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Life is like a multi-act play. In each scene in your life’s play, you will act in different roles, have different supporting cast members, and take on new challenges. Going from one scene to the next is a transition that involves change, growth, and evolution. Change can be difficult, but it’s worth it. Research shows that people who intentionally set out to enrich their lives, grow, and evolve are happier, more successful, and have better relationships. So, how can you let go of what no longer serves you, support your personal evolution, and work towards becoming the best version of yourself? Here are five tips to help you do just that.


1. Focus on personal development

If you want to evolve, making personal development a priority is an absolute must. Whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally, personal growth is the direct result of efforts made to improve yourself. While everyone’s personal development path will look different, some good places to start include:

  • Reading personal development books

  • Going to therapy

  • Spending time in self-reflection

  • Developing a new skill

  • Adopting a more positive attitude

  • Breaking a bad habit

  • Making an effort to live a healthy lifestyle.

When you become a “better” person than you were yesterday, your life and its circumstances improve right along with you.

2. Perform self-assessments


Honestly assessing yourself has the power to change your life. This doesn’t mean judging yourself. It means being able to take an honest look at what’s working and what’s not working in your life. While it can be uncomfortable to face the truth, it’s the first step to creating positive changes. It is only this open, sincere ability to look at yourself that will get you to where you want to be.

3. Elevate your emotional intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. People with a high EQ have a better ability to recognize and manage their emotions, as well as the emotions of others. This enables you to better understand yourself and others, which naturally leads to greater growth, success, and personal happiness. You can work to enhance your EQ by learning to get in touch with your emotions. Try journaling, talking about your feelings with a trusted confidant, and noticing the physical sensations of emotions in your body.

4. Create a vision board

One of the best ways to encourage personal growth and evolution is by keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind. By doing this, you’ll always be looking for ways to move yourself closer to your goals. An easy and fun way to do this is by creating a vision board. This entails making a collage of images and words that represent your wishes and goals. You can cut out images from magazines, include pictures you’ve taken yourself, or even jot down inspiring words or quotes. Place your vision board somewhere where you’ll regularly see it to serve as a daily source of inspiration and motivation.


5. Listen to feedback from loved ones

Sometimes, it can be difficult to see an accurate picture of yourself and your life because you don’t have any distance from it. Friends and family are able to see your situation from an outside perspective which, at times, can be a bit clearer. Plus, they often know you better than anyone else (besides yourself). If your loved ones offer you feedback, carefully consider it and put it into action if it’s something you think you could benefit from. A path to evolution

In addition to the above tips, your plan for personal evolution should always allow for readjustments along the way. By reflecting on your past successes and mistakes, you’ll be able to evaluate what worked and what didn’t and make changes to support your continued growth.

Remember, personal evolution is a lifelong journey. Any movement in a positive direction is progress, no matter how small it seems or how long it takes. Keep going, one foot in front of the other. The time and effort you invest in yourself will eventually be rewarded ten times over.


The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of mental healthcare, wellness and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for a relationship with a licensed mental health practitioner. Always seek the advice of your therapist, physician or other licensed mental health professional with any questions you may have regarding a mental health condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional mental health advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.

References:



COVID-19 has been a part of our lives for over a year now, creating a tense, unnerving environment that is very unpredictable. While the millions of deaths are clear indicators of the deep impact this virus has had on the world, there’s another way the pandemic is greatly affecting us that isn’t quite as visible.

With the staggering loss of life, economic strife, changes in routines, and limited social interaction, COVID-19 is having a marked effect on people’s mental health. More than 42 percent of people surveyed by the U.S. Census Bureau in December 2020 reported symptoms of anxiety and depression—an increase from 11 percent in 2019. Today, we’re going to explore how the pandemic is affecting mental health, as well as tips for lessening its impact.

How COVID-19 has changed our world:

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended normal life. People have been forced to adapt to a new reality, one very different from their previous reality. The impact of the pandemic has threatened basic survival needs such as employment, income, housing, and food supply. Due to social restrictions, some family members and friends haven’t seen each other in over a year.

Some people have lost loved ones and friends, lost their businesses and jobs, or have had to personally battle the virus. Adults have had to adopt a work-from-home lifestyle, while kids, teens, and young adults have had to adapt to attending school via their computers from home.

Many individuals find themselves living with an unrelenting sense of uncertainty due to the changing nature of this virus and its impact on the world. There’s also the fear of contracting the virus and the hypervigilance required to keep yourself safe.

That’s a lot to deal with—for anyone.


Understanding Trauma When most people hear the word “trauma,” they think of car accidents, violent experiences, or various forms of abuse. The reality is, you don’t have to endure an accident or abuse to experience trauma. Anything that causes you to view the world as a dangerous place or makes you feel unsafe, has the potential to be traumatic and can cause a range of significant symptoms including:

  • Feelings of fear, anger, sadness, worry, numbness, or frustration

  • Changes in appetite, energy, desires, and interests

  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes

  • Worsening of chronic health problems

  • Mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety

  • Increased use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances

There’s no doubt that what we’ve all gone through this past year is traumatic. Some people will have experienced more trauma than others during these times, but the uncertainty and fear surrounding the pandemic alone are enough to cause mental health issues in many people. Tips for reducing the mental toll of the pandemic:

While you can’t change what is happening in the world, there are several things you can do to lessen the negative psychological impact of the pandemic. Here are some good options to consider:

  • Reduce news intake: Reduce your time spent watching, reading, or listening to news stories, as these can create further feelings of fear and uncertainty.

  • Seek out psychotherapy or counseling: Start working with a therapist, if possible. Therapists are available to meet with you over video from the comfort of your own home.

  • Connect with your friends and loved ones: Just because we can’t see our loved ones in person doesn’t mean we can’t connect in other ways. Talk with them over the phone, text, or video chat. Openly discuss your feelings and offer each other comfort and support.

  • Create routines despite the restrictions: Try to create a new daily routine for yourself. Predictable activities relax an overactive nervous system.

  • Allow yourself to express your feelings: Journaling is an effective, private tool for doing so.

  • Prioritize self-care: Make time for cooking healthy meals, partaking in activities you enjoy, relaxing, exercising, and other healthy habits.

  • Be extra kind to yourself: Understand that this is a hard time for everyone and you’re doing the best you can.

  • Focus on what’s going well: Despite these challenging times, there are almost certainly things that you can be grateful for. Take time to recognize those things daily.

Take it one day at a time If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, it’s important to realize that what you’re feeling is completely normal. Your feelings are a natural reaction to something that is threatening. Take each day as it comes and start incorporating some of the above tips to reduce the psychological impact of these unprecedented times. Life will eventually get back to normal and you’ll be able to look back at this time as a huge demonstration of your resilience and strength.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of mental healthcare, wellness and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for a relationship with a licensed mental health practitioner. Always seek the advice of your therapist, physician or other licensed mental health professional with any questions you may have regarding a mental health condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional mental health advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.


References:



Stress and sleep are a two-way street. Just as a lack of sleep can be a source of stress, a stressful day (or month) can keep you awake a night. Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to rest, repair, and recharge. While everyone experiences a restless night of sleep here and there, a consistent lack of sleep will inevitably throw your system off balance and increase your stress levels.

Although sleep is one of our basic human needs, one in three adults doesn’t get enough sleep. If you struggle with sleep, it may seem like getting deep, restorative Z’s is nothing more than a wishful fantasy. In many cases, however, you can improve your sleep by adopting good sleep hygiene—a term used to describe good sleep habits that set you up for a restful night’s sleep. Here are five habits you should consider to get sound slumber that will reduce your stress levels.


1. Stick to a sleep schedule

Try your best to get up and go to bed at the same time every day, allowing for seven to eight hours of sleep. While you can sleep in an hour or so later on the weekends, try your best to maintain your sleep schedule seven days a week. This reinforces your body’s sleep cycle (or internal clock), which can make it easier for you to fall asleep at night and get up in the morning.


2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine

Our days are filled with errands, responsibilities, decisions, and activities, which naturally stimulate our nervous systems. A relaxing bedtime routine helps calm your mind and body so that you’re ready for sleep. While everyone will have different preferences, some soothing activities to try include taking a bath, reading a book, doing yoga, having tea, meditating, or doing deep breathing exercises. If you find that a racing mind is keeping you awake, try journaling out your thoughts before bed.

3. Cultivate healthy daily habits

Setting yourself up for a restful night’s sleep doesn’t just start in the evening. What you do during the day matters just as much. To encourage a good night’s sleep, regularly include these healthy habits into your days:

  • Get 10-30 minutes of midday sun several days a week

  • Engage in 30 minutes or more of physical activity per day

  • Limit daytime naps (and don’t take naps over 20 minutes)

  • Find ways to reduce tension and stress, perhaps through exercise, therapy, cooking, or journaling.


4. Optimize your bedroom for sleep


Your bedroom can have a big impact on your ability to get to sleep and stay asleep. It’s important to set your bedroom up to be a relaxing place that encourages sleep. This entails investing in a comfortable mattress and pillow, setting your thermostat to a comfortable, cool temperature (about 65 degrees Fahrenheit), blocking out as much light as possible, and, if necessary, drowning out noise with a white noise machine, earplugs, or a fan. Also, be sure to stop using electronic devices, such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops, a half-hour to an hour before bed. These devices generate blue light which suppresses the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin.


5. Pay attention to what you eat and drink

While many people don’t give much thought to when and what they eat and drink, it’s something you should pay attention to, especially if you’re struggling with sleep. Here are some tips to guide you:

  • Avoid heavy, large meals in the evening and stop eating at least two hours before bedtime.

  • Eat a balanced diet filled with healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and lean meats. Do your best to avoid processed foods and refined sugar.

  • Quit smoking, if you do.

  • Reduce alcohol consumption and avoid drinking in the late evening

  • Don’t drink caffeine after 3 p.m.

Apply these tips for better sleep and reduced stress

Good sleep hygiene is a crucial part of getting the restful, restorative sleep you need to function at your best and support your overall well-being. By applying the above tips, your sleep is likely to improve and, as a result, your stress levels, too. Sweet dreams!

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of mental healthcare, wellness and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for a relationship with a licensed mental health practitioner. Always seek the advice of your therapist, physician or other licensed mental health professional with any questions you may have regarding a mental health condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional mental health advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.



References:

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