5 Risks of Living in Your Comfort Zone

young lady with red shirt and plant

I often hear that your comfort zone is where your dreams go to die.  That may sound extreme, but I believe it to be true for the most part.  I will never go as far as to say that nothing can be accomplished while you are in your comfort zone.  However, I would say that you have a much better chance of achieving your goals is you operate outside of your comfort zone.  The familiarity of your comfort zone may be calming and reassuring but it can also be the reason why many goals may not be achieved.  The following are a few risks of remaining in your comfort zone.

Growth is limited in your comfort zone.

You are not likely to do any growing in your comfort zone.  You live each day knowing what to expect and what not to expect.  This brings you a sense of security but with that security comes a lack of personal growth.  Personal growth consists of you learning new skills, expanding your knowledge, and seeking out new experiences.  When you are nestled comfortably in your comfort zone, you are less likely to take advantages of opportunities.  This leads to your potential for personal growth to be limited.

Fall into mental rut.

Life in your comfort zone is predictable.  Everything is the way it always is, and you like it that way.  However, you can get into such a rut in that you begin to believe that where you are is where you are destined to be.  Your days blur together, and you lose all desire to reach for your dreams and goals because you feel everything is fine the way it is.  The reason why you feel that everything is fine is because you are comfortable.  This can lead to feelings of being unfulfilled and inadequate.  If you are not careful, these feelings could lead to depression or anxiety.

Opportunities are missed in comfort zone..

When you are comfortable in your comfort zone, you run the risk of missing those opportunities that can get you closer to your goals.  I often shake my head at all of the times that I turned down an opportunity because it required me to do something outside of my comfort zone.  Stepping outside of your comfort zone means doing those things that feel foreign to you.  But these are the very things that could also mean the difference between living your dreams and living in your comfort zone.

Becoming watered down version of yourself.

Most of us have had big dreams and big goals that we have wanted to achieve.  Whether it was starting a business or going back to school, we had some goal that we wanted to achieve.  Life often happens and we end up in our comfort zone.  If any effort is put into achieving our goals, it is temporary.  The extra work and dedication needed to make these things happen become a bit much and you sometimes abandon them to return to what is comfortable.  You become the watered-down version of yourself because you still have those dreams that you had before you got into your comfort zone. The dreams remain but you never really become that person because you are hesitant to come out of your comfort zone. 

Frustration and regrets.

Sometimes we go through life and the years pass by before we realize that we are not really living our best lives.  This leads to frustration and regrets.  Frustration and regrets about what should have been or what could have been loom large.  You become frustrated because you may be feeling stuck and then looking back at the different opportunities that you may have passed on causes the regret. Your comfort zone feels good but what does not feel good is the thought that so much more could have been accomplished had you made even the tiniest step outside of your comfort zone.

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What are some of the things that you do to get out of your comfort zone?  What do you think you have missed out on while you lived in your comfort zone? 

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4 Health Benefits of Positive Thinking

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There are many benefits to positive thinking.  Many people belief that if you start the day off with positive thinking then you have a greater chance of having a good day.  Another school of thought suggests that positive thinking attracts good people and good things to come your way.  I believe both things to be true.  A positive mindset will put you in a much better position to not see every challenge or difficult situation as the end of the world.  The great news is that a positive mindset also comes with some health benefits.

Better Heart Health and Positivity

There is scientific evidence that says that positivity can lead to a healthier heart.  When we think negatively or have a negative outlook, stress hormones are released.  This results in a higher heart rate and a rise in your blood pressure.  Having a positive mindset leads to less stress hormones being released which limits the amount of stress being put on your cardiovascular system.  A positive mindset can help ensure that your health is not under any additional or unnecessary stress that can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or heart disease.

Positive Thinking Can Increase Life Span

A positive mindset can add years to your life.  It can sometimes keep you away from those things that unhealthy thoughts can lead you.  Negative thinking can send you down a rabbit hole that can lead to self-destructive behaviors such as alcoholism, drug use, or unhealthy eating habits.  All of these things can lead to a decrease in your life span.  Those individuals who keep a positive mindset are more likely to do those things that make them feel good and are healthy.  Exercising, healthy eating habits, and lower stress levels can add years to your life.

Positive Mindsets and Increased Pain Tolerance

Your positive thinking can even impact how much pain you can tolerate.   For example, When you are in pain or when you are thinking about something that may be painful, the way you think about the pain can impact your experience.  Thinking you are not going to be able to deal with your current or impending pain increases your stress levels which increases your pain levels.  Thinking positive thoughts reduces your anxiety and helps you to focus on something other than pain. This lowers your stress levels which can lead to an increase in pain tolerance.

Positive Thinking And Better Coping Skills

Positive thinking enables you to see the most positive outcome in a situation.  Negative thinking can lead you to make one bad decision that can lead to other bad decisions.  This cycle of perpetual bad decision making can lead to bad outcomes such as hopelessness, high stress levels, and chronic anxiety.  Positive mindsets lead to positive coping skills. These are the coping skills that relieve anxieties and not perpetuate it.  Mediation, journaling, and seeking therapy or counseling are all healthy ways of coping with challenging situations.  You are far more likely to choose positive coping skills when you have a positive mindset.

positive lady smiling

Comment below and tell me how you maintain a positive mindset?  What are some other health benefits of a positive mindset that you would add to this list?

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5 Surprising Symptoms of Anxiety

woman experiencing anxiety

Anxiety often presents itself in different ways.  Most of us have experienced some level of anxiety at one point or an0ther.  Sometimes we can experience it in the form of sweaty palms.  Other times it can be in the form of a racing heart. But there are times that you can be under such a heightened level that it presents itself in different – less obvious ways.  It is one of those things that can alter your whole personality and the way you do things without you even realizing about it.  Here are 5 surprising ways that anxiety shows itself.

Digestive Issues

The brain and your stomach are very closely related.  This can be seen when you get butterflies in your stomach just by thinking of something.  Or when your stomach is in knots as you prepare for a big event or decision.  But these are both instances where you are fully aware of why you have butterflies or why your stomach is in knots.  When being anxious becomes such a normal part of your day-to-day existence, you may not realize that your heartburn, upset stomach, or acid reflux as a result of the anxiety that your body is experiencing.  Sometimes it takes the ruling out of many other disorders or medical issues to realized that your digestive issues may be the result of anxiety.  Once you see it for what it is, you can have better control over it.

Anxiety can Lead to Confusion

Anxiety can cause you to feel very confused or if you are walking in a fog.  Even if you do not realize that you are operating under a heightened level of anxiety, you may still feel these effects.  You may find that you become confused when trying to remember details.  Or you may find it difficult to follow conversations or formulate logical thoughts.  This confusion can be due to either your mind going blank or because there are too many thoughts running through your mind.  Most of the time this confusion comes and goes as opposed to happening of the time.  General confusion or the feeling of having disjointed thoughts can be a symptom of anxiety.

Anxiety Can Cause Tiredness

Did you know that anxiety can physically tire you out?  The truth is that it can and often does.  When you body is experiencing a great deal of stress, your muscles tense.  This can tire you out and make you very tired without you even realizing why you are so tired.  When you are under a great deal of stress, your body will begin to shut down as a way of protecting itself.  As discussed earlier, anxiety can lead to confusion and disjointed thoughts.  Trying to process these thoughts can be mentally draining and can lead to physical tiredness.  You may not realize why you are suddenly so tired or taking frequent naps, but it could be related to anxiety.

Perfectionism

Those fighting anxiety may also find themselves fighting perfectionism.  It will tell you that everything must look or be a certain way and, if it is not, you are a failure.  It may also tell you that you are not where you need to be in life or that you are unworthy of any good thing that happens to you.  Anxiety tells you these things and the quest for perfection is what we do in response to these feelings.  Perfectionism is a lesser-known symptom because people sometimes fail to realize that it stems from the desire to do things perfectly on the first try.  This leads to perfectionist behaviors that, ironically, the anxiety perpetuates.

Frequent Colds

Anxiety releases a great deal of chemicals and hormones that prepare you to be able to respond to tense situations.  Your immune is given a boost when this happens.  In most circumstances, your immune system returns to normal.  But in circumstances where you frequently experience a high level of anxiety, your immune system does not have time to recover.  This leads to being much more susceptible to illnesses.  The compromising of the immune system is a surprising symptom to many, but it is good to know so that you are aware of how seriously anxiety can impact your health.

woman looking confidently into camera

If you battle anxiety, have you ever experienced any of these things? Comment below if you have ever experienced these or any other surprising symptoms of anxiety.