We all want to improve our lives, but many times we see that we have to make a drastic change and we quickly demotivate ourselves, lose direction and fail to achieve that change that we craved. We don't need 180-degree changes, we just need to modify small actions and take small steps and we'll see great results. Follow these tips and you'll see how you'll quickly feel more motivated, energetic, and happy.
1. Watch what you eat
For multiple reasons it is sometimes difficult to maintain a totally healthy diet, but we can make certain modifications, which will make big changes.
You do not need to be part of a gym or purchase any equipment. If you like to exercise but do not want to invest, you can do it at home. If you're not one of those people who like to exercise, you can make small changes and not even notice that you're exercising.
3. Materialize your dreams
Take a moment to dream. Imagine you can make the scenario you want no matter what, what would it be? Once, to be clear about your dream, it's time to make it happen. Write in your calendar all the actions that you must take to materialize it. Every day you must do something, even if it is small, that brings you closer to reaching your vision. There's no better day than today to start working on what you want!
4. Leave behind bad habits
We are human beings and therefore we are not perfect. We have flaws and it is our obligation to try to correct them. Gradually we can improve and eliminate bad habits. No matter what your bad habit is, (smoking, overeating, disorganization, etc.) any bad habit can be modified little by little. Don't think you can change it overnight, but a change day by day will make a huge difference. (In another article we will talk about ways to overcome vices and bad habits.)
5. Be grateful
There is no person in this world who does not have something I should be grateful for. Waking up every day, being alive is a great blessing. Always before bed and when it comes to getting up let's think about five things for which we are grateful. In this way we will begin to count more blessings and less negative events. When we appreciate we change the way we think and see life. A grateful person is a happy person.
We are always dreaming of happiness and we forget that we ourselves are the ones who decide not to be happy. Every day we have the opportunity to make the decision of which direction we want to go, and most important, how we will do it. Every feeling of happiness begins with gratitude for the material things and blessings we already have.
Tips to be positive:
1. Watch your thoughts.
Your thoughts control your life. If you have negative thoughts, you will only see the bad things or the ugly side of your life; if you have positive thoughts you will focus on the good and start to see all the beautiful things you have. Every time a negative thought comes to mind, make the decision to change it to something positive. In every situation, no matter how tough, sad or ugly, there is always something positive. It's a task you have to do every day, but it will get easier as you do it.
2. Use technology as a tool.
In our work, in our free time, we almost always make use of electronic devices, but we almost never use them in a productive way for our growth. From now on, let's use technology to put music to our liking, music that makes us happy, that lifts our spirits. Let's put images that have a positive impact on us as the wallpaper on our phones and computers. Let's use the internet to search for positive news. Read or listen to audiobooks. Use your imagination to use this tool for your growth and productivity.
3. Make a list of 3 daily things.
Every day take a little while to write three things you're grateful for. It won't take more than 5 minutes, but it will have a big impact on your day. As you write those 3 things, feel the joy of having them. These three things can range from material things to things we sometimes take for granted, such as our health, getting up in the morning, our five senses, and our loved ones.
4. Give a smile every day.
Believe it or not, human beings find joy when we give to others. A smile is the most beautiful thing one human can give to another. Happiness is contagious. Smile, give joy, and change someone´s day.
I won't get tired of repeating how important it is to exercise. It doesn't have to be something intense, with you walking 10 minutes, going up the stairs instead of using the elevator or dancing three songs will be enough to raise your heartbeat to produce the hormones of happiness. Remember that exercise is the best antidepressant in the world, and as a side effect you will have a better figure. Be grateful that you have the option to exercise. Not everyone has it.
Everybody in this world has many different responsibilities that can cause stress. We also live in a time and age where we are faced with situations that give us anxiety. Stress and anxiety are not good advisors, but it is impossible not to feel them from time to time. Here are some tips that I recommend so you can decrease and lead these two enemies away from a healthy and serene life.
1. Give yourself some space:
Dedicate at least 15 minutes to yourself. Whether alone or with loved ones, this time can prevent many discomforts, both physical and emotional. If you give yourself a little space, your mind will be distracted. Fifteen minutes doing something that makes you happy will give your day a 180 degree turn.
2. Express what bothers you:
Not everything is always rainbows and butterflies, and we can often find ourselves in situations that bother or displease us. You must verbalize and communicate when something is bothering you; problems don’t simply stop existing way just because we keep them quiet. In fact, experts agree that what is covered by silence or other forms of hiding the problem, later appear as a negative symptom. Therefore, to avoid the stress of the repressed, it is more convenient to verbalize what causes discomfort. As long as we are polite and respectful when expressing our feelings, when we disagree or are satisfied with something, it is our right to manifest it but it is the right of others to be respected.
3. Have nuts or seeds at hand:
If you already know that when you feel stressed or anxious you tend to eat more than normal, keep seeds and/or nuts wherever you go. The seeds will take away your desire to eat without causing you more stress or anxiety when you think about the possible few extra pounds. They can also add nutrition to your diet.
When we do some physical activity, we not only see positive results in our physique, but we also see results on an emotional level. When we exercise, our body reacts immediately and begins to release endorphins and serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is found in the central nervous system and regulates functions such as sleep, moods, appetite, and sexual desire. Endorphins are known as the hormones of happiness, as they regulate the state of calm, joy and the feeling of falling in love. They also regulate our levels of physical pain as a calming help to control anxiety.
5. Relaxation techniques:
Relaxation, breathing, meditation and yoga exercises are as powerful as a drug. You don't have to be an expert in these areas to start enjoying its benefits. You can find many five minute relaxation, breathing and meditation exercises on the web. Use these techniques and you will see how stress and anxiety disappear from your day.
Your body needs to recover from today in order to continue the next day. Do not forget to sleep at least eight hours, otherwise the next day you will be in a bad mood, tired and your enemies (anxiety and stress) will surely pay a visit.
There are many reasons that may cause your depression, and when a person faces this situation they often believe that they are alone. However, depression is a disorder that affects more than 350 million people in the world.
When depression is not treated in time it can become a serious problem, affecting all areas in one person’s life, causing much suffering.
If you believe you are in this situation, it is necessary that you see a psychologist or psychiatrist for a correct evaluation and diagnosis and to provide you with the right treatment.
Once diagnosed with depression, the patient must begin their treatment, one which, in most cases, includes a combined action of pharmacological and psychological therapy.
This may be very hard to achieve, and even following the advice I am about to give you can be challenging, but if you try, little by little you will notice the difference these recommendations will make in your life.
Although we may not admit it, often times we are concerned with how other people see us, or the image they have of us. However, we tend to forget the most important opinion of our selves: our own.
We know that we are not perfect, given that no human being is. But the way we see ourselves affects every aspect of our lives. Self-image is the perception or opinion we have in relation to ourselves. It is highly relevant when considering self-esteem and human behavior.
Many people are satisfied with their self-image, but we know that there is always some characteristic or trait that we can add, modify or improve. How do we do this?
This short yet effective process consists of six simple steps:
1. Make a list of things you like about your own personality and then make a list of characteristics you would like to obtain or acquire, modify or improve. Take your time to write them down and analyze them. Be as honest as possible.
2. Think of the image you want to have. Create a clear vision of this image in your mind. The image you want to portray, the person you want to be. This could be physical, a change in attitude, personality, etc. For example, if you want to improve your physical aspect, be more proactive, more social, so on and so forth. This image has to go accordingly to your list from step #1.
3. In a piece of paper or agenda, write a short description of your desired characteristics. Read this description as many times as you can during the day. I would advise you to do this at least in the morning when you wake up, and at night before you go to sleep.
4. Take a few minutes during the day to imagine how your life and your self-image would be if you already had those characteristics you want. Imagine you are already living that life that you desire, and you will find the feelings of joy and the necessary motivation.
5. Every day carry out an activity, even if it is small, that brings you closer to your goal. For example, if you want a fit body, start exercising even for a few minutes a day; if you want to be healthier, start eating balanced meals; if you want to be more social, start giving yourself time to enjoy with your friends. If you want to be more productive, start scheduling your day. Step by step you will achieve your goals. One day at a time.
6. Hush those voices in your head that tell you negative things about yourself, like "I'm ugly", "I'm a bad person", "I'm lazy" "I'm antisocial" etc. You can replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next time you find yourself criticizing or judging yourself, quiet those voices and lift your spirits with a few positive affirmations. Some examples of these are: "I look good, I am unique and special", "I have good feelings", "I will do what I have to do to fulfill my goals”, “ I have good friends ”. Remember your thoughts are manifested in your behavior. Do not waste time criticizing yourself, because it will not help you at all.
These steps are very useful if you want to gradually change your self-image. Accepting yourself is essential for a satisfying life, but there is always some room for improvement.
People may require the professional help of a psychologist for multiple reasons; however, most people have the prejudice or stigma that you only need a psychologist in cases of mental disorders or illness. Society commonly dictates that people who need psychological help are, for lack of a nicer word, "crazy." This prejudice is not only completely totally wrong but it also causes a lot of damage.
Psychology is the science that deals with the behavior and mental processes of individuals. This field of study covers all aspects of human experience. Psychology explores concepts such as perception, attention, motivation, emotion, brain functioning, intelligence, thinking process, personality, consciousness and unconsciousness, beyond psychological and/or mental disorders.
As we can see, the branch of psychology is so wide that it is normal and common that at some point in our lives we might need the aid of a psychologist. We must stop seeing the psychologist as the specialist who only treats disorders. It's obvious that psychologists have not only the capacity but the responsibility to treat psychological, behavioral, learning and sexual disorders, among others. But that is not the only thing we do as therapists.
The psychologist can be a companion in difficult or confusing times, a guide in our education, a light in our emotions, a counselor for human resources and training, a help in child development. Not to mention a companion when aging, improving in sports or on a personal development journey.
Seeking the help of a psychologist should not be seen as a weakness or as something negative. Rather, the total opposite. The person who seeks the help of a psychologist is a person who knows that he or she will benefit from having someone to talk to, or even vent to, and serve as a compass in scary or difficult times. This to guide will serve to improve overall health and find peace and happiness within.
As human beings we should strive for continuous growth and reach our greatest potential. We can achieve this more easily if we have the help of a professional therapist.
In my experience, the main reasons why people see psychologist nowadays is to help them become aware of and modify certain behaviors, thoughts and/or emotions, that don´t serve them. The idea is to help in these areas under an objective, professional, scientific and theoretical basis that supports the process.
Considering the times we live in, most people live in a state of stress, worry, and high anxiety. This is usually manifested in the following ways:
• Feelings of losing control
• Panic attacks
• Displays of emotions such as crying, anger, anguish, desolation, feelings of helplessness, aggression
• Relationship issues, whether these happen with their couple, family or peers
• Family problems
• Work problems
• Difficulty falling asleep
• Inability to concentrate
When should you make the jump and visit a psychologist? The sooner you consider it, the better. Whenever you feel you want to improve any aspect of your life, to find inner peace, peace of mind, resolve emotional issues, find motivation, increase self-esteem or just need someone to help you organize your train of thoughts or ideas.
Let´s all please drop the stigma and prejudice around psychological therapy and start taking better care of ourselves and value mental health. I have been a psychologist for more than 10 years and I have never had a "crazy" person in my office 😊.