When I was younger and didn’t know how to assess my anxiety correctly, I fell into several thinking traps. The biggest one that I had to overcome was jumping to conclusions.

I was an expert at making predictions about what was going to happen with little to no evidence.

After my first panic attack, I remember when my heart was racing that I was going to have a heart attack. Even though I was young and in excellent health, I honestly thought that this was going to happen even though I had no evidence that this was likely to happen. Worse, it happened in front of people, which caused me to think that I was crazy.

Learning to recognize when this was happening and questioning my conclusions was an actual work in progress. It takes a lot of hard work to switch a negative thinking trap, but there are still ways that you can challenge yourself.

The trick is to view your situation objectively and ask realistic questions:
(1) Ask yourself if you have any evidence to suggest that your outcome is likely.
(2) Ask yourself if you DO have any evidence that suggests it might not happen or if another result is more likely.
(3) What are the chances that an unfortunate event is going to happen?
(4) How many times have you thought of this before, and how many times has your outcome come true?

This WILL be a work in progress, and you won’t be able to switch your brain to this thinking immediately. I still find myself in certain situations where I don’t notice my immediate negativity. Often my jumping to conclusions feels justified and real, which is why it could take a while for me to step back and assess the situation. Remember to prioritize asking questions over finding answers!

It’s official! Burnout is now a legitimate medical diagnosis.

You have no idea how happy I am that this has been recognized by WHO – I experienced this first hand back in 2013/2014, I’m not ashamed to admit it. I was working long hours at a job for a boss who didn’t understand personal boundaries, and it affected everything surrounding me. My anxiety was at an all-time high, and even though I admitted to the burnout systems, I was unable to get adequately diagnosed from my doctor.

So, what is burnout?

  1. You have feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  2. You experience an increase in mental distance from your job, or you feel negative or cynical towards your job
  3. Your professional efficacy has been reduced

TLDR: Burn-out occurs when the demands of your job outweigh your recognition and relaxation.

Burnout has been in a blurry spotlight for a long time now; medical professionals need to rule out anxiety and mood disorders first before considering these symptoms. However, this is regarded as one of the most widely discussed mental health problem in our society today. I’m so thankful that this has now been reclassified as an occupational syndrome.

People who suffer from burn out feel as if their ambitions and goals are being trampled on, and they start to worry about different aspects if they quit such as financial impacts, psychological effects and physical ailments.
There’s been a study about the long-term health risks of continuing in this atmosphere – it’s shocking (but not surprising) to see that there’s a significant risk of coronary heart disease.  Not to mention, the psychological effects which can include insomnia & depression

If you feel as if you fall into this category, I cannot stress enough to go to your doctor. Many tools can help you – one that helped me drastically was going back into therapy. Even though I was depleted and angry that I needed to go, it made me realize that it was not MY fault for the way that I was feeling. I believe that it is possible to reverse the effects of burnout if you are willing to work on it.

This topic has been weighing on me for a couple of years now as I’ve started to realize that our relationships with people affect us immensely. Most of my anxiety was brought on by toxic relationships, and unfortunately, I found this out too little too late.

I’ve compiled a short list of tell-all signs of a toxic relationship:

(1) Who puts in the effort?

Who calls who? Do they pick up the phone first or is it you? It seems as if it’s their way or no way. They won’t bend their schedule to accommodate the need to get together or just catch up.

“The mind of an enlightened human being is flexible and adaptable. The mind of the ignorant person is conditioned and fixed.” – Ajahn Sumedho

Once one person isn’t as invested as you, it can become toxic quickly. It feels as if your demanding too much of their time even if it’s so incredibly minimal. They’re too stuck up to deal with you and your issues. However, they have no issues taking advantage of your generosity. God forbid you ask them for the same.

 (2) It’s always about them

The worst is when they start to compare to you these other friends, too. ‘Oh Sarah is way more fun on the weekends, and Jessica drinks way more whiskey than you!’ Why Are you even hearing this??

Yap Yap Yap! Are they done yet?? Whenever you call or text to talk about your day you never get a chance to put in one word. They tend to drag you into their drama-filled day describing how awful or amazing it was but once the subject hits you, they always find a way to bring it back to them. Even worse, they can leave the conversation immediately with 1,000 reasons why they cannot give you any talk time.

“Don’t deal with sometime-ish people. Life is too short for inconsistency.” — Rayaleradin

(3) They’re blunt and lie

What happens when being frank turns into resentment and harshness? You come to them for advice, but their words sting and their advice leaves you feeling small and embarrassed. They don’t care how YOU feel about the situation and just pass judgment based on their own experiences. They’re ALWAYS right and will not hear anything otherwise. If they think that you’ve wronged them, they will never forget and will throw mean-spirited shots at you and your ego. They use your emotions to attack you and its draining. It’s almost as if they WANT to start a fight, so the both of you are conflicted.
No wonder you feel awful – they’re projecting on you to feel better about themselves.
They mention that you need to change but when it comes to them, no way. They see no need to recognize their inadequacies. The lack of faith and belittling makes you think that “if only I changed, things would be different.” Pointing the finger and blaming you, regularly, is not OK. It’s is a two-way street!

(4) They’re unpredictable, and you’re cautious.

When it’s good is great but when its bad, WATCH OUT. You can no longer predict what mood they’ll be in, and this causes you to worry how they’ll act with you. This rollercoaster of emotion leaves you feeling worried, scared and sometimes uncomfortable. They do not feel your pain and take advantage of this, bringing you down with them. Knowing that you cannot please them, you make yourself scarce thinking that YOU are the reason for this roller coaster of emotions.

“You can never win an argument with a negative person they only hear what suits them and listen only to respond.” — Michael P. Watson

At a certain point, your friendship changed. They rip apart everything that you say, and you feel as if you’re walking on eggshells. You avoid saying anything to set them off in their pessimistic ways.

“As iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion.” — Greek Philosopher

(5) You’re no longer the person you were

This is a big one. You are starting to feel weird as the stress of this relationship affects your body. You begin to feel anxious, getting unknown stomach problems and feel overall lethargic. Stress can lead to higher blood pressure, IBS, lowered immunity, depression, anxiety… etc. This list can go on and on, unfortunately. Friends are supposed to ADD to your life, not take away from it.

Accept the truth and stop wasting time on people

Finding someone in your life who consistently makes you feel wrong about things, and leaving you confused as to why chances are they are projecting their insecurities on you. They are trying to bring you down to their level, so they feel better about themselves. Most people lack the courage to let go of these relationships, but once you realize the extent of their toxicity, it’s best to break loose. Keep those beautiful memories but move on! Your health is most important