How many times have you thought that you wish you had more time in your hands so that you can follow your dreams? Or, that you wish your life would be different and you could distribute your time better so you can follow your passion?
If you have asked yourself these questions and you have noticed a pattern of regret and "stuckness" coming up interestingly often, there is a high chance that you might be standing in your own way. You might be sabotaging yourself subconsciously with some specific behaviors and actions.
Social media is a paradox. It can get us closer to others, but it can also leave us feeling inadequate and lonely. It can help us develop ourselves or lead us down the path of social media burnout.
The good news is that we can choose how social media affects our wellbeing. Here we explore some concrete steps we can take to make social media our friend.
Social media is one of the latest technological advances that have most effectively changed our everyday lives. It has shaped our daily habits, our economic structures, and how we relate to one another.
Our social media channels have become the first and last thing we do in our day. And despite the many benefits social media has granted us, there is a darker face to it. We are referring to the negative consequences that occur due to our excessive use of social media; social media burnout.
If you are reading this, there is a chance that you are well acquainted with the timeless problem of avoiding situations that make us feel uneasy, anxious or restless. Sometimes we question ourselves, is avoiding good or is it harmful in the long run? Today our psychologists will explore just that.
In this quick paced world we sometimes underestimate the power of pausing. No, we are not talking about the wonderful practice of meditation. We are talking about pausing to understand what is going on inside your mind.
Pausing and observing your thoughts is one of the main pillars of one of the most popular therapeutic approaches. An approach that can help you cope with stress, anxiety, depression, burnout and many other mental health issues. This is CBT, and today we bring forward a metaphor that will help you understand this approach better.
The articles around the international press about millennials being the burnout generation keep multiplying. The pandemic is not helping with our mental health either. Depression is also on the rise. But is there a link between depression and burnout?
5 Powerful Benefits of Walking Mindfully in Nature + Tips
Yesterday I had an epiphany. After a long day of work, I went walking in nature. I spent a few hours enjoying the view and listening to the chirping birds. As I was amid these natural wonders, I began thinking about the incredible health benefits and therapeutic power of having a short walk in nature. During my journey, I took photos of the sea, admired the tall trees, and noticed the subtle changes in the water. I felt relaxed and in awe, and as I came back, I realized I have to share this experience with you and share with the world the fantastic benefits a short walk in nature can bring to our mental health.
9 ways that perfectionism can lead to burnout
First of all, let’s clear out a really common misunderstanding.
We believe that perfectionism is a healthy mindset that leads to perfect results, perfect achievements, perfect life, to perfection.
However, the truth is somewhat different: perfectionism is the stress we feel in order to be perceived as perfect by others or ourselves and the exhausting effort we put in order to deal with that stress.
In other words, perfectionism feels like we are not enough and we need to try more in order to become so. And when we say “try”, we mean try a lot.
The Pros and Cons of Being a Perfectionist
As we wrote in our previous article ‘How Much of a Perfectionist are you?’, perfectionists tend to feel that nothing they ever do is good enough; that they need to work unrelentingly in a bid to better themselves, or else there’ll be negative consequences. If a perfectionist feels he/she is not meeting the high standards they hold for themselves, they will often experience distress or inner unrest which can affect negatively their mood or result in anxiety.
With this description perfectionism sounds like a really unpleasant, unwanted trait. So why do so many of us personify it? Well, as behavioural psychology tells us, everything we do is done because we believe it will be of benefit to us (or it has benefitted us somehow in the past) - and perfectionism is no different. The perfectionistic thoughts described above breed by definition an intense drive to perform well, and their continued presence in our lives can be put down to the successes and external validation (who doesn’t love compliments?!) this increased drive once brought us.
Another 6 apps that boost your mental health
Mental well-being and inner balance are not a luxury. They are a necessity. In a world of constant worrying, being busy, commuting, changing and adjusting, we need some stability, and that’s something that needs to come from within.
So, we continued our research on applications that you can install on your mobile phone and that can help you find more inner peace and become more mindful within your environment. In our previous article, we shared 6 apps that boost mental health, and here we continue with another 6 (there are a lot, indeed, so we had to choose wisely).
6 apps that boost your mental health
Technology has often been blamed as the villain of the contemporary world, bringing more trouble and threats than help and comfort to our once-peaceful-and-simple life.
For example, smartphones. We spend so much time in front of our screens, looking forward to getting a “like” or a reaction from our followers, to see how our friends are spending their time and how much fun they are having, as well as comparing our body, our friends, our holidays and our happiness with theirs.
The result? We feel like we will never be as good as them, have as much fun as them, be as loved as them, and so on. Yes, it is true that smartphones have been blamed for giving us a lot of trouble since they were invented, from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to panic attacks or even to making us feel depressed.
Are smartphones just bad news? Are they nothing more than a way to feel miserable about ourselves? One could say it all depends on the way you look at it…
“Listen to your gut”, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”
These are everyday sayings which actually refer to the concept "psychosomatic symptoms". So what exactly are they?
The word ‘psychosomatic’ combines two ancient Greek phrases. ‘Psyche’, the Greek for soul, is commonly seen in words like psychologist, psychiatrists, psychedelics, etc., and is a reference to the concept of the mind. ‘Soma’ is the Greek term for our body; that is, our limbs, organs, bones, head, face, genitals, and anything else we consider as part of our physical anatomy.
Psychosomatics, then, is a term describing the influence of mental or emotional states on bodily symptoms and sensations.
Food and Emotions: the invisible connection
Nowadays only few of us see food purely as a source of nutrition for our bodies. Food is generally associated with pleasure, reward and a whole range of human emotions and conditions.
Just think of all the projections of popular culture depicting people eating cartons of ice cream after a break up or sipping tea in order to fill up discomforting silences.
What is Self-Compassion?
"Be kind to yourself."
We can hear this quite a lot, but what does it actually mean? Being kind to ourselves relates to the act of self-compassion. Before we think about self-compassion, let’s focus our attention to compassion. Compassion is the process of being aware of suffering in others and the drive to do something about that in order to sooth or prevent it. The word compassion may hold different connotations for us.
Plato said “opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.”
People talk. And we hear. People tend to have opinions about everything and anyone. It doesn’t matter if their opinion is an argument or “just saying”, they will feel entitled to express it and we will fall for it. In other words, many of us tend to see ourselves through other people's eyes. Every day, every moment of it, we feel judged about our looks, how we behave, how smart we are or if we are being good partners or good parents.
There’s something really sad about Christmas.
You can see it in all these commercials with families gathered around the table, blissfully celebrating the festive days with their loved ones, exchanging perfectly-wrapped presents next to shiny Christmas trees, with everyone smiling and feeling so lucky to have each other.
What??? You can’t see it yet?
To give you a hint:
In this “merry” picture, projected through media and social media...
...where are the people who are grieving the loss of a loved one?
...where are the people who can’t spend time with their friends and family because of work?
There is this idea that Inner peace is like a destination, where, upon reaching, you become a brand new person and nothing upsetting or discomforting can get to you anymore. In this “Inner Peace Land” (if we can call it like that), there is no stress or any uncomfortable emotion; there is no conflict, there is no pain, there is no fear. And we even believe that if once something upsetting comes, we will not even blink, due to our “zen” zone that we have successfully acquired.
Reality Check: is there such a place? NO.
Our brain is a wonderful, magical thing. If we would process every impulse from the world around us that comes into our brains one by one, it would be a sure recipe for immediate madness. Fortunately, the brain has developed systems to handle this. For example, if you look at a building, the brain does not think about each individual stone, window and door, but it immediately sees a complete house.
How much of a Perfectionist are you?
This is how I call any challenging situation, any hard time in life, that brings turbulence in my inner -hard-won- balance.
I call it like that not only because it is -objectively- a difficult moment in your life. But mainly because it blows a strong wind inside your mind, it makes you feel you have no shelter to protect yourself, it thunders against all what you have believed and dreamt so far, it pours you into an emotional rollercoaster, and all this you have to fight it by yourself.
Defeating anxiety, stress, negative thoughts, procrastination and fears has never been easy. And it never will be. Not because there is something wrong with us, or because we are doing it the wrong way, but because it is something that indeed requires from us conscious effort, time, practice and a lot of mental energy.
We are actually rewiring our brain: changing the neuron paths existing since childhood which take us a certain way, into a different path, where things happen in a different way and are linked to different thoughts.
Everyone talks about the downside of depression. But is there a good side at all? Anger and stress, for example, can help us adapt to external threat and protect ourselves. But depression? Is there any actual benefit in it?
Depression helps us build stronger relationships.
At some point in our life we experience the pain and grief associated with the loss of a loved one. We feel depressed, our life seems empty, we are stressed, and what seemed interesting in the past, now appears meaningless. This pain makes us understand how close we were to this person and how important they were to our life. it is during this depressive phase that we acknowledge how significant our relationships are to our well-being.
Three weeks on holidays. After an exhausting year of work, work, work. Three books chosen. (Or, let to be chosen.)
1. One from the classics: The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway. (Actually that was a re-read. I first read it during my school years. Different eras, different perspectives, totally different insights.)
2. One from my favorites authors: What I talk when I talk about running, Haruki Murakami. (Or, how a writer can blow your mind, even if he's talking about his running marathons)
3. One from a random pick (someone's suggestions, somewhere in the web): A tale for the time being, Ruth Ozeki. (It turned out to be my first book written by a Zen Buddhist priest which didn't seem at all to be written by a Zen Buddhist priest.)
How Do You Know If You Made The Right Choice?
You don’t, we can never be sure of if we made a right decision. But letting go of the perfectionist inside us and accepting these facts can bring us solace.
This is a story, a pattern which comes up very frequently when discussing with people: we all want to know whether we made the right decision or not. Or we are struggling hard in order to be 100% sure that we will make the right decision in a given upcoming conflicting situation.
While most people have heard of panic attacks, those who have not experienced it may find it hard to understand how frightening it can be. A panic attack is not just an intense feeling of anxiety, but rather a blast of terror that the brain produces only for truly frightening events. Panic attacks are also often associated with intense physical reactions, which often lead those experiencing them to falsely identify them as a serious health issue. Although they are relatively common, panic attacks are often not fully understood. Many suffer unnecessarily because they are unaware that what they are experiencing is mainly psychological rather than physical and that there is an effective treatment for it.
The first and most important thing to know about panic attacks is that they are not dangerous. Panic attacks are experienced as dangerous because they activate the emergency system in our brain, which thinks us in immediate danger. A bit like placing a fire alarm near a toaster, the security system in our brain releases false alarm during panic attacks.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.