Whether you're single or in a relationship, Valentine's Day is a good time to think about stepping-up your love life and sharpening the skills that keep love alive. Improving your social life by opening yourself up to more people and more experiences is a great first step toward finding the love of your life or bringing more fun and excitement into your existing relationship.
1. Define What You Want
To get what you want, it helps to know what you want, and that's as true of love as it is anything else. Remember, it's about what you want, not about societal expectations. "We get further and further away from happiness when we look for the things we think we 'should' go after instead of the things that are core to our unique personalities." Start by identifying your needs when it comes to romance and establishing your relationship goals. What do you want to give and what do you want to get out of a partnership? When you have a firm grip on what you want, you can look realistically at your own behavior patterns to see if they are helping or hurting your search for lasting love, and take steps to make changes, if necessary.
2. Use Your Loneliness
While chronic loneliness isn't healthy and can contribute to depression, feeling lonely from time to time is normal, whether you're in a romantic relationship or not. And feeling emotionally disconnected from people doesn't have to be a negative if you use those lonely feelings as motivations to make necessary changes that will move your life in more positive directions. "Finding an enduring partnership takes effort. You don't want to settle for a series of casual relationships if what you really want is something long-lasting." Start by paying more attention to relationships you already have and reconnecting with people you have lost touch with over time. Make new connections by joining clubs and special interest groups or volunteering. You never know how you'll meet someone new, but you'll only meet them if you get yourself out there.
3. Balance Your Love Budget
While generosity is normally considered a positive trait, you may be sending the wrong message to a current or potential mate of extravagant spending on dinners and gifts. In fact, you might make a better impression by displaying more of an inclination to save money because it shows you are able to exercise self-control and are likely to accumulate greater financial resources over time. "But be careful not to appear too restrictive or too controlling when it comes to your finances." That could lead someone to believe you're not fun and won't bring much in the way of excitement to the relationship.
4. Start Talking
If and how couples communicate, along with individual willingness to change, determines whether or not problems can be resolved and the quality of a relationship maintained. Some problems, especially minor issues, are best resolved with a cooperative and affectionate approach that doesn't put anyone on the defense.
Lead a happier, healthier life we these calming strategies. You can read all the anti-anxiety advice in the world, but none of this matters unless you take action. To feel more relaxed, to sleep soundly at night, and to put energy into what matters, you have to stop wasting time on tasks that don't matter. By the end of this article, your life could become infinitely more productive and Zen-like. Your part is to commit to 15-60 minutes per day and tackle a few of the following 22 anxiety busters below. The more you commit, the better you'll feel. You're probably familiar with some of these anxiety strategies. But if you experience racing thoughts, tightening in your chest, and shortness of breath, you haven't done all of them.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is probably the most common anxiety disorder, affecting 5-6% of the population. It is characterized by chronic worry about all sorts of life problems and circumstances. It will differ from normal worrying through the intensity, frequency, and perceived lack of control over the worry thoughts. There might be a biological basis to GAD where some people are more likely to over-respond to life's stresses; and studies of families show their is a chance of some genetic influence.
Social Anxiety Disorder, or Social Phobia, is an overwhelming fear of social situations and is the most common anxiety disorder. It is much more than shyness and can be intense fear over things such as shopping or speaking on the phone. It is normal to feel worry in some social situations, but a person suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder will worry excessively before, during, and after the event. This type of phobia can have a disruptive or disabling impact on a person's life, affecting their self esteem, confidence, and ability to develop relationships with others.
Panic Disorder is where a person has recurring and regular panic attacks, often with no clear reason. For those who suffer from panic disorder, feelings of anxiety, stress and panic can occur regularly and at any time. Panic attack symptoms are feelings of nausea, sweating, trembling, and palpitations. In the UK, panic disorder affects about two in 100 people, and it is roughly twice as common in women than it is in men.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is caused by very stressful, frightening, or distressing events. Someone suffering from PTSD will often experience flash backs and nightmares of the event, as well as feelings of isolation and guilt. They may have a problem sleeping, and find concentrating difficult, these symptoms are often severe and will have a significant impact on the person's daily life.
Unlike clinical depression, adjustment disorder is often triggered by a significant change in a person's life. Treatment is important, here is what you need to know. Depression, of course, is not a rarity. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that in 2016, 6.7% of adults in the US- 16.2million!- endured at least one major depressive episode in a year. Obviously, it feels miserable to feel miserable whether it's a temporary or chronic condition. But it is essential to know what you are dealing with so you can get the proper treatment as quickly as possible. Major depressive disorder is diagnosed when you have experienced five or more of the following symptoms over a two-week period that impact your ability to function day to day:
If you under go A life changing trauma, do this:
Your son may be doing well in school and get along with others, but be a bit withdrawn and have odd likes and dislikes. Then you might notice that his grades are slipping. He might lost interest in playing sports or give up his guitar and stop seeing the friends he used to jam with. His sleep habits might change-he might be unable to fall asleep or wake to early. Next, he might tell you for a few hours he heard voices of people who weren't there, or thought that he was being trailed by a spy. These strange voices or perceptions may go quickly and never turn into a lasting mental illness. However, these early signs of schizophrenia shouldn't be ignored. Your son needs a professional evaluation. Look for a psychiatrist who has experience with teens and psychosis. There are steps you can take to delay schizophrenia even if it is bound to come, writes Herbert Meltzer, a psychiatrist and professor at Northwestern University. If mental illness runs in the family, consider a candid conversation with your children: They need to know that experimenting with drugs is more dangerous for them than for other people. Any grandparent, parent, or sibling with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder means that they may have genes that put them at risk of psychosis. Marijuana may seem like a low-risk drug, but not for them- it could bring on the illness earlier. "Special K" (ketamine), cocaine, and methamphetamine are also dangerous. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD and is taking Ritalin or amphetamines, the drugs may have brought on the voices and paranoia. Unusual stress like bullying could also trigger an underlying vulnerability. As a parent, you can work with your child and her school to limit the stress. If your household has become stressful, it might even be better for your child to live somewhere else, Meltzer noted. During the evaluation, your child's doctor should rule out contributions from other illnesses. Now is also the time to gather information from relatives about the course of their illness and treatment. Their history may be clues to what will work best for your child. The genes of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia overlap. If one sibling has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, other siblings are more likely to develop schizophrenia then bipolar disorder. If one child is showing early symptoms of schizophrenia, it's reasonable for his siblings to be concerned about themselves and you can help by having them evaluated as well. If a mother has bipolar disorder disease, a child with early symptoms could develop schizophrenia rather than bipolar disorder. It is important for anyone diagnosed with schizophrenia to undergo repeated tests for working memory, word memory, and speed of processing information, attention, and social understanding. A steady decline in even on area is a danger sign and treatment drugs can make a difference. The drugs Lurasidone, Olanzapine, and Risperidone may help improve performance. Look for signs of motor side effects for medication. Tardive dyskinesia- involuntary movements of the lip, tongue, and cheeks- has been linked to cognitive impairment. It's easy for people to forget to take medication. Consider long acting injectable medications that work from two weeks to three months. Five percent of patients with schizophrenia die from suicide, and many more try. Although clozapine has many side-effects, they can be minimized and the drug lowers suicide risk. Family and group therapy may be more helpful than individual therapy. The early signs of schizophrenia appear earlier in boys, usually between ages 16 and 25. The average age of onset is 18 in men and 25 in women. The later the onset, the better chance of a full life and quick action can make all the difference.
Work anxiety can drastically effect your quality of life and leave you counting down the minutes until five o'clock comes around. Roughly three out of every four people with stress or anxiety in their life say that it interferes with their daily lives, and the workplace is no exception. Anxiety can affect performances at work, the quality of work, relationships with colleagues, and relationships with supervisors. And if you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, then these challenges may prove even more difficult. People report that deadlines and dealing with difficult people are the biggest causes of work related stress. Conflict in the workplace will elicit many different reactions. Some people love the drama, while others would rather hide under their desks until the commotion subsides. Regardless of whether or not you thrive from conflict, lack of effective communication at your job can cause quite a bit of anxiety. When several people in the office are visibly effected by the anxiety, the level of stress can almost feel contagious. People begin to miss more work, the quality of work goes down, and coworkers begin to gossip or vent rather then work together to solve the problem. People stop talking to one another, they start collecting mountains of grievances, and the environment can be downright toxic. The first step in managing work anxiety is to develop a self wellness plan. If you're getting adequate sleep, eating healthy, exercising, and engaging in social activities outside of work, then your odds for decreasing workplace anxiety are much greater. But reducing anxiety in the workplace requires more than mindfulness and a yoga class every once in awhile. You must also examine how you function in the workplace system and how you deal with others. Do you hide from your boss? Do you gossip with your co-worker in the neighboring cubicle? Do you wait to speak until your seething with anger or bursting into tears? There are a few simple strategies you can start examining and practicing to help you arrive at work calmer and not take worries home with you. In addition to seeking professional help to manage anxiety, you can use these interpersonal strategies to help lower overall anxiety in the office and help you stay calm, focused, and productive.
Know Everyone's Name
Having a solid one-to-one relationship with people in the office makes it easier to address problems with the original individual rather than gossiping or venting to someone else. This start's by knowing peoples names and their responsibilities. If you forget a person's name, don't be embarrassed to ask again. It's never to late to start building stronger relationships at the office.
Ask For Help
When work is hectic, it becomes all to easy to say "yes" even when you don't understand how to do something. But the discomfort of asking for help or clarification is worth it in the long run, and it can decrease overall anxiety about responsibilities. Asking for help also communicates to your superiors that you genuinely care about doing a good job.
Many workplaces are built on gossiping about coworkers or venting about others. Though this might provide temporary relief or entertainment, it only serves to build up tension and stress. You can almost feel it floating in the air when an office is full of this kind of negativity. Bonding with someone by talking about a third person is called "triangling", and it's an unhealthy way to manage work anxiety. Examples of triangles might include gossiping about a third person, criticizing someone behind their back, and using them as a scapegoat. Though it might be tempting to vent to a coworker, consider how you can keep the issue between you and the person with the conflict. Though it might be difficult at first, you can reduce your anxiety by approaching the individual and communicating the facts of the situation. Tell them that you would like to reach a resolution and are motivated to create an open and honest workplace. If you're an employer or supervisor, consider how you could encourage employees to work out conflict between themselves and approach you honestly if they have an issue with your leadership.
Set Honest Deadlines
Anxious people will sometimes agree to deadlines and timelines they know they cannot meet. Often it is better to be honest and upfront rather than to apologize later. Not every deadline is negotiable, but it will save you hours of anxiety if you can be honest upfront and work at a manageable pace. And if you finish the job ahead of time, then that will make you look even better.
Use Neutral Language
Learning to use neutral and calming language in the office can help bring down everyone's anxiety at work. Disagreements are more manageable when you begin a statement with, "Here is what I'm thinking," and end it with "What are you thinking?" This lets people feel like they have an input and makes them more likely to hear what your saying. Questions like, "What could we each do about this issue?" or "How could we prevent this from happening in the future?" are also great for problem-solving.
Stay In Contact
It's human instinct to avoid or cut off contact with people who make us feel uncomfortable, and the workplace is no exception. Maybe you stop replying to emails you don't know how to answer. Or perhaps you avoid the break room to avoid a bullying coworker. Maybe you try and duck out for the day before your boss can ask you a questions. The problem with avoidance is that it is only a very temporary solution. That twisting feeling in your stomach or other work anxiety symptoms will only get worse with time the more you use distance as a way to manage disagreement, confusion, or other difficult emotions. Contact is a muscle you have to flex to make it stronger. The more you approach problems and communication head-on, the less anxious it will make you in the long term. Great leaders maintain the ability to have contact with people who have different points of view or styles of work. Staying in contact can also help you improve on saying "no" to additional responsibilities that make you overworked and less effective in your job.
Don't Drag Others Down
Office drama can be entertaining at times, but it ultimately makes the environment more stressful and lowers morale. Try changing the subject when people talk poorly of coworkers or the boss, or simply come up with a reason to leave the room. Don't respond to texts or emails that seek to drag other people down.
Encourage In-Person Conversations
It can be incredibly difficult to decipher emotions and intentions electronically. Much workplace anxiety comes from misinterpreting emails or waiting to hear back from a difficult subject. If an issue is making you particularly anxious, don't be afraid to pick up the phone or have an in-person conversation about things.
Focus On Facts
Your mind and emotions can feel pulled in many different directions when you feel overloaded, underappreciated or misunderstood. The best way to lower anxiety is to control the conversation and what's communicated. Try to verbalize what specifically is causing your anxiety and ask other people to share their views. Then express how you would like the specific conflict resolved. Focus on the facts of the situation, and stay in the present. This probably isn't the best time to bring up past grievances, no matter how relevant they may seem. It will be tempting to pull out your arsenal of complaints when you feel reactive, but lowering anxiety is not about winning. It's about resolving.
Many workplaces offer therapy through employee assistance program (EAP) or can connect you to mental health resources in the community to help you manage anxiety. Though it may be intimidating to speak up about your anxiety, when you take responsibility for your wellness, you serve as a role model for others in the workplace. When you build more solid relationships, improve communication, and ask for help, the entire office will benefit. Anxiety is always present to some degree in your daily life, but it doesn't have to interfere with doing good work and enjoying your profession. Remember, though anxiety is an unpleasant emotion, it's also an opportunity for you to grow in your career. The more you face anxiety in the workplace rather then run away from it or simply complain about it, the more significant a stressor will have to be to make you feel off your game.
When people think about depression, they often divide it into one of two things- either clinical depression which requires treatment or "regular" depression that pretty much anyone can go through. As a condition, depression can be a difficult concept to grasp since we refer to it as both the symptom of a condition and a condition itself. From a medical standpoint, depression is defined as a mood disorder which causes a persistent feeling of sadness and the often profound loss of interest in things that usually bring you pleasure. It affects how you feel, think, and behave and can interfere with your ability to function and carry on with daily life. There are many different causes of depression, some of which we don't fully understand. Seven of the most common types of depression are as follows:
1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
When people use the term clinical depression, they are generally referring to major depressive disorder (MDD). Major depressive disorder is a mood disorder characterized by a number of key features:
2. Persistent Depressive Disorder
Dysthymia, now known as persistent depressive disorder, refers to a type of chronic depression present for more days then not for at least two years. It can be mild, moderate, or severe.
3. Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by periods of abnormally elevated mood known as mania. These periods of A major can be mild (hypomania) or they can be so extreme as to cause marked impairment with a person's life, require hospitalization, or affect a person's sense of reality. The vast majority of those with bipolar illness also have episodes of major depression. In addition to depressed mood and markedly diminished interest in activities, people with bipolar depression often have a range of physical and emotional symptoms which may include:
4. Postpartum Depression
Pregnancy can bring about significant hormonal shifts that can often affect a woman's moods. Depression can have its onset during pregnancy or following the birth of a child. Postpartum depression is more than just the "baby blues". It can range from a persistent lethargy and sadness that requires medical treatment all the way up to postpartum psychosis, a condition in which the mood episode is accompanied by confusions, hallucinations, or delusions.
5. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Among the most common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are irritability, fatigue, anxiety, moodiness, bloating, increased appetite, food cravings, aches, and breast tenderness. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) produces similar symptoms, but those related to mood are more pronounced. They may include:
6. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
If you experience depression, sleepiness, and weight gain during the winter months but feel perfectly fine during spring, you may have a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), currently called major depressive disorder, with seasonal pattern. SAD is believed to be triggered by a disturbance in the normal circadian rhythm of the body. Light entering through the eyes influences this rhythm, and any seasonal variation in night/day pattern can cause a disruption leading to depression. SAD is more common in far northern or far southern regions of the planet and can often be treated with light therapy to offset the seasonal loss of daylight.
7. Atypical Depression
Do you experience signs of depression (such as overeating, sleeping too much, or extreme sensitivity to rejection) but find yourself suddenly perking up in face of a positive event? Based on these symptoms, you may be diagnosed with atypical depression, a type of depression which does not follow what was thought to be the "typical" presentation of the disorder. Atypical depression is characterized by a specific set of symptoms related to: