It’s Okay to Not be Okay

Embrace your emotions. They’re part of being human.

We all feel sad at times. There are occasions where we feel joyful, happy, angry, proud, motivated, excited and plenty of other emotions also come into action. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Every day is not perfect. In fact, some days are worse than others.

You can feel sad, lonely, isolated, lost or dejected. It might be because of someone you love, a friend, or a real-life incident. Sometimes it’s what we read or see online that influences our emotions.

It’s easy for others to criticize a person for failing to be positive and happy. This is one reason we tend to suppress our emotions. Some people would even make us feel guilty for being sad.

There’s one thing I’ve realised. The intense feeling of sadness is the perfect chance to re-evaluate our priorities and discover what is really important to us. Remember that if we think about our unexplained feelings, rather than suppressing or ignoring them, we would know the things that need our attention.

Once you identify what needs to be changed, you can take control of your thoughts. You can also be more emotionally resilient.

Remember…

1. Everyone feels sad sometimes
2. You can manage your sadness
3. Expressing your emotions and feelings doesn’t make you a weak person.

“You don’t have to be positive all the time. It’s perfectly okay to feel angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared or anxious. Having feelings doesn’t make you a negative person. It makes you HUMAN.

Credits:

The Good Quote

Tiny Buddha

Learning-Mind.com

Believe Perform

#LoriDeschene #tinyBuddha #lifebalance #emotions #feelings #support #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthawareness. #thegoodquote

Women Reproductive Health & Rights – Where Do We Stand?

We cannot afford to stay silent anymore.

Not many women in Pakistan have the rights to make choices and decisions about their sexual and reproductive health including when, or whether, to consider having children. Reproductive health rights aren’t just limited to pregnancy and bearing children. They include the right to respectful relationships, safe and quality health services and more importantly, easy access to effective contraception methods.

Unfortunately, not many women have a say in deciding the fate of an unplanned pregnancy. On the other hand, the majority of our population doesn’t have access to accurate information about contraception. The current situation of women reproductive health in Pakistan is disturbing. Most females lack easy access to contraception methods. Let’s not talk about the judgmental stares when a woman asks for a condom at a retail store! There is no concept of screening for STIs. Women die daily from pregnancy and childbirth complications which could be prevented. Lack of safe sex practices only adds to the problems.

It is important that women of all ages have timely access to accurate, and unbiased sexual and reproductive health information and services. What our society fails to understand is that access to reproductive health services is a basic human right. Our women especially those in rural and even urban areas don’t have the information about their reproductive health and rights. They don’t seek medical help due to the associated stigma. If women want to take control of their reproductive health rights, they are discriminated against thanks to our deep-rooted traditions.

It is crucial for us, as a nation to understand that sex education, a woman’s ability to control her own body and easy access to the health facilities she needs is a fundamental right. Every woman, regardless of her age, caste, and religion or income level should be able to make decisions about her sexual health she feels is best for her.

While talking about women reproductive health rights often face backlash, KLIMAX is determined to change the status quo. The purpose of this article is to encourage women to take responsibility for sexual and reproductive health. In addition, the goal is to contribute to a behavior change.

Know the Different Contraception Types

There are many contraceptive methods available including pills, implants, IUDs, emergency contraception, and physical barriers (condoms and diaphragms).

Talk to your healthcare provider to know the contraception method that is right for you. Remember, you can talk openly about how the method works, the side effects (possible) and how affordable it is. Your doctor will recommend the best method depending on a number of factors including your medical history, overall health, and your lifestyle. You can discuss your options with your partner before making a final decision.

Every contraception method is different. For example, pills (oral contraception) need to be taken every day. IUDs or implants can last up to 3/5 years and offer long-acting reversible contraception. In addition to contraception, it is important to practice safe sex. Possibly the best way to reduce the risk of STIs is to use condoms.

If you opt for an implant which is usually placed in the upper arm, a low dose of progesterone will be released to prevent egg release each month. These implants can be easily removed and allow you to get pregnant later on.

Contraceptive injections usually are given every 12 to 14 weeks. This is another reliable and effective method of contraception. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are small devices that are placed in the uterus and can last up to 5/10 years. They have to be inserted and removed by a doctor. Your periods can be affected as a possible side effect so make sure you consult your doctor.

Oral contraceptives or pills contain synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone. These pills are available as prescription medicines and are effective if used the right way. There are many types of oral contraceptives with different doses and hormones. Your healthcare provider will recommend the dosage that is right for you.

Physical methods of contraception include condoms (male/female) and diaphragm. As stated earlier, condoms also lessen the risk of STIs. Physical methods can be very effective if used the right way. Male condoms perhaps are the most affordable contraceptives. They can be bought from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription and can be ordered online as well. A diaphragm is a silicone dome-shaped structure that fits in the vagina.

To save women from judgmental stares and comments at retail stores, KLIMAX has launched its web store featuring a variety of reproductive health products including condoms. The products after placing an order will be delivered at your doorstep within 2 hours across all major cities in Pakistan and there are no delivery charges. This will ensure that you get the right product in time.

Natural methods of contraception include using the pull-out method and avoiding sex when a woman is potentially fertile. There are period tracking apps that allow you to know the days you are the most fertile.

There are permanent contraception methods as well that prevent pregnancy permanently. They include vasectomy for men and tubal ligation for women.

Results We Can Expect

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Results of Contraceptive Use
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Contraceptive Method Choice

Source: http://www.familyplanning2020.org/entities/97

We must understand that sex and pregnancy without a woman’s consent is a sexual violation. It’s never okay. If a woman says yes once, it doesn’t mean she’ll say yes every time! Respect her decision to use protection. She has every right to enjoy a safe, fulfilling relationship.

The day we realize the importance of consent, our society will become a better place with fewer incidents of sexual offenses, physical assault, and emotional abuse.

 

 

 

Just Being There Can Make All the Difference

It’s about being mentally and emotionally there for those who you care about.

Often we find our friends, loved ones feeling the weight of their worry and we want to tell them that they are not alone. There are many ways to be there for someone, but sincerity is what makes the difference.

If you want to be truly there for someone, you must listen with a heart of understanding. Don’t just listen to respond. Show that you genuinely care for the person going through troubled waters. Understand the reality of their situation and try not to be judgmental.

Sometimes being there for someone means you comfort with genuine encouragement. Yes, you can be vocal. Also, try to read between the lines. You must learn to identify what a person wants at that moment, but can’t ask for it. Sometimes ‘I’m fine’ may have a completely different meaning.

Learn to listen, not hear. Become attuned to how they speak, how they express themselves.  Absorb their body language, their tone of voice, their ticks.

Be protective, but not overly so. Do not let your love cloud you into not allowing them to be their own person. Let them speak for themselves. Let them be strong. Let them grow. Hold them tightly when they need it; give them space when they need it.

How To Truly Be There For Someone – Francesca Saunders

You must also realize that you need to be compassionate. Also, being there for your friend or loved one should be a natural response. Of course, you can’t be there all the time — BUT, you can be there when you want to.

There are days when you simply want someone to be there. Not to do or say something extraordinary, but to let us feel hopeful. Remember, being there for someone is what really matters. Your smile can be an instant mood lifter for someone.

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No Strings Attached

“Being there” is unconditional. You don’t demand anything from the person that you are there for. Similarly, the other person might not thank you at that point. But they will sooner or later realize how much you being there impacts them.

Even if your efforts are not appreciated, don’t lose hope nor be sad. If you really want to be there for someone, go ahead. But don’t fool yourself or anyone else into thinking that “you’ll be there” if you don’t mean it. Don’t offer to help if you can’t be there when a person needs you the most.

Being there for someone else is less about the physical stuff and more about being mentally present and emotionally available for more than just yourself. It does not guarantee a positive experience. But saying “I’ll be there no matter what happens, I do care, and I will care” can mean the world to the other person.

Image Credit: Pexels

 

Have You Had Your Brain Washed Lately?

Brainwashing isn’t just movie stuff or fiction. It is present in different forms in our society. Manipulation, forcefully trying to convince people of something, constantly being bombarded with rants – we are all subjected to brainwashing on a daily basis.

Here’s the thing. Our brain is influenced in all sort of weird ways we can’t possibly imagine. No wonder brands, salesperson “trick” us into buying stuff we don’t need.

Repeating One’s Opinion will Make People believe it!

How many times have you been exposed to mindless rants? Sadly, when you keep hearing the same thing again and again, your brain is more likely to accept it as a common belief.

Researchers call the phenomenon “memory distortion.” Interestingly, even if the person is talking bullshit, we’re still likely to believe it.

Emotional Manipulation – How They Wash and Control Your Mind!

Emotional manipulation basically is an extreme form of brainwashing. We often associate the practice with toxic exes, but these techniques are used by advertisers, politicians and popular brands.

A form of social influence, emotional or psychological manipulation is not a healthy practice. It includes applying pressure to control someone’s thoughts and behaviors through crafty, abusive or other underhanded practices. Emotional manipulation happens when someone uses deception, or similar mechanisms, to exploit another person’s vulnerabilities to achieve his own goal.

An emotional manipulator might talk down your performance at work to make you feel insecure so that you won’t compete for a promotion. An emotional manipulator may use lies or deception to alter your perception of reality. Their goal is to tip the balance of power in their favor. Manipulators control other people by exploiting their weaknesses.

The manipulator will offer you choices, but they’d all lead to the same conclusion. The problem with emotional manipulation is that it is sometimes impossible to discover whether or not you are being manipulated! Your actions as the result of manipulation might be something that’s perfectly normal and okay for you.

What are the common techniques used by manipulators?

  1. They try to isolate you from friends and family. This way they don’t have to worry about a third party. They’d ask you to choose between friends/family and them.
  2. They will attack your self-confidence and esteem. Remember, a manipulator wants to be in a superior position, and mocking, ridiculing and making the victim feel inferior is a common practice. These attacks can be intimidating as well.
  3. Most manipulators brainwash their victims by mentally torturing them. They often resort to blaming the victim and invading their personal space. Needless to say, they lie and makeup stories to mentally torture the victim. They also play upon gut feelings.
  4. Though rare, manipulators can use physical techniques to brainwash a person. These include playing loud music and depriving someone of their sleep. A schedule is maintained that causes physical and mental fatigue.
  5. Signs of a Manipulative Person
  • They make you feel sorry for expressing your concerns. You can’t talk about your feelings or ask for the change you need.
  • Lying, exaggerating and understating the truth are all means of manipulation. Manipulators will distort the facts to keep you off balance.
  • They make you feel guilty. This is a classic tactic. They want you to feel sorry for them. They only highlight their own problems and force you to believe that your emotions, opinions, and problems don’t matter. Manipulators might give the silent treatment to make you feel unimportant or trying to scare you.

Don’t Let Others Think for You.

Often we are blinded by reality and get stuck on a certain idea or belief. When our brain accepts an idea (whether it is right or not), it is impossible to change it no matter what people say.

To avoid brainwashing, surround yourself with a spectrum of information. Don’t settle for the idea/message that makes you comfortable. Stay away from people who care only about their own needs, those who put their self-interest above that of others. You’ll likely come across excellent manipulators who figure out all the ways to push your ‘hot buttons’ to get exactly what they want.

Many adults grow out of this type of manipulation – but some don’t.

To stop emotional manipulation, remember your worth. You are on equal ground with the other person and have the right to be heard. Avoid blaming yourself – never let them manipulate you into believing something is solely your fault.

Your freedom to express yourself through words and actions is essential to your well-being and your mental health. You can’t alter the behaviors of others, but you can limit your exposure to situations that are unhealthy and refuse to internalize the messages a manipulator tries to feed you.

References: 

Signs of Emotional Manipulation & How It Affects Relationships – Brookhaven Retreat 

Image Credit: Punsworld 

 

Know When Enough is Enough!

It’s always good to try to work things out. But you must know when to put your foot down.

No one plans to get into a toxic relationship. In fact, most of us don’t realize we are in one until it is impossible to turn back. Sadly most women can’t recognize the fact that they are being abused. It is also important to note that not all abuse is physical; there is mental and emotional abuse. Abuse can be covert as well as overt.

Abusive partners don’t show their true colours on the first meeting.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite. In the beginning, the other person is extremely affectionate and rushes into a commitment very quickly. Most women being innocent probably believe that he is too good.

Identifying an abusive relationship can be tricky because the victim doesn’t want to break the image of a ‘strong woman.’ After all, good women are ones who compromise.

Of course, no relationship is perfect. But one thing is certain. A healthy relationship should make you feel secure, happy, respected and free to be yourself. Toxic relationships, on the other hand, make you feel drained, depleted, and worthless.

How can you spot a toxic relationship? Watch out for the following red flags.

  1. It’s all take, no give. If you are the only person expected to compromise and change yourself, the threat is real.
  2. Constantly feeling sad or low. If you are always demotivated, stressed out and fatigued, it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship status.
  3. If your partner doesn’t trust you, it is a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship. If your partner is disrespectful to you, says things that make you feel bad, blocks you from leaving the home, forces you to stop spending time with your friends, you are better off alone.
  4. Judgmental relationships can never function smoothly. Criticism and feedback should be helpful and never belittle the other person. Mutual respect is the first requirement of a good partnership.
  5. If the other person doesn’t communicate, there is no relationship. Period.
  6. If your partner wants to be in control or there is a constant tug-of-war, you’re in a damaging relationship.
  7. Good relationships are supposed to improve your life. If you have to change opinions to please someone else, there is no reason to be in the relationship. Stop fuelling someone else’s fragile ego. You can put that time and energy to much better use.
  8. Yes, all relationships go through challenges, but partners work through them together. Your partner should be a source of strength, not negative energies.
  9. You have the right to say No. The other person should value and acknowledge your decision.
  10. The smallest bits of lies destroy a relationship. If someone is constantly lying to you and making you unhappy, let them go.

Remember, life is too short and precious. Don’t spend it with a person who hurts you. Stand up for yourself –  you are powerful and you have the right to decide who stays in your life.

Image Credits: Enough is enough

 

Dealing with Workplace Annoyances

What happens when things start getting on your nerves?

As I write this, I’m battling sleep difficulties, big life changes, and a workload that’s piling higher and higher. This is a stressful, annoying, difficult and sticky situation. I don’t feel frustrated often, but these days, it’s easy to get into that mindset.

I am annoyed at anything and everything – power outages, low mobile battery, heartless co-workers making rude comments, faulty laptop, traffic jams and the construction noise outside my office. All of this is annoying, and much more.

Being constantly annoyed or frustrated isn’t good. Your happiness suffers, your relationships are less pleasant, and you are less devoted to the task at hand. Simply put, you care about everything in the world except what matters the most.

Maybe I should become a little indifferent, a bit inconsiderate. I agree helping people is a good idea, but pleasing everyone and trying to make everyone happy or trying to be socially acceptable only makes one constantly unhappy and even more frustrated.

It’s time to move on. Let’s not wait for everyone to be happy. So how do I regain control over my work life?

The answer is simple – it’s time to sort through the chaos and identify the priorities. What needs to be done ASAP, what needs to be done today, what can wait until tomorrow and what can be postponed until next week!

If you are trying to identify priorities, you must look at urgency as well as what’s important and meaningful.

Things that need to be done ASAP can be important projects, urgent tasks that if not completed can result in damage. I have realized that you have to be ruthless when it comes to cutting out the clutter from your to-do list. More importantly, not every task that is marked urgent is important and not every email must be responded to. You are in the best position to decide what must be done today.

You can negotiate deadlines and push things over the weekend, or even into the next week. Remember having 4 to 5 things on your plate at a time isn’t a bad thing.

Eliminate what is not important. This means telling co-workers or your boss that you can’t take on a particular task. Yes, this is uncomfortable but they need to understand that work can wait a week or longer.

To keep your sanity intact, stick to your ‘To Do’ and ‘Not to Do’ lists. Remember, once you master the art of saying No at your workplace, your life will become a lot easier.

The Secret to Happiness

We can all improve our happiness by making changes in the way we think and act. These 7 steps can sprinkle happiness into your life and the lives of others.

Positivity and happiness aren’t magical powers or something special that cannot be attained by every person. You have the power to make decisions – the decision to take control and steer your life in a positive direction despite all the troubles that come your way.

If you are trying to adopt a happier, more positive life, you must ignore all the negativity. But it is easier said than done. You will feel angry, frustrated, sad, lonely, low, bored and even hopeless at some point. But it is scary to allow such negative feelings and thoughts take control of your life.

So how can you be happy on a daily basis?

  1. Tap your Optimistic Side

An optimistic mindset can help you tackle life’s challenges with ease. It can broaden your attention and thinking to enable you to make better decisions. Being optimistic also leads to a better well-being. Stop comparing yourself to others and dwelling on your flaws.

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Be Optimistic, It feels Better.
  1. Celebrate Your Smallest Achievements

There are moments of joy and laughter around us, but we are often too preoccupied to give them attention. Remember, there’s power in celebrating little moments. After all, life’s too short not to celebrate small moments.

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Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small.
  1. Get Rid Of Toxic People

It’s no surprise that emotions are contagious. The more you’re around negative people and negative emotions, the more likely you are to reflect that attitude. Having a positive support system is crucial to an optimistic outlook and a happy life. You’d be amazed by how much a good support group can help you achieve.

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  1. Let Go Of Grudges.

I’m still trying to master the art of forgiveness. I have realized that holding onto resentment, grudges, and other negative emotions will repel positive emotions. Free yourself from negativity so you have enough space for happiness to fill in.

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5. Be Grateful For What You Have.

Stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Instead, be thankful for what you have today. Doing so has been linked to happier moods.

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6. Regard Your Problems As Challenges.

Eliminate the word “impossible” from your mind entirely. If you have a problem, view it as a challenge that will change your life for the better.

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7. Dare to Dream

Don’t limit yourself. Go ahead and dream big. Remember, you have the power to achieve practically anything and everything you desire.

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Stop Making Excuses!

It’s easy to blame the other person for your problems, but doing so won’t do you any good. Take responsibility for your actions. More importantly, use failure as an opportunity to change for the better.

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All of us have stress, loss, failure or trauma in our lives. We can’t choose what happens to us, but we can choose our own attitude to what happens. Let’s be realistic about life’s ups and downs and focus on the good things. More importantly, let’s keep moving!

Image Credits:

Live, Believe, Inspire. 

Story Pick.

Pexels.com

Pixabay.com