Tag: psychology

5 Ways to Relieve Panic

5 Ways to Relieve Panic

Do you wake up in the middle of the night with your heart pounding, do you have problems falling asleep? Does your brain feel jumbled and your stomach nauseous?

Have you ever tried to pin down what is causing the panic and can’t figure out what’s causing it? You are not alone!

Here are 5 ways to help rid yourself of Panic:

1 – Allow People to Help You. Let others into your life. Working on tasks together can lessen stress, allow the job to be done quicker, and even create a atmosphere of fun instead of stress! For all you party givers… spread the tasks. Ask your friends to help bring food, provide entertainment, even hire a house cleaner.

Don’t take all the stress on yourself.

2- Hug! Hug your friend, an acquaintance, your family member, your dog, or even a teddy bear! Hugs are awesome stress relievers!

An article in Psychological Science (referenced below), states “Our findings show that even touching an inanimate object — such as a teddy bear — can soothe existential fears,” notes Koole. “Interpersonal touch is such a powerful mechanism that even objects that simulate touch by another person may help to instill in people a sense of existential significance.”

Oxytocin is released during hugs. Oxytocin provides an anti-anxiety effect. It can help provide feelings of relaxation and trust. See the below referenced article from Medical News Today.

3- Listen to Uplifting Music. Find a place of your own, take deep breaths, and immerse yourself into the music.

4- Think positively. Your prospective on the world around you really matters. Two difference people can see the exact same situation in completely different manners. Remember this, and think to yourself, how can I see this situation in a Positive light? It can definitely take some practice.

Before you go to bed write down at least 5 positive things that happened during the day. At first you may be pressed to list basic needs such as I had a filling lunch today, my bed is warm. Continue to practice and you will see your list grow. Was the sun out, did you give someone a hug , did you read an inspiring story? You will find you have more positivity around you than you originally thought.

5- Practice One Mindfulness. It’s easy, can be done most anywhere, and can take just a few minutes if you are short on time.

What ways do you relieve panic in your life?

 

Koole, S.L., Sin, M.T.A., & Schneider, I.K. (2013). Embodied Terror Management. Psychological Science, A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

(2015). Oxytocin. What Is It? What Does It Do? Medical News Today.

 

How to Overcome Fear #fear #motivation

How to Overcome Fear #fear #motivation

Don’t let fear rule your life. Don’t wait until it’s too late to understand how fear can hold you back and keep you from truly enjoying the world you live in.

“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.” –Judy Blume

You can take small steps to overcome fears. For example, if you are frightened of going to a new class (it may be at school, a new college, or even a knitting class or aerobic class) and interacting with all the new faces work to overcome this.

1-Choose a class you really like and sign up for it. Actively signing up for the class is a very important step to take.

2-Have a friend sign up with you until you are confident enough to attend on your own.

3-Each day, for several days before the class begins, visualize going into the class. Picture yourself as confident, holding your head high. Picture yourself feeling calm. Take time in these visualizations and really feel what you are picturing. If the classmate next to you says hello, visualize what you will say back. Practice your responses so they will fall freely from your mouth when the nervousness sets in. “Hi, have you ever had this teacher before?”, “Hi, have you ever tried kick boxing (if you are in a kickboxing class :D) before?”.

4-Have a good nights rest before the class.

5-Be a little early to the class.

6-Just before you enter the room find an alone place, in your car or on a bench near the building. Perform some breathing exercises.

7-Step into class.

8-Understand that others around you are also nervous. You are not alone!  That’s usually hard to understand, but trust in the fact that many people are more nervous than they appear.

9-Repeat the process again. Keep working at it until your fear resides. Remember this will take time. Continue to pick yourself up and try again.

You can do this same practice for walking through a dark parking lot, walking/running a 5K, whatever your fear may be.

If you fears are too large to overcome by yourself, see a professional that can help you walk through the steps to release your fears. Don’t hold back due to fear.

You cannot wait for the fear to go away on it’s own. Waiting will often create more fear. Visualize, breathe, and take action.

What has helped you overcome fears in the past?

SELF CONFIDENCE

SELF CONFIDENCE

Why is self confidence so very important in order to lead a happy, healthy life but yet so hard for many people?

One of the main reasons people snap at others is due to low self confidence. If you do not like yourself you open the door to feeling picked on. Low self confidence creates an atmosphere of loneliness, self hatred, and even health issues. If you carry these feelings around with you it’s no wonder you are easily angered or stressed.

This low self confidence allows you to take people wrong and take their frustrations personally. This is no way to live. Think of the stress relief if you can rid yourself of these feelings.

Think of how you react to people with low self confidence. You may not trust them or feel comfortable around them. You may find yourself finding them easy to pick on or blame.

Think of how you react to people with a healthy level of self confidence! You trust what they say and they make you feel comfortable. You will find inspiration from them and gain positive thoughts.

So How Do You Gain Self Confidence??

Self confidence shows in how you act, how you speak, how you dress, your overall attitude, how well you take care of yourself, the amount of eye contact you have, and in the fact you can admit to making mistakes.

Look through this list and pick an area or two you would like to start working on. What areas are you already making progress on??

1- Believe that you can be confident. Write daily affirmations. It takes time to get rid of bad habits, but trust me you can learn to be more CONFIDENT. Be patient with the process and take small steps. By moving forward, at any pace, you will start to see improvement.

2- Learn social intelligence. Social intelligence teaches you how to interact with others. Use eye contact, dress confidently, put your shoulders back and stand tall, learn to listen in conversations (you do not have to always be the one to talk).

3 -Watch for negative thoughts to enter you mind. Right away replace them with positive thoughts. This may be forced at first, but as you do this you will actually see your thought patterns change.

4-Write down your goals. Try vision boards. Pick a goal to start working on. Don’t feel you have to finish all your goals right away. Take each one, focus on it, and work to achieve it. Then choose the next goal.

5-Start healthy habits. Slowly start to replace some of the unhealthy foods you eat with healthy foods. Start exercising. This can be anything from walking, adding some jumping jacks into your daily routine to running or swimming. Your confidence will build as you take better care of yourself.

EVERYONE is DIFFERENT. Be proud of your differences. This makes you interesting. Hold your head a bit higher today and find the confidence that lies within you.

Peace!

Inside an Introvert

Inside an Introvert

Find energy from solitude activities?  Become drained after a few hours of social activities?  Often focusing on internal thoughts?  These are just a few common traits of an introvert.

Being introverted does not mean I am shy. I am quiet, not shy. If I want to tell you something, I will. I used to be shy, very afraid to raise my hand in class and talk to people that were new to me. It drove me crazy to be shy, I hated it. I gradually forced myself into situations to overcome shyness. But the introverted side of me stays. That’s who I am.

Introversion can be misunderstood as rude, selfish or standoffish. It’s not, I’m just not much into small talk, it doesn’t mean I don’t like you. We introverts can be great listeners! We really like to think before we talk so we are not usually the first to speak up in a conversation.  Get us talking about something we are interested in and we don’t stop talking.

I keep most of my emotions inside.  I know this makes it hard to tell what I am thinking.  But please know I do have emotions, strong emotions, just like any other person.  I just often don’t express them outwardly.

Extroverts and Introverts enjoy many of the same activities. We are not so different from one another. I like to workout but by myself, you may like to workout but with a group of people. I love going to fairs and festivals with a couple close friends for a few hours, you may find much more fun taking a group for the whole day.

On the other hand, I’m quite content alone with a book, walking my dogs, or taking photographs. These are the activities that energize me.

The world needs all types of people. Keep this in mind. We need quiet, deep thinking introverts just as much as we need outgoing, risk taking, social extroverts. We all create the wonderful world we live in.

To all you extroverts out there, we love you. We really do. You add excitement to social situations that we truly do enjoy. Just know many situations that revive your energy actually drain our energy – our brains work differently.

Every introvert and every extrovert is different.  We all have different levels.  Be at peace with who you, and others around you, are.

Create a Vision Board

Create a Vision Board

Vision Boards have many different names such as Inspiration or Mood boards. They are also called Treasure Maps, Visual Explores or Creativity Collages.

They help you define your goals and align your focus. You can include your immediate goals or your long term dreams. It’s your board, you can add whatever you wish.

They are normally created on a poster board or cork board. Use cut out pictures from magazines, ones you’ve found on line or photos you’ve personally taken. You can also add trinkets, drawings, or meaningful quotes. You could also make yours electronically and print it out.

Leave blank spots for new ideas or update the board as new goals come to mind.

They are really easy to create and fun to do! Take some time to relax and focus on the board you are creating. Keep your board simple.

The concept is to present yourself with images of who you want to be, how you want to act, where you want to vacation and what you want to achieve. Surround yourself with these images.

Review the board daily, focus on it, and reinforce it with daily affirmations. Keep your focus on what you want to achieve and put actions into place to move your life in a direction to make these images a reality.

Do Vision Boards really work? Many people feel they do. Visualization works in physical activities. Think of how often athletes use this method. Visualization helps train your brain patterns. I also strongly believe in affirmations. Seeing the same meaningful phrases on a daily basis definitely molds your thinking.

Creating a board may seem a little awkward at first, but give it a try! The results can be quite rewarding. What are your Thoughts?

Where is your PEACEFUL place?

Where is your PEACEFUL place?

Everyone should have a peaceful place to visit!

Mine happens to be a bit of a hike up the hill in the picture above, but once I regain my breathe it’s one of the most peaceful places I have been.  I can see for miles.  It’s very quiet up there except for the light breeze and the birds chirping in the back ground… and the occasional chain saw down in the valley.  Hopefully the resident mountain lion keeps to himself.  I’m hoping he (or she) finds it just as peaceful and is sound asleep!

Peaceful places can be a special spot in a park.  Find a place with beautiful foliage, lake or river.  Listen to the sounds, watch the ducks, and take in the fresh air.

Peaceful places can also be inside your house.  You can create a reading nook or find a room all to yourself.  Turn the lights down, light some candles, and take some deep breathes.

Your peaceful place may be riding a bicycle down an open road or taking in the air on the back of a motorcycle.

Where is your peaceful place?

Stress From Being Underemployed??

Stress From Being Underemployed??

A recent 2015 Gallup survey still shows nearly 1 in 6 working citizens of the United States are underemployed.  The percentage is even higher when looking at people with full-time work but feel underpaid or feel their status is too low. You may currently be underemployed or fear it may happen to you. You are not alone.

Underemployment can be a huge stress which can affect your physical and mental health. It can cause you to feel angry, undervalued, less respected, tired, embarrassed, worried, and frustrated. These are all normal feelings.

There are several different types of underemployment. A person can be underemployed in the fact they have part-time hours but want full-time, due to their position in the company, income level, type of work, blue collar vs white collar.

Most of us fear what people around us think. People need support during these times from supervisors, friends, and family. Your job does not make you who you are. People like to be around friendly, happy, compassionate people. Most people are not too concerned about your status at work. Keep that in mind.

You are OK. Continue to strive for what you want to achieve. Being positive and persistent will pay off. Your mood is contagious. If you want to achieve better employment attitude is a huge piece of the path. It’s important to know many people are in your shoes so it’s nothing to be ashamed about.  Pick yourself back up, hold your head high, like yourself, and push forward.

During these stressful times find other areas of your life to feel good about:

-What hobbies to you have? Maybe it’s time to start one.

-Find the positive aspects of your current job. Maybe you are under paid and your status is lower than desired, but is your job fun? Do you like your co-workers?

-Play with your children. Spend extra quality time with them. Enjoy them!!

-Play with your pets. Get a pet.

-Exercise and learn to eat healthy.

-Go out with friends or family.

These things can keep you busy and direct your focus to positive areas. They will help you remember you are a great person and your job does not define you. In the meantime, this lowered stress, lessened anxiety, and higher self confidence can help you achieve better suited employment or maybe even learn to enjoy your current position.

How do I Snap myself out of this BAD mood? – Affirmations

How do I Snap myself out of this BAD mood? – Affirmations

This is a question everyone asks at times. It should be easy, right!! Unfortunately that is not always so.

Affirmations are groups of meaningful words, used for self improvement, that feed into your subconscious.

Years ago I used to use the affirmation “I’m not as bad as I think I am” because other affirmations just did not feel up to par for me. As dull as this sounds it actually started working. At first it would only help for an hour or so, but anything helps when you are down. I would say it over and over again whenever I felt depressed. Now I never use this phrase because I feel better than that! I am a true believer in affirmations!!

No worries, at first affirmations may only work for a few minutes, but over time they will work longer. They are simple to do and can change your life.

You can make up your own affirmation or find one on line. There are even books written containing 100’s of short phases you can use.

You can use them to lift up your mood, bring peace into your lift, turn failures in your life into achievements, or even to rid yourself of fears. There are so many uses for affirmations!

SAY them to yourself or out loud, WRITE them down, SING them, you may want to do this one in your car! Use ones that flow for you and are easy to remember.

They can be as simple as:

I Love My Life

I am Peaceful

I am Safe

I am Loved

I Think of Happy Thoughts

I Love my Job

I Feel Appreciated

Change is Good

I Love Who I am Right Now

You may not believe these words when you start, but that’s OK. After you SAY, WRITE, and or SING them regularly you will start to feel the healing.  Be easy on yourself, it takes time.

Being negative is contagious! It will spread to the people around you. Someone has to make the decision to stop this cycle so why not let it be you.

What is Social Intelligence and How Can it Help Me?

What is Social Intelligence and How Can it Help Me?

SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE (also called interpersonal intelligence) is the psychology of how individuals interact with other people. New research has been found to show this interaction between people is rooted in a person’s biology, which I always find so very interesting!

A high level of social intelligence can greatly reduce the psychological stress in a person’s home, work, and social environments.

A Little Bit of History:

The concept of social intelligence has been around for many many years. Back in 1920, Psychologist E. L. Thorndike began publishing data concerning social intelligence. Thorndike suggested that intelligence be separated into three separate categories: mechanical intelligence, social intelligence, and abstract intelligence. Thorndike defined social intelligence as “the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls – to act wisely in human relations” (E. Thorndike, 1920, p. 228).

Another Take on the Categories of Social Intelligence:

Note: There are several different categorical breakdowns. It’s an ongoing debate.

Goleman, Ph.D, an internationally known psychologist and graduate from Harvard University, and known leading expert in the science of social intelligence, described a high road and a low road in the brains circuitry (Goleman, 2006), and has broken social intelligence into two main categories.

The low road operates outside a person’s awareness at a particularly fast pace. It uses emotions on which to base much of its outcomes. Goleman identified this road as “wet”, dripping with emotion. On the other hand, the high road operates at a slower, more methodical pace. It utilizes a lot more control than the low road. The high road was identified as “dry”, coolly rational.

These two roads are hard at work in every situation that occurs. At times, individuals do not take enough time to listen to the high road and will allow the low road to direct his/her actions. This is really important stuff to remember! Wait to hear what that high road has to say before you take your anger out on that customer service person or your family!

Goleman (2006) proposed two basic categories of social intelligence.

The first category is SOCIAL AWARENESS. This is what is sensed about others in regard to their feelings and emotions (primal emotions). It includes people listening intently to each other. To be socially aware one must have empathy with others and also have social cognition (understanding of how the social surroundings play into the current situation). Social awareness is being aware of other people’s feelings and thinking about the possible meanings of what is being seen. Empathy is extremely important in order to connect with others.

Goleman’s second category is SOCIAL FACILITY. Social facility is what a person does with the social awareness. It is the understanding of how to interact at a nonverbal level, logically deciding the outcome of social situations, and caring about how others will feel due to an individual’s actions. It also deals with self-presentation or being able to present one’s self in the most effective manner.

Becoming in touch with these aspects can really help take some stress out of your life!

As I mentioned above there are several other takes on how social intelligence is broken down.  I’ll add more information on that in the future.

Goleman, D. (2006). Social intelligence. The revolutionary new science of human relationships. New York, NY: Bantam Dell.

Thorndike, E. L. (1920). Intelligence and its uses, Harpers magazine. 140, 227-235.