Not letting things get to you and taking life with a grain of salt is the answer to living a happy stress free life; it is when we don’t realize how much stress is building up because of holding things back, worrying about things and harboring grudges that many problems occur in life. When things are allowed to build up we get overwhelmed but there are many techniques that we can use to slow down, relax and take life that little bit easier when our feelings threaten to overwhelm us. If we don’t learn to take things with a grain of salt and not worry about every little thing and stress becomes habitual then it can have a severe effect on your health. “Burnout” is the term that is commonly used and you can burnout through problems caused by work, your lifestyle or individual personality characteristics. The symptoms of burnout can be varied but all have an adverse effect on health and happiness over the long term if you don’t change the situation that causes it.
A loss of physical energy
If you are continually faced with stress then it can have a draining effect on your body and mind, this will make you feel as though you have less energy and can make you totally lethargic. You may no longer have the interests you once had or the social life you once did, even the thought of getting out of bed may seem like too much trouble.
Stress leads to frustration because you may feel sad for no particular reason, impatient or even ever changing moods, this will eventually lead to you feeling as though you are losing control over your life or that you no longer have the ability to control it.
Problems in relationships
You may find that you are letting relationships slide, this could be because you find yourself losing patience with people around you, you have less interest in things you used to do with others or you feel you cant mix with people you used to like being with.
A pessimistic outlook
When you are feeling burnout it gets increasingly harder to become excited about life and the things you used to do and enjoy, your thoughts turn ever increasingly to negative ones rather than positive and you find it harder to look on the bright side in any situation. It becomes almost impossible to take life with a grain of salt and let even the smallest of things roll off your back and you gradually get deeper into a rut.
Tips to avoid burning out
- Learn a relaxation technique such as meditation
- Get plenty of exercise every week
- Make sure you eat a sensible and healthy diet
- Take time out for yourself everyday
- Learn to shrug your shoulders and cast aside anything that you cannot possible change
- Do something that you enjoy doing everyday
- In a particularly stressful time, relax as best as you can, take slow deep breaths and count to 10
Dealing with problem solving
We all come across problems that affect our life and we have to deal with them. However, its how we deal with them that can make all the difference. Problems can occur in life through mistakes that we make ourselves or through unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, whichever way they cross our path we should deal with them in the same levelheaded way.
Stay in control
There are basic ways in which we can help ourselves overcome problems easier when life throws them our way but the most important of them is to remain in control of your thoughts and feelings. Remember that worrying and getting upset about any situation wont change the situation in any way, it won’t make it go away by magic. Try to think of problems as challenges that arise, tests that are put in our path to see how we deal with them and overcome them.
It is all about how we deal with problems emotionally that matter, our emotional state can take us through our problems if we allow it to. If you are prone to worrying when problems arise and allow depression to set in, you still have to get through the tough times, only they will be so much harder to get through.
The first thing you have to understand is that you don’t have to understand the cause of the problem in order to solve it and get past it. If only I knew why? Is the first question that many of us ask when faced with difficulty, but knowing why doesn’t change anything. The solution to the problem lies ahead not behind and this is the way you should be looking, don’t spend energy trying to figure why, spend it focusing on looking for the solution.
Don’t spend anymore than 20% of your time on focusing on the problem and wondering why; do spend 80% on figuring out a solution to the problem. The only question you need to ask yourself is “what am I going to do about it?”
When problems get you down
If problems are getting you down remember that everyday is a new day, while life seems to be throwing many problems your way right now it doesn’t mean it will tomorrow. Leave the past where it belongs and only concentrate on the future and it getting brighter day-by-day.
To lift yourself up out of the blues ask yourself “what is happening in my life right now that I have to be grateful for?” if you sit down and think deeply about this, no matter how many problems you seem to have right now there is always something which you should be grateful for.
So dealing with solving problems is all about how you look at them, face them head on and don’t shrink from them in despair. Focus on obtaining a solution for solving the problem and then go for it full steam ahead until you have dealt with it and got through it.
How to Beat the Bad Day Blues
Whenever you have a bad day for whatever reason, what you need to do is think. Think hard, but not about the misery or the misfortune that has hit you. You may be of the opinion, of course, the unfortunate events or experiences of the day are going to haunt you, put you under depression and mental stress, drain your emotions of their usual energy, kill your enthusiasm for life and spoil everything that you hold dear in life. In short, your negative thoughts may make your bad day seem worse than it actually is. Undoubtedly, that will be the case if you surrender yourself to the consequences, not otherwise. If you take control, you can devise ways and means of beating the bad day blues.
Since negative thoughts and emotions tend to overwhelm you on a bad day, you must think of strategies that thwart them. Turn to vigorous physical work out. Or, take a long walk or go swimming. Or, just get out into the open and sit somewhere and observe the plants and trees and flowers or the sunset, if it is sunset time. Read a pleasurable book, watch a funny movie or do something that distances you from the bad day situation, preferably both physically and, more importantly, mentally.
The good times
Remember the good ol’ days that enriched your life in the past, all the happy experiences that elevated your spirits and all those special friends and relatives who brought cheer and laughter into your life. Think of the good things of your life and be grateful for the blessings bestowed on you. Put against the bright light of your appreciation of all those better days, this single bad day or a small bunch of bad days will pale into insignificance.
Do not wallow in your bad moods and emotions because that is a sure way of plunging deeper into sorrow. A bad day will not become a good day by stewing over it. Remember that a bad day is just one passing day. It might have left a few scars on your mind and body but is important to remember that the pain is temporary. Time is a great healer. Today, just ignore the negative aspects of the day. Instead, look at the positive side of the bad event or happening that spoiled your day. Are there any lessons in it for your future? How can you avoid getting into the same or similar situation?
This does not mean that you start thinking about your purpose in life, your personal relationships, your career graph or your future on a bad day. The day is not suitable for taking any major decisions about your future life, because such decisions cannot be sound, given the dark background. Put off taking important decisions till a better day when you regain your mental poise and composure.
One simple formula that will help you on your bad day lies in the fact that your sorrows get divided and your pleasures get multiplied when you share them with your close friends or confidantes. You may try to overcome your bad day by discussing your problems with your close friends.
Any or all of these easy-to-adopt measures will be helpful in providing relief to you on a bad day.
Dealing with Disappointment
No matter how hard we try and how positive we try to remain about situations, we all end up having to deal with disappointments sometime during our life. We plan, we set goals in order to succeed in life but invariably, even though we give it our best shot, things don’t turn out as expected and disappointment sets in. Disappointment in itself is not particularly a bad thing; its how we choose to deal with it that can make a difference. If we simply choose to accept the failure and allow the disappointment to wash over us and quickly go away we don’t suffer adverse consequences, it is only when we allow the disappointment to linger and we dote on it that negativity and bad feelings can stay with us.
Some disappointment in life can be good for us because it allows us to grow and develop and practice thinking positively, going through disappointment and coming out the other side still wearing a smile makes us realize that no matter what life throws at us we can overcome it. Here are some tips to help you deal with and overcome disappointment when it rears its head.
- Realize that grief, stress, anxiety, fear, pain and suffering are just a natural part of life that we have to go through, it’s how we deal with it and come out the other side that matters.
- If family members or loved ones are causing you disappointments remember that no one is invulnerable, you cannot always live up to your expectations or yourself so how can you expect others to be perfect.
- When faced with disappointment instead of looking at it as though it is a bad thing, welcome it and think of it as a test or challenge.
- When things go wrong analyze the situation, see what you can learn from it and then let it go.
- If you are constantly running into a brick wall when trying to reach long term goals, remember there cannot be failure unless you give up, so keep trying until you get there.
- If you run into a dead end turn around and go another way, by staying flexible you are able to obtain your goal any way you can.
- Don’t except anything more from life than what you are willing to put in, if you don’t expect anything more, you won’t be disappointed.
- If you are having a particularly bad time overcoming disappointment it can help to talk about it, by talking about it and letting it out you realize that you are not alone when it comes to suffering disappointment.
- Patience can really be a blessing when it comes to dealing with disappointment, just simply let the feelings pass over you and disappear and get back on the right track.
- Don’t be conned by foolish and unreasonable expectations about life, if you are constantly looking for perfection then you will be disappointed for sure.
Dealing with jealousy
Jealousy is an emotion that can have devastating consequences to a relationship. Jealousy is a negative emotion that many of us suffer from to some extent; it is a feeling of emotions such as anger, hurt, dependency and self-doubt. Self-doubt stems from a fear of losing something, when in fact we ourselves often make this reality by our behavior and actions through jealousy. So how do we take steps to dealing with the green-eyed monster when it rears its ugly head?
- Become independent – you should only truly rely on yourself and never develop dependency on one person, focus on developing self-independence and on what you have in life, not what you don’t have
- Give yourself a confidence boost – treat yourself to a new hair-do, a day at the spa or a new outfit, do something to give yourself a boost in confidence. If your confidence is very low then attend a course on how to assert yourself
- List what makes you feel jealous – sit down and admit to yourself what makes you feel jealous, list them down and be open in your thinking, are they silly things that make you jealous? And do they really matter?
- Talk your fears over with the person – sit down and talk with the person who is causing you to feel jealous and let them know how you feel. Are they doing something intentionally to make you jealous? Or without realizing it? If the person truly cares for you then they are usually more than willing to make changes, especially if they didn’t realize they were causing you to worry and feel this way
- Take a good and honest evaluation of yourself – being honest about yourself and admitting you might have problems with low self-esteem or self-worth can be an eye opener and is the first steps to changing your feelings
- Study the person you are jealous about – look at the person openly and honestly, figure out what you dislike about the person and what do you like if anything, about them? Ask yourself if you are being unrealistic in your thinking
- Don’t magnify your feelings – unless the jealousy is severe or it has been with you for a long time then chances are it is only fleeting and can have occurred for many reasons, with any luck these feelings will pass over and your relationship will calm down. Until this happens try to keep your feelings under control and don’t let them spiral.
There are many self-help methods that can be used to help those who suffer from severe jealousy, these vary from hypnotherapy courses, audio CDS, books and magazines, any technique which can be used to help relax and calm you down can also be helpful, particularly at those times when jealousy first strikes.
Surviving the Winter Blues
With the summer seeming to be a long way off and the dark cold winter mornings set in many of us become affected by the season. Winter depression or the winter blues is also known as SAD, seasonal affective disorder; it is something that is thought to affect millions of people and it ranges from mild symptoms to the more severe.
So what are the symptoms of SAD? And what if anything can be done about it to enable you to survive the winter blues? The symptoms vary from person to person with it affecting some more than others; however the symptoms listed below are the most common with just the severity changing.
- Having problems with sleep is the most common, this usually is sleeping more than normal but not feeling refreshed no matter how long you slept. The feeling of not wanting to get out of bed and also needing to take a nap during the day is also common.
- Many people overeat during the winter months with a particular craving for carbohydrates; this of course leads to piling on weight.
- Depression very often sets in with the darker and colder days and nights.
- Despair and misery often affects the person with feelings of being “out of sorts” to feeling sad and tearful for what seems to be the smallest things.
- Social problems and problems with relationships can also creep in, you find yourself snapping at your partner, being annoyed by them and avoiding going out with friends.
- A feeling of lethargy and everything becomes an effort, you find yourself becoming increasingly tired.
- During this period of time you find yourself catching colds and other illnesses more easily; this is due to lowered resistance to infection.
- Behavioral problems can occur particularly in younger people.
The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder will usually start to occur from around September and can last until around April, but symptoms will of course peak during the darkest and coldest months.
It is thought the reason behind SAD is the lack of bright light during the winter months, which although the exact reasons why this happens is unknown, it is thought that bright light does affect the brain chemistry. With the knowledge that bright light or the lack of it does have this effect; the treatment used for those who are severely affected by SAD is to be in bright light for periods of time during the winter months. Vacationing in a brighter climate during the winter or purchasing a light box can achieve this.
Light boxes have been designed to have suitable bright lighting that is of 2500 lux at least, where lux is the measurement for brightness. To put this into perspective a normal living area is around 100 lux, the light however doesn’t have to a special daylight, full spectrum light or color matching light. If you are severely affected by SAD then there are many websites which can give you specific information on how light therapy can help you overcome the winter blues and where to purchase light boxes from.
Signals that could mean you are stressed
Stress affects people in different ways, but it is usually only the severity of the symptoms that differs while the actual symptoms remain basically the same. Some people are much easier to stress than others while some lose their cool for the slightest reasons, others can seemingly take a lot before the give in to stress and begin to show the common signals related to stress.
Stress can also be divided into two categories, short-term stress and long-term stress. Stress is generally regarded as short term if a situation comes up that you aren’t used to in everyday life such as an interview, an exam or going to the dentist. While the signals of short term stress and long term stress are the same, if you are only stressed in the short term these feelings are only with you on the day of the event or just before and quickly disappear once the event has passed. Once this has passed your body settles down and you think no more about the feelings of stress and anxiety and it passes with no trouble.
However, long term stress differs because it has the same signals as short term stress only they are with you almost everyday, constantly affecting your body and mind and developing into deep seated anxiety and panic attacks occasionally, if left to its own devices.
The common signals listed below could be warning signs that you are suffering from stress, either in the short term or long term and can vary from person to person in the severity
- The feelings of butterflies or knots in your stomach
- Feeling cold sweats and feeling very flushed or hot
- Your mouth feels as dry as a desert or that it is full of cotton wool
- Your heart seems to pound or beat much more quickly than it should
- Your hands may feel cold and they may tremble
- You lose the ability to concentrate and even think properly
- You feel a terrible feeling that you cant describe
- Your head feels as though a tight band of steel is encircling it and is pulling tighter and tighter
- Your skin feels itchy or as some people put it as though something is crawling beneath your skin
- You find it hard to settle down and often your sleeping patterns change with you laying awake for hours while feeling exhausted
- You sleep but wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed
- Your energy levels drop and you begin to feel lethargic and have no interest in the things you once did
All the above are the most common signals that you are stressed and that you should take steps towards eliminating some of the stress from your life or finding adequate ways to be able to release the stress from your body and mind. If your level of stress is particularly high or if you have long-term stress then you should take advice from your doctor as you may need medication to get you back on track while you develop ways to beat stress.
Signs that you are suffering from burnout
Burnout is a term that is closely related to stress. Burnout occurs when your body and mind are continually stressed to the point when you begin to develop emotional and physical fatigue. If you have been continually subjected to high levels of stress over an extended period of time it can bring feelings that eventually have an effect on every aspect of your life, you are then said to have “burnout”.
While burnout is related to severe stress, it is different from just being excessively stressed. Many people live for years with long-term stress without “burning out”. While signs and symptoms of burnout can be very similar to those felt when stressed, when you “burnout”, you have the symptoms of stress but along with this also feelings of emotional exhaustion and negativity.
The signs that you may be heading for “burnout” include the following symptoms, lower down the scale indicates symptoms you may feel the closer to “burnout” you become.
- You begin to have problems with your digestive system
- Your blood pressure starts to rise
- You begin to suffer severe headaches
- You start grinding your teeth consistently
- You begin to feel extremely fatigued
- You may suffer from heart problems or even heart attack
- You may suffer from stroke
- You begin to feel increasingly hopeless and powerless
- You begin to feel dissociation
- Satisfaction from work and life in general deteriorates
- Feelings of deep resentment build up
- You feel in a rut and there is no way out
- You become withdrawn and totally isolated
- You feel incompetent and a total failure
The end result of these symptoms show one as suffering from “burnout” due to continual and unrelenting long periods of stress, they are nothing more than the result of an extremely tired body and mind. At the time of actual “burnout” you will be experiencing problems not only at work but also with relationships and almost every aspect of what you used to know as “normal” life.
In order to prevent burnout it is important that you recognize the symptoms and try to eliminate as much stress as possible from your life. Stress management is essential to prevent burnout and using stress management techniques can prevent many of the symptoms. To reduce burnout or prevent it you can take the following precautions by making changes to your physical, mental and social well-being.
- Have a complete physical with your doctor
- Make sure you eat a health diet
- Make sure you are getting enough daily exercise
- Make sure you get enough sleep
- Learn relaxation techniques to deal with stress and stressful situations
Top 10 signs that its time to leave a relationship
Usually your gut instinct will be the first sign that things are not going well in your relationship, you will feel that something is just not right, that something has changed and it is not for the better. Perhaps these feelings will begin to show as anger and coldness where as before you felt kindness and warmth with your partner, these could be the first signs that something is amiss and the relationship is beginning to fail or it could be nothing more than just a stage in your relationship through which you will pass. So how can you tell which it is? There are other signs that could give you a clue as to if the relationship is doomed or if you will survive, some of the most common signs include:
- An increase in arguing
If before you agreed on almost anything but now you are constantly disagreeing and arguing then this could be a sign that things are taking a turn for the worse in your relationship. This could be more so if your partner is now forever finding faults and bickering about the smallest of things and disagreeing purely for no good reason.
- A decrease in passion
If you previously enjoyed a good sex life with your partner and this drops off for no apparent reason then this could be a sign something is not right, while some waning is only natural over a period of time when certain circumstances interfere, if your partner resists your advances continually over a period of time then this could be a warning sign.
- Avoiding one another
Of course you cant always be together but if you were close before and spent a lot of time in each others company talking, holding hands or cuddling and this begins to drop off to the extent where you are now avoiding each other this is a big sign that you are no longer enjoying each others company and a warning sign of impending doom.
If your partner suddenly starts flirting with the clear intention of making you jealous then this should be regarded as a warning sign, your partner could be feeling insecure and is looking for more attention or it could be a sign that they are genuinely trying to attract someone new and is losing affection for you.
- Interference from family members
If your partner begins to use family members such as children against you then this could spell danger in a relationship, bringing family members into it can cause nothing but disharmony and will drive a wedge between any relationships.
- Growing dependency
If your partner suddenly shows a growing dependency on you then this could be a problem, it could mean that they realize something is wrong between the two of you and are clutching to you.
- Anxiety or depression
If your partner is suddenly anxious or gets depressed then this could spell trouble, it could mean that they have unresolved issues and unless there is clear reason as to why it could mean your relationship is the main problem.
- Expecting change
If your partner suddenly wants you to change then this could be a sign something is amiss, they could be indicating that they aren’t happy with the way things are and that things are going downhill.
- Spending more time at work
If your partner suddenly starts spending more time at work or out with friends than they are with you then this is a big sign that something is wrong.
- Being secretive
If your partner starts becoming secretive then this is a warning sign, if they tend to hide things from you such as mobile phones, letters or start spending a lot of time online then they could have found a new love in their life.