This title might actually scare you a little, but don’t worry, you do not have to be super human to get all of this accomplished. We see people that seem to have it all. The money, awesome bodies, amazing relationships, and have their lives truly in order. How do they do it? How do they keep everything together long enough to get it all done? The answer is, they did not do everything at once. We will take each one of these entities on individually so you can see how it can all be brought together in your own life.
Work to Be Healthier
It can be difficult to be truly happy with your life when you are out of shape. Although we are not speaking of mere vanity, eating right and exercising can have a severely positive effect on your mind and body as well. In order to begin to take control of your life, you must first learn to control your own body and your urges.
We all love a good calorie filled meal from time to time. Filling ourselves with foods we love can make us feel great in the short term, but the effects never last. Changing habits you have in regard to food is the best way to begin reshaping your life. Include more healthy options than unhealthy ones by finding food you can enjoy that will not make you regret your decisions. Invest in fresh fruits and vegetables while reducing your intake of carbs. Choose lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, and fish, as opposed to a big juicy steak or pork chops. Change happens through seemingly insignificant changes over the course of your life.
As for exercise, start slowly. Taking on an intensive exercise routine too fast can lead to burnout. Start by walking a little more each day, starting a once per week fitness class, or playing sports with your kids outside more. Slowly build your exercise routine from there.
Creating High Quality Relationships
When people say relationship, they often think of the romantic variety, but you have to remember, the best romantic relationships start out as friendships. Focus on finding friends that enjoy the same activities you do. Attend gatherings of like minded people. Join a hiking club, religious organization, or social events that meet your specific desires of what you want to accomplish in life. Invest in friends that build you up without dragging you down. Friends with negative habits should be avoided and distancing yourself from these people is essential for your overall happiness.
Once you have found what you love and have invested time with friends that love the same things, you will find the friendships made there are worthy of your affections. You can find a deeper relationship with someone who likes the same activities as you do as opposed to someone you are just physically attracted to. The deepest relationships have intimacy on all levels, not just the physical and it all starts with a deep rooted friendship.
This aspect is at the bottom of the list, because it is ultimately, the least important. Although everyone seems to claim money is the most important thing, it is essential that you work on yourself and your relationship with others before making significant money. People are far more important than monetary gain, but once you have established relationships with others and invested in your own wellbeing, making money can be your next step.
Take some time to examine those that already have money and see what they did to get it. What you will find, is that each of these wealthy individuals, unless they were already heir to a fortune, started out by solving a problem. Some have gained wealth by creating an essential app or computer program. Others have created accessories. Still, there are some that create never before seen inventions. The point is to find a problem and solve it.
There Are More Paths to Wealth
Solving a problem for humanity and making a product to sell is considered the big dream and it can happen for some if they are willing to invest the time and attention into marketing their idea and it is truly unique. However, there are other ways to make money without having a product. Many have invested in stocks to help bring about wealth. This option is for those who are analytically minded and understand stocks that will take off. Investing in stocks can be risky and the best way to do it is to be versatile in your investments. Never invest all your savings in one stock.
When evaluating your life, do not compare it to others. There are some that seem to have it all, but no one is perfect. Always keep that in mind. Even the wealthiest and seemingly most successful people have a few flaws. Your life is important and it is time to take hold of it, so invest in getting into shape while eating better, find friends that meet your personality, and then take time to make some money.read more
Why do so many marriages fail to bring happiness? After all, we are taught from a very young age that if we meet someone special and overcome all the obstacles put in our way to keep us apart, we will find everlasting happiness. Isn’t this the premise of all those novels and movies? The handsome prince, knight, unlikely hero rescues the beautiful, helpless, nubile ingenue and carries her away from her unsatisfactory plight, to enjoy lasting happiness. Cinderella finally wins her prince and they live happily ever after.
Have you noticed that those stories always end at the engagement or wedding and they finish with a vague promise that only happiness and fulfillment lie ahead for these two? “And they lived happily ever after”. Did they?
So, if this is the story society imprints on our youngsters, how can they realistically deal with the challenges and demands of modern marriage?
Teens have been raised with unrealistic expectations of marriage and the specialness of the person they will marry. Inevitably, those high expectations aren’t met. As the tedious grind of making a living, paying the bills and getting on with everyday life start to dawn, the illusion of eternal happiness begins to dull. Resentment and disappointment soon replace the joy and roses they felt they were entitled to. Some deal with this and take it in their stride, some even make the best of it, but many eventually walk away.
Picture a young woman leaving her girlhood behind. She has been conditioned to believe someone very special will court her. A knight, a capable breadwinner, a wonderful loving father, an adoring, supportive husband and an exciting lover. Now, these princes are few on the ground but that doesn’t stop her from dreaming that it will happen to her. So, she paints her current partner with that brush. She holds him up as a knight in shining armor who will deliver all the happiness she deserves. Only, she eventually realizes that he’s just an ordinary bloke, a goofy guy, warts and all, who falls short of all the redeeming qualities she has imbued him with.
After the first heady flush of lust and playing house wears off, maybe two years later, the illusion has been shattered. She starts noticing his faults and bad habits, she wants him to have more backbone, stop playing video games, do something with his life, and improve their economic outlook. She realizes that he’s not a good earner and he has no ambition or ability to become one. Furthermore, he resents her nagging and spends as much time with his mates as he can to get away from her sharp tongue and the constant reminder that he’s a useless, lazy slob.
Now, picture a young man who has won his princess. She looks lovely at their wedding but he’s got her now and he no longer has to be on his best behavior, he can relax and be himself. He has been looking for someone to mother him. She will cook and clean up after him like women are supposed to. She will look out for his daily comforts, organize him and also be a vamp in the bedroom at night.
He is surprized at first when things don’t turn out as he imagined. Three small children appear in quick succession and she no longer looks after herself, she lets herself go. She’s tired and crabby all the time and you can forget about any benefits in the bedroom after a day of running the household, looking after him and three kids, and going to work before coming home to cook dinner and do the housework. Worse still, she has her own opinions and is not scared of saying so. She nags him to help around the house and get a better job, and then she still wants to be wooed and courted with flowers and compliments from time to time.
She has changed from the playful, pretty girl he courted; which seems like a lifetime ago. Now she’s just somebody’s frumpy mother.
Some couples make the reality of marriage and daily life work, but many soldier on, unhappy with how things turned out. The secret to a good marriage? Face the realities, look for the positives, support each other and build a lasting friendship.read more
We all have those moments when we wonder whether or not we are going to make it, are we on the right track, have we done the right thing? This is essentially human and could be turned into a force for good if we harness it correctly. We are talking about self-doubt.
Sooner or later we are all going to be confronted with some degree of self-doubt over a stance we have taken, something we said, or actions we have put in motion. Was it the right thing to do? Doubting yourself can be self-destructive. The worst enemy of getting ahead in life is self-doubt. It will hold you back and make you lose good opportunities that you should otherwise have embraced. It can also adversely affect your ability to build rewarding social relationships.
Anyone who claims they don’t experience moments of self-doubt is surely fooling themselves. Some people have very confident personalities and may not often concede that they have concerns about themselves. On the other hand, people who are timid and lack self-confidence may doubt themselves a lot more often.
So, in part, the degree of self-doubt you experience in your life can be a personality trait. Alternatively, it may be a result of your environment. If people are constantly put down and belittled, either by an overbearing partner or perhaps at work, they may begin to doubt themselves and their validity, more and more.
Ask yourself why? Once you understand where your self-doubt comes from and why it affects you the way it does, you are already on the path to overcoming this state of mind. So, go ahead, ask those searching questions, dig deep and gain a better understanding of why you are letting self-doubt affect your mental wellbeing and diminish your self-image.
Next, you need to actively develop a positive response and set up steps to overcome your lack of self-assurance and your insecurities.
Stop comparing yourself to others, celebrate the fact that you’re different.
Overcome your fear of failure
Start to believe in yourself
Rely on your own innate wisdom and your instincts to guide you
Don’t dwell on mistakes of the past, just learn from them and move on
Don’t fear the risk of failure, instead, fear the absence of progress
If you are feeling negative, tell yourself to get over it and move on
Don’t worry that people might judge your performance harshly, just do your best and be proud of yourself
Write down a Pros and Cons list when conflicting over a good opportunity that has come your way. If you go for the opportunity, what is the worst that could happen? What is the best that could happen? Rein in your self-doubt by logically exploring the best and worst scenarios to discover that in fact, often there is more in the gains column than there is in the loss column.
Confide in a friend or someone you love. Tell them your doubts and fears and get some dispassionate feedback. Talking about it and gaining new insight from someone else’s perspective can be invaluable.
Turn your negative thoughts and insecurities into something positive. Go to seminars and workshops on how to harness positive thoughts and optimism to power you forward into a more successful life. Learn how to dispel negativity and focus on the positive.
Use failures and setbacks as lessons to guide you on how to avoid the same mistakes. This is how we all gain experience and become more successful in the future.
When you have achieved a milestone that you wanted, make sure you celebrate your success. This will boost your motivation to grasp other challenges and it will improve your confidence.
When you have learned to embrace your own strengths and good qualities your insecurities and self-doubt are able to fade into the background.
None of us are perfect, so you are not alone. When you start to recognize your better qualities and learn to love yourself despite a few imperfections, you are on the path to a more positive and more fulfilling life.read more
Human relationships are complex and actually need nurturing. Your relationships with other family members and even with your friends can suffer if you don’t make an effort to maintain them. After all, who likes to be ignored and taken for granted all the time?
One of the most important aspects of friendships and family relationships is communication. This doesn’t mean you just have to talk to each other to remain in touch, it is a whole lot more than that. Talking is just one form of communicating, and it needs to be genuine discussion and conversation where each person really listens to what the other is saying and feeling.
Communication belongs not just to the realm of speech, but also to the sharing of feelings and emotions. When people want to strengthen their relationship with a loved one or friend, they can initiate conversation and share their thoughts and feelings. Talking with such authenticity can reach a much deeper level of contact than just mere chatting.
When a couple truly communicate, they gain greater empathy with the needs of their partner and strengthen the bonds of their relationship. The same can be true of friendships, which flourish better when people really care about each other and can communicate a genuine depth of feeling.
One of the ways we can maintain a strong connection with friends and loved ones whom you may not see every day is simply to keep in touch. Pick up the phone and give them a call. It only takes minutes for them to learn that you are thinking about them. Friends and family members are always happy to hear from the people they care about.
Relationships are like gardens, if you tend them and water them regularly, they will flourish. But if you neglect them for long periods of time they will wilt and fade.
One powerful key to developing good communication with your partner is to really listen. Put aside your own viewpoints and carefully listen to theirs. We are all different and the people you love will see things differently from you and given a chance will express themselves differently. You need to show tolerance, embrace other people’s viewpoints, and show acceptance of these differences.
It is important not only to recognize the value of your relationships but to show your loved ones that you care. It sounds so simple but it can take just the smallest gesture to show your partner or your friend that they matter to you. Try to remind yourself to practice random acts of sensitivity towards your partner to show them the appreciation you have for them and their love. Come home with roses one day, for no special occasion. Finish off that DIY job you didn’t finish a while ago that’s really been annoying your partner. Do a chore for them that they hate doing, just to show them how much you care.
When I was a child, I visited a friend of mine after school. She selected only the smallest potatoes out of a big bag in the pantry and started peeling them while we talked. I asked her why she just picked the little ones and she replied, “My Mom really hates peeling the little ones so I’m getting those ones ready for dinner tonight. That way she doesn’t have to do them when she gets home from work.”
That small act of kindness has stayed in my mind ever since. It shows a depth of love that tells your relative or spouse how much you appreciate them and yet it doesn’t take much effort to do.
Another way we can show how much we care for one another and strengthen our bonds is to provide encouragement for the other person’s dreams and goals. It means a lot to your family and your friends if you support them in their ambitions and give recognition to their accomplishments.
And of course, one of the strongest ways to keep your marriage or a treasured friendship healthy is to always try to avoid and deflect arguments. Fighting and arguing never reinforces strong bonds, it just tears away at the edges of the fabric of the relationship until it is finally destroyed.
Even if there have been disagreements during the day, make a determination to always finish each day in good spirits by making up and reaffirming your love for each other.read more
Five Key Techniques For Coping With Bad Times
Sometimes it feels like the universe has given us everything we’ve ever asked for. But other times we get so down and exhausted by the hurdles thrown at us we feel like crawling into bed and pulling the covers over our heads.
It may sound trite, but there’s no escaping adversity — everyone, sooner or later, has to face it. The secret is how some people cope with seemingly endless difficulties — illness, the death of a loved one, job loss or divorce — or all four — and somehow get through it and end up smiling. How do they do it, you ask? We’re here to offer a few tips for coping with the profound trouble’s life tosses your way. Next time, think of these suggestions and you’ll see your way out of adversity more easily.
1) Remember That Everything Passes: Even the worst. It may sound like cold comfort, but the worst issue you face will, in fact and eventually, pass. You’ve lost your job — you will get another, and in the meantime make economic adjustments at home. No matter how much adversity tries to knock you down, once you really understand the problem, get on with the business of finding solutions. And don’t forget: ask for help when you need it.
2) Discover Your Sense of Humour: Finding reasons to laugh, even simple ones, puts a smile on everyone’s face. Watch cat videos online. Spend time with a special friend who makes you laugh. There may be no humor to find in the problem you’re facing, but there is humor in life. Distract yourself even temporarily by laughing, and you’ll feel better instantly.
3) Take Inventory Of Where You Are: By that we mean you need to take stock of your life, of your strengths, weaknesses, talents and other qualities. Adversity gives you the chance to employ your life skills, and develop them further. When we think about problems in the abstract, we imagine we would never be able to deal with them: a breakup, perhaps, or the death of a favourite pet. But then it happens, and somehow, you cope. Maybe not well at first, but eventually you figure out how to live, and live well, in spite of what’s happened. And that helps brace you for the next hurdle.
4) Seize The Chance For Change: Okay, so your partner dumped you. It’s tough, but no matter how long you two were together, your new status presents the opportunity to embrace change. Think of all that’s available to you in your new circumstances, and go for it. Do some silly things, like get a new haircut or take up a hobby — anything you couldn’t do as part of a couple. Just don’t sit at home stewing.
5) Never, Ever Give Up: Especially on yourself. Adversity comes to everyone, so understand it’s not something you did, or asked for, or are to blame for. Think of all your qualities that people love, and have helped you get where are today.
Every successful person on the planet has faced adversity — try reading about Oprah’s childhood, then think of all she’s overcome. Or Walt Disney. Did you know he was let go from a job early in his career for lack of creativity? Can you imagine!?
Our point is that adversity comes to us all. Now it’s time to handle it, and get on with the business of living your most fabulous life. You can do it!read more
We all know how fussy kids can be where food is involved, especially small children. Children often refuse food that is spicy or well-seasoned and avoid anything new or different. Why do children have picky eating habits? There are a few factors we can consider:
Children don’t like the texture of the food
They don’t like the way the food looks, it looks unappetizing
Unlike adults, they are quick to reject foods with bitter and sour flavors
They can’t process spicy or ‘hot’ food
They avoid food high in fiber
They may be ‘pre-wired’ to seek out only ‘energy-rich’ foods for their active and growing bodies
Whatever the reason, this pickiness causes a family dilemma. You have to either let them miss out while you and your partner tuck into the tasty meal, or prepare two complete menus each mealtime, one for the adults and something blander, for the kids.
Yet, opting for the different menus adds a lot of extra work to planning and preparing a family meal. This is especially true if you get home from work at the end of the day and then have to start cooking. You don’t have the time or the patience for messing around.
On the other hand, couples who don’t have children have the luxury of eating whatever adventurous foods they like.
Adults have a more mature palate than kids and so childless couples can indulge in interesting meals like spicy foods and interesting curries. They can try new cuisines from culturally diverse regions and if the food agrees with them, then their experimenting has paid off and they have widened their food horizons.
Foods for couples without children can include the full spectrum of seafood. Try getting an oyster into a small kid! Adults also have the teeth and the palate to enjoy steaks and other red meats which need a bit of chewing and are quite textured. Adults can also enjoy meals that contain vegetables like cabbages, brussels sprouts and root vegetables.
Other foods that adults can regularly enjoy and experiment with are pickled vegetables, relishes and chutneys which a child is certainly likely to spurn. Food suitable for adults can range from delicate offal like chicken liver, smoked foods like smoked fish or eel, and then there is the spicy cuisine of Caribbean countries like Jamaica and of course Asia and India. Even the southern states of America have their distinctive Cajun food.
One extremely popular Korean food is Kimchi, which is certainly an acquired taste. It is smelly and fermented, with its own strange texture, it is low in fat and high in fiber but full of flavor and very nutritious. It is basically a spicy, aromatic Korean type of sauerkraut. The longer it is left to ferment the stronger the flavor and the nutrient levels become. This is an exciting food for adults to experiment with, but needless to say, kids probably won’t touch it.
An Easy, fast Mak Kimchi Recipe
Equipment: a knife and cutting board and a big bowl.
Ingredients: One or two Napa cabbages, some carrots and any other vegetables you want
Method: Chop the cabbages into bite-sized squares and add to the bowl
Add the julienned carrots to the bowl, mix and sprinkle with salt. Toss the contents then pour cold water in to just cover the vegetables. Stir and leave to rest at room temperature for maybe a couple of hours. Then pour off the salty water.
Blend garlic and ginger, fish sauce, unsweetened apple or pear juice, scallions, miso paste and Korean Red Pepper powder in the food processor until it is a paste. Add this mixture to the bowl and mix with the vegetables.
Ladle the Kimchi into glass jars or plastic containers and pack it in tightly. Gently place the lid on the jar and don’t screw it down tight because the recipe ferments. Let the jars stand in a baking tray or similar at room temperature for a couple of days. Stick in a knife each day to release any air bubbles and top up with brine water if it gets low. After a few days, it is ready to eat so store it in the refrigerator. Kimchi is a brilliant food to add to all your meals to add spice, aroma, and flavor, or even eat it on its own.read more
Remember when you were a child and people told you, you could be anything you wanted to be when you grew up? That was a great feeling in knowing that if you worked hard enough, you could be awesome. The problem is that as we grow older, we begin to doubt ourselves. We seem to put ourselves in a second class of citizen in which we will never measure up to those that have achieved greatness. It is not the fact that we cannot achieve our goals and live an awesome life. It is the mere fact that we doubt our abilities for too long and begin to believe we will never amount to anything. It is time to shed those negative thoughts and begin to live the life you have always wanted.
Tell Yourself You Can Do It
Positive thinking is a powerful tool you can employ to help you achieve greatness and stop doubting yourself. You deserve a chance to live the awesome life you want and negative thinking will only drag your down. Remember that little human that was so amazed at the thought of becoming anything they want to be. Recapture that imagination and begin to dream once again. You still have goals, dreams, and aspirations no matter what age you are, so tell yourself you can do it and even if no one else believes in you, believe in yourself.
Never Compare Your Journey To Anyone Else’s
Comparing yourself to another is the quickest way to drain your confidence. It is so easy to look at another successful person and make comparisons. However, you must remember, you are merely seeing what that person wants you to see. You cannot see into their lives apart from the surface. You do not know what they have gone through to get to where they are. You cannot fathom the challenges they may have had to overcome, so it is irrelevant to compare your journey with theirs. We all have our own personal setbacks and obstacles we have to overcome, so avoid comparisons at all costs.
Goals are not met all at once. For instance, if you intend on losing 20 pounds for better health, you will not simply exercise once, jump on the scale, and hope that 20 pounds will be there. The goal of losing weight is not measured in one setting, but by achieving small goals throughout the journey.
Set small goals for yourself that are easier to achieve than the ultimate larger goal at the end. Consider your journey to an awesome like as a set of stairs. You cannot possibly jump up an entire flight of stairs, but by taking each stair one at a time, you will reach the top no matter how many stairs you have to climb to get there.
Document and Celebrate Those Achievements
Write down what you want to achieve as an ultimate goal along with your small goals along the way. A great way to do this is along a time line. Use a marker to fill in the time line as you go and when you reach a small goal, have a little celebration. Do something just for you and enjoy being in the moment of accomplishment.
Put Yourself Out There
You can do a lot of good in the world, but first, you must climb over the hurdle that tells you to stay inside and not talk to anyone about it. The world is a big place and it is full of amazing people. Going out and finding those like-minded people is essential for you to reach your goals. Networking with those who have similar goals will allow you to have more opportunity to achieve your overall goals and become the person you want to be.
Do Something Out of the Ordinary
A routine is a great thing to have, but when that routine leads you into a rut, there is a problem. In order to make your goals and live your awesome life, you need to get out of the ordinary and make it happen. Do something you have never done before. Go on that vacation of a lifetime, drive a racecar, or try bungee jumping. Anything you can do to shake up the routine will help you live a more fulfilled life.
You are an amazing person. Keep repeating that to yourself until you believe it. We are all amazing if we let ourselves be. Remember, you are truly unique. No one in the world has your exact look, fingerprints, eyes, nose, or any other attribute that makes you. It is time to celebrate who you are and go after that awesome life. You are amazing and you can do great things. It just takes you believing that to achieve your ultimate goals.read more
Every new human being comes with a hidden talent or some special skill – they just need the opportunity to discover what that is. We are all special in one way or another. With some children, their talent is quickly revealed when they demonstrate great passion for something and quickly excel at it. For other children, though, lack of opportunity can mean it takes much longer to discover their special ability or interest.
A child who can be involved in something they are passionate about experiences a great sense of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. This positive feeling of achievement bolsters their self-confidence, promotes a sense of inner peace and increases their level of contentment with their little world. With a robust level of mental well-being, children can do better in other aspects of their lives and it helps build rewarding relationships with family and friends.
It is important to discover what activities stimulate your child’s involvement the most. They don’t even have to be superstars to experience the benefits gained by actively pursuing their interests. Participation itself is what is important. Being involved in a favorite sport, singing along with the choir, learning a new instrument, collecting stamps, experimenting with recipes in the kitchen. All these activities demand the child’s full attention and make them happy and engaged. Happy kids are calm, more relaxed and cooperative. Anxieties are diminished and often their schoolwork and their sleep patterns can benefit.
Childhood activities can flow on to adulthood vocations. Expose your kids to all kinds of activities and learning experiences while they are growing up – who knew little Johnny would be a brilliant guitarist? How surprising when little Wendy became a surfing champion? How amazing that little Phillipe grew up to be a celebrated chef. And what about Georgia? Where were the clues that she would become a gardening host on a successful television series?
Parents often have a sense of what might capture their children’s interest and should expose them to activities that might resonate with their personalities. Understandably, an expensive hobby may out of reach for many families. Not everyone can afford years of music or singing lessons and a grand piano in the salon! But the parent can consider their budget and guide their child to suitable interests within their reach.
Despite parents saying they know their child and what he might enjoy doing, yet the little fellow can still surprise everyone. A chance experience with a new sport or unusual activity can quickly become a passion that the child can become very excited over. For the well-being it promotes, it is great if the parent is in a position to support the child’s new interest and enable his participation.
With success in pursuit of their passion, youngsters can benefit from the positives it brings to their lives. It fortifies their self-image and develops their feelings of self-worth. This can translate to success in other aspects of their lives and helps promote better interpersonal relationships right into their adult lives.read more
We’ve all done it, no one’s exempt. Yes, we’ve all developed habits as a way of life. Many habits are helpful, they positively contribute to regulating our lives but some are bad habits and we can become slaves to these. The first thing we need to do to conquer entrenched habits that aren’t good for us is to recognize them. But that’s the easy part.
Old, deeply ingrained habits are notoriously difficult to kick. Remember all those New Year’s resolutions to shake bad habits and change the way we do things? Same again next year, and the next. We know we need to take control of these weaknesses but where to start?
To overcome unwanted habits, we need to understand the cause and then develop new behaviors that sideline the unwanted behaviors. We must implement strategies that will empower us to take action and reverse the hold that old habits have over us.
But what course of action can we adopt to take control of our bad habits? Decide which habits you have that are destructive and need unlearning. Then we need to form a framework upon which to build new, more beneficial habits. First, we start with understanding the components of the cycle of a habit; the cues (trigger); the response (your action); and the reward (the result).
Starting with the ‘cue’, we have to identify what triggers or initiates the unwanted behavior. The most fundamental cues for habits are cravings. These can certainly influence your behavior. You need to be brutally honest when analyzing your situation. Once you can recognize what triggers the behavior you are already closer to overcoming it. Following through, what is the ‘reward’, you experience by letting the habit occur? Having identified the trigger for a habit and what the reward is, you need to intervene in the logical progression of that process. Disrupt the process of cause and effect.
The best place to start is to analyze the craving which anticipates the reward. Now you can derail the feedback loop of the cause of the habit and the reward it is aiming to achieve. Start with unraveling the craving.
The strategies you put in place will depend on the circumstances. By understanding the real cause and effect cycle, you are better able to interrupt, modify or totally eliminate the process.
Let’s look at some common situations. Someone suffering anxiety may turn to unhelpful behaviors. Anxiety (the cue) may initiate overeating (the action), the person turns to calorie-rich foods or habitual snacking in order to feel better (the reward). For others, their emotional state triggers an urge to over-indulge in alcohol, which is another destructive habit.
So, what more positive strategies can you implement to circumvent the grip a habit has? We can’t always remove the root cause of the behavior – the cravings. For example, there will be some times when a person may feel anxiety and that situation might be out of their control. But their response to it is something they can modify.
So, if you are not able to do something to prevent the cause and return to a sense of wellbeing, we replace the resulting unwanted behavior with something else that will alleviate the feelings of anxiety and restore a sense of comfort.
Rather than reaching for the alcohol or raiding the fridge, we could try something new and interesting instead. Join a gym or a local sports club. Consider volunteering at a shelter for people much worse off than yourself, or a shelter for abandoned pets. Take up drama classes, buy a bicycle, join a conservation group. Go to a prayer meeting.
It is amazing what your new engagement with other people passionate about the same interests as you can do for your mental wellbeing, and sense of comfort.
By adopting these positive strategies, you have interrupted the entrenched bad habit cycle and still reached the reward, which is a better state of comfort and a good sense of wellbeing. The cue may be the same, and the reward is the same but the process of completing the cycle has totally changed, for the better.
We can all apply these analytical processes to understand, unravel and reprogram most of our bad habits to achieve a healthy, satisfying result. Simply take alternative action to turn bad habits into good habits.read more
When we find time hanging heavy on our hands, we can feel discontented and restless. Many of us head for the fridge to find something stimulating to eat. After all, boredom is simply a lack of stimulation, so a tasty snack provides a momentary lift. This reaction to stave off boredom, however, can lead to long-term health issues if it happens too often and contributes to an increase in weight.
So, what is boredom? It’s a state of mind that arises when there is idle time with nothing interesting to do to help pass the time. We can feel listless and unenergetic. The best solution when we’re in this situation is to channel that lethargy into something productive. We should find something interesting to engage in, to make ourselves busy.
For some people, a downtime when there’s nothing going on is very welcome. They grasp the opportunity to just relax. Relaxation is an activity in itself, that helps us de-stress and chill out. Their relaxation may include enjoyable passive activities like meditation, watching TV, reading or just resting. Relaxing and embracing some quiet time without demands besetting us from all sides can have positive results on your health and can foster a positive state of mind.
However, for others, downtime and periods of inactivity are just plain boring. Many people have a higher need to keep their minds stimulated and busy to maintain their sense of wellbeing. For these individuals, the best thing to do when boredom looms is to get active.
When you find yourself with time on your hands and nothing to do, ask yourself what you would like to be doing? What is something you‘ve always wanted to do and never got around to? Was it learning a new language? Was it building children’s wooden toys? Did you always have a flair for sketching or painting but never got a chance to explore this talent and learn more? Did you always want to establish a vegetable garden? Is now the time to develop your own keep-fit routine, join a gym or take up a sport?
You could consider the idea of taking up volunteering. The benefits here are for both the cause you are volunteering for and the good feeling you experience in being involved in something worthwhile in your spare time.
Search your mind for activities that have eluded you in your busy life and make a quiet determination to give it a try. Try not to plunge headlong into something new with great expectations and impossibly high goals right at the outset. You are more likely to develop a new interest if you ease into it slowly and sensibly. Dip your toe in the water to get started. Set small targets and you will be encouraged to continue when you reach more modest milestones as you continue to meet your new challenge.
Turn boredom from a problem into an opportunity. When people develop new skills or embrace new activities when spare time hangs heavy on their hands, they can open up new, unexpected opportunities for themselves. Many people develop whole new careers from hobbies or activities that they have developed a passion for.
If you take up volunteering when you have too much time on your hands, maybe because you are unemployed, people notice your involvement and when a paid role opens up you could be the first person they turn to for recruitment. If your artistry skills develop well in your downtime, you may end up in an exciting new career. If you wrote a book, you might become famous.
It’s always a benefit to both your physical and mental health if you can dispel negativity in your life. Boredom is a state of negativity. Your newfound activity may prove very therapeutic, contributing to a healthier state of mind and a more positive outlook on life. This will translate to better performance in your working environment and more positive interpersonal relationships.read more