In recent years, addiction to digital devices, particularly mobile phones, has been a major concern. Everyone, from children to the elderly, cannot imagine life without electronic devices, whether for gaming, watching movies, or scrolling through social media feeds. People nowadays suffer from “Nomophobia,” which is the fear of being without one’s cell phone.
We frequently blame our children for their smartphone addiction, but what about us? What are we doing differently this time? It is up to adults to begin spending less time at home looking at screens. When my friend’s son saw his father reading or writing something, even though he couldn’t read or write, he took out a pen and paper and began drawing whatever he wanted, but he didn’t use mobile devices. So, if we don’t want our children to overuse mobile phones, we should stop using them ourselves.
In most cases, parents’ obsession with mobile phones has a direct impact on their children, resulting in second-hand obsession. Again, it may bring to light technological interruptions in parent-child interactions.
It is common practise to first introduce mobile phones to our children so that they do not annoy us when we are otherwise engaged. We do this to keep them entertained while they eat and to avoid any fussy behaviour. As a result, children develop a dependence on mobile phones.
Essentially, we do not want to spend much time with our children, which leads to mobile phone addiction. But, while we blame our children, do we ever realise that we are also to blame? The sooner we recognise our flaws, the sooner we can find a solution.
Most parents make no effort to discourage their children’s growing use of smartphones. They are often pleased to see their children’s various abilities when using a smartphone. Most parents see nothing wrong with their children’s obsession with technology and social media and continue to ignore the negative effects of excessive screen time.
So, before declaring that the situation is out of control and that children will inevitably become addicted to mobile devices, we must consider what effective interventions we are putting in place to end this addiction. Children today have grown up with a plethora of electronic devices at their disposal. They can’t imagine life without smartphones, tablets, and access to the internet.
Because of technological advancements, today’s parents are the first generation to have to figure out how to limit their children’s screen time. While digital devices can provide hours of entertainment and educational content, excessive screen time can be harmful.
It’s critical to understand how excessive screen time can harm the entire family.
Compulsive behaviour may develop if your child spends too much time on the Internet. This can lead to internet addiction, which, like any other type of addiction, can devastate your children’s healthy balance of interests and activities.
Too much screen time can be harmful, whether you keep the TV on all the time or the entire family sits around staring at their smartphones.
Behavior issues: Elementary school-age children who spend more than 2 hours per day watching TV, talking on the phone, or using a computer are more likely to have emotional, social, and attention issues.
Problems with education: Elementary school-age children who have televisions in their bedrooms and use smartphones before bed perform worse on academic tests.
Obesity: Spending too much time doing sedentary activities, such as watching TV, watching videos on smartphones, and playing video games, can put you at risk of becoming overweight.
Sleep issues: Although many parents use TV to unwind before bed, screen time before bed can be detrimental. The light emitted by screens disrupts the brain’s sleep cycle and can result in insomnia.
Violence: Exposure to violent TV shows, movies, music, and video games can desensitise children to it. They may eventually resort to violence to solve problems and may mimic what they see on TV and smartphones.
Videos that are irrelevant: Meme animations (Granny, Mine Craft, Minion, Marvel Characters, and so on). This type of video slows down and affects children’s cognitive behaviours.
According to a survey, one-third of children felt unimportant when their parents looked at their smartphones during meals or while playing together. Even responding to a quick text message could send another message to your child: your phone is more important than he is.
The total time spent per day viewing screens such as a mobile phone, TV, computer, tablet, or any other hand-held or visual device is referred to as screen time.
Screens, like the balanced foods we eat, must be carefully chosen and used in the appropriate quantity and at the appropriate time. Screen time can be beneficial or detrimental depending on how we use it. Time spent on the screen for educational and prosocial activities such as schoolwork and interacting with friends and relatives is a healthy way of spending time, whereas watching inappropriate TV shows, visiting unsafe websites, watching irrelevant videos, and playing inappropriate violent video games are some examples of unhealthy screen time.
Children under the age of two should not be exposed to any type of screen, according to the Indian Academy of Paediatrics’ screen time guidelines.
It should not exceed 1 hour for children aged 2 to 5 years; for older children and adolescents, it is important to balance screen time with other activities such as physical activity, adequate sleep, time for schoolwork, meals, hobbies, and family time that are necessary for overall development.
It can have an impact on the mental health of children of all ages, from infants to adolescents. It can result in delayed speech, hyperactivity, aggression, violence, a desire for instant gratification, a fear of missing out, a fear of being left out, cyberbullying, a distorted perception of sex due to pornographic exposure, drug use, self-harm, anxiety, and depression. Excessive screen time not only has an impact on mental health, but it also has an indirect impact on physical well-being. Obesity, sedentary lifestyle, disturbed sleep, eye strain, neck, back, and wrist pain are some of the negative physical effects observed. Reduced socialisation, social anxiety, and decreased academic performance are some additional negative effects of prolonged screen exposure seen in children, which has an indirect impact on an individual’s mental health.
A child’s healthy development requires social interaction. Social media refers to online platforms used by children and adolescents to connect with friends and family, share media content, and form social networks. Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Skype are some of the most popular platforms. Online multiplayer games, such as PUBG and Clash of Clans, have recently become popular social media spaces for young people, allowing them to connect and chat with other gamers while playing. While social media has benefits such as helping to create social support groups, advocacy platforms, and collaborative learning, it also has a disadvantage.
The disadvantages include inappropriate contact, engaging in risky behaviours, sexting on chatting platforms, cyberbullying, and social media anxiety, in which children judge their self-worth based on the number of likes they receive. Breach in privacy content, revealing personal details such as pictures, bank account details, and so on, can expose them to potential harm. It is critical to educate children about the appropriate age for using various platforms. Informing and educating children about good online etiquette, such as not posting private information like home addresses or personal pictures, respecting copyright laws, and never meeting a digital person alone whom you have never met before, is essential.
Parents must always reassure their children that they love them and will be there to help them in any situation. Finally, teaching them “digital hygiene” rules is critical. Balanced screen time, proper sitting posture, and frequent breaks to reduce eye strain are some simple steps to take. Keep children safe by watching and monitoring online content with them. Finally, because parents are role models, modelling appropriate digital practises for children can be the first step toward teaching appropriate digital practises. Let us all work together to reduce unhealthy media use in order to prevent future mental health issues like internet addiction.
The following are some possible early warning signs of cell phone addiction in children:
When you don’t let them use their phone, they experience withdrawal symptoms (the shakes, sweating, headache).
Anxiety, such as constant concern about where the phone is.
Isolation from others in the real world.
Anger, hyperactivity, and aggression stemmed from her desire to use her phone constantly.
A requirement to use a phone while watching TV, eating, or engaging in any other activity.
Excessive haste to reach the phone.
It is past time to limit the amount of technology our children use.
Here are a few shortcuts for limiting screen time:
Allow them to use their phones in bed at night. This has a negative impact on sleep hygiene.
Take phone calls with your kids. Don’t use your phone in front of them, and be fully present during your time with them.
Place their phone in a special location during family time and return it after screen-free time together.
Install an app that limits your screen time.
Give them other ways to get dopamine and fully engage their minds to keep them from being bored without their phone, such as sports, grounds, or other hobbies.
Together, practise reading.
Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of phone use openly (but without lecturing).
Overall, it is clear that protecting children from the dangers of smart devices is primarily the responsibility of parents.
The term “adolescence” first appeared in the 15th century and was derived from the Latin word “adolescere,” which meant “to grow up or to mature.”
Adolescence is the transitional period between childhood and adulthood. Children entering adolescence go through a lot of changes (physical, intellectual, personality and social developmental). Puberty, which occurs earlier on average than in the past, marks the start of adolescence. The end of adolescence is influenced by social and emotional factors and can be ambiguous.
Adolescence is a critical stage of development and provides another opportunity for adults to support the continued development of youth and young adults. Understanding adolescent development can help supportive adults work more effectively with youth and promote open lines of communication.
One of the reasons many of us find it difficult is that we are experiencing rapid physical development as well as profound emotional changes. These are exciting, but they can also be confusing and uncomfortable for both the child and the parent.
Adolescence is divided into three primary developmental stages.
Early adolescence is defined as the period between the ages of 10 and 13 years.
Middle adolescence is defined as the period between the ages of 14 and 17 years.
Late adolescence is defined as the period between the ages of 18 and 19 years. This is also known as young adulthood.
Adolescents are also socially and emotionally developing during this time. The search for one’s identity is the most important task of adolescence. (This is often a lifelong journey that begins in adolescence.) The struggle for independence goes hand in hand with the search for identity.
Adolescents require information, including age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education, opportunities to develop life skills, acceptable, equitable, appropriate, and effective health services, and safe and supportive environments in order to grow and develop in good health.
Adolescence is the most difficult stage of a person’s life. There are too many drastic life changes going on in one’s life, such as physical, psychological, and behavioural changes. Making mistakes is a common way for adolescents to become disoriented while searching for the adult world.
However, common adolescent issues include defiance and being argumentative with parents or siblings. Disrespectful of others in the family (e.g., talking back, name calling), emotional fluctuations, and moodiness
The three physical changes that occur during adolescence are as follows:
The growth spurt (a precursor to maturation);
Primary sex characteristics (alterations in the reproductive organs);
Secondary characteristics of sex (bodily signs of sexual maturity that do not directly involve reproductive organs).
Adolescent thinking is superior to that of children. Children can only think logically about the immediate, the here and now. Adolescents transcend these boundaries and can consider what might be true rather than just what they see as true. They can deal with abstractions, test hypotheses, and see endless possibilities. Nonetheless, adolescents frequently exhibit egocentric behaviours and attitudes.
Adolescents are developing socially and emotionally at the same time as they are intellectually. The search for one’s identity is the most important task of adolescence. (This is often a lifelong journey that begins in adolescence.) The struggle for independence goes hand in hand with the search for identity.
While adolescence can be a difficult time for both children and parents, the home does not have to become a battleground if both parents and children make an effort to understand one another.
Parents should consider the following:
When your children want to talk, give them your full attention. Do not read, watch television, or engage in other activities.
Listen calmly and focus on hearing and understanding your children’s perspectives. Speak to your children with the same courtesy and pleasantness that you would to a stranger. The tone of your voice can influence the tone of a conversation.
Understand your children’s emotions, even if you don’t always agree with their actions. Make an effort not to pass judgement. Maintain an open mind on any subject. Be an “approachable/open” parent.
Avoid embarrassing your children by laughing at what appear to you to be naive or foolish questions and statements.
Encourage your children to put new ideas to the test in conversation by not judging their ideas and opinions, but rather by listening and then offering your own views as clearly and honestly as possible. Love and mutual respect can coexist with opposing viewpoints.
Encourage your children’s participation in activities of their choice to help them develop self-confidence (not yours).
Make an effort to compliment your children on a regular and appropriate basis. We often take the good things for granted while focusing on the bad, but everyone deserves to be recognised.
Encourage your children to take part in family decision-making and to discuss family issues with you. Recognize that your children will need to challenge your opinions and ways of doing things in order to achieve the separation from you that is necessary for their own adult identity.
Although not all teenagers are rude or disrespectful, it is a common part of their development.
It occurs partly because your child is developing, expressing, and testing independent ideas and values, so you will disagree at times. Growing up entails learning to be self-sufficient. It is a positive sign that your child is attempting to take on more responsibility. However, your child is still learning how to appropriately handle disagreement and differing opinions.
Also, your child is attempting to balance their need for privacy with your desire to stay connected and demonstrate that you care. As a result, you may receive a rude or disrespectful response because your child believes you are overly interested in their life or activities.
Your child’s moods can also change quickly. Because of the way adolescent brains develop, your child may struggle to cope with changing feelings and reactions to everyday or unexpected events. This can sometimes result in oversensitivity, which can lead to grumpiness or rudeness. Teenage brain development can also have an impact on your child’s ability to empathise with and understand the perspectives of others, including your own.
Disrespectful behaviour can sometimes be a sign that your child is stressed or anxious.
Some young people appear to have contradictory and radical perspectives on everything, and they may question previously held beliefs. This shift to deeper thought is also a normal part of development.
And sometimes teenagers are disrespectful because they believe it is a way to impress others or because they have observed their peers acting in this manner.
Your child values time spent talking and connecting with you, no matter how grumpy or cross he or she becomes. If your child is easily irritated or moody, you may need to be a little more patient. It can be helpful to remember that this stage usually passes.
Handling disobedient behaviour:
Maintain your cool. This is important if your child reacts to a discussion with ‘attitude.’ Stop, take a deep breath, and then continue speaking calmly.
Make use of humour. A shared laugh can break the ice, provide a fresh perspective, lighten the mood, and take the sting out of a situation. Just don’t belittle or sarcastic with your child.
Ignore shrugs, raised eyes, and bored expressions if your child is generally behaving well.
Examine your comprehension. Teenagers can be disrespectful without meaning to be. ‘That comment came across as pretty offensive,’ you could say. Did you intend to be impolite?’
When your child communicates positively, give descriptive praise.
Set a good example. When you’re with your child, try to act and speak the way you want your child to act and speak to you. For example, if you frequently curse, your child may struggle to understand why it is not acceptable for them to curse.
If there is a lot of conflict between you and your child, another trusted adult may be able to help. This can help to relieve stress.
Check in with your child to ensure that nothing is causing them to be overly stressed or worried.
Learn about your child’s friends.
Establish clear family rules for behaviour and communication. For example, you could say, ‘In our family, we speak respectfully.’ This means we don’t call people by their first names. It’s a good idea to include your child in rule discussions.
Pay attention to your child’s behaviour and how you feel about it. Any remarks about your child’s personality or character should be avoided. Instead of saying, ‘You’re rude,’ say, ‘I feel hurt when you speak like that to me.’
Discuss, set, and use consequences, but don’t set too many. Consequences for things like rudeness, swearing, or name-calling may be appropriate at times.
Arguing with parents or teenagers rarely works. We can say things we don’t mean when we’re angry. Allowing yourself and your child some time to calm down is a more effective approach.
It will be difficult to discuss what you expect of your child calmly if you are angry or in the middle of an argument. A better approach is to tell your child that you want to talk and to set a time for the conversation.
Being defensive is almost never beneficial. Make an effort not to take things personally. It may be beneficial to remind yourself that your child is maturing and attempting to assert their independence.
Even if you have more life experience, lecturing your child on appropriate behaviour is likely to turn them off to listening. If you want your child to listen to you, you may need to first actively listen to him or her.
Nagging is unlikely to have much of an impact. It may aggravate your frustration, and your child will most likely shut down.
Sarcasm almost always breeds resentment and widens the gap between you and your child.
If your child’s attitude toward you and your family does not change as a result of any of the above strategies, it could be a sign of a larger issue.
Like, shows signs of depression, such as sadness, tears, moodiness, or irritability, or withdraws from family, friends, or usual activities.
Runs away from home or stops attending school on a regular basis.
Uses physical or verbal violence against other members of the family.
It is also critical to look after yourself. You’ll be able to meet your child’s needs better if you manage your stress and meet your own needs. Friends and family, as well as parents of other teenagers, can be a great source of support.
Adolescence is all about trial and error, honing a frontal cortex that will be more optimal by the age of 25.
Gaslighting is a type of psychological manipulation in which the abuser attempts to sow doubt and confusion in the mind of their victim. Gaslighters typically seek power and control over the other person by distorting reality and forcing them to question their own judgement and intuition.
To put it succinctly:
Gaslighting is defined as “psychological manipulation of a person, usually over a long period of time, that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories, and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.”
Gaslighting is most common in romantic relationships, but it can also occur in controlling friendships or among family members. People who gaslight others may suffer from mental illnesses. They use emotional abuse to exert power over others in order to manipulate friends, family members, and even co-workers.
How Does Gaslighting Work?
Gaslighting is a deception technique that distorts a person’s perception of reality. When you are gaslighted, you may question yourself, your memories, recent events, and perceptions. After communicating with the person who is gaslighting you, you may feel dazed and wonder if something is wrong with you. You may be led to believe that you are to blame for something or that you are being overly sensitive.
Gaslighting can be perplexing, causing you to doubt your judgement, memory, self-worth, and overall mental health. It may be beneficial to learn more about the techniques that a person who is gaslighting you may employ.
Gaslighters are frequently habitual and pathological liars (the compulsive urge to lie about matters big and small, regardless of the situation.) and have narcissistic tendencies. It is common for them to openly lie and never back down or change their stories, even when you call them out or provide evidence of their deception. “You’re making things up,” “That never happened,” or “You’re crazy,” they may say.
The cornerstones of gaslighting behaviour are lying and distortion. They can be very convincing even when you know they are not telling the truth. Finally, you begin to second-guess yourself.
You are being discredited.
Gaslighters spread rumours and gossip about you to others. They may act concerned about you while subtly informing others that you appear emotionally unstable or “crazy.” Unfortunately, this tactic can be extremely effective, and many people side with the abuser or bully without fully understanding the situation.
Furthermore, someone who engages in gaslighting may deceive you by telling you that other people think the same thing about you. These people may never have said anything negative about you, but the person who is gaslighting you will make every effort to convince you that they have.
You’re being distracted.
When you ask a gaslighter a question or call them out on something they did or said, they may change the subject by asking a question rather than responding to the issue at hand. This not only throws you off track, but it also makes you question the need to press a matter when they don’t feel compelled to respond.
Reduce Your Thoughts and Feelings.
By downplaying your emotions, the person who is gaslighting you gains power over you. “Calm down,” “You’re overreacting,” or “Why are you so sensitive?” they might say. All of these statements minimise your feelings or thoughts and communicate that you are incorrect.
When you are dealing with someone who never acknowledges your thoughts, feelings, or beliefs, you may begin to doubt them. Furthermore, you might never feel validated or understood, which can be extremely isolating, humiliating, and difficult to deal with.
Shifting the blame.
Another common gaslighting tactic is blame-shifting. Every conversation you have is twisted in such a way that you are blamed for something that happened. Even if you try to talk about how the abuser’s behaviour makes you feel, they can twist the conversation so that you wonder if you are the cause of their bad behaviour. They may claim, for example, that if you behaved differently, they would not treat you the way they do.
Wrongdoing is being denied.
Bullying and emotional abusers are notorious for denying that they did anything wrong. They do this to avoid having to accept responsibility for their poor decisions. This denial can leave the victim of gaslighting feeling invisible, unheard, and as if the impact on them is insignificant. This tactic also makes it difficult for the victim to recover from the bullying or abuse.
Using compassionate language as a weapon.
When confronted or questioned, a gaslighter may use kind and loving words to try to diffuse the situation.
They might say something along the lines of, “You know how much I love you.” I would never intentionally harm you.”
These are the words you want to hear, but they are not genuine, especially if the same behaviour is repeated. However, they may be sufficient to persuade you to let them off the hook, allowing the person to avoid responsibility or consequences for their harmful behaviour.
History is being rewritten.
A person who gaslights retells stories in ways that benefit them. For example, if your partner shoved you against the wall and you later discuss it, they may twist the story and claim you stumbled and they tried to steady you, causing you to fall into the wall.
You may begin to doubt your recollection of what occurred. The goal is to cause you to be confused or second-guess yourself.
Lying, distracting, minimising, denying, and blaming are all examples of gaslighting tactics. When dealing with someone who uses gaslighting to manipulate you, pay attention to what they do rather than the words they use.
What to Do If You Are Being Gaslighted.
There are some actions you can take to protect yourself if you are experiencing gaslighting in a relationship. You could do the following:
Take a step back: It can be beneficial to take a step back from the intense emotions that gaslighting can elicit. Physically leaving the situation can be beneficial, but you could also try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or grounding exercises.
Save the evidence: Because gaslighting can cause you to doubt yourself, work on documenting your experiences. Keep a journal, save text messages, or save emails so you can look back on them later and remind yourself not to doubt or question yourself.
Establish boundaries: Boundaries inform others about what you are willing to accept in a relationship. Make it clear that you will not tolerate the other person trivialising or denying what you have to say.
Get an outside perspective: Discuss your situation with a friend or family member. Having another person’s perspective can help you understand the situation better.
End the relationship: While it can be difficult, breaking up with someone who repeatedly gaslights you are often the most effective way to put an end to the abuse. The first priority is to protect your family and loved ones. Otherwise, destruction is unavoidable.
If you suspect that you are being gaslighted, you should consult with a mental health professional. They can assist you in learning more about the situation, gaining perspective, and developing new coping strategies to deal with the behaviour.
Nightmares, Demons, Ghost Attacks, Dabaav, Black Magic, and so on are all misidentified as sleep paralysis.
In contrast, sleep paralysis is the sensation of being awake but unable to move. It occurs when a person alternates between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During these transitions, one may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds to a few minutes. Some people may also feel choking or pressure. Sleep paralysis may help with other sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy is a neurological condition in which the brain’s ability to regulate sleep and wakefulness is impaired. Among the symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, and sleep paralysis.
Up to 10% of people with narcolepsy have a family member who also suffers from the condition. Narcolepsy affects people of all ages, but the first signs of daytime sleepiness appear in people in their twenties or adolescents. Narcolepsy can go undiagnosed and untreated for years because its symptoms are similar to those of depression, other sleep disorders, or other illnesses.
During a sleep paralysis episode, you are aware of your surroundings but unable to move or speak. You can, but you should still move your eyes and breathe. Tactile hallucination is one of the most obvious symptoms of sleep paralysis. the sensation of being touched despite not being touched Many people say they felt forced or approached. They appear to be restrained by a malevolent, often supernatural, intruder. Many people hear or see things that aren’t there (hallucinations), making episodes even more terrifying. Individuals who have experienced sleep paralysis have reported seeing a human figure wandering around the house, horrifying figures approaching or sitting on them, dark figures hanging from the ceilings, and hearing screams, whispers, roars, humming, hissing, static, zapping, and buzzing noises. Following an incident, many people are terrified. You might have felt so strange that you’re not sure anyone will believe what happened to you.
The duration of sleep paralysis can range from a few seconds to several minutes. You might only have one episode in your entire life. However, it may come and go. When you are stressed out and sleep deprived, you are more likely to have an episode.
Rare or isolated sleep paralysis can affect people of all ages. It’s also more common in the context of sleep deprivation caused by a fluctuating sleep schedule, which can happen if you’re a college student or work shifts. Narcolepsy, a condition characterized by shifting sleep-wake boundaries, causes recurrent sleep paralysis.
Dreams are more likely when you have sleep paralysis during the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stage. The brain inhibits muscle movement in your limbs to keep you from acting out your dreams and injuring yourself. Sleep paralysis occurs when you regain awareness while entering or exiting REM. Because narcolepsy is characterized by unstable wakefulness and unstable sleep, people with the disorder experience frequent night awakenings that can be associated with sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis symptoms include:
Your limbs are immobilised.
Inability to converse.
Your throat is constricted.
Sleep paralysis can be diagnosed based on symptoms such as how regularly you experience it, how it feels, and when it began. How much sleep you get at night and how tired you are during the day, Medical history, including medications and whether you smoke, consume alcohol, or use illegal drugs Mental health disorders include anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. There is a history of sleep paralysis in the family.
There isn’t much you can do to mitigate sleep paralysis. Nonetheless, there are preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk. Working to improve your sleep quality is the best way to avoid sleep paralysis. Maintaining a steady sleep schedule, with set times for going to bed and waking up. Creating a comfortable dark and quiet sleeping environment. Before going to bed, put away phones, tablets, e-readers, and computers. To unwind before bed, take a bath, read, or listen to soothing music. Meditations with instructions can also help you relax your mind and body.
A good night’s sleep is the most effective way to bridge the gap between despair and hope.
A career is the accumulation of your professional experiences. Many people start a career because they believe it will help them achieve their goals, such as gaining more knowledge and experience, taking on more responsibility, or earning higher salaries.
A person’s progress within an occupation or series of occupations can also be defined as a career. A career, on the other hand, is more than just a job, or working, or your occupation. It also includes your advancement in life, as well as your growth and development in vocational and avocational areas.
It paves the way for financial security. The earning potential of an occupation is a major consideration for most people when choosing a suitable career. Choosing the right profession means you will be able to have economic security, which is an important factor in our overall well-being.
Learning new skills is one of the most effective ways to advance in your career. Always try to stay up to date on trends or developments in your field, and make sure that your current resume reflects those necessary skills.
Knowledge-based, skill-based, entrepreneur-based, and freelance are the four types of career paths. Every career path requires a specific set of qualifications to help you do your job.
Your career will have a significant impact on your future.
It will have an impact on your identity, personal fulfilment, lifestyle, income, family, and retirement. Don’t let other people’s opinions or expectations influence your decision-making. Finally, your career choice is entirely up to you.
Six major careers are primarily made up of six personality types:
The main distinction between a career and a job is that a job is something you do for money, whereas a career is a long-term endeavour that you work on every day.
A career goal is a clear statement that defines the ultimate job you want to have throughout your career. A clear career goal, if realistic, allows you to set yourself an action plan, or personal development plan, to work towards in order to achieve your professional ambitions.
However, finding a career that is right for you takes time, and your career will most likely change throughout your working life. As your interests, motivations, and needs change, you may find yourself changing roles or industries. When combined with the rise of automation, gig work, and even underemployment, it appears that careers evolve over time.
To begin thinking about the best career options in order to structure your thought process and determine which careers may suit you best and help you achieve your goals.
Because the average person spends roughly one-third of their life at work, it’s no surprise that many people want to find a job that is a good fit for them. Choosing a career first requires you to learn as much as possible about yourself, your goals, and the larger context of work.
Look in the mirror.
What you like to do and what you value can be good indicators of how you want to spend your working time. We’re not talking about discovering and following your passion, which can be misleading and confusing. However, it is natural to want to feel energised and even excited about what you do. Consider your following interests, values, and characteristics:
-What are you interested in learning about?
-How do you prefer to spend your free time?
-Do you prefer manual or mental labour?
-Do you prefer to work outside or inside?
-What is the most important thing in your life?
-What are your life priorities?
-Where do you look for meaning?
-What kind of change do you want to see?
-How do you define success?
-What would you like to see more of?
-Which of your strengths do you find the most enjoyable?
-What are you most proud of in your abilities?
Consider Your Motivations.
After you’ve compiled a list about yourself, consider your reasons for working. Perhaps you want a job that offers a higher starting salary than comparable occupations, or one that allows you to work from anywhere. Because most jobs do not include everything you desire, it is critical to understand your priorities.
Consider what you’d include on your list and how you’d prioritise your tasks.
-Achieving work-life balance.
-Promotion of one’s career.
Consider Your Long-Term Objectives.
What does your ideal life look like? Make a list of your long-term personal and professional goals to help you understand what it will take to achieve them. As an example: Do you want to advance past the managerial ranks and into a company’s C-suite? Do you want to be a homeowner? Do you want to be able to travel, and if so, how frequently?
Your list can also help you approach a job search more specifically. For example, if you want to work in the same industry in ten years, research which industries are expected to grow over the next decade and which to avoid due to increased automation or other factors.
Take a variety of self-assessment tests.
You can take a variety of tests to assess everything from your personality to your strengths and even what career might be a good fit for you. However, tests can be overly prescriptive, imposing categories on you. Rather than relying on them to provide a definitive answer, use them to learn more about yourself and your underlying motivations. If they provide useful answers, incorporate that information into the larger picture you’re assembling.
Learning more about each sector and its goals may assist you in determining where you’d be a good fit. Consider which goals appeal to you the most.
Private: You will be employed by a privately owned company or corporation, which typically seeks to increase revenue and growth.
-Benefit: Increased growth potential.
Public: You’ll be hired by a local, state, or federal government to keep public programmes and institutions running.
-Advantage: Greater potential stability.
Non-profit: You will work for an organization that is not affiliated with the private or public sectors and is dedicated to addressing or fulfilling a public need. While it does not seek revenue in the same way that private businesses do, it must earn enough to carry out its mission and cover overhead.
-Benefit: Increased meaning potential.
Along with sectors, researching various industries may assist you in identifying a few that may be a good fit. Look for established industries to see if any seem worth further investigation. Make a list of any that sound interesting and do more research to learn about major roles, career paths, and projected growth.
Look for Professional Help.
In addition to thinking through the areas mentioned above on your own, you can seek more guided assistance from a variety of career resources.
If you are still in college, take advantage of the career resources that your college or university may provide. You may be able to meet with a counsellor or advisor who has been trained to assist you in transitioning from college to a career.
A career coach is someone who is trained to help clients learn more about what types of work would be best for them. Career coaches are an additional cost, so do your homework on their credentials, experience, and background to ensure they will be a good fit for your needs.
Investigating Career Options.
You’ve probably gathered a lot of information by this point. Once you have a better understanding of yourself, you can begin researching various career options. You can use your list of interests, values, and traits, along with your top motivations, to start looking for careers or industries that might be a good fit.
Do you, for example, enjoy drawing? Consider careers or industries that require that skill to some extent. Do you care about the issue of income inequality? Investigate organisations that work to address that issue and peruse their job postings. Is creative problem solving one of your strongest suits? Look for jobs and industries that require your skill set.
Write down each option that sounds appealing, and pay close attention to the outcomes that will help you achieve your top priorities. If you value flexibility, look for remote positions rather than those that require you to be in an office.
Investigate the Career Options on Your List.
The steps below are to help you explore each option once you’ve come up with some career ideas that sound interesting.
Make use of job-search websites. LinkedIn, Indeed, Naukri, and Monster are just a few job-posting websites. Read more about the responsibilities of each role as you look for them in your area. Highlight the job titles that appear to be a good match.
-Does the job meet many of my needs and preferences?
-Does this job fit with my values?
-Will it help me achieve one of my short-term or long-term objectives?
-How does it feel to consider these career options?
Compare and contrast company reviews. Use websites to learn more about a specific company you’re interested in, or to conduct more general research on the industry in which they operate. Take note of any current issues being debated in that industry.
Arrange for informational interviews. If you find a job at a company that interests you, see if you have any connections you can ask for an informational interview with. If you want to learn more about a specific role, look for connections you have or connections of connections who are currently doing that work. Inquiring about a career before pursuing one can provide you with useful information.
Have you already made a list of your “dream jobs”? Use your top choices to broaden your career options. Go ahead and decide which of the business areas, or ‘sectors,’ you believe your dream career would fall into, such as creative careers or science careers. You can learn more about that industry and the jobs available in it. Each industry has a variety of jobs that you could excel at. You’ll find out how much they pay, what qualifications you might need, how to get started after finishing college or education, and who can assist you.
You should have a long list of career options that sound interesting to you. Aim for at least ten jobs on your list. There will most likely be some career ideas you’ve already considered, as well as some possible careers you don’t know much about or haven’t given much thought to.
Make a list of 2-5 top career options.
Now is the time to narrow down your career options, but not too much! You should keep an open mind because there is more than one dream job out there for you. Choose careers that interest you. Choose careers that match your current qualifications (or choose them if you genuinely want to build up any required qualifications over time). Remember that you can always take additional courses or learn part-time if necessary).
Examine your top career options for similar qualifications and skills that may be useful in your future career path. Perhaps all of your top career options recommend that you have strong passing grades in the sciences, English, or geography. Make a note of that because it can help you decide on your future study options, whether it’s thinking about courses and studying after you’ve graduated from high school.
Consider your long-term and short-term objectives.
Now that you’ve done all of your research to find the right career for you, the next step is to set some achievable goals.
What are you going to work on in the coming months to make your top career choice a reality? And in the coming years?
Make a spreadsheet or a document. List all of the steps you can take to achieve your goals, along with a deadline for completion. Do you have a specific grade in mind for a college project or exam? A course you’d like to look into? Would you like to spend an hour looking for online interviews with people doing your dream job? Your objectives can be small or large. They can be accomplished this evening or next year, but they must be accomplished.
Create a list of attainable goals, assign due dates, and you’ve taken an important step toward not only choosing a career but also putting your dream into action.
There is More Than One Way to All of Your Dream Career Options. Never forget that if you have an interest, you can develop the necessary skills and qualifications.
Whatever career you choose, there is no one-size-fits-all path to success. We always include a variety of career options. You have the option of attending university. You can begin in a lower-level position and work your way up. You can also get an internship for almost any career you can think of. It all comes down to finding the right internship for you.
Find out what you enjoy doing the most and find someone to pay you to do it.
Children use their behaviour to express how they feel and what they are thinking. Frequently, they are communicating something through their behaviour that they are unable to express verbally. Consider the underlying cause of the behaviour problem when deciding on a discipline strategy.
They Have Unsatisfied Needs.
Misbehaviour is common when a child is hungry, tired, or ill. Most toddlers and pre-schoolers struggle to communicate their needs. As a result, they frequently use their behaviour to demonstrate that they have unmet needs.
Parents can help prevent behavioural issues by identifying unmet needs. Take a toddler shopping after they’ve had a nap and when you have snacks on hand, for example. Inquire about your child’s feelings and look for signs that they may have unmet needs.
Exercising Power and Control.
Misbehaviour is frequently fuelled by a desire for power and control. When a child attempts to assert control, he or she may exhibit defiant and argumentative behaviour.
When a child’s attempt to exert control over a situation results in behaviour problems, a power struggle may ensue. One way to avoid this is to provide a child with two options. For example, you could ask, “Would you rather clean your room now or after this TV show ends?” “This can reduce many arguments and increase the likelihood that a child will follow instructions.
They’ve Acquired Bad Habits.
One of the most basic reasons children misbehave is that it is effective. If they can get what they want by breaking the rules, they’ll quickly realise that misbehaviour works.
A child who whines until their parents give in, for example, will learn that whining is a great way to get whatever they want. When a child has a temper tantrum in a store and their parent buys them a toy to distract them, they learn that temper tantrums are effective.
Check to see if your child’s misbehaviour is benefiting them. While giving in or backing down may make your life easier in the short term, you will be teaching your child to break the rules in the long run.
They Are Looking For Attention.
When parents are on the phone, visiting friends or family, or otherwise occupied, their children feel left out. Throwing a temper tantrum, whining, or hitting a sibling is an excellent way to gain attention.
Even if it is negative attention, children crave it.
One of the most effective ways to deal with attention-seeking behaviours is to ignore negative behaviour while praising positive behaviour.
How Positive Attention Can Help Reduce Behaviour Issues.
A healthy, positive relationship with your child is essential for many reasons, including discipline. When you and your child have a healthy relationship, your child will strive to do his or her best under your supervision.
Consider this: would you be more motivated by a mean boss you disliked or by a helpful supervisor you admired? If you’re like most people, you’ll work best when you’re working for a great leader.
Parents who provide good leadership and are respected by their children are more likely to motivate their children to behave. Giving your child lots of attention is one of the best ways to accomplish this.
Positive attention on a daily basis can help to reduce behavioural issues. However, this does not imply that you must devote every waking hour to your child. Instead, spending quality time together is essential for strengthening your bond.
How Positive Attention Can Benefit Children.
When children receive regular doses of healthy, positive attention, their attention-seeking behaviors decrease. When children receive regular doses of positive attention, they are less likely to whine, ask the same question over and over, or begin poking at their sibling.
Positive attention also increases the effectiveness of negative consequences.
When children are given regular “time in,” they respond better to time-outs.
A child who does not receive much attention will be unconcerned if he or she is placed in time-out. And selective ignoring will not work if your child feels ignored the majority of the time.
Positive attention also contributes to the development of a healthy relationship between you and your child.
Positive consequences, such as praise, become much more effective when you have a strong bond.
Give Positive Attention on a Daily Basis.
Every day, give each child at least 10 minutes of your undivided attention.
That may not seem like much to some parents. Giving a child one-on-one time can be difficult for others (especially parents with multiple children).
Make time to do something fun together. Play a board game, engage in imaginative play, or engage in toy play with your child. For older children, go for a walk or simply talk. Allow your child to choose the activity whenever possible.
Avoid using electronics, such as video games, because the purpose of your time together should be to do something that requires you to interact with each other.
Make The Most Of Your Time Together.
Ten minutes isn’t much time. It is critical to show interest in your child’s activities in order to make him feel loved and supported. Here’s how to make the most of your time:
-Keep distractions to a minimum during your time together. Turn off the television, separate yourself from other children in the house when it is safe to do so, and silence your smartphone for a few minutes—it is only for a few minutes. Show your child that she has your undivided attention.
-Avoid asking excessive questions. Quizzing him/her with questions like, “What colour is this?” can make him/her feel pressured to perform. And asking questions like, “How was school today?” can cause your child to lose interest in playing with you.
-Comment on the play of young children. Be a sports caster who calls the action. “Oh look, you’ve thrown the bathtub on the roof,” rather than “Why would you do that?” ” Try to unwind and enter your child’s world.
-Encourage your child’s imagination. Refrain from correcting your child’s pretend play. Don’t argue if he wants to paint an elephant green or claims that cows fly planes. Instead, say something like, “Wow, that’s a fantastic green elephant!” or “Those cows are pilots!”
Overcoming Roadblocks to Positive Attention.
There may be times when you are so frustrated by your child’s behaviour that you do not want to spend time with him or her. You may even believe that your child does not deserve one-on-one time.
However, it is critical to maintain that healthy relationship. So, even if your child has had a difficult day, spend time with him.
It is best for parents with multiple children to spend individual time with each child. If this isn’t possible every day, try to ensure that each child receives individual attention from at least one parent on a daily basis.
Consider positive attention to be an investment. Investing more time now can save you from having to spend more time later disciplining your child.
If your child behaves inappropriately during your time together, you can respond normally. Ignoring minor behavioural issues, such as whining, is an option. Larger behavioural issues may necessitate a brief time-out.
Your child will look forward to spending time with you if you establish regular quality time together. And he’ll be more likely to obey the rules and follow your instructions. When you do have to give him negative consequences, they will be more effective if you have been giving him regular doses of positive attention.
Children learn how to behave by observing others. Kids will mimic what they see, whether it’s a peer misbehaving at school or something they’ve seen on TV.
Avoid exposing your child to aggressive behaviour on TV, in video games, and in real life.
Model healthy behaviour to teach your child how to act appropriately in various situations.
Model the Behaviour You Want to See in Your Children.
Your children are constantly watching you. They observe how you deal with stress. They observe how you treat others and how you deal with your emotions. They absorb all of that information like sponges. Even if you believe your children are not paying attention, it is critical that you serve as a positive role model.
Theory of Social Learning.
People learn by observing others, according to the social learning theory.
You don’t need a fancy science experiment to see that children mimic their parents. You probably notice it on a daily basis.
While you’re sweeping the floor, you might notice your child pretending to sweep as well. Or you might hear your pre-schooler putting her stuffed bear to bed the same way you do. Children imitate what they see and repeat what they hear. As a result, you must be aware of what you are unintentionally teaching your child.
What Kind of Behaviour Do You Model?
You may unknowingly model unhealthy behaviours for your children at times. Consider the following scenarios.
-A mother tells a restaurant cashier that her nine-year-old son is only nine years old so that she can get a discount on the buffet. Her son learns that sometimes lying to get what you want is acceptable.
-A father watches television in the evenings but advises his 10-year-old son to read more.
-Parents teach their children to respect everyone. Nonetheless, they frequently make disparaging remarks about others behind their backs.
-A divorced couple frequently disagrees about custody and visitation, but they expect their children to get along.
-A parent tells her son to stop putting his fingers in his mouth, but she bites her fingernails when she’s nervous.
-A mother tells her son to be kind to others, but she yells at the shopkeeper when the shopkeeper refuses to accept a returned item.
-A father tells his children to eat healthily, but he sneaks dessert after they’ve gone to bed.
-Parents tell their children to share and be generous with what they have, but they never make donations or participate in charity or volunteer work.
-A father puffs on cigarettes. While smoking a cigarette, he tells his children that smoking is bad for them and that they should never start.
-Parents teach their children to accept responsibility for their actions and decisions. When they forget about their child’s dentist appointment, however, they argue with the receptionist, telling her she clearly made a scheduling error.
Make Your Own Rules.
It’s difficult to model appropriate behaviour for your children all of the time, and no one expects you to be perfect. However, you should strive to model the rules and behaviours that you want your children to follow.
For example, if you want your children to be truthful, you should strive to be truthful yourself. For example, if you tell white lies instead of telling the truth, your children will learn that lying is acceptable.
Show your children how to follow your household rules by modelling them whenever possible.
Similarly, use discipline that teaches life skills and explain how these rules will benefit them in the future. If you demonstrate to your children that you respect the rules, your discipline strategies will be more effective.
There may be times when you need to explain any decisions that are unclear.
For example, if a friend bakes you a cake and you dislike it, you may still tell them it was delicious to spare their feelings. When this happens, you should explain to your children that you didn’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings.
Demonstrate Life Skills.
Every day, you have opportunities to live a life worthy of imitation. Consider what you want your children to learn from you and try to model it in your life. Naturally, there will be times when you make mistakes or do things differently than you intended. But that’s fine.
When this happens, use the opportunity to talk to your children about where you went wrong and how you intend to do better the next time.
Even when you make mistakes, your children learn valuable lessons from you.
For example, if you handle bad decisions with grace and don’t beat yourself up, they’ll learn to be gentle with themselves when they make mistakes. Here are some other things you can model for your children. Use these ideas to become a good role model, or create your own.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle.
When you eat healthily and exercise regularly, you set a good example for your children. Furthermore, by preparing healthy meals and limiting fast food, you are assisting your children in avoiding childhood obesity and other related health problems.
Of course, in your efforts to set a good example, avoid being overbearing or restricting. Controlling your eating or obsessing over how your body (or your child’s body) looks can lead to body image problems and eating disorders.
Respect And Empathy Should Be Taught.
Every parent wishes to raise children who are considerate of others. When you model respect and empathy in your own life, this goal becomes a reality. Respect everyone you interact with, and your children will soon follow suit.
Smiling, saying please and thank you to the cashier at the grocery store or the waiter at your favourite restaurant will teach your children to do the same.
Allow your children to witness your compassion and empathy for others. Use situations in your environment to discuss how others may be feeling. Teaching children to be empathetic is one of the most effective ways to keep them from bullying others.
Deal with technological issues.
If you’re like most parents, you’re concerned about how much screen time your children get each day. Every parent is concerned that their children are spending too much time in front of a screen, whether it is watching shows and playing online games or using social media.
But, before you say anything to your children, consider how much time you spend in front of a screen. Even if you’re working, answering emails, and otherwise being productive, you’re still setting a good example for your children. First, address your own technology use, and then try to set some expectations for your children.
Put In The Effort.
Developing a strong work ethic is a life skill that every child requires. Kids must have a strong work ethic, whether they are in school or on a sports team. The best way to instil this skill is to practise it at home first.
Allow your children to see you working whether you go to work every day or work from home. Even doing chores as a family is a great way to instil a strong work ethic in your children.
Participate in Community Service.
Volunteering in the community demonstrates to your children that you care about the world in which they live. They also learn to care. Whether you volunteer in schools, take part in a community clean-up project, or donate food and supplies to a local orphanage, you’re teaching your children that what happens outside of your home is important—that giving back is essential to making the world a better place.
You can also get your children involved in volunteer work. They will learn to appreciate what they have if they regularly help others, even if it is in a small way.
Demonstrate Social and Emotional Competence.
Consider your emotional and social abilities as well.
Show your children how to greet others and how to ask clarifying questions. Instruct them on how to make new friends and invite others to participate. Show how to manage emotions such as frustration or sadness. When you are upset, angry, or sad, express your feelings and encourage others to do the same.
Develop New Skills.
When you want to teach your children a new skill, such as how to make their bed or tie their shoes, show them how you do it. Then allow them to practise on their own. Showing, rather than telling, can be the most effective way for children to learn new skills.
Very Well, A Word.
Your primary responsibility as a parent is to help shape your children into kind, respectful, honest, and caring individuals. And being a good role model is sometimes the simplest way to accomplish this. This may imply looking more closely at your own habits and making some changes. However, if you do, both you and your children will benefit.
Limits Must Be Tested.
When you establish ground rules and tell your children what they are and are not permitted to do, they frequently question your sincerity. They push the boundaries to see what the consequences will be if they break the rules.
Set clear boundaries and offer consistent consequences. When children believe they have a slim chance of getting away with something, they are often tempted to try it. If you show them that breaking a rule will result in a negative consequence, they will become more compliant.
They Are Incompetent.
A lack of skills can sometimes cause behavioural issues. A child who lacks social skills may strike another child in order to play with a toy. A child who lacks problem-solving skills may refuse to clean their room because they are unsure what to do when their toys do not fit in the toy box.
Instead of simply punishing your child for misbehaving, teach them what to do instead. Show them alternatives to inappropriate behaviour so that they can learn from their mistakes.
Whether your child is having trouble finding their math homework or has forgotten their lunch, good problem-solving skills are essential for assisting them in managing their lives.
Children who lack problem-solving skills may be more prone to depression and suicidality.
Teaching A Child Problem-Solving Skills Can Benefit Their Mental Health.
You can start teaching basic problem-solving skills in preschool and help your child develop them throughout high school and beyond.
Why Problem-Solving Skills Are Important.
Every day, children face a wide range of issues, from academic difficulties to sports-related issues. However, few of them have a solution to those problems.
When faced with a problem, children who lack problem-solving skills may avoid taking action.
Rather than putting their energy into solving the problem, they may choose to avoid it. As a result, many children fall behind in school and struggle to maintain friendships.
Other children who lack problem-solving skills act without thinking about their options. Because they don’t know what else to do, a child may strike a peer who cuts in front of them in line.
When they are being teased, they may walk out of class because they can’t think of any other way to stop it.
These rash decisions may lead to even bigger problems in the long run.
Kids who are overwhelmed or hopeless are less likely to try to solve a problem. However, if you give them a clear formula for problem solving, they will feel more confident in their ability to try. The steps to problem solving are as follows:
Determine the issue. For kids who are stuck, simply stating the problem aloud can make a big difference. Assist your child in expressing the issue, such as “You don’t have anyone to play with at recess,” or “You’re not sure if you should take the advanced math class.”
Create at least five potential solutions. Consider all possible solutions to the problem. It is important to emphasise that not all solutions must be good ideas (at least not at this point). If your child is having difficulty coming up with ideas, assist them in developing solutions. Even the most ridiculous answer or far-fetched idea can be a possible solution. The key is to show them that with a little imagination, they can come up with a variety of potential solutions.
Determine the advantages and disadvantages of each solution. Assist your child in identifying potential positive and negative consequences for each potential solution.
Choose A Solution.
Encourage your child to choose a solution after weighing the positive and negative outcomes.
Try it out. Tell them to experiment with a solution and see what happens. If it fails, they can always try another solution from the list they created in step two.
Practice Problem Solving.
When problems arise, don’t rush to solve them for your child. Instead, assist them in working through the problem-solving steps. Provide guidance when needed, but encourage them to solve problems on their own. If they are unable to come up with a solution, step in and assist them in brainstorming some. But don’t tell them what to do right away.
When dealing with behavioural issues, take a problem-solving approach.
“You’ve been having difficulty getting your homework done lately. Let’s problem-solve this together,” you say. You may still need to offer a consequence for misbehaviour, but make it clear that you’re invested in finding a solution so they can do better next time.
To help your child become more independent, use a problem-solving approach.
If they forget to pack their schoolbag, ask, “What can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?” Allow them to come up with their own solutions.
Children are often inventive in their solutions. “I’ll remember to pack them before I leave,” they might say, or “I’ll pack my bag the night before and keep a checklist to remind me what needs to go in my bag.”
When your child practises problem-solving skills, lavish them with praise.
Allow for Unexpected Consequences.
Natural consequences can also be used to teach problem-solving skills. Allow your child to face the natural consequences of their actions when appropriate. Just make certain that it is safe to do so.
Allow your child to spend all of their money during the first 10 minutes you’re at an amusement park, for example, if that’s what they want. Then, give them no spending money for the rest of the day.
This can spark a discussion about problem-solving techniques to help them make a better decision the next time. Consider these natural consequences as a teachable moment to aid in problem-solving collaboration.
They Are Filled With Strong Emotions.
Sometimes children have no idea what to do with their emotions. When they are angry, they may become easily overwhelmed, and as a result, they may become aggressive. When they are excited, stressed, or bored, they may act out.
Children must learn healthy coping mechanisms for emotions such as sadness, disappointment, frustration, and anxiety.
Teach children about their emotions and show them healthy ways to manage them to keep them from misbehaving.
When children have better emotional control, they can use healthy coping skills to deal with their emotions. Instead of misbehaving to express their emotions, a child may learn to calm down by taking a time-out.
Children Should Be Taught How To Think Rather Than What To Think.
Are you feeling overwhelmed by financial concerns? Whatever your circumstances, there are ways to get through these difficult economic times, reduce stress and anxiety, and regain financial control.
Money worries can have a negative impact on your sleep, self-esteem, and energy levels. It can leave you feeling angry, ashamed, or fearful, exacerbate pain and mood swings, and even increase your risk of depression and anxiety.
Recognizing Financial Stress.
You are not alone in your financial concerns. At this difficult time, many of us from all over the world and from all walks of life are dealing with financial stress and uncertainty. Financial worry is one of the most common stressors in modern life, whether it is caused by a loss of employment, escalating debt, freezing your incoming income, unexpected expenses, or a combination of factors. Even before the global coronavirus pandemic and its economic ramifications. Because of the recent economic difficulties, an increasing number of people are now facing financial difficulties and hardship.
Financial problems, like any other source of overwhelming stress, can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health, relationships, and overall quality of life. Money worries can have a negative impact on your sleep, self-esteem, and energy levels. It can leave you feeling angry, ashamed, or fearful, exacerbate pain and mood swings, and even increase your risk of depression and anxiety. To try to escape your worries, you may resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drinking, drug abuse, manipulating someone for money, or gambling. Financial stress can even lead to suicidal thoughts or actions in the worst-case scenario. But, no matter how hopeless your situation appears to be, there is assistance available. By confronting your financial issues head on, you can find a way out of the financial quagmire, reduce your stress, and regain control of your finances—and your life.
Financial Stress Has A Negative Impact On Your Health.
While we all know there are far more important things in life than money, when you’re struggling financially, fear and stress can take over. It can lower your self-esteem, make you feel flawed, and fill you with hopelessness. When financial stress becomes too much, your mind, body, and social life can suffer.
Financial Stress Can Result In…
Insomnia or other sleep problems Worrying about unpaid bills or a loss of income will keep you awake at night more than anything else.
Gaining weight (or loss). Stress can affect your appetite, causing you to overeat or skip meals in order to save money.
Depression. Living under the shadow of financial problems can leave anyone feeling depressed, hopeless, and unable to concentrate or make decisions. People who are in debt are more than twice as likely to be depressed.
Anxiety. Money can serve as a safety net; without it, you may feel exposed and anxious. Worrying about unpaid bills or income loss can cause anxiety symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, shaking, or even panic attacks.
Difficulties in relationships. Money is frequently cited as the most common source of conflict between couples. Financial stress, if left unchecked, can make you angry and irritable, cause a loss of interest in sex, and erode the foundations of even the strongest relationships.
Withdrawal from social activities. Financial concerns can clip your wings, causing you to withdraw from friends, limit your social life, and retreat into your shell—all of which will exacerbate your stress.
Physical ailments such as headaches, gastrointestinal issues, diabetes, itching (pruritis), high blood pressure, and heart disease are examples of physical ailments. Money worries may also cause you to delay or skip seeing a doctor in countries where healthcare is not provided for free.
Unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as excessive drinking, prescription or illegal drug abuse, gambling, or overeating. Money worries can even lead to self-harm or suicidal ideation.
The vicious circle of poor financial and mental health.
Several studies have found a cyclical relationship between financial concerns and mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
Financial difficulties have a negative impact on your mental health. You may feel depressed or anxious as a result of the stress of debt or other financial issues.
Money management becomes more difficult as your mental health deteriorates. You may find it difficult to concentrate or lack the energy to deal with a growing pile of bills. You may also lose income if you miss work due to anxiety or depression.
These money management difficulties lead to more financial problems and worsening mental health problems, and so on. You become trapped in a downward spiral of increasing financial difficulties and deteriorating mental health.
Whatever your current situation may appear to be, there is a way out. These strategies can assist you in breaking the cycle, relieving the stress of money problems, and regaining stability.
Managing Financial Stress.
Speak With Someone.
When you’re dealing with money issues, it’s easy to bottle everything up and try to go it alone. Many of us consider money to be a taboo subject, one that should not be discussed with others. You may be uncomfortable disclosing how much you earn or spend, ashamed of any financial mistakes you’ve made, or embarrassed about not being able to provide for your family. But burying your feelings will only make your financial situation worse. In today’s economy, where many people are struggling through no fault of their own, you’ll likely find that others are far more understanding of your difficulties.
Not only is talking face-to-face with a trusted friend or loved one a proven stress reliever, but discussing your financial problems openly can also help you put things into perspective. Keeping your financial worries to yourself only exacerbates them until they appear insurmountable. Simply expressing your concerns to someone you trust can make them appear far less intimidating.
-The person you speak with does not have to be able to solve your problems or provide financial assistance.
-They only need to be willing to talk things out without judging or criticising to relieve your burden.
-Be open and honest about what you’re going through and your emotions.
-Talking about your concerns can help you make sense of what you’re going through, and your friend or loved one may be able to suggest solutions that you hadn’t considered on your own.
Getting Professional Help.
Getting practical advice from an expert is always a good idea, whether or not you have a friend or loved one to talk to for emotional support. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness, nor does it indicate that you have failed as a provider, parent, or spouse. It simply means you’re wise enough to recognise that your financial situation is causing you stress and that it needs to be addressed.
Disclosing Yourself To Your Family.
Financial problems tend to affect the entire family, and enlisting the help of your loved ones can be critical in turning things around. Even if you take pride in your independence, keep your family informed of your financial situation and how they can assist you in saving money.
Allow them to air their grievances. Your family members are probably concerned about you and the financial stability of your family unit. Listen to their concerns and allow them to make suggestions on how to solve your financial problems.
Make time for (cheap) family fun. Set aside regular time to enjoy each other’s company, unwind, and forget about your financial worries. Walking in the park, playing games, or exercising as a family does not have to be expensive, but it can help relieve stress and keep the entire family positive.
Take Stock Of Your Finances.
Keep track of EVERYTHING you spend. When you’re dealing with a mountain of overdue bills and mounting debt, buying a coffee on the way to work may seem like a frivolous expense. However, seemingly insignificant expenses can quickly add up, so keep track of everything. Understanding how you spend your money is essential for budgeting and developing a plan to address your financial issues.
List all of your debts. Include past-due bills, late fees, minimum payments due, and any money owed to family or friends.
Determine your spending patterns and triggers. Is it boredom or a stressful day at work that drives you to the mall or online shopping? Do you feed your children expensive restaurant or takeout meals when they are misbehaving, rather than cooking at home? Do you spend money on your relatives’ children because you adore them? Once you’ve identified your triggers, you can find healthier ways to deal with them rather than resorting to “retail therapy.”
Consider making small changes. Purchasing items such as a morning newspaper, a lunchtime sandwich, or break-time snacks can add up to a significant monthly outlay. While it may be unreasonable to deny yourself every small pleasure, cutting back on unnecessary spending and finding small ways to reduce your daily expenditure can help you free up extra cash to pay off bills.
Reduce your impulsive spending. Have you ever seen something online or in a store window that you simply had to have? Impulsive purchases can devastate your budget and max out your credit cards. To break the habit, make it a rule to wait a week before making a new purchase.
Take it easy on yourself. As you examine your debt and spending habits, keep in mind that anyone can run into financial difficulties, especially in these trying times. Don’t use this as an excuse to punish yourself for perceived financial miscalculations. As you look to move forward, give yourself a break and concentrate on the aspects you can control.
Make A Strategy—And Stick To It.
If you’ve taken stock of your financial situation, eliminated discretionary and impulse spending, and your outgoings continue to exceed your income, you have three options: increase your income, reduce your spending, or do both. Making a plan and following through on it will be required to achieve any of those goals.
Determine your financial issue. After taking inventory, you should be able to clearly identify the financial issue you’re dealing with. You may have too much credit card debt, insufficient income, or you overspend on unnecessary purchases when stressed or anxious. Or maybe it’s a combination of issues. Make a distinct plan for each.
Create a solution. Brainstorm ideas with your family or a trusted friend, or seek free financial advice. You may decide that contacting credit card companies and requesting a lower interest rate would be beneficial in resolving your issue. Perhaps you need to restructure your debt, eliminate your car payment, downsize your home, or discuss working overtime with your boss.
Put your strategy into action. Be specific about how you intend to implement the solutions you’ve devised. Perhaps this entails cancelling credit cards or networking for a new job or leads.
Keep track of your progress. As we’ve all seen recently, events that affect your financial health can occur quickly, so it’s critical to review your plan on a regular basis. Are some aspects more effective than others? Do changes in interest rates, monthly expenses, or hourly wage, for example, necessitate a revision of your plan?
Setbacks should not derail you. We’re all human, and no matter how well you plan, you may deviate from your objective or something unexpected may occur to derail you. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but get back on track as soon as possible.
The more specific your plan, the less powerless you will feel over your financial situation.
Make A Monthly Spending Plan.
Whatever your plan for resolving your financial issues, creating and sticking to a monthly budget can help you stay on track and regain control.
-Include in your budget daily expenses such as groceries and transportation to work, as well as monthly rent, mortgage, and utility bills.
-Divide items that you pay annually, such as car insurance or property tax, by 12 to set aside money each month.
-If at all possible, budget for unexpected expenses such as a medical co-pay or prescription charge if you become ill, or the cost of home or car repairs.
-Whenever possible, set up automatic payments to help ensure bills are paid on time and to avoid late payments and interest rate increases.
-Organize your spending. If you’re having trouble covering your monthly expenses, prioritising where your money goes first can help. Feeding and housing yourself and your family, as well as keeping the power on, are examples of necessities. Even if you’re behind on your payments and are being harassed by debt collectors, paying your credit card isn’t.
-Continue to look for ways to save money. Most of us can find something in our budget to cut to help us make ends meet. Review your budget on a regular basis and look for ways to cut costs.
-Enlist the help of your spouse, partner, or children. Make sure everyone in your household is pulling in the same direction and understands your financial goals.
Control Your Overall Stress.
Resolving financial issues usually entails small steps that pay off in the long run. Your financial difficulties are unlikely to disappear overnight in the current economic climate. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take immediate steps to reduce your stress and find the energy and peace of mind you need to deal with challenges in the long run.
Get your feet moving. Even a small amount of regular exercise can help relieve stress, improve your mood and energy, and boost your self-esteem. On most days, aim for 30 minutes, which can be broken up into short 10-minute bursts if necessary.
Use a relaxation technique. Take some time each day to unwind and give your mind a break from the constant worrying.Meditation, breathing exercises, and other relaxation techniques are excellent ways to relieve stress and rebalance your life.
Don’t short-change yourself on sleep. Tiredness will only add to your stress and negative thought patterns. During this difficult time, finding ways to improve your sleep will benefit both your mind and body.
Improve your self-esteem. Financial problems, whether right or wrong, can make you feel like a failure and harm your self-esteem. However, there are numerous other, more rewarding ways to boost your self-esteem. Even if you’re struggling yourself, guiding others can boost your confidence and relieve stress, anger, and anxiety—not to mention help a worthy cause. You could also spend time in nature, learn a new skill, or spend time with people who value you for who you are rather than your bank balance.
Consume nutritious foods. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids can help support your mood while also increasing your energy and outlook. And you don’t have to break the bank to eat well; there are ways to eat well on a budget.
Be thankful for the blessings in your life. When you’re plagued by money worries and financial insecurity, it’s easy to fixate on the negatives. While you don’t have to pretend everything is fine, you can take a moment to appreciate a close relationship, the beauty of a sunset, or the love of a pet, for example. It can distract your mind from constant worrying, improve your mood, and relieve stress.
For Inner Strength, Read Spiritual Books.
Having faith in the Divine or Master also helps to keep you energized. All of the benefits of salvation are brought into our lives through faith. This includes healing, prosperity, peace, love, joy, deliverance from demons and the curse, sanctification of the mind and emotions (soul salvation), and any other benefit promised to us by God’s word.
Faith communicates in the language of the heart. It is a hope-filled expression that goes beyond the conscious mind.
If the concept of positive stress is unfamiliar to you, you are not alone. The majority of us associate all stress with negative experiences.
Good and bad stress are also referred to as Eustress and Distress.
Stress is an unavoidable part of modern life. Bills arrive every month, kids’ activities take place all year, and work never seems to slow down. A little stress is unavoidable, but it’s often a good thing.
Eustress assists us in staying motivated, working toward goals, and feeling good about ourselves.
Stress helps you meet your daily challenges and motivates you to achieve your goals, making you a smarter, happier, and healthier person in the long run. That’s correct. Good stress is essential for living a healthy life.
When you ride the giant wheel at a local fair, you may experience this type of stress.
Take part in a game or go on a first date. Short-term stress inspires and motivates you, focuses your energy, and improves performance.
Bad stress, on the other hand, exhausts you, makes you jittery, and is harmful to your health. Anxiety, confusion, poor concentration, and decreased performance can all result from excessive stress or distress.
Short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic) stress (chronic). Acute stress does not have a negative impact on your body if you can relax quickly. Chronic stress, on the other hand, occurs when you are repeatedly exposed to stressors and can have a negative impact on your health. Headaches, insomnia, weight gain, anxiety, pain, and high blood pressure can all be symptoms of chronic stress.
How Good Stress Can Turn into Bad Stress.
If you have too much good stress, it can be harmful to your health. This is because your stress response is triggered in either case, and when combined with chronic stress or a number of other stressors, there is a cumulative effect.
Be in tune with yourself and recognise when you’ve had enough. You may not be able to eliminate all stress, but there are often ways to reduce or avoid some of the stress in your life, making it easier to deal with the rest.
If you can avoid chronic stress, you will be more resilient to other types of unavoidable stress.
How Bad Stress Can Be Turned into Good Stress.
Not all forms of bad stress can be transformed into good stress, but you can change your perception of some of the stressors in your life. This shift can alter your perception of stress.
The body has a strong reaction to perceived threats. There is no threat-based stress response if something is not perceived as a threat. If you see something as a challenge instead of a threat, the fear you would normally feel may turn into excitement and anticipation, or at the very least resolve. You can frequently shift perception by:1
concentrating on the resources available to meet the challenge.
Recognizing a situation’s potential benefits.
Reminding yourself of your abilities.
Developing a positive mindset (learning to think like an optimist).
As you become more accustomed to viewing threats as challenges, it becomes more automatic, and you experience more good stress and less bad stress.
How to Deal with Stress.
When stress begins to dominate your life, it becomes a problem. The key to stress management is identifying the negative stressors in your life and developing healthy coping mechanisms. Here are some healthy ways to deal with stress.
Reduce stress wherever possible.
Learning to say “no” more frequently, reducing your to-do list, and avoiding people who stress you out are all good places to start. Your stress level will decrease once you learn to manage your time more effectively.
Accept that there will be events over which you have no control.
There are some things in life over which you have no control, such as the actions of others. Instead of worrying about what you can’t control, concentrate on what you can and how you respond to the problem. This way, you are directing your energy to where it will be most effective.
Consider positive thoughts.
Negative thoughts can lead to negative behaviour, whereas a positive attitude can help to mitigate the effects of difficult situations. Make an effort to think positively by looking for the positive in every situation, whether you learn from your mistakes or use major challenges to grow as a person. Furthermore, reflecting on all of the positive aspects of your life, including your own, can alter your perspective.
Turn to family and friends for help, or seek professional help. It can be cathartic to express how you feel. It’s also important to express your emotions rather than bottle them up, as this can add to your stress.
Incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine.
Relaxation improves overall health and allows you to step back and clear your mind. It doesn’t have to be a big-time commitment; deep breathing exercises, meditation, or even yoga can help.
Maintain your health and fitness.
A well-balanced diet and regular physical activity ensure that your body is better prepared to deal with stress. Exercise helps to relax your body and mind while also improving your mood. In fact, physical exercise has been shown to play an important role in stress prevention and reduction.
Have a good night’s sleep.
Getting enough rest is essential because it allows your body to recover from stressful events and prepares you to face new challenges the next day.
The key is distinguishing between good and bad stress. Stress, as long as it is not chronic, can be beneficial to your life. Make every effort to reduce chronic stress as much as possible, and incorporate positive activities to promote good stress. It promotes a healthy balance and a higher standard of living.
You may be educated, but can you apply that knowledge to solve problems? (“I have a great pen, good paper, and excellent spelling skills… but I can’t write.”) We’ve come a long way since the century-old Industrialization era, when a job meant doing the same thing as a thousand other people.
We frequently overestimate the value of technical/core skills while underestimating the value of soft skills. They are inextricably linked.
Transitioning from a problem-oriented to a solution-oriented mindset.
Do you have the analytical skills to figure out what’s causing a problem? Or are you unable to see beyond your own point of view?
-When you’re complaining to your friends about something, don’t stop at “What’s the problem?” Consider, “What could be the solution?” Why would anyone hire you to solve their problems if you can’t think of anything?
Change your focus from “What will I get?” to “What can I give?”
We frequently act as if graduation is a ticket to a good life. “How can they pay me so little?!?” “That job will allow me to travel abroad,” “This job can be a great launchpad for my post-graduation,” “What’s the point of graduating if they won’t hire me?” We spend very little time thinking about “How can I help?”
-Remember that the company that hires you is INVESTING in you. Don’t consider a ‘Job that will give you XYZ.’ Consider ‘XYZ you can do in this career.’ What qualifies you for this position? What have you done in your life to demonstrate this? Have you decided to work only 9:5 hours? Are you even remotely interested in the position? If not for the sake of commitment, then for the sake of passion? No one will offer you a package or an appraisal in this manner! Have you considered it? You are merely a clerk at an IT firm. What unique value do YOU bring? People will not pay you for your degree. They compensate you for the contribution that your degree is supposed to compel you to make. “Why should we hire you?” is more than just another interview question.
Change your focus from “proving that you are good” to “being good.”
We frequently have an ‘exam-oriented’ perspective on life. Why bother understanding if memorising is sufficient? Why should I do research when I can study from a book? Why study for six months when six weeks will get me a passing grade? Why should I put in more effort if I’m not going to get a higher grade? In short, the emphasis is on “telling me what is required to prove I am good enough,” and then coming up with shortcuts to get there. This is a strategy for avoiding failure rather than achieving success. We then have a certificate but no skills.
-In college, you can relax all you want, but consider whether you’re doing anything useful. Is it for anyone? Are you studying music instead of studying? Or do you enjoy sports? Are you getting better, failing, or learning? Do you despise exams but enjoy programming? Are you taking part in any contests? Maybe you think some subjects are pointless, but are you good at others? You have the freedom to make mistakes. Use it. You should always have a ‘story’ rather than a ‘checklist.’ So, tell me about your experience. That is the prologue to your professional story. In a nutshell, learn sincerity.
Real-life projects, no matter how great you are, cannot be completed by one person. You must collaborate with others. Your skills are meaningless if no one wants to work with you. This is grossly understated.
How do you deal with egos, conflicts, different points of view, convey your ideas, and reach a consensus?
-Do something, even if it’s not an academic project. Participate in team sports. Organize a festival in your community. Work on your teamwork muscles. Or you can learn from others. This single aspect involves numerous other factors:
Person vs. Issue: Do you always start with “Who is at fault?” or move on to “What is the problem?”
Responsibility vs. blame: Do you believe that “it’s OK to fail as long as it’s not MY fault” or that “what can WE do now to make it succeed?”
You might not agree on everything. We cannot be friends. Can you, however, collaborate? Working toward a common goal?
Can you transition from ideas to execution?
In the real world, there is no distinction between failing to execute an idea and failing to have any ideas at all. Do you keep talking, or can you put together a team to do something? What exactly have you done? Who benefited from this? What was the result? Was there another way to go about it? It sounds excessive. But you’re just getting ready to be useful in the real world. Having a hammer (qualification) is useless if you are unwilling or unable to use it!
Do you know the difference between an entitlement mentality and a meritocracy mentality?
We believe we do. But, if a junior in your company is more skilled, would you mind being led by him?
-Recognize that meritocracy is based on results rather than effort or experience. Working hard is not a bad thing; it is the norm. Laziness is not acceptable. And if you work extremely hard but produce nothing – let alone praise – you may have a productivity problem! Are you capable of producing results? Do you judge yourself based on the outcomes? Or do you say, “Tell me the bare minimum I need to get my appraisal!!”?
Goal alignment: Do you care about the people for whom you work?
How can you assist someone if you don’t know what they need? Have you done any research on the company? Have you studied what they do? Have they identified their problems? Have you considered where you fit in? What can you do to help? Or are you simply there because they have the best pay package? The interview then becomes a discussion rather than a ‘exam.’
-These are not ‘frequently asked interview questions’ that must be answered. This demonstrates that you CARE! This is true for any project you undertake. Who are you attempting to assist? What do they desire? What can you offer? If you are rejected in an interview, it is not because you gave the incorrect answer; it is because you never cared enough. Isn’t that right?
Influence (Leadership Skills).
This isn’t about delivering speeches (oration skills). You can be an outstanding orator but deliver nothing. You can deliver great things on time and with integrity…but you don’t have great oratory skills. Building trust is central to leadership. It is much easier to get people to work for your cause if they trust you. Consider it your ‘personal brand.’
Clarity of thought: “What exactly do I mean?”
Take note that I classified this as a leadership skill. Understanding our own thoughts is the first step toward communicating them to others. Articulation comes naturally after that.
What we mistake for a lack of language skills and fluency is often a lack of clarity of thought.
Try expressing yourself in your native language. If you’re still slow, it’s because your clarity is lacking. If you speak clearly, your English will gradually improve. And no one will mind!!!! Would you lose a guy with all of the above skills and crystal-clear thoughts if he lacked English speaking skills?
Integrity entails saying what you mean and meaning what you say.
These fosters trust. Attending a meeting on time, or informing others about a delay. People are not looking for perfection. They are content if you give it your all. However, many do not. Credibility, jobs, careers, and businesses are all in jeopardy.
Failure is an opportunity to learn.
Accept making mistakes and allowing others to do the same. This frees you up to try new ideas rather than relying on tried and true ones. Encourage new mistakes while assisting in the avoidance of old ones.
Don’t get caught up in the ‘Identity’ trap.
There are no such things as good and bad jobs or projects. ‘HOW do you do it?’ is a far more important question than ‘WHAT do you do?’ YOUR distinct flavour comes from your actions, not your title. Are you attempting something new? Or are you still learning from an older source? Then it’s sufficient. Stop worrying and get to work!
Many people look down on this (“I let my work speak for itself”). Real marketing says, “I’ve learned more new skills; how can I assist?” to your team captain, project manager, or direct boss/manager How can you grow if you keep using the same old skills after 5 years? How are you making a bigger impact?
Proactivity: Can you make it happen?
Do you keep justifying “Why did I get left behind?” or do you keep wondering “How do I get ahead?” Do you ask, ‘Can someone tell me what to do?’ or ‘What do I need to make it happen?’ before going out and getting it? Companies would rather invest in individuals who can make things happen on their own. Take the initiative.
In conclusion, your academic performance is secondary to your core skills and attitude toward work. People want to work with you if you have good team skills. You can help more people if you have good leadership skills. When your skills and leadership begin to outperform your opportunities, bigger opportunities and responsibilities will follow. You are not required to beg for it. People give them to you in order to get more bang for their buck! That is how real growth occurs. It’s a win-win situation, not a struggle!
Everyone worries now and then, but when does worrying become overthinking?
what it is, whether we do it, why it is harmful, what causes it, and how to stop it
So, let us see…
Overthinking is simply the act of thinking excessively. Overthinking is the process of going over the same thought over and over again, analysing the most trivial of situations or events until all sense of proportion is lost. The overthinking brain is unable to translate these thoughts into actions or positive outcomes, resulting in feelings of stress and anxiety.
The phrase “overthinking” is frequently used casually these days.
Are we overthinking things?
One of our greatest gifts as humans is the ability to think. Our brains have evolved to produce complex thoughts that allow us to understand information, solve problems, plan ahead, and learn from our past.
Surely, we all overthink to some extent? Worrying about things is linked to caring about our loved ones and doing a good job, whether we are parents, sons or daughters, employees or business people.
What is Ruminate?
Rumination is defined as excessive, repetitive thinking about the same event. Rumination is classified into two types: reflective and brooding. Reflective thinking is analytical and problem-solving, whereas brooding is more negative and self-perpetuating.
We are certainly thinking when we overthink, worry, or ruminate. “Over”-thinking emphasises that our thinking isn’t getting us anywhere and isn’t helping us. So, if we find ourselves thinking about the same issue over and over again but not arriving at a “solution,” we may be overthinking.
People who suffer from overthinking tend to be “ruminators,” obsessing over past events. Worrying about the future is typical: will I meet this deadline? Can I find a nice residential flat for my parents? Overthinking tends to be passive rather than active, dwelling on past events and building up disproportionately negative future outcomes.
Let us look at an example. You inadvertently address your new teacher incorrectly. What do you think and feel when you realise this later?
The average worrier will feel mildly embarrassed, plan to apologise with some self-deprecating remark the next day, then forget about it and go about their business. The overthinker will replay this error while rewriting different outcomes. By four a.m., he or she will be mentally preparing for being passed over for future grades, or even chosen to fail. The incident has raised big questions in the overthinking mind, blowing the whole thing out of proportion.
This may appear to be a trivial example, but it demonstrates how over-thinking can take over many aspects of your life. Dwelling on a past event and making catastrophic predictions from it are classic examples of what an overthinking mind can do.
Overthinking is caused by our primitive emotional part of our brain-
Overthinking, like many other symptoms of anxiety and depression, stems from one of our most primitive survival instincts.
The primitive mind will always see things from the worst possible angle. This is because the brain is hyper-vigilant, trying to keep us alive, and it makes no sense to be optimistic.
The intellectual brain will tell you that you will not fail your exams because you called your teacher by the wrong name. People who ruminate, on the other hand, are responding in that primitive fight-or-flight mode, where focusing on worst-case scenarios is more likely to keep us alive. Overthinking and anxiety interact, exacerbating feelings of stress and helplessness.
Overthinking fills the stress tank-
It’s simple to instil fear in people by making negative predictions about the future. However, dwelling on the past can make us feel extremely anxious. Negative thoughts fill our “stress tank” to the point where we believe that one more drip, one more thought, will cause us to overflow.
How can we empty our stress tank? At night, we enter the amazing healing process of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, in which our brains go over the events of the day, moving them from the emotional, primitive brain to the intellectual side. The brain stores events, along with emotions and suppressed emotions, and converts them into memories and narratives for another day. As part of this process, the brain may ‘live out’ unspent emotion through our dreams in order to use up unspent adrenalin. The person who called his or her teacher the wrong name will not forget the incident over night, but he or she will not be thinking about it in the morning.
The overthinker will not be so fortunate. If he or she is not sleeping well due to overthinking, tossing and turning while ruminating on the events, they will miss out on this vital REM sleep, possibly waking up during the night or not being able to sleep until the early hours, by which time it will be time to get up and start the day with low energy and low mood.
Overthinking the Past-
What kinds of things do we tend to overthink? Regrets and resentments may fall into this category – have you ever found yourself wishing you had taken a different path in life or made a different choice at a crossroads? On a smaller scale, perhaps we are still thinking about the embarrassing thing we said during a Zoom meeting last week. Whatever it is, we may be overthinking the past in ways that are hindering us in the present and future.
Overthinking the Present-
It is also possible to ruminate or overthink aspects of the present, such as our circumstances, relationships, personality, or identity. Do we question whether we are in the right relationship every day? How might those thoughts be affecting the relationship? Our current thoughts about ourselves can also have a significant impact on our relationship with ourselves. Do we tend to think of ourselves positively or negatively?
Overthinking the Future-
Overthinking about the future is often classified as “worry.” We may be concerned about something in the near future, such as a school or work presentation. Or we may be preoccupied with longer-term existential concerns, such as “will I ever feel fulfilled in life?” or “what if I never find a partner?” Regardless, our worries are most likely not assisting us in any way.
Why is overthinking harmful?
Perhaps we were at a celebratory event, such as a birthday party, but instead of enjoying the music, food, and company, we were preoccupied with an argument from the day before, or the grocery list of to-dos for the next day. This, or some of the examples mentioned above, may feel familiar to us, and overthinking may be interfering with our ability to live our lives. Of course, we don’t intend to overthink, ruminate, or worry. But we’re probably all too familiar with these issues by now, and we’re hoping to figure out how to change our thinking. To change any habit, we must first find the right motivation.
Overthinking and Decision-Making- When we overthink, we are most likely trying to solve a problem in our lives. Is this the right career for me? Is this relationship right for me? How can I get a better handle on my finances? The catch here is that overthinking actually impairs our ability to make decisions. Rumination has a negative impact on people’s decision-making processes, with ruminating people finding decisions more difficult and being less confident in their decisions.
Overthinking and Anxiety-future-focused worry have been linked to anxiety. We may be familiar with the experience of having worried thoughts while also dealing with anxious feelings and sensations. Although both temporary and chronic anxiety can be unpleasant, changing worried thoughts can help to alleviate anxiety.
Overthinking and Depression-While future-focused repetitive thinking (worry) has been linked to anxiety, past and present-focused repetitive thinking (rumination) has been linked to depression. This link is strong, with rumination being linked to more frequent, longer, and severe depressive episodes.
Overthinking and Sleep-We may have found ourselves lying awake at night, unable to stop the “train of thoughts” running through our minds. Overthinking, as well as the associated symptoms of anxiety and depression, can disrupt our sleep. Sleep deprivation is linked to poor health outcomes.
What Causes Overthinking?
You may be frustrated with yourself if you’ve read this far and discovered that you have a tendency to overthink. Why am I doing something so bad for myself? It is critical to remember two things here. Overthinking is an automatic self-protection mechanism. What do you tend to overthink? Most likely, you are preoccupied with real issues such as finances, health, work, relationships, and meaning. Feeling in control of these various domains can provide a sense of well-being, and of course, you want the best for yourself. The key point here is that thinking about these areas in an unproductive way does little to improve them.
We don’t overthink on purpose.
Thoughts are often automatic and habitual, and overthinking becomes a habit – we don’t lie down at night and tell ourselves, “Okay, time to ruminate for the next two hours instead of falling asleep.” Your brain simply repeats itself.
How Can We Stop Overthinking?
Relaxation-Not only can overthinking get us worked up and make us anxious, but it can also work the other way. Anxiety can lead to more worry, creating a vicious cycle. We can break the cycle by using relaxation techniques. What types of activities help you unwind? It could be going for a walk, taking some deep breaths, doing yoga, meditation, or watching a feel-good movie. If we notice ourselves becoming tense, we should take a step back and ask ourselves what we can do to relax. Get some perspective- Mindfulness and other contemplative practises allow us to take a step back from our train of thought in order to better recognise where it is going. This ability to look at our thoughts objectively is critical for avoiding overthinking. When we overthink something, we can become consumed by it and lose perspective. When you find yourself in this situation, it may be helpful to ask yourself, “Will this issue still matter to me in a year, five years, etc.?”
Consider problem-solving thinking.
It might be useful to ask yourself, “Are these thoughts useful to me?” When you recognise when you are overthinking, you can take a step back and decide how to proceed. You have two choices here. You realise that the issue you’re overthinking isn’t worth focusing on, so you redirect your attention and energy elsewhere.
You identify the source of your overthinking and devise a strategy to address it.
“If there is no solution to the problem, then don’t waste time worrying about it,” says the Dalai Lama. If there is a solution to the problem, don’t waste time worrying about it.”
Go to therapy-For some people who are struggling to overcome overthinking, or whose overthinking may be contributing to mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, it may be worth considering seeing a mental health professional who specialises in an evidence-based practise such as cognitive behavioural therapy.
Learn from your pets—while zebras may experience temporary stressors such as fleeing a predator, they do not typically experience chronic stress like us. This is due to their proclivity to live in the present moment. Our dog isn’t thinking about how he fell in front of all the other dogs at the park yesterday or whether he’s doing enough with his life. The point is that animals are great examples of living in the moment and being happier for it.