How to Reach a Flow State

How to Reach a Flow State

“Flow is an optimal state of consciousness when you feel and perform your best. It’s the moment of total absorption. Time speeds up or slows down like a freeze-frame effect. Mental and physical ability go through roof, and the brain takes in more information per second, processing it more deeply.”

– Steven Kotler

Flow is when you are completely immersed in a challenging activity. You feel one with this and nothing else seems to exist. During flow, you are at your happiest. Steven Kotler, author of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance explains that “The amount of time someone spends in flow has a massive and powerful correlation to life satisfaction”.

Many people mindlessly go through the motions of existence. You may find this within yourself to some extent. Do not allow yourself to one day realize that you have become trapped within yourself or your job.

Below is a full guide to help you pull yourself out of the boring, everyday tasks and get into a flow state. Use it to assist you in finding passion and challenges within your life.

 

NECESSARY CONDITIONS TO ACHIEVE FLOW

A BALANCE BETWEEN THE CHALLENGE AND YOUR SKILLS

If you are completing an activity that is too easy, you will soon fall into a state of boredom. Conversely, if the activity is too difficult you may begin to feel anxious. To experience flow, we must be in between these two states so that we are completely attentive and involved in the activity but not overwhelmed by it.

CLEAR GOALS

To achieve flow you must know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. This provides the certainty you need to prevent worrying about the past or future. Understanding what needs to be accomplished will allow you to focus on what you are doing at the moment.

UNAMBIGUOUS IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK

Unambiguous feedback leaves no room for worrying or wondering if you are doing “good” or “bad”. It tells you how you are doing in real-time so that you can immediately adjust your response in order to meet the goal. 

 

HOW YOU FEEL WHEN IN A FLOW STATE

FULLY ENGAGED

When in flow, you are totally immersed in the activity you are completing. Distractions do not exist. You are fully absorbed by the present moment and you feel unstoppable. Your mind and body team together to complete the activity; it feels as if it is second nature.

FEELING IN CONTROL

When in flow, you feel as if you can achieve anything. You are free from worry while feeling safe, secure, and relaxed. Although you are not actively trying to “be controlling”, you have self-discipline and can direct the contents of your consciousness.

FREE FROM SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS

When feelings of self-consciousness flood your mind, you may find that you are comparing yourself to others or wondering what they may think in regards to you. You are unable to feel this way during flow because you become one with the activity. You are too absorbed in the here and now to care about protecting your ego. It is just you, the activity, and your intuition.

TIME BECOMES IRRELEVANT

Have you ever lost track of time because you were just too focused on something? When you are in flow this is exactly what happens. It may feel as if time either slows down or speeds up.

THE ACTIVITY ITSELF BECOMES THE REWARD

While you are in a state of flow, you may find that you are engaging in an activity just for the sake of doing it! Performing the task itself is enough motivation for you to continue. You enjoy the process as a whole and are not just trying to reach an outcome.

 

HOW TO INDUCE A FLOW STATE

ELIMINATE EXTERNAL DISTRACTIONS

Flow is fragile. It is critical to eliminate anything that may distract you so that you are not pulled out of this state. It takes about 10-15 minutes of undivided attention to achieve a flow state.

You may think that checking your phone only takes a second, but it can actually take your brain 25 minutes to finally regain full attention on the current activity.

Ways to give yourself the best chance to flow:

  • Put your phone on “do not disturb”
  • Clear your area of anything that may distract you
  • Close your email
  • Close all social media
  • Find a quiet environment
  • Turn off distracting music

 ELIMINATE INTERNAL DISTRACTIONS

Ever find it extremely hard to focus when you are stressed out? If you’ve got “too much on your mind” you may struggle to concentrate, let alone reach a flow state. When you find yourself in this situation try to practice mindfulness. Try journaling, meditation, yoga, or any activity you find enjoyable. Once you can control your thoughts you will find that flow comes a lot easier.

CHOOSE ONE TASK AND STICK WITH IT

Flow relies on pursuing a single activity with extreme focus.

Multitasking is the villain!

In order to reach a flow state, you must know exactly what you are working on so that there is no room in your brain for hesitation. Decide on one specific activity with one specific goal and go all in, no questions asked.

SET A POMODORO TIMER

Time moves differently when you are in a flow state. You can use the Pomodoro Timer to ensure that you do not flow for too long or to help you achieve your flow state in general.

The Pomodoro Technique is using a timer to break down your work into intervals. Realistically speaking, your brain cannot sustain a flow state indefinitely. By using this method you will be setting a beginning and end to your task. After the timer is over you can take a short break and allow your mind to rest. 

If you struggle to get into a flow state this can be a very useful technique. By setting a beginning time, you defeat procrastination by making yourself get started. You can set it for about 25 minutes and spend that time working only on the task. Challenge yourself to get as much done or get the best quality work in that time and tell yourself that you can stop after the alarm goes off. You may discover that you are actually enjoying the work and the challenge when the timer goes off.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP

When you are tired it becomes more difficult to pay attention. You are more alert and ready for action after a good night’s sleep. Ensuring that you are well rested is a crucial step to reaching a flow state.

This does not mean that you should spend 12 hours in bed. Trying to sleep for half a day will not be beneficial if you are not getting quality sleep during this time. Learn what works best for you and aim to get enough high quality sleep each night so that you may perform your best.

WORK AT YOUR PEAK TIME

Listen to your body. Learn from it. At what points in the day do you find that you are the most energetic and creative? At what times of the day are you more tired?

Achieving a flow state can be difficult if you do not have much energy. You need to have the desire to focus and accomplish your goals. Often people get tired after lunch. If you identify that in yourself, recognize that it would not be a good time to flow. Instead, choose a time of day when you have the most energy and try to schedule your flow times during this.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT CHALLENGE LEVEL

As mentioned above, to achieve flow you must be working on a task that is challenging enough to keep you engaged while being skilled enough to tackle the challenge without it being too difficult.

You can turn almost anything into the flow. If you find an everyday activity to be “boring”, you need to change it up. Make a game out of it and create rules for yourself. For example, if you are completing a writing assignment, see how many words you can write within a timeframe. If you are sweeping the floor, see how clean you can get it in a certain amount of time and try to beat your score when you complete the activity again. You truly can find flow in almost any activity!

STAY HYDRATED

Feeling slow and fatigued? Have you had enough water?

Dehydration will make you feel foggy and sluggish, preventing you from reaching a flow state. To increase your productivity and chances of entering a flow state you should make sure that you are fully hydrated. When you have had enough water you will be able to stay focused and feel more energized.

CHOOSE A FLOW RITUAL

Choose a task to perform before each of your attempts to enter a flow state. Doing this repeatedly will signal to your brain that you are about to enter a flow state and your body will prepare accordingly.

Examples of a flow ritual include:

  • Meditating
  • Having a cup of tea or coffee
  • Taking a walk
  • Listening to certain songs/music
  • Journaling
  • Stretching
  • Taking a shower

KEEP PRACTICING

Texts, emails, and social media make it more and more difficult for us to enter a flow state. If you find that you are always switching between tasks it may be best to start with attempting to flow for brief periods and work your way up. Practice for about 20 minutes or shorter if needed.

This is something that will take patience. You will definitely feel tempted to check your phone or email… but don’t give in! You can do it!

HOW TO CREATE FLOW WITHIN A GROUP

Common Goals: Everyone in the group must be working to reach a collective solution.

Familiarity: Everyone should be familiar with each other so that they are on the same page and can understand one another with ease.

Deep Listening: Each person needs to be paying close attention to what is being said. This will allow the conversation to naturally progress and prevent people from talking over one another.

Undivided Attention: For a group to achieve flow, there should be no distractions. Each person must be completely focused on the present moment. 

Blending Egos: Each person must set aside their ego for the good of the group. Rather than being concerned with his/her own thoughts, each participant should listen and react to each other’s ideas.

Equal Participation: Teamwork is one of the most important factors in achieving group flow. Each person should have an equal role and a similar skill level.

Positive Input: Each member’s ideas should be built upon rather than torn apart. The participants will have to be optimistic and willing to try something new.

Sense of Control: Each member should have a task to complete that they enjoy or want to do and feel competent enough to complete it. This provides a feeling of being in control for all the members involved.

Shared Risk: The higher the risk, the more focused and motivated you are. All members should feel as if they have something to lose if they do not accomplish the goal.

14 Ways to Impress People Around You

14 Ways to Impress People Around You

14 Ways to Impress People Around You

How do you impress others?

As human beings, it is normal to want to impress others. We can admit that impressing others has become an inner desire that motivates our lives. Instead of looking inward and satisfying our emotions, we see outward searching for acceptance from peers. We post on social media our most significant moments of joy to make sure all our followers notice how happy we are. The craving to impress others impacts the brand of jeans we wear, to the type of car we drive, the technology we use, and even the career we choose.

But are the name brand products, fancy cars, newest technology, and career paths really that impressive? Eventually, fashion changes, cars rust, and the materialism you used to impress others has become not so impressive after all. This old lifestyle soon begs us to impress and start the cycle again.

The truth is, we often look to impress in all the wrong places. The question is, how do we spark a long-lasting impression?

If you think that the tangibles you bear can impress the people around you for a long time, then you are mistaken. It might only grasp their attention temporarily, ranging from a few seconds to a couple of minutes.

Take a moment to think about your close friends, who genuinely impress you. What is it about their life that is so impressive? Infrequently, it’s not the tangible items, such as an expensive watch or high-paying career. What is impressive are the intangible qualities such a person that loves what they do for a living, always smiling, and has positivity in every breath they take. Would they impress you? My point… social status is nice, but does he/she enjoy what they’re doing in their life? Wouldn’t you prefer a person that bleeds with passion and is great to be around?

Here are imperative ways to impress everyone around you:

1. Be generous

There is no better exercise on this earth for your heart, than the gift of reaching out to people. Give your time and energy to others, without expecting anything in return. The giving of your life is one of the most impressive things you can do, and the feeling of accomplishment will be beyond your imagination.

2. Be your true self

Often we act based on the group of individuals we are around. Far too often we spend time worrying about people’s perception of us, and how people want us to be. Eventually, you forget who you truly are. Stop letting people have the chisel to sculpt the way they want you to be. You don’t have to be perfect in people’s eyes to impress them. Simply, being you is enough to impress and inspire them by showing that you can deal with your imperfections.

3. Smile often 

Every individual that you walk past enjoys a genuine smile. Not only is smiling a superpower of positive people, but it can also surely impress people with the confidence you carry. When you pass someone that smiles at you, that person suddenly doesn’t feel like a stranger anymore.

4. Care about people

If you don’t care about other people, then they won’t care about you. Merely helping others says a lot about your character. If you find time in your heart to care, they will find a place for your action in their hearts, creating a long-lasting impression.

5. Promise less deliver more

When you make a promise, you make a person feel great at that moment. But if you fail to accomplish your commitment, that person will feel discouraged and frustrated. You can impress people around you by under-promising and over-delivering. Underselling your capabilities can boost personal value in the eyes of others.

6. Take responsibility for your action

One thing I can’t stand… lying. The truth always reveals itself anyway, so why do it? Own up to your action/mistake, fix it if you can, and move on.

7. Eye contact

It’s surprising to see how many people don’t have great eye contact. Eye contact is one of the most astonishing forms of personal communication. It locks in closeness and human interaction by letting the person know you’re engaged in the conversation.

8. Say their name

People love the sound of their name. When you address people by their name, it adds a personal spin to the conversation by engaging them in the discussion. By remembering their name, it affirms your attentiveness and creates a sense of comfort between both parties.

9. Be modest

In other words, be humble. No one wants to hear you rant about your achievements. I’m sure some are important, but that won’t leave a long-lasting impression. You’re special, unique, and talented. Less effort is made to emphasize your personal accomplishments, the more people will appreciate your presence.

10. Appreciate others opinions

Discussing with a person that has an open mind creates a judge free atmosphere. Being able to shamelessly express your thoughts and feelings about a broad range of topics without a filter is refreshing. Many people influence the way you think or need to think. Don’t be ashamed to voice your opinion, but most importantly, be willing to accept others opinions that differ from your own. Taking the time to listen and understand where the person is coming from will help you develop a higher level of thinking, try to see things from a different perspective than your own.

11. Be positive

Everything that happens in life is neither good nor bad. It’s all based on the way you perceive things. The circumstance will be negative or positive based on your outlook. Either you succeed at it, or you learn from it. Eventually, you’ll enhance your optimism within situations, becoming a more positive person. Your positivity will rub off on everyone around you, creating a long-lasting impression.

12. Be attuned to the present moment

In this world, everyone and everything can’t stop moving fast enough. We are talking to someone, but we aren’t there mentally, instead, we’re thinking about the future. Do this! Eyes focused, listen, put your cell phone down. Someone who finds time is a gem and highly appreciated.

13. Master tough times

Remember a situation is neither good nor bad, only the way you perceive it. Everyone goes through tough times.  For example, In an argument, people react with emotion, it causes the F*** word to be used and anger to be felt. Be that person that stays cool, calm, and collective, be the one that de-escalated the situation. You will become a gem that will leave a lasting impression in the minds of people.

14. Travel

The world is an immense place. Go out and explore different cultures and countries. It will change you, and you will become better because of it.

Closing Thoughts

Having good hygiene with some nice clothes is a start to a good impression, but it takes a little bit more to create a long-lasting impression. Stop trying to impress people with possessions. Start inspiring them with who you are and how you live your life. Intangible qualities are far more impressive than tangible qualities. Whether you want to boost your impact on business, romance, or social life, make your impression count.

Effects of Negative Thinking

Effects of Negative Thinking

Effects of Negative Thinking

“Your Only Limit Is You”

We tell ourselves lies, half-truths, and everything but the truth. We all have that inner critic in our heads. It’s the loud-mouthed ego, full of opinions, which creates self-doubt. The worst lies aren’t the ones our friends tell us. We tell ourselves the worst lies through negative thinking, lies that turn into fear. Creating thoughts that make us blind to the amazing opportunities. The mind is a real magician. It can create such an illusion that we forget to question whether it’s the truth. It’s time to explore your mind and ask yourself “What lies have I been telling myself?”

I’m Not Good Enough

Yes, you are! The more you tell yourself “you’re not good enough,” the more it becomes ingrained in our mind. Eventually the lie you feed yourself grows and subconsciously becomes the truth. Listen. Stop looking for answers in all the wrong places but instead look within. Your confidence lives inside you. It is a permanent part of who you are. Instead, our ego compares ourselves amongst others and with enough lies, we can silence even the highest form of confidence. Take an example of nature. A flower does not compare itself to the flower next to it. It just blooms. Worry about loving yourself, instead of the thought of others loving you. Don’t become a carbon-copy of the beliefs of the people we want to impress.

My Goals Are Impossible

If someone gave up on their dreams, don’t let them talk you out

of going after yours. It’s only impossible if you never try. Let your dreams be more significant than your fears. Take risks. Don’t just make safe and comfortable choices because you’re afraid. Do your future a favor and do things every day to move you closer to that goal in mind.

Failure Is Bad

How many times does a baby fall before he/she can master the skill of walking? Sometimes you just have to crawl before you walk. The fact is sometimes you have to fail before you succeed. No matter how many times you fail, you are further in life than the individual that never tried. Failure is not bad. Either you succeed, or fail but learn a valuable lesson. It’s a Win-Win. Remember always get back up when you fall! Sometimes good things fall apart so opportunities can fall into place.

My Past Relationship Was a Waste

Time being a limited resource, it’s unfortunate that the time we put in can’t be given back. Certain people just aren’t meant to be in your life. If they aren’t meant to be there, why force it? However, no relationship is a waste of time. If it doesn’t give you what you’d like, at least it’ll teach you what you don’t want. Relationships are a great way to become self-aware truly. They’re a self-reflection as if someone held a mirror to your face and showed you your flaws. Take things with a grain of salt, know your worth. Never force someone to make space in their life for you.

I’m Stuck With People Who Hurt Me

Life’s situations sometimes feel like you have to pick between two crossroads. Do you feel stuck with a friend or partner? Listen. Life is too short. If someone continuously disrespects you, have enough respect for yourself to walk away. It’s not about walking away to make the other person realize what they lost, what’s important is to walk away and to understand and acknowledge your self-worth. Walking away has nothing to do with weakness and everything to do with strength. Remember it’ll hurt for a while, but you’ll be OK.

Things Will Just Fall Into Place

We perform the norm in society, doing the same duplicate routine and waiting for a fantasy to appear to change things. I do believe some things are meant to be, but we are who we choose to be. The reality is no one is going to come and save you. Others can’t read your mind and know what you want out of life. Be the architect of your destiny. We shouldn’t wait for someone to build the dreams of our lives. Take responsibility for your past, present, and become proactive in your future.

I Have Too Much to Lose

Are your dreams realistic? Don’t be that person that will look back with regret! Days, weeks, months, and years pass by. It’s easier to hesitate. A lot of people wait for the right moment. There is no right moment. Create the right moment. Whatever you have planned, get started on it today. In the end, you will not regret the things you have done but rather the things you have not done.

Closing Thoughts

Look deep within yourself and hear your inner critic. Distinguish between the lies and truths you’ve been telling yourself for so long. Today is the day you can make things change. Be fearless. Whatever you have in mind go out there and do it! Destroy your self-doubts. Once tomorrow comes, today is lost forever. Remember time is your most significant limited resource. Time is the only thing you should truly fear to waste. Explore the mind and stop lying to yourself today! Unleash your mindset!

Habits of Positive People

Habits of Positive People

Habits of Positive People

Happiness is defined by the individual. Two individuals with the same circumstances can either be positive or negative about the situation. Your attitude towards life experiences is crucial to develop healthy habits, which project happiness. In this blog post, I will identify patterns of positive people. It’s not a superpower. It’s a mindset.

What are the habits of positive people?

Happy Morning

Wake up every morning with the mindset that something great is possible today. Life is full of positive experiences, learn to notice them. Your mind is a window through which you see the world. The way you gear your mind in viewing the world is the way life will project itself into your perspective. Wake up with gratitude and be open-minded to what life has to offer. The way to make it a happy day is to think, feel, act, give, and serve as if you’re the most fortunate person.

Smile

Do it! Always find a reason to smile. Smiling people are known to be more attractive, sincere, and reliable. Smiling is self-healing energy. The way our brain is wired smiling will make you feel rewarded, “feel-good chemicals in your brain.”  I’m not saying smiling will add years to your life, but it will add life to those years. Developing the habit of smiling will help strengthen the superpower of positivity. The world is just a better place when you smile. 

Spend time with the right people

Positivity is contagious. Surround yourself with people who build confidence, make you smile, and stimulate creativity. Life is too precious to waste time with people who don’t treat you with respect. Negativity is also contagious, spending enough time with those individuals will bring you down. Working in the hospital setting made me realize contagious energy. Being around the sick and people who have so much negative energy, it rubs off on me. I have my ways of coping but the bottom line is, stop surrounding yourself with people like that.

“The only way to get better is to surround yourself with people who believe in you.”

Live the truth

Being true to yourself seems self-explanatory. In reality, without noticing, we change our authentic self to fit in without even realizing it. We act differently in front of our clients than with a close friend. In the most positive individuals, you find self-awareness and the aim to be true, not to impress. Being authentic means to have integrity, and that is always doing the right thing. It’s not about expressing yourself without a filter but more about being confident in what those opinions are.

“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” – Hardy D. Jackson

Appreciate life’s moments

You’ve got plenty of reasons to look up and say “Thank You.” Your life isn’t perfect but what life does have is its perfect moments. If you’re not noticing these moments, you need to slow down. Take a pause for a moment while sitting/standing and have that “awe” moment. You’re alive! All we really have is now, make the current moment your primary focus.

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ― Bill Watterson

Become addicted to self-improvement

Are you someone that likes to grow? Do you consistently seek to improve yourself and become better? I’m very passionate about personal development, and I believe it is the key to going past your limits. It doesn’t have to be January 1st to make the most out of self-improvement. Every day is a new day, a new day to learn, grow, move away from regret and develop your strength. The human potential is limitless; it’s impossible to reach a point of no growth, so stop limiting yourself with negative thoughts.

Every day has the potential for growth, reinvent yourself, and fine-tune based on experiences. It’s not too late. It is never too late to change things that aren’t working out and switch gears. Stop living in the past and worry about the present. Using today efficiently will help you forge a more positive tomorrow.

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”  ― Albert Einstein

Closing thoughts

What would happen if you approached each day willfully, with a positive mindset? What would happen if you surround yourself with positive people who motivate you? Conceptualize, if you tackled life’s tough challenges with a smile? Being a positive individual is not a superpower, it’s a mindset. Take action today to develop habits to help you focus on what truly matters, becoming the better version of yourself.

Productivity Gets You places

Productivity Gets You places

Productivity Gets You places

It doesn’t matter who you are or what kind of work you do, every individual is looking for ways to be more productive. We live in the digital age of constant swipes, and it has become progressively harder to start a task than to actually accomplish it. If you’re allowing yourself to be distracted, what can you do to minimize these distractions? Constant distractions and misconceptions on how to be productive are creating resistance to complete your actual work. Being productive is a lot more than just checking things off your to-do list. In this blog post, I will focus on tips and habits to boost productivity in your workweek.

Get an early start

Mind over the mattress. Win the battle with your bed. This habit will strengthen your willpower and give you an edge to start your day right. Social media is another form of distraction in the morning. We all like to roll around in bed and scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Before you know it, you wasted a significant amount of time doing nothing! This extra time could’ve been used to avoid tardiness and speeding tickets! One thing I do in my morning routine is giving myself two minutes to reflect on how grateful I am.

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” -Lao Tzu

Cut your to-do list

What’s most important? What’s your number one goal right now? Design your to-do list around these questions. Your workday shouldn’t mean you’re trying to fit 20 things in your eight-hour workday. Remember, time is your most significant limited resource. Doing more doesn’t mean being more productive, it’s just being busy. Successful people know that, and they learn how to prioritize and set aside time for what’s most important to them.

Exercise

Working out isn’t just for looking superb in the summer. Exercise has many health benefits. It increases your brain function and decreases stress levels. It’s crucial to make working out habitual. When I was in nursing school, I made it my nightly routine. One day I had a stressful day, which caused me to have difficulty falling asleep. Instead, I crunched out a night workout and untwined from all the stress. You can make it part of your morning routine as well to help kick-start the day. If you can’t go to the gym, go outside for a walk. Remember, it’s about developing the habit.

Keeping your mind fresh

Work in intervals. What I found to work for me is to create mini-breaks during my hours of productivity. When I had to cram for exams, I’d put in 50 minutes of hard work and 10 minutes of free time. This may sound counterproductive, but it worked because, at the end of the day, it was about how productive I was not busy. You can create 90-minute intervals breaks in your life. Your body, just like the sleep cycle, has a rhythm between being stimulated and fatigued. Those are the physiological indicators of your body saying “Give me a break!” When I do busy work I notice my eyes are strained, so during my downtime, I put my palms over my eyes to reverse the fatigue. You’d be surprised how sharp your vision is after!

Peak Power

Believe it or not, every individual has a peak time during the day when they are most productive. Take a step back from your routine and identify the hour of the day when you have an energy surge. I perform best a few hours after my morning routine. I make sure I have a solid breakfast to prepare for the day, so when my peak performance hits, I dedicate my time to accomplish my tasks. For those of you who work nights, just like me, your peak performance can be in the evening after your “morning routine.”

Life isn’t Perfect

Take a deep breath. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Be optimistic. It’s just a bad moment, not a bad day. Don’t let one dark cloud take away the sun. It’s no secret that we all make mistakes. Allowing one moment to get to you will ruin your mood. Being positive results in more productivity, keeping the sky sunny.

Stop multitasking

New research shows that multitasking is negatively rewiring our brain. Cognitive decline showed 15 IQ points drop and scores similar to someone that smoked marijuana and stayed up all night. Multi-tasking can be productive, but don’t do it for primary tasks that you are working on. Turn off your cell phone ringer, email notifications, and close your door. Develop your zone. Work smarter not harder. Be productive, not busy.

Break It Down

Some tasks can’t be completed in one day. Break down the massive project into small tasks to be more efficient. Slice and dice your tasks into bite-size pieces and finish them one at a time. Our body does the same when it comes to eating. Digestion starts at the mouth; we chew to break down large food into smaller pieces, making it easier to digest. Do the same! If you’re writing a research paper, don’t tackle it all at once. Create the outline, find your sources, and begin to type the paper.

Closing thought

Time is your greatest limited resource. How will you use your time?  If you want to accomplish something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find every excuse why you didn’t. Learn what matters so you can achieve it. Set realistic goals in your day-to-day routine. Develop habits to keep you going. Determining what’s irrelevant will pave the way for the right things to catch up to you. No matter how you are progressing, you are still in front of everyone who isn’t trying. Productivity gets you places.

Characteristics of Good Mental Health

Characteristics of Good Mental Health

Characteristics of Good Mental Health

Happiness is hard to find, and some people spend their whole lives searching for it. Big-time celebrities win Grammys and have all the physical wealth, yet drown themselves in alcohol and drugs. If they aren’t happy with everything money can buy then what is happiness? How is it achieved? It’s an inner positive emotion between the physical and spiritual worlds. We become happy when there is a balance between social life, work-life, and our personal life. Defining happiness is complicated because happiness isn’t just a feeling, it is a way of thinking. Happiness cannot be an end in itself. I think happiness is a byproduct of something more significant… finding meaning in life. When you find your purpose, happiness comes as a gift. A person doesn’t always aim for success, they work hard to achieve goals–success is a byproduct of their hard work.

For this blog post, the focus is on character traits that are seen in happy people. Your character is in your thoughts, beliefs, and values. It is expressed in your relationships and everyday life. It’s the way we live when no one else is watching. These traits fabricate the deepest self, which guides action to the way we treat others and ourselves. For instance, take a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Can you have the one without the other? The same concept applies to happiness and character. Take a home; for example, a home needs a solid foundation on the bottom, or else it would crumble. Without a stable foundation, we develop traits such as hate, jealousy, selfishness, and ego. It is why it’s crucial to develop good habits and incorporate some of the traits listed below. I’m convinced following these traits will have an immense impact on your happiness.

What are the characteristics of good mental health?

Gratitude

To be grateful is to simply count your blessing and perceive life as beautiful, even though it’s not going as planned. You have to appreciate everything you have in life to be truly grateful. Grateful people notice the light in the dark and appreciate lessons learned from the heartbreak of life. If you aren’t grateful, then you will never have enough, you will always be in need of more regardless of having plenty. When we are grateful our problems do not disappear, but rather occupy less space in our hearts. Try and practice gratitude every morning when you wake up. Just be thankful to be alive and everything that God or the world has given you, even if it’s a pain you had to endure to learn an important life lesson. It teaches you to appreciate everything around yourself. Focus on what you have, not what you “could” have.

Humble

There was a time in my life that I thought being humble was a weakness. So instead, I steered clear from it. Following the path of being humble, I learned more about who I truly am. I discovered that humility is rather a strength, not a weakness. When people say “kill them with kindness” well, that’s exactly it! Being humble doesn’t mean you allow others to walk all over you. To me, it’s more about cultivating quiet confidence and open-mindedness. In today’s time, it’s hard to be humble due to the simple fact that we want to be in the spotlight. Society has taught us the opposite of being modest. We need inner maturity and not to worry so much about emotional comfort from others’ opinions. Being humble is an important trait because it allows doors to open for development, growth, and self-improvement. One of my favorite quotes about being humble is, “Speak softly but carry a big stick.”

Forgiveness

Forgiveness can be one of the hardest traits to put into action as human beings. How can you forgive someone that wronged you? Think about how much time you spend letting an irrelevant person occupy your thoughts. Letting go of what happened unshackles you from negative thoughts and doesn’t allow the other individual to take control of your life. Without forgiveness in our life, we create a prison in our minds. Those we imprison in our hearts keep our happiness miles away. The way I perceive holding on to the past and not forgiving is like someone with an open wound. Instead of letting the wound heal, we pick at the scab. Eventually, this wound infects and spreads, manifesting into the blood. Similarly to how an infection spreads, not forgiving eventually spreads within ourselves and into relationships, affecting others. Give yourself freedom from others and learn the beauty of forgiveness. It will remove negativity and make room for happiness to enter.

Patience

Think about one important person you know… would you say they are happy? Impatience is a pest that drives happiness away, causing happiness to be temporary. Learning to relax and allowing things to go with the flow is critical to living a happy life. The reality is; we can’t control all life events. The more we try to control them, the more we feel a loss of control and get impatient. I struggle a great deal with this trait, and I’m sure many of you that know me will have smirks on your faces reading this. I’m a punctual person but realize that things don’t always go according to plan. Step one is admitting the problem… so I’m learning how to breathe, relax, let things unfold, and be patient.

Courage

To be courageous is not to fear; having courage is to resist fear. It’s the absence of fear. Remember that fear is the crook that steals happiness. It’s the thief in the dark that sneaks into closed doors and makes us second guess ourselves and say “next time’. We all want to try new things and experience the unknown, to take that step you need the courage to get outside of your comfort zone. Fear will put you in shackles and make you live life in a routine. That’s why we need the courage to keep fear in check. Allow yourself to embrace life, approach people/situations, and life’s obstacles.

Optimism

Latin “Optimus” means “best”. Being an optimistic person helps drive positive thinking. Optimistic people look for the best in the worst situations and carry the expectation that good things will happen. It helps to stay hopeful, things will turn out the way they are supposed to. I’m a firm believer that we are the architects of our own destiny, but sometimes there is a greater force that guides us in life. Having this trait allows you to stop searching for faults in unfortunate situations; instead, you have positive lenses to see life through. Becoming more optimistic will foster better attitudes in events, and with practice, will change your outlook to constitute happiness.

Closing Thoughts

I encourage you all to adopt these six traits to become a better version of yourself. The beauty of it, we all can grow, learn, and develop habits that we aren’t comfortable with. All it takes is a little desire to see things through and be persistent to travel the distance. As you learn and grow, you will discover the man or woman that already exists inside; it just takes patience to allow the smoke to clear from all the rubble of everyday life.