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.

Breaking the Structural Stigma of Mental Health Issues

Mental health is a topic everyone speaks about on a daily basis. It’s all about self-esteem, intellectuality, and how one behaves socially. It affects how they see themselves. It’s a determination of how they:

  • Handle anxiety
  • Relate to others
  • Make choices

Mental health is essential for everyone in every phase of life.

Mental health stigma refers to a state where one is viewed negatively because of their different traits or characteristics. It’s a disadvantage as people perceive those negatively suffering from mental health. People make negative remarks directly or indirectly to those who suffer from mental health. The following are some ways of breaking the stigma.

1. Treatment

Many fear getting treatment because they don’t want to admit they need it and will be labeled as suffering from mental health. The therapy provides satisfaction by establishing the problem, which decreases symptoms that intervene with everyday life.

2. Letting Go of Self-Doubt and Humiliation

Admitting that you’re suffering from mental health is a way of reducing stigma. Many believe that the condition portrays weakness and they can control it without help. It’s best to seek treatment, expound more on mental health and interact with those who suffer from it. It helps in gaining self-confidence and stops them from judging negatively.

3. Be More Interactive

Those who suffer from mental health are usually introverts and don’t like to talk about their feelings. But they should be extroverts and reach out to family, friends, or any trusted person to talk about their feelings. This helps in getting support, understanding, and empathy.

4. Be Part of Support Groups

Support groups educate those suffering from mental health to society, family, and friends by having programs. It creates awareness of what they should do when one suffers from mental health.

Let people be aware that they can always reach out to talk about how they feel. Don’t be judgmental because it can lead to worse things like suicide. Always listen to and help those who suffer from mental health in any way possible. Let’s break the stigma of mental health, create awareness, educate more on mental health, and never take it for granted.

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The Impacts of Distance Learning on Mental Health

Spring Semester 2020 was the last time many students were physically inside of a classroom. With on-going spikes of the Covid-19 pandemic, many institutions have had to resort to unorthodox and sometimes drastic measures to ensure the safety of the students, staff, and community. Whether in-person or distance learning, both have had substantial effects on the mental health of those involved, and neither offers an ideal substitution of what was once normal.

In many locations, distance learning has been the only option offered as communities struggle to control climbing infection rates. With much focus on the virus, the importance of students’ mental well-being seems to hardly be a pressing topic. Increased academic workloads to compensate for in-person instruction have become a typical complaint among students coupled with fewer resources and quality hands-on instruction; specifically with math and science. In addition to the coursework, isolation has been another major issue with distance learning, specifically with secondary and college-aged students. Students at this age are developing much of their identity through social interaction. During this time, they learn to work in a societal unit and form peer bonds, all of which are hindered by the current lack of peer contact. As mentioned in an article by The Higher Education, Wellness and Mental Health in 2020 Online Learning, this can cause anxiety and depression. In some rare instances, even suicides have been attributed to the isolation of distance learning.

In-person learning comes with its own set of problems. Mask mandates, solitary seating, and plexiglass desk shields are hardly part of the typical school landscape. Back to back quarantines have contributed to the feelings of isolation coupled with instructional inconsistencies as students navigate in-person and distance learning. In addition to the academic toll, extracurricular activities have also been crippled due to frequent cancellations. Missed proms, graduations, and other milestones are leaving many students resentful and angry. All of these things can be detrimental to a developing adolescent mind and have also been linked to cases of anxiety, depression, and suicide.

The long-term effects of distance learning on mental health haven’t yet fully been observed, but like past adaptations that have shaped a generation, this will also be studied and discussed in future classrooms; perhaps even virtually.

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How Nature Impacts Mental Health

Scientific research shows that the environment can help relieve stress, which later impacts our lifestyle positively. What you are hearing, seeing, or experiencing at any moment has a significant impact on how your nervous systems, immune system, and endocrine works. An unappealing environment can cause one to feel sad, helpless, and anxious. Feeling anxious increases blood pressure, muscle tension, heartbeat and suppresses the immune system.

Regardless of one’s age, social status, or culture, we all find nature pleasing. According to a recent survey, numerous people retreat to a natural setting whenever they feel stressed.

Here are the benefits of nature on mental health.

Nature Restores

Research shows that many people’s mood improves after spending time in nature. The outside environment can change one’s mood from stressed, depressed, and anxious to more balanced and calmer. Spending time in nature is associated with psychological wellbeing, positive mood, vitality, and meaningfulness.

Frequently viewing nature scenes elevates our ability to be attentive. The reason behind this argument is because humans find nature interesting. Time in nature allows our minds to rejuvenate, refreshing us for new explorations.

Nature Soothes

Scientists have proven that nature assists humans in dealing with pain. It is argued that our minds are naturally programmed to find plants, water bodies, trees, and other natural elements attractive. Therefore, these natural elements distract us from discomfort, pain, and anxiety.

Nature Heals

It is proven that viewing nature scenes reduces stress, fear, and anger and elevates pleasant feelings. Spending time in nature enhances physical wellbeing as well as emotional wellbeing. In turn, it reduces heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and secretion of stress hormones. Research shows that even house plants can go a long way in reducing anxiety and stress.

Nature Connects

Nature can help us connect with other people. There is a large number of people who met each other when viewing nature scenes. In research conducted by the University of Illinois, people who lived in apartments with green spaces were found to care more about their neighbors, had a feeling of unity, and were more concerned about helping others than people who didn’t have trees and plants in their building. Additionally, natures equip people with the energy to deal with life demands.

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Global Mental Health Outlook Post-Covid

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. The virus continues to affect the economy and mental health services, especially in third world countries.

Covid-19 has instilled fear in people across the globe. They are afraid of contracting the virus, considering scientists haven’t discovered a vaccine yet. Moreover, people have to make changes to their way of living to reduce the spread of the virus.For instance, they can be laid off, work from home, home-school their children, and practice social distance. It is why people need to look after their mental health.

What Causes Poorer Mental Health

Anxiety causes poor mental health. How the government and media reacted to the news that Covid-19 is a global pandemic increased anxiety. World Health Organization revealed that millions of people had succumbed to the virus and that the elderly were more vulnerable to coronavirus.

People are also experiencing fearfulness, irritability, and sleep disorders. Not knowing the future of the pandemic affects mental health.

Due to the pandemic, people lost their jobs and, as a result, experienced indebtedness and acute poverty, which also causes poor mental health. As a result, many people are likely to suffer from mental illnesses or even commit suicide. According to a report, substance abuse and suicide contribute to the United States’ increased mortality rate.

The Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted global mental health. In most countries, people suffering from poor mental health can’t access proper mental health care.

How to Transform Global Mental Health

Luckily, there is a way to transform global mental health. The pandemic has created an opportunity for healthcare experts to shape mental health care. Here are three strategies that can help transform global mental health care systems.

Empower

This strategy uses various digital tools to ensure that healthcare providers learn how to deliver psychosocial therapies.

Champions

The strategy focuses on creating and training leaders who will improve mental health care.

Countdown

It evaluates how effective mental health care systems are and ensure that they are accountable. It identifies where mental health service is needed most.

From the above, it is evident why mental healthcare is important. Mental healthcare ensures social cohesiveness, economic productivity, and improved health.