Your day might have started fairly ordinary. Only somewhere along the way, things blew up. Now you’re in the middle of a massive conflict with no clear idea of how you got there.
It’s normal to fall into conflict – we’re only human after all. Some conflict is even good for us! But did you know that by understanding how these blow-ups come about, you can learn how to avoid many of these conflicts in the first place?
Conflict comes about because we’ve hit a point of disagreement with another person. While a difference of opinion doesn’t have to turn into conflict, every conflict has at its heart a difference of opinion. These differences manifest in these areas:
- A difference in values
- A difference in motivations
- A difference in what you perceive is true or necessary\
- A difference in wants
- A difference in the understanding of various ideas or even ideals.
How do these differences then turn into conflicts?
- The difference has somehow become perceived as a threat. Whenever you feel threatened, there’s going to be trouble. Threats bring out that whole urge to fight to protect what’s important to you. Hence, your disagreement escalates into the realm of conflict.
- You’ve let that conflict fester. So, what might have felt like a minor threat at the beginning has become something much bigger in nature because of two factors. First, you neglected the conflict by not dealing with it right away. Second, the passage of time has given the conflict room to grow. So, now it’s blown up into something bigger than it ever was in the first place. How? Keep reading, and you’ll see.
- By now your perception is off-kilter. It might be that what you perceive to be a threat – was never a threat in the first place. How does this happen? Chances are you lost your objectivity in the situation. Especially if you feel threatened. Then add to it #4.
- Your emotions got involved. Conflicts tend to attract strong emotions. But the stronger the emotion, the more likely you are to blow things out of proportion. Emotional reactions also make it a lot harder to deal with a conflict in the first place, so chances are if you get emotional, you’ve already let things get out of control.
Are There Benefits of Conflict?
When you experience a violent storm, it’s easy to rail against the weather. The wind and the rain can seem terrifying, especially when coupled with the crash of thunder and the bright crackle of lightning splitting the sky. But ask any farmer, and they’ll tell you that even storms have their benefits. The rain is necessary for their crops. And believe it or not, when lightning strikes the ground, it puts nitrogen into the soil that is essential for things to grow.
Likewise, conflicts have certain benefits that we don’t always see. Keep reading to find several of them you might not have considered before now.
- Conflicts make us aware of new ways to do things. The very fact that there’s a conflict tells you that someone else has a different point of view from your own. By exploring those conflicts, you are likewise invited to explore the idea from a new angle and see a new solution that wouldn’t have occurred before.
- Conflicts enable us to verbalize what we want. Think of conflict as a way of being able to genuinely express yourself that doesn’t come up easily at other times. It’s through conflict that we decide what’s important to us, and how to put those feelings into words.
- Conflict drives flexibility. When we conflict, we’re hoping for others to see our point of view. But also in dealing with conflict, we’re forced to see the point of view of those around us. That is where we learn how to become flexible, to acknowledge that we’re not always right. The conflict then becomes the teacher of two traits that you can’t live without—that of being open-minded, and of understanding humility.
- Conflict forces us to listen. The only way to resolve conflict is to listen openly to the other person. Through listening, we acquire wisdom and learn to make better decisions.
- Conflict drives solutions. When you deal with conflict, you are likewise dealing with a problem that needs a solution. Resolving that conflict means finding those solutions, usually in new and innovative ways. Conflict, thus, forces us to solve our problems in creative ways.
While you might shy away from the idea of conflict, it’s good to remember these benefits. Without conflict, we stagnate. So while the storm outside might rage, remember that all tempests do come to an end. The sun will come out again, and in that light, you’ll be able to see how much you’ve grown and benefitted by that conflict.
You need to maintain your objectivity, keep your emotions in check, and realize that every conflict is an opportunity to grow. Conflicts are normal in life. But it’s the resolution of conflicts that draws us closer together and builds both trust and intimacy.
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8 Tips to Face Your Fear
Fear is a natural emotion that humans feel whenever face with painful and challenging circumstances. We tend to be afraid to handle our concerns or even walk away from those things. However, the longer we suppress our fears in our subconscious minds, the longer it would affect our social and occupational functioning. Take the case of drug addicts who see drugs as a form of escape with their worries and personal issues. They’ve chosen to run away from their fears instead of confronting it. With this, it significantly changed them that affects only themselves but their families as well.
Overcoming fear is an important step to free yourself from situations or things that would limit you. It may take time to conquer it, but by taking action, you’re doing a favor for yourself. Here are the useful tips that can help you to overcome your fears.
- Recognize and Accept Your Fear
The first step that you should do is to recognize your fears. It may be hard at first. But acknowledging it allows you to know that you need to do something to get rid of your worries. From there, you will understand that fears exist to warn us about the possible danger that we’re going to encounter. It lets us know that we need to take better decisions in our lives.
- 2. Take Time Out
If your mind is clouded by fear and other unpleasant emotions, taking time out from it is your option. It means that you need to distract yourself from overthinking about it. You can go for a walk or take a nap to shift your mind. This is different from running away from your fear. This gesture is crucial as you need to get yourself ready in facing your fears.
- 3. Calm Yourself
This relates to taking a break from your fears. Aside from engaging in diverting task, you can also practice calming yourself. Breath slowly and if you can, meditate for at least 5 minutes. By doing this, it makes you objective in facing your fears.
- 4. Visualize Happy Thoughts
If you are letting your fears empower you, thinking about fighting it would not be easy. You must first create a mental image of happy thoughts. It can be anywhere and anytime with anyone. The main goal of visualizing your thoughts is to let make you relax and control your fear.
- 5..Seek Help
If you think you don’t have enough courage to overcome your fears alone, you can seek help. Talk with your trusted friends or family members so they can help you in facing your fear. They can also provide some advice that you can use. Apart from close friends and family, you can also seek the professional assistance of a psychologist or counselor. They can devise customized therapy programs to alleviate your fears.
- 6. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
People who are empowered with their fears tend to run away from it. Some of them turn to alcohol and drugs, believing that it would subside their fears. Instead of forming a drug or alcohol addiction, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can do regular exercise and eat nutritious foods. You can also get enough quality sleep to make your mind relax. By having a healthy lifestyle, you are making yourself physically and mentally ready to face your fears.
- 7..Plan, Practice, and Act
There are fears that you can conquer by acting it out. For instance, you are afraid to talk in public and want to defeat this fear. You can plan to enroll yourself in public speaking classes to boost your confidence and learn the techniques of managing your worries at the public places. After that, you can practice talking on the stage. You can do it alone or with the presence of a few people. The essence of this step is to gradually expose you to fear so when you’re faced with the actual issue you’d be able to handle it well.
- 8. Treat Yourself
Trying to overcome your fear takes a lot of courage. If you’ve been with a stressful day, you can reward yourself for doing your best. It can be anything that would bring happy feelings. It would also serve as your reminder that there are greater things that you have compared with your fears.
25 Simple Little Things that You Can Change in Your Life
Do you ever want to just drop everything, run away, and start anew? Changing your life doesn’t require resorting to such drastic measures. There are other ways to redirect yourself without completely displacing your existence. Here are a few simple things that you can do to start building a new you.
- 1. Change your perspective
Make yourself more open to new ideas. When you open your mind, you can change how you see things. There are so many different ways to see things!
- 2. Focus on the good things
Stop fussing over the things that aren’t going right and be thankful for the things that are. When you train your mind to see the negative, you’ll end up seeing only that. But, if you start learning to look for the good in things, you build a whole dome of positivity around you.
- 3. Give some self love
Don’t forget to take care of yourself. A bit of self-love every now and then is important to self that there are many important and valuable things in life – one of them being yourself.
- 4. Listen to yourself
Your thoughts and opinions matter. Stop asking other people for advice and listen to your gut. It may lead you to great things.
- 5. Be the bigger person
That doesn’t mean that you should go around with a superiority complex. Being the bigger person isn’t about being self-righteous. It’s about seeing yourself as someone stronger than the obstacles and limits that others place before you. Learn to let go of the fears that hold you back.
- 6. Envision your goals
What do you want to achieve? Imagine it, envision it, and create it. You can only move forward if you know which direction to go. Unfortunately, no one will give you a map to success. You have to create it yourself.
- 7. Don’t try to control everything
There are many things way beyond your control. Let go of the need to be in charge of everything and let the tides flow. You can’t change the direction of the current but you can adjust your sails. Focus on the things that you do have control over.
- 8. Value yourself
You are not defined by your success or your failure. And you are definitely not defined by how others see you. You determine your self-worth.
- 9. Be curious
Free your questioning mind. It is what motivates us to explore, discover, and learn. Exercise your mind by giving it a constant flow of knowledge – new things, new places, new people, new ideas!
- 10. Show your teeth
Smile! Not that shy closed-lip kind of smile. A genuine display of pearly whites is warranted every now and then. If you’re gonna smile, do a big one.
- 11. Take it one step at a time
You might be stressing over what’s coming up on the horizon. But, remember that the only way for you to actually get there is by placing one foot in front of the other.
- 12. Get off the grid
Go camping; go on a hike; take yourself away on an island retreat; do anything that will give you a break from your regular routine – somewhere with no WiFi. Disconnecting from the world is a way to reconnect with yourself.
- 13. Say your Thank You’s
Be thankful and show appreciation for the things that you have in your life. Showing gratitude is a way to promote happiness and well-being. When you take time and acknowledge the value of the things around you, you become a happier individual.This allows you to focus on the good things in your life, opening up the door to more positivity.
- 14. Broaden your palate
One definite way to evoke a change in your life is to try new food. You might find a new favorite dish! There is so much variety in the food market nowadays that you can even challenge yourself to try something new every meal.
- 15. Reach out
Make the effort to connect with friends, and maybe even reconnect with old ones. As social beings, we all thrive through our connections. Building a friendship takes time and effort but it is well worth it.
- 16. Get creative
Find new hobbies, work on an exciting new project, and don’t be afraid to improvise. When you do something creative, you stimulate parts of the brain that you don’t often use in your day-to-day. Find a stress-releasing new project to do – painting, pottery-making, crocheting. If you’re more of a performer, join a theater group, or work on your own screenplay.
- 17. Try something new
Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. You might have always labeled yourself as the indoor type who doesn’t enjoy hikes or outdoor adventures. Or you may be the adventurer who’d rather be out in the wild than at home with a book. Allow yourself to break free from your self-imposed labels and try something out of character. When you try something new, you might end up loving it or just confirming that you really don’t like it. Either way, you learn a bit more of yourself on the way.
- 18. Hydrate!
Drink more water! Proper hydration isn’t just important for your physical health, it’s an overall body booster. Most people take in way below the standards for what their body needs. In turn, they feel tired and unproductive throughout the day. Regularly hydrating yourself give your body the energy – it’s not all in the carbs – it needs to power through the day.
- 19. Get up and use your feet
Walk more. You gain so much from a simple stroll around the block. It can improve your mental, physical, and emotional health. A light exercise, such as walking, stimulates the release of endorphins in your body, making you feel happier and more energized. Those who walk regularly give themselves a chance to get a breath of fresh air and connect with their surroundings.
- 20. Say No to Procrastination
Fight the urge to leave things for later. When you procrastinate, It’s based on the perception that you have the time to complete a task at a later time or day. You might think that you have the time to do it later so you use your time now to do things that aren’t even on your list of priorities. When you procrastinate, you demotivate yourself. You set yourself up for anxiety and panic. Avoid such scenarios by overcoming procrastination. It is just a matter of prioritizing the things important to you and going through that list with diligence.
- 21. Start your mornings slow
Give yourself a chance to take a deep breathe when you start your day. Have a good breakfast and your morning coffee before everything else. Wake up a bit earlier so you can give yourself some time to meditate and reflect in the morning. Your goal is to start your day with a clear mind.
- 22. No more white lies
It can be so easy to avoid certain confrontations by telling a white lie. It won’t hurt anyone, right? Wrong. Small lies are still lies. Avoid burdening yourself with guilt and the fear of getting caught in your lie by just facing the consequences by telling the truth. It may not be easy but it is the honorable and the right thing to do.
- 23. Get an early start to every day
Successful people make it a habit to start their days early. They give themselves more time to work on themselves and to work on their goals. Making it a habit to wake up earlier also promotes better sleeping habits.
- 24. Let it out
You have a cocktail of emotions. Everyone has the right to breakdown every once in a while. Letting yourself express all the emotions that you’ve had pent up inside you is an important step to changing your life. Shout it out to the wind, share it with a trusted friend, or write it all down in a letter. Letting go is letting yourself find peace.
- 25. Free your mind
Give yourself time to pray, meditate, or just relax. Once a week, find some time for yourself. A bit of peace and quiet is good for the mind. When you meditate, you become more mindful. Your stress levels are lessened; you acquaint yourself with your pain; you improve your focus; and you become kinder to yourself.