7 steps towards better sleep.

How to achieve better sleep

Sleep is one of the most important things in our lives. While we’re sleeping, our brain processes information from the past day. But that’s not the only reason sleep is good for us. It also has a positive impact on our creativity, focus and even our weight.

Unfortunately, we often don’t take sleeping seriously enough, or just fail to achieve a proper night’s sleep. During my college years I rarely had more than 6 hours of sleep and often had to pull all-nighters. My habits didn’t really improve after I graduated and a few months into my first job I started noticing the bad side effects of my unhealthy lifestyle.

Luckily my habits have changed by now, and I figured out how to improve my sleep quality. These days I feel less tired, more focused, more productive and most of all, I feel way happier. Here’s a list with tips on how you can improve your sleep as well.

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How I experience anxiety.

anxiety

Anxiety comes in many different shapes. Some people have social anxiety, they’re scared of social situations. Some have seemingly random panic attacks and others suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Some break out in sweat, some yell and others turn silent.

To me, anxiety means thinking in worst-case scenarios. It means being worried about everything that can go wrong. It means overthinking all the possible outcomes of any situation. It means being scared of not living up to the expectations of others or the expectations myself. Anxiety means becoming tense in my shoulders, tense in my back and tense in my legs. It means becoming less aware of my surroundings and not being able to think straight anymore. It means failing to translate my feelings into words and it means blackouts. It means being afraid of winning and afraid of losing. And most of all, anxiety means total chaos.

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My story of living and dealing with asthma.

My story of living and dealing with asthma

I’ve been an asthmatic since as long as I can remember. I was born with it, I grew up with it and I’ll grow old with it. It’s part of my life. It’s part of who I am. I want to share part of my story, using three topics that have been central in my battle with asthma: inhalers, needles and technology. 

I. Inhalers

On a rainy day, almost twenty years ago, I was diagnosed with asthma. Back then I didn’t really know what that diagnosis meant, the only thing I understood was that I had to take inhalers twice a day. They looked scary and tasted awful, and I didn’t want to come near them. Sometimes people told me I would get rid of the disease, that I would magically become healthy again. They gave me hope.

But over the years my lungs only became weaker. They started to hurt when I was running, biking or swimming. I had to stop taking part in certain school activities, such as physical education. I had to be careful when riding my bike. I had to sleep with a rescue inhaler. And I started to appreciate the medication more. They helped me bike and win. They postponed the pain. They saved me during asthma attacks. But I didn’t manage to get rid of the disease, instead my condition became progressively worse.

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My negative experience with being positive.

Positivity challenge: my negative experience with being positive

Not that long ago someone told me about the positivity challenge. The point of it is to only have positive thoughts for an entire week. As soon as you start having any negative feelings or thoughts, you will either have to twist them into something positive or try to think of something else instead.

It sounded great and very promising: no more stress or anxiety, no more sadness, no more anger, only positivity. So I decided to give it a try. In fact, I tried it multiple times and it never worked for me. Trying to turn negative emotions around brought even more negativity in my life.

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My mother and my boyfriends

My mother and my boyfriends

“What does he see in you? No, I’m serious. I don’t understand. What does he like about? I don’t understand why someone would want to be with you.” I’ve heard these exact words three times in my life, coming out of the mouth of the same person: my mother.

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