Mental Well-Being

Creative Anxiety is a thing: 9 Expert Quotes

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Did you know that a number of creative people tend to feel anxious very easily? That’s right. If you’re an artist/creator yourself, you’ve probably felt the weight of anxiety yourself.

There is a connection between the gifted artist and feelings of crippling anxiety.

These quotes aren’t magic pills, but they can help the unease.

Somehow, the knowledge that it’s not just you going through anxiety can help. These quotes come from renowned psychologists, authors, motivational speakers and others who know what they are talking about.

#1: On Priorities

“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.”

Steve Maraboli, Bestselling Author and Behavioral Scientist

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#2, #3: On The Nature Of Anxiety

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”

Arthur Somers Roche, Writer

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

Corrie ten Boom, Watchmaker who helped many Jews escape Nazi Holocaust in WWII

#4: On Letting Go

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”

Hermann Hesse, Poet, Novelist and Painter

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#5, #6: On Dealing With Anxiety

“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist

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“Don’t try to steer the river.”

Deepak Chopra, Author, Public Speaker, Alternative Medicine Advocate

#7, #8: On The Matter Of Perspective

“Anxiety is one little tree in your forest. Step back and look at the whole forest.”

Unknown

“Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.”

Buddha

#9: One That Sums It All Up

“You’re not going to die. Here’s the white-hot truth: if you go bankrupt, you’ll still be okay. If you lose the gig, the lover, the house, you’ll still be okay. If you sing off-key, get beat by the competition, have your heart shattered, get fired…it’s not going to kill you. Ask anyone who’s been through it.”

Danielle Laporte, bestselling Canadian author, inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, and blogger

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We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Someone you know might need these quotes today. Spread the message, and you might just gift someone a calmer day.

References:

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/hollywood-therapy/2015/08/best-quotes-for-anxious-highly-sensitive-creative-people/

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/creative-mind/2016/09/why-creative-people-may-have-more-anxiety/

Red Flag: The Telltale Signs Of A Sociopath

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Sociopaths characteristically dismiss the feelings of people around them.

They may be manipulative, uncontrollably egocentric, and can lie for their own benefit. Another remarkable thing about sociopaths: they’re everywhere. Some are actually CEOs, while others can be lawyers, surgeons, journalists, and even police officers.

And they’re very good at hiding it.

So how do you tell if someone around you simply has some behavior quirks, or is an actual sociopath? Watch for these signs; they should help you.

Red Flag 1: Blame You For Situations They Create

Sociopaths often tend to blame others for the problems they themselves cause. They often lie and deceive to achieve this.

They may be blame your for the harm they did to you. For instance, your boss could lie about an anomaly in yesterday’s report and accuse you, an innocent party, of lying. If someone in your life is doing something to drive you mad, and calling you crazy for it, chances are that they have sociopathic tendencies.

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Red Flag 2: The Signature ‘Sociopath Stare’

A number of sociopaths have been known to use this as an emotional weapon. They will lay a cold, intense, and blank stare on you. This is designed to manipulate you into submission.

If someone has a habit of doing this, and shows no remorse for the nervousness they cause, that’s a red flag.

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Red Flag 3: An Unchecked Ego

A delusional sense of grandeur and an inflated ego are clear signs of sociopathy.

Pay close attention if someone’s self worth is completely removed from reality. They might think they are a great singer or dancer, or really funny, when they actually aren’t. They may be narcissistic as well.

Sociopaths think they’re better than everyone around them, when reality dictates otherwise.

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Red Flag 4: A Manipulative Tendency

Sociopaths manipulate weaker people around them, often people who may work under them in a corporate setting. They stay away from equally strong people, preferring to exploit weak points in soft targets.

They have little to no empathy, and very low integrity. Sociopaths are comfortable with lying blatantly and using psychological warfare to weaken people.

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What Can You Do?

Sociopaths are superficially ‘nice’, often convincing outsiders that they actually are.

If you’re dealing with one, remain calm when they attempt to use you for ‘emotional entertainment.’ Whatever they get from you through manipulation, let them know—in a non-confrontational way—that you can’t provide it anymore.

Avoid them altogether if you can, and resist their charm. Ignore the self-doubt they will surely throw your way, trying to make you agree with their version of reality. Give up your fear of them.

And, above all, if you know someone else who’s a victim, warn them. Unobtrusively.

References:

http://www.wikihow.com/Spot-a-Sociopath

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/11-signs-dating-a-sociopath_n_3780417

Did I Just Think That?! The Truth About Intrusive Thoughts

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A sudden thought, unwelcome, nasty and involuntary, hits you when you least expect it.

You might be instantly horrified when such thoughts hit your mind, but don’t worry. These are called intrusive thoughts, and we all have them.

These can often take us by surprise, taking the form of a taboo subject, or an inappropriate action. Generally the result of an anxious mind, intrusive thoughts can wreak havoc on normalcy. All too often, they lead you to question your own sanity.

What are these thoughts? Can they be avoided?

We take a look.

What Intrusive Thoughts Are

Whether you’re prone to anxiety or not, you’ve probably had an intrusive thought or two. We all do.

Say you’re looking out the window on a relaxed bus journey. Out of nowhere, you imagine a head-on collision, and picture all the gory details. Then you snap out of it. By the time your bus reaches your destination, you’ve put the whole thing behind you. You maybe don’t even remember it.

That’s an intrusive thought.

Other subject matters include religious taboos, imagining harm to your own children, and other such unwanted, unsavoury stuff. Intrusive thoughts often rob you of  your peace. You get anxious, and start imagining these horrors coming to life.

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Where Do They Come From?

These thoughts often crop up when your mind is ‘left unattended’, or when you’re bored.

Intrusive thoughts are often attributed to the following:

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: OCD
  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Phobia
  • Panic Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Don’t worry, intrusive thoughts by themselves don’t mean you have any of these disorders.

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Putting An End To Intrusive Thoughts

How do you put an end to these ‘what if’ scenarios that you seemingly can’t get rid of?

A number of psychologists recommend Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) strategies.

These help you figure out ways of accepting that such thoughts are a part of you. That is the key: acceptance. If you keep obsessing about why these thoughts occurred, you put yourself into a vicious cycle of bad thoughts, and bad thoughts about the original bad thoughts.

As with all other thought-related disorders, you should definitely see a qualified expert about the matter. You can’t work around intrusive thoughts, you need to work through them. Getting expert help is often the best way to do this.

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References:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anxiety-files/200906/those-damn-unwanted-thoughts

http://moodsmith.com/intrusive-thoughts/

Beware: The Link Between Ambition And Depression

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Recent studies have shown us some alarming insights. One that is particularly worrying is that ambition, more often than not, is linked to depression.

One moment, you’re on top of the world, planning your strategy to get to where you want to be. The next, you’re crashing down, and battling demons you can’t avoid.

A number of us are ambitious, and that’s a great thing. But more and more people are finding it empty and unfulfilling at the top. It’s ironic that, once we’ve attained goals we worked for, for months or years, we feel disappointed.

Why does this happen? Let’s take a look.

The Success Syndrome

That ambition is linked to depression is not exactly hot news. This link has been around long enough for psychiatrists to dub it the ‘success syndrome.’

Even as their bank accounts get fuller and fuller, a number of ambitious people feel a crushing dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Why? Some experts cite constant comparison as a cause. Healthy competition is good, but always pitting yourself against people around you can push you right into depression.

Another reason why successful people experience dark depression: an unreasonably large fear of failure. When the ambitious person attempts a particular goal, they tend to go all in. A healthy fear of failure keeps your feet planted on the ground, but too much can make you lose your footing.
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Sacrificing Your Social Life

When you’re ambitious, you’ve likely given it all you’ve got to reach the top. You’d think that people who’ve “made it” would be satisfied, but successful celebrities like Deepika Padukone have ‘come out’ about being depressed, even at the heights of their careers.

Often, we sacrifice close friendships and even love lives to achieve large goals. We often end up with a lot of money to spend, and no one to spend it with. With nobody to talk to—and the social stigma surrounding depression—feelings of social isolation are hard to avoid.

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The Problem With Depression

When you’re successful in the eyes of people around you, they are (sadly) less likely to acknowledge that you have problems. In their eyes, you are often seen as the person who’s “got it all.” Another thing people fail to understand: depression doesn’t just disappear when you want it to.

Sam Altman, the co-founder of OpenAI with Elon Musk, gets it right. He says that existential angst is a part of life, and is particularly prevalent at major milestones. Apparently, it tends to affect smart, ambitious people.

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Working Through Depression

Here’s a bit of comfort, though: Altman goes on to say that you’re not alone in this. There’s nothing “wrong with you” if you feel this way even when you’re conventionally successful.

The key to getting through the “success syndrome” is in realizing that this isn’t something you can skip around, but something that you need to push through. A lot of us tend to sweep such feelings under the carpet, insisting “everything’s fine”. Instead, the key is to concede that there is a problem.

Seek help from people around you, or from a mental health professional. The demons you struggled to battle alone can be easier to face when someone can help you take them on. Yes, there will be days when you have episodes of “is that all there is?” Know that there is more, though. Your accomplishments don’t have to feel as hollow as they do.

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Never forget: talk to people. Nothing helps like addressing your depression head on, even if it’s with only a single trusted confidant.

References:

https://thehealthorange.com/stay-happy/mind/ambition-breeds-depression/

http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/when-ambition-breeds-depression/

 

Simple Hacks To Have A Productive Workday

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Have you ever felt at the end of a day that you could have done so much more? Don’t we all get this feeling once in a while when we feel that if not for a few things our day could have been much more productive than it was?

People who tend to have very productive days do not just have it by chance. There are some carefully thought out decisions that they make which help them achieve this. These decisions are not life-changing. Neither are they difficult to incorporate into your routine!

Here are 4 quick hacks that will help you have a productive day:

A Morning Routine

What time you wake up and what you do after you wake up can impact the rest of your day! Make sure that you decide early on when to wake up so that you feel like your day is in your control. Also, as soon as you wake up finish one thing off your checklist for the day so that you can start the day on a high.

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Prioritize

The reason most people feel panicky and unaccomplished at the end of a long day is because they have finished the not-so-important tasks and are still left with the major tasks for the day. Ensure that you prioritize what needs to be done and what is important and do your work accordingly!

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Do One Task At A Time

One of the most important blocks to productivity is trying to do it all… and trying to do it at the same time. When you decide on a task, ensure that you give your full attention to it. This helps your mind be more focussed on the task at hand and complete it to your best potential.

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Take Breaks

While you might think productivity is all about getting all your work done at a stretch, it is actually quite the opposite. Taking breaks in between is very essential and it helps you to rejuvenate and work better on the next task in hand.

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Are You Mentally Free ?

Freedom can be defined in many ways and often, each person’s definition of freedom is vastly different. However, we can all agree that one of the truest forms of freedom is experiencing mental bliss and being able to say that you are peaceful.

Since this week we have been talking about freedom and independence in various ways, let us look at what freedom means to the mind!

In this fast-paced world of lofty ambitions, technology and running behind our aspirations, how many of us take a moment to take stock of whether we are ‘mentally free’?

How many of us experience this mental freedom on a daily basis? What are the ones experiencing this doing different?  

Here are 4 habits that you can inculcate on a daily basis to experience mental freedom.

1.Believe in Yourself

The first step to being mentally free is to possess an incredible amount of confidence in yourself. By believing in yourself, you are eliminating any self-doubt, confidence crisis or negative emotions that could come your way.

 

2.Stay Positive

It is incredibly hard for any person to be positive all the time – however, staying positive and cultivating a behaviour of positive thinking is the key to unlocking mental freedom. Make sure you keep track of all your thoughts so that you don’t get sucked into the loop of negative thinking.

 

3.Stop Worrying

If it won’t matter in 5 years, it is not worth worrying about for more than 5 minutes! Keep this golden rule in mind every time you are tempted to worry about something. It is difficult to not worry and always stay positive but it is also definitely possible to keep your worrying well within limits.

4.Get Help If You Need It

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and we definitely need someone else to help us out. It could be to lend a friendly ear, a professional to talk you through your issues or even medication if needed. Ensure that you are not afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Asking for help and being vocal about your issues if any is an integral step in the path to achieving mental freedom.

 

Reference

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-ways-emancipate-yourself-from-mental-slavery-brigette-hyacinth   

Technostress is Real!

Technology has become an important component of our everyday life. So important that we find it very hard to be without technology even for a few hours. From social media to mobile phones to emails; most of us make a habit of checking email and our social media first thing in the morning. With so much affinity to technology, we seldom pause to notice what technology does to us and what the side effects are.

Truth is, there are quite a few side effects that we choose to ignore and these side effects are especially detrimental to mental health. Here are a few effects that technology can have on your mental health.

 

1.Increased Anxiety

Imagine a scenario when you are constantly checking what social media is telling you. Notification after notification, email after email and one technology update after another. This is a definite way to trigger more and more anxiety for yourself because you worry about missing out on something important. Ensure controlled usage and some rules for yourself to make sure technology does not add to your anxiety.

 

2.Sleep Disorder

It is said that the light that is emitted from gadgets interferes with sleep. However, most of us go to sleep with our phones by our side and wake up to our laptops open to check email. New age technology often disrupts sleep because of the number of distractions it offers. Make sure you have a cut off time for your gadgets to ensure that it does not disrupt your sleep.

 

3.Increased Stress

Technology and social media especially gives you this illusion that you are supposed to respond to people immediately. Today, even work related updates are given through instant messaging and we feel the pressure to respond to all of this immediately. This increases stress and makes us feel like we are constantly under pressure.

 

4.Risk Of Depression

More and more people are isolating themselves from the real world because technology seems like an excellent alternative. For instance, online interactions have increased so much more compared to real life interaction. However, we cannot forget that isolating ourselves and becoming more and more tech dependent only increases the risk of depression.

 

Technology can be an excellent way to connect with people, get work done and revolutionize the world but don’t forget to keep it within control lest it affects your mental health.

How can work stress affect your mental health?

Stress can cause a lot of damage to your life – sometimes you are able to clearly point out that it is because of stress and other times you think that it is something else. However, stress in general and work stress, in particular, can be very detrimental to mental health.

Deadlines, pressure, unsupportive work environments and overworking are all things that can lead to more and more stress. If left unattended, this work stress can manifest into things that affect both your physical and mental health.

 

Here are a few ways in which work stress can affect your mental health.

 

1.Irritability

If you are constantly feeling irritated or snapping at everyone, it is probably a good idea to sit and evaluate what is going wrong in your life. Often, as a result of lots of work, people ignore other aspects of life and don’t realize that they are letting this stress manifest and seep into every part of their life. Is it deadlines or pressure or a work conflict? Try and figure out what part of your day is causing you do this.

 

2.Anxiety

Anxiety is a common manifestation of having too much stress at work – are you constantly trying to keep up with deadlines or under consistent performance appraisals? These kinds of things create a constant anxiety in the minds of people and do not allow them to do anything else.

 

3.Depression

High work stress has always been related to depression. Keep a check of how work is making you feel and whether you are able to cope. In case, something is constantly bothering you or creating negative feelings, ensure that you are voicing it out before it is too late.

4.Fatigue

The first and most obvious result of too much work is fatigue – how do you feel at the end of the day? While it is very normal to feel a little tired, it is definitely a problem if work is completely draining you out at the end of the day. If you notice that everyday tiredness is manifesting into fatigue, it is a definite warning sign.

 

5.Inability to Focus

Sometimes, too much work and work stress can lead you to lose your focus and attention. As a result, it is common for people to face an attention deficit and lose further focus on their work.  

Taking Care of Your Mental Health during Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, a lot of people give you guidance on what to eat, what kind of exercise to do and how best to take care of yourself. It is essential that you do all of this, get regular medical check-ups done and ensure you get all the nutrients. However, a very important and often ignored aspect during pregnancy is the mental health of the mother.

We need to acknowledge the fact that women who are pregnant go through hormonal changes and mental stress. It is necessary to take preventive measures to stay happy and mentally healthy throughout the pregnancy.

Here are 5 things you need to know about mental health during pregnancy:

1. Pre-Baby Anxiety

Pregnant mothers often have a lot to worry about. It can be related to labour pain, expecting a baby, making life adjustments and so on. However, if you find that the anxiety is getting so bad, that it affects you on a daily basis, it is a good time to take a break and relax. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to someone for help.

 

 

2.Monitoring your emotions

Mood swings are common during pregnancy mostly due to the hormonal changes and the anxiety of all that is happening. However, if you find it getting out of hand, it would be a great idea to write down your emotions and monitor your mood swings. Doing this gives you control over your own emotions and helps you become more aware.

 

 

3.You are not alone

If you find yourself getting stressed, depressed or highly anxious – remember that you are not alone! It is completely normal to experience these emotions during a pregnancy. If possible, try to join support groups or speak to other expecting/new mothers to understand the journey of pregnancy better.

 

4.Getting help is important

Mental health during pregnancy is often neglected because there are more obvious physical medical needs that need to be attended to first. However, ensure that you understand that staying mentally fit is really important not just for you but for your baby as well! Post pregnancy is also a very stressful time and as an expecting mother, it would do you a world of good to start paying attention to your mental health from the very beginning.


5.Take small steps

Take small steps that will help you feel better and stay mentally strong – it does not always mean therapy or prescription drugs. It could be something as simple as doing more physical activity, meeting friends or simply getting fresh air!


References

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Pregnancy-and-your-mental-healthhttp://www.health.com/depression/postpartum-depression-often-begins-during-pregnancy-a-new-study-finds

How Caffeine Withdrawal Can Affect Mental Health

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A cup of coffee can definitely make you feel perky and fresh. It is what most of us reach out for first thing in the morning and it is in fact the elixir that keeps us going. But what happens when it is more than one cup of coffee a day, maybe 4, 5, that too over the years?
If you ask any coffee drinker if they can go without their fresh cup of coffee, the answer would be a resounding no. Most times, it is “I cannot go even a day without coffee!”
While there are many benefits that have been cited by experts, too much coffee is definitely not good and there are proven side-effects when you stop coffee or try to cut down.
Here are a few symptoms of caffeine withdrawal and how it can affect your mental health.

1. Irritability
Coffee is often a great mood lifter for anyone used to it and denying them their cup of coffee can mean that they can become rather irritable and touchy.

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2.Anxiety
Like any other addiction, coffee withdrawal can cause anxiety and panic attacks for hardcore coffee drinkers.

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3. Nervousness
As surprising as it may be, a simple withdrawal from coffee can cause shivering and nervousness in regular consumers. This can inhibit them from doing their daily tasks.

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4. Drowsiness
The biggest complaint any coffee drinker would put forth is that they don’t feel the same way when they stop drinking coffee. When they say this, what they often mean is that they don’t feel active and fresh. This is the effect that caffeine has on the brain and when that additional boost is not there, coffee drinkers feel a drop in their levels of activity.

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5. Interacting with Other mental illness
While we saw the direct side effects of coffee on mental health, caffeine can also interact with any other mental condition that you might have. Whether it is anxiety, depression or even an insomnia, caffeine tends to make it worse.

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