HealthSkills

Wisdom works best when shared. Sometimes all we need are a few words of newfound perspective to navigate through life. Here are 10 pieces of advice that have provided encouragement and much needed clarity:

“Always assume you don’t have all the information.”

I see this as a way to not take anything too personally. When people act or react in ways that are unwarranted we are quick to judge. However, it’s nearly impossible to fill in the blanks without knowing more information. This is particularly valid during fights and disagreements. Instead of pushing your view and knowledge of the situation, question what you don’t know and instead, assume that they are seeing something that you are not seeing.

“Never pass up a chance to learn something for free.”

Our capacities to learn are endless. There are free E-courses online spanning anything from finances to interior design. Maybe a friend invites you to a free yoga session or you’re curious about slam poetry – take the first step in learning more about it and experience it for yourself. The best part about this kind of education is that it can be found everywhere, plus there’s no tuition.

“Create and maintain a morning ritual that you love.”

Starting your day with a ritual can energize you and help you be more productive throughout the day. Whether it’s brewing a cup of coffee or making tea, spending a few minutes meditating before heading out the door, or going on a morning run, take that time to activate your senses and set a happy tone for the rest of your day.

“Sometimes you need a little crisis to get your adrenaline flowing and help you realize your potential.”

One guarantee in life is that it’s unpredictable. Sometimes it seems as though the universe conspires to overlap as many dilemmas and challenges for us to face all at once. When crises happen, it’s helpful to remember these two things: 1) You are not alone. We all have our fair share of catastrophes. 2) Consider it your chance to challenge yourself for the better.

“Never lie in bed at night asking yourself questions you can’t answer.” Charles M. Schulz

What is it about the moment when your head hits the pillow that ignites a flood of worries and second-guessing? Sleep is essential and we all need to allow ourselves to relax when we can. So silence the motor in your mind as you hit the hay, it’s one of the only times that thinking less should be a priority.

“What are you going to do about it?”

Advice in the form of a question, gotta love it. Whenever I hear this it’s a reminder of the fact that although I cannot choose what happens to me, I choose what happens next. We are in control of our own decisions and sometimes what we really need is to ask how we can help ourselves.

“Measure twice, cut once.”

My best friend is an expert in calculated risks. He seems spontaneous and fun-loving but is actually extremely careful and a ferocious planner. Through him I’ve learned the value in being able to safely execute decisions. Approaching important situations with thorough research and credibility will allow for life’s big moments to go a lot more smoothly.

“Never offer advice just to appear concerned.” Jack Gardner

We all need to hear this. Although we always want to say the right things and help people when they’re down, be mindful of what it is you’re saying to them and why. If your advice is mere conversation filler, it’s better left unsaid. People have a tendency to project their own versions of help from their personal histories that often don’t reflect the person in need at all. So be wary of “saving the day,” sometimes the best way to help people is to just listen.

“Being in a relationship doesn’t entitle you to anything. You don’t get what you expect, you get what you create.” Steve Maraboli

Having a relationship is having an on-going learning experience. One of the biggest things to learn is to never mistake having a relationship with possessing a relationship. It is not an opportunity for an individual to control another with their expectations but rather, an invitation to grow with someone and share the same effort towards happiness.

“Go in the direction of where your peace is coming from.” C. Joybell C.

This one is from my all-time favorite poet and kindred spirit. Life’s pushes and pulls lead us to places and decisions that don’t always work out. The only thing we can really try to be consistent with is finding our purpose. Whatever it is that provides you with that feeling of peace and wholeness, follow it and rest assured you’re doing life right.

Image: Picography

Health

We all have those friends that seem like they have their lives all figured out. They go through each day with their heads held high, exuding a confidence that we can’t seem to perfect ourselves. And somehow they make it look so easy.

Sometimes we can’t help but envy them. We know that growing up is all about finding ourselves and becoming the person we want to be for the rest of our lives. Yet there are still so many things we’re not sure about and sometimes we wake up feeling like we’ll never be like our self-assured friends.

It took some time for me to realize this, but my friends – the ones I thought were perfect –  are also struggling with their insecurities. They sometimes look in the mirror and see things that they don’t like about themselves. They have doubts about what the future holds and sometimes they’re not as confident as they may come off.

I don’t think anyone is one hundred percent sure of themselves. We are human, not robots. No one, and I mean no one, is perfect. So don’t beat yourself up if you’re not as confident as everyone around you appears to be. It’s okay to have insecurities. It’s okay to have bad days. Growing up is about finding yourself, but you don’t have to have everything figured out today or tomorrow or even in a year from now.

You do have to know one thing. And it is one of the most important things you will ever need to know. If someone hasn’t told you this already, I’m here to tell you that you are enough. You might have insecurities and doubts and you might not have everything figured out just yet but who you are right now, in this very moment, is enough. You don’t have to be anything more than what you already are. You don’t have to change anything about yourself, and you most certainly don’t have to be like who you think your friends are.

Everyone has their own struggles. Some just carry them a little better than others but, nonetheless, we all have a weight on our shoulders. If you just remember that you are enough, then that weight will get a little less heavy. Don’t worry about the things that you can’t change or even the things you have no control over. Having insecurities is not something to be ashamed of and being confident is not a quality that people are born with. You can feel like crap if you want to on some days. Just as long as you remember that those super confident friends that you have sometimes feel like crap too; just as long as you do this one thing for yourself:

On the days that you feel like you’re at your lowest, tell yourself that you are enough. Tell yourself that you don’t have to be anyone, other than who you are. It might not free you of all of the insecurities that you have, but it will make going through each day a little easier.

Image: Unsplash

Skills

Call it whatever you’d like: a talent, pastime, or your favorite leisure activity, but hobbies are something we all have. Has anyone ever told you, “that sounds more like a hobby than a career!”? I have. In fact, I turned down admission to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City because all of my passions sounded more like “hobbies.” Do I regret this decision? Sometimes, but now I’m finding ways to integrate my hobbies with my career path of choice. However, I’ve found that many of us are sacrificing our hobbies for work and they’re being left behind in the dreamy “good old days.” If you’ve found yourself victim, here are a couple of reasons why it is vital to never neglect your hobbies.

1. They make you you.

Although you’ve probably heard it one million times, you’re special in your own way. Your talents and hobbies are things that make you just that much more unique. What you do in your past time actually says a lot about who you are as a person and what it is that you appreciate in life. People know you for what you do at work or school, but showing them another dynamic part of yourself may give them that unexpected “wow” factor. They are things that distinguish you from the rest of your friends, coworkers, or classmates. Who wouldn’t want to embrace the fabulous and possibly strange parts that make you, well, you?

2. Psych benefits: relaxation, emotional, better thinking.

There are many psychological benefits come with doing what you love. The first one is relaxation. Hobbies serve as an outlet from the stresses that fog up your mind with constant daily worries. They have also been shown to improve your thinking abilities. According to Carol Kauffman, assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, hobbies allow you to go into what is called a “flow state,” which is essentially what you feel when you get intensely focused on whatever it is you are doing – you lose the sense of time and your surroundings seem invisible. Sound familiar? She notes that this actually restores your mind and energy. These states of mind that call for heavy concentration actually boost neurotransmitters in the brain which allow for a mental recharge.

3. Make better decisions.

The best decisions are always made with a clear mind and when you have had plenty of time to think. Taking the time to plunge into your favorite hobby allows you to unshackle your mind from the worries of whatever choices are awaiting to be made. It forces you to go into the “flow state” and return to your decision making process with a clear and more relaxed mind.

4. Meet other people.

What better way to meet people that have the same interests as you? Join a club, take a class, or even get together with some friends that have similar hobbies to you. This will guarantee you meet other people that share your passion. Another case could be in conversation. Discussing hobbies and interests are ways for people to relate and understand one another a little better. Who knows – you may just meet your new bestie!

5. Creativity.

Usually, your definition of success in your hobbies differs from the definition of success that is done in your work. You are the judge of your progress and achievements in your activities. Not only does this boost self-confidence and positive thinking, but this also calls for better creativity. It allows you to express yourself in your own terms and within your own boundaries. You essentially set your own rules because you are doing this hobby for yourself and for nobody else.

Making time for what you love is essential in the society we live in today. It is imperative that we make time for ourselves not only for the luxury of its pleasure, but for our own mental health.

What are your favorite hobbies?

Image: Michelle Tribe