Mind Enhancement Center

Overcome Stress & Anxiety

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Avoiding Procrastination

Everybody can relate to the stress one feels when they’re actively trying to avoid a task that needs to be accomplished. If you find yourself constantly bombarded with unfinished tasks; and living with an ever-present feeling of dread, you might be a victim of procrastination. Procrastination is a completely natural human response that works to prioritize tasks. The problem arises when the avoidance becomes habitual. As unfinished to-do items stack up, one will start to feel overwhelmed and suddenly nothing gets done. The following is a handful of strategies to combat the self-sabotaging effects of procrastination.

To-Don’t Lists:

Creating a list of things you need to accomplish by a certain date can be extremely practical. If you’ve already tried this, and still find yourself struggling to prioritize, then it’s probably time to reevaluate your schedule. There are things on there that likely have some semblance of personal value to you, but also don’t necessarily have to be done. Take a hard look at your list and remove some of the undone items that are holding you back from the more important tasks at hand. Suddenly you’ll find copious spare time you can use to do the dishes, take out the trash, and put away your laundry.

Worthless Deadlines:

If you have convinced yourself that something absolutely has to get done by a certain time, check again and make sure that it’s actually the case. No, this isn’t a form of procrastination. Perhaps you’ve just created a rule for yourself that is an unfair or completely unrealistic expectation. For example, if you’ve made yourself responsible for three dishes on Thanksgiving and always procrastinate on making them on schedule, maybe it’s time to make a new rule. Who says it’s required to bring three dishes? What if it’s only two, or one? The point is to not overload yourself with unnecessary chores, so don’t.

Reward Yourself:

If there is something really important you’ve been avoiding, like updating your resume for example, clear out an entire day and finish this one thing. Make a deal with yourself that once this one obligation is completed, you can do whatever you want with the rest of the day. This is a great way to empower yourself and gain confidence, while also creating what usually amounts to a ton of free time. You can use it to accomplish even more productive work or binge Netflix for 12 hours.

Conclusion:

If you make an effort to implement these tips for avoiding procrastination, you’ll start to feel the heavy weight of unattended responsibilities begin to lift. Remember, you have to take care of yourself before you can take of others, and it’s always important to reassess the self-imposed deadlines you’ve set for yourself.

Bad Habits You Need to Address

Not all habits are bad for you. In fact, it’s easier to point out which habits are the bad ones when they are constantly being advertised as so. Smoking, drinking, drugs, self-harm, and other alarming vices are ones that probably stand out to you the most. What about the habits that are not immediately damaging to the body? Why should those need to be addressed? We all have our little quirks that we have probably developed since childhood, but it is important to reflect upon them and analyze their role in our life. Are they actually causing us long-term emotional stress? The answer is yes for some.

We can’t get too comfortable with one way to handle our stress. Without professional advice, you could be trapped in a routine that holds you back from succeeding and living your ultimate happy life. Here are some common habits that you may have that are not helping you alleviate your stress and emotional state.

Excessive Snacking

Everyone deserves a snack every now and then. Snacks are the perfect way to sample a treat that does not need to be eaten in a larger quantity or a way to alleviate minor hunger. We snack before dinner reservations, just in case it takes too long to get a table. We snack at work in between clocking in to start the day and clocking out for lunch. We snack as a special treat after accomplishing a task. We snack to relieve boredom. Which one of these is the odd one out? Boredom.

Once you start to get comfortable with the idea that every minor accomplishment requires a reward of a snack, it becomes a bad habit. Too much snacking conditions your mind to fill the void of emotional support with food, especially if your snack choices are highly salted, greasy, and calories, it could increase your chances of diabetes or heart disease.

Overspending

Just like snacking, we all deserve to treat ourselves to the shoes or watch we’ve been eyeing for a while. Hard work and savings should pay off with a reward because why else are you making money? When does it become a bad habit? When you feel the excessive need to have it all. If you never have debates and do the financial math in your head when browsing through online stores, you might not care about the economic consequences in your bank account. Overspending leads to debt, which leads to stress. Not being able to afford bills or even food is not healthy when you know that your closet is flourishing in brand new items.

Electronic Device Usage

Coming home to turn on the television is an impulse for many, but there is nothing wrong with that when you’ve had a long day. Your free time is open for you to catch up on your hobbies, but if it involves too much time in front of a screen, you need to stop and evaluate the situation. If you space out from your programs and start to browse your social media, then talk on the phone while browsing the internet on your computer, you might have an unhealthy habit. Spending too much time in a virtual version of the world could be a mechanism built to escape your real responsibilities. If you start to find your house messier than ever and neglecting your loved ones, it’s time to balance the habit.

Conclusion

These habits may not seem harmful, but once you’ve let them control your routine, you can forget to manage your priorities like physical health, finances, and chores. Since they are not overall bad for you, it is important to seek alternative help to managing your personal life. Believe in yourself to be able to control a situation and not let your bad habits control you.

Smoking Distractions You Should Try

Nicotine addiction poses a great challenge when trying to quit smoking. It’s understandable that it is easier said than done. That’s how it feels at first until you apply yourself to understanding that there are more negative side effects of smoking. Smoking also sets you behind in your everyday life routine like commitment to being present in events, shortage of money, and hygiene. Imagine a life where you get to watch a movie with your family and friends all the way through with no smoke breaks? How about a life where no one complains about the bad smell in your car.

If you’ve reached out to many different resources to quit smoking, you probably already know about the health defects. What we are trying to accomplish now is to get you used to the idea that you don’t need to have a cigarette in your hand, or that break that takes time away from your day. Smoking gets to the point of being an impulsive act. With these successful distractions, you will break out of the impulsive habit and find your independence.

Chew Gum

A lot of times, we feel like we need to have something in our mouths. Eating to fill a void can become a negative habit because it can lead to health issues such as obesity, heart disease, or an increase in cholesterol.

Chewing gum helps with stressful times. Lots of people have a tick like biting their nails, overeating or tapping their foot to distract them from stressful thoughts. Gum is the best alternative to having your mouth stay busy in a way that doesn’t affect your wellbeing.

Count Change

Count all the change in your pocket, wallet, and any other place where you tend to find money to fund your cigarettes. You will be pleasantly surprised to see how much money you have saved when you aren’t spending it on your vice. You could even use that extra cash to buy a much-deserved gift to yourself for a successful journey trying to quit.

Brush Your Teeth

Try brushing your teeth every time you get a craving for a cigarette. It will give you a refreshing minty taste in your mouth that will make you want to keep it instead of infesting it with the dry ashy taste and feeling. Getting used to a clean mouth is a great way to realize what you have been missing out on!

Do Your Laundry

This is a long process of a distraction, which works well when you have downtime at home that you would usually spend outside smoking in your thoughts. Having clean, soft, and fresh smelling clothes will give you the same effect as having a clean mouth. You will love the smell of clean and never want to leave a trail of smoke around your loved ones again.

Use a Phone Stick

For those that have a touchscreen phone, try a touchscreen stick. The little sticks are meant to be an alternative to your finger. People use it because they do not have to cover their phone with all the germs on their hands, and it maintains the quality of the screen. Having a stick on your hand at all times will take away the impulsive need to have a cigarette there instead.

 Conclusion

There are many healthy ways to distract yourself from smoking. A lot of times, we need to find what it is that makes us start the habit, even though we already know the facts about its effects. Sometimes, it’s not enough to know about the damage because the impulsive acts take over. With these solutions, you will be able to overcome that habit!

Overcoming Stress at the Thanksgiving Table

Whether you are traveling home for the holidays or have your loved ones traveling to you, the holidays can be a stressful time dealing with the anticipation about topics being brought up at the dinner table. No one wants to be reminded that their job is not their dream job or that they are not working in the field that they always sought to.

Being asked “Why are you still single?” or “When are you going to get married?” are all unnecessarily stressful questions, but we can’t control other’s thoughts. It is inevitable to feel a little unmotivated in your career or fear that your family won’t be proud of where you are, but our helpful reminders will give you the right mindset to approach the holiday with confidence.

Journal

Journaling doesn’t always have to be about your feelings or narrating your day like a diary, it could be very therapeutic and help you see things clearly in other ways. Jotting down a list of your current accomplishment, goals, or things that you are thankful for can show you a new set of hope that you have not seen before. We can be very hard on ourselves sometimes, causing us to forget the little accomplishments that make for big results in our lives. When you write them down, you might be surprised to see such a long list of joy!

Your journaling also works as a trial for discussing all the pressing questions that can be asked at dinner and practicing how you will encounter them. Don’t let the question of “So what are you doing for a living now?” or “How much money are you making?” put you in a stressful situation. With a little bit of journaling, you’ll overcome the situation in your privacy before handling it in person!

Make a Speech

Showing leadership is a great way to make yourself and others around you be impressed and even proud. If you are usually the silent one at the table or prefer to listen to another’s speeches instead, let this year’s Thanksgiving be a change of scenery. Give yourself the challenge of making a speech at the table. This will allow you to realize a lot about your current situation and remind you that there is much to be thankful for.

Conclusion

Remember that everyone works at their own pace. You do not have to approach Thanksgiving dinner being the most successful person at the dinner table. With a little bit of journaling about your strengths and trying to communicate more with your family, you will reach a different level of accomplishment and overcome stress in a therapeutic way.

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