General (8)

Our daily lives, for the most part, are controlled by the habits that we have developed over our lifetime. Many times we don’t realize that the behaviors that we exhibit are habits, because they have become automatic and intentional. A lot of habits that we have are unconscious actions that automate the more mundane tasks that we have throughout the day. Many of them start at the time that we wake up and continue until we finally fall asleep. 4031116311?profile=RESIZE_710x

Research suggests that up to 40% of our daily routine is habitual.  It starts with brushing our teeth, to the way we make our coffee, from the routes that we take to and from work, to the way that our desks are organized. All of this has become an intentional, automatic function of our daily lives.

Habits are formed through learning. Often time, an action follows a cue. The alarm clock sounds, we hit snooze. We come home, put our things down, walk to the refrigerator for a bottle of water. We become rigid in this type of routine. When this rigidity is met with uncertainty, it creates a little chaos, so we make sure that this rigidity is always defined. 

If going to the same store every morning means we get that particular bagel, then we do not need to worry about what we are going to eat for breakfast. If we go to that store enough to realize that the bagel is always there at 8:15 in the morning, then we train ourselves to be at that store at 8:15 in the morning.

This daily routine of going to the store over time becomes a habit. We know that we will get what we want when we want it, it becomes a process that has become automatic. A lot of times habits form to reduce the number of decisions we need to make. According to Vincent Carlos, in an article titled, Why So Many Successful People Wear the Same Outfit Every Day,  

“every decision you make uses up your mental energy. Just the simple act of thinking about whether you should choose A or B will tire you out and reduce your brainpower. This means that the more decisions you have to make throughout the day, the weaker your decision-making process will become.”

 In this article, Carlos goes on to say that successful people like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg, and others have automated specific tasks throughout their days, to reduce the number of decisions that they need to make during the day. This behavior, although with a specific end-goal in mind, is a habit that was consciously developed.

Our habits define us. They control a large portion of our day.

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Medical experts call it the ‘disease of our time.’ It’s not just for children anymore. Everyone suffers from it. What used to be something you temporarily went through until your lecture was over or it’s finally your turn at the doctor’s office has now become a disease. That’s how serious it is.

 

Maybe the main reason why boredom is now a chronic disease is due to the endless array of stimuli that bombard your every waking moment, making it difficult to concentrate on any given topic. We’ve been programmed that we wake up and expect to have information thrown at us, and we know we’re supposed to sit there and take it. We’ve stopped interacting and engaging. Consequently, we get bored.

 

Boredom is annoying and frustrating. And it may even get to the point when you feel like you’re slowly suffocating. As defined by the German psychologist, Theodor Lipps, boredom “is a feeling of unpleasant arising out of a conflict between a need for intense mental activity and lack of incitement to it, or inability to be incited.”

 

This can mean different things to different people. An introvert, for example, would find pleasure between the pages of a book or any other type of solitary activity. On the other hand, an extrovert may seek more thrilling activities as well as more social encounters.

 

But no matter what your personality type is, there’s a direct correlation between boredom and self-awareness. When you have a clear idea of your strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and beliefs, and are comfortable in your skin, you are better prepared with the tools required to make yourself less bored. You can gauge your moods and feelings, and understand what it is you want out of life. It also better prepares you to deal with others, and respond accordingly.3704014426?profile=RESIZE_710x

 

But having a clear understanding of your personality can be a real problem in this day and age with the world at our fingertips 24/7. The idea that we turn off the noise for a few seconds to ourselves, to close our eyes and be at peace, is now a foreign concept.

 

No one wants to sit there and do nothing! That’s why full-grown adults are transfixed on playing games or browsing through their social media every free millisecond. Downtime can be scary.

 

But it’s in those moments where we really feel our presence, tune in to our thoughts, and get in touch with our feelings. It’s also when we are at our most imaginative and creative. It’s how we evolve, discover, and invent.

 

Suffering from chronic boredom can make it easy to fall into a rut of negative habits, resulting in powerlessness to finish tasks, puts a damper on the quality of your life, and exacerbates physical pain. It comes with a slew of negative ramifications, the 5 most common are:

 

·         Obesity

If you find yourself continually snacking even though you’re not hungry, then the culprit is probably boredom. Eating, especially foods high in processed fats and sugars, makes you feel calmer and happier. Dieticians refer to this as emotional eating, which is often brought on by boredom.

 

·         Depression

Boredom can be a symptom of depression, and it can also trigger it. Working long hours, having a stressful work or home environment, or working dull, unchallenging jobs can all boost stress and result in deep bouts of depression.

 

·         Stress and anxiety

Living day to day in an environment that doesn’t give you what need can be emotionally exhausting. Load on top of that work responsibilities and financial strain, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for chronic stress triggered by boredom and redundancy.

 

·         Alcohol and drug abuse

In an attempt to break through the boredom spells, it’s common to find people reaching for alcohol and drugs. They’re known for their addictive nature, but at the moment, all people see is how they allow them to forget the aggravating effects boredom has on their lives.

 

·         Heart disease

When boredom strikes regularly, your brain releases toxic hormones into your bloodstream. These hormones create problems for your heart. Moreover, those who suffer from chronic boredom tend to skimp out on exercising and eating right. In fact, they’re more likely to turn to bad habits, like smoking and drinking - all of which can take its toll on the cardiovascular system, resulting in premature death.

           

A great way to break the boredom cycle is to step back and look at the big picture. Make lists of all the good in your life, as well as all the things you’ve wanted to do but never take the first step and start from there.

 

Take control of your life and try to work your way around the things you cannot change. Form new, healthier habits. Try something different each day. Volunteer your time to helping others who are in need. And, most importantly, find something that piques your interest.

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Power of Repetition

Repetition is a powerful tool that helps us learn and master skills. When someone takes piano lessons, they will be given a series of exercises to repeat. These tasks are usually scales and arpeggios. But, after the student masters these they are given more difficult exercises to practice.

Learning a foreign language also requires repetition. By repeating unfamiliar words or using them in sentences, it will become more natural for the learner. People study the words, and they repeat them until they understand what they mean.

In sports, we find repetition in drills, etc. Coaches give the players a series of drills to repeat until it becomes second nature. When the player masters the skill, they won’t even need to be told to use them. Coaches only need to help the players put together a plan on when to use them.

When we were given homework in school, it was often in the form of repeatable tasks. Think back to when you had to learn multiplication tables. You simply keep repeating these until you could rattle them off without effort.

The biggest problem with repetition is people get bored. We love new experiences and the excitement that comes with them. But, when we must repeat tasks often we would rather be doing something else. That is why it’s difficult to bring ourselves to practice the piano or repeat the same words when learning a foreign language, etc.

To help alleviate the boredom of repetitive tasks, you should try to limit the time spent on them. It’s better to practice something in short durations consistently than to try and put several hours into the repetitive tasks. The key is consistency. Try to practice your skills for 15 or 20 minutes per day and then step away from it.

Another problem with repetition is we tend to fall back on it, right when we should be surging ahead. This concept is known as a plateau. When you repeat something to the point that you get good at it, you feel satisfied that you can do the task. When you try to advance to a new level, you tend to revert to this previous task and level. If this happens, try to focus on how you felt when you become skilled at the previous task. That can help you look forward to mastering the new one.

Sometimes, you may need to revisit a previously mastered skill. For instance, after you have mastered it, you set it aside and forget about it. You are a little rusty when you revisit it. The good news is it won’t take much to get it back by using repetition.

 

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If you genuinely want to be your best you, to have a happy and healthy life, you need to learn the critical elements for creating healthy boundaries. Boundaries are being clear about what your limits are, and they are necessary to ensure you do not get overwhelmed by the demands of other people. Without limitations, you are likely to be overburdened, stressed, and resentful, and it is up to you to set and maintain your limits.  You are responsible for your happiness and wellbeing. No one else can do it for you.

 

If you find it hard to say no, and it is affecting your wellbeing, you need to stop and recalibrate. Here are some critical elements for creating healthy boundaries:

 

  1. Know your limits

Knowing yourself is the key to building and maintaining your personal boundaries. Know your emotional, mental, and physical limits. Work out what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed and what feels right.

 

  1. Learn how to read your feelings

In assessing where your limits are, you will have felt a range of different emotions. Two basic emotions that signal that your boundaries are being crossed are resentment and discomfort. If you think you are being taken advantage of, not appreciated, or even being exploited, that is a sign you are being pushed beyond your boundaries, and it is time to reassert those boundaries and say no.

 

  1. Give yourself permission to enforce your boundaries

It is okay to say no. In fact, it is necessary for your self-respect to maintain your boundaries and refuse an unwelcome request.  Quilt and self-doubt will be the two things you will wrestle with when staying true to yourself. Having clear boundaries and sticking to them is not selfish. In putting yourself first, you are ensuring that you will have the energy to do the things you want to do and be there for people when it is right for you.

 

  1. Be clear about what's up for negotiation

Know what you need to stay happy and healthy, whether it is your daily walk, a social get together, or alone time. Make it clear that these are non-negotiable parts of your regular schedule. Similarly, be clear that you will not host family parties, but you will contribute with food or drinks. Being clear and direct about your boundaries leaves no room for doubt, guilt, or leverage.

 

  1. Be direct

When you are clear about your boundaries, you do not need an excuse, a backstory, or a second party's approval. Be direct and leave it at that. You can be polite and kind about it, but in the end, it is okay just to say no and keep your boundaries strong.

 

This may look like an overwhelming task. Implementing the critical elements for creating healthy boundaries may be the hardest thing you ever do in your life. So give yourself the credit you deserve when starting this task of following the 5 points to creating healthy boundaries in your life. Having some that will keep you accountable to your boundaries is very helpful. Make a boundary that any success in implementing healthy boundaries is to be celebrated.

Image by MoneyforCoffee from Pixabay

 

 
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The Courage to Succeed

People have a lot of different views about what it takes to succeed and what success indeed is. Believe it or not, success is not so much about what you achieve and your position in life, but the courage you had to stick it out and stay there, the journey that got you there in the first place and continues to keep you there.

You need the courage to hold on to your success. That courage and resilience are genuinely strong traits, not the achievement itself. Winston Churchill said it best, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

In this article, we are going to explain how success is not necessarily about the place you reach, but the courage it took you to get there. By the end of this article, we hope you will have the drive to show courage and resilience in fighting to hold onto your success.

Success is not final

As the famous quotation from Winston Churchill starts, “success is not final.” It is not a state that, once you reach it, you can not lose. You have to work to keep your success, and that work takes courage. You can not give in to failure, obstacles, or any other challenges. That courage and resilience will define your character as a successful individual. Successful people never give up or back down.

You can always come back from failure

No matter how bad the failure seems, there’s still a way back. There is always something you can do to come back from the defeat, so long as you dare to stick it out and get through it. That courage defines more of your success than achieving success in the first place. Success is not something you merely achieve and keep; you have to hang on to it and fight for it.

Your courage speaks for more than any success you achieve

Sure, achieving success in the first place is a feat, but holding on to it is the real success. The courage takes to overcome obstacles, potential failure, and hold on to your success no matter what speaks far louder than achieving success. Some can fall into success, but those people are far more likely to lose it.

 
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Do you know who you are? Knowing yourself is crucial when making decisions about a path you are about to take. Unless another person truly knows you, do not let them influence you. Chances are they will have you do what is right for them not you. They mean well but will be destructive in your life.   Taking an inventory of our weakness, strengths, what gives us personal satisfaction, and where our does stress come from will help guide us onto the road to finding our happiness and sense of accomplishment we all need and desire.

 

Having done this, writing in a journal will bring about a deeper understanding of our weakness, strengths, and what gives us that sense of personal satisfaction that will provide us with the focus to follow through to the goal of our choice. Here are 12 questions that will get you started. They are designed to get us in touch with our inner feelings and beliefs. With the clarity that comes from journaling making choices in relationships, work life, and our personal experience will be more satisfying.                                                                                       

 

  1. What is truly important to you? Describe this in as much detail as possible.                                     
  2. Describe your values and why you treasure them
  3. Describe what you would fight for to keep from losing.
  4. What brings out that sense of achievement and happiness?
  5. What does your life to look like in 5 years, ten years
  6. What are your unique talents or gifts?
  7. In the next year, what skill would you like to develop?
  8. Imagine yourself 20 years from now, what would you regret not doing?
  9. Describe your most significant achievement to date.
  10. Describe your disappointments, failures, and sadness.
  11. What angers or frustrates you?
  12. Who is a significant influence or mentor in your life? How did they earn this position in your life?

                                                                                                                                               

Right or wrong usually is someone else’s idea for your life. There is no place for it when journaling. Answer these questions thoughtfully and honestly, a picture of your dreams and goals will materialize in front of you. Use these revelations in making decisions to shape your future.

 

Image by skeeze on Pixabay

 

 
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Take Charge Through Acceptance

Do you know how to accept the events in your life as they occur in your life? Do you have the power to make the changes in your life that will allow you not to take this life so serious? The people that can laugh at themselves are in more control of their lives and accomplish more in less time.

 

When you accept things as they are in life, both in other people and yourself, now you are in charge. With this new power, you can see how to better your personal life. Discovering who you are is a side effect of this new found power.

 

When we act the same way at all times, we have found our identity. Every day we experience emotions, thoughts, behaviors, actions, and these influences cause us to see the world a little different. Every day we experience something new, our personality will reflect these events.

 Find Yourself

The world we live in desensitizes us. We're surrounded by the influences on TV, in the media, on radio, in homes, government, schools, etc.  To each his own, but it is easy to see the flaws in them. Seeing these flaws takes no effort, which is why it is easy. We cannot alter their behaviors and way of thinking, but we may change ours. Our attitude is a component of learning and accepting the realities. The best way to take charge of your life is to become your influencer and let others influences make another person's life unserene.

 

As you accept yourself as you are, laughing at yourself will become normal. For example, if somebody makes you crazy, you will see the futility in getting upset over their actions.  You will be able to see the humor in your behavior if you make an error and feed into their stupidity. Once you begin to see the humor in life, you will feel better inside as you start to permit yourself to make mistakes. When you learn to change to better you, others might follow. Your conduct will be far more effective at changing others than words could ever accomplish.

 Become the Channel

As you grow, it will be like a snowball rolling down a hill. It will get bigger and bigger with every movement. New ways to improve your mental and physical health will pop into your mind on a regular basis. Before when these ideas came they were discounted. Now that you allow yourself to make mistakes you can take chances on these thoughts. In time as you begin to feel better, you will see a need to exercise, eat correctly, and hang out with positive influences and so on. Once you grasp this energy, putting forth the effort to achieve your goals will not be an effort.

Image by johnhain on Pixabay

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Many things can make us happier or less happy, and there's no 'magic switch' that will automatically turn you into a happy and serene individual wearing life like a loose garment. That said, there are certainly some things that appear to play a particularly large role in affecting whether or not we're happy.

Social Comparison Theory

One theory that has been put forward as having a lot to do with how happy we ultimately are is something called 'social comparison theory.' Postulated initially by social psychologist Leon Festinger, "The Social Comparison Theory" is the idea that most of our self-worth comes from our comparing ourselves to others. Many times this is with people we know nothing about. While there are many aspects of this theory, the basic idea as it relates to happiness is that many of us aren't happy because we are always comparing ourselves with others who are better off. In other words, while you might be incredibly wealthy and successful, you won't feel that way if the people you spend the most time with are actually more wealthy. Do not minimize the time you spend reading and watching the lives of those better off. Similarly, you may be dissatisfied with your relationship if you are only seeing the masks your friends are wearing. This goes for the car and house you own.

Making Matters Worse

Regrettably, today's lifestyles being internet based are designed to make matters worse. It started with Facebook, allowing us to show the ideal version of our own lives. This means that we are continually seeing the best of life materializing in the lives of our friends. This may consist of spectacular holidays, party's, vacations, new homes, or advancements in their careers. The list can go on forever. At the same time, the media is continually showing us the lifestyles of the rich and famous – people who want for nothing.

How to Overcome Social Comparison Theory

So how do you overcome social comparison? The obvious is to eliminate Facebook, though many of us can not comprehend that concept. It also seems like double talk coming from someone who is starting a social media site. The irony did not escape me.

To overcome comparing yourself with others demands that you focus on your own dreams and goals and keep a realistic view of your life as it compares with others. Yes, that person has become incredibly successful but is it exactly what you would want to do? Focus on your dreams and how they differ from those of other people.

Meanwhile, make sure to be grateful for what you do have, and enjoy what you have. Do not waste your time with words like could, should, and if only. Think about what you have overcome and accomplished in your life. Seeing that in the right light. What is there that you can not achieve moving forward?

The Good Life Mall is designed to be a community where we can show our selves as we see ourselves and get positive feedback and help to soar to new heights.

Image by geralt on Pixabay

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