‘Fatigue’ in basic terms…
Although common, fatigue isn’t such a straightforward concept to define as its meaning is different from each individual affected by it. Typically, people will describe their fatigue using terms such as ‘tiredness’ or ‘weakness’.
Of course, the smartest way to overcome fatigue is to first understand what it is and then take the necessary actions to get through it successfully.
So, what is ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’?
Unlike normal tiredness associated with plain fatigue, people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) feel continuous tiredness, something which feels extremely overwhelming – this is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches, sensitivity to light, muscle pain and so on. Those people who experience CFS have also claimed to have sleeping problems, concentration problems, feeling overly restless, feeling sick and the list goes on. The fact is, these symptoms depend on the individual and they are different for everyone going through the illness.
How is CFS treated/diagnosed?
There is no test to diagnose CFS, but usually a diagnosis can be made by taking a well detailed description of the symptoms, such as how they began and the amount of time that they have been present. Blood tests may also be taken to ensure that no other illnesses are the cause of the symptoms; however, if there are other illnesses then the CFS patient would have to take further action on those too.
What causes CFS and what makes it worse?
If you think that you might have CFS, then you are most likely to relate with these triggers:
- Stressful lifestyle: CFS is easy to occur when you’re leading a busy lifestyle as this allows you almost little to no time to relax. You might feel way too overwhelmed with everything that’s happening in your life.
- Major life events: anyone can be vulnerable to CFS when they go through life changing events such as moving house, getting married, going through operation, or losing a family to death.
- Infection: usually, the beginning of CFS is diagnosed with a main illness such as a viral infection (including a cold or a fever)/ These infections can make you feel extremely drained and tired.
If you can relate to those triggers, then you should also know about what keeps the triggers running, and ultimately makes CFS worse:
- Something that makes CFS worse is going back to normal lifestyle and activities as soon as an infection has disappeared. You need enough time to recover to go back to ‘normal’ again. Rushing this stage will undoubtedly make it all worse.
- A disturbed sleep cycle is most likely to make your feelings of CFS more apparent. By not getting enough sleep at night you tend to wake up feeling unrefreshed which keeps you feeling more tired and demotivated throughout the day.
- Too much attention and focus on your symptoms will make the symptoms worse. It is normal and understandable for anyone to be concerned about their symptoms, but overthinking about it and worrying way too much is not healthy.
- An overload of stress and low moods tend to trigger more feelings such as helplessness and no control over your life. Having such feelings can lead you to depression which could contribute as a really bad trigger for your already existing CFS.
CFS can be very stressful…
At the same time of going through CFS, you might have other worries that could be related to the condition such as missed deadlines at work or home, financial difficulties or fear of failure in life. These worries can trigger you to feel anxious, and you might also physically be able to feel them in the following ways:
- increased heart rate
- increase in blood pressure
- breathlessness, leading to hyperventilation
- reduced blood flow
- tension of the muscles
- sensitivity to bright light
- sweating too much
- sleep disturbance
- mental disturbance such as overthinking and anxiety
If you feel that you can relate to such symptoms, don’t panic. There are ways to cope with CFS. If you can read on you’ll find out how…
Learning to cope with CFS
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is the main solution for dealing with not only CFS, but many other disorders too. It involves coming to terms with and changing the patterns of behaviour as well as the patterns of thought that could trigger your CFS symptoms.
Part of CBT is helping yourself. To be able to cope with CFS, you can do the following things:
- Keep an account/record of your activity levels: having a diary and noting down what you do each day will help you recognize when you are doing too much or too little.
- Keep track of your sleep pattern: by having a sleep diary and keeping a record of your sleep experience every night, you will be able to see how often you are facing difficulty in sleeping.
- Set targets for yourself: it is a smart approach to set targets for all areas of your life as doing so will always give you something to work towards, making you feel motivated to be productive at all times.
- Take rests: notice when your body feels tired from doing different activities and never ignore the signs. Always take rests and give your body the complete recovery that it needs.
- Use different strategies to improve your quality of sleep: try to do something before you hit your bed every night that will help you get to sleep more quickly, such as reading a book or colouring in an interesting pattern/design. This will keep your mind calm and fresh, and it will put you to sleep more easily.
- Be open to positive changes and activities: it’s good to try out new activities, e.g. if you don’t like running then you can try walking around a park instead. The point is to never stop being active; always find a way to get active no matter how lazy you feel. Also, incorporating a healthy diet full of good/nutritious foods and plenty of water will improve your symptoms.
- Maintain a healthy mindset: always be positive and avoid negative thinking. Think good thoughts and be around good energy. Do what is good for your mental health. It will give you a better insight to dealing with CFS and just everything about life in general.
Tackling CFS is an ongoing mission…
Finally, now that you have a better understanding of CFS and know how to deal with it, please also understand that overcoming CFS will not happen overnight. The road to recovering from the illness is something that you have to work on everyday. It is not the easiest mission to accomplish, but with the right knowledge and practices, you can definitely heal quicker.
6 Ways To A Healthier Immune System
A healthy body…
A lack of caring for your body’s health will easily invite all sorts of diseases, which is why it is so important to ensure that you have a well functioning immune system. When your immune system is working well, your body is able to easily tackle and prevent any disease. In this blog post I will share some tips on how you can strengthen and improve your own immune system.
1) Control your stress levels
One of the main reasons for a weak immune system is too much stress. When you’re stressed out, your mood frequently changes, and sometimes this can lead you to mental illness such as depression, which affects the T and B cell function. If you don’t manage your stress levels, you can end up getting serious illness such as cancer or heart problems. Therefore, it is important to practice different ways to reduce your stress such as deep breathing techniques and meditation – these can have a calming effect on you and make you feel less loaded with baggage.
2) Stop pollution
Okay, you can’t completely stop pollution but you can definitely avoid it. Firstly you should be aware of the 3 different pollutants. One is radiation which arises from electricity cables, TV, mobile and computer screens and microwave appliances. Second one is chemicals which arises from pesticides, herbicides, industrial emissions, smoke and paint. The third one is biological and this arises from dust and mould. All of these pollutants can have a serious impact on your immune system by weakening it. Therefore you can minimize this by staying away from smokers, avoid smoking, regularly clean up your house to stop mould and damp from creeping in, and switch to organic products.
3) Stay away from toxic substances
This includes drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. All of these are a crucial risk factor for weak immunity and are closely linked with heart disease, liver damage, stroke, and other serious conditions because of their dangerous chemicals. But, simply put, toxic substances do not match well with a healthy immune system and so you need to avoid them as much as you can.
4) Be aware of your medication
When you get symptoms such as a flu, cough, cold or any type of allergic reactions, it is tempting to use medicinal remedies to reduce these symptoms. But little do you know, many drugs weaken the immune system’s function as well as cause damaging effects on it. Therefore, take your medication/treatment with extra caution and care – do not over dose or unnecessarily buy over the counter products without fully understanding them.
5) Be in control of your weight
If your weight gets out of hand then you can develop serious conditions such as obesity. This is closely linked with developing type 2 diabetes and can block different functions of the body, making it easier to be vulnerable to a greatly weakened immune system and cancer risks. Therefore it is important to be in control of your weight by moving more and eating right. Not only will this have a good impact on your body health, but it will also improve your mental health too.
6) Engage in physical activity
It has been conducted by a lot of research that regular physical activity/exercise can improve your immune system functioning and protect against fatal illnesses and diseases such as cancer and heart problems. Therefore, activities such as walking or cycling every day consistently, can optimize your overall health and fight against risks for your immune system.
Your immune system needs it…
With all the 6 above points in mind you cannot go wrong with supporting your own immune system. These things you can develop a habit of doing and gradually minimize any potential harm, because your health matters!
7 Best Steps To Living Your Dream Life
Steps towards change…
Do you ever feel like something is missing from your life? Like no matter how good things are, despite having a roof over your head and a caring family, you just feel that even though you’re content and happy, still you somehow feel a void? If this sounds like you then there is something deep inside you that’s not there, and you need to dig deep to find out what it is – your life’s purpose.
Most people sleep through their entire life not knowing why they exist. They tend to hide it by settling down for temporary pleasures and go down the wrong paths. All this is simply a waste of time because in the long run, what about their inner satisfaction? They won’t get that because they’re too busy keeping themselves ‘distracted’. Plus, why spend years putting up with things that don’t satisfy you or make you truly happy? It’s really stupid.
The good thing, however, is that when you come to realize this, it is never too late to make a change and live the life you were born to live by fulfilling your purpose. Below I will share 7 steps that will help you achieve your purpose.
1) Accept the signs
To know if you’re on the wrong path in your life, be aware of the following signs:
- You find yourself wishing that every day of the week would just quickly hurry up and end. And, in doing this, you never live in the moment. You never truly enjoy your time.
- You spend too much money by shopping too much as you believe this helps you to distract yourself from feeling miserable, and it makes you feel better about your life.
- Social media controls your life. You waste far too long on your phone chatting with your friends and stalking them to see what they’re always up to. And the reality is, they’re probably not even good friends if they keep distracting you like that.
- You feel horrible about yourself when you see other people that are successful. You wish you were like them.
- You wake up feeling tired and waste hours of your day in bed eating or being distracted by technology.
- You play the victim by blaming your life circumstances on your parents, your country, your education, or just anything for simply not living the life you should be living.
- You feel like nothing is under control; you feel like everything is out of hand and you don’t know what to do about it.
Let’s be real now, the majority of people are conditioned to follow the typical traits that have been formed by society. Once you leave school you’re expected to carry on with further education (at college/university) or get your first job, then you’re expected to save up some money, buy your first car or some other valuable possession, get married, buy a house, have children and deal with the stress that comes along with it all – the debts, the bills, tight schedules, the typical life – it’s a heavy responsibility to take, but this is the life of many people.
The real question, however, is that are people genuinely happy with their life? How many people are actually living the life of their dreams? Ask yourself, do you have the guts to go against these traditions and do something different? Yes, it’s a difficult path to take on but all that’s required is a determined soul with great energy and unstoppable passion.
2) Know what you want
Probably one of the most bravest act someone can take is to pursue their dreams regardless of how conditioned they are to the expectations and standards of society. You really need to know what you want, and what’s going to actually give you that inner satisfaction, pleasure, happiness and peace that you need. You don’t have to complete a degree just because your parents have always wanted you to do it. You don’t have to work just because you want to help contribute to your parents’ bills. These things are not your dreams. These are basically you living your life on your parents’ demands and expectations, which is not fair.
Your dreams are yours, and if you don’t go after them in fear of disappointing your parents’ wishes, then prepare to be disappointed with your own life somewhere ahead in to the future. But, don’t be like this. It’s time to be selfish and give yourself the life that you always dreamed of having – the life that you deserve.
3) Believe in your potential
Let go of all your beliefs that limit your chances of going after your dreams. Such beliefs may include:
- “I’m not smart enough”
- “I have a messed up past”
- “I’m not a good person”
- “I don’t deserve anything”
- “I am not talented”
- “Nothing ever goes my way”
- “I feel like sadness is written in my soul”
- “I’m too sick, I can’t do anything”
And many more! But now is the time to let go of those beliefs because you are worth much more than that. Instead, you should be thinking along these lines:
- “I am capable of doing what I love”
- “My future is still spotless, I have a chance”
- “Everything that I have been through will shape me in to the great person that I am destined to become”
- “I deserve what I will work hard for”
- “I have my own unique talents that can make a difference to the world”
- “Things will work out for me as soon as I start taking serious action and stay committed to my goals”
- “Happy days are ahead of me”
- “I can heal and overcome all the obstacles that get in my way”
Believe it or not, but positive thinking makes all the difference in the world. Try it more often.
4) Create a vision
The best way to achieve your dreams quicker is by imagining everything that you want. You can close your eyes and create powerful scenarios in your head which will motivate you. Or you can search up images of the lifestyle (fancy house, car, dream bedroom, etc) that you want and save it to your gallery. This way, whenever you lack motivation you can easily pull out the images and remind yourself why you’re pursuing your dreams.
5) Find out what makes you feel alive
The only way to achieve your dreams and fulfil your purpose is by doing what you’re naturally drawn to. This may also mean that you have to let go of all the things that are weighing you down and blocking you from investing in your dreams.
Think about your interests and hobbies. Perhaps you’re in to books, quotes and fashion because they express who you are as a person. Now think about how you can base your ideal career around your interests and make a living out of it. Maybe you’d like to become a blogger for writing and sharing fashion posts. Or you’d like to write your own book and publish it to the world. Whatever it is that you want to do, as long as it excites you and makes you look forward to waking up every day, then that is the only thing that matters.
6) Shift your perspective
This is a very important step. There is this one quote by Buddha which goes like this: “we are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves”. And it’s true. It has even been proved by Science that your reality is based on the daily thoughts and feelings that you create. This means that you are 100% responsible for all the outcomes in your life. By simply choosing to think positively about your dreams, you will force the universe to open up ways for you to get closer to achieving them.
7) Make it happen
Finally, this is the most important step. The way to make your dreams happen is by taking consistent action. You have to wake up every morning with your purpose in mind and use your entire day to be productive towards your goals. You have got to wake up with determination if you want to go to sleep with satisfaction every day of your life. And the only way to make that happen, is by living a life full of purpose, regardless of the failures and setbacks that may come along.
You can defeat it all and win big. You have it in you to do so anyway. Always remember that!
4 Profound Ways To Improve Your Self-Esteem
Many people around the world suffer from low self-esteem issues. Perhaps you do too. Typically, self-esteem sufferers are unhappy with themselves or at least not satisfied with themselves – a part of them makes them feel like they’re not good enough.
In this article I will share 4 ways in which you can improve your self-esteem and feel better about yourself.
1) Think happy, feel happy
Usually, people with low self-esteem believe in upsetting thoughts about themselves, for example someone may call themselves a born loser when their luck with finance is a mess, instead of actually trying their best to find solutions or apply for jobs. But that’s their negative thinking which makes them feel this way. This also somehow makes them feel small and inferior, as if something is wrong with them.
It’s these thoughts that make them feel so hopeless about these types of situations. However, if their thinking was something along the lines of “may be I need to work on my personal/communication skills to improve my chances of securing a job” then they would feel motivated and strive to work harder. The point is, you have power over the way you feel. Just by shifting your negative thinking to positive thinking, it really does make a world of a difference.
2) Undo your bad moods
Assume that you attended a job interview, you failed and came back home to break the news in front of your parents, and told them what happened. Assume that they are disappointed and criticize you by calling you a failure and complaining about how you keep failing at job interviews, and then this automatically puts you in the worst of moods and even knocks down your self-esteem. You might feel angry, fed up, worthless and frustrated. The way to deal with this bad mood is to accept that the job was not right for you, and your parents have nothing to do with it as they are not the ones who attended the interview.
You may believe in criticism but when the negative thoughts start to kick in, just assume that they are illogical and distract your mind with something positive instead – such as “once I succeed, I will prove my parents wrong and they will regret putting me down so much”. See how that will make you feel so much more empowered. The main point here is to be aware that your mood is temporary and it does not finalize the outcome – only you can finalize it because you have the power to do that, not your mood.
3) Defeat the underlying issues
Whenever you feel like your self-esteem levels have dropped, always ask yourself what is the root cause of this problem in the first place. What leads you to feeling this way? Maybe criticism upsets you, other people’s disapproval makes you feel worthless, loneliness makes you feel unhappy or maybe you don’t know how to make yourself feel loved. Whatever the issue is, work on it step by step and know that there is a way out of it. It all just begins with you. Love yourself first.
4) Observe and repeat
Be aware of the moments/days when you feel great about yourself. You might have done something nice that day that made such a positive impact on your mood. Maybe you slept earlier and woke up early, put on a face mask and had a healthy breakfast which made you feel refreshed and confident about yourself. Make a note of all these little accomplishments and practice them daily.
But… at the end of all these 4 points, remember that it depends on your level of determination and willingness to fight for your self-esteem to go back up again. You just have to be cautious about the triggers and act upon them positively and consistently to overcome them successfully. And never forget that your self-esteem is under your control, not outside events or people. Only you can heal yourself out of it.
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