Is Persistence A Good Or Bad Character Trait?

Self-improvement is a hot topic nowadays. More and more people search the web for ways that they can improve themselves and become more successful in life. One of such areas of improvement is adopting successful character traits. It can however be quite tricky to navigate the world of psychology and to find those traits that will give you that much needed slight advantage in life.

Often times when character traits are being researched, not enough attention is paid to both the good and bad sides of that trait, and whether it is even feasible to try adopt that trait into your own personality.

In this article I will talk about persistence, which is a common trait among the ultra-successful in our society!

What Is Persistence

The dictionary definition of persistence follows as “The fact of continuing an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” Every human being has some level of persistence build into them. Some a lot more than others.

In my eyes persistence is so much more complicated that just “continuing a course of action when things get difficult”. For me, persistence is much more flexible than that. Let me explain!

Persistence is all about having a vision, and working as hard as you can to turn that vision into your reality. However, the path you take is separated from this. There are many ways to get you where you want to go. Being persistent does not mean pursuing just one of these ways. Being persistent is only applicable to your end goal, not the path you take.

“Be relentless in pursuing your goal, but be flexible in your path to get there!”

Simple Lifestyle

I am sure you will have come into contact with people that exhibit very large amounts of persistence:

  • Having a parent nag you to finish your chores
  • The annoying door-to-door salesman who you just can’t seem to get rid off
  • When you try to persuade your parents to let you go to that party

Similarly, many examples about people with a low persistence can also be found:

  • Your friend who doesn’t stick with activities because he finds them challenging
  • When your friends have peer pressured you into doing something which you didn’t want to do

From these examples it might seem that having a lot of persistence is a good thing, there are some pitfalls as well. In the next few points of my article I will explain the positives as well as the negatives of a high persistence character trait. I will also show you some methods that you can use to either increase or decrease your persistence according to your personal situation.

When Persistence Is Good

I find that the people with a lot of persistence have an almost inhuman ability to just get back up when life has pushed them down. No matter how many times you get knocked down, having high persistence in your personality means you will get back up no matter what!

It is common knowledge that never giving up on your goals is an inherently good trait to have as a person. You don’t want to be known as the that person that quits the moment the going gets tough. Incase you didn’t know this, let me provide a few cool examples of when persistence really payed off:

  • The Walt Disney Company was founded by Walt Disney, an entrepreneur who had to declare many bankruptcies on business that failed. He failed many business ideas, but due to his persistence, he set up on of the largest entertainment companies in the world.
  • Thomas Edison failed 999 experiments, but his 1000th experiment yielded the invention of the light bulb!
  • Dr Seuss’s first book was rejected by over 27 publishers!

If you are sure that you are on the right path of success, giving up is the biggest mistake you will make in your life!

When Persistence Is Bad

Despite all the positive examples you have just read about persistence, there are some pitfalls to be aware of. One of these is called the “sunken cost” phenomenon.

So what is this sunken cost phenomenon?

Essentially it is when you make a decision solely on the magnitude of past resources that have already been invested and would be considered lost if you were to quit now. Even when better & healthier alternatives are available, we still tend to stay with our original plans!

A common example is: The gambler keeps gambling more & more money to try and earn back his losses. Eventually he will lose all his money. Knowing when to quit is a very crucial skill to have when your personality shows a high persistence trait.

High levels of persistence can be extremely harmful to relationships with other people, and if you are not careful it might even destroy them. Persistence can definitely work on people, but knowing when to stop is crucial. Because if this boundary is crossed, there might be no going back!

How Do We Recognize When We Need To Let Go

Luckily for you there are methods you can use to recognize when you need to keep persisting, and when it is time to let go. This method is a question and answer analysis of the situation. There are a couple of questions you can ask yourself when you are in doubt whether to persist or quit.

1. Are our initial reasons still valid?

One very important question you have to ask yourself is whether you are still working towards a goal that you deem worthy to achieve. Is this goal still in your interest of achieving? If this is not that case, then it may be time to quit.

2. Would the situation get worse if your efforts stopped?

Lets say you were to stop working on an activity, in 3 months time, would you be worse off than if you had not stopped working. If you realize that not much would have changed, it might be fruitful for you to re-evaluate the importance of that activity for your the realization of your vision.

3. Does achieving your vision get more complicated as time goes on?

If you unexpectedly find that working towards your vision keeps getting more difficult, it might be a sign that your goal planning isn’t accurate. I suggest you stop persisting with your work, and re-evaluate your goal achieving plan.

4. Have critical deadlines been met? Are there signs of progress?

Have problems been solved, are there new activities underway? These are all things you have to ask yourself. If you are trying to get in shape but you have been stuck lifting the same weight or running at the same pace for the last 5 months, it might be sign to re-evaluate your strategy!

Can We Learn To Be More Or Less Persistent

Every character trait can become one’s own through study and practice. Persistence is no different. If you just adhere to the previous list of questions, you will immediately see changes in your levels of persistence. With time and experience, you will be much more adepts at reading your surroundings and become much more knowledgeable when to persist, and when to quit.

Remember that I can take from 28 days to a couple of months for a new habit to solidify into our routines. Therefore you must give it sometime before it becomes a 2nd nature to you. If you have the patience and will power to go through with this, you will see drastic improvements in your future success!

The Role of Self-Confidence on Our Mental Health

In the field of psychology it is known that self-confidence has a major influence on our mental health. While there may not necessarily be a direct link, it indirectly effects how we live our lives. I will try and illustrate my point with a little example.

Let’s take two people called Emma and Jane who both work a corporate job somewhere in a major city. Emma has always been a high-confidence person, while Jane unfortunately has never really figured it out and as a result suffers from chronic low self-esteem.

They are both working on an important deadline and are struggling. Emma, being the confident person she is, has no problem going around and asking her boss and colleagues for advice. She gets some great tips, and is able to finish her task exceeding all expectations.

Jane on the other hand is also struggling. She however is not comfortable going up to her boss and colleagues and asking for advice. She is rather shy as a consequence of her low-self esteem. In turn she delivers a mediocre performance when finally finishing her task.

It is now that the effects of self-confidence on our mental health becomes clear. Emma is likely to get much praise after completing her task since she did such a great job. She will be seen among her peers as a capable and respected person.

All these praises and social benefits are a massive mental boost to Emma. They are likely going to increase her confidence even further as well as have many other mental benefits.

Jane on the other hand, will likely not experience any of the benefits. She is much more likely to get mediocre feedback, and if she has an overachieving boss, she might even receive some criticism for her work. For Jane this was not a positive mental experience. At best it was neutral.

This kind of situation can be applied in all fields and types of scenarios. It is safe to say that being a more confident person will produce moments in your life that will have net positive effect on your mental health. While a low-confidence life will likely not be able to attract these important mental boosts.

So you might think how much confidence is enough? Is there a limit to how much confidence I should have? Let’s explore some of the effects of low and high confidence.

Low Confidence

Low self-confidence is when an individual does not believe that they have the skills necessary to be able to do a certain thing in life. This can range from not feeling confident in the way you look, to becoming anxious during an exam because you don’t believe you know enough to pass.

There are certain signs in your life you can look for to know whether you suffer from low self-esteem:

  • Backing down when arguing with other people
  • Need to “look busy” like doing nothing on your phone while in a social situation
  • Not speaking up in conversations
  • Not meeting people’s gaze or general avoidance of eye contact in social settings
  • Slouching when walking, or looking at the ground when walking

There are many signs, and low confidence comes in all shapes and sizes.

So what are we able to do about this. I have already written an in-depth article on the 2 ways to solve any confidence issue you might have. It tackles the idea that your proficiency in a certain task as well as your attitude towards your surroundings are the main players affecting your confidence levels.

You can find this article here!

Overconfidence

As you have read through this article, you might be inclined to think that the more confidence the better right? Well there are limits, as there is to everything on life. Gaining too much confidence, can often blind us to the truth and make us arrogant.

If we revisit our example where Emma delivered a stunning performance thanks to the helpful tips of her boss and colleagues. She might be so confident in herself now that her behaviour towards her peers might change. Emma might think that she can do any task that is thrown at her now.

Overconfidence and arrogance make us blind to our own limits. Since we become unaware of our own weaknesses, we stop trying to improve on them. As a result, Emma can actually become worse at the tasks she used to be so good at.

Overconfidence can become very destructive in terms of everything in your life, whether it be in a professional sense or for your relationships with your loved ones.

Many professional organizations consider people who are overconfident at a similar level to people with low self-confidence. The main reason for this is that while low self-esteem individuals don’t seek out help or advice, the overconfident ones will usually ruin relationships before they have the ability to get anything meaningful out of them.

Always stay humble in your life, no matter how successful you become in life!

Tips for Overcoming Low Self-Esteem

I made a small mention of this above, but essentially there are 2 main things you do that will influence your confidence levels.

The first one being your profeciency in a certain task. The more comfortable you are doing something, the more confident you will be about that task.

One perfect example in my personal life is from the gym. When I first started, I was very nervous walking into a new place that I had never been before. Now that I am a regular, and have been going for years, I am fully confident whenever I walk through those door.

The confidence stems from the fact that I feel proficient while I am working out. I know exactly what I am doing and how to do these things correctly.

The second influence on your self-esteem is the attitude you have towards other people and your surroundings. It is generally the thought of how others judge us that seeps any confidence we have right out of our systems.

This is something that is very hard to solve. In this article I highlight some methods you can employ to try and be less self-conscious about your self.

There are certain strategies you can use to try and improve your confidence levels. The main points that come to mind are:

  • Don’t fear failure
  • Don’t worry that others think
  • Accomplish your goals
  • Exercise
  • Comparison is the thief of joy
  • Adopting Stoic philosophy
  • Practice makes perfect.

If you want to read a more in-depth explanation of these points, make sure you check out my “7 Methods to Gain Confidence in Yourself” article here!

Increasing your self-confidence is a journey that can often take many months and even years. As long as you see progress you are on the right path. Good luck!

6 Emotional Intelligence Traits You Should have

All of us have people that we idolize and who we try to model our behavior after. Often times they are extremely confident and well put together individuals.

But what is really going on behind the scenes and in their minds.

One of the character traits that most of them have in common is that they are very emotionally intelligent. That is where their confidence and self-control stems from.

So lets break those traits down and see what makes our role models so emotionally savvy, and why it is so important that you have these traits as well!

Strong Inner Confidence

Self-confidence is a major facet of emotional intelligence. When you ask people what some of the most obvious features are of an emotionally stable person, the response that you get the most is always some form of strong inner confidence.

Essentially all what self confidence is, is the belief that you are capable of doing a certain task. So you might feel really confident in one situation, but not in another. Individuals are very rarely confident in 100% of the tasks they perform.

Gaining a healthy amount of self-confidence has numerous positive effects on both your mental and physical health. You are likely to persevere through adversity more often, and will lead a more successful life in general.

On the flip side however, low self-confidence brings along a myriad of other problems. Studies have shown that long term low confidence or having chronic low self-esteem are leading causes for mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Emotional Self-Awareness and Control

You simply cannot work on improving your emotional intelligence if you are not emotionally aware. You need to be able to recognize, understand and control all of the emotions that you are experiencing.

A majority of conflicts that people will experience in their life stems from someone not having full control over their emotions. They let their feelings take over from their logic, and this often ends in turmoil for themselves and the people they surround.

Someone who is emotionally intelligent, will have enough understanding of themselves that they are able to keep their cool in even the toughest of situations. They are also able to express their emotions in a way that positively affects themselves, and the people in their surroundings.

We have already written about ways to express your emotions in a healthy manner, make sure you read that article!

Adaptability

Being able to deal with new and unseen scenarios in a positive manner is a good indication of a high emotional intelligence. It also works in tandem with keeping your cool in these new situations. You should be confident and knowledgeable enough about dealing with the emotions of both yourself and those of others.

A good indication of having high adaptability is not being stopped by a sudden change. For example, are you able to keep your emotions in check when you have to do a presentation in front of a large audience? Are you able to keep your cool when you take on an important leadership task?

The best way to get good at being adaptable, is learning how to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Put yourself out there and do new things you have never done before. The more you do this, the more methods you will learn on how to deal with something new.

This is also a great method for strengthening your inner confidence. After a certain time of trying so many new things and being in unnerving situations all the time, you will feel much more confident in everyday life. Simply because you know you will be fine if something stressful were to come up all of a sudden.

Optimistic Outlook

Adopting an optimistic mindset has shown to greatly influence your mental and even physical well-being. Research has even shown a decrease in depression in people who have learned to have a more optimistic outlook on life.

If you have a more favorable way of looking at the world, you are more likely to stay motivated in pursuit of your goals. You therefore have a greater chance to achieve them, which in turn will bring even more happiness into your life.

A perfect example of this is when we look at diets. A pessimist will start a diet with a negative mindset. They might not belief that diets work, then when they don’t see immediate results, they reaffirm their initial belief and stop the diet all together. An optimist is much more likely to look at all the positive things. They will be able to stay motivated for longer, and once they see the results, they will continue their diet to reach their goal!

Optimistic people are also known to cope with stress a lot better than others. It is hard for someone who is optimistic to get overwhelmed and discouraged by bad news. They will always try to see the positives in what they are doing. This is a great anti-stress method.

If you are under a lot emotional stress, consider reading our article on the best methods to get it under control as fast as possible!

Ability to Detect and Negate Negative Thoughts

Someone with high emotional intelligence will be able to detect any negative thought patterns emerging. What often happens is that we become entwined in this negative cycle, which will often put a strain on our anxiety and other mental health issues.

If you are an overthinker, this section will be very recognizable. A good example is when we worry about the things that we have no control over. When an emotionally intelligent individual catches themselves stressing over a situation that they have no control over, they simply let it go. They tell themselves, ” I have no control over this, therefore stressing about it is not productive”.

They realize that their time and energy is better spend elsewhere, and they wont fall into this viscous cycle of continuous worry about something they cannot have an effect on anyways.

If you are having trouble recognizing the rise of these negative thought patterns, write about your emotional experiences in a journal. As you write overtime, the patterns will become much clearer. Another method to figure out these destructive patters would be to just vent to a close friend or family member. Simply hearing yourself talk about your experiences might produce that light bulb moment where you learn how to see these patters coming.

Empathy

Arguably one of the most important emotional intelligence traits to have is empathy. If you are able to put yourself in the shoes of others, you will come across as a much more attentive and caring person. Being empathic will be extremely helpful in building new and maintaining current relationships.

Simply understanding how someone else feels and reacts to certain situations can also become a learning experience for you. I can think of plenty examples in my life where I have modeled my behavior from how I thought someone else would have reacted.

Being empathic also means that you are adept at reading all kinds of non-verbal emotional cues. You should be able to accurately interpret the emotions of others simply by looking at their tone of voice, body posture and other cues.

This also transfers to social situations involving more than one other person beside yourself. You should be able to read to mood and emotional currents of a group of friends for example.

Increasing your emotional intelligence is something that can be achieved at all ages. It does take time, as with most things in life. This article was mainly about traits of those of us who have worked hard to be in full control over their emotions. You can find more articles on our site about ways to increase your emotional intelligence and awareness. In the future expect a lot more of these articles to be written. But in the mean time, I wish you all the best with your journey!

10 Little Habits That Benefit Your Mental Health

It can often seem like improving your mental health is massive task, and we are often lost as to where to even start. It can be particularly useful to start small, and make simple improvements to your daily life.

remember that small changes overtime will yield massive results. Here I have compiled some little things you can do to give your mental health a positive boost in these trying times!

Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is the quality of showing appreciation for the things we have surrounding us. It is a good 5 minute exercise to just think about all the things in life that we have and love. You can write them down or just let your mind wander over them.

Practicing gratitude can greatly improve your mood, as well as make you more optimistic. It reminds you about all the good things in your life, pushing the negative thoughts out of your brain.

This can be practiced in the mornings or evenings. You can even do this when you are in a bad mood!

Get in the Habit of Creating a Sleeping Routine

Sleep is a major factor in regulating our mental and emotional well being. While we sleep, research has shown that brain activity in areas that regulate our emotions increases. This supports our mental stability and allows our body to regulate our emotions more effectively during the day.

When someone is sleep deprived, the areas of our brain that are in charge of our emotions are much more likely to overreact. You might have noticed that when you work long hours into the night, that the next day you are much more on edge than usual. It is simply because you did not give your brain the time needed to reset.

When our emotions are regulated at healthier levels, our mental health directly benefits from this! So make sure you get your 7-9 hours of sleep, and try to go to bed at roughly the same hour every day to maximize the benefits your brain gets from sleep!

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

While caffeine definitively has certain cognitive perks, its overuse can put a big strain on our mental well-being. The main issue with caffeine is that it can interfere with our sleep.

As discussed in the last point, sleep is one of the most important aspects in our life that protects our mental stability. If you know that your caffeine drinking habits affect your sleep, I would urge you to decrease your use of it. Especially if you are mental struggle, because it can likely be a contributing factor.

Unlike caffeine, alcohol does not bring along with it cognitive benefits like increased alertness and a higher level of focus. So unless you are partying hard, there is no real reason you should be drinking it.

The main issue with alcohol lies in the fact that it allows us to escape the reality that we live in. We drink and get drunk, which releases a chemical called dopamine. This makes us feel all happy and like everything is alright.

This is particularly dangerous if you are struggling with your mental health. There will be a point where the alcohol wears off, and reality will set back in. This is the point where many people will lose themselves to alcohol and it will start becoming an addiction. Do not fall for this!

Another negative effect of alcohol can be seen when people use it to manage their social anxiety. This prevents them from developing the necessary social coping skills. This can have a major negative impact on your future mental health.

It is therefore a good habit to instead of drinking alcohol or coffee at night to just drink a glass of water. See the next point why hydration is so important for our brain!

Drink More Water

There have been many links to show that dehydration will increase the symptoms of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.

Dehydration also causes stress on the body, since it is not getting the required amount of water intake. It also will impede your brains serotonin production, which is a neurotransmitter that is absolutely crucial in regulating your mood.

It is even said that a symptom of chronic dehydration can be depression!

Note that drinking a lot of water is not a cure all for any mental health disorder, but it gives our brain and body a better fighting chance against them. So maybe drink a glass of water as you are reading this!

A Quick 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a widely used practice that specifically targets individuals with ill-mental health. Mindfulness training has shown to alter the structure of our brain.

Areas of the brain responsible for positive emotions like the prefrontal cortex see more activity in individuals that practice mindfulness consistently. It is very similar to our first point of practicing gratitude. You become more in-tune with your emotional self.

The effect are a more realistic and optimistic outlook on life, as well bettering your mood!

Journal

If you are not a meditation fan, a good alternative is to journal! You can be mindful of yourself and your surroundings, but instead of meditating on those thoughts, you simply write them down.

This is a personal favorite of mine and one I use very often. When you are in a stressful situation, just writing down all the things you can do to solve the issue at hand will give you a massive confidence boost that everything will be alright.

Journaling shouldnt take a long time, maximum of 15 minutes. It can easily be made a habit by just journaling right before you got to bed, or right before you wake up!

This will sooth your nerves and is very calming. It is a great tool that can be used to limit the mental stress we experience on a daily basis.

Celebrate your Achievements

We are often so caught up in all the work we still have left to do, that we forget all that we have achieved. In my personal case, a lot of my stress and anxiety comes from the fact that I haven’t yet achieved in life what I want, and that I struggle to get there.

But I so often forget all the goals that I have already accomplished that have gotten me to where I am today.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed with work or are struggling with your purpose in life, think back to all the great things you have already achieved. You will realize that you have put in a great amount of work and have won many victories in the past. I can assure you that that will continue in the future as well!

Tidy up After Yourself

Living in a clean and tidy environment will give you a massive boost to your mental health. Decluttering your living room and office can have an energising effect and will promote a health mental state of being.

It is often the case with people that they feel more productive when their working environment is neat and tidy. Being more productive will lead you to completing more goals. Having completed more goals will see you succeed in life.

Simply tidying up your environment will see exponential benefits later in life!

Use Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are statements that we make about ourselves that we repeat over and over again. Some common positive affirmations that you can use are:

  • I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to
  • I learn from my mistakes
  • I am confident socially and enjoy meeting new people
  • I believe in, trust and have confidence in myself
  • I will figure this out and it will all come together in the end

Using positive affirmations, will actually be able to increase the “feel good” hormones that our brain releases. This will of course have a good effect on our mental state, and will lead to a more positive outlook on life.

They will help strengthen your self-worth and boost your confidence. They are a great way to counter the symptoms of panic attacks, stress, and other forms of anxiety.

Break your Procrastination Habits

The field of psychology often associates procrastination with a decreased mental health. In particular procrastination is known to increase your stress levels as well as induce a lower feeling of well-being.

One really good method to breaking your procrastination habits, is to make use of the 50/10 method. I wrote a bit about this method, which you can read here. I can say from personal experience, that this will skyrocket your productivity!

A Healthy Way To Express Your Emotions

Human’s are very emotionally complex beings. It is safe to say that most people struggle a lot with their emotions. It is not always easy to control and understand what you are feeling, and often times we are left at an impasse and don’t know how to react.

So how can we express our emotions in a healthy way, if we can’t figure out what our feelings are telling us.

Before we are able to delve into techniques that you can use to express yourself in a more positive manner, we have to get an understanding of what our feelings mean.

How can we understand what our feelings mean?

1. Be mindful of your emotions during the day. I think simply paying attention to your feelings when you are in the moment experiencing them, is one of the most powerful ways we can use to understand how we react to emotions. If you do this for an extended period of time, you will be able to know exactly what you will feel in a given situation. It is a foreshadowing tool that allows us to plan ahead and ensure our emotions don’t get the better of us.

2. Journal about your emotional experiences everyday right before you go to bed. Being mindful of your emotions during the day is useful in realizing what we feel, but the deeper understanding is often missed. That’s why I suggest to take 10 minutes before you go to bed to journal about your emotions. This will allow you to reflect on them in a more meaningful way than to simply acknowledge them.

3. Be compassionate towards yourself. It is often the case that we judge ourselves harshly. Just remember that no matter what emotions we experience, it is natural and a lot of other people will have felt it at some point as well. Never try to downplay the emotions you are feeling for any reason whatsoever. What you are feeling is what you are feeling and it is important!

4. Talk about your feelings with others. With any problem in life, looking at it from different angles is crucial in your understanding of it. We can often suffer from tunnel vision when we look at our own struggles. Find someone close to you that you trust and ask them how they deal with the emotions you are experiencing. There is a good chance they might have discovered something that you haven’t, or they will give you a piece of advice you didn’t think of yourself.

Don’t expect to be an expert in your first day of doing any of these. It will take some time before you become truly proficient. It really is not difficult, just do the 4 steps above and you will naturally come to some very fruitful conclusions about yourself.

Expressing Emotions in a Healthy Fashion

Now that we know what our emotions mean in our own personal context, we can dive into the techniques that you can use to express them in a positive way.

Journaling

Journaling makes the list yet again, and for good reason. Journaling about expressing your feelings can have multiple benefits. One of them is that it provides a good overview.

Let’s say that someone you love has hurt you. Before you confront them about it, write what you plan to say in your journal. I can guarantee that when you finish and read it over, you will be making changes. You may even realize that your original message might not come over very clear, or that it is rather harsh.

It is especially powerful if you are experiencing anger or rage. Instead of going off and shouting at someone, write it down first. It will calm you down and you can vent by writing, instead of potentially destroying a relationship.

For this kind of journaling to be useful, you should always carry a small book and pen with you. Emotional situations will come and go during the day, so make sure you have your journal with you at all times.

If you are more artistically inclined, you could also draw instead of journaling as a means to vent your emotion. Draw or paint something that represents the emotions you are experiencing. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words!

Discuss your problems in an emotionally mature way with someone else

Being emotionally mature is not only about being able to deal with your emotions, it is also a tool that directly translates to your ability to express them.

Boiling up emotions and not letting them out is never a good idea. Sure you can journal and exercise to relieve anger for example, but at the end of the day you and you alone are still stuck with it.

Sharing this feeling with someone will provide a relieve that no other technique can replicate, so it is definitely an important one.

It is also a technique that anyone can use, even if you are alone and feel isolated. If you don’t want to share this with friends or family, there are plenty of online forums where you can share your experiences anonymously.

You will receive a lot of useful feedback from other users, who will often be very supportive of your issues.

I will also add that seeing a medically trained individual like a therapist or a psychologist is something you should really consider if you feel that the above tips are not working. These are great people that will make a unique solution catered to your needs. Don’t hesitate to contact them!

Never do anything right after a spike in emotion

Letting our emotions get the better of us rarely results in a positive outcome. Now I am not saying that if you are overcome with love for someone that you shouldn’t act on it in the moment, but beware when doing this with negative emotions like anger and sadness.

A lot of painful arguments could have been avoided if people would not act when they experience a strong dose of emotions. Strong emotions will overrule most logical thinking for a certain amount of time.

Often times when someone is outraged, they can say very hurtful things towards another person, something they would never have said otherwise. It is important to realize that when we are emotional, we have no regard for the future anymore.

Trying to avoid this is quite simple (theoretically). You just have to walk away when you feel like you could lose control and just blurt out whatever comes to mind.

I hope you enjoyed and learned something useful when reading this article. If you are holding on to build up emotions, now is the time to let go in a healthy and positive manner so that it may enhance and secure your relationships with the people around you. I wish you the best of luck on your adventures!

5 Strategies You Can Use to Decrease Emotional Stress

We experience emotional stress when our emotions are affected by extended pressure in our environment. It can have different levels of severity, ranging from lack of motivation all the way to depression. Before we get into the methods to cope and resolve emotional stress, lets go over some symptoms.

The main things you will experience when you have too much emotional stress:

  • Feeling tired, anxious, or depressed
  • Frequent headaches
  • Signs of holding stress such as clenching jaw, grinding teeth, shoulder and neck pain.
  • Irregular sleep
  • Upset stomach and other digestive issues
  • Heaviness in your chest (often associated with increased difficulty to breathe)

Note that likely you will not have all but some of the above mentioned symptoms.

So, lets get into some of the strategies that you can use to lessen emotional stress.

Get to Grips With Your Struggles by Journaling

Before we are able to tackle the problem, we need to know what it actually is. Journaling about your daily experiences is a great way to get an in-depth overview of what is going on in your life.

When you journal, I suggest to really dig deep and focus on the emotional aspect of your day. It is all about paying attention to your thoughts and feelings and gaining a greater understanding about them. Writing a couple of paragraphs in the evening before you got to bed is an excellent way to get to know yourself better.

You are bound to come across some emotional stress triggers as you write and reflect on what you have written. Once these are identified, you can workout what needs to be done to either avoid them in the future, or to prepare yourself for the next time you experience it.

Rest your mind

Emotional stress affects us the most when we are focused on it. I know when I get stressed out, I can spend hours on end just dwelling on the issue. This is quite an unhealthy coping mechanism, and doesn’t provide any solutions.

I always try to find activities to do in which I don’t have to actively “be present”. Take watching a movie for example. Your brain is given something to focus, instead of dwelling on your inner troubles. Other examples can be reading a book, engaging in a loved hobby, or just talking to a close friend about how much you love your pet.

Exercise in another great activity since it boosts your body’s ability to deal with stress as well as lets your brain relax.

Practice Mindfulness Via Meditation

Mindfulness is a practice that can bring the body and mind to a place of peace and calmness. This is a strategy that is especially useful for those moments where we feel overwhelmed by our emotions.

What mindfulness teaches you is to live in the moment and not only feel but to understand the mind-body connection that we all have. It will help you figure out what calms you down, and this can be applied when you come across your emotional stress triggers.

It is a very viable tool to keep your emotions in check. We all know that we make bad decisions when we are too emotional, and being able to avoid this is just one of the many benefits of mindfulness.

Once we get comfortable with mindfulness techniques, we can apply it whenever we want. Remember that practice is key and it will take a while before you become proficient with mindfulness and meditation.

What are some other things I can do?

Stress can also be directly linked to deficiencies in other area’s of your life. Make sure you maintain a healthy lifestyle first before you try any more advanced techniques.

The first suggestion I have is to make use of a routine in your life. Having a routine makes implementing solutions much easier. You can find our article about how to create one here.

There are other aspects in your life that contribute directly to your ability to handle stress:

  • Getting enough sleep. The best way to get a good sleep routine is to go to bed and waking up at the same time every day of the week.
  • Exercise regularly. The minimum suggested is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week.
  • Maintaining a varied diet to ensure you get all the necessary vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

Talk to a Therapist

It will come to no surprise for me to say that if you feel that you don’t have full control over your emotions or have seen no improvement but have tried everything you can yourself, that you should seek the help of a trained medical professional.

Therapists and other trained staff will be able to not only have a good conversation with, they can also provide you with a custom road map on how to solve your individual case.

Wherever you are in life, keep on grinding and everything will sort itself out, I promise you that!

5 Steps to Increase Your Emotional Maturity

Emotional maturity refers to being able to manage your emotions in any given situation. Being emotionally mature is key to maintaining healthy relationships, whether they be romantic or not.

If you wonder what this trait looks like, picture that friend or family member that is always able to keep a cool head, no matter how tough the situation. That individual is able to perform well under stress because they understand how their emotions affect them, and are able to deal with it effectively.

Here’s a look at 5 steps you can undertake to improve your emotional maturity.

Emotional awareness

Before we even start to think about improving how we regulate our emotions, we need to be able to correctly interpret them. Without any emotional awareness, we would simply be grabbing in the dark.

Here are a few steps to take to become more emotionally aware:

  • Know the feeling is present
  • Acknowledge it
  • Identify the feeling
  • Accepting it
  • Reflecting on the experience
  • Being able to forecast emotional responses

Browse our site for a more in-depth explanation on how to cultivate emotional awareness.

Emotional Responsibility

The trademark of someone who carries emotional responsibility is that they realize that feelings are only controlled by the person experiencing them. Regardless of how badly someone may treat you, understand that only you are in control of how you let your emotions affect you.

Carrying this responsibility also greatly improves your communication skills. Instead of saying “You make me so mad when you do that”, try saying “I feel so angry when you do that because…”. This puts less emphasis on blaming the other person, and more on creating a heart-to-heart conversation on the issue at hand.

This way of communicating is also one great way to enforce the fact that you and only you are in control of your emotions, both how you experience them and how you portray them to the outside world.

Another great method to cultivate emotional responsibility is to journal about how you experience emotions and how you project these on your partner, friends or family.

If you know examples from the past when you got really upset or angry at someone, reflect on how you dealt with the situation. If you don’t know any past examples, just observe how you react in future situations and reflect on that.

How did you handle that situation? Do you think you reacted justly? If not, figure out a more appropriate response and keep it in mind for next time!

Self-Discipline

Although self-discipline isn’t often associated with emotions, it can be a real lifesaver in stressful situation.

We have all experienced moments where we let our emotions get the better of us. This can be lashing out at a loved one or punching a wall out of pure frustration.

Fostering self-discipline is one of the most straight forward methods to get these kinds of outburst under control. You can create self-discipline in any aspect of your life, and it will transfer over to how you manage your emotions.

The main steps for creating self-discipline:

  • Know the area you need improvement in
  • Set goals
  • List and remove temptations
  • Make a habit out of it

For a more detailed look into self-discipline browse out site.

Emotional Honesty

Emotional honesty is all about expressing your true feelings to the outside world. Emotionally mature people will always let others know of their true feeling and never put up a fake front.

Practicing emotional honesty can also make us learn about ourselves and help us become more self-accepting. Other people might notice this and in turn will be more honest with you as well.

It is an all around great way to improve you as a person as well as enhancing relationships with loved ones.

Despite it’s vital importance to our mental well-being, I am of the opinion that society actively discourages emotional honesty. And it is a big problem. If you would like to read more about this issue, please read my dedicated article on the issue!

Reflect, reflect and reflect

Once you have made a plan to work on your emotional maturity, the only way to know if you’re making progress is to reflect.

I suggest you journal about your feelings every evening before you go to bed. Lets take an example and say that you want to focus on being more emotionally honest. Before you go to bed, write and reflect on the examples throughout your day where you had to express your emotions. Did someone ask you how your day was going? Did you respond honestly? This way you can gain some insight into your progression journey.

I think it is important to mention that it is not important where you are right now. If you work on the 5 tips above, you will see yourself grow. You just have to stick with it.

I wish you all the best on your road to improvement!

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