By Natasha Kwachka, Employee Benefits Service Manager
In today’s world almost any need can be met with relatively instant gratification. Want to binge watch a show? Netflix. Need a Nicholas Cage sequin pillow? Amazon. Want to know how truffles are found? Google. But with so much information and so many choices, have you ever thought that you might be overindulging… in almost everything?
Sometimes I wonder if this path actually leads us to towards a successful, well rounded, and well lived life. Mentally, physically, or even emotionally, could this world of immediate gratification be damaging?
These thoughts often cross my mind as I raise my children, pour my soul into my job, and try to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle. My own superficial needs become intermixed with the world’s ability to give me what I want, which often creates this continuous toxic cycle within me to strive for more, more, more… and give it to me now, please!
More information, more results, more material items. What could all this add up to? Will this be the road to great success? I often think not. But then, my competitive nature strikes, and I am compelled to seek out more again. So as of lately I have found myself asking the question, “What can I give up?”
Why must I feel the need to watch the entire series of my latest show on Netflix and know all the answers to the ending by midnight? Why do I think I have to try all the latest Reese’s released right when I see them? Why can’t I go to the store and buy a piece of décor one at a time instead of feeling I must redecorate my entire living room in one stop? What could possibly relieve this constant need for the “immediate”?
So as the days went on, I found myself implementing small, but manageable, changes. I slowly started taking away the race to the instant result in everything. I realized that I am in control of the speed of my own life. I don’t want to spend it constantly chasing the next immediate gratification, only to get there and realize I’m off to the next stop without even realizing why. I’m making conscious efforts to show gratitude for all that I have already obtained and experienced.
Such a small question has allowed me to find such a high level of peace.
What could you give up?
By Natasha Kwachka, Employee Benefits Service Manager
When you think about it, we are all entrepreneurs of our own lives. Continuously growing our personal networks, adding to our assets and skills, and striving to accomplish goals all in the hopes that we make an emotionally profitable life.
This noble pursuit runs concurrent with our day-to-day work, kids, school, recreation, and in some cases, additional business ventures or second part-time or full-time jobs. The pursuit is unending and requires constant effort. What can all these factors amount to? Fatigue. Annoying, draining, life sucking fatigue.
I know when I start to feel fatigue sink in, my dedication and inspiration plummets. I found this article with some helpful tips. My favorite strategy is the practice of gratitude. Finding the small things that I can be grateful for usually jump starts my drive. What will you do to keep fatigue from putting your emotional profits in the red?
This article is from RISQ Consulting’s Zywave client portal, a resource available to all RISQ Consulting clients. Please contact your Benefits Consultant or Account Executive for more information or for help setting up your own login.
What is mental health?
Your mental well-being includes how you think, act and feel. It also helps you cope with stress, relate to others and make decisions. According to the WHO, there’s not a specific definition of mental well-being. However, various studies agree that achieving a state of mental well-being includes being able to:
- Realize your full potential.
- Work productively.
- Cope with normal stresses of life.
- Contribute meaningfully to your community.
Mental well-being includes mental health, but goes far beyond treating mental illness. For example, you could go through a period of poor mental health but not necessarily have a diagnosable mental illness. And your mental health can change over time, depending on factors such as your workload, stress and work-life balance.
What is mental illness?
Mental illness refers to a variety of conditions that affect your mood or behavior, feelings or thinking. Mental illnesses can occur occasionally, while others are chronic and long-lasting. Common mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Mental illness is more prevalent than you might think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental illness in any given year, and more than 50% will experience mental illness at some point in their life.
Why is mental well-being important?
Your mental well-being is tied directly to your physical health. Individuals with poor mental health or untreated mental illness are at risk of developing many chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and obesity.
Poor mental health can also cause negative effects in your work life as well as in your social life. If you have poor mental health, you may experience productivity issues at work and may experience withdrawal or feelings of loneliness.
How can you improve your mental well-being?
Because it’s such a crucial component of your health, it’s important to focus on maintaining or improving your mental health. Here are three simple ways to do so every day:
- Express gratitude. Taking five minutes a day to write down the things that you are grateful for has been proven to lower stress levels and can help you change your mindset from negative to positive.
- Get exercise. You probably hear all the time how beneficial exercise is to your overall health, but it’s true. Exercising can improve brain function, reduce anxiety and improve your self-image.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Strive for seven to eight hours of sleep a night to improve your mental health.
Where can I learn more?
For more information about mental well-being, please contact your doctor.