How to Spot and Support your Spouse through Depression

You’re reading How to Spot and Support your Spouse through Depression, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

How to Spot and Support your Spouse through Depression

depression marriage

John* had seemed less like himself lately, and his wife Celeste* had started to notice. He laughed less, and when he was at home all he wanted to do was sleep. They had only been married for a few years, so it was very noticeable when John’s libido suddenly went down the drain.

Celeste wondered, what happened to her once happy-go-lucky husband? The guy who used to be the life of the party now just went to work, school, and hardly did anything else. She grew concerned. When she would ask him what was wrong, he would just shrug his shoulders. After a while, she took her concerns to a family member, who was a retired therapist. The therapist recommended that Celeste talk to John and help him get in to see someone.

Through talking to his doctor, John realized that he in fact was depressed. In the process, he also realized that a traumatic event that happened to a family member triggered his downward spiral, and then everything else in his life seemed overwhelming to the point of debilitating. Once the family member was better, and John had worked through his emotional issues, his depression eventually dissipated.

Along the way, Celeste was a big support to John. She tried to give him space when he needed it, but she also reminded him often that she would be happy to talk to him about anything. Sometimes while driving around town, when John seemed to be more emotionally ready, they talked about his feelings. She tried to take the burden off of his shoulders as much as she could. In the end, the couple grew closer through the experience.

 What is depression?

Depression is a very real mental illness and can be very serious. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, major depressive disorder affects over 14 million American adults; it is more common in women, and the median age for adult depression is around 32 years old—though it can happen at any age. Some people develop depression after a specific event, and others develop it for seemingly no reason at all. Sometimes depression resolves after a period of time, and still others battle it for their entire lives.

It’s hard when it happens to you, and it’s hard when it happens to your spouse. Sometimes the change is gradual, so you may not connect the dots at first. But then one day it hits you—something’s very wrong. As that person’s spouse, you are the one who can best spot changes in their moods or behavior, and you are the first person who can support them in getting the help they need.

 Here are ways to spot depression in your spouse and what to do about it:

 Know the Warning Signs

If your spouse has any of the following symptoms (info from the May Clinic), he or she could have depression:

  • Overwhelming anxiety, sadness, anger, irritability, hopelessness, or frustration over big or little things.
  • Loss of interest in activities/hobbies he or she once enjoyed, also a loss of interest in sex.
  • Extreme tiredness, also sleeping too much or having difficulty sleeping.
  • Changes in appetite to hardly eating or eating too much, especially emotional eating.
  • Feelings of guilt or loss of self confidence. Negative self talk and negative about most things in general.
  • Difficulty thinking clearly or remembering things; slow in speech or doing tasks.
  • Thinking or talking about death or suicide.

 What to Do if You Think your Spouse has Depression

One the first reactions we might have when we realize our spouse has depression is to ask: Why? It is an innocent question; after all, we are just trying to make sense of it all because we love our spouse. But the question can rarely be answered in a clear cut way. So try not to ask why, because the answer doesn’t always matter. Simply ask, what can I do to help?

First and foremost, if your spouse is in danger of harming himself or herself, call 911 or take your spouse to the emergency room.

If you are on the fence about what you are noticing, then the next step is to talk to your spouse. Timing is key here. You don’t want to bring up this touchy subject when your spouse is not in a state of mind to listen or deal with it. So watch for a good opportunity. Perhaps you can get a babysitter and take your spouse out on Saturday night; after dinner and a movie, when your spouse is more relaxed, ask how he or she is doing. Really listen with your ears and eyes. Then softly point out the things you have noticed. Help your spouse feel loved in that moment.

The next step is to urge your spouse to see his or her medical doctor just to talk about it. Many people dislike going to the doctor, unless they are in major physical pain. Point out that this is a similar issue, but it is emotional pain. Help them realize it isn’t their fault, but they can do something about it. Perhaps they will or won’t need medication, or perhaps talking to a therapist will help.

 Here are a few ways to support your spouse through depression:

 Learn Everything You Can About Depression

Read as much as you can about it, talk to doctors about it, go with your spouse to appointments and ask questions, ask others for their personal stories, join a Facebook group of people with spouse with depression, etc. These are just some of the ways you can learn about the mental illness that is plaguing your spouse. Not everyone experiences depression in the same way, so realize that your spouse’s battle won’t be the same as the ones you read about.

 Notice Triggers and Try to Reduce their Burden

In the story of John and Celeste, once they realized that his depression started due to a family member’s traumatic event, it was easier to talk about his feelings. After that, Celeste also noticed John’s triggers for negative feelings. If something went wrong at work, or he had a looming deadline in a class, or he didn’t get enough sleep, John’s depression would get worse quickly. So she always checked up on how things were going at work and listened to his concerns, she helped him with his assignments for school, and she took care of more things around the house so he could rest more.

 Always Offer a Hopeful Outlook

A depressed person has a mental illness. It’s not their fault, but they will feel that there is something wrong with them. They will feel as if everyone is judging them. Try to help your spouse feel your support every day. Give them a hopeful outlook. Reassure them that everything will be ok. Sometimes, all you can do is hold your spouse and stroke their hair. Perhaps some days won’t be good. But tell your spouse that you aren’t going anywhere, no matter what. Your presence will give them hope.

 Encourage Your Spouse to Continue Self Care

It can be hard for someone with depression to believe that they can get out of it. Some days, they don’t even have the motivation to get out of bed, let alone take the steps necessary to get better. Always encourage your spouse to keep doctor or therapy visits—drive your spouse there if need be, and sit with them in the waiting room. Encourage your spouse to take any prescribed medication—pick up the prescription if need be. Also encourage your spouse to do the things they once loved, and to get out and do things even if they don’t feel like it.

Depression won’t magically disappear overnight. It can take months, years, or it may never fully go away. The important thing is to know the signs, and support your spouse in the way he or she needs. In sickness and in health, you two are a team. You lean on each other during the hard times. When a spouse has depression, it can be a hard time, but your support will make all the difference.

 *Names have been changed.

You’ve read How to Spot and Support your Spouse through Depression, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


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5 Motivators to Keep You Working Toward Your Dreams

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5 Motivators To Keep You Working Towards Your Dream

Do you have a dream that has been with you for years? If so, what have you done recently to work toward it? Are you continuing to pursue it, or have you allowed your ambitions to be forgotten? Unfortunately, this is quite common, as many people have big dreams that they never actually pursue. These dreams are completely unique, and they could be starting your own business, pursuing a career in music, or traveling to an exotic destination. If you never take a risk, you’ll never enjoy the reward, so it is crucial that you never give up on your dreams.

You’ll Always Wonder What Might Have Been 

Do you have any decisions that you regret in life? Do you ever wonder how your situation may have been different if you had made a different decision? Perhaps it was turning down an acceptance to college to stay home and work or not asking a special person in your life out on a date. That nagging feeling of what could have been could eat away at you for years after you give up on a dream.

The way that you avoid that sad and uncomfortable feeling is to always keep trying and working toward your dreams. You don’t have to make a huge effort every day, but you should sit down to make a plan that consists of small and manageable steps that can help you work toward what it is that you want to achieve in life. Little by little, you can create a path that will eventually help you to reach your goals.

You’ll Enjoy Success Along the Way

For most dreams, it isn’t just a matter of the final goal. There will be other successful stepping stones along the way that you can reach. You can celebrate small achievements, as these small victories can help to drive you to your next goal. It is only a matter of time until your dream will finally be realized.

Celebrating small successes is a great way to keep you motivated to keep on the right track. Many businesses utilize this method to keep employees encouraged when working toward a major milestone. Organizations may also utilize after dinner speakers like Buzz Aldrin in order to help light a fire under them to keep moving forward.

You’ll Prove Skeptics Wrong 

When working toward any goal, there will be naysayers that try to bring you down. Don’t give them the satisfaction of watching you give up on your dreams. You can prove them wrong, so don’t allow negative people to infiltrate your confidence or your life. Whether this is a family member, friend, or colleague, these negative influences will thrive on sowing seeds of doubt within your mind, and by moving forward anyways and achieving your dream, victory and success will feel even sweeter.

Failure Can Also Be Beneficial

Failure is often the reason that many people choose to abandon their dreams, but it can actually be quite beneficial. You may not know that failure is one of thebest ways that we can grow and learn, and even the most successful people have failed several times before they were able to achieve what they wanted out of life. For example, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and Thomas Edison failed a thousand times before he successfully invented the light bulb. Setbacks will give you the encouragement that you need to push forward and to keep working toward your goals.

You’ll Set a Great Example

Think about the people in your life that look up to you. Maybe this is a younger sibling or you have children, or perhaps you volunteer with an underprivileged population. Even your own peers could look to you to get inspiration, so if you have a dream, keeping at it and not allowing anything to stand in your way will set a great example that those people can do anything, as well.

Consider how you want your family to remember you. Do you want your children to think of you as someone who abandoned their dreams to simply sit back and watch others succeed, or do you want to be remembered for your passion for life? By following your dreams and never giving up, you’ll teach future generations exactly what it means to succeed.

Remember that it is never too late to pursue your dreams. Regardless of how many times you have failed in the past, how old you are, or how long it has been since you’ve last worked toward achieving your dream, there is always time to pick it back up and work toward your goal. By making a small effort to get your dream back on track today, you’ll enjoy a wealth of success in the future.

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Shezagary has been a Project Strategist since 2009 and also involved in the launching of startups and tech companies in New York for over 5 years. She has keen interest in writing her own experiences about business plans and upcoming business supporting technologies. She loves public speaking.

You’ve read 5 Motivators to Keep You Working Toward Your Dreams, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


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5 Ways to Unwind From Office Induced Stress

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5 Ways to Unwind From Office Induced Stress

office worker

The stress we experience when at work can, at times, infringe on our general state of mind. We dedicate a considerable amount of time and effort to our jobs, and this inevitably makes them a significant part of our lives. However, keeping stress levels to a minimum is crucial for our mental wellbeing and better health.

Most of us expect a little workplace stress every now and then, and fortunately our bodies and minds are well-equipped at dealing with stress in small doses.

In fact, stress can provide our bodies with the short term energy boost we need to get us through more daunting tasks. However, prolonged or intense periods of stress can start to take their toll and have detrimental effects on our health.

Let’s take a look at what techniques you can adopt to reduce your post-work stress levels.

  1. Switch your commute

Your stress levels are bound to stay elevated if you step out of the office and onto a packed commuter train, tube or bus. The chances are high that your fellow commuters are also feeling the strain from a day’s work, and there is scientific evidence to suggest that stress is contagious.

After a particularly trying day at the office, look for an alternative way to get home. See if you can you walk part of the way or even include a brief pit-stop at a friend’s house for a chat. Simply switching even just a 10-15 minute stint of your public transport commute to a walk is great for your physical health. Plus it comes with the added benefit of clearing your head of office stress.

2. Walk it off

It is all too easy to fall into the same after-work routine day in and day out. When you return home it can feel as though there’s a gravitational pull towards your sofa. However, installing yourself in front of the television for the evening won’t necessarily allow your brain to wind down from office stresses. Instead, shake up your routine by doing some exercise.

Physical activity has many proven health benefits and stress reduction is just one of them. A gentle walk can provide the perfect opportunity for you to clear your head. If possible, choose a route which allows you to get closer to nature, as doing so is thought to harbour mental health benefits.

3. Enter ‘home mode’

Thoughts about your work to-do list can follow you all the way to bed, especially if your brain is still in work mode. It is important to make an effort to step away from the office and to physically and mentally disassociate yourself from the stress.

So make a symbolic gesture. Leave your office laptop at work and keep your work phone switched off. When you arrive home; take a shower and change into some comfortable clothes. A simple switch like this can indicate to your brain that you’re entering the wind-down part of your day or ‘home mode’.

4. Take some ‘you’ time

Refusing to take a moment to decompress your day can perpetuate stress levels. When you step out of of the office your brain needs time to adjust to the change in environment. Take five minutes to yourself and completely stop doing anything. Look out of a window and watch the world go by or close your eyes.

A popular stress-reduction technique is to concentrate on your breathing. You may find it helps to place a hand on your stomach so that you feel your abdomen expand, as you inhale deeply through your nose and slowly exhale through your mouth. These essential five minutes can ground you and prepare your mind for a period of calm.

5. Do something new

Adding something new to your weekly or daily regime can kick start your brain into a different way of thinking. If you work in an office or frequently use a computer then opt to learn a hands-on skill such as painting or pottery.
Alternatively, if you’re concerned about committing time and money to an art class, try picking up an adult colouring book. The task of colouring in provides enough distraction for your brain to stop thinking about office concerns without draining your concentration.

 

Dr Wayne Osborne is an independent physician and medical spokesperson who regularly contributes to international health and lifestyle publications and writes a medical blog.

 

You’ve read 5 Ways to Unwind From Office Induced Stress, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


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Why You Should Recognize and Release Negative Emotions

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Why You Should Recognize and Release Negative Emotions

If you practice the law of attraction, negative emotions may be a taboo topic for you. Many people upon discovering this ‘secret’ make a big change and start forcing themselves to think positive ALL the time, out of fear that they will start to attract negative things if they let negative emotions show up. Well at least that is how I approached it years ago when I discovered law of attraction.

negative emotionsImagine my surprise when every few months I would erupt in a crying spell or lash out at my husband. When it finally became clear to me was when on the inside I was pulsating depression while on the outside everything looked fabulous. Pushing my negative emotions down was not the way to handle things and unfortunately it took me far too long to discover this.

Heed my warning and do not as I did. As I progressed on my journey I came to find out that negative emotions are just old traumas and beliefs popping up to get some attention. Once we learn to recognize and release them, we no longer need to push them down. Instead of coming up again and again, we can actually learn the lesson, process it and get back to happy.

So how do you spot a negative emotion for what it is? You gauge how you feel. Pretty simple right? You have a built in guidance system that allows you to experience how you feel. It also gives you direct feedback on what you will be attracting into your life. So you notice that you are feeling frustrated one day, what you are likely to experience is more frustration (and frustrating things) until something happens to snap you out of it.

Let me give you an example of noticing and releasing a negative emotion so that you don’t have to push it down or avoid it. Say you own a business. You have a fear that your clients won’t pay on time. If you focus on this feeling for too long, reality will match what you are feeling and boom, late payments. Another option is to push the fear down, thus equaling late payments, and maybe even turning to anger and resentment about your business. Great news, there is also a third option. You can choose to see this emotion for what it is, fear, and as soon as you notice it and acknowledge it the hard part is over.
When I notice a negative emotion or belief now I write it down on my garbage list, and then take some quiet time each day and let go of them.

There are a multitude of ways to let go, my favorite is to use EFT tapping to get to the root of my limiting belief. A few other good options are Ho’oponopono or forgiveness, journalling about the belief or emotion to release it or writing down all the reasons that the fear/ belief is false and spiraling into positive.

The next time you feel a negative emotion continually come up, and are ready to deal with it, try one of the releasing techniques above or your own and see how much easier it is to stay on the positive side of things!

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Tracy Gaudet is an intuitive energy alignment coach who helps women bust through limiting beliefs and blocks and teaches manifesting as a way of life. In addition to being a certified law of attraction life coach and life force chakra healer, Tracy also works as an intuitive to read into energy blocks and uses EFT among other techniques to help women release what is holding them back.

You’ve read Why You Should Recognize and Release Negative Emotions, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


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21 Quotes You Should Say to Yourself Everyday

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21 Quotes You Should Say to Yourself Everyday

21 Top Motivational Quotes

We are bombarded with negative messages daily. It’s up to you what you choose to focus on. Say these 21 quotes daily and redefine your perspective.

________

Today, I will be my best self.

I will reach new heights.

I will make changes when necessary…and not just on New Year’s Day.

I will be positive every day.

I will travel more.

I will make a difference in someone’s life.

I will define my natural boundaries.

I will believe in myself.

I will only judge myself fairly and with an open mind.

I will be bigger than the moment.

I will be aware of my surroundings.

I will control my impulses.

I will manage my emotions.

I will build my best physical self.

I will love unconditionally.

I will listen and seek understanding.

I will only judge people fairly with an open mind.

I will volunteer.

I will choose to live.

I will make my life a great story.

I will be my best self.

________

Looking for other ways to redefine your life? Check out my recent articles 50 Ways to Change Your Life Today or 9 Self-Improvement Books That Will Change Your Life too.

_________

Michael Moody is the author of the self-improvement book Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness and the former fitness expert on NBC’s The Biggest Loser/MSN Chicago tour. The owner of the successful Chicago personal training business Michael Moody Fitness, his fitness and life-structure programs have helped his personal training clients lose more than 2,500 pounds since 2005. Michael has been featured in Muscle & Fitness and Today’s Chicago Woman magazines, among others. During his time as the official trainer for PBS’s The Whitney Reynolds Show, he also produced an inspirational segment about his travels in Guatemala.

Having researched emotion and coping behaviors in university-level studies, Michael has presented various fitness, motivation, body image, and stress-management programs at Illinois State University, DePaul University, corporations, high schools, and workshops.

You’ve read 21 Quotes You Should Say to Yourself Everyday, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


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The 8-Step Process to Be True to Yourself

You’re reading The 8-Step Process to Be True to Yourself, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

The 8-Step Process to Be True to Yourself

The notion that you can be exactly who you want to be 100% of the time is a false notion.  This would be reaching perfection and the only perfection that exists is imperfection.  Digging deep and striving to bring out the better you, however, is possible and necessary for a life with passion and purpose.  Authenticity occurs when your actions line up with your values as a person.  How can you do this?  How can you be more authentic and let your true self shine in your life?  How can you match up your actions with who you are underneath?

  1. Make it Known

Make it known to yourself who you are underneath.  What is important to you?  Make a personal inventory.  Write out all the statements that make you who you are.  Write out “I am” statements.

“I am someone who cares about others even if I don’t know them.”

“I am someone who is down to earth and can’t stand being arrogant.”

“I am someone who is willing to drop anything for my family.”

These are a few examples.  When you know who you are, you will find more purpose in your life.  If you don’t know what your purpose is, find it and hold on to it.  Once your purpose and identities are known to you, you are aware of who you are and can start identifying actions that take you away from who you are.

  1. Decide to Make Change

Once you are aware of who you are you can strive to be truer to yourself.  You can start to take action and work on yourself.  Truly deciding to make changes in yourself requires commitment and this is the point where most people fail.  Deciding is not just declaring in your mind that you want to be truer to yourself.  Deciding is making active commitment to change.  Write down things you have done in the past that have caused self-remorse and work on changing them.  Write down things you don’t like about yourself.  Decide and commit and watch yourself grow.

  1. Forgiveness

To be true to yourself is a journey and a rollercoaster ride.  You will make mistakes.  Those who make mistakes, are confused with themselves, and turn to familiar behaviors will fail in their attempt to be true to themselves.  Those that fail, fight, and fall back on their pre-conceived plans to move forward will fail less and less.  Thus, self-forgiveness is the key to moving on to find higher levels of yourself.

  1. Stop Comparing

In order to be true to yourself you have to love yourself.  Loving yourself makes the whole process that much easier.  When you compare yourselves to others what are you actually doing?  You are detracting from yourself.  When you compare, you are loving them (others) more than yourself and want to follow them because you feel you don’t have the inner strength to follow yourself.  Negatively comparing leads to bad action.  If you are negatively comparing yourself to someone else you will do something that is out of line with who you really want to be.  Something else to think about is that you might like an attribute that someone has but you don’t know who that person is underneath so you should never be quick to compare unless you truly know someone.  If you do know someone that has some truly amazing qualities and your inner-self wants to be more like that, you can develop those traits.

  1. Embrace Yourself

Embracing yourself goes hand-in-hand with getting rid of comparisons.  Embracing yourself means doing what you love.  Be grateful for what you have.  Find the power of gratefulness in your life.  The only way to be rich instantaneously is by developing gratitude.  Everyone has their own gifts to bring into the world.  Everyone also has their own insecurities.  Embrace your insecurities and be vulnerable with them and you will start to love yourself even more.  Follow that little voice inside you.  Respect yourself and others will respect you.

  1. Identify Your Patterns of Failure

Most people upon failing things repeatedly will be able to notice a cycle of failure.  If you feel that you keep failing and messing up in life, find your cycle and patterns of thinking.  This part in the process is similar to what addicts undergo in treatment.  Addicts can identify a pattern of thoughts that contribute to their addictive behaviors.  Many addicts will have thoughts unintentionally come into their head because of their addiction.  Those that stay addicted aren’t aware of what these thoughts are doing when the thoughts turn into intentions.  The intentions then turn into actions where an addict relapses and starts the process over again.  After the process has started over again an addict might become complacent and let the thoughts turn into intentions and the whole process cycles over.  Find your pattern of thinking that led to your behavior.

  1. Change Your Patterns

This is the best part of the whole process because this is where you will find the changes in your life.  The reason identifying patterns of failure is second to last is because someone might have done everything they needed to do but then then fail after so much hard work and don’t know where to go after their failure.  Once you have identified your pattern, you understand the process of yourself and you can see where you messed up to improve for the next time.  You have a place to go after failure when you have identified your patterns.  Changing your patterns comes down to a battle of will.  Are you willing to do things differently?  Are you willing to do things the hard way?  If you are, you will succeed.

  1. Reap the Rewards

To let your true self shine, love what you have done.  Embrace yourself even more.  Nothing can stop you.  You are who you want to be.  You have purpose.  You have self-respect and others will respect you for that.  You will inspire others and keep your actions in line with who you are because you have made the sacrifices to be a better you.  You hold yourself to a higher standard and will continue to reap rewards from it.

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Tyler Dahl is a freelance writer who dedicates his time to finding solutions for people who feel they can’t go anymore.  He specializes in writing about self-motivation and chronic pain.  If you would like to contact him you can do so on his LinkedIn.

You’ve read The 8-Step Process to Be True to Yourself, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


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6 Reasons to Help Others Develop Self-Pride

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6 Reasons to Help Others Develop Self-Pride

As children, we did not know how to praise ourselves. We were little creatures who needed to develop the concept of praise and being proud of ourselves from those around us. So, when we were being potty-trained, there was a reward for each success we had on that potty. In school, we received rewards for our hard work – good grades. If we were involved in sports and other activities, there were also rewards for our achievements. All of this praise and these rewards were external, that is, they came from outside of ourselves. At some point, we need to make the transition from looking for external praise to the ability to praise ourselves and to develop self-pride. If we have never made the transition, we are stuck. If we have made that transition, we need to help others make it too, and here’s why.

  1. Pride in Oneself Motivates

A pay-check is a great motivator. It gets us up in the morning and to our jobs. At the end of the week or month, we collect that paycheck as a type of a reward for having put in our 40 hours each week. But that paycheck does not motivate us to do any more than what we are currently doing. When we have self-pride, however, we want to go beyond just the required, so that we can say to ourselves, “well done.” We keep looking for what we can do to praise ourselves for, and that moves us forward toward setting new goals and going after new accomplishments.

  1. Self-Pride Replaces the Need for External Praise and Rewards

In the real world, we don’t have moms and dads to praise us for everything we do well. We have bosses who are not concerned with our self-esteem, only what we can produce. If we have never made that transition to internal praise and reward, then we cannot find a reason to take on any new challenge or to become more productive. Because no one will notice, we find no value in accomplishing anything more. When we have self-pride, we want to do everything well whether anyone else notices or not.

  1. Self-Pride = Self-Esteem = Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy is defined by psychologists as how effective you believe you are in what you do. When you are really good at what you do, you praise yourself, improve your self-esteem, and then accept that you are really effective. This is a cycle that keeps repeating itself. The more you like yourself, the more willing you are to set goals and work toward them; the more you do that, the more effective you feel. And the more effective you feel, the more you like yourself. It just keeps building, as you achieve more and more of your goals. Your whole life just keeps getting better.

  1. Self-Pride Means Independence

When we do not depend upon others for praise and encouragement, we become independent operators of our own lives. We can set our own goals based upon our own desires, not those of others around us, like family, friends and bosses. It is such a liberating way to live our lives. We do not have to look for approval from anyone else, can chart our own courses, and take on challenges that we determine are right for us. Perhaps we decide to drop out of college and pursue a vision we have for a business. Self-pride allows us to do this, even though others around us do not approve.

  1. Self-Pride Means We Don’t Blame Others

When we can make our own choices independently of the approval of others, we take full responsibility for our successes. We also take full responsibility for our failures. This is a key factor in becoming fully self-actualized. When we take ownership for our failures, we can then see them as learning experiences that will help us move forward. When we blame others, we do not see any reason to reflect and to change – we are stuck.

  1. Self-Pride Means You Don’t Have to Make Comparisons

One of the loveliest side benefits of being proud of oneself is that you no longer have to compare yourself to others and their accomplishments. You know who you are, have your own path, and are comfortable in your own skin. What a great feeling!

If you have friends or co-workers who have not developed the ability to praise and reward themselves, you can help them grow. When they accomplish something, ask them, “Are you proud of yourself?” “What about this makes your proud?” “How are you going to reward yourself for this accomplishment?” You can help them get into a mindset of independent self-praise so that they too can learn the beauty of charting their own courses.

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Ben Brychta is a MBA student from San Jose, CA. He is big a movie classics fan and loves to share his opinion on different things happening in the spheres of the film industry, blogging and lifestyle. You can get in touch with Ben via his Twitter or Facebook.

You’ve read 6 Reasons to Help Others Develop Self-Pride, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


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7 Simple Habits to Keep Happy Every Day

You’re reading 7 Simple Habits to Keep Happy Every Day, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

7 Simple Habits To Keep Happy Every Day

Introduction

Notably, most people are most productive when they are the happiest. On the other hand, unhappy or sad people tend to perform poorest. This is true in most scenarios, including at work, in house chores, in activities such as sporting as well as any other forum that needs efforts. Being happy is linked to changing attitudes and having to believe that even simple things make a huge difference in life and also that the most challenging things or tasks are achievable. Evidently, happiness can make a lot of changes among us in our societies. Therefore, there is the need or the essence to ensure you are aware of the habits that can result in your happiness and thus provide the positive impacts linked to happiness.

1. Daily Exercise

This practice is common among several people. However, some tend to give up on the way, especially due to lack of consistency. Notably, consistent happiness requires normal behavior. Planning for daily exercise is one way of having happier moments in a day. It is essential that one includes family or friends to make the working out activities more fun. Morning hours may be a good time to exercise indoors, and a family member can help during this time. In the evenings after work, one can engage friends in sporting activities such as ball games or even swimming. Exercises have a way of making you feel happy, great and fantastic. It is critical and vital to have plans to use daily and achieve happiness. It is also an excellent and a healthy method to get rid of stress and restore peace in the mind.

2. Regularly Help Others

There is great joy that is realized when one helps other people who may be in need. It is fascinating how individuals appreciate help from other people, especially those they do not expect to get it from. In other words, one needs to help other people apart from those they have relations with for example family or friends. It makes you happy, makes you feel important and at the same time motivates you to work hard and smart to try to impact some changes in the society. If one can take up community projects or fund them, it can be a good and a great idea. The act of charity helps you in improving progress even in the most challenging tasks or projects.

3. Wake Up Early

Surprisingly, waking up early is a habit that can result in daily happiness. However, the habit should be consistent. One needs to plan on waking up early each day. Notably, individuals that are the most successful tend to wake up the earliest. It is a way of starting the day well, and it gives individuals the confidence that they will be as productive as they are required to be. In general, it gives the rest of the day positivity as one can remain focused. Unfortunately, we do not love the habit. We avoid as much as we can to have to be out of bed early. However, maintaining consistency makes this habit easier and consequently makes us have healthy morning routines. Finally, it becomes a lifestyle and can lead to happier days and better-off years.

4. Live the Moment

Some of us may be a little or very worried about the future happenings that occurred and left us frustrated and disappointed. However, we lack the abilities to undo things that happened in the past and make them better. Instead of focusing on whatever we cannot change, it is paramount to enjoy life when we can and try to work towards never repeating mistakes that made us disappointed or frustrated. It is vital to, therefore, maintain a greater focus on what is happening now and today and not worry a lot about what already happened. Also, we may not have a lot of control for tomorrow. Apart from planning on getting better each day, the future should also not stress you.

5. Gratitude

Apparently, many people provide support to bring us to the success that we now enjoy. It makes us happy when we go back to these friends and also family members and say how thankful and how happy we are that they helped us. It may also be during grieving or sad moments. It is always vital to show gratitude to the people who offer their support. Notably, thanking people makes them and us happy.

6. Be Social

Keeping happy friends and surrounding yourself with happy family members is also a key to happiness. Apparently, when those who are around you are both positive and happy, it is likely that you will have happiness. These individuals have a huge influence on how happy you live.

7. Have fun

You can take holidays away from your town and enjoy freedom away from work. During such times, have fun and relax. Enjoy every moment that you have and take one day at a time.

Conclusion

Apparently, happiness and satisfaction are needed for all of us. Notably, to be successful in attaining or achieving greater happiness, one needs to maintain consistency in the habits mentioned. Evidently happiness improves productivity and provides the motivation to tackle even difficult and challenging problems. It is vital to target the habits and convert them into daily routines. This way, greater happiness is easy to attain.

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David Gomes completed his M.S Professional degree in California Institute of Technology. He is for Consumer Health Digest. He lives in Oakland, California, USA. He loves to write on a variety of topics such as joint health, weight loss, beauty and skin care for blogs and on-line publication sites. He also loves the latest technology, gadgets. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

References

http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/wellbeing/7-simple-ways-to-feel-happier-every-single-day-11363865856969

You’ve read 7 Simple Habits to Keep Happy Every Day, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


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The 3 Values of Continuing Your Education

You’re reading The 3 Values of Continuing Your Education, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

The 3 Values of Continuing Your Education

benefits of education

Sometimes it seems like higher education has become so ingrained in our culture that it’s simply a platitude to suggest anyone go back to school. That said, only 39.4 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 64 hold college degrees, meaning that the benefits of higher education must not be as apparent as we may think. Let’s examine three concrete benefits derived from continuing your education: higher pay, better work and greater happiness.

  1. Continuing Your Education Helps You Earn More Money

Let’s begin with what’s likely the most commonly cited benefit of pursuing higher education: making more money. But exactly how much more money are we talking about? Median wages at our baseline, a high school diploma, are $668 a week, or $34,736 a year. A bachelor’s degree raises those numbers to $1,101 a week, or $57,252 a year – an increase of almost 65 percent. A master’s degree improves things even further, bumping median weekly wages to $1,326 and annual wages to $68,952 – almost 99% percent over our baseline. It takes a high school graduate two days to earn what a master’s degree holder earns in one. Now that’s value!

  1. Continuing Your Education Can Get You a Better Job

Higher wages are a result of better job opportunities, which require greater educational attainment.

Let’s start at the bottom of the equation with unemployment. The unemployment rate at high school graduates is 6.0 percent. That’s nearly double the rate for bachelor’s degree holders, which is 3.5 percent, and more than double for master’s degree holders, which is about 2.8 percent. Without higher education, you’re twice as likely to not have a job, period. Indeed, it’s predicted that by 2018 almost two-thirds of all occupations in the United States will require a college degree.

Beyond winning you a job, higher education can get you more work. Underemployment, or being employed only part time when seeking full time work, is less frequently discussed than unemployment, but it is much more pervasive. Underemployment of high school graduates currently stands at 12.9 percent – more than twice the rate for holders of bachelor’s degrees, at 6.2 percent, and thrice that of master’s degree holders, at 4.2 percent.

Seventy-four percent of American adults believe a postsecondary degree is essential to getting a good job, but what do the people making hiring and promotion decisions think? The same! Companies themselves attest to this, a third of managers surveyed say they have sent workers to back to school for higher education, 81 percent of them even picking up part of the tab. That is a win-win!

  1. Continuing Your Education Can Make You Happier

Now this may be something you haven’t heard before, but higher education may not just be the key to more money and a better job, but to greater happiness. That’s a big statement that the numbers support: When examining well-being levels across American cities, researchers found that happiness has the closest relationship not with wages, unemployment or output, but with educational attainment, measured as the share of the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Similarly, educational attainment has been shown to boost happiness early in life and keep it that way, unlike income, which raises over time but does not increase happiness.

More money, a better job, greater happiness — you can have it all, and higher education is the way to start.

Roslyn Tate is an editor on the 2U Inc. website. A recent Goddard College MFA she enjoys helping people achieve their goals through academics and art. 2U partners with leading colleges and universities to offer online master’s degree programs to students around the world.

You’ve read The 3 Values of Continuing Your Education, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


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How To Turn Negative Life Experiences Into Positive Life Lessons

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How To Turn Negative Life Experiences Into Positive Life Lessons

how to be happy

Life, to a degree, is dualistic in nature; we experience ups and downs; we have “good” days where life goes according to plan, and we have “bad” days where life doesn’t. This is the nature of life, always fluctuating.

So how do we deal with these bad days? How do we use them to our advantage?

Either you’re going through the turbulence of life right now, or you’re bound to sooner or later. It helps to know how to turn these rough rides into an experience that is meaningful. How do we become alchemists of our moments magically turning our misery into wisdom?

There are a couple techniques I have found to be useful:

Confront the situation

When we come face to face with adversity and difficulty, there are some of us who cower, run away, and sometimes even try to anesthetize ourselves to the situation, hoping it will go away in the mean time; we watch television, get high, drink ourselves numb, go shopping, have sex, eat something tasty; we try to flee from what we dislike, to things we like. (Or think we like.)

Stop. Face it. Embrace whatever you are going through fully. Know you have the strength within you to persevere through it. It is only when you face life with clarity and sobriety will you be able to extract its raw wisdom.

Remain equanimous

Facing hardship is obviously never easy. If it were, life would be a breeze. But life isn’t a breeze. It is a series of bumps, bristles, and blisters.

Practicing equanimity is a great tool for dealing with these situations. The fundamental principal of equanimity is acceptance; of the good, and most importantly, of the bad, without clinging or aversion. Clinging to things we like hurts us when those very things are taken from us (by life), and aversion to the reality that is produces suffering within us because we wish to change what we cannot. Remaining equanimous allows us to stay balanced within our peace, neither drowning in turmoil, or delirious in our passion.

Remain Objective

Because we perceive life from our subjective point of view, we tend, out of habit, and out of a lack of self-awareness, to take life personally; a moody glance looks to us like our significant other is falling out of love when they actually didn’t sleep well last night; a conversation with someone whose tone towards us we don’t appreciate is them actually having problems at home, and their inner turmoil is bubbling up to the surface; an asshole cutting us off as we drive home is actually a father rushing to the hospital because his child had a severe asthma attack.

Don’t take things so personally. See things clearly, not as you think you see them. Look long and look “deep”. Penetrate past the superficial veil of life to see the potential meaning inherent in each moment.

Open up to your feelings

You’re a human being. You have the capacity to experience a colourful palette of emotions. Don’t run away from them, no matter how miserable you feel. Face them. Be with them. I find this is the best way to “heal”. To babysit your emotions until they mature and move on on their own. So open yourself up to your feelings. Don’t judge them or think about them. Just feel them and allow them to pass. I often find I can turn this into a kind of meditation, enjoying even the most sorrowful of emotions as they pass and make space for healthier, happier ones. Not only will you live more lightly, but you will develop grit and perseverance.

Have faith that all is working out for the best

I have had countless experiences where, on the superficial level, it seemed like life was a disaster, but, upon waiting and attempting to make the best of the situation, have found out that the disaster was a necessity for greater things to come.

For instance, on January 16, 2014, I had no choice but to withdraw from a potent drug which would leave me suffering with severe symptoms, some of which I still suffer from, 2+ years later. But would you think me insane to say that I would do it all over again to be the person I am today? One month after my withdrawal I discovered my passion for writing. And since then, I’ve used writing as a tool to heal and create myself and my life. It has literally transformed me and I owe it to past events which at the time were tumultuous, but I never lost faith that things were working out as they should.

The lives we live are bigger than we can ever conceive. Trust that fact. Live with faith and persevere!

Find the positive

There is no problem like perception. If a problem exists, it is because of perception. If you do not want problems, simply shift your perception, or the way in which you see the world!

Likewise, you can train yourself to be an optimist; to always see life in a positive light.

When faced with an arduous and difficult situation, you have the power to see your experience however you would like to see it. You can take a debilitating illness and view it through a negative lens where you see yourself as a victim of life, or you can see it as a positive and come up with an infinite number of ways to turn your experience into a creative opportunity for growth. And I know this works because I’m speaking from experience.

Imagine you died

This is an exercise that’ll really get you focused on what’s important in life and whether or not you’re living in a way that is aligned with your values: imagine you’re 80 years old, on your deathbed, and absolutely filled with regret and misery because you didn’t live fully, love fully, take your chances, weren’t bold enough, weren’t kind enough. You were fearful of being true, of actually living, and now it is time to pay for your life as we all inevitably will have to.

Wake up! That vision is a potential of your future. Seize the day. Seize the moment. Live now. Love now. Change your destiny. Life gets rough sometimes. Do not let that harden you. Stay soft. Stay kind. Stay loving.

Use your situations as fuel

Sometimes the most negative experiences can be utilized as fuel to kickstart much needed change in our lives. A difficult breakup allows us to learn to love and build up ourselves. A layoff from work allows us the opportunity to make our dream careers come true. An illness gives us time to re-evaluate our lives.

Motivation vanishes as quickly as it appears. Utilize it wisely.

Write

As a writer, I have found writing to be an immensely liberating tool. Whenever I am going through things, nothing heals me better than writing about it. Writing allows me to take the situation from my life and trap it in the prison of the page so it no longer torments my spirit. From there, I can dissect the situation until I am free from it. I can create solutions. I can change my behaviour. I can write out my destiny. I am the author of my life.

Sometimes the changes we need to make are not so apparent to us because they dwell deep below the surface of our conscious minds. Writing, over time, helps us unearth them.

Write out your feelings, especially the ones you would rather not feel. Writing is cathartic, it will help you heal. Write out who you want to become and the kind of life you wish to live in extraordinary detail. Write out how you’re going to make that vision a reality.

Ask yourself the question “What is life trying to teach me right now?”

Asking yourself this question compels you to search for the lesson that is most meaningful and relevant to you in this moment. Then, when you’ve found it, pay attention (:

Life is a dualistic whole of both up’s and down’s. We can, if we choose to, enjoy life. The bad’s don’t have to be bad. We can get through them, utilizing them to our benefit, knowing that tomorrow may not be as bad as today. We must learn to be like rainbows, wielding the nature of both the sun and the rain to be what we are in our nature—beautiful.

Christopher Tan is a writer who passionately explores the human existence for what it means to live and live well. He writes regularly at his blog The Art Of Life. Sign up for his free newsletter to get a free book and follow him on Twitter to keep up with where his creativity and heart is taking him next.

You’ve read How To Turn Negative Life Experiences Into Positive Life Lessons, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


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