Sleep Journal

Sleep Journal

As someone who has suffered from chronic insomnia for many years, I was actually pretty happy I got assigned the sleep journal. I’ve tried logging my sleep habits many times, but I either forget about it or just don’t think it does anything. So having this assignment forced me to actually be consistent which was good for me.

One thing I learned about my sleeping habits was that I’m very inconsistent with how long I sleep and it effects my mood and energy throughout the day. Sometimes I will sleep for 5-6 hours and then sometimes I will sleep for 9-10. I’m never really in the range of 7-8 hours, which was what we discussed in class was ideal.

Another thing I learned was that I usually don’t get tired until very late at night. Personally I enjoy staying up late so this didn’t really surprise me. However, I’ve learned that when I go to bed really late I usually sleep in until at least 11 AM.

One goal I’m choosing to set for myself is to set up a sleep routine at night. I’ve never really had one and I think it’ll help me fall asleep earlier on in the night. This way I won’t be tempted to sleep in the next morning and be more productive during the daytime.

Think Outside the Box

Think Outside the Box

I really enjoyed this week’s lesson about social well-being and self-awareness because I think this is important knowledge and life skills to have. In the book Leadership and Self-Deception, it specifically states that self-deception “determines one’s experience in every aspect of life” and I find this absolutely true because your personal perceptive of how you view the world creates your reality (Arbinger). The concept of being “in the box” and “out of the box” stood out to me because it’s a really great metaphor for something that everyone has had an experience with. We’ve all had moments when our egos take over and cloud our view of how we’re treating others, and we’ve all been in that position where we’ve collaborated with others to achieve a common goal in a productive way.

Dr. Wu-Pong’s demonstration of “office politics” was really easy to follow because I have been in situations like that at work. Working for my mother’s business exposed me to this concept really early on. As the boss’ daughter, I worked “out of the box,” trying my hardest to work as a team with my coworkers to achieve maximum results within the business. However, many of my coworkers had a very strong “in the box” mindset and would constantly be fighting and competing with each other. They were so focused on their individual success as a coach that they couldn’t see the bigger picture that the company’s overall success benefits all. Allies were created and in the end there was no efficient way to work with these conflicting employees. This goes to show that having an “in the box” mindset not only effects the person itself but that consequences can have a ripple effect.

One way I can improve on working to get out of the box is learning how to be on time for things. I’m a master procrastinator and consistently late for almost everything (I was voted more likely to be late for graduation for my high school superlative.. and I was). It’s a terrible habit and I never paid any consequences for it. However, lately I’ve had people show up late for meetings, not contribute their work for group assignments on time, and I’m starting to understand how inconvenient and disrespectful it is to others. I never really cared about how others felt which is a prime example of self-deception. It’s a selfish thing to not account for other people’s feelings for being late and I’m going to try to manage my time better. It’s going to take some time to kick the habit, but I plan on slowly starting to plan to arrive to places at least 5 minutes earlier than I have to and do my homework as soon as I can. Hopefully working on this habit will allow me to get “out of the box” and increase my efficiency when working with others.

 

Pass It On

Pass It On

One act of kindness I did this week was just listening and helping my friend through a mental breakdown. She’s been going through a really hard time adjusting to some changes in her life and all she really needed was someone to talk to, so I just listened to her vent for hours. After she was able to spill all her emotions out she felt a lot less stressed and her mood brightened. When I was helping her, I was giving her advice because I have gone through a similar situation. This made me feel really good about myself because just being able to share my experience and see how that may make one other person feel better was satisfying.
Another act of kindness I did this week was writing an email of gratitude to my high school psychology professor. This was something that I thought was long overdue, so when I sent it out it felt awesome to be able to really say thank you to her. Her response was even more satisfying; she stated that it really meant a lot and that she was really grateful that I reached out to her.
Small acts of kindness go a long way. In the article “The Role of Positive Emotion in Positive psychology, Fredrickson states that “positive emotions increase the likelihood that people will feel good in the future.”  Taking just a small amount of time a day to spread positive can not only make someone’s day, but can influence their future.
 

My Mission

Confucius once said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” and I’ve always tried to live by this. I know that I’m still young and I have a lot of time to decide on what I want exactly to do,  but I’ve never been attracted to chasing a career in a field that I wasn’t passionate about- even if it would make me more money.

My personal mission statement is to help create events that unite people from all around the world together to promote creativity, love, and compassion. This is a long-term goal and I know that I’m going to have to work very hard to achieve it. However, in many ways my professional goal is my personal goal. Creating these experiences will allow me to utilize my strengths and being able to build a platform that spreads so much positivity will be personally fulfilling.

Recently I’ve been a little impatient with where I’m at right now and I know I need to make some changes. My classes haven’t taught me anything I didn’t know before and in many ways I feel like I’m wasting precious time and money. I’ve decided to take a semester off from school to allow myself to get some work experience within the field I want to work in.

Dr. Wu-Pong questioned us on how we were incorporating our goals within both our personal and professional lives.  To me, my personal life and my passion of music has guided my professional life and I hope that I never divert away from this path.  Learning about mindfulness and the value of strengths has also really allowed me to be more aware in taking control of my life. Practicing mindfulness has helped me discover my purpose and focusing on my strengths will hopefully allow me to achieve my goals.

 

 

 

 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness

This past winter I noticed a reoccurring theme of me and my friends falling into a constant negative affect. I was constantly stressed about my schoolwork and the pressure to do everything I wanted to do was overwhelming. During this time, I read Wellbeing by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, and one part in the social wellbeing section really made impression on me. A large study found that “you are 6% more likely to be happy if a connection three degrees removed from you is happy” (Rath and Harter 36). This realization that my thoughts and actions not only have an impact on my close personal friends/family, but on their friends/family as well was eye-opening.

I started to take time out of my day for myself to just relax and mediate. In the book, Wherever You Go, There You Are, Jon Kabat-Zinn says meditation is “as if you died and the world continued on.” (Kabat-Zinn 11). I love this theory because sometimes it’s so hard to shut my mind up about all the things I need to do. Just stopping and thinking that the world will continue to go on in that moment and that I don’t need to focus on my responsilbilites at that moment helps quiet my thoughts.

Practicing mindfulness alleviated some of the stress and instead of complaining about all the work I had to do around my friends, I tried to have more positive conversations. I also started to become more aware of how much time I spend on social media and just checking my phone in general and it really bothered me to see how much time I was wasting. The thing about social media is that it’s a paradox; while it’s really amazing that the internet allows you to connect with so many people, it takes away time to actually physically socialize with people.

Just as Dr. Reina said, mindfulness needs practice and it takes time. I love that we’ve talked about this topic a lot in this class because it’s really motivated me to continue practicing it. Mindfulness has helped me decrease my social media use and put more effort into building positive relationships with others. Once we become more self-aware of our emotions and behaviors, we can be more conscious about how we treat others and improve upon the quality of our relationships. The fact that a simple change of just being mindful of where I am in the present can impact the wellbeing of the people around me just shows how interconnected our universe is.

Strengths

Strengths

When I first learned that I had to spend $15 for something to tell me what my strengths are, I thought “This is silly; why would I need to spend money on something I already know?” But after reading my results, I was shocked by how dead on each description was.
My five Gallup strengths were: adaptability, input, maximizer, ideation, and arranger. This was really cool to find out because I’ve always known that I have these attributes, but never thought about them as my strengths. Learning that these are my strengths allows me to utilize them more often to help achieve my goals.
Another thing I learned by doing this week’s exercises is that strengths are very unique to everyone. It was really cool to learn that only a small percentage, if any, share the same 5 top strengths. Having the opportunity to talk to others about how they related to their strengths was really interesting because it seemed like everyone could see the connection between their personality and strengths.
Knowing what my strengths are and how they’re unique to each individual gives me an advantage of learning how to work upon them and seek them out in others. My short term goal is to achieve academic excellence and get involved in organizations. Having the knowledge of what my strengths are allows me to emphasize them when working with others. One long term goal I have is to own my own company and I think my strengths have shown me that I already have some manager and organizational skills. This also allows me to see what attributes I’m not that strong in so I can work upon those skills as well.
I plan on taking this information we discussed this week and using it for the rest of my personal and professional life. Later down in my life, when I actually own my own company, I believe it would be really beneficial to have my employees take this survey so they can find out what their strengths are as well. Knowing what your strengths are can lead to many positive outcomes and enhances success in the long run.
We all start off as strangers

We all start off as strangers

I’ve been working for my mother’s gymnastics business ever since I was 13, and if there’s one thing I learned it’s that high quality connections are vital to the growth and success of a business. When I think about the positive relationships I have experienced, most of them have developed within my work environment rather than my social circle. For some reason, it seems like throughout these past couple of years, I’ve been dropping many friendships because they are either one-sided, negative, or not even friendships to begin with. But I’m grateful for lost friendships because it allows me to focus on what I really value in a relationship.

The concept that really resonated with me in the article of “High-quality Connections” is the cognitive mechanism of perception-taking, which is being able to put yourselves in someone else’s shoes. I’ve been a gymnastics coach since I was 13 and because I have done gymnastics my whole life, I am able to connect with my students and prospective customers. I can empathize with them when it comes to struggling with difficult tasks and I’m able to predict and help them through challenges. Being able to listen to their concerns is another skill that has helped me build HQC.

Another thing that the article mentions is first impressions. It states that people make judgments on whether “others are accepting, supportive, and warm” based off of non-verbal behaviors. Being a business major, I’m always conscious about the way I present myself. I always try to maintain eye-contact, not cross my arms, and face towards someone if I’m speaking to them.

Being able to see other people’s perspectives and have good body language has really helped me build quality connections because it shows others that I really care about what they have to say. In today’s world where the use of technology is so prevalent, it’s important to remember that we need to make the most of our moments in the present.  A simple friendly smile or hello instead of staring at your phone when you walk by someone can open up an opportunity to connect with someone that you might not have planned for.

 

Competence in Relationships

Competence in Relationships

To me, competence in a romantic relationships, no matter the age, requires a few core factors: trust, effort, communication, and compassion. There are of course many more factors that will help a relationship thrive, however a relationship without these strong fundamental elements, it seems unlikely that a relationship will last.

College relationships are unique because we are at an age and a point of our lives where we discover who we are the most. Many of us are focusing on school, getting involved, sports, and many other activities, and it can be a very stressful experience.  Despite the stress, there are also many opportunities and if you’re in a romantic relationship it can be an awesome experience and relive that stress.

I think the most important factor to achieve competence in a college relationship is understanding that the relationship is not who you are. Too often I see people dedicating all their energy on one person and completely forgetting to care about themselves as well. I’ve seen too many relationships fail because they don’t practice the same mutual understanding that they both need to love themselves first. In a college relationship, it’s really important to be able to fully support your partner’s goals.

This skill definitely grows and stays for adult relationships, but it’s a good thing to learn while in college. I honestly can’t think of a couple that I truly admire. Coming from a child of divorce, I’ve seen how challenges can destroy a relationship. For example, in Wellbeing by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, they mention that financial stress can add an increase amount of anxiety and tear a marriage apart. However, in Dr. Salvatore’s lecture, it was great to hear different perspectives of successful relationships and just because your parents had a bad one, doesn’t mean that you will as well.

 

Depression/Anxiety

As someone that has suffered depression personally as well as having family members that suffer from depression, I’m very doubtful that depression or anxiety can be helpful. In my own experience, major depressive episodes cripple productivity. If I’m stressed on top of depressed, my anxiety will spike and sometimes it will take me days to get back to my productive state.

That being said, I’m sure there are some ways that depression or anxiety can be helpful to some. For example, if someone was continuously anxious about getting their schoolwork done, they might be more inclined to finish it early on. However, I think the stress and physiological effects should also be accounted for.

Depression and anxiety do not discriminate against personality styles, but they can have very different coping methods that can be useful. Someone that is extroverted can share their feelings with their close friends or family and reach out to their social network to get the help they need. Introverts may research online ways to be more mindful of their emotions and try mindful practices such as meditation to help with anxiety or depression. It’s all about knowing who you are and what methods will cater to your needs the best.

Personality Traits

While I found my survey results interesting, they did not surprise me much. The category that I scored highest in was the sensation seeking category. Growing up as a gymnast, I was able to learn how to cope with my fears fairly quickly and was never really scared to take risks. Even though I love to chase exciting adventures in my life, it does kind of concern me that this personality trait is linked with substance misuse. I also found it interesting that heavy binge drinking was linked to this trait because alcohol depresses the central nervous system rather than stimulate it.

The second highest category I scored in was impulsivity. I received a score of 14 which was just under the high range. This result actually kind of surprised me because I thought it would be the highest score. I would consider myself a very impulsive person, especially when it comes to spending my money (which is an extremely bad habit). However, I do believe that I have a good sense of sensibility when it comes to my impulsive actions. For example, if I see a new concert coming to town or something I want to buy at the mall, I usually don’t regret spending my money on it because I know the experience will be worth it or I will use that item a lot. This personality trait goes in hand with trusting my gut; most of the time I don’t regret my choices but I would be lying if I said that trusting my gut didn’t end up badly sometimes.

I honestly am not sure about what my personal cognitive thinking style is because it varies depending on the situation. While I can act impulsively, I also think about long-term consequences a lot and how my actions will affect others. I definitely think there is correlation between cognitive thinking and personality traits, but I feel like I’m at a stage in my life where my brain is still developing and I’m still growing so I can’t say that for sure as to what extent they relate to one another.

I scored in the medium range for hopelessness and anxiety sensitivity. I felt like these results were fairly accurate, if not a little higher than expected.  A year ago I would’ve expected my hopelessness score to be higher and my anxiety score to be lower. However, I feel like after really exploring what I love to do and establishing goals really helped me with being more positive and hopeful in life. In contrast, my anxiety has definitely increased after coming to college because I need to do well in school in order to obtain my goals.

Choose Happiness

I’m a firm believer that time is just a measurement of our experiences here on this universe which is why I try to live everyday as if there was no tomorrow. I spent most of my childhood feeling very depressed because of the situation I was in. Instead of embracing my youth, I spiraled into a severe depression and trapped myself into the negative thoughts in my head. I felt lost within my own body, head, and community. My journey to heal and embrace positive emotion was not sparked by one lesson but a series of events and experiences that led me to where I am today.

My knowledge and beliefs I hold today are acquired by a long journey of moments of clarity and a continuous quest towards higher consciousness. There are a few concepts that I remind myself and practice everyday. The first is that happiness is a choice. Every single person has the power to change the way they think and perceive the world. Yes, it may be extremely difficult at times but it’s important to recognize this strength is within ourselves. This was one of the moments of clarity I had randomly one day sitting in my kitchen and ever since then I keep it in the back of my head in case I start feeling out of control of my emotions.

My strongest belief that has kept me going is that everything happens for a reason and that within positives there are always negatives and vice versa. One of my biggest turning points in my life occurred after I fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed my car into a fence last April. Long story short, I was two inches away from getting impaled in the head by a wooden plank. After fully being capable of understanding that I might’ve just cheated death, my whole perspective of life changed. I immediately understood that life was way too short to not live the way I want to live. I believe there is a reason I am alive today, and that I will go to my grave leading a life that I wanted.

I could have let that incident cripple me but instead it pushed me to a level of growth that I never expected. I made a promise to myself that I would never succumb to dedicating my time to doing something that wasn’t beneficial to my growth and well being or helping others. Almost a year later, I could not be more content and happy with who I am because of that promise. I focused on finding things I was passionate about and put all my effort into bettering my relationships with the people I love. I started practicing the law of attraction and truly believing in karma which has given me a much more positive outlook on life.

I like to share my story with others because I truly believe that you should not have to face death to start living your life. So many college students are so worried and stressed out about which career path to go on and what to do with our lives, but in reality the biggest job we should be working on is ourselves. If you’re stuck in a cloud of negativity, take time for yourself to explore new things or rediscover old passions. There are going to be times that fear is going to try to stop you from doing something or challenges along the way that are out of control, but as long as you at least keep trying that is all that matters.

Like I said before, I don’t believe that time is anything other than a measurement of our experience here. Twenty years from now, you’re not going to remember what exactly happened at 11:30PM on January 29, 2016, but you’re going to remember the moments when you helped changed someones life or changed your own. You may be chasing a career that makes enough money to surpass financial stability, but if you’re not doing what makes you passionate you’re wasting so much potential.

I don’t know what my authentic purpose is in life yet but I know that if I stay true to my beliefs then I am on the right path. There are times where I fall back into old depressing mindsets for long periods of time, but I am a survivor. I have equipped myself with the ability to acknowledge when things are going bad again so I can come back faster and stronger. It helps to know that I am not alone in this world and that if I want a positive life, I need to get it myself. I believe that everyone else can do the same.

Treat Yo Self

If there are any other Parks and Recreation viewers out there, you should be familiar with the saying “treat yo self.” It’s a phrase that I have adopted into my life that consistently motivates me to pamper myself whenever I am feeling down. But unfortunately, I am a broke college student so I can’t afford to treat myself materialistically so instead I focus on taking care of my well-being.

To me, the term well-being can be compared to the word health. There are many different types of well-being and various components that can contribute to one’s health. Some categories include intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional, and social. People face scenarios that may challenge their well-being everyday.

In college, most students are discovering methods on how to take care of their overall well-being. As I said before, well-being can be related to health, but they can also be very different. For example, intellectual well-being consists of the ability to learn new knowledge, retain that information, and look at concepts through multiple perspectives. One can further their intellectual wellness by devoting more time for reading books and doing research. A student may have high intellectual well-being, but that does not necessarily mean that they are mentally healthy. A person may have very high academic standing but still struggle with a psychological disorder such as depression.

On the other hand, physical well-being and physical health are very similar and the same aspects contribute to both such as exercise, nutrition, and sleep. Not only does taking care of your body provide you with more energy, it may also help with regulating your emotions. Emotional wellness relies on the ability to cope with life challenges and acknowledge our feelings; getting more sleep and eating healthy can help people feel happier and more positive with their life. This demonstrates that these different types of well-being sometimes overlap and it’s important to understand which factors can help you achieve a better quality of life.

Spiritual well-being is the ability to embark on a personal journey towards growth, peace, and harmony. Social well-being is having the ability to connect with others and establish relationships within communities. These two categories contrast in the way that a spiritual growth comes from within while social well-being is focused on what is outside in the world. However, the contributions to both are very similar. Some factors that may help both may include learning the concept of empathy, devoting time to explore different hobbies and activities, and having a solid emotional and physical well-being.

Striving to maintain a positive well-being in each of these categories can be tricky, especially in college, but it is important to realize that the journey starts small. Once you recognize making a minor change like eating healthier or reading more can help multiple areas of your well-being, it becomes easier to keep improving. Start by setting small, obtainable goals, persist through challenges, and practice balancing each area of your well-being and you will eventually and inevitably achieve a higher quality of life. Even though you may not be able to afford to buy all the clothes and shoes you want at this moment, treat yo self to healthier foods, enjoyable books, and getting enough sleep.  I promise you the results are so worth it.

treat-yrself