positive thinking

Why Thinking Positively Doesn’t Always Work (And What to do Instead)

As a self-help blogger, something I see a lot in this community is the notion that ”positive thinking” can change your life, and that it’s all you need to change your life.

Personally, I believe that positive thinking has a place in this community, and it’s important to take a critical look at your own thought patterns, but it’s not the end-all solution to all of your life problems.

[unpopular opinion] Positive thinking will not solve all of your problems. In fact, thinking that positive thinking is all you need to feel better and become this success machine is quite a dangerous way of thinking. [/unpopular opinion]

But please don’t crucify me just yet. Read More »

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I Have Concealed Anxiety, Here Are 5 Things You Need To Know About It

I have anxiety.

But you would never know unless I told you.

That’s because just like many others, I conceal my anxiety. And although I consider myself to be pretty good at it, that doesn’t mean my anxiety doesn’t influence some of my decisions and behavioral patterns. I’m trying to open up more about my struggles with my mental health on this blog, which is why I want to talk about my anxiety today.

Of course, my experience with concealed anxiety might not be the same as someone else’s, but I can really only speak for myself, ane maybe a tiny bit for the other people in my life that I know that suffer from (concealed) anxiety. Here we go.

They come across as introverted and outgoing at the same time

It’s not that people with concealed anxiety are anti-social (at least I don’t consider myself to be anti-social), it’s that I often get overwhelmed easily. Whenever I spend time outside the house, I need time to recharge myself. Alone. But I love going out at the same time, so sometimes it annoys me that I need to do that. If I don’t take the time to recharge myself, I become a lot more irritable, tired and emotional.

They’re hyper-aware of their surroundings, but you would never know

Anxiety naturally makes you hyper-conscious of your surroundings, as it is an evolutionary function that is essentially meant to help us stay alive by being aware of other people’s motives. Of course, it’s not not that great when your anxiety is through the roof and you can’t manage is effectively. But you might notice every once in a while that I pay attention more than you’re used to from other people.

I kind of like that about myself, I’m very detail-oriented and I will often notice things about someone no one else does.

They’re not always panicking on the inside, anxiety manifests itself in many different feelings

Having concealed anxiety doesn’t mean that I constantly panic about every little thing. My anxiety manifests itself in constant worry, making things bigger than they are, and just competing thoughts in general. Read More »

I’m okay but I’m not okay, okay?

I’m turning 21 next week. And I have a confession to make.

I do not have my life figured out.

I do not know where I’ll end up in ten years. Or five years. Or even two years.

That’s something that was really hard for me to come to terms with, especially around the time of my birthday. Every year I feel like I’m supposed to be better than I am. Like I’m supposed to have my life figured out already. I’m turning 21 on the 24th of June, and I’m trying really hard not to feel like that this year.

I’m starting college again after the summer, and that was a really tough and scary decision to make. I don’t know if I’ll like it, I don’t know if I’ll finish it. I don’t know if I’ll even end up working in this field, because my previous degree is in a completely unrelated field. I’m switching from journalism to social work, and although that doesn’t mean I’ll quit working in journalism (I love it way too much), who even does that?

But I want to do what feels good. I want to do what feels right, what’s calling my name. It’s really hard for me to listen to that inner voice sometimes, because my conscious brain will tell me something else. I’m a very impulsive person and sometimes that scares me. I’m afraid that decisions that feel good in the moment will end up being a mistake later on. That fear is about much more than just the decision of going back to school. It trickles in my relationships, both in friendships and romantically, as well as my work, blog and YouTube channel. Read More »

5 Albums That Will Help You Through Any Break-Up

You’ve got songs about love, and you’ve got songs about love.

As someone who appreciates beautiful music even more if I can identify with the lyrics and meaning behind the songs, I want to share five of my favorite break-up albums with you. These songs have helped me through tears, heartbreak and hopelessness. But they’re also great if you’re just in the mood for something that will make you reach for a tissue while staring out of a window wistfully, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Bon Iver – For EmScreen Shot 2017-06-04 at 16.01.05ma, Forever Ago (2007)

Singer-songwriter Justin Vernon released the debut album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ independently in July of 2007. The album, known for its raw emotion and honest words, was created from the pain of two splits: Vernon’s breakup with his then-girlfriend and the end of DeYarmond Edison, a band Vernon had been playing in for several years. Vernon spent three months in a cabin in Wisconsin to write this album, and the melodic whistles and guitar riffs almost take you back to that very place.

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (1977)

Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 16.06.01‘Rumours’ has been Fleetwood Mac’s most successful albums, but the break-up that inspired it was messy to say the least. Christine and John McVie went their own way after only six years of messy marriage, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham remained on and off and then Mick Fleetwood hopped into bed with Nicks for good measure. But hey, it made for some great music that will easily make you shed a few tears.

 

 

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Personal Update: Happiness, Life Choices And Football

If you’re someone that regularly reads this blog, you’ve probably noticed how awfully quiet it was on here in the past three weeks.

I could start apologizing and making excuses for why that happened, but I really shouldn’t. The truth is that I went through a phase of rapid self-discovery, and my mind was completely occupied with my future, my happiness and my choices.

Sometimes, I struggle putting these thoughts into words, or I’m just not happy with what I write. I’m convinced it’s part of my writing process, and I will always have to deal with that.

My happiness

I’ve always said that I aspire to be happy, but recently I’ve come to realize that happiness isn’t some place that you arrive at, it’s part of the natural flow of emotions. For me, happiness isn’t constant, and I can only strive to feel that way as often as possible, while still being okay with it if I don’t feel amazing.

It’s hard to choose what’s best for yourself, especially if those choices will cause others to feel pain and sadness. But it’s even harder to live a certain way if you know you would be happier if things were different. I recently chose for my own happiness, and although it’s incredibly hard, it’s worth it.

Making life choices

I struggle a whole lot with making choices that will heavily affect my future. I very recently decided that I want to go back to school, and that was a very tough choice to make.

It’s hard for me to make these decisions because I don’t feel qualified to make them, even though they’re about my own life. How am I supposed to make these life decisions if I don’t really have much life experience to help me decide what’s best for me? But in the end, I did it, and I’m proud of myself.

Reinventing my love for football

This might be a weird one to include here, but I’m currently reinventing my love for sports, and football (soccer for you Americans) in particular. As a teenager, I loved the game and the culture around it, but because of a few unfortunate events, my love for football died down a little. I still liked it, but I wasn’t nearly as invested in it.

Recently, I’ve been trying to reinvent my love for the sport, something I feel weirdly excited about. It almost feels like I’m finally allowing myself to enjoy it again after such a long time of pulling myself away from it. And that’s something that makes me really happy.

I’m constantly feeling like I’m on the path of self-growth and self-discovery, but in the past three weeks this feeling has been especially strong. But I’m back on the blog and I’m finally feeling inspired again, so I hope to get back into the swing of things very soon.

20 Ways To Instantly Reduce Stress And Feel Better

It’s incredibly difficult in today’s day and age to find time to wind down and relax. However, it’s super important to relax if you wish to live a long, healthy and happy life.

Because I know you’re short on time, I’ve created the list of all the lists: 20 activities that will instantly reduce your stress levels!

Get more sleep

Believe me, getting enough sleep doesn’t make you lazy. Sleep is the body’s natural way to heal it, and you also allow your brain to get some rest. Allow yourself to rest and get at least 7, but preferably 8 hours of sleep every night. You’ll notice a huge change in your attention span, energy levels and food cravings.

Write your thoughts and feelings down

We all have things that we don’t want to talk about with other people, yet they still occupy our minds. When you start getting into a journaling habit, you’ll notice that the little notebook will become your new best friend.

Take a drive to nowhere

I’m among the people that enjoy taking trips to nowhere: whether it’d be driving or taking a train. Sometimes you just need to do that to declutter your mind. I like to go to the beach and watch the sunset all by myself, or go into the city to watch people walking around enjoying themselves.

Check in with yourself

We get so distracted by work and taking care of others that we can forget to check in with ourselves. Ask yourself ‘what do I need today?’ and you’ll find an answer. Be sure to schedule whatever it is that you need. Self care is important!

Get dressed up for fun

I believe ‘dressing up for the job you want, not the job you have’ is one of the best pieces of advice out there. Dressing up makes me feel good, and you don’t need a reason to doll yourself up! It’s also a great excuse to take some selfies.

Drink some tea and read a book in bed

Tea makes you feel warm inside, and reading a novel or a good non-fiction book has tons of great benefits. Bonus points if you listen to a relaxing playlist and light a scented candle at the same time. So cozy!Read More »

Why Women Apologize More Than Men (And What We Can Do About It)

A while back, I started keeping track of how often I actually apologize in my daily life. It was brought to my attention by a friend after spending some time with her at the mall.

”You always apologize” she said.

I wanted to get defensive and tell her that it really wasn’t that bad – until I realized I really do apologize a lot. In just two days, I apologized for the following things:

  • I’m sorry for being in your way
  • I’m sorry for getting back to you so late
  • I’m sorry for having to ask this
  • (In a meeting) I’m sorry, before we move on..
  • (On the phone) I’m sorry, before you hang up..

And once I even said ”I’m sorry for apologizing so much” which took the freaking cake.

Can you relate? Do you wish you could stop? I certainly did. I did a little research to help understand this habit better, and then experimented with my way of speaking a bit, and I think I found a good solution!

Women apologize more than men

If you think you hear women apologize more often than men, you’re completely right.

“Men aren’t actively resisting apologizing because they think it will make them appear weak or because they don’t want to take responsibility for their actions,” said study researcher Karina Schumann, a student at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

“It seems to be that when they think they’ve done something wrong they do apologize just as frequently as when women think they’ve done something wrong. It’s just that they think they’ve done fewer things wrong.”

The threshold for what women think is offensive is lower in general, which is why we apologize a lot more. We tend to think we’re a lot more offensive than we actually are, even if the person we’re communicating with isn’t even offended in the first place.

I know from personal experience that saying sorry is something I do out of habit, ‘just in case’ someone is offended: I’d rather say sorry then to be seen as unmotivated or lazy. But what this research doesn’t tell us is why women are so much more apologetic than men. Read More »