How Your Career Affects Your Happiness in Life

During the initial stages of work unhappiness, I tried to avoid the situation. I was happy outside of work and not happy while at work.
Then I started noticing it affecting my personal life. With the high stressful job and the long hours, I basically didn’t have a social life besides being at work.
On Monday mornings, I would wake up anxious. Some of my evenings were preoccupied with negative thoughts or worries about work.

Most people that have a 9- to -5 job are able to separate their social life with their personal life. But, in the knowledge economy, work is more consuming. Your work is in your mind. And, your mind does not shut off after work is done. When I was 18, I worked on an assembly line for the summer. Very tedious, physically demanding and boring work. I didn’t give my job a second thought after I left for the day—not simply because of the temporary nature of summer employment, but also because there was nothing to think about in relation to work. My summer jobs that were clerical in nature had the same feel.
I understand our work affects our personal life because our work is in our minds. As such, it never leaves us. This is due to the fact we receive emails, texts and calls from our Co-workers / Clients.

I was recently working as a General Manager at Goodlife Fitness which required me working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. When i wasn’t at work, I would receive updates, calls etc… I constantly brought work home and put in a couple hours at night and on the weekends. I would say that my mind had become consumed by work so, even if I was not really working, I was thinking about work “all the time”.

If I had a job I loved, then thinking about work outside of work would be happy making. The fact I didn’t like my job, thinking about work outside of work was the cause of me being unhappy.
Our work takes over a huge part of our lives, you got to find what you love. The only way is to be truly satisfied you have to love what you do. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet don’t settle and keep looking.

So get clear on your plan, and give yourself some deadlines.

For example: If you have to stay because of your pay-check, then start looking for new jobs immediately. Give yourself a plan to warm up your network and apply to jobs.  Try and talk to someone new, and research new companies every week, and keep track of your progress. This boost will take the pressure off of you at your current job…and give you that hope you’ve been needing.
And, if you are staying because you have something left to learn that you want to take with you, then get really clear on your timeline for that. What is it? How long do you need to stay? How will that thing (project management, leadership training etc) help you?

Tip: Either way your mission right now is to open up your calendar and carve out some time to make your career better…however you define that. 
Most importantly, remember that while the days are long, life is short! So don’t waste too much time doing something that brings you no joy. Instead, spend time on something that really matters to you, so that you can have more career happiness in your life. You are worth it!

Living The Moment, Not The Past Or The Future

Living in the moment is not always easy. Sometimes our thoughts are overwhelmed by regrets about past events or anxiety about the future, which can make it hard to enjoy the present. If you are having a hard time living in the moment, there are some simple strategies that may help. There are little things that you can do throughout your day, such as creating a mindfulness cue, learning to meditate, and performing random acts of kindness.

Always be grateful for what you have. Being grateful for what’s in your life doesn’t mean you can’t reach for the stars or your dreams, but don’t overlook the blessings that are already there, and they are there. You might be feeling, “What do I have to be grateful for?”, and believe me, there was a period of time in my life where I struggled with this myself.
I allowed other people and situations to take over my life; I didn’t value myself or the light that was within and surrounding me, I could only see the darkness that seemed to be surronding me.

What I thought would be a dream come true turned out to be some pretty rough times, and once I made my way through I was able to truly appreciate all I had to let go of and still had in my life.
It wasn’t the things I owned, nor the things I believed were important, that I appreciated, although I was grateful for what I had left. What became clear to me were the everyday things I took for granted, overlooked, underestimated, under-appreciated, or minimized.
I always appreciated and loved my family and friends but I never knew the magnitude of my feelings towards them and from them, and the love and support that surrounded me.

In life we don’t appreciate the things that are in front of us until we lose them. When you appreciate all that you have, life becomes more alive, vibrant, and expanded.
Blessings are in your life everyday. Even if you temporarily lose sight of them, they are there waiting for you to embrace them.

Everyday ask yourself what you appreciate in life? If you don’t already, begin today to write down what you are grateful for.
Appreciate the good that already exists in your life and anticipate the miracles and magic that is to come.

Seven tips below to start living your life in the present:

1 Remove unneeded possessions
2 Smile
3 Fully appreciate the moments of today
4 Forgive past hurts
5 Love your job
6 Don’t dwell on past accomplishments
7 Stop worrying
Why living in the present will change your life.

If you’re not living in the present, you’re living in illusion. That seems to a be a pretty good reason to live in the present, doesn’t it? But how often are we worrying about things that have yet to come, how often do we beat ourselves up for mistakes that we’ve made, no matter how much time has passed? The answer is too much. Not only will living in the present have a dramatic effect on your emotional well-being, but it can also impact your physical health. It’s long been known that the amount of mental stress you carry can have a detrimental impact on your health. If you’re living in the present, you’re living in acceptance. You’re accepting life as it is now, not as how you wish it would have been. When you’re living in acceptance, you realize everything is complete as it is. You can forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made, and you can have peace in your heart knowing that everything that should happen will.

“If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.”

Overcoming Negative Thinking Through Challenges

Negative thoughts are the greatest enemies to your success. Negative thinking can be a habit of mind. Thoughts sink in and linger there until you take action to get rid of them.
When you first start thinking negatively, it can be tempting to try and force those thoughts out of your head.  You try as hard as possible to stop thinking about them and push them out.

My Personal Struggle

In 2015 I undertook an epic fitness challenge. It took me three attempts to succeed at this challenge and throughout the Journey, I had an ongoing struggle with sustaining a positive mindset.
I have been working on myself to be a very positive person since I realized this negative thoughts were slowing me down in life.
During my first two attempts when things got difficult, I had frequent barrages of negative thoughts. Telling myself this is too hard, the conditions are too tough.
When I had this negative thoughts, I really didn’t know how to deal with them. I thought the only way I could succeed was by having a positive mindset 100% of the time and avoiding any negative thoughts. I thought if I started having negative thoughts, then was going to set me up to fail and thus in my mind, my failures on my first two attempts became testament to this.

Negativity is Part Of Experience

Then, One day while I was training for my third attempt something finally clicked in. Mentally, I felt beaten. My brain was a flood of negative thought. “ Its dangerous to push your body like this and you don’t need to do this to yourself.” I was close to quitting on this challenge right there and then. Somehow though, I found a way to keep moving forward and I made it through the challenge.
Reflecting on that experience, I realized you can’t have the ups without having the downs. Having negative thoughts when you’re under stress or in the midst of a challenge is part of the experience. It’s part of being human. Negative moments should not be feared because they are the moments that have to occur for you to be truly tested. Its these down moments that provide you with the opportunity to take action to reach a new high.

How to stop negative thoughts

1. Try to be aware of your thoughts. Most often, one thinks in an automatic way, hardly aware of what he or she are thinking. If you strive to become aware of your thoughts, you will know when you are thinking negatively, and therefore, would be in a better position to avoid them.
2. When catching yourself thinking negatively, consciously, try to think of something else, something positive and up lifting.
3. Choose to watch happy and funny movies, instead of movies about disasters and unhappiness.
4. Think often about the goods things you have in your life, and less about the bad things. Look at the filled part of the glass, not at the empty part, even if the empty is greater than the full.
5. Align your thinking with your actions. When doing something, focus on it. When eating, focus on the act of eating. When dressing, focus on dressing, and when exercising your body, focus on the exercise. In this way, you will not make a place for negative thinking.
6. Sometimes, during the day, visualizeyourself doing something you love doing, like being on the beach, being in a beautiful place, or being in the company of people you love. You can think about happy events or success you had recently. All of these thoughts are positive ways to avoid negative thinking.
7. Be aware that sometimes, problems and difficulties are blown out of proportions. Often, they are minor problems and difficulties not worth your time and energy. Having this point of view can help you avoid negative thinking, when facing problems or difficulties.
8. If negative thoughts persist, write them down, and analyze them to see if there is any truth in them.
9. Don’t fight the thoughts you don’t want or don’t like. If you fight them, they become stronger. A better approach would be treating them with detachment and lack of interest.
10. Surround yourself with positive people.

I really hope this can help you with your negative thoughts. One of your most important goals, if you want to be truly happy, is to free yourself from negative thinking.
Remember, No matter how negative the moment , Keep moving forward.

Overcoming Anxiety & Panic Attacks

Before I begin this blog post, I’d like to let you know that this is quite a personal thing for me to write, but I wanted to share this with you as I’m hoping that if you’re reading this as a panic attack sufferer, I may help you in some way. Alternatively, if you are reading this and you know someone who suffers with panic attacks, I hope I can help you get a better understanding and display ways in which you can show support.

Anxiety is an awful emotion to feel, a feeling that cannot be controlled & you are unaware of it creeping up on you. There is different type of anxiety and it effects each of us diffrently. From a simple thing like I’ve got work tomorrow to something a lot more scary like a job interview or waiting for your appointment at the dentist. When we’re stressed, our anxiety levels are much higher and some of us become a lot more sensitive to it. For the people who are calm you will have much lower anxiety.

Extremely high levels of anxiety, can in a lot of people, cause panic attacks, whether you are aware of your anxiety or not.

I’ve suffered with panic attacks for 10 years, and so i’m writing this blog post for those of you who struggle to understand, feel alone, need advice or need someone else to understand.

It’s understandable that not everybody “gets” what a panic attack is. In fact i’m pretty sure more people don’t understand than do, which is really sad. Even some of the people closest to me, struggle to understand exactly how it affects me, or my life, or some decisions that I choose to make. Even after hours of explaining, the only advice they can give me is to be positive and not to stress too much. Unless someone has been through a panic attack themselves, they will never truly or fully understand.

Panic attacks come on very quickly, symptoms usually peak within 10 minutes. Most panic attacks last for between 5 and 20 minutes. Some people report attacks lasting for up to an hour, but they are likely to be experiencing one attack after another, or a high level of anxiety after the initial attack. This is what I suffer from, If I ever have a panic attack, it will never last long if i can find a place to be alone or somewhere I feel comfortable, which can sometimes be hours away.

Something people don’t seem to understand, is that self esteem is serious issue from suffering these attacks. I still, to this day, think that people judge me and laugh at me, and that they possibly all talk about how weird I am, or how annoying I am for having panic attacks, or even that they may think you make it up, or are using it as an excuse.

People who suffer panic attacks, don’t want to feel this way. We don’t want to get on a plane and think “I really hope I get to the other end without panicking”, we don’t want to restrict the way we live because of something we can’t control that leaves us feeling mentally and physically drained for days/weeks/months on end. We want to be normal, and carry on with our everyday lives without any added anxiety. I’d love to be able to say “I don’t worry about anything, besides the normal things”. After a panic attack, I feel so upset, but it’s mostly anger. Angry at myself for not having any control and angry that I don’t know how to make it stop. Then I feel angry because I feel like nobody understands.

What helps me?

When I’m actually having a panic attack, I find the only things that really take the edge off, are going outside, walking away from the place I was and taking myself away from that stressful situation (I know this sounds weird, and probably looks it, but when you have so much adrenaline and your muscles are pumped, you should do some form of exercise to use the adrenaline, which is why i usually go for a workout to calm myself and use that adrenaline towards my energy. Its very easy to have a negative mindset through this situation. Make sure to be positive, surround yourself with positive people and take your mind off what triggers your anxiety.

I really hope this can help and feel free to leave your comments below.

Assignment 1 – Comments COM0015

4 Keys to Achieving and Maintaining Fitness Success

When it comes to setting weight loss or fitness goals, most people just do the bare minimum of setting a goal to lose weight or get fit. What happens with such a non specific goal is that it gets blown out of the water at the sight of a glazed doughnut or a box of pizza. There’s no meaning or purpose to the goal. There’s nothing memorable about it. It just won’t stick.

Some people state a simple weight loss goal. Lose 10 to 15 pounds. That’s a bit better but it doesn’t really have much to grab on to, And trust me there is much more to just getting rid of 15 to 20 pounds, you need to keep it off, which means lifestyle change. Eating every few hours, not being able to have cheat meals or go to restaurants with friends…
If you want to set yourself up for success, you need to set a realistic goal for yourself.

Now, it’s your turn. I want you to create a weight loss goal and I want you to do it using a pen and paper. Studies have shown that when you put pen to paper, you make your brain say, Hey, something important is happening. I better pay attention.
Once you have done that, i want you to take a picture of it on your phone and carry it around with you and look at it whenever you need motivation. You don’t feel like eating your meal or exercising after work? Pull out your phone and take a look at your goals and how important they are to you. Your friends are planning to go get wings after work and they are tempting you? Look at your goals.
I suggest you read this goals every morning. Read it before you go to bed, post it on the fridge or wherever you can. Seek help when you are feeling overwhelmed or need help. You don’t have to do this alone. It is very important to have one support person that is there to help you because it will make this process that much easier. It could be anyone, family, friend, a trainer are great people and motivators to help you and keep you accountable.

Your second step is to actually walk into a gym. If that is something that intimates you, you can also hire a personal trainer online which would require you set up a small home gym for yourself. Many people in this situation hire a personal trainer to get them started on the right track. They can create you a proper nutrition plan and help you with your workout routine and how to use equipments. if you’re going to invest time and money, and trust in a person to guid you in the right direction, then you need to make sure you pick the right person.

Your third step is finding a personal trainer that suites your needs. someone that understands you and you get along with. If you prefer to work at home, look into hiring a private personal trainer or an online coach. A simple internet search can help you find that. Hiring a private trainer is the most expensive route, but its often more convenient. If you decide to go this path make sure to ask if equipment would be provided or what equipment you ned to purchase.
Once you have a Personal trainer in mind make sure to ask for their certifications and to see if they are qualified to help you with your goals. In addition to recognized certification, make sure your trainer knows CPR and first aid. Don’t be afraid to ask to see proof of certification. After all you are putting your health in this persons care.
Make sure to choose a personal trainer that motivates you. Your trainer should fit your personality and motivation style. You will be spending allot of time with with this person, so your comfort and communication is key to your success for your goals.
If you have special needs its important to ask your personal trainer if they have experience working with them. Exercise can help relieve symptoms of many medical conditions, but bad choices can be harmful to existing problems. Also make sure to check with your doctor before starting with a personal trainer. After being cleared, mention every medical condition to your trainer. Give yourself the best chance to succeed.

The fourth and last step would be to take your time. This is a big deal because allot of people when they start their fitness goals are anxious to see quick results. Its definitely not easy to change your eating habits and life style, you would want to see quick changes to stay motivated. You do have to understand there is an e healthy way to do this. The easy way would put your health at risk and the healthy way would make you enjoy the process as you go. This is a mental game more than anything, Thats why is very important to stay motivated and communicate with your trainer on daily basis and let them know how you feel. Its also good to have a journal and write down everything you are feeling. Be prepared to overcome this challenges by looking at the future picture. Making the right choice can mean the difference between achieving your goals and ending up as another failed resolution.