Recognizing toxic relationships

On 19th May 2019, the world watched as Megan Markle married Prince Harry.

There are a lot of reasons why this occasion was a beautiful spectacle. Among them, is that Megan (now Duchess of Sussex) is older than Prince Harry (Duke of Sussex). There’s also the fact that she was previously married to a different man.

What is more important is what we can learn about relationships from this union. As much as she is divorced-which can be a very sad life moment-she still found her prince! (Literally). This should teach you that you should be brave enough to leave toxic relationships. Always know that better relationships will come by!

Recognizing the signs of toxic relationships

As soon as most people hear the word relationship, they assume that it refers to only romantic relationships.

Relationships can be between any two people whether they are co-workers, siblings, friends or neighbours. This means that when we talk about toxic relationships, it can apply in any of the relationships that you have.

You should be very observant and deliberate if you want to recognize the existence of toxic relationships in your life. It will prevent future heartbreaks and frustrations that are a result of such relationships.

There are several ways to tell if the people you relate with are toxic or not. It’s also important to check yourself to know if you are a pleasant person or not.

Recognizing toxic relationships

  1. How important are you in your relationship?

Think of a time that you were going through a difficult situation in your life.

Does the person you’re in a relationship with go out of their way to make you feel better?

Did they make your grief worse?

Did you feel that you have somebody that you can rely on?

If you do not feel wanted, loved, or that you have a support system during the toughest times in your life, then you are probably in a toxic relationship.

  1. How does the person treat other people?

This is a particularly important question when it comes to how the person treats poor people or people from a lower social class.

When the two of you are in a restaurant, does the person insult or demean the waiters?

Is the person always speaking ill of their parents, siblings or co-workers?

If the person never gets along with anyone and you are always used as the emotional punching bag through complaining, then you are dealing with a toxic person.

It would be good if you talked to the person about it at first. Break away from the relationship if they are unwilling to change.

Recognizing toxic relationships

  1. Does the person walk away from conflict?

Hiding your head in the sand like an ostrich when you’re faced with problems is a sign of immaturity.

Does this remind you of any of the relationships that you are in?

Do you know of anyone who will do anything to avoid addressing the issues in your relationship?

Do you have a person in your life who constantly avoids difficult conversations?

Conflict is normal and the only way to grow your relationship is by addressing it.

If a person constantly avoids dealing with conflict, then they are toxic to you because such situations lead to stress which is bad for your mental health. A person who truly cares for you will always want to address the cause of conflict.

  1. How do you feel about yourself when you are together?

Do you have friends whose constant word in every sentence is ‘Me?’ Always talking about themselves and making themselves the center of every conversation?

When you think of spending time with such people, you always feel burdened as opposed to excitement. Spending too much time with such people also affects your self-esteem.

In some cases, you feel like you’re walking on eggshells as upsetting this person will lead to more toxic words from them. Leave such relationships.

There are always more pleasant people out there who will make you feel like you’re the center of their world.

Recognizing toxic relationships

  1. How does this person act when they are in the wrong?

Toxic people don’t apologize.

They will either avoid you for some days hoping that you will forget the wrong they did, or they will manipulate the situation to suit them.

You always end up apologizing for something you are absolutely sure you did not do.

These types of people are manipulative and you should consider ending such relationships as they add sadness in your life.

  1. Does the person truly listen when you have a concern?

You have been told many times that communication is a key element of any relationship. For a healthy relationship, you should be able to speak up when you have a concern.

Toxic people do not even pay attention to you when you’re sad let alone listen to you. A person who cares about you deeply will know when you’re sad and they will listen to you keenly and offer help.

If you are in a relationship with anyone who does not give you the time and space to talk about what bothers you, they are toxic and you should look for healthier relationships.

Recognizing toxic relationships

  1. Has the person ever abused you?

Abuse comes in many forms such as beating, sexual abuse, mental abuse or using foul language.

Nobody deserves any form of abuse. This form of treatment is the kind that will stay with you long after the relationship is over as it torments you.

You do not want to give somebody a chance to torment you long after they are gone. In this case, seek help through talking to your parents, siblings, closest friends or even the police.

Abuse of any kind only thrives in silence. As much as it seems hard at first, talk about it and walk away from such treatment.

Conclusion

You have to pay attention to how you feel about the people in your life.

People you consider friends and acquaintances should be the reason why you laugh louder, appreciate yourself more, get better at your job, dream bigger and inspire you to be a better person.

Use the above seven questions to determine who in your life is draining your energy as opposed to contributing to your laughter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb8RAH4ywNY

Signs of toxic relationships

If you have listened “Love On The Rain” by Rihanna, then you probably know how damaging a toxic relationship can be especially when she claims that ‘it beats me black and blue.’ In this song, love for her doesn’t feel like it should.

You have probably experienced or are experiencing this kind of an unhealthy relationship or know someone who has gone through it.

Do not worry, there are always solutions to help you experience love in its purest form.

An unhealthy or toxic relationship is any relationship that drains your happiness.

This can be a relationship with your friend, family, boss or intimate partner.

If you constantly experience negativity in your relationship or anything that makes you feel sadder by the day, you are in a toxic relationship.

Signs of toxic relationships

Unhealthy relationships statistics

The saddest bit about unhealthy relationships is that people who are in them are not even aware. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline;

  • Approximately, 3 in 10 women (29%) and 1 in 10 men (10%) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner and report a related impact on their functioning.
  • On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.
  • In a nationwide survey, 9.4% of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend.

In the above three examples, the abuse involves intimate partners of both genders. The victims of the above cases were abused by people who are meant to show them love and protect them.

In this social media era, stalking has become a rampant form of emotional abuse. People have also been known to abuse each other emotionally on social media by posting photos or messages that are meant to torment their partners.

Signs of toxic relationships

How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you – Rupi Kaur

Different types of toxic relationships

You are a social creature just like everyone else. This means that you need different types of relationships for you to thrive.

Your relationships should make you happier and help you achieve your dreams. In the long run, the people in your circle should help you boost your self-esteem.

However, you have probably experienced that some of the relationships you have had are damaging to you both mentally and physically. Some of the toxic relationships that you should watch out for include the following;

  1. The manipulator

Are you in a relationship with a friend, relative or lover who seems to be messing up with your mind? This type of person leaves you confused and skeptical all the time.

A manipulator will also always want to control every situation to their advantage. If things go wrong they will blame you for the outcome.

They will also make you feel stupid for not coming up with a better idea, even when you clearly know that you had made suggestions. Rings a bell? If yes, run for your dear life!

  1. The competition guru

Remember the last time you achieved something that you were proud of and the minute you tried talking about it with your friend they immediately changed the topic to talk about their own achievements? Yup! That’s the one.

Any healthy relationship should be about teamwork and uplifting each other, not trying to outshine each other. You shouldn’t have to feel like the minor player in your relationship all the time.

You should leave this type of relationship because this person is using you to boost their esteem as you use all your energy to pamper them!

Signs of toxic relationships

As you remove toxic people from your life, you free up space and emotional energy to for positive, healthy relationships – John Mark Green

  1. The Narcissist

Some people act as if the earth revolves around them! These types of people are extremely selfish.

For example, if your lover is always dictating what you wear when you’re going out instead of giving you the freedom to pick your wardrobe, you are an accessory in their lives!

The worst bit about these types of people is that they are extremely dumb (oops!) and the longer you keep being with them the more likely that they’ll drain your intelligent juices. Don’t allow this to happen to you!

  1. The Boss

How harder can life be if you have a boss in the office and a boss in your social life?

You should be able to determine the direction your life takes as an adult.

These types of people make demands about how you should live your life and yet they never make the same effort to be the best partners in return.

Worse still, they cover this behaviour by constantly reminding you about how understanding you are. No darling. You are not understanding. You are treading towards low self-esteem and depression.

Signs of toxic relationships

I have to remember that it is not the love that hurt me; but someone who could not love me in the right way – R.Y.S Perez

  1. The insecure one

Do you have a partner who calls you every five minutes when you are out with your friends to ask you what you are doing?

Does your partner constantly accuse you of plotting to leave them yet you know you are doing everything to make your relationship work? That’s a control freak.

Even when you are in a relationship with someone, you need time to be alone, to hang out with your friends, to think about yourself.

Your life should not revolve around this one person. You have a right to self-determination.

There is You and You. That’s a relationship. That’s the most important relationship – Nayyirah Waheed.

How to leave a toxic relationship

Truth is, leaving a relationship especially when you still love the person is hard. It is probably the hardest thing that you’ll ever have to do.

Getting stuck in such a relationship is like adding more floors to a building that has a weak foundation. Eventually, it will collapse.

If you love yourself, you don’t want the building to collapse while you’re still sleeping inside!

Conclusion

You deserve to be treated like royalty.

If you need help leaving an abusive relationship, talk to someone. Talk to your closest friend or the wisest person you know. Wise people are known to have genuine and practical advice.

Additionally, there are have toll-free numbers that you can call such as the police to report such abuse.

It’s perfectly okay to ask for help. By doing so, you have won half the battle. The other half is investing in some well-deserved self-love 😉

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1yW5IsnSjo

The benefits of practising vulnerability

Do you struggle with admitting that you have a weakness?

Think of a time when you were in love with someone-did you struggle with the idea of being the first one to tell them that you loved them?

If you answered yes to the two questions, then you have or still are struggling with vulnerability.

The Oxford dictionary definition of vulnerability is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

As human beings, especially adults, we struggle with vulnerability due to the fear of the shame that comes with being open about our struggles.  Openly showing the world who you are is not easy.

People choose to hide their emotions due to the uncertainty of the outcome. We fear that people around us will judge us and perceive us as weak.

However, studies have shown that vulnerability is beneficial and empowering.

The benefits of practising vulnerability

What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful-Brene Brown

Dr Brene Brown, in her book Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead defines vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. This deeply shows that it is hard to live openly and be truly yourself.

The benefits of practising vulnerability

  1. You experience the power of human connection

It is a basic human need to be connected to others. This is why it happens naturally that you have friends, family and you always want to create time to be with them. This kind of connection gives you a sense of belonging.

Feeling that you belong to a certain group of people gives you the courage to face the world. You feel safer.

  1. You get emotional support

Life is full of highs and lows. During both periods of your life, you feel the urge to share the moment with your close friends and family.

When you are experiencing tough times, you want emotional support and encouragement. When you are experiencing the highs, you want a part in the back.

By being vulnerable and sharing your life experiences, you get closer connections with people which leads to emotional support.

The benefits of practising vulnerability

“What happens when people open their hearts?” “They get better.” –Haruki Murakami

  1. You will learn to appreciate your uniqueness

You have beautiful, and sometimes strange aspects of you that make you unique.

By exploring these aspects of you either by taking time to be self-aware or talking to people about it, you will accept yourself as a special addition to the world.

This self-awareness journey will also give you a massive self-confidence boost!

  1. How about you make peace with your past?

Have you ever been in a room with somebody who shared their personal story that got you to appreciate yourself and your past?

Yes, sharing the story of your life journey is a big vulnerable step. The next time you are asked to share, do it. This brave step will enable you to get rid of the massive baggage and shame that you have been carrying all your life.

It is advisable to confront your past as opposed to hiding from it.

  1. Vulnerability leads to deeper and genuine friendships

Laying yourself bare and sharing your story will bring you the right kinds of people in your life.

Doing it often especially in places where you feel safe to do so gives you the confidence to decide whom to keep in your inner circle and who to walk away from.

The benefits of practising vulnerability

Some people when they hear your story, contract. Others upon hearing your story, expand. And this is how you know-Nayyirah Waheed

  1. People will trust you more with their stories

Have you noticed that the people you have shared with your deepest secrets trust you more with theirs? Well, this is mostly true with your true friends.

Being vulnerable will bring you closer to both your friends and workmates.

Admit that you are unable to do something. Ask for help.

  1. Your relationship with your romantic partner will improve

Many people date for many years without taking the brave step of being vulnerable with each other. Being vulnerable will enable you to have a stronger bond.

The minute you talk about your fears and secrets, you feel a heavy burden has been lifted from your shoulders.

If you want to experience a deeper and more honest love, take the first step and lead your partner towards a deeper love experience.

Conclusion

The biggest benefit of vulnerability is that it makes you empathetic towards the people around you and the world in general.

It is important to be compassionate with others when they are struggling. To give them a helping hand and to be their source of hope in times of despair.

Being vulnerable will not only help you discover the humane part of you but will also enable you to be kinder to the world.

The next time somebody asks you ‘Who are you?’ Tell them your story. And watch the world bring you happiness, peace and loads of love.

 

 

 

 

The importance of building resilience

When we are in a state of weakness, we often feel that things are working against us. We feel that things are becoming worse by the day.

Even when something positive happens, we are likely to ignore it and keep looking at the negative aspects.

When you are in this state, you will often be stressed and in a state of tension. Building resilience is important as it teaches you that no matter how bad things get, you will pick yourself up from the negative experience and you will bounce back.

Types of resilience

Emotional resilience is the most commonly searched form of resilience.

You have probably also searched for or read about it. Emotional resilience is simply how you are able to effectively manage emotional stress and its impact on your life.

Psychology studies show that there are different types of resilience as shown below;

The importance of building resilience

  1. Inherent Resilience

Inherent resilience is the natural resilience we are born with. You and all other individuals possess this type of resilience.

This type of resilience gives us protection and enables us to explore the world while taking risks.

As a child, this resilience highly contributed to your explorative nature while playing and therefore learning new things.

  1. Adapted Resilience

Adapted resilience occurs at different stages in your life as you go through different difficult or traumatic experiences.

For example, when you get rejected for a job, scholarship or by a lover, you gain adapted resilience to face the next challenge.

It’s important to take risks in your life as this will put you in positions of vulnerability and rejection which ultimately contributes to building your adapted resilience.

Read the book David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell as he gives many case studies of people who have gained this form of resilience. It will also give you the hope and courage to face life in a new perspective.

  1. Learnt Resilience

Resilience can be learnt.

You have often heard “that you know that you are strong when being strong is the only option you have.” This is a form of learnt resilience. This type is drawn from your past difficult experiences.

It is built up over time and you use it to manage current stressful situations.

The importance of building resilience

There are four primary areas of resilience;

  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Spiritual
  • Mental

The importance of building resilience

  1. Reduces the risk of substance abuse

A lot of people turn to alcohol and other substances when faced with a difficult situation.

Working on your resilience teaches you that this is never a solution. A resilient person will face the situation with the confidence and knowledge that they will live through it.

  1. Realizing that there’s still some hope left

Building your resilience will teach you that all hope is never lost.

There’s almost something, no matter how small to look forward to. Taking time every day to write down the things you are grateful for  is a way of strengthening your resilience.

The importance of building resilience

  1. It could be worse!

Seriously, somebody else in your neighbourhood or somewhere in the world has bigger problems than you do.

Your situation could be worse, but here you are battling it and growing your resilience and taking ownership of your life!

Building your resilience will give you the mental resilience to know that you are blessed.

  1. Enables you to live with difficult emotions instead of trying to escape!

Building your mental resilience will enable you not to run away from your emotions by feeding yourself comforting lies.

You will learn to face life head-on! Face your truths. Face your weaknesses and work on them. Be honest with yourself.

The importance of building resilience

  1. Enables you to make proper decisions

You’ve often been told that making decisions when emotional is wrong.

Building emotional resilience enables you to recognize where your emotions are going, how to manage them and  when to take a break.

You will need to make many life decisions, strengthening your resilience will assist you in making the right ones while you’re in the right mindset.

Conclusion

Just like any other skill, resilience can and should be learnt. Life gets easier and you get happier when you work on strengthening your resilience

 

Eight easy ways to build resilience

Some people have the ability to bounce back from a terrible situation faster than others.

This ability is referred to as resilience. Wikipedia defines Psychological Resilience as an individual’s ability to successfully cope with adversity. Adversity is any form of setback that you experience such as;

  • Health problems such as prolonged illness
  • Financial strain
  • A breakup with a loved up
  • Substance addiction
  • Loss of a job
  • Loss of a loved one through death

Eight easy ways to build resilience

This psychological resilience is found in every individual, you included.

However, some people have a stronger resilience to adversities.

In his book, David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell gives multiple examples of people who have faced the greatest life adversities such as experiencing a terror attack and came out of it stronger.

The strong resilience trait can be learnt and improved over time as it is more of a coping mechanism when it comes to adversities rather than a personal trait.

People who are strongly resilient also experience sadness and strong emotions just like everyone. They, however, have invested heavily in techniques that allow them to live through difficult situations.

Characteristics of resilient people

  • They possess optimistic attitudes.

Resilient people have learnt that life will hand you both joy and sorrow. This means that whatever you’re going through, having a positive attitude will enable you to live through it gracefully.

Resilient people know that it is a blessing to live through and conquer life’s challenges and therefore live through life knowing that they will succeed.

Eight easy ways to build resilience

  • They counter negative emotions

Resilient people know that a person should not stay in a negative emotion for too long.

They experience and acknowledge these emotions such as anger and grief, but they work towards replacing these emotions with positive ones.

One way to do this is through taking time to ask yourself which lessons you learn from negative experiences. Journaling has also been known to psychologically help in fighting negative emotions.

Resilience building and training

  1. Understand that you are responsible for your choices and the outcome of your future.

This is the fastest way to build resilience. You control your destiny.

If you constantly find yourself in situations where you blame other people for your misfortunes, then you need to work towards building a stronger sense of responsibility.

  1. Watch how you react to different situations.

The cycle of resilience shows that there are three main ways in which people react when faced with such situations;

  • Extreme anger.
  • They’re overwhelmed with negative emotions and end up being numb or helpless.
  • Simply get upset about the change experienced. Then work towards moving on from it.

For you to build your resilience, you should adopt the third approach. Take time to experience the new emotions brought by the change then take time to come up with new ways to cope with the situation.

This will enable you to spring back and keep on living your best life.

The other two ways of reacting will lead you towards blaming other people, which then leads you to a state of helplessness which ultimately weakens your resiliency.

We are here to help you build your resilience, aren’t we?

Eight easy ways to build resilience

  1. Have a protective environment.

This method varies from one individual to another.

Where or who do you love to be with when you face a traumatic experience? Some people prefer being with their families or friends. These individuals are likely to listen to you, offer you comfort and most important give you a solution to your situation.

This constant way of finding hope in your protective environment will enable you to be more resilient. It is a constant way of reminding yourself that you overcame a previous difficult situation and that you can overcome many more.

  1. Make realistic plans and follow through them

What do you plan to achieve in the next one year?

Is it realistic and achievable?

A lot of people make the mistake of having unrealistic plans then end up stressed or even depressed when they fail to achieve them.

You will not be a millionaire by the age of twenty-five. You will not have bought a house, car and have several properties in your name.

Snap out of such unrealistic goals and live life through progressive steps.

If you make such big plans, at least wake up daily and work hard towards achieving them. Otherwise, every time you don’t achieve your goals, you will have less and less resilience.

Eight easy ways to build resilience

  1. Have confidence in your strengths and abilities

Confront the world with confidence and the belief that you will succeed.

Your resilience will diminish if you constantly face the world as a helpless and vulnerable person.

Being positive will lead you to discover even more strengths and abilities which will give you more resilience towards tougher situations.

  1. Communicate your struggles

When was the last time you admitted to someone that you’re struggling and that you need their help?

Contrary to popular belief, being vulnerable is a strong trait to have. You should fully embrace vulnerability even though it is not comfortable.

Vulnerability is the willingness to say to someone that you love them first.

The willingness to courageously tell your story.

Being vulnerable leads you to a realization that at the end of the day, deep down, we’re all the same. We all have struggled. This will give you even more courage and resilience to live through the most difficult situations.

  1. Learn more problem-solving skills

Life is full of problematic situations.

Think of your life at work. How many times do you face setbacks in a day? How many times do you freak out that you don’t have the answer to something?

This can also apply to your personal life. By learning more ways to solve life’s problems, you build a stronger resilience.

Having analytical and creative thinking skills will lead you towards solving everyday problems as opposed to being stressed about them.

Eight easy ways to build resilience

  1. Learn how to manage strong feelings and emotions

You will experience strong emotions and feelings from time to time.

Don’t stay in a negative emotion for too long. You have to learn how to prevent yourself to give up when this happens.

Learn to stand up and move on because life has better tidings to offer you in future. You are in control of your feelings and emotions.

Conclusion

We all need the grit to live through this tough world. And just like every other beautiful thing in the world, it takes time to build strong resilience.

The underlying factor is, you will live through it. You will thrive and find happiness.

All you need to do is constantly practice the eight ways above on how to build resilience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H14bBuluwB8

How you can learn to be resilient

Has life ever brought you to a point where you felt that you’re at rock bottom?

Failed your exams and didn’t make it to college?

Broke up with the person whom you thought was the love of your life?

Got fired or retrenched?

Almost everyone has been there. It’s a place where you feel like a total failure and often think that you can’t live through that phase in your life.

From Christian Moore’s book, ‘The Resilience Breakthrough:27 tools for turning adversity into action’, resilience is the ability to bounce back when you have every reason to shut down-but you fight on! Resilient people have both tapped and untapped reserves, enabling them to overcome and thrive as they face the setbacks, challenges, and fears of daily life.

How you can learn to be resilient

“expect sadness like you expect rain. both, cleanse you.”-Nayyirah Waheed

Resilience Synonyms       

Resilience is often referred to as grit. Other names that can refer to the same is strength, durability, toughness, adaptability and hardiness.

Norman Garmezy is a developmental psychologist and clinician credited for being the first to study the concept of Resilience.

How people learn to be resilient

Resilience is one of the most important aspects of life.

A lack of resilience in people stems from not cultivating a worthy mindset. You are more likely not to bounce back when you encounter a hardship if you haven’t taken time to work on your self-worth.

If you value yourself and do not tie your self-worth to external factors, you will live through the greatest adversities.

The good news is that resilience can be taught and can be learnt.

The following are tips on how people learn to be resilient.

How you can learn to be resilient

  1. Perception

Do you view the hardships that you go through as dead-ends or as opportunities to learn from and grow?

This is the biggest difference between people are resilient and people who are not.

Train your mind to see tough situations as part of life and as learning experiences as opposed to traumatic ends.

At the end of the day, life will always serve you with good and bad days. It’s for you to decide how you perceive it.

  1. Reframe negative situations to be positive

How we think about situations can make us more or less vulnerable to traumatic events.

People can learn to be resilient by reframing the negative traumatic experience into a positive one.

Take an example of failing an exam. Instead of beating yourself down when this happens, ask yourself what you can learn from it. How best do you learn? Why did you fail? How can you improve your study methods? Can you learn how to learn better?

This mindset enables you to move on faster as opposed to staying in one situation and stressing about it.

 

“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.” – Gever Tulley

  1. Change how you explain traumatic situations

When something goes wrong in your life, take for example you get rejected for a job, how you speak to yourself about it will determine if you’re learning to be resilient.

Tell yourself that that rejection is ‘just a small thing’ as opposed to an ‘indication of how bad your life is.’

People learn how to be resilient by changing how they talk about traumatic narratives.

  1. Learning to view situations as temporary

Psychologically resilient people learn to view situations as temporary rather than permanent.

You’re having a bad day, not a bad life! This leads to less stress as you’re always looking forward to a better day.

How you can learn to be resilient

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” Margaret Thatcher
  1. They view themselves as powerful

Resilient people know they have the power to change their situations. When faced with adversity, they often ask themselves ‘What can I do to change it?’

Most of the time, there’s always something you can do to change your life. You control it. Ask yourself what you can do, instead of getting stuck.

Better still, ask the wisest people you know to help you with ideas to change your situation.

 

  1. Be kind to yourself

Life is unpredictable. It will serve you with both sorrow and joy.

If you beat yourself down every time life serves you with sorrow, you are in for a bitter ride! You don’t want that, do you? I guess not.

Don’t tie your value and self-worth to external situations. If you face adversity, don’t assume that is who you are. Don’t use that to measure your worth. It is a separate occurrence.

Whether you’re happy or sad, be kind to yourself. It will give you the courage to make wise decisions during tough times.

Joy and sorrow will disappear. You will be left with you. Love yourself.

Conclusion

Often, as we have already established, life will be difficult.

Compassion for yourself and often reminding yourself that you will overcome the difficult times will teach you to be more resilient.

Allow yourself to face the adversities and even rock bottom because when you do, the only way you can go from there is up!

We all know an extremely resilient person that we would love to emulate. Which of the above six qualities does the resilient person you know possess?

What’s better, go ahead and make them part of your daily living. And as always, see you at the top of the happiness and success ladder!

 

 

Drinking tea for health and happiness

Drinking tea for health and happiness has been practised for many years.

Tea has been found to be one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world. Only second to water.

Every third person you encounter takes tea and most likely loves tea. Tea is used for almost all occasions as a beverage. It can be described as a household essential.

Tea definition

Tea mainly refers to the product of the leaves of a tree known as camellia sinensis. This is an evergreen plant mainly found in tropical and subtropical climates.

The leaves are either machine picked or handpicked.

They are then processed to get various forms of teas.

It is important to note that herbal teas are not actually teas. They are infusions of different flowers and plants, but not products of camellia sinensis.

Drinking tea for health and happiness

Types of teas

There are many types of tea depending on the preparation processes that the plant undergoes. This includes drying, fermenting (oxidizing), crushing and curling.

  • Black tea is a product of fully oxidized tea leaves.
  • Green tea is unoxidised tea leaves. Oolong tea is a product of partially oxidized tea leaves.
  • Yellow tea, which is made from unwilted unoxidised tea leaves are allowed to yellow.

Different levels of oxidation have an influence on the taste of tea.

Tea flavours

Preparation of tea also involves adding different flavours to further improve the taste. There are as many flavours as you can fancy. The most common ones are;

  • Earl Grey
  • Masala tea
  • Mint tea
  • Cardamom tea
  • Lemon tea
  • Mango tea
  • Vanilla tea

Drinking tea for health and happiness

“Tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally coarse in their nervous sensibilities, will always be the favourite beverage of the intellectual” -Thomas de Quincey

The flavour you pick depends on your preference.

Another popular practice is adding milk to tea, to get what’s called white tea in some places. This has been found to neutralize tannins found in tea as well as reduce acidity. As a result, it’s a better option for those with stomach ulcers.

An age long argument is which comes first, milk or tea? While no consensus has been reached, this mainly depends on the culture. Some believe adding milk first, makes the tea cool faster. Others think it makes the tea lose its beneficial properties. For some, adding milk first is a means of protecting their fine china utensils.

The flavour of tea also depends on the height at which the tea is poured. This is because different levels of aeration are achieved at different heights. It also makes it frothier and cools faster especially if it’s for immediate drinking.

Drinking tea for health and happiness

Benefits of tea

Tea has numerous benefits.

  1. It’s most popular use as a refreshment and hydrating agent. We all feel better after taking a cup of tea. In fact, some people feel happier after taking a good cup of tea.
  2. Tea is rich in antioxidants especially polyphenols which include tannins and catechins. Antioxidants protect our cells and DNA from damage by free radicals. Free radicals are by-products of bodily processes that can damage cells. Healthy cells mean healthy bodies. Isn’t this what you are aiming to achieve? A healthy body will enable you to work on your life goals and achieve them faster.
  3. Tea contains caffeine. While its caffeine levels are substantial, they’re less than the amount found in coffee. Caffeine and theophylline which is also found in tea act as stimulants. Hence a cup of tea boosts our mental alertness. This effect is more with black tea that other types of tea. Feeling like you’re slowing down at work? Grab a cup of tea and keep working.
  4. Tea has been found to contain manganese and other amino acids which help in relaxation by reducing anxiety.
  5. According to the Cochrane review of 2013, long-term consumption of black tea was linked to lower levels of bad cholesterol. There have also been some links with a reduction in heart disease and cancer through research is yet to find substantive evidence for this.

Drinking tea for health and happiness

Black tea

Black tea active substances develop at temperatures of 90 degrees. Hence it is best to steep tea in boiling water to enjoy the maximum benefits it has to offer. The other forms of tea, however, require lower temperatures of about 80 degrees.

Green tea

Green tea is a product of unoxidised tea leaves. It can either be infused leaves, dry leaves or liquid form.

How to make green tea

Green tea is made like other forms of teas.

You brew the leaves in hot water with temperatures of between 60 and 90 degrees. The brewing time ranges from 30 seconds to 3 minutes mainly depending on the quality.

Low-quality green tea needs to be brewed longer and hotter. However, brewing too hot or too long is what results in excess release of tannins making the tea very bitter.

Drinking tea for health and happiness

Health benefits of green tea

  1. Green tea contains special polyphenols which are antioxidants hence protecting the cells.
  2. The polyphenols are also anticarcinogens and have anti-inflammatory properties. The research around this is however inconclusive.
  3. Green tea lowers the level of fasting blood sugar and hence may be protective against diabetes mellitus type 2.
  4. Green tea lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. This is protective against diseases such as hypertension and heart attacks.
  5. Daily consumption of green tea has been found to lower the risk of death.
  6. Green tea boosts the body’s metabolism. This can explain why it is linked to weight loss. However, this can only be fully effective if combined with other methods of weight loss such as portion control and exercise. Its perceived benefits are however negated if one adds sweeteners to the tea.

Tea parties

There is never a dull moment with tea.

Tea parties is an age-old practice where people gathered for a formal small meal in the afternoon that mainly involves tea.

Tea was traditionally served in prestigious utensils. The table was set and accompaniments for the tea included sandwiches, cake slices, buns, biscuits and scones.

This is a practice all over the world with variations depending on the culture.

You can still hold a tea party in this modern age. It is a good way to bond with your friends.

Drinking tea for health and happiness

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” -Henry James

Conclusion

Tea is a beverage that does more than quench our thirst.

It soothes your soul, calms your nerves, protects your cells and speaks a language of love and connection to those you share it with.

This means that you should grab a cup of tea to calm your nerves the next time you’re nervous at home or work. Even better, invite a friend over and enjoy together!

 

How to be more productive

If you’re still among the group of people who think of making life changes every New Year ’s Eve, you’re doing an injustice to your life. 

World-class performers set and review their goals every day. They also take the time to think about their goals before they sleep. This means that it’s also the first thing that they think about in the morning when they wake up.

They go ahead and invest a lot of hours to concentrate on making these goals come true. They block all distractions that would make them not achieve these goals.

You should constantly aim at being a world-class performer and have the same dedication towards your dreams.

Respect your hours. The more you respect your time, the more your productivity will improve. Consequently, your self-esteem and self-respect will improve.

How to be more productive

1. Work with your most productive hours

Sure, your most glorified motivational speakers and authors have declared that we should all wake up at 5 am. Some even say that 3 am is where all the productivity magic happens. Sigh…

But you are an adult and have several years of work experience, don’t you? Within those years, your body has been giving you feedback on when you’re most productive, right? Yes. 

Listen to your body, trust your judgement and work with that. 

If 5 am works for you, then yaaaaas! go ahead and kick those things off your to-do list. 

But if you’re like me who struggles to keep both eyes open before 9 am, then please, embrace being a night owl.

The goal is to get the work done. Not to subscribe to other people’s gospels that might not always make sense to you.

How to be more productive

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” ~Stephen Covey

2. Get yourself some quality sleep

Sleep is a very important factor when it comes to productivity.

If you do not get enough sleep, you end up having frustrated, distracted and unproductive days.

Invest in a good mattress if you haven’t already done so. A bad mattress will leave you feeling tired in the morning which translates to less concentration.

Invest in anything else that you feel would go a long way to help you sleep better. This includes having your dinner early enough and ensuring your room has zero distractions.

3. Exercise

Other than a way to lose weight and stay fit, exercising regularly will help you stay alert which ultimately improves your productivity.

Having high levels of alertness ultimately translates to doing more work in a shorter period of time.

The most productive people at work get raises and promotions, right? Yes. As much as you’d like to bury yourself in work so that you can get yourself that promotion, make more money or move closer to retiring early, don’t postpone exercising.

In will hurt you in the end because you’ll end up with an unhealthy body. What good is it to have all the money with an unhealthy body? It might actually mean using all that money to get treatment. 

Balance. Work-life balance is the key to happiness. 

Regular exercise also contributes to good mental health. 

“The only way around is through.” ~ Robert Frost

 

How to be more productive

“The only way around is through.” Robert Frost

4. Watch your diet

Just like exercise, your diet determines how productive you are at work.

Research has shown that people who have bad diets are 66% more likely to be less productive at work as compared to colleagues who have good diets.

Modern-day processed fast foods lack the proper nutrients which can lead to diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

When you feed on the wrong type of food, it affects how your mind functions.

5. Invest in a comfortable workspace

A comfortable seat, especially one that properly supports your back is an investment. It will go a long way towards improving your productivity.

How many times do you experience excruciating back pain while seated at your workspace? If you do, either invest in a new comfortable chair and table that ensures you sit upright or adjust the furniture that you have so that you don’t strain

Interruptions also make it difficult to be productive. Look for a quiet place with proper lighting and give yourself a timeline to get your work done.

“Improved productivity means less human sweat, not more.” ~ Henry Ford

 

How to be more productive

“Improved productivity means less human sweat, not more.” ~ Henry Ford

Conclusion

For you to be at your best performance, you need to constantly improve yourself and your work environment. If you practice good nutrition, exercise consistently and regularly, avoid distractions and stay focused on your most important tasks, you will be a world-class performer.

How to make your day productive

The same way you think about the benefits of long-term saving through the compounding effect is the same way you should think about productivity.

If you constantly invest in your productivity, you will ultimately experience the cumulative advantage of your actions in your career and personal life.

It’s worth taking time to figure out how to increase your productivity. One of the major setbacks facing the millennial and the generations after is addiction to distraction.

This is mainly brought about by the increase in technological devices that take away our ability to be productive. This had led to a decrease in the number of people in the world who can do quality and world-class work.

If you want to be among the successful stars in the world, work on your productivity.

What is productivity?

Productivity is defined as a measure of efficiency.

Higher productivity means you are able to accomplish more work using the same amount of resources such as time.

Lower productivity means accomplishing lower amount of work with the same amount of resources. For your success, you should aim at being highly productive.

How to make your day productive

How to make your day productive

  1. Set your work goals.

If you are able to pick the right thing to work on every day, you will have achieved the most important element of productivity. This will enable you to move in the right direction of your life growth curve.

How can you achieve this? Practice. Practice picking the right thing to work on every day.

With time, you will get better. You will also be happier because you will realize that you are focusing your energy on your priorities.

Action plan: Spare time in your schedule to actively think about what you’re currently working on. It should be aligned with your long-term life goals or things you care about.

  1. Trust your abilities.

The greatest hindrance to your achievements is you. Self-doubt has killed a lot of dreams in the world.

For example, a lot of people who try to learn a new language often give up. This is because they don’t trust that they can do it.

You can learn and be anything you want as long as you drop the self-doubt. Give yourself a chance and stick to your goal no matter how loud the voices in your head shout that you can’t do it.

How to make your day productive

  1. Be around productive people.

Being productive requires constant inspiration especially if you’re just getting started.

I have read a few posts on social media of people who invite their productive friends for ‘work dates.’ They sit together in a café or office and just work. No talking.

When you’re seated around a productive person especially one who’s your friend, you’re likely to get inspired to get busy too! Try it.

While you’re at it, make sure that these people are smart, happy, positive and also, ensure they are people who support your ambitions.

  1. Put first things first.

As previously recommended, read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Franklin Covey.

The third habit, ‘Put first things first’ is a lifesaver. It will teach you to get the most important things done first. This is also known as prioritizing.

Action Plan: Every day before retiring to bed, make a list of things you are supposed to achieve. Put a star on your most important tasks then begin your next day by working on the most important and urgent.

How to make your day productive

  1. Begin your days by working on something you can make progress on.

You have to play the role of keeping your mind excited about work.

If you begin each day by making progress in a task, you will be excited. This will keep you motivated throughout the day to achieve more and do more.

With time, this tip will also work some magic on yo

ur self-confidence.

  1. Say ‘No’ to distractions.

The most successful people have the ability to sustain concentration for long periods of time. 

Be ruthless with your time by saying no to distractions such as unwanted phone calls, emails and useless conversations.

Having great focus means that you respect your time which therefore means that you respect yourself as time is your most valuable asset.

How to make your day productive

“Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets.” — Nido Qubein

  1. Avoid unnecessary meetings and conferences.

Do you constantly feel that most of the meetings you attend are unnecessary? Some meetings that you attend can actually be packaged into a one-page email. Take control of the meetings and conferences.

As much as people rave about the importance of networking in conferences, take time and ask yourself if they’re really working for you. If not, reduce them.

  1. Apply the Pomodoro technique

The Pomodoro technique will enable you to be more productive as well as achieve  a work-life balance.

As much as being productive at work is important, aim at being productive in life in general. Having a life-work balance will bring you happiness and satisfaction.

How to make your day productive

Conclusion

The most successful are known to block out anything that distracts their focus. This is what enables them to accomplish meaningful and deep work.

You should be obsessed with the important projects that you are working on if you want to be among the 2% who are world champions.

You can do it. Over the next few weeks, apply a combination of the above techniques and be sure to tell us which is your favourite and which one enabled you to achieve results.

 

Investing in yourself

 

What is the best advice you have ever received? The best advice I ever received from my mentor is ‘You are a business of one. You are a brand by yourself.’

You should add this piece of advice to your treasure. If you want your life to constantly change for the better, you have to learn how to invest in yourself.

You need to learn how to give to yourself first before you give to others and the world.  As it is often said, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

What does it mean to invest in yourself?

Investing in yourself is self-love.

It means taking time every day to increase your skills, value and potential.

There are amazing rewards that come from investing some energy into exponentially growing who you are as a person.

Investing in yourself

The beautiful thing about investing in yourself is that most of the tips don’t require money. All you need is relentless dedication and discipline. That’s all. You owe yourself the best version of a human being that you can be.

Investing in yourself is a wholesome journey that involves investing in yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially.

Ways of investing in yourself

  1. Take care of your mental health

We all have experienced a low point in our lives. Some people refer to it as ‘hitting rock bottom.’ This can be in the form of finding yourself broke and having to move back to your parent’s house, breaking up with the person you thought is the love of your life or failing in business.

These things will leave you questioning your self-worth. Well, society has taught us from childhood that we should tie our worth to external factors. It’s time you relearn that myth. Take time to build a better relationship with yourself that doesn’t involve external factors.

By taking the time to do this, it means that every time you hit a low in your life, you will appreciate that you are still here. And that you can still start over and get back to the top.

Your self-worth shouldn’t fluctuate depending on your grades, money, the number of friends or the job you have.

Investing in yourself

There’s YOU and YOU. That’s a relationship. That’s the most important relationship. – Nayyirah Waheed.

  1. Reserve time and money for self-love and self-care

You have to invest time to build the relationship you have with yourself. You have to prioritize taking care of yourself.

Constantly doing this will communicate to your subconscious mind that you love yourself, and with time you will realize that you’ll be effortlessly happier.

Self-care is about doing things that add joy to your life. What adds joy to your life? Is it enjoying a hearty laugh with your best friend, visiting a spa for a massage, buying yourself your favourite wine or book? Whatever it is, do it on a regular but controlled basis. Love yourself as if your life depends on it. It does. It truly does.

Has this self-criticism produced any positive sustainable changes in your life? – Anna Yusim

  1. Get yourself a mentor or coach

Is there an area in your life you are currently struggling in? Well, instead of leading yourself directly to failure, get yourself some help!

Wise people avoid some mistakes by learning from others. Someone out there is an expert in that very thing that you are struggling with. A coach will give you a proper direction towards implementing your plans.

It is okay to get some help. It is part of self-care.

An investment in self-development pays the highest dividends. – Debasish Mridha

  1. Read

Have you ever wondered why the most successful people read every day? Well, successful people are addicted to knowledge. Not entertainment.

Deliberately invest in yourself by sparing some time daily to read a book, listen to an audiobook, read a magazine, blog or any educational content.

Be smart. Work on your genius.

Investing in yourself

Every penny NOT spent on investing in yourself (after basic needs of course) may be a wasted future opportunity from missing learns and connects. – Richie Norton

  1. Work on something creative.

Creativity is a muscle that grows depending on how we use it.

Learn a creative hobby such as painting, weaving, crocheting or explore any other creative thing you have always had an interest in.

Being creative also enables us to manage stress and have fun.

Personal development is a major time-saver. The better you become, the less time it takes you to achieve your goals.Brian Tracy

  1. Take good care of your health.

You have heard many times that your health is your wealth.

The consequences of not taking care of your health as early as possible are dire.  Take time to plan a diet, buy organic food, exercise, and drink water every day.

Being healthy improves your productivity which makes it easier to attain your life goals.

Investing in yourself

Change equals self-improvement. Push yourself to places you haven’t been before. Pat Sumitt

  1. Rest

Sometimes we invest so much time in working on our goals and hitting the bucket lists that we forget to rest. “Learn the value of hard work and the importance of rest.”

Don’t carry all the world’s burdens on your shoulders.

Allow yourself some time each day to just rest, breathe easy and smile.

  1. Work on your inner circle of friends

Your friends influence the size of your dreams. If your friends are stuck in a comfort zone, you will end up being in a comfort zone.

If your friends don’t read, you will not read. Have demotivated friends? Welcome to your pity party club!

Is that what you want in your life? I guessed not. Keep the right friends.

Additionally, good friends also play a huge role in your happiness. Get the right ones.

Conclusion

Self-investment is the surest way to change your life. There’s no way things will change unless you decide to put in the work.

Which of the above ways of investing in yourself are you already practising? Which other ways have you found valuable in your self-investment journey? Tell us in the comment section.

 


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