16 December 2019

Feel Good routines that will rock your world

As life wears on, you often find yourself wondering whether it will always be just one problem after another, or whether you’ll ever arrive at a place of genuine happiness and contentment. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear... Especially when nothing seems to be going right!

You will have noticed, however, that some people in your life seem to be pathologically happy. Nothing phases them. They’re immune to politics, the opinions of other people, and their own self-doubt. What is it that allows these people to go about their lives in a kind of contented stupor? And why is it so difficult for you? 

Partly, it has to do with their routine, both mental and physical. 

Practice Gratitude


When was the last time that you were grateful for something in your life? When you think about it, it was probably a long time ago if you are a “glass-half-empty” type of person. 

Research, however, shows that gratitude is a great tool to increase feelings of wellbeing. The reason is that it helps people escape negative self-talk that makes the world a dark and depressing place.

For instance, it can be challenging to accept the end of a relationship. Your negative self might rage about the fact that the people in your life all seem to have great partners, but you don’t. You may worry that you have nothing to offer or that you’ll never find that special someone. Being grateful, however, means being thankful for being out of a damaging relationship or having the freedom to explore the world on your own terms. 

Always Have A Purpose

If it seems like there’s anything to look forward to, you can find yourself in a dark place. You worry that the future will never be better than the present and that the problems you have right now will continue forever, a depressing outlook. 

Having a purpose, however, changes the dynamic entirely. First, having a goal allows you to focus on long-term ambition and tell yourself a story about what your life will be. Right now, you might be alone and in a dead-end job. That’s okay. You still have tools at your disposal to make the future you want to happen actually take place. It might require sacrifice and work, but it is worth it because the result will be a life you were proud to live. 

The second is that having a purpose helps you to escape yourself for a while. You can focus on something external, like building a business or promoting a cause. You don’t have to look inwardly so much, allowing you to channel the negative energy you have for yourself into something positive

Once the results of your efforts start to come to fruition, you’ll feel better about the person you are and more confident about what you can achieve. 

Enjoy Positive Experiences

Positive experiences are what make life worth living. It could be anything from shopping for the best vape deals to having an in-depth conversation with your partner or hiking across a national park. Positive experiences help to take you out of the mundane day-to-day experience of your life with can drag you down and inject a little excitement and passion. 

Do Stuff That You Are Good At

If you spend any length of time reading blogs on progressing your career, you’ll often find that they extol the virtues of working on your weaknesses. The idea is that you need to spend time overcoming your limitations to make yourself a better person. 

Arguably, this advice is wrong. The most successful people in the world focus on what they’re good at naturally and then amplify their performance. Christiano Ronaldo is a great footballer, not a great mathematician. Thus, he doesn’t spend any of his time trying to figure out proofs to mathematical mysteries. He just does what he’s good at. The same goes for people in politics. They hone their rhetoric: they don’t bother practicing to become great anglers. 

Improve Your Environment


A lot of people are susceptible to the quality of their environment. Stark interiors particularly can create a feeling of alienation and isolation. 

If you live in a dirty, messy apartment, try tidying it up, adding a few indoor plants, and using some scented wicks or candles. You’ll be amazed at the difference that it can make to your mood, especially in the evening. 

You don’t necessarily have to make a significant change. Something as simple as changing your notebook or buying a new lamp can make a massive difference to how you feel. 





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03 December 2019

How positive thinking can help change your outlook on problem solving

When you are faced with a problem, what do you do? Do you sit down and get to work or do you catastrophize and think of all the ways that your idea could go wrong? You would be surprised at how many people think they are the former but turn out to be the latter! 

We are all vulnerable to our anxieties and we tend to prefer familiar options over new ideas. We are also trained from a young age to expect and remember the worst case scenario. This is a really helpful survival skill and it’s what makes you check both sides of the road before crossing, even when you’re on a one-way street. 

However, focusing on the negatives won’t get you very far. Life requires you to take some risks. So, instead of looking at all the reasons you can’t do something, you should get into the habit of positive problem solving.

Image Credit: Pexels CC0 Licence 


When you are faced with a problem, what do you do? Do you sit down and get to work or do you overthink all the ways that your idea could go wrong? You would be surprised at how many people think they are the former but turn out to be the latter, myself included!


We are all vulnerable to our anxieties and we tend to prefer familiar options over new ideas. We are also trained from a young age to expect and remember the worst case scenario. This is a really helpful survival skill and it’s what makes you check both sides of the road before crossing, even when you’re on a one-way street, hhowever, focusing on the negatives won’t always get you very far. Life requires you to take some risks. So, instead of looking at all the reasons you can’t do something, you should get into the habit of positive problem solving. 

If you want to burst through your self limiting beliefs, you have to open your mind. But the great part is that you don’t just need to open your own mind but to also accept that others may be able to help you. Rather than limit yourself because you can’t do something, you should expand your horizons by asking for help from those who can. The first step in learning something is realizing the power of your community - everyone can teach you something. I often end up googling something i don't know and teaching myself a bit about it so i understand the problem.


In business, the idea of outsourcing is really common and people hire SEO experts, HR managers and IT companies all the time. If you imagine your life in a similar way, you might find that you can outsource some of the problems you face.

Positive problem solving requires an optimistic outlook. Instead of focusing on all the reasons that you can’t do something, you need to look at all the ways you could make something possible. So, instead of saying, I could never run a marathon, say, I could start training and build up to running a marathon. I recently ran a 10k for charity without stopping when a at the start of the year i cold barely run 2k!


A major part of finding positive solutions is realising that most problems don’t have a single solution or a one-off fix-all. The vast majority of problems need a few small solutions that lead towards a larger problem. You might not be able to run a marathon but you could start by joining a running club, then building your stamina, trying a smaller race and then continuing your training. I found this worked amazingly well for me. A little bit at a time and slowly you will get there.


Having an optimistic mindset will really help here because optimists tend to take control of situations, whereas pessimists assume that there’s nothing they can do to make a bad situation better. By saying, “I can, because...”, you give yourself agency to find a solution that works for you. 


You don’t have to be good at everything and you might no be the luckiest person in the world but facing challenges and finding the positive solutions will make a huge difference to the way you view opportunities and take life by the horns. 

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27 November 2019

Signs you could be stressed but not realise


There is a great deal of talk about stress in the media these days. A little bit of reading can show that people are feeling more stress than ever before, with study after study showing that workers, teens and just people in general are suffering with the condition. It’s honestly difficult to go more than a few days without hearing something on the topic, which is why most of us probably assume that, if we were stressed, we’d know all about it.

However, for such a destructive condition, stress can be surprisingly silent. It is possible to be stressed and largely ignore it or, as is often the case, to blame its effects on something else. Below are some identifying signs and facts about stress and how the human body and mind handle it - and how you could identify and hopefully manage the issue.

Is stress an illness?

You can’t catch stress from another person, and there is no clinical treatment available from doctors. In fact, there is no symptom profile for it because, strictly speaking, stress is not an illness in and of itself. In truth, we all get stressed sometimes; the bigger concern is chronic stress, which is when we are stressed over a period of time and it directly impacts our physical or mental health. 

How do you know if you are stressed?

This is the tricky part - sometimes, it will be extremely obvious that you’re dealing with stress, but that is usually the case for acute stress. Whether you’re hanging on the telephone waiting to speak to a human being, or racing against time to finish a piece of work, you’ll be familiar with that feeling of rising irritation. Chronic stress can exist at a lower level for a long time, and often you won’t know about it until you fall ill in another way.

Fall ill in another way?

There are any number of physical manifestations of severe chronic stress, with spells of indigestion that require you to reach for the likes of Gaviscon syrup at one end of the scale, and serious issues that can land you in hospital at the other. If you’re not usually prone to gastrointestinal issues, or headaches, and all of a sudden find that you are experiencing them on a more regular basis, this could be due to stress. These issues certainly merit some discussion with a doctor in any case, but your doctor can also offer expert advice on stress and ways to manage it.

Are there any other signs I should look out for?

You should always be on the lookout for signs of stress, particularly if you work in a high-pressure job or are experiencing prolonged upheaval in your personal life. As well as the physical illness symptoms listed above, you may also find that you are lacking in energy, aren’t sleeping as well as you usually do, or are not finding joy in the things you normally like doing. Emotionally and mentally, you may also find that you have a shorter temper than you ordinarily do, and that you struggle with issues of focus and concentration.

What can I do about it?


The first thing that is often advised when you are dealing with long term stress is to look at removing its sources. This, naturally, is a lot easier said than done; if you’re stressed out by your job, it’s not always the case that you can just quit, and if your stress comes from an aspect of your personal life then it can be even more complicated to deal with it. The first thing you should do is look at things that can aggravate stress, and remove those. Caffeine and nicotine, as well as alcohol, can be culprits here.

You may also seek to get regular exercise, which helps to burn off excess energy that can turn into stress if left to fester, or can fuel it. Meditation, and yoga, have also been known to work, and there are several supplements that can make a significant difference too. In the long term, however, addressing the cause of the stress head-on needs to be a priority; whether this means lightening your workload in the office, or having a much-needed conversation at home, it’s essential. You may not relish the idea of a big change, but long-term stress is unsustainable.


If any of the above issues sound familiar to you, it’s worth taking the time out to ask whether you’ve been dealing with chronic stress and not known it. Addressing it now could save you a lot of issues in the future.

Is there anything you do to relieve stress?

...x




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