A 5-Minute Exercise for Emotional Intelligence

Do you have days full of daily responsibilities? Does it often seem like too much? It is very easy to get overwhelmed with all the demands placed on modern adults. Things can pile up so fast that it’s easy to simply tune it all out and walk away.

While tuning out difficult tasks or things you don’t want to do has its perks, it can also be easily overdone. The serenity that comes with it can lead to complacency and even avoiding crucial tasks completely.

The more a person avoids work, the more anxiety they will face about the consequences of not getting things done. That’s why it’s important to have coping mechanisms that help people accomplish the tasks at hand that need to be dealt with.

It’s a particularly brutal cycle, but it’s also easy to break. There’s a technique that’s based on the fundamentals of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is being able to identify your emotions, understand them, and then manage them effectively. One way you can do this is by using the 5-minute rule.

If you don’t deal with your stress proactively regarding a particular task, then your brain is likely to get overwhelmed with thoughts of how long the task will take and how difficult it will be. Fortunately, big and challenging tasks don’t often happen in just one sitting or session, as you’re likely to handle it by nibbling at it one small bit at a time.

This is where the 5-minute rule factors in. Just decide to work on a specific task for 5 minutes, with the promise to yourself that if you need or want to, you can quit once those 5 minutes are up.

Your brain should acknowledge that 5 minutes is not all that long. That’s actually enough time for more than one funny cat video on YouTube.

Most of the time, once 5 minutes are up, you’ll get so engrossed in a task that you’ll have momentum and keep going. Still, the 5-minute rule has done its brilliant work, which is helping you get started.

The next time you’re facing some burden you just don’t feel like facing yet, consider giving it just 5 minutes. You’ll fall in love with this trick soon enough.

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The Correlation Between Excessive Screen Time and Poor Mental Health

Electronic devices play a large role in everyday life. In fact, most people cannot go 24 hours without using their cell phone, laptop, or television. Although there are many societal benefits to using electronics, some health experts are worried that overindulging in screen time may negatively impact mental health.

These findings impacted both younger children and adults. Here’s a list of ways screen time can impact the mind of different generations.

Screen Time Impacts Children Mental Development

Children who spend hours on their electronic devices reportedly had a harder time engaging in activities that weren’t electronic-related. For instance, these children had trouble developing their imagination, being creative, and even making friends.

Children who spent an excessive amount of time using electronics also had a thinner brain cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for critical thinking. Behavioral intelligence and the ability to socially interact are lower in children who have numerous hours of screen time.

Screen Time Negatively Impacts Self Image

While social media is great for keeping in contact with loved ones, it can also play a negative role in self-image. People who constantly compare themselves to others online begin to devalue their own lives, especially when they follow high-profile accounts. People who find themselves routinely feeling insecure when they are on social media should highly consider limiting use immediately.

Screen Time Impacts Physical Health

Believe it or not, social media also plays a role in overall physical health. People who spend hours online are more likely to be sedentary, which leads to being overweight and obesity. This furthers mental issues because it discourages people from going to the gym or working out in public. If left untreated, this will lead to anxiety, depression, and other underlying health conditions like type 2 diabetes.

Using electronics can be a beneficial experience. However, too much screen time takes a negative toll on physical and mental health. Children who spend too much time in front of electronics also have a delayed mental and physical development that hinders them into their adult life. To avoid the negative aspects of being on electronic devices, it’s best to create a healthy balance on and off-screen.

The Importance of Self-Compassion

Whether a lack of compassion comes from a small failure or a major disappointment, people tend to be harder on themselves than other people. Over time, lack of compassion leads to further mental and emotional issues like anxiety, depression, and stress.

Therefore, people need to practice more self-compassion. Here is the list of self-compassion benefits and improvement techniques worth trying.

It’s a motivator.
People that criticize themselves usually talk themselves out of reaching their goals. Some people are harder on themselves due to years of being criticized as a child. By practicing self-compassion, it’s easier to accept flaws as motivation to improve rather than a reason to give up.

It improves overall health.
People often underestimate the impact of negativity on their health. Constant self-doubt triggers a person’s fight-or-flight response, which increases cortisol levels. Higher levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone, leads to serious illnesses. In severe cases, high levels of stress can be deadly.

With self-compassion, even difficult times don’t have such a negative impact on health. Actually, having compassion leads to adopting healthier coping mechanisms that would otherwise cause mental and emotional problems.

Ways to Practice Self-Compassion
Practicing self-compassion can be difficult at first. To become better at self-compassion, it’s best to do activities like:

Pretend to be a child.
People naturally treat children with compassion and love. Therefore, people should treat themselves with the compassion they’d show a child to change their perspective and better their chances of achieving their goals.

Write a letter.
Receiving encouraging letters from loved ones usually makes the recipient feel better. To get out of a funk, it’s a good idea to write a letter from a loved one’s perspective. Over time, people that write letters to themselves make self-compassion a habit.

Meditate
In difficult times, it’s a good idea to meditate. With closed eyes, taking deep breaths while thinking of positive mantras helps improve self-compassion.

While self-compassion doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a great way to live a healthier life. Eventually, these techniques help people learn their value, which allows them to form better relationships and overcome everyday setbacks.

Understanding Your Personality for Optimal Productivity

Flow or “the zone” is a state where a person’s physical and mental performance goes through the roof. A zone is also a place where people are absorbed in what they do, and time seems to fly. Flow is universal. People can train themselves to move into this space when certain conditions are met to make the state repeatable and reliable.Peoples’ personality contributes to their productivity. One cannot use another person’s system for productivity as personality varies from person to person. What works for one person for personal growth may not work for another. Organizations reach out to different personalities to increase productivity to find out the systems could not give them results.

Some personality traits that play an essential role in optimal productivity include a person’s risk tolerance, the openness to try new things, and whether one is introverted or extroverted. Personality traits are difficult to change as they are genetically coded.

Onboard processes for optimal performance

Curiosity, purpose, passion, mastery, and autonomy are intrinsic motivators that give room for peak performance. Curiosity, passion, and purpose are the basics of optimal performance, followed by autonomy, which is the desire to pursue purpose and passion. Mastery pushes people to become experts in what they do.

Proper alignment of intrinsic motivators takes time as it varies from person to person. While in the alignment process, people should focus on cultivating and amplifying their strengths and values to enhance their personality.

How to find one flow triggers

There are 22 flow triggers, and one needs to understand what works for them for optimal performance. Examples of flow triggers include deep embodiment and high consequences. Triggers change from time to time as people develop and strengthen their personalities.

Body and Brain Preparation for Peak Performance

Apart from focusing on triggers, people should check their physical and mental health for performance. They should ensure their energy levels are up and anxiety is in check. Eating healthy, having enough sleep, and exercising are some of the activities that enhance healthy living. Mindful meditation and performing breathwork exercises regulate emotions and lower anxiety. Take 20 to 40 minutes a day and engage in these exercises to improve overall health and flush out stress.

When people understand their personalities, work on their physical and mental health, they are assured optimal productivity in what they set to do.

Excessive Gaming is Becoming a Mental Health Problem

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) added gaming disorder to the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD is used by medical practitioners to diagnose conditions and by researchers to categorize conditions. The inclusion of gaming disorder is remarkable in that the impact on both mental and physical health from excessive gaming has qualified as a medical disorder. 

People with gaming disorder have trouble controlling the amount of time they spend playing video games and prioritize gaming over other activities in their lives. Furthermore, their gaming behaviors can incur negative effects. While some experts have wondered if gaming addiction can develop as a coping mechanism from depression and anxiety, it has been observed that video game addiction actually increases levels of depression and anxiety in children. This is concerning, for we are now seeing mental disorders on the rise. When the addiction stops, depression and anxiety improve.  

There are other side effects to gaming disorder aside from ones directly related to mental health. The disorder has been associated with sleep disturbances, low fitness levels, and poor nutrition. These can impact physical health long-term but can also exacerbate pre-existing mental health concerns.

The key distinction here is that participation in video games has to be excessive and cause dysfunction in several areas of life, such as education and social life. Gaming disorder only affects a small population of people, however, people who partake in video games should be aware of the amount of time they spend on gaming and similar activities, especially when it comes at the expense of their other daily activities or their health. 

For a person to be diagnosed with gaming disorder, their life has to be significantly impaired by their gaming behaviors for at least 12 months. Characteristics of gaming disorder include lacking control over gaming habits and continuing to partake in the behavior despite its negative consequences.  While the disorder can affect individuals of all ages, most of the research was conducted on adolescents, teenagers, and young adults. According to a different study, gaming disorder is more likely to affect boys and young men than it is to affect girls and women. 

 

Managing Workplace Anxiety

herrick lipton - anxiety

 

There’s no denying work can be stressful. For those of us who suffer from an anxiety disorder, each day can be a struggle to get out of bed, get dressed, and get to work on time. Those who are unsure of their talents and abilities may voluntarily miss out on opportunities that would put them ahead in their companies because they don’t know if they’d be able to fulfill the needs of the position. Public speaking and traveling can be difficult for most people to adjust to, but missing opportunities willingly can also exacerbate symptoms of anxiety disorders.

 

In order to mitigate the symptoms of anxiety disorders and manage anxiety in the workplace, it’s a good idea to be proactive every day so you can live a happy and healthy work life. It’s also important to realize that feeling anxious is a perfectly normal response to stress, but if it becomes overwhelming, that’s when you need to actively take steps to make positive changes for your overall wellbeing.

 

Be Self-Aware

Being self-aware means checking in on your own physical and emotional responses when feelings of anxiety arise. Be mindful of what exactly is causing your stress and try to see how you can make changes. Are you overwhelmed by unrealistic deadlines? Do you dread everyday responsibilities? Figure out whether or not you need to reorganize or if you’re procrastinating on projects. Don’t try and disregard your feelings because they won’t go away, in fact, they’ll probably intensify. Instead, try to pinpoint exactly what is causing the excessive stress.

 

Make time for yourself

When our plates are full and we feel like we have no time for ourselves, that’s when we especially need to carve out our day and make extra time. When we’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, we’re less likely to exercise, but our bodies need it most at that time. Try hard to care for your mind and body by eating the right foods, getting enough sleep each night, and squeezing in some workout time.

 

Reach out to friends and family

Loved ones can be a source of guidance, wisdom, and support. More than likely, you have someone in your circle who is experiencing feelings of anxiety and a loss of control. If not, someone is going to have gone through it at some point in their past. Even if you don’t want to discuss this with friends and family, just knowing they are there for you can be a positive re-enforcement.

 

Seek help from a professional

There is no shame in asking for help if you aren’t managing your anxiety alone. If you’re struggling with an anxiety disorder and don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere, it’s best to seek out help in order to manage it effectively. A clinical psychologist will help you figure out not only where your stress is coming from, but how to deal with it so you can live a life that is not controlled by anxiety, but by yourself.

Everyday Tips to Help Control Anxiety

Everyone has experienced the overwhelming feeling of anxiety at one time or another. When you were in high school it may have been a big test that you stressed about the night before, or the day before start a new job. The anxious feelings you have before any big life event are felt by most people, however when you experience anxiety day after day, you should take steps to ease these feelings of helplessness and panic. Luckily, there are several things you can do each and every day to lessen the grip anxiety has on your life and gain more control of your emotions.

Write It Down

Try to figure out exactly what isJournaling making you feel anxious by writing down your thoughts in a journal. Journaling on a daily basis can improve your mental and physical health because it helps you define your internal thoughts and put them on paper. Write fast, and without worry about grammar, spelling, or fear that someone will find it and read it.

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

Alcohol and coffee can both exacerbate the effects of anxiety. It doesn’t mean you have to cut them out either entirely, but use them both in moderation. Try not to have caffeine in the afternoon, as this can cause you to be up later than normal and affect your sleep schedule. Drinking too much alcohol in the evening can lead to a restless sleep. Although alcohol can put you to sleep, it’s not quality sleep that will have you feeling rested the next day.

exerciseExercise

We all know exercise has many health benefits, but it also dulls the intensity of anxiety. A good exercise regimen that includes a couple hours a week of moderate exercise can help you keep your anxiety in check as well as giving you a boost of energy and confidence.

Practice Good Breathing

Oftentimes when faced with stress, we will hold our breaths. When you feel very anxious, take a moment to focus on your breathing and take a few deep breaths. Try your best to bring your attention to your breathing and not think about anything else to give your mind a quick break and make sure you’re breathing properly. Deep breathing triggers a relaxation response, helping us to calm down and take a step back.

Try not to Dwell on the Past

Maybe you said or did something embarrassing or made a mistake. Try not to dwell on what has happened and definitely don’t let it keep you from enjoying the things you love. Chances are, the worry you have about a particular event is not even being thought of by those who witnessed it.