Anxious – I Heart Intelligence.com https://iheartintelligence.com Wed, 03 Jun 2020 13:49:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 https://iheartintelligence.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/cropped-IHI-square-32x32.png Anxious – I Heart Intelligence.com https://iheartintelligence.com 32 32 For almost a third of women, this is the worst thing about sex https://iheartintelligence.com/almost-third-of-women-worst-thing-about-sex/ Mon, 05 Aug 2019 08:36:06 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=49368 The post For almost a third of women, this is the worst thing about sex appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

For almost a third of women, this is the worst thing about sex

When asked what the worst thing about having sex, is nearly one in three women say it is body shame. Lovehoney, a sex toy company, conducted a survey with 3000 people, asking them the same question. Men’s top worry about sex was when it was over too soon. But for about 30% of women, the […]

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For almost a third of women, this is the worst thing about sex

When asked what the worst thing about having sex, is nearly one in three women say it is body shame.

Lovehoney, a sex toy company, conducted a survey with 3000 people, asking them the same question. Men’s top worry about sex was when it was over too soon. But for about 30% of women, the most common worst thing about sex was feeling self-conscious.

But why do women feel so self-conscious while having sex and how does it affect their pleasure?

Certified sex coach Myisha Battle explains:

“Our culture puts a lot of pressure on women to be attractive yet not too sexual—open and receptive to sexual experience but not too knowledgeable or demanding,”

“There is also societal pressure for women’s bodies to conform to an often unattainable standard of beauty. All of this (and sometimes more) contributes to why women feel self-conscious during sex.”

Previous studies have found self-perception to be a large obstacle when it comes to the sexual well-being of women. They show that feeling negative about your body makes you less prone to expressing your needs and desires in bed, state your boundaries, and ask for safer sex. On the positive side, feeling good in your own skin – particularly concerning your genitalia – has been linked with less stressful performance during sex, while also having an easier time getting “hot” and having orgasms.

“It’s really challenging to believe in your sense of pleasure when you are constantly questioning whether or not you are living up to standards that the world imposes upon you,” says battle.

“When we don’t feel the best in our bodies, our sex lives can suffer. In my practice I see people who have difficulty with arousal and orgasm as a result of self-monitoring and overthinking. It’s actually very common. When our minds are racing with these thoughts, it can inhibit our ability to tap into physical sensations and dampen our experience of pleasure.”

No matter your gender, mindfulness is strongly tied to sexual satisfaction.

If you find yourself constantly feeling self-conscious and anxious about your physical appearance during intercourse, Battle suggests practicing mindfulness or meditation in order to be able to keep track of your thoughts and learn how to release negative ones.

“Notice when you’re having a self-critical thought. Keep a journal if it’s helpful. You may be surprised at how many times this happens,” Battle explains.

“You can then try replacing each negative thought with a positive one. It takes time and sometimes a lot of effort to come up with something positive, but over time it can be really helpful for cultivating a positive self-image.”

Confidence comes from within, but that does not mean your loved ones cannot help you on your journey.

Studies have shown that people who share thoughts about sex with their friends tend to be more satisfied when it comes to intimate self-confidence and are more willing to express their needs to their partner.

In addition, if you’re in a relationship, your partner should be cherishing and loving your body while also being obvious about it.

A different study concluded that those who feel their bodies are appreciated by their partners are more sexually satisfied, have more general desire, more orgasms, and are overall more satisfied with their relationship.

“I also recommend taking some time out of each day to practice body acceptance and self-love. Take a moment to thank your legs for getting you to work, your belly for digesting your food, your arms for helping you carry your groceries, and so on,” Battle continues.

“We only get one body in this world, and regardless of ability, age, size, or race, every body has the capacity for pleasure and is deserving of it.” 

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4 Big Problems in a Toxic Relationship Which Warn It’s High Time You Took Measures https://iheartintelligence.com/problems-in-toxic-relationship/ Thu, 20 Sep 2018 07:00:04 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=35249 The post 4 Big Problems in a Toxic Relationship Which Warn It’s High Time You Took Measures appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

4 Big Problems in a Toxic Relationship Which Warn It's High Time You Took Measures

My friend Anna complained to me that she was seeing someone who hadn’t always been kind to her and that the relationship caused her much more stress and pain than happiness. Here is her story: “He makes me extremely anxious,” she confessed, making a sad grimace on her face ”He is constantly criticizing me, and on the top […]

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4 Big Problems in a Toxic Relationship Which Warn It's High Time You Took Measures

My friend Anna complained to me that she was seeing someone who hadn’t always been kind to her and that the relationship caused her much more stress and pain than happiness.

Here is her story:

“He makes me extremely anxious,” she confessed, making a sad grimace on her face ”He is constantly criticizing me, and on the top of that, he seems emotionally stuck in high-school. Sometimes he tries to belittle me when he’s stressed, and I’m so obsessed with him that I hold entire conversations with him in my head. I don’t know how long I would be able to stand this. ”

Some of the most poisonous people come disguised as friends, family or romantic partners.

And Anne is one of the many who tries to maintain a healthy life while being in a relationship that is poisoning and exhausting for her. The sad truth is that any toxic relationship can ruin your normal life. It is a fact that our well-being starts failing if we have to maintain a toxic, stressful relationship or live in such an atmosphere. Marriages, family members, friendships, co-workers, and bosses can all be toxic to our overall health.

The Whitehall II study also supports this theory.

Researches who conducted the study examined more than 10,000 people in 12 years. They proved there is undoubtedly a connection between toxic relationships, anxiety and one’s overall health condition. The participants who were in relationships that made them feel sad or unhappy were at higher risk of developing heart diseases, including heart attacks and strokes than the ones whose close partnership was filled with positive emotions.

If you, too, have struggled with a toxic relationship or you have a friend going through this, I hope these 4 big problems outlined below would warn it’s high time you took measures against the toxic individual in your life.

1. You can’t deny they are constantly hurting you.

First and foremost you need to accept the situation the way it is. There is no point in judging and criticizing the other because this could make you feel tense and lonely. After that, you should be prepared to go through a period of disappointment that you are not able to get along with them. During this time you can deny their existence or pretend that they aren’t hurting you. You can block their texts and emails, and avoid every occasion to meet them. But these are all ways of resistance, and they won’t help handle the problem. It’s the other way round; such actions only make the other person more embedded in your mind.

So to deal with a toxic partner and relationship you should admit that your relationship with them is complicated. This way you would give yourself the opportunity to take real measures about the difficulties you are having with your partner. Most importantly, accepting the reality of a problematic relationship allows us to soften. This softening could open the door to your compassion for the other person. And provide you with the wisdom you need to deal with the problems.

2. Should you notice any abuse, remember that the situation has already become incredibly dangerous.

“If you or your friend are being abused, you may fear for the safety. You may be in a deep state of denial, you may have been threatened directly by your partner to keep the abuse a secret, or maybe scared and humiliated about what is happening,” Dr. Klapow a clinical psychologist and host of “The Kurre and Klapow Show,” says.

She advises us to proceed with extreme caution.

“If you come right out and just accuse the significant other of abuse, initially you are likely to get defensiveness, push back, and even dismissal,” adds Dr. Klapow. “It is important to express your general concern about the relationship. Then it is important to commit to being a safe and confidential place for communication.”

The doctor explains that you or your friend may not be ready to accept that there is such a severe problem. So you or your friend might need someone to go to and talk about it.

“You can turn to local shelters or abuse protection organizations.”

The goal is to declare the seriousness of the problem very clearly and try taking real steps towards working things out.

3. Things are not improving on their own.

If you have reached such a point in your relationship, then you should stop living in delusions that it is healthy and happy one. That will not make the relationship less toxic. It could only make your or your friend’s mental condition worse. So, admit that you are dealing with a toxic person. And tell this person how you feel. Try something like this:

“When we are together, I feel tense and nervous, and I can’t rest or behave normally. We need to do something about it because this has been the case for a long time.”

It takes courage to tell the truth because often it makes people angry. But your partner will probably be mad at you anyway, no matter what you do. This is part of their toxic personality. So, although they almost certainly won’t like hearing the truth, you need to tell it to them to free yourself from this burden which is weighing you down.

4. You feel traumatized by your toxic partner’s behavior.

Inform your partner or friend about the way you feel so that they are aware of it. Then talk to a professional, such as a guidance counselor or a psychologist. Sexy Intelligence hopes things don’t have to go that far. But if the toxicity in your relationship is taken to an extreme, immediate assistance might be what you need.

If you don’t take precautions, the emotional (and maybe physical) trauma could become worse, and it takes more than just time to heal from toxic relationships.

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Drowning in the Same River Over and Over Again: the Ex’s Case https://iheartintelligence.com/drowning-same-river-ex-case/ Fri, 03 Aug 2018 07:58:40 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=33792 The post Drowning in the Same River Over and Over Again: the Ex’s Case appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Drowning in the Same River Over and Over Again: the Ex’s Case

There are lessons in life that are hard to learn. That’s why we keep on bumping into them again and again. And it still hurts (every single time). It happened to me a couple of years ago when I was desperately trying to get out of a toxic relationship which was getting me nowhere fast. […]

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The post Drowning in the Same River Over and Over Again: the Ex’s Case appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Drowning in the Same River Over and Over Again: the Ex’s Case

There are lessons in life that are hard to learn. That’s why we keep on bumping into them again and again. And it still hurts (every single time).

It happened to me a couple of years ago when I was desperately trying to get out of a toxic relationship which was getting me nowhere fast. The healthy part of me (not very abundant at the time) was telling me to quit without further notice.

The masochistic part of me was enjoying the role of the Savior to my Ex.

(From my current perspective, I doubt he was really eager to be saved).

We were playing this anxious-avoidant dance (I – anxious, he – avoidant) till the day when I couldn’t take it anymore and left.

If you suspect that this is not the end of the story, you are quite right. It was the torturous beginning of getting together and getting apart until all my reason got lost in the struggle to make sense of why we were causing this to each other. I felt like the ancient Greek hero, Ikarus. The poor guy was flying hypnotized towards the sun (with his wax-glued wings) only to find himself falling down and drowning in the sea. Again and again, in my case. There was something mysterious (and stupid) in my groundless hope that next time things would be different. He would finally manage to keep his promises and I would finally get the kind of love I so desperately needed.

One day I managed once more to summon the left-overs of my ill-functioning brain and in a surprising self-preservation act, left. This time, for good, I told myself.

A couple of months passed during which he was trying to get in touch while I was trying to stay out of it. Inside of me was bleeding. It was not that easy to stay out of love even when all the facts (and friends) were pointing to the hopelessness of our connection. Did I mention he was a heavy marijuana user earning his money as a soda jerk while selling dope? I had no one to care for now while he was still in need of care. At least, that’s what I was telling myself when my healthy part was asleep.

I was pretending to have a normal life – seeing friends, going to parties, writing my Ph.D. thesis, healing. There were even moments when I believed a day will come when I would be able to let go of my fantasies of us being together again (and of him becoming a totally different person). Sometimes I would bump into some common friend of ours who would say ‘’Hey, I met X. on Sunday and he asked me about you’’. I would pretend to be cool and careless. ‘’Oh, really? And how is he doing ?’’. ‘’He’s got a new girlfriend’’, my friend said which coincided with me almost choking to death.

It took me some time to recover from the sad news. Life lost some of its colors but it’s all for the better, I told myself. Our case was hopeless anyway.

To strengthen my rehabilitation efforts, I would often rehearse all the hurtful and humiliating situations he was putting me into. The coldness, the distance, the cheating, the lies, the drugs. It seemed to be working. I even started dating other men again.

Then a common friend of ours invited me to a birthday party. I knew there was a risk of seeing my Ex there. But then I decided it was time to test my determination and my new and free ’’me’’.

Even after enormous preparation efforts on my side, the sight of him left me speechless. ‘’I was hoping to see you here’’, he said (and no girlfriend was to be seen in the vicinity). My rationality was all gone and 2 hours later we were at his place. All my suppressed love poured over him – relieved that there was no need to hold it back. At least for a couple of hours.

I hardly managed to tear myself away in the morning and went on to experience the worst love hang-over in my life. My self-respect hit the bottom and stayed there for weeks to come. I felt depressed and exhausted from my inner battle. It kept going without any consideration of all other aspects of reality that needed my attention.

I’m not quite sure how long it all lasted. I’m not sure how I managed to get out of it. The pain from this experience would still haunt me now and then.

Epilogue

A couple of days ago I was crossing the street with my three-year-old son who got irresistibly attracted to a construction site nearby. As I was trying to persuade him to stay away from the shaky fence, I saw a bearded man staring at me from the side. I felt an inexplicable urge to look at him more carefully but the battle with my son was at its decisive (life or death) phase and I concentrated on it.

The man came closer and smiled. ‘’I can hardly believe my eyes!’’, he said and I finally recognized him (by the shock registered in my gut). We exchanged a couple of words and I was pulled away by the three-year-old who didn’t particularly enjoy talking to strangers. As I was exploring the mixed sensations in my stomach, I realized that where once was an attraction, would always be an attraction. And that’s ok.

The true measure of self-growth is not the amount of love you give to those around you. Rather it’s the amount of love and self-respect you are ready to give to yourself. And in this sense, I finally felt a tiny bit grown.

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If You Suffer From Anxiety You Should Check These 10 Tips https://iheartintelligence.com/suffer-from-anxiety-tips/ Tue, 17 Jul 2018 07:54:16 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=32902 The post If You Suffer From Anxiety You Should Check These 10 Tips appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

If You Suffer From Anxiety You Should Check These 10 Tips

Important facts about anxiety: The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”. It is caused by a combination of factors. The most common may vary from stressful events to physical health problems. Or specific personality traits. Sadly, many people […]

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If You Suffer From Anxiety You Should Check These 10 Tips

Important facts about anxiety:

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”. It is caused by a combination of factors. The most common may vary from stressful events to physical health problems. Or specific personality traits. Sadly, many people today are affected by it.

Living with the anxiety is not easy. The tips below might come in useful to make your life better.

Focus on the moment

– from the minute we wake up our brain starts thinking for different problems. This might be stressful. Try to concentrate on the very moment. Avoid thinking about other things. Use your senses to only perceive what is going on now. This will prevent anxiety from overwhelming you.

Humor makes life better

– laughter reduces the production of stress hormones. It also boosts the immune system. When we laugh, we heal. Both emotionally and physically. If you want to prevent anxiety attacks, search for things that tickle your funny bone. Try a meme on Facebook or a funny video on YouTube.

Be an optimist

– seeing the glass half full is better way of accepting things. Negativity causes unpleasant restlessness. It also leads to anxiety. Try to always stay positive. No matter how hard times you go through. Remember every cloud has silver lining.

Multi-tasking is not OK

– multi-tasking is difficult and generally unnecessary. Trying to do many things at a time will make you nervous. This will worsen your anxiety. So, take it slow. Your tasks won’t run away.

Keep yourself busy

– anxiety might lead to panic. That’s why you need to be occupied. Staying productive will keep you distracted from negative thoughts. It’s not a bad idea to take up crafting activity or sport.

Food is not stress-reliever

– when we are nervous we tend to eat all kinds of things. It’s not a surprise most of them are unhealthy. This is called nervous eating and is a serious problem caused by anxiety. A good solution to it is to grab an apple if you are anxious. Chewing a gum might also. Doing this will surely prevent you from consuming harmful foods.

Save a penny for a rainy day

– worrying for finances causes anxiety. So, put money in your piggy bank regularly. It’s not important how much. The point is to relieve your financial stress.

Be physically active

– it doesn’t mean to become professional sport player. Neither to work out in the gym from dawn till dusk. Daily physical activities like jogging or walking will keep you fit. They will help relieve stress and avoid anxiety attacks.

Reduce stimulating substances

– don’t overdose with coffee or coke. Avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine. Be careful with the energy drinks. You are above the limit of normal anxiety. You don’t need additional substances to intensify the symptoms of your condition.

Accept your problem

– don’t feel ashamed you have disorder. This will only worsen your situation. Try acting openly about it. Discuss it with your friends and family. Find people who suffer from it too.

How to beat anxiety?

This is a difficult question. But putting these tips into practice will help for sure. And don’t forget to stay positive and lead a calm and happy life.

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8 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Anxious https://iheartintelligence.com/habits-that-making-you-anxious/ Mon, 26 Mar 2018 07:34:56 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=31982 The post 8 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Anxious appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

8 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Anxious

Anxiety disorders affect nearly 20% of adults in North America. That’s about 40 million people! Many researchers estimate that this number is actually closer to 30% since there are many people who suffer undiagnosed anxiety symptoms or aren’t even aware they have anxiety at all. Sometimes, it feels like anxiety has become a part of […]

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8 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Anxious

Anxiety disorders affect nearly 20% of adults in North America.

That’s about 40 million people! Many researchers estimate that this number is actually closer to 30% since there are many people who suffer undiagnosed anxiety symptoms or aren’t even aware they have anxiety at all.

Sometimes, it feels like anxiety has become a part of modern-day life, and it’s something many of us just have to deal with. In a way, it’s true.

The stress of school and the workplace leaves 41% of employees and over half of all college/university students suffering from high levels of anxiety.

Sometimes it just feels good to go home, and indulge in some well-deserved vices. We’ve all had the all-so-satisfying feeling of planting our butts in our couches and binge-watching our favorite Netflix shows while eating pizza. But as tempting and amazing as that sounds, is it really the best thing for us? As it turns out, some of our guilty pleasures may be agitating our anxiety instead of reducing it.

Here are 8 everyday habits that may be stressing you out more than you know.

1. Being a Couch Potato

Yes, your daily activeness has a direct effect on your mood. Regular exercise is important in maintaining your mental health because it reduces stress! According to the ADAA, even just 10 minutes of exercise a day – though 30 minutes of daily exercise is recommended – can improve alertness and concentration.

Exercise produces endorphins, which reduce stress. When you spend all day huddled up in bed or on your sofa, you give up the chance to decrease your tension, improve your sleep, and stabilize your mood.

Intimidated by the gym? Don’t worry… being active doesn’t have to be hard. Go out for walks or jogs, or try a morning yoga routine!

2. Skipping Meals

Are your eating habits irregular? Do you skip meals because you’re too busy being out and about? You’re only causing your body stress. Skipping meals or eating late can deplete you of the important nutrients that you need to feel energized. When you don’t have enough to eat, your blood-sugar levels take a dive, making you feel anxious, sluggish and irritated.

Want to feel calm and happy? Eat foods like berries, spinach, and fish, which are high in antioxidants, vitamin B, and omega-3 fatty acids, respectively. All of these foods and their nutrients work toward the elevation of mood and the warding off of depression.

3. Frequenting the Drive-Through

It’s not just about eating food, it’s about eating healthy. If you have a habit of heading to the drive-through a little too often, you might want to re-think your eating habits. A recent study found that high-fat diets increase nervousness and render antidepressant medications virtually ineffective.

4. Coffee Addiction

For many of us, it is a morning ritual to have a cup of coffee to wake us up. But caffeine is no friend to anyone who is prone to anxiety. Caffeine stimulates our flight-or-flight response centers, mimicking our physiological reactions to dangerous or scary situations. This makes us feel alert and energized. But this stimulation also means we have to deal with fight-or-flight symptoms: increased heart rate, sweaty palms, an upset stomach, and shaky hands.

Are you easily prone to anxiety? If so, it might not be in your best interest to have 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day. A good alternative that can wake us up in the morning is a cold glass of water with lemon or cucumber (or both).

5. Scrolling Through Social Media

It is a common habit to scroll through Instagram or Facebook in our free time. But being on social media for prolonged periods of time can be harmful to our mental health in more than one way.

Being on social media can take time away from other more important things, like being present at work or getting tasks done. The realization that you’ve spent 20 minutes looking at your Instagram feed can lead to regret and anxiety for not using your time more productively.

Social media sites also have a competitive aspect to them. Social media accounts are often curated representations of those that we follow. Being able to look at the best parts of other peoples lives can often make us feel jealous and upset about our own lives. Unplug for a while! Focus on the people in front of you and spend time with friends and loved ones. Those are the kinds of interactions that help you feel happy.

6. You Don’t Get Sleep

You need at least 7 hours of sleep in order to feel healthy and energized in the day. Anything less, and you will feel the effects of sleep deprivation. These effects include heightened stress, mood destabilization, poor cognitive functioning, and a lowered immune system. Sleep deprivation can also cause anticipatory anxiety, which is the anxiety you feel right before events like heading into work, having to speak publicly, or taking a test.

Get those hours in! Figure out a bedtime schedule that works for you and try to regulate your sleep hours. Going to sleep at midnight? Get ready for bed at 11. Are you a habitual pre-sleep computer or phone user? These over-stimulating gadgets are actually preventing your brain from winding down. Try reading a book before bed instead – or better yet, a pre-sleep breathing meditation.

7. Spending Too Much Time Alone

This might seem productive for someone who suffers from anxiety. But spending time with other people can actually help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Spending time with supportive friends and developing healthy positive attachments can help to improve social functioning and increase happiness. Alone time is important every once in a while, especially for all of you introverts out there. But it’s just as important to get out there and see your friends!

8. Listening to Moody Music

Yes, sad songs can affect your mood. The emotion and effect of the songs you listen to have direct effects on your current emotions. If you’re already feeling anxious or sad, it’s probably not in your best interest to play your breakup playlist on repeat. That sad tune will exacerbate the sadness and anxiety you may already be feeling. The next time you’re feeling sad or anxious, listen to something happy! Make a playlist full of calming or positive music that will help you find your happy place.

Now, remember; these habits are not sure-fire anxiety triggers for everyone. Doing any of these things will not guarantee a bout of anxiety. But they will increase your chances of it.

What do you think? Any anxiety-inducing habits you’ve been guilty of? I’m a coffee addict, myself. Are there any habits you know of that should have made it on this list?

Via Psych2Go

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4 Types of Introvert: Which Are You? https://iheartintelligence.com/4-types-introvert/ Mon, 11 Sep 2017 08:15:45 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=30279 The post 4 Types of Introvert: Which Are You? appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

4 Types of Introvert: Which Are You?

Introversion has been having its moment in the sun recently, which is an odd characterization for a group of people who “tend to shrink from social contacts and to become preoccupied with their own thoughts”, according to vocabulary.com. Introverts, often described more easily by what they are not than what they are, are finally being […]

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The post 4 Types of Introvert: Which Are You? appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

4 Types of Introvert: Which Are You?

Introversion has been having its moment in the sun recently, which is an odd characterization for a group of people who “tend to shrink from social contacts and to become preoccupied with their own thoughts”, according to vocabulary.com.

Introverts, often described more easily by what they are not than what they are, are finally being given a bit of movement within their own label. It has to be tough to feel introverted or like an introvert but not like you fit, neatly and specifically, into the “introvert” box.

Recent studies have shown, however, that there are actually 4 kinds of introverts. Check this out:

Social introverts

are closest to the commonly-held belief about introverts: people who prefer small groups to large crowds or being alone to being in a group at all. Social introverts generally prefer solitude over socializing in groups at all. It’s important to distinguish this from shyness, though: social introverts feel no anxiety about their choice. They just generally prefer small groups of friends or solitude over large, loud crowds.

Thinking introverts

are people who don’t share the social preferences that social introverts do; their introversion actually has nothing to do with groups of people at all. Thinking introverts are highly self-reflective, introspective and thoughtful. They spend a good deal of time internally reflective in a creative, imaginative way. One way to describe it is “lost in their own fantasy world”, but not in a neurotic way.

Anxious introverts

are usually those described as “shy” because their introversion comes from feeling uncomfortable with crowds or large groups of people due to a lack of confidence in their social skills. Anxious introverts are likely to ruminate at length about what could have or would have happened if they had attended an activity, how things could/would have gone terribly wrong.

Restrained introverts

can otherwise best be described as “reserved”. They operate at a slower pace and often take longer to take action. They take longer to get going and won’t be the type to spring out of bed to greet the world, preferring instead to take their time and move at their own pace.

Do any of these ring true for you? You can take a quiz here to find out what kind of introvert you might be. Let us know in the comments!

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5 Signs Of High-Functioning Depression That Are Mistakenly Overlooked https://iheartintelligence.com/signs-of-high-functioning-depression/ Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:57:36 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=29734 The post 5 Signs Of High-Functioning Depression That Are Mistakenly Overlooked appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

5 Signs Of High-Functioning Depression That Are Mistakenly Overlooked

HFD is a type of illusion. Those who have it are master magicians, appearing jubilant and content on the outside, while suffering deeply, on the inside. Depression, as a whole, affects 350 million people worldwide. So the chances that you know someone, or more than one person, who suffers from it are not unlikely. High-Functioning Depression […]

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The post 5 Signs Of High-Functioning Depression That Are Mistakenly Overlooked appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

5 Signs Of High-Functioning Depression That Are Mistakenly Overlooked

HFD is a type of illusion. Those who have it are master magicians, appearing jubilant and content on the outside, while suffering deeply, on the inside.

Depression, as a whole, affects 350 million people worldwide. So the chances that you know someone, or more than one person, who suffers from it are not unlikely.

High-Functioning Depression is a bit more tricky to identify than other kinds of depression because people who suffer from it don’t appear to be doing so bad- at least, on the surface. They manage to keep up a facade of everything just being ‘okay,’ and act as if things are progressing smoothly in their life, but on the inside they feel broken and shattered to their core.

If you know of someone who might be suffering from HFD and your intentions are to help, please note that these signs are not to be regarded as an official means of diagnosis, and that one should refer to a medical professional or therapist to make their clinical evaluation.

1. They are always highly critical of themselves.

A clear indicator of HFD is a profound sense of extreme self criticism. If you often hear them say things like “I’m not good enough,” or “I can never do anything right,” it could be a sign of something more.

When instances of failure or negative thoughts apply broadly rather than to an isolated act, it’s a sign that the person’s mental health should be looked into. Even if it is passed off as a joke, take it seriously. You know this person is well accomplished and respected by many (explaining the high-functioning part), but their responses and outward behaviour go beyond modesty and straight into self-denial.

2. Irritability, anxiety and irregular sleep patterns

Those who have HFD have an adept ability to maintain an atmosphere of everything being just fine when around company, making it extremely difficult to try and help.

They might act irritable or seem anxious at times, also a sign of depression that is known to perpetuate depressive states even further. And if you ask them how they are doing, they will tell you “fine,” “great,” or “good.”  The thing is, they don’t feel depressed, not like the people in the depression commercials on TV. Symptoms of HFD are different, and like most mental health conditions, it all depends on their circumstances.

If you notice a change in their sleep pattern, it can also be a sign of low-level chronic depression, but this problem might not be true for someone with HFD, since they are usually quite good at keeping deadlines, and experts at making it seem like nothing really is wrong. “Good sleep is key to good mental health,” says Carol Landau, PhD, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University.

3. They put enormous amounts of pressure on themselves at work.

On the surface they seem to be thriving in their work environment but in reality they’re ready to just call it quits. Who hasn’t felt like that at one point?

However, the reason those with HFD feel this way is different than most. People with HFD tend to excel at whatever they do, but it will never seem to be good enough for them. Their expectations of themselves are so high, and to themselves they fail each and every time. Because of this, their emotions turn to emptiness, and what should bring them comfort brings them numbness instead.

They will go to almost drastic lengths to keep up their positive appearance and see to their commitments as though nothing is wrong. Usually, the inability for them to deal with this somewhat somber and futile state of existence leads them to this next point.

4. Alcoholism, substance abuse or changing of habits.

Not saying that every alcoholic or junkie out there suffers from HFD, but when someone who does suffer from it develops a regular pattern of trying to curb the pain and anguish with the use of substances, then it is their personal well-being that is at stake.

Signs that we need to look out for include: Sudden loss of interest in hobbies; making up of excuses for odd/clumsy behaviour; higher intake of substances than intended becomes more frequent; only interest they have is in things that can cause numbness, or mood changes.

Drugs and alcohol have also been proven to exacerbate the effects of depression and anxiety, so probably not the best route to go down if you already suffer from either. Regardless at how you look at substance abuse, it is easy to understand why someone who is going through all of this would resort to such measures. Especially when they don’t feel as if they have anyone who would understand or support them through it.

5. Futility, withdrawal and higher suicide risk.

Trying to explain to a person with HFD that they need serious professional help is like trying to draw blood from a stone. Showing them the light does nothing but make them retreat further into a state of morose withdrawal.

This is the point where the sufferer ultimately ceases to find anything in life compelling or worth doing. Anhedonia as it is referred to in the clinical sense, is defined by the inability to experience pleasure from something that is normally pleasurable. The sense of futility or hopelessness that they constantly feel leads them to thoughts of just entirely giving up on life, this is when High-functioning depression is at it’s most discreet, but also most dangerous.

Some of us, as humans, feel an innate obligation to help those who are desperately suffering. This can be quite a task when it comes to someone with High-functioning depression, as its almost impossible to convince them that their well-being is due for a service (no matter how you put it). If you can’t seem to go over, under, or around this huge wall that they’ve built, then start removing the bricks one at a time and no matter what, let them know they are loved without judgment. And remember, there’s always alternative therapy methods.

On a final note, if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please know that you are not alone. The world is a big, beautiful place, but there’s only one of you. And the world needs you.

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20 Truths About People Who Are Too Anxious, But Also Too Kind https://iheartintelligence.com/truths-about-people-anxious-too-kind/ Fri, 31 Mar 2017 12:33:42 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=26082 The post 20 Truths About People Who Are Too Anxious, But Also Too Kind appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

20 Truths About People Who Are Too Anxious, But Also Too Kind

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not […]

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The post 20 Truths About People Who Are Too Anxious, But Also Too Kind appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

20 Truths About People Who Are Too Anxious, But Also Too Kind

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen,” wrote Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

Adversity gives us empathy and kindness – but it can also give us unbearable anxiety.

Here are 20 things to know when you love someone like this:

1. They have no problem apologizing and admitting fault.

What they struggle with is admitting when someone has hurt them.

2. They are deeply perceptive.

It can be difficult to hide your emotions from people like this.

3. This person is both a lover and a fighter.

Don’t be fooled by their vulnerability. They are fiercely protective of the people they care for.

4. They are much more focused on giving than on receiving, often attempting to pour from an empty cup.

5. The way they choose to treat you is not conditional on the way that you treat them.

Your partner’s behavior is a reflection on their own heart – not on yours.

6. The worrying is constant.

Logic won’t do much to solve it – your partner knows their fears aren’t reasonable. All you can do is provide reassurance and love.

7. They will forgive too easily and too often.

Don’t take advantage of this.

8. Your anxious and kind partner is unlikely to play power games.

Power isn’t what they want from you.

9. Their clinginess comes from a fear of abandonment.

Indulge it, and it will fade as their trust in you grows. Fight it, and it will become stronger.

10. They will feel their emotions very deeply – even when they come from another person’s pain, and not their own.

This can cause agony, but it can also build empathy.

11. They may seem like they are over-apologizing sometimes.

However, be assured that it is sincere. They are even harder on themselves than they are on you. They struggle deeply with empathy and self-blame.

12. You may spend time talking to your partner through situations that are unlikely to ever happen.

They know it’s not rational, but they appreciate your patience.

13. Your partner will go far, far out of their way not to hurt you – or anyone else.

Sometimes this will come at the expense of their own self-care.

14. They make up their own rules and form their own boundaries.

The “three day rule” means nothing to them, and they will text you back right away.

15. They may over-prepare for unlikely tragedies.

Know that this is because there was once a time when they were caught unprepared when a nightmare came their way. They’ll do anything to avoid reliving that.

16. Your partner’s paranoia is their defense mechanism.

They use it to protect themselves. As their trust in you grows, this will slowly start to fade. However, it may never disappear entirely.

17. They will not put you through a guilt trip to gain the upper hand.

If they confront you about something, it means they are truly upset by it.

18. Everything will be analyzed down to the letter.

Indulging this impulse will create a sense of safety and security, while fighting it will only breed suspicion. It isn’t fair, but acts of love are rarely about equality.

19. They are terrified to be hurt again – but they won’t let this harden their heart.

20. They will love you completely, forever, and unconditionally.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares,” wrote Henri J.M. Nouwen.

Did you see your partner in this list? If so, hold on to them. You can doubt this person’s decisions, their wisdom, and even their sanity – but you can never doubt their ability to care. That’s a special thing in our society.

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25 Signs Your Partner Has Lost Interest https://iheartintelligence.com/partner-lost-interest/ Mon, 07 Nov 2016 11:54:55 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=22521 The post 25 Signs Your Partner Has Lost Interest appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

25 Signs Your Partner Has Lost Interest

“I mean, maybe under the surface, somewhere that’s hard to see, I’ve known it had to end for a long time. I just never thought I’d be the one to end it,” wrote Susane Colasanti in Waiting for You. Is it possible you know on some level that your relationship is ending, but are fighting […]

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25 Signs Your Partner Has Lost Interest

“I mean, maybe under the surface, somewhere that’s hard to see, I’ve known it had to end for a long time. I just never thought I’d be the one to end it,” wrote Susane Colasanti in Waiting for You.

Is it possible you know on some level that your relationship is ending, but are fighting against that knowledge with every fiber of your being?

Your partner may have lost the will to contribute to your relationship, but still insist on keeping you for themselves in a way that is selfish and unfair. If this is the case, it’s time to cut yourself loose.

Here are 25 signs that your partner is no longer invested in your relationship:

1. You’re anxious and self-conscious with your partner more often than you’re happy.

2. They sometimes forget when you’ve made plans together. You often feel the need to remind them.

3. They criticize you often and unnecessarily.

4. They only come around when they need support – emotional, financial, or otherwise.

5. You don’t fight, because you’re afraid to disagree with them. Arguments are usually one-sided and unfair.

6. Your partner uses demeaning or dismissive body language. This might include eye rolling, sighing, or turning their back to ignore you.

7. Most of your dates begin very late at night. They always end in sex.

8. They are always busy. You only hang out at their sporadic convenience.

9. You often wonder if your partner is cheating on you.

10. They become another person when they are around their family and friends. They act totally different when the two of you are alone.

11. They don’t like to talk about the future.

12. You know absolutely everything about your partner, because they are your primary topic of conversation. You’re not sure they even know your middle name.

13. Your partner treats random strangers with more tenderness and care than they treat you.

14. You are more likely to reach your partner’s voicemail than their actual voice.

15. Your partner becomes bored and disinterested when you discuss things that are important to you. They might even shut down the conversation entirely.

16. You never hang out without drinking or doing drugs.

17. They apologize easily, but don’t change their behavior.

18. They are overly protective of their phone and computer passwords.

19. Your partner shows little interest in your friends and family members.

20. They don’t ask about your problems, and tell you they don’t like hearing you complain.

21. Your partner seems to have an excuse for everything.

22. They make no effort to include you in plans with their friends or family. In fact, there are important people in their life you have never met at all.

23. They bring out the worst in you.

24. You feel as though you need their permission for everything.

25. They blame all of the problems in your relationship on you. They refuse to take any accountability.

So – is this the end of your relationship, and its place in your world? Is it time to begin a new chapter? As C. JoyBell C. answered, “No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!” If you identified with the dynamics listed above, it’s time to let that loser go.

You deserve a better, brighter love that fills you up instead of tearing you down.

Free yourself up to find it!

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6 Signs You Could Have A Hormonal Imbalance https://iheartintelligence.com/hormonal-imbalance/ Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:22:55 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=21592 The post 6 Signs You Could Have A Hormonal Imbalance appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

6 Signs You Could Have A Hormonal Imbalance

Hormones don’t only wreak havoc in the lives of teenagers and menopausal women. Believe it or not, hormones can dictate your energy level and mood throughout any stage of adulthood. They can also have an impact on your weight, your memory, and even your sex life. Hormones can cause you to experience undue stress, which […]

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6 Signs You Could Have A Hormonal Imbalance

6 Signs You Could Have A Hormonal Imbalance

Hormones don’t only wreak havoc in the lives of teenagers and menopausal women. Believe it or not, hormones can dictate your energy level and mood throughout any stage of adulthood. They can also have an impact on your weight, your memory, and even your sex life. Hormones can cause you to experience undue stress, which is alarming as some consider stress to be a leading health problem of our generation.

So – could your daily life be improved by addressing a hormonal imbalance?

First, let’s review the hormones which most profoundly impact our daily lives:

  • Cortisol is produced in response to stress. It elicits a “fight or flight” response, and can cause weight gain. An imbalance can impair cognitive and immune function, as well. Disruptions in cortisol levels can also cause problems with your sleep cycle.
  • Testosterone is produced by both sexes, but men produce much more of it. An imbalance in testosterone levels can inhibit male sexual drive and development. In both genders, it can cause fatigue, mood swings, and an increase in body fat.
  • Insulin is the hormone that helps your body to process sugar. Insulin resistance can cause you to experience extreme hunger and fatigue. It can also increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Estrogen is produced by both men and women, although women produce it in much higher levels. An estrogen imbalance can cause mood swings, anxiety, headaches, and a slowing of the metabolism.

These hormones work in a delicate balance with one another in the wide context of your entire body. For this reason, it is difficult to pinpoint the nature of a hormonal imbalance without medical testing. However, if you experience the following symptoms, you may want to ask your doctor to investigate your hormonal framework.

1. Weight Gain

Gaining weight can be frustrating, discouraging, and even dangerous. If you are exercising and eating a healthy diet, but are still struggling to lose weight, your hormones may be at fault.

2. Mood Swings

As human beings, it is natural for us to experience a wide range of emotions. However, if your moods fluctuate wildly or do not make sense as a response to your situation, you may have a hormonal imbalance.
‘Love Hormone’ And Alcohol Have Similar Effects On The Brain

3. Inability to Focus

If you are struggling to remember trivial things throughout the day – such as where you put your keys or what you were supposed to buy at the store – you may be unduly stressed and overwhelmed. You may also need to get your hormone levels checked. A hormonal imbalance can cause you to become forgetful and impair your capacity for concentration.

4. Sleep Problems

Because hormones regulate our energy levels, an imbalance can cause your sleep cycle to become abnormal. Chronic insomnia is something to see your doctor about regardless of a hormonal cause. However, it can also be the sign of an imbalance.

5. Fatigue

Fatigue can be caused by the sleep problems mentioned above, but there are other hormonal factors that can contribute to it as well. Insulin resistance, for example, can cause your body to process sugar incorrectly. This can lead you to become anxious one minute and sluggish the next.

6. Decreased Sexual Appetite

Honestly, any of the symptoms above can cause a decrease in sexual desire. However, a true hormonal imbalance can cause your sex drive to all but disappear. Because sexual desire is fueled by hormones, this should come as no surprise. Although this can be difficult to talk to your doctor about, it is an important symptom to bring up when discussing your hormonal concerns.

If you suspect you may have a hormone imbalance, I encourage you to see your doctor right away. Why live with the symptoms above if you don’t have to? Correcting an imbalance in your hormone levels can increase your quality of life and help you to become the best possible version of yourself.

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