Category Archives: Self-Growth and Self Improvement

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We Attract What We Are

By Jennifer Novak, Social Media and Content Director

When we go through the process of finding a partner, we are bound to have some ideas around the kind of person we would like to be with. Some of these qualities might include the physical attractiveness of the other person, their values, their beliefs, or their interests. Oftentimes, we desire to be with someone who is in sync with ourselves – someone who shares a similar mindset about life that we do.

What’s important to keep in mind is that when we go about trying to find that ideal partner, we need to keep our vision of who they are in mind. This is true for a multitude of reasons – we can lose sight of our ideal partner if we do not envision them clearly; we can find ourselves “settling” out of a fear of loneliness; or, we can find our own values shifting based on being with a person that finds us attractive – we can bend ourselves to the needs of another person.

In the below video, Bob Proctor talks about the importance of mapping your ideal partner in terms of the law of attraction – that is, by envisioning your partner and living life as if they are already in your life, that you will eventually attract that person to you. Take a look below and pay careful attention to the concept of mapping your partner – the act of listing out the qualities that you would want to see in the person with whom you hold a relationship.

Let’s walk through the exercise completed in this video together. Start by drawing your own circle and lines outside of it. While Proctor provides some great ideas for the qualities we would probably want to see in a partner, each of us are unique and place different values on different things. Consider for yourself the qualities that YOU most desire in a partner – what does that person believe? What are their values? How do they choose to spend their time, both with you and on their own? Draw as many lines as you would like and be as specific about these qualities as you can.

Now, let’s take a moment to stop the exercise. We’re going to explore something that came up in the video briefly, but it’s something I think deserves quite a bit more attention. Think about the people who have most recently come into your life – those with whom you’ve had a relationship that ended for one reason or another. What qualities do they share with your ideal person? What qualities differ?

The point here is this: We attract what we are. While we may desire a specific type of partner, ultimately who we will be most attracted to us are those who are innately similar to us. Those qualities in your ideal partner that your past partners don’t share, the things that you do not want to see in the person you end up with in the long-term? That’s the stuff we have to look inward upon – something about those qualities appear in ourselves and attract those who harmonize with them.

This is where we depart from imagining a relationship and we start imagining our ideal self. While this technique is beneficial for bringing a potential partner into our life, it’s also a tool for mapping out the things about ourselves that we will need to address before that ideal person will appear and before we are ready to have a relationship with that person.

Look at the comparison of lists – ideal partner qualities versus past partner qualities – and pick out three that seem to differ the most. Do these negative qualities in past partners shed light on things about yourself that you would like to improve in? Do they indicate a trend in who has been attracted to you? If so, you have a starting point – clear goals for self-improvement that you can implement with dedication and planning.

The work involved will be dependent on what kinds of traits you selected – article topics all on their own. But by having a clearer starting place, and giving yourself permission to reflect and accept the truth that this comparison of partners provides, you are moving through the early stages of a path that can bring you both self-fulfillment and meaningful connection to a future partner.

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Finding Inspiration in Mindfulness

By Jennifer Novak, Social Media and Content Director

One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is the time to step away from the busyness of everyday life, to create moments in which we allow ourselves to be immersed only in the present. We call this the gift of mindfulness. But why is mindfulness such a gift and why it is so helpful to create space for it in our daily routines?

It’s because mindfulness allows us to slow down the worries and trappings that our mind engages in when we focus on things other than the present or when we are too focused on what we must do versus what we are doing. Consider this: When we aren’t focused on just experiencing the present for what it is, where do our minds go?

For some, we plan – we think about our to-do list, the things we are concerned about over the coming days or weeks; or, perhaps we fear an unknown future. For others, our minds wander back to memories – the regrets, that “what-ifs.” While there is value in reflection, and there is certainly value in being prepared, a total focus on these keeps our minds away from a place of rest, of simply existing and appreciating the moment we are living in. It can be productive at times, but also exhausting.

When we allow ourselves to immerse in only the present, without intention or a goal of what must be done, we give our cognition a deserved break. We allow our mind, our emotions, and our body, a chance to recharge and refocus. These moments allow us to be better equipped to face our challenges, our to-dos – they re-energize us and allow us to move closer to attaining the things that give us purpose.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on where you are at today. Right now, in this present moment, where are your thoughts leading? What sensations is your body experiencing? Take a breath and pause, giving yourself the time to reflect on these experiences. Then, give yourself permission to take a break and watch the following, a Ted Talk delivered by the eclectic Tao Porchon-Lynch. We’ve selected this video because through the sharing of her story, Tao doesn’t just calm us – she also inspires.

One of the key takeaways from Tao’s life is a determination to focus wholly on what she can do, not what she can’t. It’s a lesson that we can reflect on once we’ve given ourselves the space to calm our minds. Ask yourself – how often do you find yourself focusing on the things you aren’t capable of versus the things you are? What feelings are attached to this: Shame? Fear? Regret?

In order to achieve peace, we must be able to move past our beliefs around our capabilities and shift our mindset to focusing on what we are able to achieve, of the goals that are possible. If this is something that you struggle with, consider the following techniques:

  • Journal regularly as a way of centering: For those who struggle with controlling their thoughts, try stopping and reflecting as these thoughts arise throughout the day. Write down the thoughts when they occur, what caused them, and what you did to reframe your thinking.
  • Mindfulness: At least once per day, review your journal. Once you’ve walked through the initial steps of centering, focus your attention on the issue of having these “I can’t” thoughts – process only those events and feelings, and allow yourself to accept that they happened. Don’t try to fix the issue – just reflect.
  • Redirect negative thinking: As you grow more aware of negative thoughts and have equipped yourself to understand the impacts these have, start the work of reframing: When a negative thought arises, turn your cognitions instead toward the positive. For example, “I can’t lose weight because of my medical condition” can be reframed to, “I can make healthy choices with my diet and exercise as much as healthy for my unique body.”

Through the above, we can work to not just shift our thinking, but can also give ourselves the room we need to truly grow into more self-loving people. Mindfulness and inspiration alone aren’t enough – we must also make a commitment to engage in these and be willing to do the work required to create positive impacts on our lives.

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Rethinking the Hard Times

By Orly Katz, LCPC at Everyday Counseling and Coaching Services

When you look back upon your life, of the triumphs you’ve celebrated and the trials you’ve faced, what perception do you hold of the hard times? For many of us, we tend to gloss over or avoid thinking about the struggles we have experienced. This might be because these memories are too painful to face, that we hold a sense of shame over mistakes we have made, or that we feel compelled to focus only on the happy times.

In this video, we learn about another way to reflect on the hard times in life, on those times that changed us, marked us, or made us feel powerless. Take a look below to see this perspective explained.

This video does a beautiful job of sharing a new way of thinking about our “scars” – that they are not something to be ashamed of, but something to be celebrated. That if we imagine that the troubles we have gone through have actually made us stronger, that we are empowered to see the beauty in these experiences and feel pride in our ability to survive and grow.

Unfortunately, at least for some of us, we’ve already engrained beliefs about the hard times in our lives. Maybe we choose to ignore these experiences, pretend they didn’t happen, or minimize how they affected us. Let’s take a look at a method for shifting our perspective about our past and actively switching to finding the beauty in the negative events we have gone through.

  1. Think about a time in your life that left a “scar” – an emotional wound that has stayed with you over the months or years. This might be a memory from childhood, a loss, a stressful event or time period. Hold onto that memory for a moment without judgement or analysis.
  2. Now, walk yourself through that memory. What happened? How did you feel when it happened? What were your thoughts while this happened?
  3. Think about the effects of this event – but instead of thinking of the negatives, what positives arose out of this? In what ways did you change, cope, survive? What gifts has that growth in yourself bestowed on you since this event? Make a list of these and make sure they are sincere.
  4. Next, share gratitude. This may not happen right away and that’s okay. If it doesn’t, engage in this process a few more times, always focusing on the gifts of the event until you feel in your heart true thankfulness for what happened because of these positive impacts.
  5. Finally, fill the “scar” with gold – accept that the event happened and that it has shaped who you are. That this event, no matter how painful at the time, has changed who you are for the better and given you an experience that prepared you for what was to come in your life.

As you fill your scars with gold, know that it can be painful and hard. Thinking about the past can bring out unexpected feelings. Take your time and know that this growth, while difficult, can eventually restore your thinking about hard times and give you a sense of fulfillment over all that you’ve accomplished by living through them.

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The Staircase That Is Anxiety

By Orly Katz, LCPC at Everyday Counseling and Coaching Services

No matter how laid back you are, how accepting of the present moment, or how well you manage stress, everyone knows what it’s like to feel worry or to be anxious. While many of us feel these moments of anxiety for only short periods of time, for some, the feeling of anxiety never quite goes away. If you haven’t lived with chronic anxiety, it can be really hard to understand how debilitating this feeling can be and what impacts it can have on the life of the person suffering from it. In this post, we’ll share how you can support a loved one living through anxiety.

In the following video, we see a great example of what it can feel like to have anxiety, and how, sometimes, this “anxiety staircase” can become a tremendous obstacle for the person living with it:

This video shares some hard truths about anxiety. The first is that the person living with anxiety knows that what they are worried about is often irrational. That they can see what it would feel like to approach life without worry. Regardless of this knowledge, and this is one of the most important points made here, is that it is ALWAYS a struggle for the person with anxiety to get to a point where they do not feel it, where they are operating within the realm of rational thought.

What does this mean for those of us with a loved one who is experiencing anxiety? Take a look at the below tips for supporting someone dealing with this issue:

  • Remember that the staircase is always there, but depending on the day, it might be much larger and steeper than it was before. This means that whatever issue is causing anxiety, some days this might be a small struggle and others an impossible one. It’s important not to tell the person with anxiety to simply get over this issue – they don’t have control over the size of that staircase.
  • The top of the staircase is usually visible… but sometimes it may be clouded. When the person with anxiety seems unable to see the rational “landing,” gently remind them that this exists and that whether or not they reach it that day is okay.
  • There will be days when the person with anxiety cannot climb the staircase. Maybe they’ve already tried and slid back down; maybe it is so overwhelming that they just can’t do it. Share your support with them, but don’t force them to do something they simply don’t have the mental energy to do.
  • Celebrate the successes. When a person with anxiety does something they were previously unable to do (even a task that may seem simple to others), give positive reinforcement. This is the fuel that can encourage those living with anxiety to push themselves a bit further every day.
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The Four Technologies of Magic: Getting Back to Our Roots

If we look at the ways that our society functions and how we are expected to act and interact with others, it’s clear (at least in the western world) that we have ascribed to a set of values that are markedly different from the way in which we evolved. These values, the ways we strive to live our lives, include things like individualism, order, and rational thinking. But if we look back in the course of human history up until very recently, we see that this simply wasn’t the way we functioned. In fact, modern society forces our brains to operate in a way that is antithetical to how our forefathers thrived in the pre-industrial era.

In this video from TedX San Diego, speaker Martha Beck leads us on a journey through her thoughts on this, including the specific ways our modern world forces us to go against our nature and what she describes as the “four technologies of magic” – those techniques or skills that we can use to bring us closer to embracing the ways our ancestors solved problems.

Let’s consider some of the themes of this video and the four technologies themselves – how can we take these lessons and integrate them into the way we approach our own problem-solving process?

First, consider the idea that we evolved from chaos – that human beings survived and thrived in situations in which we needed to be engaged with all five of our senses equally. Compare this to what senses we have been taught to give attention to, and which subjects to focus on – instead of observing the world around us openly, we have been taught to focus on one thing at a time and only through those senses that can give us information about our subject. What if, instead of trying to work through our problems with this “tunnel-vision” approach, we tried opening up our senses more fully and let our unconscious brain do some of the work? This activity is described by the first technology – wordlessness, or moving away from the rational part of our brain and allowing ourselves to perceive the things around us more fully.

The next technology, oneness, is described as the understanding that we are all connected to each other; that our bodies are bundles of energy interacting with all the other bundles of energy around us. Through this acceptance, we can start to understand that we each have a purpose in the world, and that it is impossible to attempt to solve problems individually, because we are inseparable from the energy of others.

The third and fourth technologies are imagination and forming – that we are capable of imagining something that has never existed before and actually creating it. These magic technologies are what allowed our ancestors to thrive long before the assistance of modern tools. If we can accept that we are capable of both of these and practice these skills in our own lives, we too can see positive change through them.

As an example, let’s apply these to someone who experiences anxiety. It might be tempting to talk away the anxiety, to examine it rationally. And this might be effective to an extent. But if we apply the four technologies, how might coping with anxiety be different?

  • Wordlessness: We pause and observe with our five senses the world around us, without passing the observations through our rational lens or trying to change things. This means simply feeling anxiety without trying to fix it.
  • Oneness: We accept that our anxiety is part of our energy in the present moment, and this energy is connected to all of the other energy around us.
  • Imagination: We take our observations and acceptance, and imagine a new reality – what would it feel like to not live with anxiety? How would we function? How would our days go?
  • Forming: We take the steps needed to reach that imagined reality, either by living our life the way we wish to or completing tasks that get us closer to that.

Through the four technologies, we can move closer to living life in a way that brings us a more harmonious approach to how we see the world. Try some of these and consider how it changes your perception of the events and people around you.

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The Tree Illusion: Individuality is a Myth

For many of us, one of the biggest myths we are told is that true strength comes from self-reliance. That we as people are most successful when we can show that we achieved success with the help of no one but ourselves. This is something that’s ingrained into our values and beliefs from an early age – we tell children to be self-reliant; we encourage people to value their own success over others.

The problem with this belief is two-fold: First, no one achieves success on their own – we all rely on the systems that surround us and the people who support us on our journeys, even if we still make our own, significant contributions. Secondly, the myth perpetuates the idea that asking for help is a weakness – that by reaching out to others, it is akin to admitting defeat. This creates a huge problem for those experiencing crisis or trouble coping – instead of believing in the power of reaching out, we feel shame in doing so, which perpetuates the other negative feelings we may be experiencing and can result in a much more difficult and painful time than if we felt comfort in seeking guidance and support.

In the following video, we see this comparison made beautifully. Take a look at how our perception of trees as individual systems is just as flawed as believing that we are alone in our own lives:

So if individuality is a myth, if we recognize that we need other people in our lives in order to be our best selves, what can we do to move past our old beliefs and embrace the role of others in supporting us throughout our lives?

  • Map your support network: Our first step should be to figure out who already exists within our support network – those people or systems that we can turn to for help should we need it. These are the people we trust, the people we can call if needed. We may have never or rarely used our support network, but it is there.
  • Identify the gaps: Once we’ve mapped our support network, we need to pay attention to those areas in our life where we don’t have the interconnection we wish for. Our support network should include people from a variety of domains – familial, social, spiritual, intimate. Who exists in your support network for each of these? What steps can you take to start filling the gaps if they exist?
  • Share gratitude: For those who are in our support network, we should prioritize valuing and maintaining those relationships as well. This can be done by simply taking the time to connect with those in our network, thanking them for what they do for us, and being there for them when needed.
  • Accept vulnerability and reach out for help: Finally, when we do experience times in our life where we need to “activate” our support network, we need to accept that it is okay to do so and actually do it. There is a strength in being vulnerable and taking this step, otherwise it would be much easier. This means actively confronting our ingrained beliefs and accepting that our reliance on others isn’t a weakness, but a gift.

Realizing our interconnection and using it to boost ourselves and others is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. By doing so, we can finally shed off the layers that keep us from truly connecting with others and finding the grace that resides in being part of something greater than ourselves.

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Louise L. Hay: Thoughts on Living a More Joyous Life

Louise L. Hay, a self-help author and motivational speaker who helped bring the power of affirmations to a broad audience as early as the 1980’s, has been inspiring people across the world for decades to live a more joyous life through a deeper understanding of their own inner world. In this article, we wanted to share a video collection of footage from a recent film she produced that presents some of the greatest collective work of this individual. Go ahead and take a look at the video below – when you return, we’ll highlight some of the key takeaways from this and consider how we can apply them practically in our own journeys of self-growth.

While this video covers several broad subject areas, the key theme here is pretty simple: if we want to to be happy, we need to know that happiness comes from within us. That doesn’t mean that we can be happy by simply willing ourselves to do so – it requires patience, courage, and a dedication to improving our abilities in this over time. But for all of us, it is possible. Let’s consider some of the main points made by Louise L. Hay and how we can incorporate these into our daily experiences:

  • Paying attention to our thoughts: Louise believes that our thoughts aren’t just passing reflections of the world around us – instead, she maintains that our thoughts are the main drivers of our experience of life. As such, we need to prioritize paying attention to them. Although this is pretty simple, most people ignore their thoughts fairly regularly. To start paying attention to yours, try this technique: When you find yourself lost in thought, take a moment to reflect on what those thoughts were. Do they represent what you want in your life? No matter the answer, take note of it. Even better, journal each day about these discoveries and watch for trends over time.
  • Doing affirmations: Tell yourself you love yourself. Speak directly to yourself about the good that will come into your life, every day, more than once. Imagine for yourself what the ideal journey for your life would be and tell yourself that you are capable of this and will succeed.
  • Be gracious: Have gratitude for the things you experience and receive and share that gratitude. Find the positive in everything. Tell people how thankful you are for them on a regular basis. When we send out gratitude, even for small things, we open ourselves up to receive bigger positives in our lives.
  • Know that your beliefs are choices: Louise maintains that for every person, what they believe is a choice. This may not be a choice we remember making, but how we feel about ourselves, others, and the world is something we choose to do – and something we can choose to change. Challenge yourself to think critically about your own beliefs – are these things that bring you closer to what you want in your life? If not, can you choose different beliefs?

By embracing the unknowns in life and understanding that we have the power to shape our future, we not only empower ourselves, but we also push ourselves closer to the path of enlightenment that Louise speaks about. This may seem a bit daunting – do we really need to challenge every thought and belief we hold? Not really. But if we can get into the practice of doing so, even on a small scale at first, we can help shift our thinking to a way that better supports our own happiness, thus bringing greater joy and satisfaction into our lives.

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How to Have a Better Conversation and Connect With Others

When we think about the ways in which we communicate with others on a daily basis, the act of actually speaking and sharing conversation with people may not be as high on the list as it once was. Instead, we find that most of our communication is digital – text, email, liking or commenting on status updates. While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with staying connected though technology, it does leave gaps in our human connection – without speaking with someone face to face, how close can we really be to them?

In the below video, Celeste Headlee tackles this issue head on by bringing to light the problems we have directly talking to one another and maintaining non-offensive and worthwhile conversation. Watch below and come back for an exploration of the ten tips she describes for being a better conversationalist – we’ll be exploring these though the lens of how they apply to our most personal relationships.

Now that we’ve heard about these tips, let’s consider how they work in our closest relationships – those with our partners, children, and dearest loved ones.

  1. Don’t multitask – This means that in order to truly connect, we must dedicate ourselves to focusing on the conversation and only that. It can be hard to do, especially when we live busy lives! What we don’t want is for our partners to think that they aren’t a priority – we need to make sure those we care about know that we care enough to invest our time with them.
  2. Don’t pontificate – Meaning holding back opinions that we feel are right, and being open to learning. This may be one of the most important tips in the context of personal relationships, because it allows us the space in a conversation to see potential for compromise and a willingness to hear the opinions of others.
  3. Ask open-ended questions – This is a wonderful tip for bringing out more fruitful conversation with someone whom we are trying to build (or rebuild) a relationship with. By giving someone else the space to think carefully about their responses with who, what, when, where, why, and how questions, and for us to listen to their answers, we dive much more deeply into their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.
  4. Go with the flow – Don’t stop listening because you’ve thought of something you’d like to say or ask. Let your loved one talk. If it’s that important, bring it up in a later conversation. Don’t disrupt the flow of speaking to someone else with your own agenda.
  5. Say “I don’t know” – Maintain your credibility with loved ones by being open when you don’t have the answer to something. Better yet, make a commitment to finding answers if possible and working through unknowns together.
  6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs – When a loved one opens up to you about something they are experiencing, they aren’t seeking an understanding of the circumstances – they are seeking an acceptance of their feelings. Focus on the feelings and provide support to those when you feel the urge to compare stories.
  7. Don’t repeat yourself – At best, this can make it seem as though you aren’t paying attention; at worst, that you are being condescending. Trust your loved ones to hear you the first time and only repeat yourself when it’s clear that hasn’t happened.
  8. Stay out of the weeds – Again, when it isn’t needed, avoid oversharing details that someone doesn’t really care about. Focus on the big picture and answer questions about “the weeds” if they arise.
  9. Listen – Pay attention to the person speaking. Carefully think about their words until they are done speaking, and give them time to finish their thoughts without cutting them off. Give your energy to this and avoid “filling in the blanks” with your own thoughts and beliefs.
  10. Be brief – While this may not always be the case, your time with loved ones may be limited – make sure you spend your time in conversation wisely, using it to build deeper connections and help them to feel the support you provide them.

When couples come to therapy, one of the greatest complaints is the feeling of lost connection, often as a result of not taking the time to have conversation. With the above, you can start rebuilding this in your own relationship or prevent lost connection in the future.

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Why We Need The Happiness Advantage

By Orly Katz, LCPC at Everyday Counseling and Coaching Services

We all go through points in our lives where we feel a bit stagnant. This might come just a few times for some people; for others, it may feel like a permanent state – always looking ahead, wondering what’s over the horizon, and hoping that the next change in our lives will bring about a feeling that often escapes us: happiness.

In this Ted Talk, Shawn Achor explains with humor and well-researched data the problem that happens when we fall into the habit of romanticizing the “happiness horizon.” Take a look – when you come back, we’ll talk about the key points from this speech and how we can use this information to improve our own moods and productivity.

In this talk, Shawn emphasizes the importance of embracing happiness in the moment – not allowing a promise of happiness to motivate us, but using this feeling in the present. He backs up this assertion not just with the reassurance that being happy feels better, but with facts supporting the notion that our brain is more effective when we are happy. Instead of treating happiness like something we must strive for, a feeling that is contingent on our success, we can achieve success more readily by feeling happy now and using that feeling to empower our own triumphs in life.

As with most things, it isn’t enough for us to say, “Okay, so if happiness is better for me, that’s what I will choose to feel today.” (Actually, while this shouldn’t be the only thing we do, this kind of verbalization CAN be effective in helping us to feel more happy). But what else should we keep in mind if we want to start living with the happiness advantage versus seeking out the happiness horizon?

  • Build daily rituals that support happiness: These involve spending just a few minutes engaging in activity each day that boosts our mood and encourages happier thinking, like exercise, meditation, and acts of kindness. How often do you do these things? How can you work their presence into your daily activities?
  • Share gratitudes: This might seem like a small thing, but it’s -one of the most effective techniques for “looking on the bright side,” boosting your mood, and connecting with others in a positive way. Every day, as often as you can, share with others the things that make you grateful for them. Tell your partner how grateful you are for their support, your co-workers for their assistance on projects, your children for how hard they try in school. This doesn’t just leave others with a positive impact on their own day, but it begins to switch your own thinking as well – instead of looking for what others are doing wrong, we instead see the ways that others leave a positive impact on our lives.
  • Shift to positive thinking:  While this is a difficult task, it isn’t that complicated. It means catching our thoughts when we engage in negative thinking, and switching our brains to processing events in a positive light. It means seeing the joy in our daily lives and focusing less on what could or has gone wrong. If you are living in a cycle of negative thinking, start by journaling each day – record your thoughts and feelings, without judging or filtering as you write. After a few days, look back at your entries – for those that emanate negativity, challenge yourself to see the positive and reframe. Once you’ve had some practice, try doing this in the moment – catching yourself with a negative thought and reframing as you experience it.

We are all capable of taking small actions to rewire our brains into thinking within a positive framework. By understanding the benefits and importance of this, we can commit ourselves to taking action that helps us feel better in the moment and more productive in the long-term.

 

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The Negative Impacts of Stress… and What We Can Do About Them

While there really isn’t a lot of debate on this issue  – most people know and understand that high levels of chronic stress are bad for them – this knowledge doesn’t seem to have much impact on our day to day behavior. Despite knowing that stress isn’t a healthy thing to live with, and that there are concrete actions we can take to reduce our stress levels and improve our mental well-being, many of us continue to avoid doing so.

In this article, we feature a video from Bill Cunningham that we hope will help push those who continue to live with chronic stress into a deeper understanding of the long-term health impacts this can have. Go ahead and take a look below – when you return, we’ll be talking about what we can do with this knowledge.

To reiterate the key point of this video, we need to remember that the negative impacts of stress aren’t just limited to feeling uncomfortable and less productive in the short-term. In fact, brain research has shown us that stress has chronic and lasting impacts on our mental functioning, including an increased inability to manage stress, increased fear, decreased mental functioning, and higher risk of mental impairments. While it may be easy to put off dealing with stress (after all, we’re so busy, right?), the truth is that we must start taking steps NOW to make a change. Let’s take a look below at some basic keys to stress management that you can easily work into your schedule and start reducing your stress levels today:

  • Pay attention to your body as you live your day: What are some of the mental and physical cues that indicate you are feeling stress? What are you thinking? How does your body react?
  • Once you know your cues, apply to those to thinking actively about what is causing you stress: When you notice a stress reaction in yourself, take the time to think about what caused it. Is it something in your control? Something that isn’t? Try to pick apart what is creating the stress response and let go of what you can’t change.
  • Use basic stress management techniques: While the video suggests exercise and meditation for these, there are a number of other things you can do, especially when feeling an “in-the-moment” stressor. These include things like deep breathing, writing down your thoughts, or simply walking away from the stressful event (if possible) to give yourself space. The important thing about stress management is that once you know what causes you stress, that you have a technique for each of those things that is effective in lowering your stress response.

Our final tip: Make stress management a priority. It’s a lot easier to say you’ll start doing things differently tomorrow, or next week. But this issue is so detrimental, so embedded in our day-today lives, that unless we commit to change and start immediately, we won’t break our stress habit. Take the time to understand and deal with your stress – your health, and your ability to cope, will thank you.