Why It’s Not Selfish To Choose Career Over Love At Times

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I should love myself. “It isn’t hard to love ourselves, or anyone else, when things are going well,” says Washington, DC-based licensed psychologist Alicia Clark. “What’s a much taller order is to love ourselves when things aren’t going well, and when we need love most.”

That was the first thing that came to my mind when I was having second thoughts of whether I should split with my then-boyfriend or not.

We started as high school sweethearts. His family knew who I was, and so did my parents. They approved of the relationship, even though we got together at quite a young age.

We stayed as a couple even when we entered university. I wanted to go to California back then because I aspired to become an actress. However, my boyfriend got a scholarship in New York, and I did not want a long-distance relationship, so I applied to the same university he went to.

Things were fabulous at first; it was like we were still in high school. My man would pick me up after my classes and then we would dine out or roam around the city until we feel tired. The setup went on until graduation day came, and a company offered him a job near our hometown.

Don’t get me wrong; I am proud of where I came from. At the same time, however, my dream to become an actress was still there. I could not move back there with him, knowing that I could fulfill my wishes in the big city and not live a life that’s full of regrets. So, I made the biggest decision: I chose career over love.

Isn’t That Too Selfish Of You?

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Everyone has a different way of describing selfishnessAccording to Donna Rockwell, PsyD, “Where Western society and mass media over the years have portrayed self-love and self-care as selfishness and self-indulgence, humanistic psychology and mindfulness interventions promoted in Eastern cultures instead encourage self-care, framing it as self-nourishment, where at the end of the day, we have more “good stuff” left over to give others, rather than less.”For some people, what I did was the embodiment of that. In my opinion, though, being selfish means leaving your better half after a crippling accident or entering a new relationship with someone else without ending your current one. That’s not what happened here.

I decided to go after my lifelong dream instead of settling down with my high school sweetheart, yes. But it was not because I did not think that he could give me a good life or because I felt no love for him anymore. The reason was that I wanted to be able to pursue my passion. I have so many talents to show to the world; I don’t mind going to as many auditions as I can find. I cannot do that if I return to our small town right after getting my college diploma.

Besides, I thought, “If my boyfriend could follow his dreams, why shouldn’t I do the same thing?” A good portion of my life was devoted to this man. I don’t regret that, but I think it’s time to prioritize myself this time.

Bottom Line

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Am I ambitious? Yes. Am I selfish? I don’t believe that I am. As Nassir Ghaemi, a Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University, states, “This healthy ambition, we might say, is needed in young and able persons; more of us achieve less because we fail to try than fail to achieve because we try too hard.”

It just so happens that I know what I want and what’s right for myself. Life would have been easy if I moved back home with my man. I would probably be a housewife now, taking care of our cute little kids. However, now is not the time to choose love when there’s a lot of things I can do to improve myself out there.

I know it sounds crazy, but you should be brave enough to admit to yourself if you want to prioritize career over love as well.

Why You Should Listen To Music When You’re Working

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A lot of kids, no matter what generation they belong to, always say that they wish they are already adults. In their young minds, after all, they see adulthood as the stage of life in which their parents never have to tell them what to do. They can travel anywhere, eat as many candies as they want, or not do anything at all.

The reality that most kids have no idea about is that being an adult means that you have to work to survive. It is a difficult feat even for the people who have landed their dream job and are doing what they love. That is especially true if you are in a progressive company. Everything will happen so fast; you need to be able to think on your feet. There are meetings here and there, too, and you always have to have new ideas to pitch into your bosses. In short, you cannot get a breather.

Indeed, I feel you right there. What I do when things become too hectic at work is to listen to music. Why should you do that too, you may ask?

It Lowers Stress Level

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The first reason why you should start listening to music while working is that it can lower the amount of stress you deal with every day.  “Music listening has been suggested to beneficially impact health via stress-reducing effects,” says psychologist Myriam Verena Thoma, PhD. Scientists are yet to find out the process that makes it possible, but what’s known is that it is useful even for people who are about to go under the knife. The more the stress-inducing hormone called cortisol gets inhibited, the more your brain can produce the pleasure-inducing chemical called dopamine.

It Reduces Your Proneness To Depression

Stress and other factors can also cause depression. Say, the promotion you have been waiting for has been given to another colleague, or you found out that your better half has been lying to you all this time. Either of that, coupled with the massive pile of paperwork you have to go through, may depress you.

Nevertheless, when you listen to music, the risk of developing depression reducesIn an article he co-authored, Jeffrey E. Barnett, PsyD, states “Some evidence supports music therapy’s use in reducing anxiety, depression, and pain, although the literature is limited.” The idea has come from the fact that some individuals have undergone music therapy for three and six months, and it has a positive impact on the depressed folks. You won’t have to sign up for sessions if you begin playing songs while you’re stressing out, though.

It Allows You To Process Ideas Better

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What I do is look up instrumental music on YouTube and listen to it through my earphones. Whenever I do that, I do not get sleepy, my brain seems to function better, and I can get my work done in no time.

From what I gathered, it is happening due to the Mozart effect. It entails that your ability to think and process ideas tend to improve the more you listen to background music. In an article he co-authored, Jeffrey E. Barnett, PsyD, states “Some evidence supports music therapy’s use in reducing anxiety, depression, and pain, although the literature is limited.”

Final Thoughts

Living a life without songs to play can be a humdrum even when you are possibly unaware of the things mentioned above. Now that you know about the benefits of listening to music, though, you have more reason now than ever to do it while working.

Good luck!

Phobia – The Know-How And Remedies

Almost all of us are afraid of something. It may be a person, a situation, an object or anything else. Fear and phobia are two terms that we link with the feeling of being scared. But are they the same? Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, PhD, a psychiatrist at Stanford Health Care, says “Normal fears don’t interfere with an individual’s ability to work, go to social outings or have relationships, whereas phobias might. Being around the feared situation or object can also cause panic attacks, which are accompanied by symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating and trembling.”

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Scientifically, phobia starts where fear ends. Phobia is the clinical manifestation of fear that is categorized as a separate Anxiety Disorder and requires to be treated with different Types of Counseling; even if it’ starts out as free online counseling as mentioned in this article: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/get-free-online-therapy-should-you-use-free-counseling/.

For example, you are afraid of social gatherings. This is fear. But when this fear starts making you avoid important social functions and you feel an uncontrollable urge not to face people, this will surely be regarded as ‘phobia’.

Symptoms of Phobia

Phobia is way more severe than fear and requires professional guidance in order to recover. The symptoms of phobia are both physiological and psychological.

Physiological symptoms

  1. Sweating
  2. Rapid heartbeat and pulse
  3. Nausea
  4. Numbness of muscles
  5. Dry mouth

Psychological Symptoms

  1. Feeling anxious
  2. Wanting to run away from the situation/person/object that you fear
  3. The fear is beyond control
  4. The fear interferes with normal functioning, making the person preoccupied with thoughts about the object of fear.
  5. Feeling helpless when confronted with the object of fear.
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Types of Phobia

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) 5 has given 3 subtypes of phobia.

  1. Specific Phobia – It involves intense fear of specific things like dogs (cynophobia), heights (acrophobia), closed spaces (claustrophobia), etc.
  2. Social phobia – This involves intense fear of social situations and gatherings. The fear is unbearable and the sufferer deliberately becomes aloof from any social situation that would aggravate the fear.
  3. Agoraphobia – This is the fear for being in situations which are perceived hard to escape from.

 What causes Phobia

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There are several views about what causes phobia. While some researches emphasize on the role of upbringing and observational learning, some psychologists focus on the genetics and brain functions associated with developing phobia. No single cause is enough to make a person phobic – a combination of different factors are responsible, some of which are discussed below.

  1. Genetic studies suggest that anxiety runs in families. Those who have a family history of anxiety disorders are more likely to develop phobia than those who don’t.
  2. Phobia is often the result of observational learning. For example, a child who has always seen her mother scream at the sight of a cockroach, will grow up believing that cockroach is a thing to be scared of.
  3. There are also studies that indicate certain neurotransmitters like GABA, serotonin, and norepinephrine to be associated with causing anxiety disorders like phobia or OCD.
  4. Unresolved conflicts at the subconscious levels can also manifest themselves as a phobia.

 Healing phobia

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It is easy to criticize and make fun of the apparently illogical phobias. But for the sufferers, it brings huge distress and they feel helpless at the face of confronting their fear. Psychotherapy and medicine helps in a good prognosis and early diagnosis of phobia may result in complete cure. Some useful ways in treating phobia are discussed below.

  1. Medicinal treatment – Group of drugs called Benzodiazepines (anxiolytic drugs) are helpful in treating phobia. They balance the neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain and diminishes the effects of phobia on the person’s physical and mental health.
  2. Systematic Desensitization or Exposure Therapy –  This is the most popular technique of treating phobia. Here the person is slowly exposed to the object of fear and is trained to control his response. The therapist starts by making the person imagine the feared situation and progressively makes the client confront his fear under the therapist’s guidance. It is the most effective way of dealing with any phobia. “For many people, the effects of exposure therapy are lasting, and research continues to support its efficacy for treating anxiety, phobias, and many other mental health issues,” says psychotherapist Mark Pfeffer.
  3. Hypnotherapy – This is not a very conventional way for treating phobia nowadays. It is mainly used to help the person know his subconscious conflicts and help him fight with them to get rid of the phobia. Performed under the supervision of a hypnotherapist,  hypnosis uproots the cause permanently. “Hypnosis helps patients to reduce their distress and have positive expectations about the outcomes of surgery,” Guy H. Montgomery, PhD says. “I don’t think there is any magic or mind control.”

Phobia can have long-lasting effects in our lives. So never feed your fears ; face them, challenge them and never let your fear be bigger than your faith.

Overcoming The Challenges Of Depression

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Understanding Depression

With life, comes challenges and as humans, we all face them in one form or another every day. Life with depression means, those challenges are amplified and basic daily tasks or activities require more effort to achieve. Depression, also commonly referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is one of the most common mental disorders and is the leading cause of disability and poor health worldwide.

As Deborah Serani, PsyD siad, “Depression is a disorder that develops from environmental and biological issues that are unique to each person.”

According to estimates by the World Health Organisation, more than 300 million people worldwide are currently living with depression.

Continue reading “Overcoming The Challenges Of Depression” »

Dealing With The Mental Disorder Diagnosis

 

Being Diagnosed With a Mental Disorder

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Whether it is you, a loved one or friend being diagnosed with a mental disorder, it can be a scary time, especially if you do not have enough knowledge about the right help and support, It may be impossible for you to achieve your goals and life’s ambitions but it is important to understand that the diagnosis does not mean your life holds no value . It simply means that you need to readjust your lifestyle to accommodate ways in which you can achieve good mental health. It is without a doubt that you will come face to face with many challengesAlthough you need to remember that mental illnesses are manageable with time, the readjustments will not be more than a part of your everyday routine that it won’t seem out of the ordinary.

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Continue reading “Dealing With The Mental Disorder Diagnosis” »

Mental Health: Acceptance Begins With Understanding

 

Some people can have good physical health their entire lives, while others could be plagued with chronic illness. Those with chronic illness would make changes in order to accommodate the diagnosis but continue to live a happy life. However, they could still have episodes where their disease brings with it challenges. Mental illness is no different. Being diagnosed with a mental illness does not mean that your life holds no value, or that you will not live a good, happy life like the next person, it simply means that you need to adjust your lifestyle to accommodate your illness. The first step to dealing and taking charge of mental illness starts with maintaining good mental health.

 

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What’s The Difference?

There is a difference between mental health and mental illness, although, despite the differences, there are also intricate ways in which the two interact. “Mental health includes multiple aspects of our wellbeing; it affects our thinking, our behavior and how we feel.” according to Dina Alkhoury, PsyD. Continue reading “Mental Health: Acceptance Begins With Understanding” »

Alone… And Happy

Can you really be alone and happy? For most people, they think being alone means being lonely and that scares them more than anything. However, aloneness doesn’t necessarily mean lonely and there are many who are ‘alone’ but are extremely happy with their situation. There has never been a better time to look into the possibility of being happy when alone, especially when you’re in a relationship and very unhappy. So, what does it all mean?

Being Alone Can Be Positive Things

Being alone is a scary prospect because people think it’s an awful thing and that only sadness and being unhappy comes from it. Does it? If you are alone does that mean you are unhappy? Well, not always. You can be alone, without a partner but still be happy and content with your life. Yes, you might like the idea of having someone there to share moments with but until that happens, if ever, you don’t have to be unhappy. Too many people think being alone means loneliness and are afraid of it, however,  that isn’t always true. Anyone can feel lonely when they are in a relationship, with a dozen friends around them and it’s not down to being alone. Continue reading “Alone… And Happy” »