Chucking Yourself Out Of A Plane Might Be One Of The Best Things You Can Do For Your Friends

Another day, another article on friendship. But with something as important as this, inspirations are plentiful, meaningful and found all around.

The reality is that all of us stand to better ourselves a bit within the relationships we find ourselves surrounded by. Some people seek to better themselves in creating friendships, others with maintaining them- and every thing possible in between.

As a progression from of my previous articles (about vulnerability, honesty, and value), ways in which to deepen the bonds between those close to you is a natural and attractive step forward. Plus, the idea came from another very close friend- a huge inspiration!

Having a deeper connection in your friendships is wonderful and allows you to connect with people in ways that needed for the very survival of our emotional wellbeing. Knowing how to do this with people can be a tricky task, and is something people naturally progress to slowly over time. But what if you could expand the depths of all of your friends? Could you become closer to everyone, hand in hand increasing your own emotional socialization and maximizing your own growth?

Without question, this is something I relish in my life. The friendships I have entrenched myself in account for the growth I’ve been able to achieve as a person, as well as all of the memories and stories I’ll be able to tell on a porch someday to make myself sound interesting.

The world craves meaningful relationships and the evidence is found in the multitude of different social structures. People crave socialization whether they realize it or not. Holiday parties, bars, office functions- you name it, and they all boil down to assisting people’s basic needs for socialization.

Alcohol is a cheap representative of people and they’re desire to bond. In some cases, alcohol is a commonplace instigator of socialization and fuel for friendships. People are drawn to how easy making friendships are without any social thoughts or anxieties that prevent them from sharing themselves honestly to people they normally wouldn’t.

Not going to lie, it’s such an easy social trap to fall into.

Unfortunately with alcohol, once the drinking is done and the day is new, most often the bond does not carry over quite the same. The bond that was bought for a night is usually exchanged back for the inhibitions that were missing while the night was alive and wild. I’m sure almost anyone can look back on someone they talked to while drinking and then wonder why on earth you were telling a stranger about stuff that would make a good episode if you ever wanted to be featured on Dr. Phil. Or hey, maybe that’s just me.

Alternatively, sharing intimate experiences with someone else will always deepen the connection you share with someone. People often think of it as a concept that flows only in one direction- yet this is wrong. It’s a common misconception that to share these profound experiences with someone you must be very close with them, but I don’t agree. A person can share experiences with someone else they aren’t as close with, subsequently enhancing the intimacy between those two people.

For example, when my mother (a sensible woman) decided it would be a good idea (it was) to pay for me to throw myself out of an airplane for a milestone birthday, just being lumped together with the few people taking on the encounter at the same time was enough to spark conversation after and feel a faster connection than the stereotypical, ‘it feels forced’ conversation with the person behind you at the supermarket. Now if I were to have utilized it with a friend comfortable enough to join me on this, us sharing this experience would elevate our friendship high off of the ground (accidental but welcomed pun).

Have you ever noticed that people just seem friendlier when you’re on a tour or vacation of some sort? Of course, the elevated happiness and friendliness from just being on holiday definitely plays into it, but the common ground of a significant experience you’re sharing is also a factor.

In short, pursuing opportunities where you can share an meaningful experience with someone will make it easier to increase the intimacy of your friendship. Remaining stagnant as friends and being mired in a routine of things that never change will provide a barrier between friendships, and simply being conscious of it allows for a better chance of proactivity and change. Step out of your comfort zone, and search out those opportunities for growth.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is probably the biggest, albeit toughest, next step. Even the phrase sounds like the verbal equivalent to getting out from a warm blanket to step onto the brisk floor and colder air of your room. However, just like the latter is needed to head to work or school, the former is also needed to gain the most out of life- and for this example, your relationships. In a previous article about vulnerability, taking the plunge is an idea mentioned to enhance a friendship. This is the tougher, less illustrious concept that takes a little more guts.

Something embedded in my friendships is the notion of shamelessness. Whether it’s making sure everyone gets a hug on arrival for one of our annual guys reunion (yeah, we’re grown men and we like to hug, so what?), or offering our thoughts unfiltered, as they come, removing the element of shame just allows you an easier path to be free in who you are with everyone around you. Be shameless in the way you approach your friends, the way you communicate with them, and the way you let them know you care. Take the first step by offering a piece of vulnerability by which those around you can build on, and watch the seeds you plant grow.

 Many people remain chained by inhibitions preventing them from expressing their true thoughts and feelings, and appearing free yourself shows others how possible it is to step away from theirs. This ultimately rewards you and the person you share this side to. The important thing to enable this is to understand why someone is reluctant to be real, and encouraging them by being vulnerable and real yourself.

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This Expert Explains The Essentials of Taking Care of Yourself

Last week I had the chance to chat with Jackie Boyd, an expert in the field of holistic health and wellbeing at Boyd’s Alternative Health.  The knowledge she brings to the table of wellness is a valuable asset to The Five You Need. Jackie is a devoted wife, mother, and successful business owner who was able to grow her passion into a living whilst also positively impacting the lives around her. She is known by all as a charismatic, supportive person and I am incredibly thankful for the time she was able to lend me.

Below are some of the highlights of the interview and at the bottom is full audio of the conversation!

Jordan: I’ve known you for over a decade now, but if you could introduce yourself and explain a little bit about what it is you do?

Jackie: I’ve known you for over ten years. I myself have 4 kids. I’m a mom, I’m a wife. As a job I’m a holistic practitioner, I have had a business on our property here for 18 years.

Jordan: So health is the biggest theme here obviously.

Jackie: Yep! What ends up being the most prominent thing in the majority of people is their emotional health, and unfortunately there’s no pill for that. So we can help people along the way, I think it’s very important.

Jordan: That’s something that resonates with me, as this endeavour that I’ve set out on is predicated on emotional wellbeing and mental health. It’s become just as prominent as physical injuries and I think they needed to be treated the same way.

Jackie: It’s actually become more prevalent. It’s amazing to incorporate emotional health as well as physical health.

Jordan: So where does wellness and wellbeing fit into your life, how are you proactive in fitting it into your life?

Jackie: It has to be your life. You can’t choose it now and again. It starts with food, if you don’t fuel your body with real food, you can’t expect it to continue to do what you want it to do for all your years. I’ve preached this to my kids, you, I’m sure your coaches have preached it- it has to start there [with your team of people]. When I talk about a team of people, after food I believe I believe it takes a team. My chiropractor, massage therapist, an acupuncturist, and even though it might sound vain- my hairdresser. Those are the people who help my world go round.

Jordan: Wellbeing is not just an option, on the side, this is something that has to 100% at the forefront of your life- it’s a lifestyle.

Jackie: It is a lifestyle. If you don’t live this lifestyle you have to choose to make the changes, and that is a choice. In order to truly have that well-rounded mental health, it has to become a lifestyle. Everyone has a struggle, mine is fitting in time for exercise. You don’t have to have this massive routine though, even getting outside and getting some fresh air- nothing clears your head quite like that.

Jordan: I agree. Would you agree that the societal stigma around mental health (and wellness) is changing? You see this type of stuff all the time, do you think these concepts of wellbeing are popularizing?

Jackie: I believe it is popularizing. I guess the downside is that we want to believe that it is becoming more acceptable to look at getting help- it’s still stigmatized. I think we need to change that. I often hear “Well everyone’s got a problem.” Partially that’s true. And if you’re waiting to have a perfect life, that’s never going to happen. But there’s always going to be somebody that uses that problem to their advantage.

Jordan: So in your eyes, we’ve made a couple steps but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Jackie: Yep. I see people in our clinic and I would say about 80% of them struggle with emotional pain of some sort. Every one of us are going to have emotional struggles- thats just life. It’s the types of stress that we just can’t get our own grip on that we need to learn how to handle. I have a different approach with a lot of people [which is] the diet we’ve created for ourselves- that’s the start of so many problems.

Jordan: One of the things that I’ve always loved about your field of expertise is how you tie in the interplay between physical health and emotional wellbeing. A lot of the time with other professions it’s seen as either or and there’s people who treat physical ailments and then others who treat emotional unrests but I live how a lot of what you do to can be for both. You stress how the two are interrelated and play together.

Jackie: Absolutely; always.

Jordan: As an expert in your field, what is something you can pass on that is unique to your field?

(Jackie humbly attempts to deflect the ‘expert’ moniker here, but as an 18 year veteran in holistic health, I don’t buy it)

Jackie: Self-care is caring enough about yourself to make the changes that you haven’t made to make yourself feel better. Just about the food, the team around you, and really learning to accept yourself. There’s so many things that go into self-care.

Jordan: Those are very valuable words. Well thank you for your time Jackie, and I’m super grateful you were able to take time out of your morning and talk to me to today.

Jackie: You’re welcome, I really like what you’re doing Jordan. It’s an interesting read!

Boyd’s Alternative Health is located on Highway 9, east of Beiseker. Jackie is an experienced alternative health practitioner who beautifully ties in the importance of physical and mental wellbeing into her practices. For more information on any of the products or services she offers, call Jackie at  (403) 947-2389

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Millennials Might Not Be Working, But This Is What Is

Millennials are constantly being scrutinized for being lazy, entitled, and “ruining the economy.”

And they are. If 319 selfies in an Amaro filter can’t dig the economy out of debt… Honestly I don’t know what will.

Criticizing the generations following after you is nothing new and is sure to be a torch passed onwards as millenials start harping on the up-and-coming young bucks and
whatever ridiculous behaviour they normalize next. Let’s be honest, everyone can already feel themselves in those shoes as well. Although I strongly doubt anyone will be able to rock those all-white New Balances with the same zestiness, I’m sure they’ll be okay.

Community is a surprising, albeit subtle, trait found in each generation amongst themselves, as the simple timing of when you were born unifies people together by sharing similar experiences- however marginal it might be.

All generations have definitely cemented their own stereotypes, as the relatively harmless flack taken from each generations shortcomings can often be found on Facebook from time to time (as well as memed responses). Really though- supporting a household on a hardware store salary just isn’t feasible anymore, and sometimes it takes humour to send a message!

There are plenty of positive aspects put forth by the millennial generation; one of them being the main theme of The Five You Need. Wellbeing and self-care has often been overlooked for years by a massive chunk of the population, but modernization has helped to impress the importance of taking care and looking after yourself.

This is huge, as continuously overlooking an issue like this will only perpetuate the problem. While not prioritized or neglected in the past, self-care has become a societal norm. Realizing the merit in concepts like mindfulness and mental wellbeing have only just begun in the way it’s exploding in both popularity and value. This is a philosophy that should continue to be progressed by every generation, as anybody is susceptible in developing mental illnesses of all variations and magnitude.

No one is immune, and your mind should be treated with the same respect which we treat our bodies with. Self-care can come in a variety of ways, but understanding the primary role it plays in our lives is crucial to our own wellbeing.

As briefly alluded to in previous articles, being in tune with yourself is a big thing. Being conscious of the activities and habits that are both healthy and enjoyable to you is a base block to understanding how to take care of yourself. Whether that’s being outdoors, reading, or spending time with someone- being aware of how these activities help you stay balanced is key. This is relatively easy, but for most people the hard part is actually making time for these types of things.

Here’s the reality though.

The fact is absolutely everyone on this planet has time for a minimum of 15 minutes every day to spend on themselves- it doesn’t matter how busy you are. What is really at the forefront when someone claims they don’t have this seemingly insignificant block of time is that they just don’t care about it enough.

If that’s the case, okay. Some people are just geared differently than others. But an interesting way I learned to portray things accurately in your mind and to others is rewording common phrases to display the real truth. In this example, “I just don’t have the time for that,” is replaced with “It’s not a priority to me.”

Simple enough, but responding this way to yourself and to others can enlighten you on how you really feel about certain things. Going to the gym, meditating, eating healthy- whatever it is, this is the truth behind it. If it’s enough of a priority to you, you’ll make time for it.

The same goes for less rewarding activities, like watching TV or playing games. Motivated people who possess that natural pizazz for life say they just don’t have the time for those things, when in reality they just don’t place much of a priority on them.

Allow yourself to be honest with yourself and others, and see if that makes you feel differently about things. It’s harder to admit that eating better isn’t a priority to you than it is to say you don’t have time for it.

Being honest with yourself can help you plan out your days better and allow you to create the time necessary for the things truly important to you. 

This is a step in the direction of taking care of yourself, and in the end, all the dividends are paid out to you.

How I Tied Male Rompers Into Honesty In Friendships

The bonds we have with the people around us are the most important part of our emotional wellbeing- which is why this article will be about another concept in friendship.

How a person exposes themselves emotionally to someone completely influences the nature of the friendship they share. When you think about it, it’s sort of common sense- the people you share more with are likely people you are closer with. 
However, there’s an element further that is significantly important yet not consistent in many relationships. The way we confide in someone is not just vital to an intimate friendship, but is crucial to our own emotional wellbeing. Being able to speak to someone about your own state of life and everything in it is absolutely necessary, and this is fortunately afforded to most people. People share things about themselves in all magnitudes, from elementary thoughts all the way to the intimate depths of feelings. Bringing this importance to the forefront of our friendships is key in building friendships as well as maintaining individual strength within our emotions. While this may be easier for some, and perhaps more difficult for others, realizing its significance reaps multi-dimensional benefits that simply can’t be overlooked. In summary, placing a priority on being vulnerable in confiding in someone is necessary for the friendship, but is also necessary for emotional wellbeing. This is a skill women are typically more proficient at than men, with unfortunate forces like toxic masculinity stopping more men from sharing their feelings. This means that with habits and mindfulness around it, it can still be developed further by both males and females. The stigma is gone from a man needing to be a nonvocal, emotionally bottled type. If male rompers are making way onto the fashion scene, being comfortable with talking candidly about whats on your mind to a close friend is easily achievable. It’s possible that women come about this easier, but it still doesn’t mean that this can’t be pushed to progress this skill set and be comfortable in talking honestly about what’s going on in your head. The liberation that this brings is indescribably freeing.
The next piece to this puzzle is honesty. This is a concept that means something to absolutely everyone, regardless of who you are. The reality is everyone has things that they either choose to leave out or alter in order to appease the people who listen. In other words, people either change the truth entirely or keep things to themselves because of the way they think people will react to the truth. 
This fear is infectious to our habits, and as with any habit, it can grow and become easier and easier to do until it is a trait embedded in our social structures. 
I’m entirely, one-hundred-and-ten-percent guilty of this. I spend so much time focusing on awareness of the feelings around me that I leave certain pieces of my feelings out of conversations in order to improve the way it’s received. Just like any self-reflection I’ve had, I decided to challenge myself by exposing honesty in its entirety to those closest to me. And it’s because of those feelings that followed this by which the second part of this article was inspired by. The freedom and self-comfortability brought by being honest with my own emotions, feelings, and words are difficult to express; sheerly by the magnitude in which it positively impacted me. Challenge yourself to allow someone in on a version of yourself that is purely honest and unfiltered with everything you say. If you already share this with someone, expand on it by including this habit with other people you’re close to. The way that this can positively infect the friendships around you is invaluable and can’t be fully quantified into words. The contagious nature of honesty and genuineness will only strengthen the relationship, and the liberation within your own mind that accompanies it is a coveted, incredibly positive byproduct. Take the plunge, and get comfortable with challenging yourself. Your friendships stand to miss out on too much otherwise, and regardless of that you owe it to yourself to be free.
The main idea for this topic came from a close friend, and I thank you for the inspiration.
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Keeping People Around Depends on This

Finding anything truly lasting is difficult, and unfortunately sometimes friendships are this way too. Bonds and relationships with others are craved by every one of us; holding onto them can sometimes be a tall task. While by nature humans crave socialization and a sense of community, sometimes the comforting feeling of love and support isn’t consistent. These inconsistencies can be due to friendships changing like seasons, or from a colder isolation of the feeling of loneliness. If you disagree, you are likely blessed in the strength of the relationships that surround you. This article may affirm these feelings within you and perhaps bring a consciousness of the ideas to follow. 

If socialization and warm relationships seem elusive (and a little bit more of a struggle) this piece is about the importance of developing and fostering friendships in a positive way to maintain deeper, more lasting bonds.

The basis of my emotional knowledge for this area in my life is the people that surround me. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who genuinely care about the wellbeing of others- and this is a big head start. While new people have entered my life, the core of my friends have been consistent in my life for many years. I refuse to attribute this completely to luck or circumstance. Conflicting locations has never impeded these bonds, nor has any other factor that usually forces friendships to fade. There are characteristic constants found in these relationships that are a true driving force behind maintaining meaningful friendships. The first of these is value. This word typically springs thoughts of deals, sales or something like the good ol’ Value Picks menu at McDonald’s. As great as a Jr. Chicken is, friendships are probably worth more. The definition of value is “the regard that something is held to deserve importance, worth, or usefulness.” 

This might seem like a no-brainer, but instilling value into the people around you is one of the most important aspects of friendship. 
Doing this means two dimensions: putting value into someones life that you care about, and knowing that someone respects you enough to return the favour. This doesn’t mean eye-for-an-eye, or keeping score of any sort. Rather just being mindful of toxic habits that have no place in friendships, and mutual respects for people as individuals. This is easily identifiable. If someones level of respect indicates you lack importance or worth, this means value is absent. 
What is most important to realize is how crucial putting value into other people is, and how positively it affects you and the people that surround you. Value is as simple as showing someone you care, in whatever way comes natural to you. I’ve found that younger friendships and people find themselves in a balancing act with this, because showing someone you care about them can sometimes be difficult as it leaves you vulnerable. With emotional maturity comes the understanding that this is not an issue, and showing empathy and warmth become more natural and thus more present in longer friendships. 
If you find yourself struggling with some friendships, challenge yourself to making a real effort into adding value into other peoples lives without expecting it to be returned- the humility that builds from this is also rewarding.
What I’ve found in my own personal metamorphosis from a child into an adult is exactly this; value is everything. At younger stages in my life confidence was something that came more naturally to me, and some people around me would be very quick (and right) to say this sometimes came across as arrogance. In fact, those reading right now are probably questioning why “sometimes” is even in that sentence. And while many of my friendships were forged in this time, the reason they’ve lasted is because of emotional maturity and value. What I’ve noticed over this time is the sheer difference in support around me. Being full of yourself might make you a friend or two, but the difference of how these people support you once you add true value to them is incredible. Huh, imagine that- I found that being less of a d-bag increased my overall support network. Crazy. 
The reality is that while so many of these concepts are blatantly obvious, not taking the time to reflect on things allows them to slip away. 
How I began to add value to the people around me was by identifying a strength in myself and utilizing it to my advantage. Personally, I have confidence in my ability to display empathy, and show others I care by talking and listening to them (a trait no doubt learned from my mother, I can not sing higher praises for that woman). Understanding your own uniqueness and your own talents is key when assessing what it is you can bring to the table. If you can’t think of anything, your own self-concept is getting in the way- trust that you are capable and that you are valuable. Once you’ve got it, apply it into your life and become aware of how positive the dynamic of your friendships change.
The final part is coming to terms with how important it is to show the people in your life how much they mean to you, and how valuable they really are. Holding this in only damages your relationship and the other person involved. Showing them they care might also relieve them of any anxieties they have about showing you how much they care about you too! So text them first, hug them when you see them, listen to what’s going on in their lives- the only thing you have to lose is a more meaningful bond.

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How I Learned To Forgive My Father For How He Affected My Entire Life

Forgiveness. Another word that strings along a whole case of emotions with it. Forgiveness is one of the trickiest actions as that’s just it: emotions often barricade the path to sincerely forgiving someone. This isn’t without cause, as it’s obvious the very reason that forgiveness is needed is based on a wrongdoing of another person onto you. Navigating these feelings, while also emotionally understanding that to truly forgive it will begin and end with you, is the basis of a liberating forgiveness. While everyone’s story is different, my purpose is to share how I personally moved forward to forgive someone who has impacted the entire course of my life.

My project of forgiveness began with the choices, made by the man who fathered me, that led to his absence throughout my childhood. All of the typical feelings from something of this significance were found: resentment, anger, the desire to have my questions answered. The reality was that while it was my fathers choice to not be there, no matter what happened from there on out would be entirely up to me. Yes, while I was younger I saw nothing wrong with harbouring this resentment towards him. But truthfully, once I even glimpsed at the fact of the damage my own anger was doing to me, I became internally motivated to see what I could do about it.

The resentful hatred was not even wholly based on how it impacted me, because to my family I have always maintained how much I love the way I was raised and have no regrets on that front. Are there things I may have missed out on? Sure. I still don’t know how to change my own oil and at this point I don’t even want to ask. Kidding, but about asking. For all of these so-called absences I was supposed to feel by not having a father around, I still don’t feel as though I was starved for fatherly attention. I have been blessed to have incredible people around me to make this seem relatively unnoticed. My emotions were solely based on how this in turn impacted my family, mainly my mother and my sister. While my mother has defied pretty much any stereotype surrounding how a single mother and her five children should live, it was essentially the fact that my father left her up to the challenge by herself (likely unaware of the flat-out superhero characteristics of that woman radiating beneath the surface).

As shared in previous articles, guiding your own emotions is immensely important to having a personal sense of wellbeing. It is important to understand that you will never be able to fully dictate the nature of your emotions. Comparable to how a captain navigates his ship, the direction can be guided but you will never be able to control all of the other external influences- which in this metaphor would be the wind and oceans. These outside factors are the world and everyone in it. Internalizing that you must guide yourself through it without controlling anything else is a trait of humility and acceptance,
which is crucial to living at peace with your own emotions. This is a building block of forgiveness, because as mentioned earlier, the emotional extremities felt by someone who caused you harm in any kind of way are intense and seemingly overpowering. Many times within myself I saw a power struggle between myself and the sheer exertion it took to try and control these emotions, and as a result I suffered for it. Learning to accept this way of thinking ended up relieving me of a lot of damage I was causing within myself.

The final part, and the segment that is most commonly understood, is how the act of forgiveness ends with you. It suddenly hit me that any sort of angst I was now feeling was now due to myself, as for a large portion of my life I allowed these emotions to be present. It may seem obvious, but realizing that I was inflicting this upon myself called for action and self-reflection on what I could do to help myself. But the readers digest (or blog) version is that I needed to realize what I was subconsciously doing to myself. One of the absolutely essential elements of wellbeing and self-care is how in tune you are with yourself, and I’ve alluded to this in articles previously. This is how fundamental showing compassion to yourself can be- simply paying attention to you. At the end of the day, this is a message I dwell on the most; it was this idea that made me so hungry for personal growth. Having something to inspire you helps ensure that you can get where you need to go as smoothly as possible.

Kind of like oil in a car. Anyone want to teach a guy how?

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Practice Makes Perfect, Happiness Is No Exception

Happiness seems to be the thing everyone looks to chase, one way or another. Catching it, however, is impossible due to the emotion naturally washing in and out of our lives, similar to the ocean’s tide and it’s cycles. Like the ocean, controlling this emotion is met with the same futility. Understanding what control we have, and don’t have, over our emotions is crucial in our own self well-being. With this in mind, it’s important to understand that there are ways in which to manipulate more positivity into your life- by which happiness is a pleasant by-product.

One of the most basic aspects about happiness itself that many people don’t realize is how much of a habit it is. In the same way someone can be completely negative, it’s possible for someone to be positive. I’m sure when given the chance to reflect on it, everyone can think of a person continuously cheerful and lucky, and someone who is relentlessly negative and down on themselves. We as humans are creatures of our own habits, and as much a cup of coffee in the morning to start the day, other habits have a way of dictating our emotions. While it’s nearly impossible to just suddenly declare “from now on I’m just going to be happy,” magically transforming into Mary Poppins, implementing methods of positive habits can make being happier simply easier. Similar to how practicing over and over again in something such as a sport, driving, or in my grandma’s case- quilting, it is possible to becoming more skilled at being positive.

Positivity has always spilled out of a friend of mine, and I must admit, sometimes it was just flat-out annoying. When I was presented with some of the more challenging phases of my life, this guy always seemed to be riding out life in the luckiest of ways. However, after beginning my own quest in self-growth, understanding part of what makes him tick ended up being incredibly interesting. This guy does not have a negative habit in him. He is so deeply entrenched in overlooking negativity while at the same time reinforcing positivity that he just appears to be the luckiest guy in the world. This made me realize just how important perception is into luck and happiness. Luck is an entirely real thing, and people possess either bad luck or great luck. The truth behind it is what events you choose to perceive. A person who chooses to hover on all of the unfortunate events in their lives will reflect that in how they view their life. On the same token, someone who overlooks such things and chooses to gravitate to all of the great happenings in life will undoubtedly present as someone who unexplainably has a ton of good luck. Practically adding this into your life is as simple as making a concerted effort to brood on anything positive that happens to you or around you. Over time, the changes possible are remarkable. As humans are creatures of habit, you’ll start to realize how effortlessly natural this becomes. Eventually, respectfully blocking out negativity will become second nature, and soaking in all the good around you happens automatically.

A habit helping out a happy frame of mind is the importance of gratitude. This trait is hugely important in developing satisfaction, which easily translates into well-being and positivity. Look at gratitude as a vehicle for happiness that allows everything around you to be converted into aspects of your own happiness. You could be the wealthiest, most privileged person in the world, but without a presence of gratitude you will be less satisfied and happy than a family with minimal necessities in life but who are wrapped up in an incredible appreciation for one another and the world they share around them. In addition, understanding the relationship of gratitude and happiness is profound. It is difficult for depressive moods to exist in the presence of gratitude. Implementing this in your life is as easy as compiling a list of things you’re grateful for. Making this a habit is as easy as thinking about anything you’re thankful for every day. Whenever you’re driving, in the washroom, or just have a minute to yourself- make a simple list in your head of three things you’re grateful for. This can be anything! From family and loved ones, to the person who held the door open for you this morning when your hands were full. Gratitude can be found everywhere.

This a relatively short article on the practical side of happiness, and there is a whole host of other aspects comprising its body. Utilizing these habits can aid in harnessing the good in your life, which in turn is very effective in raising your overall well-being. Challenge yourself to notice the positive aspects in your life- study the happy-go-lucky people around you. Take note of their habits, but most importantly, always be in tune to the things that make you happy.

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Anxiety Saved My Life

It’s no secret that mental health is a buzzword these days. Thanks to ever progressive movements, the negative stigmas surrounding the different realities that people face are morphing positively so that help is much more easier to access- in a variety of different platforms.

Anxiety is one of these realities that millions of people are subjected to, and one of the most common mental illnesses in society today. Anxiety can show itself in a myriad of different ways, from generalized worrying or fear from anything in your day-to-day life, to panic disorder caused by the overwhelming sensation that immediate danger is imminent. While there are a variety of reasons why someone might be familiar with these feelings, a large majority of people feel these wrenching emotions that are predicated on the fear of the future. This is the basis of anxiety, as the stress and fear is based on something upcoming that someone feels they are not fully prepared for or simply feel as as though they won’t be able to handle it. While there are tons of reasons as to why someone might feel these feelings as entirely negative, the notions of positivity that may stem from them are not often thought about- or completely unrealized.

Anxiety entered my life shortly after the transition to adulthood from a teenager, mostly in the form of a panic disorder. Before I knew it, I had a whole host of different things that had unwittingly become triggers for me. Certain situations, no matter how comfortable (or happy) I felt, would induce these overwhelming feelings that my body was under the risk of immediate harm. Everyone has felt these feelings of anxiety at some point or other- a clammy cold sweat, elevated heart rate, sometimes a tingly sensation. What I thought I came to realize was that these feelings were caused by my lifestyle, which I admit, was not conducive to a healthy body. Some of this ranged from drinking without moderation both in quantity and frequency, and even more frowned upon habits, such as drugs- and not just the one you’d find in a brownie or a cookie made by that guy who is always riding around on a longboard. This rapid lifestyle took me into a whole world of relatively habitual use of a few substances, and until I met a real repercussion, I really had no inclination to slow down. This is where anxiety comes in.

 I came to blame these habits on the way I lived my life and as someone motivated for personal growth, this inspired a lot of forced maturation on my part. My anxiety grew to the point where a day of panic was inevitable following a night of drinking, with no real reason behind it other than it just seemed to be the price I had to pay for being hungover. These utterly repetitive nights of drinking lasted for much longer than the phase where drug use was just as frequent as alcohol. Based on this newfound panic, making the choice to leave those alone became entirely easier. Accompanying this, my excessive nights of binge-drinking saw a drastic reduction, partly due to maturation, but mostly because of the anxiety that seemed to trail undesirably after it. While ridding these habits might seem like a logical no-brainer, cutting out anything habitual in your lifestyle is never an easy task. And while it also might seem completely trivial, I can thank anxiety for presenting me with something powerful enough to truly push me away from it.

My anxiety still exists with me today, and while I’m not fundamentally worried or nervous about certain situations/fearful of everything, my body is still familiar with feelings of relatively unexplained anxiousness that can’t really be linked to anything in particular. What I’ve come to understand is that this will be a part of me for the rest of my life, and as someone who’s personally inspired to be positive, there are many things to take from this. Yes, sometimes my anxiety will make me uncomfortable; both mentally and physically. Yes, sometimes the bodily sensations aren’t fun. But as hard as it is to believe, there are positives that come with this. The flurry of different thoughts brought on by perpetually overthinking things can be used to your advantage. It may sound laughable, but things that some people may overlook will have been thought by you over a hundred different ways, and you’d best believe that it can be an advantage. It might feel as if you have no control over these thoughts- learning to accept this and be okay with them will aid you in living with them. Also, don’t think for a second that the flood of different thoughts and ideas streaming through your mind isn’t good for building a more intelligent consciousness; these thoughts are a vehicle to think about things you may have never even considered before. While this might seem ridiculous at first, coming to understand it and adopting it entirely can help you learn to view that your anxiety is working alongside you, not a foe pitted against you. The important thing to understand is that everyone’s reality is different, and how you choose to live with yours is up to you.

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