Wednesday, 1 December 2021

How To Build Your Confidence And Self-Esteem


How To Build Your Confidence And Self-Esteem


 What does it take to succeed? You might think you need lots of money and powerful friends. However, there’s a more significant factor that’s free and within your reach. This crucial factor is believing in yourself. 


What is self-confidence and why is it important?


Self-confidence means valuing and accepting yourself despite any of your faults or what people say or believe about you. It also means you believe in your judgment and your abilities. Your level of self-confidence affects your mindset and behavior. Lack of self-confidence often leads people to behavior that is destructive to them and others. 


An example of self-confident behavior will be doing what you believe to be right even if others criticize you for it.  Low self-confidence will cause the person to do only what they think others will approve of whether it is right or wrong. Another example of self-confidence will be admitting your mistakes and learning from them. A person with low self-confidence may blame others or quickly try to cover it up so as not to admit their mistakes.


Self-confidence is very important for success. It helps you to believe you can succeed in spite of setbacks. Self-confident people are resilient and persistent. Self-confidence inspires people to believe in you and your ideas. No one wants to back an idea when the founder is not confident in his ability to make a success of it.


The great thing about confidence is that it's a skill you can develop. You might need to fake it sometimes, but gradually you’ll accept and trust yourself more. 


How can I improve my confidence on a daily basis

1. Review your achievements. It’s easy to forget how far you’ve come. Give yourself credit for your major accomplishments and the incremental progress you make each day. 

2. Set goals. Keep adding to your track record by creating specific and compelling goals for the short and long term. Making an effort is just as important as the end results. 

 3. Change your inner dialogue. How do you talk to yourself? Choose words that lift you up and inspire you to try harder.

 4. Continue learning. Maybe you need additional resources and qualifications to pursue your passions. Take courses online, read books, and talk with others about their areas of expertise.

 5. Think positive. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude and hope. Start your day with a smile, and savor small pleasures. 


Taking Care of Yourself

 Your daily choices reflect how much you value yourself. Adopt habits that protect your physical and mental wellbeing, such as:

 1. Exercise regularly. Physical activity reduces stress and increases hormones that help you to feel calm and happy. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week. 

2. Eat healthy. 

It’s easier to have confidence when your energy levels are high, and your blood sugar is stable. Enjoy a diet rich in nutritious whole foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid excess salt and sugar.

 3. Sleep well. 

Your body and mind need 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep each night. Stick to a consistent bedtime and keep your bedroom dark and quiet. 

4. Manage stress. 

How do you deal with daily tensions? Learn constructive coping strategies. In addition to working out, you could develop a daily self-care practice or listen to soft music.

5. Reaching out for Support.

 Believing in yourself also means being realistic. Relying on others can sometimes be a sign of wisdom and strength. 

Try these strategies:

 1. Advocate for yourself. 

Mutually supportive relationships are based on healthy boundaries and asking for help when you need it. Communicate tactfully and directly and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

 2. Network actively.

 Build a strong system of personal and professional contacts. Join clubs and go to places where you can meet others who share your interests. Nurture your relationships by staying in touch and being willing to communicate on a deeper level where you share your thoughts and feelings.

 3. Find a mentor. 

Working with a trusted advisor is a great way to gain guidance and valuable feedback about your career path and other aspects of your life. Look for someone you can relate to and be respectful of their time. You can start with someone you know or ask your contacts for introductions.

 4. Be generous.

 Giving to others can increase your regard for yourself in many ways. In addition to receiving the joy and fulfillment of giving, you’ll see proof that you have strengths that can make a positive impact on the world and your community. 


How do I build confidence in a specific area?

Most people have at least one area in their life where they lack confidence. For some, it could be speaking in public, for others, it could be meeting new people and developing relationships. Identify that specific area in your life right now.

  1. You have to identify a major goal that you would like to achieve

  2. You have to identify where you lack confidence in terms of the obtainment of this goal. I assume you lack confidence in this area because if you did not lack confidence then you would have achieved this goal by now. Examples could be:

    1. If you’re an entrepreneur, maybe you lack confidence in presenting funding proposals to other business owners or financial institutions.

    2. If you are in sales perhaps you are limiting your success by not pursuing large accounts.

    3. Maybe you are in a relationship and you‘re not happy with the behavior of your partner, do you lack the confidence to ask for what you want?

    4. Maybe you want to lose weight and become stronger.

  3. Write at least one paragraph that describes your confidence block and your current state of mind. When you imagine yourself in this situation of low confidence, what comes up for you. Are you anxious, nervous, upset, etc… Describe your state as accurately as possible

  4. Now that you are aware of your confidence blockages, you can begin to redevelop them. Define one major activity that you can implement ASAP that moves you towards your goal

    1. If you have a fear of speaking, your activity could be to rehearse a 10-minute power speech in front of the mirror

    2. If you struggle in sales, you could plan to practice and refine your sales presentation with a manager or senior colleague.

    3. Start walking 30 minutes every day.

  5. Write a commitment to yourself to practice this new activity every single day for the next 30 days. If you really want to commit to this, find an accountability partner and perform the activity with them so that you have a witness.

  6. At the end of 30 days, repeat step 3 again and analyze where you are at in terms of confidence. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10

Learning how to build your confidence and self-esteem is a skill that can be learned. 

Read: Why mindset is important and how to develop a success mindset.


Friday, 12 November 2021

How To Handle Criticism Better

 Do you struggle to handle criticism? Criticism is part of life. You can face this at school, home, at work, and with friends. You even criticize yourself sometimes. While some criticism does come from a negative place, sometimes it is meant with love and good intentions. Unfortunately, even if the person criticizing you is coming from a good place, it can still hurt. If you struggle to handle criticism, we will look at why it is not always negative.



how to handle criticism better



What's the difference between positive and negative criticism?

There are a few ways to determine if the criticism is coming from a positive or a negative place. But the first thing is to determine how you respond to criticism. Many people are naturally defensive and react badly to criticism of any kind. So the first step is to tame that initial reaction. Try and view the criticism with an open mind. Is there any truth to what they are saying? Also, pay attention to how it is delivered. Do they give a reason for their feedback?


Positive criticism is also called constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is often given with a helpful attitude to give feedback. These could be suggestions on how things can be improved and done better. The comments may be positive or negative but it's offered in a friendly manner. It also focuses on specific issues rather than on the person. Constructive criticism is very important and can help improve your performance and your life in general.


Negative or destructive criticism on the other hand is often given in an insulting and demeaning way. The criticism often focuses on the person rather than on specific issues. This often feels like a personal attack and can be hurtful. The person receiving this may feel depressed and angry.


Being able to recognize when someone is trying to offer helpful criticism or when they are just being negative is important. Understanding why people engage in negative criticism may help you handle it better. These are some reasons why people criticize you negatively.


  • They genuinely want you to be better. However, they do not know how to deliver the message in a better way. These people mean well.
  • They may be trying to put the focus on your failings because they feel insecure and are threatened by you. Criticizing others help them feel better about themselves.
  • They may be jealous of you and their way of expressing this negative emotion is by criticizing you destructively.
  • They have developed a habit of criticism especially if they have grown up with constant criticism and they think this is acceptable behavior.


Most destructive criticisms have nothing to do with you. Knowing this can help you respond positively instead of reacting. One sure way to help you respond positively is increasing your self-esteem.


Self-esteem and criticism

Your self-esteem will largely determine how you respond to criticism. The more confident you are, the less likely criticism is to affect you. Those who have a healthy dose of self-esteem will be able to learn from any criticism without taking it too personally.

Think about your own self-esteem. Do you need to work on your confidence? If yes, focus on building your self-esteem and you will notice you will be able to handle criticism better.


Tips to deal with criticism

Staying calm is important. You may find yourself beginning to get angry when you receive criticism. However, if you express anger, it is not going to work in your favor, in fact, it could work in your critic's favor. Remaining calm helps you to evaluate the situation and decide the best way to handle it.


Try and get to the bottom of where the feedback is coming from. Sometimes you need an outsider's view to see what is really happening.


Think about the criticism and see if it is constructive and there is something you can improve on. On the other hand, if it is destructive, just ignore it.


Criticism can help you become a better person. So, don't be quick to dismiss it. 


Read: How to free yourself from anxiety


Thursday, 28 October 2021

Why Mindset is Important for Success: How to Develop a Success Mindset

 

How to develop a success mindset


Why is it some people seem to succeed at everything they do? It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal or professional goal. They always seem to find a way around obstacles so they can create the life or career they’ve been dreaming of.


Perhaps you’ve always thought that success hinged on an external circumstance like a high IQ, wealth, a good upbringing, or a supportive partner. But if you study successful people, you’ll quickly discover no one has a perfect life. In fact, many who are praised for their success are quite ordinary.


If you keep examining successful people, you’ll notice there’s only one thing truly different about them: their mindset. Mindset is what makes the difference. It sets those who are successful apart from those who are not.


Is Your Mindset Defeating You? 


Sharon wanted to be an entrepreneur. She spent years bouncing from one business idea to the next. Each started the same way: she’d feel excited about pursuing the new business. She’d get the supplies or tools needed. Then she’d begin a marketing campaign. 


By the six-month mark, Sharon would shut it down. She would say the market wasn’t ready for her idea or that her ideal customers weren’t willing to pay enough to make a profit. 


She maxed out her credit cards trying to fund these ventures and was barely making enough to cover the rent. So, she’d get a job for a few months until she found her next big idea.


Sharon didn’t realize her problem was her mindset. Her business coach had to point that fact out to her. Even though Sharon craved success, she feared it. So, every time she got close to a breakthrough in a new business, she would sabotage herself.


Sound familiar? 


James was the opposite of Sharon. He was an employee at a well-known tech firm. He was reliable and always treated his clients well. James knew his boss frequently received positive feedback about his work.


But despite coming up for promotion twice, James couldn’t seem to advance in the company. He was frustrated and overwhelmed, wondering what to do next. He knew something must be wrong with his approach but he wasn’t sure where to start. 


A mentor suggested the problem might be with James’s mindset. James was afraid to stand up for himself and rarely asked for what he wanted. Instead, he let his boss take the credit for all his hard work.


Do you stand up for yourself?

Sarah was a lawyer who hated her job. She’d always dreamed of being a writer and traveling the world. But she’d followed her mother’s advice who insisted she have a stable career in a good profession.


She was just a few weeks away from making partner in the firm when she started having regular panic attacks about it. She was miserable, but afraid to turn down the offer for fear she’d end up in poverty if she went after her dream.


A friend Sarah trusted pointed out the flaw with her mindset. Sarah believed that being a writer would mean years of financial hardship and struggle. She feared throwing her life away all for a “silly dream.”


Are you letting fear hold you back?


Sharon, James, and Sarah are all smart and well-educated. But each one is being held hostage by a negative mindset. This mindset keeps them from living their dreams and creating the life they want.


You may relate to these struggles. Perhaps your dream is slightly different—maybe you want to be a six-figure blogger or start your own tech company. The good news is that you can achieve these dreams and so much more, but only if you’re willing to work on your mindset.


Read: How To Free Yourself From Anxiety


Why You Can Choose Your Mindset


Most people assume their mindset is set in stone. They use expressions like:


I’ve always been this way.


Success doesn’t come easy for me.


A leopard can’t change its spots.


Good things just don’t happen to me.


It’s easy to believe that when you become an adult, you cease to grow. You might think that your abilities, skills, and habits are now permanent. 


Some people call this mindset a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset can lead you to adjust your expectations for your life based on what you think is possible for you. For example, you might say, “Well, I was never good at understanding business, so I can’t pursue my lifelong dream of becoming an entrepreneur.” 


What most people don’t know is that there’s a second mindset you can choose to embrace. This mindset is called a growth mindset. With a growth mindset, you recognize that though you may lack certain skills and abilities, they can be developed. You might say, “It’s true that I struggled to understand that business course I took in high school. But if I keep working at it, I can develop the skills I need to build a successful business.” 


The important thing to understand about a growth mindset is it fosters resilience or an ability to try again even after disappointing setbacks and crushing failure. For example, your goal is to start your own catering company. You need capital to buy equipment and employ staff.


You go to the bank and apply for a loan. The loan officer takes one look at your business plan and smirks. He tells you that your business plan is too poorly written and jumbled to even make sense of.


If you have a fixed mindset, you might leave the bank thinking that you can’t succeed now. You may say things like, “The loan manager was right. I can’t even write a business plan. How am I ever going to build a successful catering company?”


But if you choose a growth mindset, you look at this setback as an opportunity to grow. You say to yourself, “Well, maybe my business plan does need some work. I’ll go to the library and check out a book on how to write a business plan. I know if I study this topic, I can write a better plan.” 


With the growth mindset, you can bounce easier. You don’t think of your skills as stuck in one place, rather you view them as something you’re continually evolving and honing. This outlook can help you overcome obstacles that you’ll encounter on the path toward success. 


How to Embrace a Growth Mindset


Once you make the decision to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, it can be hard to know what to do next. You might look up articles or books online only to find vague concepts that are difficult to put into practice. Here are a few concrete actions you can take right now…


Look at Something New as an Experiment

Part of developing a growth mindset is trying new things. It’s easy to think we must do everything perfectly the first time we try it, but that's far from the truth. For example, you want to become a motivational speaker on topics like business and leadership. 


You start attending Toastmasters meetings to develop your speaking skills. When it’s your first time speaking, you put a lot of pressure on yourself to get it just right.


Instead of focusing on being perfect, look at your first speech as an experiment. Say something kind to yourself like, “I’m just experimenting with speaking. I’ll use this speech to learn more about what my audience finds interesting.” 


Challenge Yourself to Do It


When Jake realized his fear of rejection was holding him back, he changed up his mindset. He did this by challenging himself to ask for outrageous requests that would typically be met with rejection. He did this for 100 days and called it his Rejection Therapy.


If you’ve been eager to try something new but fear has held you back, challenge yourself to do one thing for 100 days. For example, if your goal is to write a book, you could set a goal to write 1 page every day for 100 days.


Change “Never” to “Not Yet”


Carol Dweck spoke in a popular TED talk about The Power of Not Yet. At a high school in Chicago, teenagers that weren’t passing a class received a grade of “NY,” meaning “not yet.” The goal of this program was to encourage students to embrace a growth mindset.


When you encounter a situation that’s beyond your skills or abilities, it’s easy to retreat to a fixed mindset. You might say, “I’ll never learn how to use Excel spreadsheets. I should give up.”


But you can shift your thinking to focus on a growth mindset. You can do this by saying, “I don’t know how to use Excel spreadsheets yet.” When you approach a problem this way, you put the focus back on your growth, rather than your skills or abilities.


Acknowledge Your Discomfort


Sometimes, it feels scary to do something new or different. It can be tempting to downplay it or even retreat to safety. But if you have a growth mindset, you can acknowledge your discomfort and remind yourself that you can do it. 


For example: it’s time to have a difficult discussion about raising your rates with your best client. Instead of leading from fear, try saying, “I know this discussion will make me feel uncomfortable. But I can negotiate with my client calmly and professionally.”


Your Mindset Affects Your Career


Your mindset affects every area of your life - your relationships, your spirituality, your emotions, and even your career. If you’ve never considered it, here are a few key ways that your mindset can shape your career…


Mindset impacts your professional reputation


Vince was a fitness instructor at a small fitness center. He often had a sour outlook and complained about the clients he was working with. When other employees had to work with him, they dreaded it.


His co-worker, Laura was also a fitness instructor. But unlike Vince, she had a positive attitude. She was quick to help her co-workers and always went the extra mile for her clients. When the fitness studio folded, Laura quickly found a new job thanks to the positive connections she’d made previously.


Mindset makes your work harder…or easier


David worked at an office supply store. He helped every customer he could and never complained about the tasks his manager asked him to do. 


When Harry started working at the same store, he had a negative mindset. He didn’t want to help customers and he avoided doing any extra work. Fortunately, David took Harry under his wing. He helped the younger man see that work could be difficult or easy depending on his outlook.


Mindset shapes your growth. 


Whether you work at a small firm, a Fortune 500 company, or just for yourself, you probably want to advance. Maybe you want a promotion or to expand the business you’ve started.


Regardless of your goal, growth is almost always required to reach it. That might mean learning new skills, networking with more people, or discovering more about your personality. 


When you have a positive mindset, it’s easier to develop skills you need. This could partially be because someone with a growth mindset is more willing to work through the initial discomfort of learning something new. They understand that new things can be challenging and they give themselves grace, rather than expecting perfection the first time around.


Mindset colors how you view problems


Some people see problems and never look beyond them. But a smart people recognize the problems and actively search for solutions, even if it isn't their job to find a solution. 


Sometimes, the solution might be simply refunding a client's money or listening to their complaint. Other times, the solution might be more complex like changing the way the company manufactures the product.


How to Keep the Momentum of a New Mindset


You may be working hard to develop a growth mindset and let go of your previous mindset. But some days, it’s a struggle. You may be wondering how to keep the momentum of your new mindset so you don’t slip back into old patterns. Here are a few tips to keep you on track:


Take Tiny Steps

It’s easy to lose momentum if you focus on making huge strides toward your goals. For example, if your goal is to become a graphic designer, you might put pressure on yourself to learn Photoshop in a week. 


Instead, you should break this big goal into smaller steps. Maybe today, you’ll work with the text feature and tomorrow you’ll experiment with layers. Remember, tiny steps are just as important as the big ones.


Celebrate Progress

Every victory deserves celebration. If you never acknowledge your progress, you can become fooled into thinking you haven’t made any. When you reward yourself, it’s easier to remember your progress.


Your reward for making progress doesn’t have to be huge. It can be something simple like a serving of ice cream for dessert, a walk in the park, or binge-watching your favorite series on Netflix.


Track Your Growth

It can also be helpful to keep a list of everything you’ve accomplished toward your goal. For example, if your goal is to launch your own company, then a few accomplishments on your list might be things like filing the paperwork to register your company, registering your domain name, and setting up social media accounts. 


These actions might feel tiny but when you write them out, you can see how they connect and see how they’re like links in a chain. When you’re discouraged, you can look at your list to remind yourself to keep going.


Post Your “Why”

As you work on your new mindset, it can be helpful to create a reminder about why you began this journey. Maybe you started it to show yourself that it could be done. Perhaps you wanted to encourage your kids to dream big. Maybe you just wanted to prove everyone wrong.


Whatever you reason, create an image that captures your “why” and post it where you can see it. For example, Sam’s friend told him he was too dumb to succeed in business. So, he created a collage of an awards ceremony. 


In the collage, he’s receiving a prestigious award for his company and his friend is in the audience, looking on with envy. This image motivates Sam to stick to his new mindset and keep working on his dream.


Be Kind to Yourself


On the road to improving your mindset, you’re going to mess up. Maybe you encountered an obstacle and immediately found yourself consumed with negative thoughts and vibes. Perhaps you learned that you skipped a vital step when creating your website and you’ll now have to create it all over again. 


It might be tempting to blame yourself or focus on the negative when you encounter these situations. But try to flip them by looking for the positive. For example, Sharon accidentally deleted her WordPress database and lost her entire website. After a few days, she found this positive: she’d never again work on her site without taking the time to make a backup copy first. Yes, it was a hard lesson to learn but she now knows it won't ever happen again. 


The trick to keeping momentum is to refuse to stop. Get up every day and be awesome. Even if you can only devote a few minutes to improving your mindset, keep working on it and leaning into what you really want. 


Change How You View Setbacks and Failures


When you develop a growth mindset, you don’t look at setbacks and failures the same way you did before. In the past when you had a fixed mindset, you may have viewed these failures as proof that you weren’t good enough or that you were unworthy of the success you craved. 


But people with a growth mindset, see failure and setbacks as opportunities to learn. Instead of shunning failure, they work hard to analyze it and figure out what happened and how they can grow from the experience. The next time, you encounter one of these events, try asking these questions:


What Surprised You?


Jade was a six-figure blogger in the knitting niche. She had a strong following so he was surprised when he launched an eBook and only had a few hundred sales. 


Curious, she began to dig into reviews and discovered that her audience expected a lot of instructional photos, not just images of the finished project. So, Jade took this information and relaunched the book with more images. This resulted in a flood of new sales.


What Patterns Can You Spot?


You can learn a lot from failures. For example, Ben was an engineer at a well-known tech company. When he was asked to give a presentation to his boss and some senior executives, he got nervous and bungled the whole thing.


When Ben thought back on the experience, he could pinpoint other times in his life when he’d failed at an important speech or presentation. He knew this stemmed from his fear of public speaking, so he began attending Toastmasters’ meetings. By doing this, he gradually became more comfortable on stage.


What Can You Learn from This?


Made started an online fashion magazine. She couldn’t get any traction with it, despite using several popular marketing methods. Frustrated, she reached out to a business coach for advice.


The coach gently explained that Made’s website was too ambiguous and vague. “I can’t tell who your audience is. You need to be intentional with your branding. The moment someone clicks on your site, they should be able to tell if they’re your intended audience or not.”


Made took the advice to heart and re-branded her site. She geared the magazine toward women in their thirties who were busy professionals. After that, she noticed a steady increase in the number of subscribers and followers that she had.


How Can I Handle This in a Positive Way?


Dana’s dream was to write and produce her own movies. Days before she was supposed to start shooting her second film, she got a call. Her funding had fallen through at the last minute. This left her scrambling to find new investors.


But Dana decided to focus on the positive in the situation. “I looked at it as I now had the opportunity to network more. I would walk into an event and think to myself maybe my next investor is here.”


Not only did Dana find a new investor, that investor also went on to become her business partner. What seemed like the worst obstacle was a beautiful growth opportunity.


Full Immersion Is the Best Way to Study Mindset


Evan was a first year student in college when he took a semester abroad as an exchange student. His mother had gone through the same program when she was in college. She insisted that no one in the host family speak in English with her son.


After the semester was over, Evan met up with several other college students who had studied abroad. To his amazement, none of them could fluidly speak in the language of the country they’d visited.


It was then Evan realized his mother’s insistence on “full immersion” was a valuable gift. Like Evan, you’ll understand the benefits of a success mindset only if you fully immerse yourself in it. Try doing some of these things…


Read Books about Mindset


The content you read can shape your life for years to come. Choose reading material that challenges you to examine your mindset and overcome obstacles. A few good books that you may want to begin with include:


Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth


You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero


Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck


Talk about Mindset


Find others who are interested in developing a growth-mindset and talk with them. Join a mastermind group led by a teacher who’s knowledgeable about mindset. 


Look for groups on Facebook where members are making bold changes to their personal or professional lives. Bring up the topic to your family or friends. Discuss what a growth-mindset looks like and how it can impact them.


Clean Out Your Social Media


Make sure you have positive content around on social media. It can be tough when you’re trying to embrace a success mindset and those around you aren’t supportive. Don’t be afraid to mute or unfollow people that are constantly negative. Don’t let them steal your positive energy or make you feel poorly about yourself.


Fill Your Feed with Positive Topics


If you must remove some people from your social media feeds, replace their negativity with positive content. You can do this by following hashtags like #mindset, #success, #growth, #learning. Like Evan, you’re looking to fully immerse yourself in this language.


Share Your Own Journey


As you begin to embrace a success mindset, you’ll find that your life and business start to change. Don’t be afraid to share this journey with others. Go ahead, post pictures about your new client or that amazing coach that you just hired. Let those who are following you know that you’re experiencing a mindset shift. 


Remember, a success mindset can be yours if you rise and claim it. You control your thoughts and if they get off-track, you can choose to flip the switch and focus on the positive. 


Read : How To Improve Your Life Daily: 6 Daily Habits For A Positive Life

Thursday, 21 October 2021

What is Anxiety: Meaning and Symptoms

 
What is anxiety? meaning and symptoms


What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is your body's normal reaction to stress. It can be a feeling of worry, fear, or unease.

Do you feel anxious before a dental visit or starting something new? Have you gotten the jitters before speaking in front of a large group? Do you sometimes get sweaty palms when thinking about the future?


These are common reactions when faced with something that's scary or unfamiliar and it doesn't necessarily mean that anything is wrong.


However, some people suffer from a more severe form of anxiety that causes more serious physical symptoms which can interfere with their daily activities. The feelings of fear and unease are often intense, repeated, and out of proportion to the actual danger. These are called anxiety disorders.


To better understand if your anxious feelings could be a sign of anxiety or panic disorder, let's take a look at some of the symptoms.


What Are The Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders?


1. If you feel your heart is racing and you can't breathe properly, this can be a symptom of anxiety that is severe enough to get professional help.

2. Some people have uncontrollable fears of things like crowded places, driving, or germs that make them completely avoid some places or situations.

3. The consistent inability to concentrate can be a symptom of anxiety. This must be consistent behavior, and not just on those occasions when you lack sleep or are hungry for instance.

4. Nervous behaviors, such as walking around the same area over and over again or twitching your fingers and toes repetitively can be a symptom.

5. A feeling of doom or that something bad will happen to you, such as an accident, heart attack, or even death, can be symptoms of an anxiety disorder or panic disorder.

6. Numbness in your hands, fingers, toes, and legs or feeling like you can't stand are also common symptoms.

7. If you find you have trouble swallowing or unusual dry mouth episodes, these may be indications of anxiety.

8. Fear of people around you and the desire to be alone are feelings that many anxiety sufferers face.

9. The inability to leave your home can be a symptom of severe anxiety or panic disorder.

10. If your normal activities become overwhelming to you, you could be suffering from anxiety or a panic disorder.

The good news is these symptoms and conditions are no longer thought of as being something people shouldn't reveal or talk about. There is help for you if you suffer from anxiety. 

Many mental health clinics and hospitals offer affordable help if you are on a lower or fixed income. Your health insurance may help you get treatment, and they cannot reveal your medical treatment to your employer.

As scientists and the medical world become more informed about these disorders, more medications, and other forms of relief are found to be effective in treating them. Relaxation techniques are very effective and can even be done at home or in the workplace.


Understanding your situation can help you alleviate the stress and fear these panic attacks cause. It will also help you and your healthcare provider find a solution to stopping the attacks altogether. Living in fear of another panic attack will hold you hostage and prevent you from doing the things you love.

If you suffer from some of the symptoms above, seek help from a professional. Get the treatment you need to get you back on the road to peace, health, and happiness. You will be glad









I

How to Free Yourself from Anxiety

 

How To Free yourself from anxiety


Anxiety and worry can take over your life if you allow it to. Whether we like it or not, constant stress and worry can physically make us sick. The good news is that there are ways to help alleviate anxiety.


The first step is to figure out exactly what you are stressing about. Is it something you can change? Is it something you have no control over? By determining the root of your anxiety. you can better understand how you can overcome it.


For example, if you are feeling anxious about losing your job, you have the capability to change this worry. You can work harder to prove that you are an indispensable part of the team or you can start searching for a new job. Taking action is the surest way to defeat anxiety.


The truth is, there are many situations that you can change with some effort. For example, if you are concerned about your weight, the good news is that you can change it! You already know it takes a healthy diet coupled with regular exercise. Little by little, your weight will melt away and your health will improve.


By determining the root of your anxieties, and developing ways to turn them into something positive, you can overcome them.


Here are some tips and techniques to help you manage your anxiety.


1. Know your anxieties. Write them down exactly what is causing your anxiety, then note down ways you can change the outcome. Knowing what you are up against is the key to feeling better about yourself and your current situation.


2. Breathe! Once you have pinpointed the things you need to change, sit back and take a breath. This form of relaxation can help you calm your racing heart and give you peace of mind. Rapid breathing from anxiety can lead to a panic attack. Breathe deeply and slowly as soon as you feel yourself becoming worried or anxious.


Download: Breathing exercises to relieve stress quickly


3. Visualize. Perhaps one of the most effective ways to overcome anxiety is the technique of visualization. Choose a quiet space in your home, light some candles, and close your eyes.


 Imagine yourself in your ideal situation. Feel how calm you are and visualize letting go of your worries. Think how happy you will be once your source of stress has been diminished. Positive visualization can help you move toward the happier vision you have created in your mind.


4. Use positive affirmations. When things get tough and you feel yourself losing control, repeat a positive statement over and over in your head. For example, if you need a job, you can repeat something like: "I am a valuable and hardworking individual who is worthy of a fulfilling new opportunity!"


Reaffirming positive thoughts repeatedly can help you believe that anything is possible. The power of the mind is endless.


5. Diet and exercise. Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising can physically help you handle stress and anxiety. The stronger the body is, the stronger the mind is. It is a fact that if you abuse your body with junk foods and alcohol, your body and mind will react negatively.


6. Seek support. Seeking professional help and reaching out to friends and family can do wonders to help you get rid of your anxiety.


Once you have seen that someone else has gone through and overcome what you are experiencing, it gives you hope that you, too can do the same.


Anxieties are a part of everyday life. How you chose to manage them is what makes the difference.


Read: Dealing with stress? 5ways to relieve stress











Thursday, 14 October 2021

Common Symptoms of Breast Cancer

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer in the United States. In Nigeria, more than 100,000 thousand cases are reported every year. In this article, you will learn about breast cancer, its common symptoms, and how it is diagnosed and treated.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF BREAST CANCER



What is Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the breast. This happens when abnormal breast cells begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner creating a tumor or mass of cells. The breast cancer can grow into tissues surrounding the breast. 

There are different kinds of breast cancer depending on which cells in the breast turn into cancer. The breast is made up  of three parts. These are the lobules, ducts, and connective tissue. The lobules  are the glands that produce milk. The ducts are tubes that carry milk to the nipple. Connective tissue holds everything together. Most breast cancer starts in the ducts or lobules. It can also travel to other parts of the body like the lungs, bones e.t.c. and form new tumors there. This process is called metastasis. 


What Causes Breast Cancer

It is difficult to say what makes a woman develop breast cancer because the causes have not been fully understood. However, there are some risk factors that have been found to increase the possibility of developing cancer. Having a risk factor does not mean that a woman will get breast cancer.

Family history

If you have a family members like a mother, daughter or sister who has developed breast or ovarian cancer, you may have a higher risk of developing cancer. Genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
 It is possible for these genes to be passed on from parent to children.


Age

The risk of  developing breast cancer increases with age. Many breast cancers are diagnosed after the age of 50.


Reproductive history

Starting periods before age 12 and starting menopause after age 55 expose the woman's body longer to hormones which can increase the risk of getting cancer.


Personal history of breast cancer

Women who had breast cancer before are at a higher risk of developing it again.


Previous radiation therapy treatment

Women who had radiation therapy to the chest or breast before the age of 30 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

These risk factors can be reduced with lifestyle modification

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being overweight after menopause
  • Being physically inactive


Common Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. One of the most common symptoms is breast lump or thickening of the breast. If you find an unusual lump or thickening of the breast, it is important to consult your healthcare provider immediately for  proper examination.

Read: How to do breast self examination


Other symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Pain in the nipple and pulling in(retraction) of the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge that is not breast milk including blood
  • Pain in any area of the breast
  • Change in shape or size of the breast
  • Dimpling, redness or pitting or any change in the skin of the breast

Read: How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed

Friday, 8 October 2021

What Screening Is Used To Test For Breast Cancer?

What Screening Is Used To Test For Breast Cancer?



 Breast cancer screening means checking the breasts for signs of cancer even before they have symptoms. Screening is done to find cancer early when it can be treated. Your doctor may recommend screening even when you have no symptoms. Talk to your doctor to determine the right kind of screening test for you.


Types of screening

Mammography

This is the most common type of screening test. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. They help to find tumors that are so small you can't feel them. It can also help to find ductal carcinoma in situ(DCIS) where abnormal cells line the breast duct.


Mammography Guidelines

Women age 40-54 are recommended to get mammograms every year.

Women 55 and older who are at average risk can get mammograms done every two years.

Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and expected to live ten more years or longer.


Types of mammograms

There are three types of mammograms.

  • Film mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast.
  • Digital mammogram is a picture of the breast taken by a computer.
  • Digital breast tomosynthesis takes pictures of the breast from many angles using X-rays. A computer then makes 3D images of the breast using these pictures.


Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI)

The breast MRI uses magnets, radio waves, and computers to take detailed pictures of the breast tissues. This is used in addition to the mammogram to screen women at high risk of getting cancer. MRI does not use xrays and you are not exposed to radiation.

Factors that put women at risk include family history with breast cancer(mother, daughter, or sister), certain gene changes like in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and some genetic conditions like Li-Fraumeni and Cowden Syndrome.


Clinical Breast Exam

The breasts are inspected and checked for lumps or any other abnormality by a doctor or health professional.


Breast Self Examination

This is not usually included as part of breast screening because there is no evidence to show that it decreases the chances of dying from cancer. However, it helps you to become familiar with the look and feel of your breast so you can know when there are unusual changes in the breast.


Talk to your healthcare provider about your risk of breast cancer and what type of screening test is appropriate for you.


Read: How To Do Breast Self Exam




Tuesday, 5 October 2021

How To Do Breast Self- Exam

How to do breast self exam


What is breast self-exam?

Breast self-exam is inspecting and examining your breasts regularly on your own. This helps you to increase your breast awareness so you know the look and feel of your breasts.  When you are familiar with your own breast, you will know when there are abnormal changes which you should report to your doctor promptly.


What is the purpose of breast self-examination?

Breast self-examination can help you to become more breast-aware. You get to know the normal state of your breasts so you can detect any abnormalities on time. Though breast self-examination is not recommended as part of breast cancer screening, regular breast self-examination can help you detect signs of infection or breast cancer. However, they should not replace regular screening tests like mammograms and examinations by your doctor. A mammogram can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is very important. 


Adult women are encouraged to do a breast self-exam at least once a month. Women who are still having regular periods should have their breast exams after their period. Women who have stopped menstruating or have irregular periods can choose a day that is consistent and easy to remember like the first day of each month.


How to perform a breast self-exam 

You can  do the breast exam while doing some of your regular activities like taking a shower, dressing or undressing, or lying in bed. It takes only a few minutes and it's easy to do.

 Visual Inspection

 With your shirt and bra removed, stand in front of a mirror. Put your arms down by your sides. Look for any changes in breast shape, breast swelling, dimpling in the skin or changes in the nipples.

Raise your arms high overhead and look for the same things. Finally, put your hands on your hips and press firmly to make your chest muscles flex. look for the small changes again. Be sure to look at both breasts.

Manual examination while standing up

With your shirt and bra removed, use your right hand to examine your left breast, then vice versa. With the pads of your three middle fingers, press on every part of one breast. Use light pressure, then medium, then firm. Feel for any lumps, thick spots or other changes. A circular pattern may help you make sure you hit every spot. 

Then, press the tissue under the arm. Be sure to check under the areola and then squeeze the nipple gently to check for discharge. Repeat the steps on the other side of the body.

Manual examination while lying down

When you lie down, your breast tissue spreads more evenly. So this is a good position to feel for changes. Lie down and put a pillow under your right shoulder. Place your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, apply the same techniques as step 2, using the pads of your fingers to press all parts of your breast tissue and under your arm. Finally, swap the pillow to the other side, and check the other breast and armpit. Be sure to check under the areola and then squeeze the nipple  gently to check for discharge.


 If you find a lump or any abnormality, don't panic! Many breast lumps can be caused by other conditions that is not cancer. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to have your breasts examined by a professional immediately.




Source:https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/3990-breast-self-exam




Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Why Playing Solitaire Is Good For You


why playing solitaire is good for you



Solitaire is a group of card games usually played by one person. It is also called  'Patience' in some countries like the United Kingdom, Poland, and Germany or 'cabale' in some Scandinavian countries.
It can be played on a computer or with one or more regular 52 card packs.

Solitaire games are a great activity to enjoy on your own because you can play them on a good online site for free on your web browser. Apart from helping you relax, playing solitaire can boost your mental health and, also improve your thinking and strategy skills

Benefits of Playing Solitaire 


Improves mental skills

Solitaire is a soft mental activity that still provides mental stimulation. The player has to analyze all the cards. They also need to plan all future sequences to help them win the game. Performing these tasks simultaneously and repeatedly can improve mental skills.

Practice essential life skills

You get to practice skills like delayed gratification or "return on investment". That is, sometimes it is best to hold your ground and wait, instead of acting in the moment to be able to collect more rewards later.
Solitaire also teaches the important skill of sometimes taking a step back to move two steps forward on the game, a skill often needed in real life. 

Improve memory and concentration

Having a good memory is not needed to play solitaire. However, improvement in memory can be noticed in players as they continue to play frequently. They unconsciously memorize the colors, suits, numbers, and even the order of the cards.

 Reduces stress 

Playing solitaire provides needed alone time to disconnect from problems and relax. Solitaire requires light mental activity that helps the mind to get into a light meditative state. This helps to reduce stress without shutting off the brain completely.

 
Although originally solitaire is played with a physical deck of cards, it is now popular to play the game online. This was made possible by the various game software and websites that have been created to play the game. Anyone can play the game anywhere, you just need your device and a good internet connection to play. This is just one of the many benefits of playing online.


Benefits of Playing Online Solitaire


Eliminates handling of physical Cards

When you are playing offline, you have to buy a physical deck of cards. You have to shuffle the cards which can be complicated if you are playing with two or more decks. But, when playing online, the software handles everything. You also don't have to keep any records because the software will keep detailed records of your matches.

Enforce the rules

You don't have to worry about enforcing the rules of the game because the software will do that for you.

Easy to customize

Some websites allow you to customize the game according to your requirements. The rules you select will then be automatically applied to the next game.

 Learn to play the game

Playing online is a simple and easy way to learn how to play solitaire. A good online game site will have simple instructions teaching you how to play each variation of the game.


Resources for playing solitaire


There are many websites where you can play solitaire for free on your web browser. A highly recommended site is Solitaire.org. It has an extensive collection of different solitaire game variations. If you have never played the game or you are still learning, this is the website for you. There are detailed instructions written in simple language to help you learn the basics very quickly in addition to a thoughtful FAQ(frequently asked questions) section for each game. 

They also have a large collection of other online card games, and fun online games like hidden object games, daily crosswords and so much more. If you get tired of playing solitaire, you can find another game you enjoy without leaving the website.  One great advantage of playing on this website is that there are no adverts to distract you while playing your games.

Another option is to install solitaire software like Microsoft Solitaire Collection which is completely free or paid options like Pretty Good Solitaire and SolSuite2020 on your desktop or mobile device. There are also many free solitaire apps for android and iPhone mobile devices in the app stores.  


What Solitaire Games to Play


 Klondike Solitaire

This is the most popular version of the Solitaire card game made famous by the Microsoft online game. The game became popular in the 19th century and may have been named after the Canadian region where the gold rush happened. You can learn more and play for free here: Klondike solitaire

Freecell Solitaire

Freecell solitaire is a  fun variation of the classic solitaire. The game compels you to use logic and foresight. Try playing here: Freecell solitaire.

Pyramid Solitaire

This variant was released by Microsoft as Tut's Tomb. It's now widely known as Pyramid Solitaire. Playing this game can be very relaxing. Try it here: Pyramid Solitaire

Spider Solitaire

Spider solitaire is a more difficult variation of the classic solitaire. This one is puzzle-like and will make you think. Play here: Spider Solitaire




Friday, 10 September 2021

Does Celery Have Any Health Benefits?

 

Does celery have any health benefits?


Celery is a popular low calorie vegetable you can find in any vegetable stall. It comes from the same family as carrots and parsley. This green vegetable's origins can be traced to the Mediterranean and North Africa. This plant is now cultivated globally and can be found in cuisine of many cultures. 

This green vegetable has many  health benefits because it contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals that help reduce the risk of some ailments in addition to aiding digestion . I n this article we will discuss the many health benefits of celery and side effects.


Benefits Of Celery


Supports digestive function

Fiber is important for digestive function. Celery is a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Celery also contains substances (phytonutrients) that protect digestive mucosa and increase the lining of the stomach. This can decrease occurrence of gastric ulcers.


Improve memory

Studies have found that celery extract appeared to improve cognitive function. Cognitive function refers to mental abilities such as learning, thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem solving and decision making. Celery contain flavonoids which help cognitive function. Flavonoids are powerful anti oxidants which occur naturally in  vegetables, fruits and some beverages.

 A research study found that people who consumed about 600 mg of flavonoids per day had a 20% lower risk of cognitive decline than those who had only 150 mg.  It has also been shown that flavonoids can help counter dementia by protecting the cells from aging process caused  by brain inflammation.


May reduce blood pressure

Celery contains chemical compounds known as pthalides. These substances relax and expand the walls of blood vessels allowing blood to move  more freely, thus reducing blood pressure. It also contains potassium which helps regulate blood pressure. When blood pressure is well regulated, it reduces the chances of suffering a stroke, heart attack or developing arteriosclerosis.


May help in weight loss

One cup of diced celery is said to contain only 14 calories. This makes it a great addition to salads, soups and other meals if you are on a weight loss diet. The fiber in celery can make you feel full for longer. Also, the high water content can help prevent dehydration, thereby boosting energy levels.


Boosts immunity

Celery is rich in Vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidants. This helps to boost immunity and aid healthier eyes and skin.


How To Include Celery In Your Diet

Celery can be used in salads, soups, juices and smoothies. This smoothie recipe is a favorite and very tasty.


Celery and pineapple smoothie


Ingredients

One pineapple

Half of a cucumber

Ginger

Celery

Wash pineapple carefully under clean running water to remove sand and dirt.

Peel pineapple and cut into small pieces and set aside.

Boil the pineapple peels in two cups of water.

Wash celery sticks and cut into pieces.

Add peeled ginger, diced cucumber, diced pineapple, celery and water from the boiled pineapple peels into a blender and blend for a few minutes.


Side Effects Of Celery

Celery can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people. Symptoms include breathing difficulties and swelling.

Celery seed can stimulate the uterus and should be avoided by pregnant women.

There is a risk of possible contamination with pesticides. Wash well to remove all traces of pesticide before consuming it.

Eating too much can cause bloating and gas.



Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Benefits of Building Your Own Home

 

Benefits of building your own home.


Vancouver has the most pleasant climate of Canada’s largest cities. It rarely snows, and the temperature seldom drops below zero. Vancouver homes for sale are the most expensive in Canada, in part due to the temperate climate that makes it the perfect venue not only for a variety of outdoor events and festivals but also for ambitious athletic activities. Vancouver is culturally diverse and welcoming to new immigrants, with 20 percent of its population from China and a further 12 percent coming from South Asia.

If you want to build a house, determine the best plan of action for you and your family. While buying an existing home may be cheaper and more convenient, building a brand-new house gives you a sense of ownership over your living space.

Below are the benefits of building your own home.

Energy Efficient
If environmental friendliness is important to you, it makes a lot of sense to build. Modern building techniques and materials are more energy-efficient than they used to be even 20 short years ago, and you might even be able to construct a zero-energy home if saving energy is your top priority.

No Need for Remodelling
Building your home saves you money on remodeling and additions. One of the first things many homebuyers do when they move into an existing home is a kitchen remodel. Even the bathroom and living room may need some updating to suit your wants. You can avoid remodeling costs by
designing and building your own home.

Pick Your Lot
Choosing a lot for a custom home is a crucial piece of the home-building process. Many factors affect the design and features of the home and can also impact your quality of life in the home.
Two lots with the same square footage may not both be buildable despite having the same area. A long narrow lot will not be as useful as one that is square. The shape of the lot impacts where the home is situated and the size of front, side, and rear yards.

Less Maintenance
Obviously, new construction homes have less maintenance than older existing homes. You won’t have to worry about a leaky roof when it rains or your HVAC breaking in the middle of an arctic blast or heatwave. You can enjoy all the perks of living in a brand new home without maintenance headaches. When things break down, they are typically covered by the builder’s warranty.

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