How Uncertainty Can Benefit You

The future is never set in stone. No matter how solid the possible outcome of an event might look, you can never truly know if it will actually happen or not. This uncertainty can actually be quite stressful to many people. Not knowing how things will turn out can create a lot of anxiety and make people fearful for their security and well-being. What might surprise you is that uncertainty can actually benefit you.

 

While unbridled optimism has its perks, modern society almost instills this expectation that people not only be happy but happy all the time. This can be a form of toxic positivity, and it also clashes hard with the fundamental truth about uncertainty about the future. People just can’t know that they’re going to be happy and safe 24/7 for the rest of their lives.

 

Many people even fall into the mindset of everything being bad or good and seeing the entire universe in black and white. The simplicity can offer psychological comfort, but it also means missing out on the exploration of grey areas that lay between. There are things that can be both good and bad but more one than the other. Some things in the universe are honestly just neutral.

 

Rain is a prime example. Yes, it can mean depressing weather, dark skies, flooding, and property damage. However, it also refills water supplies, gives people a free car wash, and hydrates trees, shrubs, flowers, and grass that need moisture in order to thrive and grow.

 

Facing uncertainty is a chance for growth. People who do it can become more psychologically and emotionally resilient with the challenges they face in life. It’s also a chance to explore the possibilities that the future holds for anyone wanting to embrace them. With the future unwritten, people can chart their own course as they move ahead.

 

When nothing is set in stone, everything is possible. While the anxious side of the human mind can immediately conjure up all kinds of unwanted things, a simple pivot into even mild levels of positivity can mean you start dreaming of things that you do want to happen. Some will be only a matter of prayer and luck, but others will be paths you can take deliberate steps down.

 

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Falling Asleep While Feeling Anxious: Tips to Help

Everyone has experienced a period where they feel anxious and can’t fall asleep. There are many reasons for these periods, but it is important to fall asleep when feeling anxious because this will help you get back on track the next day. This article will discuss tips that people have found helpful in falling asleep while feeling anxious to find your solution.

 

Start by taking deep breaths. Hold it for three more, and let the breath out for another six seconds. Repeat this process until you feel relaxed enough to fall asleep. You can also try focusing on your heartbeat or counting down from 100 backward.

 

No matter how anxious you are feeling, don’t eat or drink anything that can dehydrate you. This includes caffeine and alcohol, both stimulants that will make it harder for your body to relax enough to fall asleep.

 

Do not let your mind wander. Try using a meditation app or listening to relaxing music while deep breathing and counting down from 100 for this technique to be effective. You can also think about other things going on in your life, but don’t stress yourself out by thinking about anything negative.

 

Do not look at your phone or tablet before bed. The blue light that these screens emit will keep you up longer than you think! If possible, try using a computer instead of a mobile device. Some people have found success in wearing blue blockers while drifting off to sleep as well! Either way, the goal is for your eyes to be relaxed when trying these different techniques.

 

Consider writing down your thoughts in a journal or diary for ten minutes before going to sleep. This can help you clear out any anxious feelings that may be preventing you from falling asleep because it helps put them into words instead of holding them inside your mind. You can also say your thoughts aloud or to a pet, but avoid doing this if you have someone sleeping next to you as it may wake them up!

 

If you still feel anxious after trying these steps, try to distract yourself by reading a book or listening to music. If that doesn’t work, get up and do some light stretching until your muscles are relaxed enough for sleep. You can also try herbal tea! There are many kinds available at the grocery store with different scents and flavors to help you relax. Try to think about something else until the anxiety subsides, or try writing down your thoughts in a journal which will be helpful for the next day.

 

If none of these options work, you can always try a hot bath or shower to help your body relax. Put some calming essential oils in the water along with something that smells good and has a light scent like lavender. This will help calm any anxiety you may be feeling while also helping yourself feel relaxed enough to fall asleep! Make sure those essential oils don’t contain any caffeine, as this could have the opposite effect.

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Passive Aggressive Phrases to Avoid

Passive-aggressive language may feel like you are saying the right thing by disguising how you really feel. Unfortunately, it does more harm than good when people pick up on your true feelings. Using certain phrases can also chip away at your loved one’s self-esteem while making them question your honesty. Watching out for these common passive-aggressive phrases helps you to communicate more clearly.

“I Don’t Want to Be Rude, But…”

Just the fact that you are saying this tells the other person that you know you are being rude. This phrase also turns the negativity into the other person’s problem by making them feel like getting upset is wrong since you supposedly are just trying to help. If you feel the need to say this, then stop for a moment and think about whether or not the person needs to hear what you are about to tell them.

“You’re So Lucky to Win That Award”

There are times when being lucky is good. Winning the lottery is an example of having luck over earning an achievement through hard work. However, you never want to attribute someone’s promotion, sports award, or other achievements to pure luck. Try to mention something that you’ve noticed contributed to the success. At the very least, say that you are proud and congratulate them on their achievement.

“Stop Being so Sensitive”

This comment comes up as one of the most commonly used phrases that people say to their spouse or other family members. Saying this makes the issue the other person’s fault and discredits their emotions. It is normal for people to get upset or even cry during a disagreement. Asking why they are upset and working together to find ways to solve the problem works better than making them feel ashamed of their emotions.

“Well, if That’s What You Want to Do”

You can catch yourself using this phrase by listening to your tone. Not only are you likely using a snarky tone of voice, but this phrase is laden with judgment. You’re essentially saying that you don’t agree with the other person’s choice at all but will tolerate it. You’ll get a better result by stating your disinterest in an activity but letting the other person know you’ll do it. Or, you can ask them for alternative ideas until you find one that you can both agree on.

No one’s perfect, and it is likely that you’ll catch yourself saying these phrases occasionally. When you do, acknowledging the problem and rephrasing your thoughts works well for helping you to improve your communication. With some practice, you’ll soon notice the results of watching what you say as your relationships become more positive.

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Diagnosing Adult ADHD

There are many things about living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) that people don’t realize. This diagnosis conjures up images of a little child who isn’t able to be still. Most believe children eventually outgrow symptoms of ADHD. It is time for people to realize ADHD is a complicated disorder. Individuals will experience symptoms long into adulthood. It is common for individuals who had ADHD symptoms as a child to never be diagnosed or receive treatment. Experiencing ADHD symptoms can cause a variety of problems for an adult.

Executive Function Disorder

It is possible to describe ADHD symptoms as an executive function disorder. This is often referred to as the brain’s management system. It is what helps an individual to make priorities, set goals, and create plans then persist until they are completed. Executive function consists of three main components. They are the ability to control, the ability to pay attention, and prioritize. Individuals with ADHD struggle with each of these components.

Cause

The cause of ADHD is believed to be a deficit in the neuro-transmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. This condition causes individuals with ADHD to try to make up for the deficit by regularly engaging in behaviors that are dopamine-stimulating. They then experience constant mental or physical restlessness. ADHD is a condition that individuals are usually born with.

Subtypes

There are three subtypes of ADHD:

  • Inattentive-disorganized individuals who want mental stimulation
  • Individuals with impulsive ADHD who try to obtain stimulation within their physical environment
  • Individuals with a combination of ADHD subtypes and try to obtain stimulation with a mixture of the other two

Underemployed

It is common for individuals with ADHD to be underemployed based on their abilities. They may often struggle to perform at a position that fits them. These people struggle to keep up because they can’t multitask. They may not get projects done on time because of being distracted by a phone call or email, and more. People with ADHD are usually too busy trying to engage in mental or physical stimulation or exhausted from the effort to control their impulses. They often have no energy to focus.

Any person who believes they may have adult ADHD should try to get an evaluation. When this is done, people feel better. They can then develop ways to work through their struggles. There is a lot of confusion concerning how ADHD appears in adults. People who feel they may have ADHD need to find an expert who has significant experience with evaluating adults for ADHD.

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Learning to Forgive: Tips on How

Forgiveness is a healing process. Research suggests that practicing forgiveness leads to less stress, lower levels of depression, better self-esteem, and more satisfaction in life. Though it’s beneficial, it’s not easy, especially if the hurt runs deep. If you want to forgive, you must do the work to move past your resentment and pain.

Decide to forgive. Make a commitment to the process. Keep in mind that forgiving doesn’t necessarily mean keeping someone in your life. You can forgive a toxic person without remaining in a relationship with him or her.

Process your emotions in positive ways. You’re allowed to be hurt. However, if you’re serious about forgiving the person who hurt you, you must move beyond the desire to hurt them back. Rather than lashing out or turning your pain inward on yourself, find healthy ways to cope. Talk to a therapist. Start an art journal. Take up a sport that gets your endorphins pumping.

Use the REACH method of forgiveness. REACH stands for recall, emphasize, altruism, commit, and hold. Recall means thinking objectively about what hurt you. Don’t block your emotions, but don’t dwell on them either. Emphasis requires you to see things from the other person’s perspective. Note that this doesn’t mean downplaying their negative actions.

For altruism, you acknowledge that forgiveness is a gift you’re giving to the other person — and that it’s a gift that others have given to you. Commit means making a firm decision to forgive. Write your intention down somewhere concrete. No one has to see it but you. Next, hold firm to your forgiveness. Forgiving someone isn’t always an immediate thing; it can take time, and you might experience negative emotions for a while. This step means that you’ll remember your desire to forgive when those negative feelings arise.

Remember the positives. No one is all bad or all good. The person who hurt you has flaws, but they also have positive attributes. What are they? Take some time to think about or even write down their good traits. What made you care about them in the beginning? When negative feelings begin to surface, replace those thoughts with positive memories.

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What to Know About Imposter Syndrome

It is human nature to experience self-doubt in certain situations. Many people suffer from a more extreme version of this known as imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome is a state where a person has constant doubt of their ability to do certain things. These could be anything from performing a task, handling a situation, sustaining relationships with others, and more. The syndrome brings internal self-doubt resulting in fear and worry of others as being incapable or being found out as a  fraud. Anyone can have imposter syndrome, although it is common in overachievers.

People with imposter syndrome often don’t realize what they’re struggling with. Imposter syndrome manifests what may feel like normal feelings and reactions to certain situations. However, the more self-doubt they experience, the more they plunge deeper into believing in their apparent belief that they may fail in something expected of them.

Imposter Syndrome in Friendships

A person may experience imposter syndrome in everyday relationships with friends and family. They may feel inadequate to their friends, prompting them to believe they cannot be who their friendship circles expect them to be. As a result, such people have low self-esteem and tend to have a different persona when with other people. It is dangerous as they continue to feel like an imposter, prompting them to withdraw from friendships altogether.

Some people suffer from social anxiety, but this does not necessarily mean that they have imposter syndrome. There is a slight difference between the two, but social anxiety is temporary, and these individuals may not experience these feelings away from a social setting. People with social anxiety have a lot of self-doubt in social settings, but they don’t necessarily fear failure.

In workplace settings, people with imposter syndrome may lack confidence at work and constantly fear being seen as incapable. As if this is not enough, even when they succeed, they might still worry that other people may not find them deserving of this success and accomplishment.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

There is no easy way to overcome imposter syndrome, and it requires a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy, positive affirmations, and conscious effort to replace negative thoughts with positive alternatives.

One of the best ways to do this is to identify their strengths and unique qualities and capitalize on them. Being conscious about these helps grow confidence which gives reassurance when feelings of self-doubt begin to manifest.

In extreme cases, a person may seek professional help if the negative thoughts persist.

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Why Avoiding Toxic Positivity is Important

It is becoming increasingly popular to always look on the bright side of life, no matter what happens. Never acknowledging that bad things do happen in life can have many negative consequences on someone’s life, however. The following guide gives you a few reasons why you may want to try to avoid toxic positivity in your life.

Toxic Positivity Can Cause Mental Health Struggles

When you are going through a difficult situation in life, and someone tells you to “look on the bright side” this can affect you in a negative way mentally. It can make you question if the feelings you have are selfish, are unnecessary, or are childish. It’s okay to have negative emotions from time to time. While you don’t want to dwell on them nonstop, having negative emotions is normal and healthy. Squelching these emotions can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, which can also affect your life negatively.

Toxic Positivity Can Create a False Sense of Security

Trying to always see things in a positive light can instill a feeling that everything should be great all the time. When something goes wrong, it can limit the feelings of responsibility someone has, which can give them a false sense of entitlement. It can make someone feel as though they are owed the positive things in life and when they don’t occur, it can lead to someone thinking they did something wrong, weren’t good enough, or cause them to blame someone else for their problems.

Toxic Positivity Can Cause Social Awkwardness

Being around people who are positive all the time can create social awkwardness. It can make you feel as though you have to hide negative feelings when they occur out of a fear of letting someone down or feeling you’ll be judged. Not being able to share your feelings openly and honestly causes things to become bottled up inside which is not a healthy way to live life. Avoiding toxic positivity isn’t always easy to do. You may need to limit your social interaction to people who live a more realistic way of life and don’t always try to find the good in everything that happens. Limiting social media allows you to avoid being exposed to toxic positivity unexpectedly and can help to provide you with time to process the way you feel about something in a healthy way.

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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.

Alternative Ways to Cope with Failure

Failure is an inevitable part of life every single person faces. It’s easy to get into your own head and think of every reason as to why and how failure occurred, which can spiral into some intense negative thinking. Anxiety and depression easily creep in when one doesn’t accomplish their goals, so coping with failure properly is all about knowing how to handle outcomes. Luckily, there is a proper way to handle failure rather than screaming into a pillow in agony.

Finding the Good

There is a silver lining to every single thing that happens in a person’s life. Losing a job could open the door for possibly getting a new, better job. Not getting into the dream college could make way for potentially going to a better college. It’s all about finding reasons to keep going because there is a silver lining in every situation. Failure can hit hard depending on how meaningful a certain dream may have been, but it doesn’t have to be impossible to seek the good.

Having New Goals

Being somebody who can jump up and start anew is the kind of person everybody should aim to be. Life can take some twists and turns, and certain goals can take a dive for the worst when things don’t go a certain way. Don’t be scared to reach for new dreams, have new goals, and find new ways to grow as a person. Creating new goals will help anyone cope with the loss of their previous dreams.

Reframing the Idea of Failure

The things people say to themselves can dictate how they end up feeling when things don’t go their way. They’re hard on themselves and refuse to take no for an answer. Reframing thoughts in regards to failure is the way to cope. It’s about acknowledging that this isn’t the end of the world. Putting their best foot forward is all that matters.

 

These are powerful new approaches to failure that can make it easier when things don’t go a certain way. It doesn’t have to end in bitterness or anger. Anyone can reframe their mind from anger to gratitude and being able to see the good in any situation. Just a switch can make a difference.