Anxiety has become so common among people that common cold doesn’t seem that common anymore. Feelings of worry, nervousness, or unease about things are very easy to be found. Human emotions have become more suppressed with the want of succeeding in life, we have lost touch with our true selves.
We have become obsessed with uncertain outcomes that give us a feeling of anxiety. The strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen that is not even in our control is what takes over our rational thinking most of the times. We aren’t helping it with our habits either.
Our lifestyles have become so cumbersome that things that worsen our anxieties have become more acceptable. We don’t even realize what some of the innocent-seeming habits we possess can be the cause of our anxiety. Let’s discuss some of those today.
1. Irregular Sleep
Everyone is after busy lives these days, having no time to rest has become the new hip. People brag about how little sleep they get. It is sort of becoming a competition where we top the other person by telling them how little sleep we are getting. Having no sleep pattern messes up our body, this is something that we will eventually realize.
Working hard is misconstructed as late nights and early mornings, meaning no rest whatsoever. Another reason that people have difficulty falling asleep is spending time on social media with fear of missing out (FOMO) lingering over our shoulders – this has been seen to be a reason for anxiety in many people.
“The minute anyone’s getting anxious I say, ‘You must eat and you must sleep.’ They’re the two vital elements for a healthy life.”
Worrying about our work, life, and whatnot already makes it difficult to fall asleep for people with anxiety, now, add to that spending hours scrolling through various apps that cause more anxiety – the result is irregular sleep.
Irregular sleep doesn’t only impact our physical health negatively, but our mental and emotional health is affected as well – anxiety being one of them.
2. Stress and Conflict
Stress has become a great part of everyone’s life. There are a lot of things that have started taking over people’s will to spend time for themselves, even when free there is something to think about. Personal and professional are not the only worries for people now, economical, political, environmental, etc. all take precedence because of people becoming more aware.
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
It is a good thing, obviously, but we don’t know how to stop or when to stop. Knowing the line when we take our thinking to the level of it becoming harmful to us is becoming more difficult. Not only that people have been becoming less patient because of always being in a rush to be somewhere, but this has also disrupted communication among people.
Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said – conflicts are rising – important things are often lost and actual thoughts forgotten. The fear of saying something other than what you want to, of offending someone, of uncountable other things – stops people from even trying to put their ideas across.
“Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”
On the other hand, the ease of putting your thoughts out there easily through social media has also made people speak (or type) without thinking. Lack of communication can cause a lot of problems not only in your personal life but your professional life as well – so many people have lost jobs because of one wrong tweet they sent out without thinking. All of these things, make your anxiety worse.
Be mindful of what you put out and be mindful of what you let yourself invest your energy in.
3. Watching and/or Reading a Lot of Negative News and/or Stories
All of us have our fair share of problems. This makes starting our day with optimism difficult. Clearing our mind of negativity or negative thoughts is something everyone is seeking right now. You need a positive attitude to take on your day with vigour.
News usually doesn’t bring you happy things. Reading or watching News first thing in the morning isn’t a good idea because it somehow will set the tone for the day. There’s not much you can do about a lot of sad things that will be shown. You need to learn to not let it affect your day.
Some people fall into the rabbit-hole of reading or watching one sad story after another – may it be in the form of novels, articles, videos, audiobooks, etc. – this can often lead to us not feeling good about a lot of things. Anxiety reaches the roof as you go on reading. After you close the book or whatever it is that is bringing you the negativity, you can feel your anxiety levels rising.
“Quit sharing bad news and gossip you aren’t a garbage truck.”
If you are someone who doesn’t know when to stop when reading or watching what is wrong with the world or people or horrific situations, you might want to look for ways to not let yourself continue with the habit. It is detrimental to your mental health – it increases your anxiety which also happens because you become more paranoid.
4. Too Much Social Media
There is such a thing as “too much social media.” We have become so used to checking our phones every few minutes that if we don’t have our phones we immediately start feeling FOMO (Fear of missing out) which leads to anxiety. Following other people who flaunt their wealth will often make people feel dissatisfied from their own life.
“Social media is addictive precisely because it gives us something which the real world lacks: it gives us immediacy, direction, and value as an individual.”
People with insecurities can easily get their insecurities triggered which again leads to anxiety. This is why social media detox is becoming a thing. Social media detox allows people to gain perspective on their relationship with social networks. It also gives them a chance to deal with the anxiety caused by social media addiction.
5. Saying Yes to Too Many Things
You will often see “saying yes to things” in people’s goals list. The other extreme is a problem as well. Some people do not know how to say “no” which leads to them taking on more than they can deal with – overfilling their plates, biting more than they can chew – you can call it whatever you want, but it makes people more anxious.
Learning to say “no” is a skill all of us need to learn. Not saying “yes” might make us lose opportunities, but not saying “no” becomes detrimental to our health. Saying “yes” to everything also brings things we don’t want. Add saying “no” to negativity in your list so that you can learn to put yourself first.
“Learning to “just say no” to emotional reactions isn’t repression. Saying no means not engaging the frustration, anger, judgment, or blame. Without engagement, you won’t have anything to repress.”
When you understand that you are who you should be putting first, it becomes easier to accept or deny things. You don’t end up taking a lot more than you can do, and that helps you not be overwhelmed by things you need to do, which leads to our work not being associated with the feeling of anxiety.
We need to make lifestyle changes to make our life more meaningful and less stressful. You have to focus on things that bring more positivity in your life and help you achieve a state of mental peace. Habits that you form should help you become a better person, they shouldn’t be the cause of problems.
Learn to identify what causes you anxiety or even increases it a bit, and find a solution to either get it out of your life or at least find a way to deal with it better.
The Good Side of The COVID Crisis
I know you must be feeling skeptical about this; I mean, what can be good about anything that has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the world to a halt?
But there are some silver linings and corners of positivity in this whole scenario. Here we will list out all the good things that have happened or are happening right now due to the crisis we are facing!
Nature is Thriving
With less human activity and reduced water traffic, the waters in the canals of Venice are becoming clearer by the day. Fleets of white swan were spotted in the waters, a rare visitor over the last several years.
In Mumbai’s Marine Drive, schools of dolphins were seen playing around, as the ports were closed, and barely any water traffic and pollution were there to keep them away. Unusual sightings of dolphins have also been reported from the ports of Cagliari, Sardinia. Devoid of ships, as seen on a typical busy day, the marine lives thrive and have relief in the peaceful, calm, human-less waters!
Herds of deer were seen roaming around in Japan’s streets. With no crowds or traffic, the animals were seen having a gala time exploring the usually busy and bustling city streets.
More than 70,000 Olive Ridley sea turtles were seen nesting on an empty beach in Odisha, located along the eastern coast of India. These beaches, usually abuzz with human activity in the tourist seasons, were deserted because of the nation-wide lockdown in place, and thus left at peace for these turtles. While in Brazil, 97 Hawksbill sea turtles, a critically endangered species, hatched on a deserted beach. Moreover, a similar occurrence has been reported in Florida, where a high number of Leatherback turtles have surfaced on the shores.
In Canada, orcas have been spotted swimming further into regions where they were not seen venturing before. In fact, dolphins, seals, and other marine animals have been spotted in areas where they have not been seen for decades!
In Llandudno, North Wales, usually shy mountain goats came down from the higher altitudes and were seen freely roaming the streets of the town. Meanwhile, wild boars were seen exploring Barcelona’s city streets, an incredible sight in the bustling and one of the busiest parts of Spain.
In San Francisco, packs of coyotes were sighted roaming on the streets, whereas in Nara Japan, Sika deer were seen exploring empty streets and subway stations.
In South Africa, wild penguins were spotted roaming the streets, and in Argentina, sea lions were seen chilling out near storefronts!
With less number of vehicles, shutting down of factories and industries, the air has become cleaner in unprecedented ways. Recently, residents in Jalandhar, India, were able to see the Himalayas’ Dhauladhar range from their houses due to cleaner air.
Moreover, Delhi, the country’s capital and one of the most polluted metros on Earth, recorded good air quality index levels for the first time in several years. Other big cities like New York, São Paulo, London, Bogota, and others have also recorded better air quality due to lower pollution levels.
In Italy, air pollution levels have dropped by 40%, whereas China has also seen a dramatic drop in its pollution levels. According to NASA, the nitrogen dioxide levels in busy cities of China have dropped by 10-30%. The current crisis is also leading to the largest ever decline in annual carbon emission levels. This has led to some reversal of greenhouse effects caused by human activities in recent years.
Adults and children are all locked inside homes due to the forceful timeout created by the virus. Although it leads to occasional struggles, overall, it has given people a chance to reconnect better with their families.
We have been consumed so much by our busy lives and technology craving habits, that our family ties and socialization had taken a back seat over the years. The pandemic has given all of us the time to connect with our friends, families, and dear ones.
From doing household chores to bringing down forgotten board games, families are bonding in all kinds of wonderful ways.
For the first time in life, we as a generation are facing a common enemy. Everyone around the globe has never been united like this with such a singular yet massive cause.
The love, support, and prayers for each other across communities have brought a remarkable sense of unity and keeps reminding everyone in the crisis that we are in this together!
Now is the time when you can finally focus on yourself. From learning new skills to completing courses, reading, writing, or simply enjoying me-time, or indulging in your long-forgotten hobbies, the quarantine can be your long path of self-discovery!
This crisis has brought out some of the best of people into the frontline. From doctors and nurses striving daily, there have been thousands of volunteers worldwide who are helping vulnerable people with food, money, sanitization, and other necessities.
Many people have come forward to feed and care for strays and animals going without food after being abandoned by their humans or running out of their daily source of meals due to closed shops, fewer people, and empty roads.
It is a tough time where everything seems uncertain. But you have to search for positivity and keep your hopes up. Believe that there is a light even in the darkest corners.
Keep adding more such good things happening around the world, in nature, and amongst people. Look at the silver lining, keep hoping, stay positive, and spread that positivity all around you every day. Finally let me finish off with a wonderful quote that Buddha said,
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so let us all be thankful.”
7 Simple Ways Traveling Can Help Improve Mental Wellness
7 Simple Ways Traveling Can Help Improve Mental Wellness
Do you feel as if you are stuck in a rut?
From family to work issues, daily chores, illnesses, maintaining your home, and a hundred different concerns, the daily grind could sometimes take a toll on your well-being.
Having a change of scenery or taking a vacation can already do wonders for your mental health. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that traveling provides several benefits to your mental health.
Taking a trip could change your life for the better. In this post, we will talk about the seven simple ways of how traveling can improve your mental health:
1. You’ll discover more about yourself
Traveling helps you re-assess and re-invent your life. It helps you boost your thinking in a way that you never thought of.
Overcoming the challenges that come with traveling brings about a feeling of independence and a sense of control in your life. For instance, choosing which luggage brands to purchase from.
Going out of your comfort zone helps you build resilience, which allows you to learn how to cope with different situations.
Moreover, traveling and achieving these goals can make the day-to-day stuff back home easier to handle. Spending the time to fend for yourself while traveling, like bargaining in a local market or catching public transportation in a foreign country, could also lead to positive personal outcomes that build up your confidence.
Not to mention that it improves your overall life satisfaction.
2. It helps you increase creativity
According to Adam Galinsky from Colombia Business School, a key to increasing your creativity is to immerse and engage yourself in the local culture.
This open-mindedness helps you embrace various situations and could even influence your outlook in life. Moreover, because creativity is directly linked to neuroplasticity (or the brain’s ability to form new neural connections) it means that our brains are often sensitive to change.
New environments and experiences could influence creativity. Having your own creative outlet is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness. Also, the more you’re able to put this into good use, the better.
Immersing yourself in unfamiliar sights and sounds when traveling boosts your creativity.
3. You’ll be familiarized about other cultures
Traveling allows you to navigate, communicate with others, and to learn about different cultures.
Whether you are asking for directions in a foreign country while bringing your luggage, meeting new people and new friends, or immersing yourself in new cultural experiences, you will learn more about the world as you try to get around.
4. Makes you mentally resilient
Traveling and living somewhere exciting yet intimidating at the same time could toughen you up mentally and emotionally.
When you face challenges in an unfamiliar environment, it forces you to learn and adapt to something that is beyond your comfort zone. This helps you be more flexible on things and emotionally strong.
Delayed or canceled flights, and last minutes plans? Traveling helps you deal with bigger issues in life, with more patience and grace.
5. It gives you a change of scenery
If you have been struggling to find motivation at work lately or just ended a tough relationship, hitting the pause button and going somewhere is one of the best ways to restore yourself.
Although staying in a familiar place could bring a sense of comfort to others, it could also make you physically and mentally trapped.
Changing your daily routine and going somewhere will help stimulate your mind, improve your overall happiness levels, and could make you feel as if you are doing something worthwhile with your time.
6. It disconnects you from daily stress
As mentioned previously, many people travel because they want to break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Traveling helps you rejuvenate, destress, and recharge. That way, when you’re back from your holiday, you can put forward more great ideas and lots of enthusiasm.
Traveling also helps you take off your mind from stressful situations, leading to more cortisol levels, and making you feel more calm and content. It also helps you focus on the present moment.
Having a list of fun and exciting activities can add novelty and change in the form of new sights, sounds, and experiences.
7. Traveling increases happiness
Booking accommodation, finding the perfect travel destination, and packing your bags are proven to make you happy.
In fact, a study conducted by Cornell University found out that the process of planning and anticipating a trip increases happiness levels more than the process of obtaining new material possessions such as a new car or clothes.
The time to relax and do what you want on your trip significantly reduces your stress and increases your overall happiness as well.
So there you have it. After you have read about the wonderful things traveling does to your mental health, it is time to do your research and plan your next trip!
4 Benefits of Doing Yoga Regularly
Yoga is an excellent place to start a healthy lifestyle if your life has been quite a bit sedentary for some time. Even with health conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis, you can safely practice Yoga. With multiple types and forms of Yoga to choose from, you have the freedom to practice whatever suits you. Regular Yoga can help you become more robust and flexible by making it easier for you to do other exercises like dancing, walking, or swimming.
Moreover, it is also a great way to stay energetic and flexible. Your general alertness increases, and there is also a profound positive impact on mental health with Yoga.
With regular practice, you will gradually notice overall well-being and a deep sense of inner peace. Yoga frees you of all the worry, stress, anxiety that bogs you down and lets you proceed towards a more holistic and spiritually fulfilling self-development.
Let’s take a look at four of the obvious benefits that come from practicing Yoga.
- Improves poor blood circulation
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Reduces oxidative stress
- Reduces body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts
- Improves mobility in people with lower back pain
- Reduces risk for injury
- Allows better coping with arthritis
- Can slow down the advent of osteoporosis
- Improves the condition of people with limited mobility
- Reduces headaches
- Helps you to have better control over tension or stress
- Reduces anxiety levels and depression
- Can help you get better sleep, improves insomnia
- Relaxes your body
- Increases overall mental and physical stability
- Improves breathing patterns
- Increases lung capacity
- Improves lung output and pulse rates
- Helps people with asthma, to control definitive symptoms
Yoga is an excellent way to heal your body, both physically and mentally. It allows you to have the perfect blend of de-stressing and exercise in a simple yet effective way.
A healthy body makes a healthy mind. Regular Yoga can help you achieve health and fitness. Moreover, daily practice brings in more discipline to your everyday life. Especially during these testing times of the COVID-19 pandemic, when we are all trapped in our homes, a regular fitness regime that is easy to follow is especially necessary.
The best part is that Yoga is trendy, and you can always find guidelines for the correct postures. With many materials and videos available online, you can start your fulfilling Yoga journey any moment you wish. So what’s stopping you today?
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