My aim is to normalise mental well being issues, like addiction, trauma, PTSD etc. To share about some of my hard learned experiences and my current ongoing challenges in hopes that it may assist someone out there.
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The diminishing return of happiness Imagine living in a world where you experience nothing but happiness. You wake up each morning feeling happy and joyous. Walking into the office, you greet everyone with a huge smile on your face. Problems? What are those??? This world sounds ideal, doesn’t it? Yeah, this life sounds amazing! In […] The post The Diminishing Return Of Happiness appeared first on Eyes of an...
The diminishing return of happiness
Imagine living in a world where you experience nothing but happiness.
You wake up each morning feeling happy and joyous.
Walking into the office, you greet everyone with a huge smile on your face.
Problems? What are those???
This world sounds ideal, doesn’t it?
Yeah, this life sounds amazing! In fact, it’s what most of us live for. But, is this really ideal or does it just sound good on paper?
The unhappiness of living in a happy world
Let’s go back to the perfect life described above. We wake up with a smile, everything goes our way. All our basic human needs are met and then some. We no longer have to worry about money, deal with stress that other people do and we even found the perfect partner that can share this happiness.
Do you see the problem with the above picture?
If we lived this perfect life, this state of happiness would become our norm. This new way of life would become an expectation.
Once this way of life becomes an expectation, can you imagine the impact any curveball thrown at us would have?
Because we’ve become so accustomed to this happy way of living, it would be very hard for us to adjust and overcome obstacles.
If we are in a constant state of happiness and this state becomes our norm, would we still be happy?
So, what is this diminishing return of happiness I speak of?
The longer we stay happy, the less happy we become.
Seeking constant happiness will lead to unhappiness
The benefits of our problems
Trying times benefits us in many ways. We learn to overcome new obstacles, thus leading to growth. We also develop emotional resilience (a key tool to dealing with life’s challenges).
What is the real benefit of our problems?
One of the greatest rewards we gain from our negative experiences is that it amplifies the good experiences.
If you were to offer a homeless man $100, he would be far more appreciative than offering the same amount to a millionaire.
The reason for this is simple.
The rich man is used to having money, he has plenty of his own. If you were to offer him other things he needed, he would appreciate that a lot more.
The homeless man is used to living a hard life, begging for pennies on the street so that he can buy food. If he were given $100, he would see this as a gift, a miracle.
The way we think holds a lot of power. If we change the way we think about our problems, we will then learn to embrace these challenges and welcome them. We may even become grateful for these problems, because in the back of our head, we know the problems of today will help amplify the happiness of tomorrow.
Related Post – Confidence – A key to Happiness
Headaches, Stress and Time-Management Headaches Don’t we just hate them? You’re running late for work. As you walk in, your boss craps you for being late. OMG, a hundred new emails. You don’t have time for this! Your deadline is due in 2 hours and you need at least 3 to finish that project. Mom, […] The post Headaches, Stress and Time-management appeared first on Eyes of an...
Headaches, Stress and Time-Management
Don’t we just hate them?
You’re running late for work.
As you walk in, your boss craps you for being late.
OMG, a hundred new emails. You don’t have time for this!
Your deadline is due in 2 hours and you need at least 3 to finish that project.
Mom, are you still coming to watch the game later? Reads the message highlighting your phone.
You feel as if you’re about to scream.
And then… that headache arrives.
AHHHH!! Just reading the above makes me feel overwhelmed!
When your world seems to be falling apart, a headache is the last thing you need. When that headache strikes, you feel as if you can crawl in a hole and never come out.
Where do our headaches come from?
Headaches can be caused by several things. Anxiety, the glare from our computer screens, the food we eat, bad sleeping patterns, excessive noise or even our posture can all cause headaches.
One the biggest causes of tension headaches are caused by our daily stress. An overactivity in the brain causes muscle contraction and this leads to that pounding effect known as headaches. They are not pleasant and impact all other aspects of our lives, including our health, relationships, ability to focus and our happiness.
Stress is your body’s way of dealing with overwhelming challenges. Stress can be good for us because it drives us to do more, to get that promotion, to complete that deadline. When we face stress for lengthened periods of time, it becomes unhealthy and we develop those nasty headaches.
When we’re stressed for prolonged periods of time, we open ourselves up not only to headaches, but to hypertension, arthritis, a weakened immune system and fatigue among many illnesses.
How to deal with stress
A key to reducing tension headaches is then to reduce our levels of stress.
While it’s impossible for us to eliminate stress from our lives, we can reduce the amount of stress we face daily.
In my book, Unveiling Happiness, I identified time management as the biggest cure to stress.
A lot of our stress comes about because of our wing-it approach. We don’t have a clear picture of what needs to be done and the time we have to complete our tasks.
When we don’t have a clear picture of what needs to be done, we also procrastinate or drift away from the task at hand.
In most of our lives, we have felt the disadvantages of not having effective time management.
That feeling of being burdened with stress because we aren’t sure how we will make our deadlines. The bags under our eyes from a lack of sleep when we work late hours to get something done on time.
I could go on…
We are only given 24 hours every day. With this time, we need enough sleep, we need to take care of our families, meet deadlines at work and carry out all the other tasks set out for the day. Regardless of how chaotic your life may be, you can learn the art of effective time-management.
Psychologically, the unknown causes stress.
When we do not have a clear picture of what we need to do for the day and go with the I’ll-wing-it approach, we naturally become stressed out. To add to this, this stress about the unknown brings in unnecessary anxiety.
When we learn to manage our time effectively, there is less room for nasty surprises.
Yes, we will still have some unexpected surprises, but we will be more prepared for them.
When we learn to manage our time effectively, not only will our stress be reduced, which would reduce our headaches, but we will also find time for relaxation because this will be included in our schedule. Finding time to relax is crucial for managing tension headaches.
8 Ways to manage our time effectively
Create a time audit
Before you look at managing your time better, spend the next week tracking how you currently spend your time.
Try not to make any changes in this week. The goal is to use the information you gather this week to compare it with the data you’ll have once you carry out proper time-management techniques.
You will then compare the differences and notice how much time you have saved once implementing your time-management techniques.
Try to track everything, including the time spent procrastinating. An example of this would be:
07:11–Woke up—3 minutes
07:14–Brush teeth and make coffee—8 minutes
07:22–Prepare lunch for kids—9 minutes
07:46–Get dressed for work—22 minutes
You get my drift. Download the app Toggle to track this information on your phone.
Do this for one week.
Track your results and find room for improvement
At the end of the week, review your results. Notice how much time is spent doing certain tasks and identify which tasks could be completed in less time. Often the time wasted is due to procrastination or not having a clear goal in mind.
You should also use this information to identify where your biggest stress lies. If you run late in the mornings, try preparing lunch the night before, etc.
Create a weekly plan
Using the information from step 1 and 2, create a weekly plan.
In this plan, be sure to allocate specific time slots to complete all the tasks you need to acomplish daily.
07:30–07:35: make sure the kids are in the car, ready to be dropped off at school.
The times must be very specific and include all the finer details we otherwise wouldn’t think about, such as the time spent getting the kids in the car or the time spent finding parking.
This may seem excessive at first, but it becomes much easier over time. Soon, you won’t even have to write it down any more, it will become habitual.
You know those little unplanned surprises we really cannot plan for? You need to allocate a certain amount of time for ‘Unplanned tasks.’ Aim for 2 hours a day.
Finally, a biggie, set aside time for relaxation or for things you enjoy doing. If you love reading, you can set aside an hour every night to read.
Do not skip this step. This is a very important step because that time spent relaxing serves as a reward for having completed your other tasks, in essence, you are motivated to complete your other tasks within your chosen time frame.
Create a daily plan
Your weekly plan works as a guide, but what you will really focus on is your daily plan.
Set aside 15 minutes each day to review your day. If you have any unplanned appointments, schedule them in your unplanned time slot or try to move your other tasks around without compromising the time spent on those tasks.
If you have set aside 2 hours for unplanned tasks and only end up using an hour of this time, you have an hour that you can do whatever you want to with.
There are a lot of debates over whether multi-tasking is a skill.
You may be used to multi-tasking, but you will now want to avoid it like the plague.
When we multi-task, we’re unable to give our full attention to a specific task. Instead, our attention is spread among many tasks.
This leads to:
- a) Tasks not being completed timeously because our efforts are so wide spread.
- b) Procrastination because all the tasks seem overwhelming.
- c) Tasks being abandoned, again, because it becomes overwhelming.
The point of time management is to have a set time allocated for each specific task.
Block out distractions
Many of us have distractions that deter us from our tasks at hand.
Some may be distracted with YouTube videos, others may find their Instagram timeline a distraction.
Identify where your distractions lie, become aware of these distractions and make a conscious effort not to let them interfere with your task for that set time slot.
Plan with a clear purpose
Your plan must have a clear purpose.
As human beings, we are driven by rewards.
What rewards would you get out of managing your time? If you look forward to finding time to do that one thing you can never find time for, then keep this goal in mind.
Working with a purpose not only motivates us but drives us to achieving our goals.
Learn to say NO
Many of us struggle to say NO. We agree to doing things that we later regret. All this does is eat away at the time we have to achieve our set tasks and causes unnecessary stress.
In the future, if someone asks you to do something, get into the habit of telling them you would need to have a look at your schedule. Do this because it will prevent you from acting impulsively and agreeing to doing something you wish you hadn’t.
Related post – Helping too much
Related post – Confidence
6 most recommended addiction and recovery blogs When I left my final recovery centre, I wanted nothing but to learn as much as I can about addiction and how to overcome it. It may still not be a topic frequented by many, but I was shocked to find out how much online resources I had […] The post 6 Most Recommended Addiction and Recovery Blogs appeared first on Eyes of an...
6 most recommended addiction and recovery blogs
When I left my final recovery centre, I wanted nothing but to learn as much as I can about addiction and how to overcome it.
It may still not be a topic frequented by many, but I was shocked to find out how much online resources I had at my disposal. This inspired me to create my own blog.
Looking for some great recovery and addiction related content?
Perhaps you know a recovering addict and their addiction has greatly affected your life, but you feel like no one would understand what you’re going through?
Maybe you just looking places that are likely to have answers to questions you can’t seem to find the answers to?
I have put together a list of my favourite addiction and recovery related sites. These are my go-to site whenever I feel stuck or when I just need inspiration.
This is blog is widely considered as the number go-to site for all addiction related information.
The popular site, The Fix, is an amazing resource for those in recovery, those seeking recovery or those that want to find out more about the addiction. With regular posts covering all aspects from how technology can be used to drive recovery, to which rehabilitation centre is best suited for you. I would consider this site as the Huffington post of the recovery world.
One feature that really stands out for me is the Ask an expert feature. If you are struggling with something you feel you cannot speak about, you can anonymously ask a question and one of the experts will help you out and try their best to have your question answered.
If you’re read the web, you must have stumbled across Psychology Today.
What most people don’t know is that this mega-site has its very own section for all addiction and recovery related posts. The blog posts are always thought compelling and give me a new outlook on think.
A hangover Free Life
There’s an incredible amount of content on this site.
What stands out for me is the owner’s writing style. The posts are informative, real and story-telling.
There are so many posts covering every addiction-related subject you could think of. I would especially recommend this site for those new in recovery or those that are struggling with a loved one suffering from addiction. This site alone should help answer a lot of the questions you may have.
Our Young Addicts
Majority of the information you find online caters to the person suffering from an addiction problem. There are not enough blogs that speak to the suffering family members.
Addiction is family illness after all.
Our Young Addicts offers support to the family members and close friends. They have established a growing community of parents and professionals that speak about the troubles of living with or caring for an addict.
Parents speak about the difficulty of having a family member with an addiction problem, the challenges they faced and how they overcame these challenges. It’s a wonderful support group.
Eating disorder hope
While most addiction blogs are geared towards drugs and alcohol, not enough emphasize the impact of eating disorders.
Eating Disorder Hope covers an array of crucial topics such as binge eating, bulimia, orthorexia and anorexia.
I have learned a lot about eating disorders through this blog, which inspire me to write my own blog post on food addiction.
My final recommendation may seem a little biased.
Houghton House is a treatment centre in South Africa, the best I would say. This was where I found my recovery after many failed attempts, so I hold them in high regard.
If you’re looking to gain a new perspective on addiction or recovery matter, check out JD’s blog. His writing style is story-telling, which I love.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out the success stories. These are stories of real people, with real struggles and how they overcame their addiction, despite challenges.
The bully inside There are countless posts and books all highlighting how to overcome the effect of being bullied and how to deal with bullies. Most people get upset the minute they hear about someone close to them that was bullied; often seeking revenge to right these wrongs. What if the bully we read so […] The post The Bully Inside appeared first on Eyes of an...
The bully inside
There are countless posts and books all highlighting how to overcome the effect of being bullied and how to deal with bullies.
Most people get upset the minute they hear about someone close to them that was bullied; often seeking revenge to right these wrongs.
What if the bully we read so much about lied inside us?
Click, click, click.
The clicks of Amy’s heels alert the entire office floor to her arrival.
“Morning everyone,” Amy shouts out in her usual cheery manner. If anyone was a morning person, it’s Amy.
“Oh, my God. Quick, 10 o’clock!” Stephanie nudges her colleague, Sue, to grab a glance at Amy before she passes.
“What… Oh my goodness! What on earth is she wearing today?”
“I know right! She looks ancient,” Stephanie agrees.
“As for that hairstyle! It looks like an abandoned bird’s nest.”
Stephanie and Sue burst into laughter at the thought.
Amy slows down and glances over at the two of them, before finally picking her head back up and walking again. With Sue’s loud voice, she couldn’t help but overhear what they were laughing at.
Media highlights our faults
If you look at most marketing campaigns, they highlight your shortcomings or what you don’t have.
The reason for this is because of the psychological drive that pushes us to want to have more or to be better than the next person. The way these campaigns are designed is to eat at our ego and make us believe that in order for us to live a better life and be happy, we need certain products or we need to stand out from the crowd.
With this, it is only natural that we subconsciously class people. We may consider ourselves to be in a certain class and our neighbor in a different. Yeah, that neighbor that eats rice with her hand in public.
Marketing campaigns are driven by what we don’t have and remind us of this.
Perhaps a reason why we focus on what others are doing wrong is to shift the focus away from ourselves?
Our inner bully
Are you a bully?
Most people would strongly object to this question. The mere thought alone is preposterous!
No, we are loving, fair and give out nothing but compassion.
While we would all love to think so, sadly, this is not always the case.
We live in a judgemental world. Society judges, hell, we judge ourselves.
When we mock those around us, even though comments we may think this is all in good fun, a large part of that is to make us feel better about ourselves by exposing someone else’s shortfalls.
In a weird way, can you see how this could be satisfying?
In essence, this banter is a deflection of our own self-judgements.
The problem is that the other person may not always see it that way and those funny comments may hurt them.
Most people hate being bullied. Countless people have been scarred for life because of childhood bullies or an abusive family member. The effects are damaging.
With this knowledge in the back of our head:
Next time you have potentially hurtful thoughts about someone, consider the effects these thoughts could have on yourself. What may seem as playful banter could hurt the next person.
All self-help books will teach you to look within before looking to solve any external problem. Sometimes the bully that really hurts us, lies within us.
Related Post – Treating others as equals
8 reasons why we should aim for honesty Honesty can be hard, but it’s often not as difficult as we may think. It’s not always easy either. If being honest all the time were easy, we wouldn’t need to resort to lying. While honesty may not always be easy, it pays off in the […] The post 8 Reasons why we should always aim for honesty appeared first on Eyes of an...
8 reasons why we should aim for honesty
Honesty can be hard, but it’s often not as difficult as we may think. It’s not always easy either. If being honest all the time were easy, we wouldn’t need to resort to lying.
While honesty may not always be easy, it pays off in the long run.
Here are the top 8 reasons why we should always aim for honesty.
Being honest is easier than lying.
The truth is easier to keep track of.
Have you ever told a lie and forgot you lied? Next time someone brings up the topic, you instead tell the truth, only to realize you slipped up?
To correct this, you tell another lie to try and cover for your slip up and protect the original lie.
When we lie, we need to keep track of our lies. The more we lie, the more we need to remember. Keeping track of all these lies becomes a nightmare.
Lying leads to feelings of guilt and shame
When we lie, we fill ourselves with guilt and shame.
The bigger the lie, the more guilt and shame we build. When we lie to those we care about, we realize we hurt them by holding back the truth.
Eventually, this shame and guilt builds up and impacts all other aspects of our lives. It negatively impacts our relationships, our work-life, our confidence levels and it eats away at our self-esteem.
Honesty builds character and develops trust
Trust is tricky. They say trust is not given but earned. When you lie to someone, this kills the trust.
The thing about trust is that once it’s lost, it is very difficult to regain.
The truth can sometimes hurt people, but truth that surfaces after a lie leaves scars.
Being honest shows a level of maturity. When you’re honest, you take ownership and learn from your mistakes.
Lying is the easy way out and wastes away all personal growth you may have aimed for.
People will seek your honest advice
When you have a proven history of being honest, people start trusting you.
They ask your opinions on important matters because they know it will be honest and sincere.
Not that you can hurt people with brutal honesty. It’s possible to stay truthful and be cognisant of how people would react to this truth.
Eventually, we will be caught
Our lies have a way of coming out.
When we are untruthful, we do so to cover a wrong. We may get away with this temporarily, but eventually, the truth will surface.
It is better to take ownership of our wrongs, apologize for these wrongs and work towards fixing it.
Relationships founded on lies have a rocky foundation
Once you have developed a relationship based on lies, this leads to a rocky foundation.
These lies are bound to come up and when the other person in the relationship realizes these lies, the message that is sent to them is;
Well, if she could lie and not care. I can do the same.
You can never expect to find trust in a relationship founded on dishonesty.
You practice speaking your heart’s truth
Once you practice being honest, it becomes easier for you to speak your heart’s truth.
A lot of fights occur because of unspoken expectations.
People can’t read your mind. When we don’t speak up for ourselves, make our intentions known and manage other people’s expectations, they guess.
This guess work can lead to a lot of unnecessary arguments and damage relationships.
Honesty attracts honesty
It’s said that if you want to judge a person’s character, take a look at the company they keep.
When you’re honest, you show signs of maturity and ownership. Similar people will be naturally attracted to you. These are the people that will help you grow, be honest with you and help you develop in other aspects of your life.
Related post – Digging Deeper
4 Eye-opening Truths About Hatred If you are human, there is a very big chance you have hated someone, something, a concept or even an institution. We may have been hurt or betrayed in ways unimaginable, leading to a dislike so severe we don’t think we could ever forgive these people. Perhaps it’s time we […] The post 4 Eye-opening Truths About Hatred appeared first on Eyes of an...
4 Eye-opening Truths About Hatred
If you are human, there is a very big chance you have hated someone, something, a concept or even an institution.
We may have been hurt or betrayed in ways unimaginable, leading to a dislike so severe we don’t think we could ever forgive these people.
Perhaps it’s time we discuss the truths about hatred?
Most people won’t willingly admit they get something out of holding onto resentments.
When we hold on to resentments, the message we tell ourselves is that we are right.
Regardless of how small the reward, there is always a reward we get out of holding onto our hatred, but is that reward enough to justify all the negatives that come with it?
Painful truths about hatred
Your hate doesn’t hurt the person it’s intended for
It goes without say; hatred is a negative emotion-one that is meant to cause harm.
As time goes on, these feelings of rage and anger build up and affect all other aspects of our lives, such as our health, relationships and our work life.
The person you hate often goes on unaffected. The only person who suffers the effects is you.
Hatred won’t help you win
Many of us hold on to hate because deep down, we because believe we are right. We also develop the belief that if we forgive others than we are no longer right. As long as we are right, we win, right?
On the 17th of June, 9 people were killed in a racially motivated shoot out at Charleston Church.
It is only natural that the families and friends of the victims would have developed a strong hatred towards the opposite race.
https://www.hatewontwinmovement.com/ is a website created to honor the victims of the Charleston 9 attack and all other casualties of hate crimes.
The site is simple, yet it shares a powerful message:
Hate won’t win. Society needs you to eliminate the tensions that are destroying our communities.
If you wish to see a different world, help create it.
Hatred closes you to new opportunities
Hatred clouds our judgment and affects the way we think about everything. When we hold onto hatred, we are also more prone to develop trust issues.
As mentioned, this mental poison affects all your relationships over time. As time goes on, this hatred consumes you, squandering away space in your head. This lost time can never be regained.
There is no right and wrong
The concept of right and wrong is subjective.
On the offset, it seems simple, do the right thing and that’s that.
Because we all come from different backgrounds, cultures, upbringings or different levels of desperation, what may seem wrong for me may not necessarily be wrong for someone else.
Hatred in itself is very judgmental and leads us to believe that we are right no matter what.
Letting go of hatred
If we’re not careful, the prolonged hatred we hold onto begins to negatively impact all aspects of our lives.
Hatred causes us nothing but grief and heartache. Furthermore hurts us more than the person it’s intended to hurt.
When we forgive people, we do not do so for their sakes, but rather for our own sanity.
Forgiveness does not mean that we should accept anyone’s behavior or that we condone their actions.
When we forgive, we simply let go of damaging negative emotions and we no longer allow these emotions to hold us captive.
Related post – How to forgive when you think you can’t
Related post – How to deal with disappointments
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