5 Hobbies That Will Make You Feel Good

Life is full of stress for most people. We work all day long, and we try to fit in the time for a family and a social life. In all of that time, we have to find at least an hour a day to do something for ourselves. We’re told that self-care is important, well, a hobby is the best self-care there is!

Hobbies give you a place to be at a certain time. They give you fulfilment around everything else that you do in your life – something that’s for you! Whether you enjoy reading about the Nissan Sileighty or watching it race on TV, or you plan to take up skydiving in your spare time, you need a hobby that will interest you and ignite passion in your life. Below, we’ve put together five hobbies that will make a difference to the way that you feel about your time.

Man playing guitar on rough terrain

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  1. Learn To Play An Instrument

Music soothes the soul, so why wouldn’t learning how to play an instrument enhance your cultural education? Playing music has so many benefits for the mind as much as your body, and it creates a huge sense of achievement when you learn how to play something new. You can watch YouTube and self-teach any instrument if you know what you are looking for, too! Dance party, anyone?

  1. Study A Language

Learning a language in the pursuit of travelling the world and actually using it can help you in so many ways. You get to widen your knowledge while widening your perception of the world around you. You can meet new people and know how to communicate, and you can even download language learning apps on your phone to learn on the go.

  1. Put Your Fitness First

Often in men, skincare, health and fitness are a big deal. What is lacking in physical health almost always translates to something lacking in mental health, too. It’s so important that you know where to turn when you need a break from all of the pent-up stress, and pouring energy into running or other physical activity will flood the brain with happy hormones. Stress-busting can begin in the gym for you!

  1. Start Cooking

The percentage of male celebrity chefs to females is higher for a good reason, and it has nothing to do with skills in the kitchen. Men and women can cook as well as each other, but that doesn’t mean that men can’t be the best! Get your creativity out onto the table – literally. Learn to cook. Hit some cookery classes and baking classes and get out of the house. Once you pay for a course like that, you can spend time really enjoying yourself and pushing all of your pain into food. It’s worth it, with delicious consequences.

  1. Go Back To School

It doesn’t matter if you are in the peak of your life, there is always room for learning. You can go back to school and get another degree or learn a new skill, and add to your bow!

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A To-Don’t List For Feeling Better About Yourself

We all have our bad days. Some more than others. While this is a normal thing and we inevitably go through some tough times that make us question our self-worth, we should not let the negativity take over our lives.

If we want to change the way we feel about ourselves and, ultimately, our situation, we need to not only do the right things but also stop doing the bad ones. Even if you keep doing the right things but you continue to live with the bad ones, you will just end up in a vicious cycle. It’s time to get rid of some of our negative reactions to life and its challenges.

10 Things to Stop Doing to Change the Way You Feel about Yourself for the Better

1. Don’t compare yourself with others.

So your colleagues’ quick-sale houses are moving faster than the ones on your listing. Your high school friends are doing extremely well in life while you’re still struggling to hold down a job. It might seem so easy to feel sorry for yourself and be envious of what they have.

Don’t. Stop comparing yourself to others. Your life and progress are your own journey. You go at your own pace. It is your race to finish, not theirs.

2. Don’t say “yes” if something doesn’t sit well with you.

One of the things that sometimes rob folks of joy is people-pleasing. This includes saying “yes” just to feel included and valued. But at what expense? It can lead to a life of compromise and instability. Put a stop to it. If you don’t agree with something, you can always say “no” and agree to disagree. Give it a try. It can be very liberating.

3. Don’t feel guilty about taking a break.

You’re not a machine that can keep going for hours on end. Even machines are put to rest regularly to delay wear-and-tear. As a human being, your energy reserves will run out — physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. You need to recognize when to stop and take a breather. It’s fine to take care of yourself, too.

4. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Mistakes are natural for human beings. No one is perfect. We’re all flawed in our own unique way. If things don’t work out for you because of something you did (or did not do) or something you are (or are not), it’s okay. Pick up the pieces, learn the lesson, and move on as a better person.

5. Don’t convince yourself that you’re okay when you’re really not.

In some cases, we are our own worst enemy… well, at least our pride is. Pride makes us put on phony facades and keeps us from acknowledging our realities for fear of either pity or rejection.

It’s really okay to not be okay sometimes. You just need to embrace this fact and learn how to deal with it. The sooner you learn to accept things the way they are, the sooner you can get on the road to recovery.

6. Don’t let anything or anyone prevent you from making time to care for yourself.

Self-care is an important aspect of functioning well holistically and socially. They say that you can’t give what you don’t have. If you keep showing up for people but fail to do the same thing for yourself, how do you expect to give them your best? Take time to attend to your needs, too.

7. Don’t be afraid to speak up and be heard.

Most of the time, we don’t like speaking our minds because we feel like what we have to say doesn’t matter in the grander scheme of things. But know that your thoughts, opinions, and voice matters to those close to you. You’re seeing one side of the spectrum that could be their blind side. What you have to say can potentially be a life-changer.

8. Don’t break your promises.

Feeling good is sometimes based on the things you’ve accomplished. Making good on your word brings you opportunities to achieve and accomplish something significant to another person. It makes you more thoughtful about your decisions and actions which leads to greater self-confidence.

9. Don’t get insulted easily.

Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can make or break you. A lot of people have never recovered from a bad thing that was directed at them. In most cases, these insults have led to lifetime trauma.

You need to learn how to filter what people say about you. Stop taking every word hurled at you so seriously. Consider the source first. Sometimes, it has to do more with their issues and not you. Understand that hurt people hurt people. So instead of reacting to every negative word they say about you, choose to respond better and rise above it all.

10. Don’t stop living life.

Nobody promised that life is easy. You will face challenges that will require mountain-moving faith. But no matter how big those mountains are, just keep going. Don’t stop living for these circumstances are temporary.

Sometimes you don’t need to move the mountain at all. You just need to keep driving uphill until you overcome it. Once you’re past it, you’ll only see a small mountain in your rearview mirror. Don’t get easily overwhelmed.

As Dory from Little Nemo said, “Just keep swimming.”

We hope that you find these things helpful when you’re down. Life is too short and too beautiful to not fully enjoy. It’s time to get up and face life with a different attitude.

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Important Life Lessons You Will Learn in Your 20s

Your 20s is such a wonderful time of your life. You have graduated from university and you have a real job that pays. You are an adult now.

In your 20s, there will be plenty of experiences that you will go through for the first time. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will learn a lot of life lessons that you will carry onto your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond.

If you are about to turn what is going to be one of the best decades of your life, here are some things you should expect.

You Learn to Become Independent

For many, your 20s is going to be the time that you can say you have become truly independent. You officially will move out of your parents’ house and into an apartment of your own. You are expected to pay your own rent and utility bills using the income you earn from working.

Every experience – from looking for a furnished condo for rent to fixing a broken tap – will teach you how to be independent. You only have yourself to rely on. In every aspect of your life, you get to make the decisions.

You Will Make a Lot of Mistakes

A word of warning: you will make a lot of mistakes. That is part of growing up.

No one is born knowing how to do everything. You do not magically gain the knowledge of how to install a light bulb or paint a wall when you turn a certain age.

Nowadays, you can look up tutorials online to guide you. However, expect to still make a lot of mistakes.

Everyone fails at some point. Even the most successful people were either rejected or made a mistake in their life. Stephen King’s first novel,Carrie,was famously rejected 30 times by publishers before it was finally published by Doubleday. Steve Jobs was once fired by the company he co-founded.

You will make a lot of big and small mistakes. The secret is to suck it up and turn it into an opportunity to learn.

Enjoy Being Single

In your 20s, you do not have a lot of responsibilities just yet. You only have yourself to look after.

So, when you are single, do not mope around. Sure, it is nice to have someone take care of you, but no relationship is perfect. There will always be fights no matter how kind and understanding your partner is.

Besides, when you are single, you do not have to ask permission to do anything. You can travel the world, stay up all night with friends, etc. This period of your life will eventually end, so make the most out of it.

Chase Your Dream

When you are young, you feel like you have all the time in the world. However, that is not exactly true. Many factors in life may interfere, preventing you from doing some things that you want to do.

While you have the time, do it. Stary paving the path that will lead you toward your dreams. You will have to make a number of sacrifices in order to reach your goals, but you do not have a lot to lose.

Spend your 20s experimenting, making mistakes, and learning. When you get to the next decade, you will have an arsenal of experience that will ready you for the new challenges that you will face.

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Why Can’t You Meditate Successfully?

When it comes to learning about mindfulness, about curbing your stress, and about managing your mental health in general, meditation is one of the most widely recommended practices around. The benefits that it has shown for countless people is a clear sign of its effectiveness, but how come it’s not working with you? Here, we’re going to look at a few tips you can use to better meditate when you want to reach that inner zen.

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Get some help in doing it

If you feel like you’re not going it right, then that shouldn’t be too much of a source of frustration. It takes time to learn how to do it properly. However, if you feel like you’re really have trouble grasping what you’re even supposed to do, then there are plenty of guided meditation apps like calm.com that can you learn the most effective techniques along the way. However, your method of meditation does not have to look like anyone else’s. These apps can also serve to create soundscapes that aid your meditation once you’re starting to get the hang of it, as well. 

Ease your body, too

Calming your mind with meditation can serve to also calm your body and ease some stress. But sometimes your body might be feeling to tense to even start to get into position. Even if hands-on stress relief techniques like massage therapy isn’t available, products like those available at caduceusscience.com can help you manage your stress in advance of the attempt so that you might be able to better slip into a meditative state. Taking the time to exercise, cool down, and shower, before you meditate, can be effective, as well.

Set the scene

The kind of environment you meditate in will play a big role in how easily you can get into it. Distractions are going to get in the way of any attempts you make. For that reason, it’s a good idea to try and do it somewhere isolated or, if you’re in a safe place, to wear noise-canceling earphones that at least make it easy to block out the outside world. Then, aromatherapy candles like those from neomorganics.com, or incense or reed diffusers, can help you create a more relaxing atmosphere with the right scents, making it easier to slip into the right state.

Don’t give up

One tip that is crucial is that even if it doesn’t feel like you’re able to reach any kind of meditative state within, say, the first ten minutes, that doesn’t mean you should give up. If you’ve set aside half an hour, you should meditate for half an hour. At some point, you start to lose track of the frustration and instead focus on the moment, which makes it easier to finally find your feet.

Hopefully, the tips above help you meditate a little more successfully. You don’t have to experience it exactly the same way that others do, but you do have to stick at it if you want to see the positive effects.

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Easing Stress, Anxiety and Sadness While on Lockdown

The COVID-19 outbreak has taken a huge toll on all of us. Take a look at this post in which we reflected on the death toll and economic impact as well as providing our post-partisan take on the government’s handling of the pandemic. These are uncertain times for all of us. And when uncertainty arises, anxiety is often quick to follow. The pandemic and subsequent lockdown have, quite understandably, precipitated spikes in anxiety and depression throughout the world. Still, as you grapple with the “new normal” it’s important to remember that you are not powerless. You can take control of your mental health and improve your psychological wellbeing by being proactive. 

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Here’s how…

Take control of your finances

Your household budget is a balance sheet of income and expenditure. You’ve likely taken a drop in income. But that doesn’t mean that you’re powerless to counteract it by addressing your expenditure. The best place to start is the kitchen. Get used to eating more wholefoods (especially fruits and veggies). Buy fresh when you can. Buy tinned, dried or frozen when you can’t. As you get used to batch cooking and meal planning you’ll be amazed by how much less you spend on food.

Don’t forget about your bills, either. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you need to pay over the odds for your utilities, home or auto insurance. Start running some price comparisons now or investigate local providers and you might just be amazed by what you can save. What’s more, if you’re no longer using your car, you don’t necessarily have to go to the expense of insuring it

Make time for yourself

You’re likely sharing your home with the whole family. As a result, it’s likely feeling a whole lot smaller. It can feel as though everyone is getting under your feet, and inevitably cabin fever may set in. This is why it’s so vital that you (and everyone else in the household) make time for yourself. Remember that you still can, and should go outside to get some fresh air. Take a walk, sit in the park and read a book for an hour. Play some video games or watch a movie by yourself if it helps you unwind but be wary of spending all day in front of a screen. 

Make time for yourself and you’ll return to your family happier and better adjusted with more perspective on your problems. 

Eat more plants, and less of everything else

Fruits, veggies, grains and pulses are packed with nutrients and phytochemicals to keep your body in tip top shape and your immune system ready for battle. However, studies suggest that a vegetarian diet also helps to boost your mood and reduce stress. Not to mention saving you money. So load up on plant based foods and steer clear of anything processed where possible.

Exercise in whatever way works best for you

Finally, exercise can be a tremendous boon when trying to stay positive and alleviate stress. Exercise floods the brain with endorphins- the body’s feel good chemicals. Furthermore, the idea of wowing people with the new, leaner and healthier you once the lockdown is lifted can be a powerful motivator. 

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Ready For A Lifestyle Overhaul?

Ready for a shakeup in your life? Have the last few months or weeks given you something to think about? Are you ready to create a more enjoyable, better and more personal lifestyle for yourself? 

So here are a few suggestions of where you can make changes to help you improve your lifestyle. 

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Hobbies

Did you know that hobbies make you happier? Yes. There is a proven link between doing things we love, and raising our happiness hormones. So that makes hobbies the perfect antidote to stressful situations and life. 

Think about the hobbies you used to do as a child, remember how much you loved them? Do you still do them? Of course, interests change over the years, so you might need to find a whole new hobby! 

You might be thinking about refurbishing an old van and going on long driving trips. VanLife is a big movement, and focuses on travelling minimally, but comfortably. If you do decide that VanLife is for you, make sure you have a good car accident attorney on your speed dial! 

You might be looking for something a little slower paced. Baking bread is a great way to spend time and can be really wonderful for those who love a fresh, warm loaf with melted butter. 

Slow walks through the woods, combined with photography, can be so satisfying too. 

Health

In modern times we often push our bodies and minds into spaces that aren’t healthy for us at all. The pressure of everyday life and the people who need us can make it hard to say no. You can make small and simple changes by taking a multivitamin, drinking more water, and heading to the doctor for a check-up. 

Also, consider how much fruit and veggies you are consuming. And make a conscious effort to increase the amount. You can get an application for your mobile phone or a range of cool gadgets to help remind you to drink more water

Socially

Having the same social circle for years is really cool in the current climate or technology. But there are people out there you have yet to meet. Adding new people into your group, or generally just meeting others can have a huge impact on you and what you do. 

New people are going to like different things to you, their taste in music might open you up to new artists and bands. Their love of ice coffee instead of a traditional cup of tea, and even their hobbies. All of these new experiences can give you a fresh perspective and a new zest for life too. 

And if you know that you aren’t giving your friends the best of you, it might be time to think about why you haven’t been keeping in touch as much as you should be. Modern life means people are busy, but how often you keep in touch with people will make a difference to your everyday life. 

And finally, unplug from technology for a few hours every day, read, draw or go for a walk. 

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Simple Hacks to Improve Our Mental Health

Mental health awareness is growing across the globe. This is excellent news for everyone as we don’t discuss this critical topic enough.

Your mental health is absolutely integral to your health and well being. We all face mental health issues from common to severe problems. Here are some simple hacks to improve your mental health this year.

Eat Healthy

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The links between our food, gut health, and mental health are becoming very apparent. Recent research all points to our guts as being instrumental to the health of our minds. 

To put it simply, the healthier you eat, the healthier your mind. Filling your belly full of processed foods high in fat, salt, and sugar is a one-way road to low self-esteem, anxiety, and risk of developing depression.

Try to eat a mostly whole foods plant-based diet this year. The plant-based diet has been shown to help you to lose weight, boost your mood, reduce anxiety, and reduce stress.

Cultivate Joy

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We live in a world where most people either don’t appreciate what they do have or continuously worry about what they don’t have. This makes us all miserable people. 

Instead, the simple act of expressing gratitude and doing the things we enjoy can help to significantly boost our mental helath. 

So, this year create a gratitude journal and write down what you are grateful for each day. Spend more time doing the things you love, whether that is making music or building custom airplane models. Do what makes you happy.

Exercise

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We all know how beneficial exercise is to our bodies. It makes us stronger, fitter, and puts us into good shape. What most people don’t realize is just how beneficial exercise is for your mind too. 

When you exercise, you realize a concoction of mood-boosting chemicals such as endorphins. Regular exercise makes you feel good about yourself and the world around you. Hence, why people get often get addicted to the gym.

Once you become an exercise regular to enter a cycle of positivity. You release endorphins this makes you happy, you go back to the gym, you get in better shape, you feel good about your body, you build self-esteem, and you start to feel good.

Practice Mindfulness

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Mindfulness isn’t just for spiritual gurus and those who visited India a few years ago. Mindfulness is an essential practice for your overall well being. We spend so much of our lives busy, stressed, and consumed with thoughts about the past and future. We rarely live in the now.

When we start living in the now, we become more present. Practicing mindfulness is done by meditating, expressing gratitude, walking in nature, and listening more. Once we start to ground ourselves, we begin to realize other priorities, such as our emotions.

With practice, you can start to objectively assess your emotions, control them, and choose better feelings. This can help significantly with anxiety, depression, anger issues, or past trauma. A helathy mind needs reflection and practice.

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How to Prevent Your Work From Impacting Your Health

We like to think that our jobs are good for us, but the reality is a little more complicated. While they can provide an income, they can have a negative impact on our health. That’s because, though we have some say in what we do, the working conditions are dictated by someone else; we’re not entirely (or probably even remotely) in charge of our working conditions. While you can’t change your career at the drop of a hat, you can take steps to protect yourself from potentially harmful aspects. We take a look at a few of these below. 

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Get Mobile

We tend to think that how we live is normal or natural, but in actual fact, the way we live would be considered pretty strange by our ancestors. The biggest thing they’d notice is that we’re so much less mobile than we were in the past. We’re always sitting down! And though it might seem comfortable, the truth is that it can have a negative impact on our long-term health. If you’re driving to work, sitting down all day, and then crashing on the couch each night, look at making some changes. Cycling to work and taking walks throughout the day will make a big difference.

Computer Safety

It’s true that working conditions are much safer than in the old days, because many fewer people are using heavy machinery. Yet, while the immediate risks of working at a computer aren’t that great, they can have a negative impact on your health. For example, you could develop RSI (repetitive strain injury) in the wrist from typing too much. And then there’s the matter of eye strain and the potential threats of blue light. In general, it’s best to monitor the effect that working at a computer has on your body and mind, and make adjustments as necessary.

Work-Related Stress

Your job will provide you with an income, but it sure can be stressful from time to time. And stress doesn’t just spoil your day: it can have a long-term impact on your health. As such, it’s best to find ways to deal with stress before it builds up to a problematic degree. One way to do this is to meditate each day — it only takes ten minutes but can have a profound impact on your overall ability to manage the more stressful side of life. 

In the Workplace 

Also, be sure to take a look at your workplace and identify any risks. Loose cables, clutter, and poor lighting can all lead to trips and falls, which can, of course, greatly compromise your health. It might not look like it, but it really is possible to have accidents in an office environment.

Regular Breaks 

Finally, even if you think you love your job, it’s still important to take regular breaks from time to time. Sometimes you won’t be aware of a particular health issue until you take a couple of steps back, and can see your situation with more perspective. 

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6 Ways To Improve Your Mental Health

We read a lot of articles about how to take care of our bodies. We listen when the hairdresser begs us to stop bleaching our hair, and we go to the dentist with relative regularity to keep our teeth in good shape. The one area of our health that we all seem to struggle with listening about is our mental health. People don’t tend to listen when they’re told to slow down and take their time with life, and that’s because there is a lot of pressure. We have work pressures, family pressure, social pressure – it’s a lot.

You should be able to feel healthy on the inside, mind, and body, and that starts with taking care of your mental health and realizing when things get too much for you to handle. You have to consider how you take care of your physical health to know how to take care of your mental health, too. So, if you go to the doctors with pain or aches, you should do the same when your brain needs help. If you choose to spend money on Invisalign to improve your teeth and make your confidence soar, then you should also go to a therapist and talk it out when life is getting a little too hard. When you feel low, you need to start taking care of your mind and unpack the things that are impacting your mental health. So, let’s check out six things that you can do for yourself to improve your mental health.

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Calorie Deficit & Get Your Steps In

Sometimes, eating well and moving as much as you can is enough. When you eat well, your energy levels shoot up, and you start to feel fantastic on the inside. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables is a diet that will have a long-lasting effect on your mental health. Getting your steps up? Well, we all know the benefits of a pleasant walk. Being in the fresh air and in nature can make a massive difference to your mental health. Not only will you be able to feel healthier and more energetic, but you’ll also be pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and out of your house at the same time.

Maintain Relationships

Connections matter and there are plenty of studies to show how isolated people can feel when their mental health is working against them. The best thing that you can do to improve your mental health is to connect with others. The people in your life that want to see you happy and strong are going to be around you to try to enrich your life. Let them do it. On the days you don’t want to see people, try to push yourself to see them and avoid the isolation that mental health issues promise you.

Laughter: The Language Of The Soul

It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, find something to laugh at. You can set aside time every single day to feel good, and it starts with the hobbies and activities that you set for yourself. Let yourself embrace the joy in the small things and smile. Sometimes, it takes smiling and laughing to be able to feel that same joy you’re trying to find.

Don’t Hide Your Feelings

We mentioned a therapist earlier on for a reason. Whether you choose to talk to a therapist or to your family, you need to keep your feelings on the table. People need to know that you are struggling, and the only way to show them that you are in pain is to stop hiding the way that you feel and be open. It isn’t easy to talk, but it’s good to do it. If your friends and family know you are struggling, they’ll be able to support you better and make you feel safe.

Meet A Goal

The sense of achievement that you can get from hitting a goal can be everything that you didn’t know you needed. It doesn’t matter what the goal is or how big it is; it’s going to be a momentous occasion if you stick to it.

Sleep

A good night of proper sleep is going to do you and your mind a world of good. Sometimes, just the act of getting to bed on time each night (we mean 10pm, not 3am) is a big deal. Take baby steps and start by setting up your sleep environment. Once you’ve got those layers of bedsheets and pillows ready, set yourself an alarm a little earlier each night to get to bed on time. Eventually, you’ll be getting the sleep that you need.

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Common Ways People Try To Save Money That Isn’t Good For You (And What You Should Do Instead)

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Ask anybody in the modern-day if they’ve got problems with their finances, and the likely answer is that they most definitely do. We’ve all got our crosses to bear, whether it’s with regards to debt or we are trying to buy a house. When we look at the factors that result in so much debt, we have to take into account the stress is associated. Some people feel that they’ve got to cut so many corners in order to live a comfortable lifestyle, even though on the surface they are earning more than enough, but there are so many people that have no choice but to cut corners in order to sustain their current lifestyle which can have a major bearing on their health and happiness. What are some of these components that seemingly well off people need to undertake in order to keep their finances afloat? And if you are struggling, what can you do to ensure that you make life easier for yourself in a financial sense but also not feel the burden of modern-day money stresses?

Cutting Back On Insurance 

Many people feel that insurance is one of those things that you’re paying out for, but you never end up using it. When you are considering just how much of a difference it could make to your lifestyle, cutting back on a monthly payment for your insurance policy, whether it’s car insurance, life insurance, or even insurance for your worldly possessions it’s hardly a surprise that when people are struggling that this is one of the first things to go. But we’ve got to think about the overall repercussions of not having insurance. For example, driving without insurance is such a cardinal sin that you could pay the price, literally and figuratively, in a legal sense. Cutting back on insurance when you are trying to save money in terms of your home or are attempting to fix up your home as an investment could mean that you will suffer a burglary or an accident if it is not covered by insurance. The fact of the matter is that insurance is so important that it’s got to be one of the key expenditures in your life. It’s there should the worst-case scenario happen.

Going Without Food 

There are so many tales of families that are going without specific provisions so their children can go to school with full bellies. As sad as this is, it’s more widespread than you think. Many families feel that they’ve got to go without a meal and when we look at places like the UK who are suffering unprecedented amounts of austerity, the increase in food banks, where people go and get provisions that have been donated by other people, is on the up. But going without food means that we are putting our health at risk. If you feel that in order to make ends meet that you’ve got to go without food, partly this can be to do with the type of food you are used to but you can also figure out ways to make food go further. Something like batch cooking is a very good way to expand your provisions. Nobody should go without food. But the reality that many families are considering this is a stark truth that is hitting home to many people.

Not Earning Enough Money

Everybody feels that they are getting enough money in order to sustain a certain lifestyle. We all feel we could do with a pay rise, and the fact of the matter is that people are looking at side hustles or an extra job to acquire additional income means that we’ve got to be smarter with the money we have. When we’re trying to save for a house, one of the most challenging components is minimizing your debt. When we don’t earn enough money, we lean on credit cards too much in order to pay bills or just to get by from month to month. When we don’t earn enough to sustain our lifestyle, this is when we have to make alterations to our daily lives. There are so many resources out there that can help with this, such as the budget calculators you see online. Taking a long hard look at your incomings versus outgoings can be a complicated conversation to have, especially when you have dependents. But as we begin to unravel our lifestyle and see what we’re doing is harming us in the short-term, then we can start to make changes for the better.

The Temptation To “Keep Up With The Joneses”

We live in an age where we can get material goods on tap. We can order something online and within 12 hours, it’s in our hands. And when we live in such an immediate culture, the temptation to order things so quickly means that we end up paying the price. We’ve also got to think about the social implications of having things. While there is a leaning towards minimalism in some areas, when you live in in a neighborhood that looks affable, where everybody is driving a nice car, and appear to go on family trips all the time, this can send a message to us that we’ve got to keep up with them in one way or another. But this pressure results in unprecedented stress. When we are in a stressful environment where we feel that to maintain some sort of pretense we’ve got no choice but to spend money, we lose track of our abilities to control our incomings and outgoings. The first port of call can be to inquire about a pay rise or to earn more money, but when we increase our earnings to match our lifestyle, our expenditure begins to expand further out. This is a sign that we are never content with where we are. It’s a psychological problem rather than a physical one. By looking at your mindset and beginning to understand where your problems lie, you can start to make peace with the fact that money isn’t everything. Yes, it’s a cliche, but we’ve got to remember that when we only earn so much, we’ve got to stay within our means. Because we can feel that pressure with friends that have earned more over the years, trying to catch up stops us from focusing on the things that matter.

Dealing With Financial Stress

Because we live in an age of rising costs, we start to feel that we have no option but to fight against the rising tide. We only earn so much so we “put up with it,” and we think that because there’s only have one life to live that we should make the most of it. Some people say that it’s “only money” and this is a dangerous mindset, but we can all understand where they come from. It’s about not letting financial stress envelop your entire life; it’s about being happier despite the circumstances. We all suffer from some sort of financial burden. Whether we’re trying to save up for something, or we can feel that we don’t earn enough day-to-day. But when we start to address our earning potential in comparison to our learning power, we can begin to make better habits, not just in terms of spending money but in terms of how we live our lives. Some people can’t bear the idea of looking for bargains because it feels like a step down, but we’ve got to remember the important thing that learning a habit takes some time. It can take at least 8 weeks to set in. When you’re used to a particular way of life and having to cut back on your outgoings and it feels like you are depriving yourself, it’s important to remember that whether it’s trying to save money or keep up with the Joneses that a lot of people are feeling the pinch. They just feel it differently to you. They may have a fantastic house, but they may still buy their furniture off Facebook Marketplace. And this is something we’ve got to think about. Material goods aren’t the be-all and end-all, and for those people that are trying to acquire material goods in order to feel better or live a better life are feeling the pinch in a similar way.

The stress of living in the modern-day means that we feel we’ve got to treat ourselves. But it becomes a very vicious cycle when you begin to treat yourself to something because it’s a Friday and then you feel so stressed by Monday morning that a little treat would benefit you again. Not that we’re saying you need to deprive yourself but you’ve got to understand the repercussions of your actions. It’s something that we all suffer from now. Learning to save money can seem impossible when there are mounting bills. The cost of living is increasing, but the pay is not matching it. So tightening our belts becomes the default option. But this means that we get stressed and we lash out at the people we love. Perhaps in order to live a happier life, we’ve got to understand that when we reduce our material goods we don’t necessarily feel worse off. Whether you have got children that have peer pressure in order to have the latest toy or you live in a neighborhood where you appear to be the poorest person, the fact of the matter is that you’ve got your own life to lead rather than comparing yourself to others. And perhaps this is the key to feeling freedom in an emotional and financial sense.

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