New Year: New You
2018 is a new year; why not make it a year to focus on improving yourself? Every new year provides you with the opportunity to start afresh and kick any bad habits that you had in the previous year. Instead of thinking negatively about January blues and reminiscing fondly about your time off work (because this only depresses you when you’re in work), decide to adopt a positive outlook. If you want it to be, 2018 can be the year that you improve your life for the better.
Don’t bother adopting New Year’s Resolutions that you’ll never keep; instead, simply give up the habits that are holding you back. If we all took the time to review the past year there are definitely things we would have done differently. Maybe you never took up that new hobby you knew would help you manage your stress, or you’re still in a job you hate even though you told yourself you’d have left it by now. Why not make 2018 the year that you make the right choices for your happiness?
By giving up our negative routines we diminish negative thinking, consequently making more time and space for positive thoughts. There is a significant amount of research in favour of the power of positive thinking. When we experience positive emotions like joy and contentment this opens up our view of the potential possibilities in our lives, and it increases the likelihood that we will build on our skills and achieve success.
Let’s take a look at where you can start.
What Habits Affect Your Mood?
Do you have any habits that you don’t like, or that really bother you? Take the time to write a short list of them. They might include something you enjoy in the short-term, but that has a negative impact on you afterwards. What would you change about this and why?
Do you find yourself doing something regularly and then regretting it after? Are you plagued by guilt because you know that what you’re doing isn’t right for you in the long run? If you are then it might just be the perfect time to review how you spend your time. Routines that we’re uneasy with create negative feelings and they can affect our happiness more than we know.
Let’s take a look at what you can leave behind in 2017.
Say Goodbye To Anxiety and Imposter Syndrome
Anxiety can be crippling; if you experienced significant anxiety in 2017 then you need to develop a mechanism to manage or prevent it. With the right strategy in place, 2018 can be the year when you don’t let anxiety take over.
Have you ever heard of Imposter Syndrome? It’s a particular experience of anxiety which brings about a sense that you’re just not up to a task. Did you know that over 70% of the global population experiences Imposter Syndrome at least once? You’re not alone, but what can you do about it?
If you’re having a recurring anxious thought you need to start challenging it. Maybe the thought is: “I’m no good”. Don’t let this thought gain weight behind it or it will do serious damage to your self-esteem. Think of counter-thoughts that undermine this sense of worthlessness that has no base in reality.
Write down a few positive thoughts about yourself and read them for a week. They will help to boost your confidence significantly over time. Barbara Fredrickson is a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, and her recent study involved participants writing down and reading over positive thoughts for three days. She measured a significant lift in their positive thinking following this practical exercise. Why not give it a go?
Give Up The Guilt
Do you ever feel guilty, and is your guilt associated with a pattern of behaviour or a routine? Put aside this activity in your mind and ask yourself if you’d miss it. If you can live a happier, guilt-free life without it then why not try giving it up? Your guilt is telling you something and it might be the time to listen. Life is short; why waste your time feeling negative?
Is there any scientific evidence to suggest that guilt affects our happiness? According to Clinical Psychologist, Russell Grieger guilt can cause emotional distress which impedes feelings of happiness. Instead, take up a hobby that you know will be good for you. Is there something you put on the backburner in 2017? Start it today!
Stress Less Over The Little Things
Life is stressful, and it’s natural to worry about things, but when your stress takes over and you find yourself unable to enjoy life, something has to give. Life is unpredictable and crazy at the best of times, and worrying over the small stuff can prevent you from performing well at work, socialising with friends and generally make you miserable.
One way of fighting stress is trying to look at the bigger picture. How important is this task or worry in the context of your life? Are there aspects of your life that you’re grateful for, and will this be okay in the end? Have a look back over other things you were worried about in the past – did they ever happen? Did you recover? Focusing on the positive aspects of your life and your own strength will diminish your stress levels and make you feel more capable.
Leave Pessimism in The Past
Would you classify yourself as a pessimist or an optimist? Although there are advantages to both, we know from countless research studies that optimists generally enjoy a healthier lifestyle; suffering less from cardiovascular diseases, recovering more quickly from surgeries, and enjoying a longer, less stressful life.
How can you adopt a more positive outlook on life? When you’re presented with a scenario or you find yourself in a situation, do you become overwhelmed by negative thoughts? Instead of letting them take hold of you, ask yourself what if the opposite result is true? Hopefully, this will undermine any negative thoughts you’re experiencing.
Are you searching for a new hobby that will start your day in the right way? Have you ever tried meditation or mindfulness? A study conducted by positive psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson found that people who meditated daily for three months experienced an increase in positive emotions. Why not start your day with a ten minute meditation? It might just build on your capacity to handle stress and transform your outlook on life.
Reduce Your Time on Social Media
Do you find yourself scrolling mindlessly through social media news feeds? It’s almost impossible to avoid social media in modern society, and you don’t have to, but if you find yourself showing signs of social media addiction then it might be time to monitor this. Do you ever come away from Facebook feeling less than positive and having lost an hour or more of your time?
Expert research has shown that the more time we spend on social media the less happy we tend to be. A high daily rate of Facebook usage, for example, has been linked to greater feelings of social isolation and sadness. Why not limit your use to ten minutes a day? You’ll feel better for it and you’ll have more time to channel your energy into a positive hobby that makes you feel good.
Career Change: Summon Your Courage
Did you spend most of 2017 telling yourself that you’d finally get a new job and be happy? Are you rooted to the ground because you’re afraid it’s too late to begin a new professional journey? Does an overwhelming feeling of dread take over when you think about going to work tomorrow? You deserve more than this – you deserve to be happy in your job.
No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to change your career, after all, we spend 25-30% of our waking hours working. That’s a significant part of your life; you should be doing something that makes you happy or at least a job that doesn’t make you miserable. Write a list of the jobs you’d like and the skills you have. You might even find a course that can help transform your career in a few months.
Are you looking for a career change? Begin your new journey now with our 5 Day Coding Challenge.