are already way ahead of you trying to reach for your hand to pull you up?
They often will persuade you by saying, “Opportunity knocks only once,” and not grabbing it means it will be gone forever, and will never again pass your way in your lifetime. That is the very reason why many are hurrying to go up the ladder, the thought of as if the steps will be burned if they will not take it. They think that there will be no other way up there but that just one path. The truth is, it will only be there, whether you accept it or not. Others following you might take it, but you don’t need to worry. There will be more ladders available which are more worth your climb.
Never Burn Your Boat Unless You Find Both In Your Destination
Sometimes, we follow other people blindly without listening to ourselves. We leave everything behind just to pursue the ambition, the dream we’ve imagined all our lives. But often, only when we are there will we realize that it’s not really what we wanted.
It becomes not what you imagined it to be, simply because it’s not the dream that you thought will bring you your happiness. This time your dream has failed you, so then what should you do next? You go back from where you started, doing what you’re passionate about, and begin again from there. “To shift to a more positive mindset and help you be more productive,” psychologist Emma Seppälä recommends, “replacing your belief in strengths with belief in your efforts and replacing self-criticism with self-compassion.”
Happiness Is A Choice
Before you decide on climbing up the ladder to career success, analyze and study things carefully. Is it worth the sacrifice? As what Dr. Wayne Dyer noted, “Our intentions create our reality.” Happiness is always a choice. Yes, you often have to make a decision, but if you made the right one, you could have both success and happiness at the same time.
Scrutinizing the tail and head sides of the coin, examining the four corners of your room, ask yourself, “Is this what I really want?” It’s a crucial question which you should be able to answer with all honesty.
The Climb Is Worth For Those Who Wait
“Opportunity will come your way just this once” are just words, a sales talk, with no much truth to it. Everything, good or bad, comes around and goes around.
The opportunity you did let go because you think it will put your happiness at risk, means waiting for another better one to come your way. When that happens, your glass may be half empty, very much available to be filled. This time, it might be something you’re ready to grab. Perhaps this time it’s something that will not just cater to your material needs, but something that you want and something that you really are happy to take on.
Success and happiness are not impossible to achieve; you just got to learn how to listen to your inner self, the one you’re hiding inside your mind and your heart. If it would mean letting go of what you’ve been dreaming of, so what?
Success will never make sense if you’re not happy about it. But once you’re satisfied with your choice, success is not far from your reach.
As what psychotherapist Joyce Marter quoted, “Everything in life is interconnected. As we evolve, our relationships, work and lives blossom. And, conversely, as we are impacted by our relationships and our work, we evolve.” If you let synchronicity take its course, happiness and success will unfold right before your very eyes.
Out of place. Irrelevant. Invisible. These feelings are horrible but common for some quiet members in certain groups of friends. According to neuropsychologist Theo Tsaousides Ph.D., “Fear of public speaking can prevent you from taking risks to share your ideas, to speak about your work, and to present your solutions to problems that affect many people — and as a result, it can affect how much you grow personally and professionally, and how much impact you can have.” If you lack confidence in speaking up in group conversations, here are a few tips on how to be more open and vocal.
Discover Why You Choose To Stay Quiet
Some are naturally quiet and soft-spoken for no reason. They are just not used to talking much in group conversations. The sad reality is you might be having negative feelings and thoughts that you tend to deal with on your own. It can lead to stress and frustration, which will negatively affect your brain, heart, and other organs. It is a domino effect.
It is vital to know the roots of your aloofness. If your peers are real friends, why are you afraid to open up? The most common reasons are as follows:
- You are scared to become too attached because of past experiences.
- You are not open to feedback or suggestions your friends may tell you.
- You got used to being judged, ignored, or not being heard.
- You are avoiding arguments and misunderstanding.
- You are not confident enough about your ideas and opinions.
- You feel like you cannot relate to most of the things your friends usually talk about.
If one of these is your reason, the problem might be on you and not them. Therefore, it is time to help yourself to contribute more and maintain social connections.
Start With Little Acknowledgements
You cannot just decide overnight that you have to start opening up. “Practice is also key to good preparation,” according to Susan Biali Haas M.D. Of course, you need to prepare your mental and verbal abilities first. You can begin engaging in your group talks more, face to face or online, by saying acknowledging statements such as the following:
- “I heard the same thing.”
- “You’re right.”
- “No way.”
These short responses are an excellent start to let them know you are still with them. Acknowledging them is a sign that you are a good listener. Also, they might reciprocate eventually and ask for more of your thoughts.
Politely Jump In And Know You Deserve To Be Heard
In every conversation, it is crucial to be a good listener. On the other hand, you need to accept the reality that most social group situations are chaotic. As Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary conclude, “humans have a need to belong: “a pervasive drive to form and maintain at least a minimum quantity of lasting, positive, and impactful interpersonal relationships.” You do not have to take it personally when some of your friends talk over you or do not get what you are saying. It is usual for everyone in a group to interrupt each other, speak at the same time, and continuously change the topic.
It is why you need to get the perfect timing to interrupt and talk politely. You can use humor to keep things light. Apologize if you have to. Consider your friends’ experiences and previous talks. That way, they can relate to you and respond better. There is no need to feel bad because of interrupting someone or being interrupted by someone.
Trust In Your Friends More
You are in your social circle for a reason. You might be huge in number, and not everyone may get along well. However, there should be one or two whom you can rely on. If you trust them enough and feel comfortable with them, you know you can speak up. Someone will always be interested in what you have to say.
Trust in your real friends, and they will surely hear you out. You do not always have to do the talking to fit in. Always remember open communication is fundamental in keeping the group together.
Do you understand the struggles we mentioned above? Share in the comments how you overcome them!
It’s late in the evening, and you can’t stop thinking of the hurtful words your loved ones utter to you. It’s difficult to sleep, and you don’t know why. It’s hard to fathom the creeping fear of those threats, the condemnation that it has brought to you. You are starting to lose your grip. Those words are destroying the inner peace you built ever since you decided that you are something better. Your strength is fleeting away as your words are neglected. You put so much pressure on negativity rather than think that things would soon be over and change. It’s never that way – it never has. You need to surpass your strength and weakness. You must die and be reborn over and over again, and by that, you shall live. “The healing process involves much preparation of personality and willpower to stay grounded in the truth of what happened – to say it out loud to themselves that they were wrongly violated,” as stated by Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.
You Allow It To Happen Until It Eats You Up
Emotional abuse transpires because you let it happen by the grace of love. You know you are damaged, but you decide just to let it go. But as it continues, it crushes your soul until the very moment that you are with a broken puzzle, with a desecration smile. Your life became blurry, and you find yourself lost in words, thoughts, and actions. You have countless sleepless nights, empty bottles, and incalculable bums of cigarettes. You succumbed to your peculiar nightmare. The next day that follows, you decide to live once more.
Pick Yourself Up As No One Will
Insecurities are around the corner, but you said to do you no harm. Grudge words that have once uttered lost its meaning and gone with the smoke. Scars embedded are full of stories for more great starts. Let those hurting words empower you to have the strength to pick up the pieces of the puzzle that will complete you to have the right attitude.
Let Me Tell You Something You Once Knew
Sometimes you wait too long for things to change and convince yourself that tomorrow the sun will rise again and the darkness will stay away, but what you fail to realize is that dimness is not the problem. A new day does not always solve all the issues as long as you don’t believe that there is a light within you that can keep you away from the moon and the stars at night.
There is light everywhere but more so in your eyes that look at things as a reason to stay strong or feel weak. You need to realize that when the sun goes down, it still leaves its power behind for you to breathe and see the possibilities in the dark as well. “Recovering is all about overcoming certain challenges and addressing symptoms,” according to Brook Sprowl, LCSW.
Right Attitude Makes You Your Own Hope
Never wait for the next day to start again, for the moments that change lives are not born with a sunrise. They yield when you start changing. Don’t be afraid to be your own sunshine.
Your life has been quite strange, but perhaps your attitude will gladly be the cornerstone of how you will manage to keep on living, the very thing that will empower you to have the right mindset to go on. It is never easy to live with a rollercoaster of emotions without the support of your loved one, and this could be the reason for your unhappiness.
“It is not your fault. Please find a way to reach out to get help from a trusted person in your circle of friends or family. If not one of them, then talk to a doctor or therapist about your situation. They can help you find resources and get you further help,” suggested Toby D. Goldsmith, MD.
Life is full of opportunities that will lead you exactly where you deserve to be. You have to be patient, taking one step at a time, and by the time you’re ready, the world will be there to brace you.