Posts

Pursuing Passion: 5 Tips to Finding Your Passion and Living a Fulfilling Life

Passion is the fuel that burns the desire to achieve greater results. Metaphorically, it is the ball of fire under your butt when you do the things you love.

Routines and negative mindsets can diminish the power of passion in our lives, but what if you don’t feel passionate about anything from the start?

Don’t worry. You’re not doomed. You just need to take some time to discover yourself or reignite that fire.

Here are five tips that will help you in finding your passion and living a more fulfilled life.

1. What Would You Do For Free?

On the quest to finding your passion, you might have encountered people who asked you, “what would you do for free?”

There are lots of things we already do for free. If we breathe, we walk, and we spend time with friends for free. The question should be; how do we serve others for free?

The point is to give back; serve others, and impact their lives. What would you do that could help others in some way? When you live only to serve yourself, you might become passionless about the things you do. Life is more meaningful when we include others.

Furthermore, studies conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found evidence to support this. They performed brain scans of participants who acted either to benefit others or to benefit themselves.

Those who acted to benefit others showed increased activity in the parts of the brain associated with rewards. They also experienced less stress measured through blood pressure.

Ask yourself what you would do to help others without expecting anything in return. Your answer might be the key to finding your passion.

2. What Do You Love To Do?

Now, this might sound quite obvious; doing what you love will help you find your passion. Of course, but that’s why you’re reading this. You might be wondering, how do I find what I love to do? What is my passion?

Here’s a tip on how to find your passion: what would you do even when your body is dead tired? What is something you still reach for even when it seems like you don’t have the energy?

The same logic applies; eliminate the money, eliminate responsibilities, and eliminate the pressure even to do it.

What do you gravitate towards? For some, it might be cooking. Making a nice meal for yourself at the end of a long day just hits home, even if you’re tired.

For some, it might be cleaning. It feels especially warming to fall asleep when your home is nice and clean. Perhaps, at the end of a long day, you still want to move your body and dance.

You don’t have to push your body beyond its limits to find something you love to do, even when you don’t have energy.

But, notice what you love to do even at the end of a long day. It might give you a nudge on finding your passion.

3. What Feels Right To You?

People will tell you to work out because it’s good for you. It’s good for your body and your health; doctors recommend it.

However, some people just aren’t passionate about working out and exercising. That doesn’t mean that they don’t still want to be healthy.

A key to finding happiness and living a fulfilling life is to find what works for you. Figure out what feels right to you. It doesn’t matter what everyone else says or thinks.

If you want to move your body and keep in shape, but you hate running, you don’t have to push yourself to love running. You can try participating in a sport that makes exercising feel more manageable. That could be dancing, taking spin classes, kayak or swim.

You’re still working towards the same goal: staying healthy. You’re just doing it in a way that feels right for you, not going off what everyone else says and thinks you should do.

It applies to more than exercising. Figure out your goal or your purpose, and adjust your means of getting there.

4. Be Open or Change Your Perspective

Enough with the questions; on to the doing.

One thing you can do to help yourself find your passion is to be open to trying something you haven’t done before.

You don’t have to do something that scares the pants off you; just do something new.

If you don’t like change, your immediate reaction might be to reject the idea of trying something new outright. You might think, I’m fine doing what I’m doing. I just don’t feel passion for it.

That’s okay.

If you want to find a passion for doing the things you’re already doing, you can. You just have to adjust your mindset to achieve that mental clarity.

“Problems can’t be solved with the same mindset that created them,” said Albert Einstein.

Try to look at things from a different angle. You can’t solve your problem of a lack of passion with the same perspective. Your customer service job is an opportunity to practice your empathy skills. Your tedious desk job still gives you the opportunity to work with an amazing team.

Invigorated passion requires either being open to doing something new or looking at the same things from a different perspective. Whichever the case, be open to giving yourself completely to the deed.

5. Don’t Quit Your Job Yet

Some people romanticize the idea that finding your passion will automatically solve all of your problems. Finding your passion will lead to living a more fulfilled life, but you still have to be practical.

Don’t quit your day job until you have some kind of a safe landing.

You’ll have to figure out how to survive whether or not you have a job. You might as well be safe and have a cushion so that you don’t come crashing down.

Live your life. Pursue your passion. Just be smart about it.

Finding Your Passion For A More Fulfilled Life

There are questions to ask yourself and steps to take for finding your passion. None of that matters though, if you don’t try.

Passion doesn’t just drop onto your lap out of nowhere. It takes action and reflection to learn what you’re passionate about.

When you find that mental clarity about something you enjoy doing, keep on doing that thing that fills you with energy and quite literally gives you life. It can improve your mental health, and that is priceless.

For more tips on how to live a fulfilling life, check out more from our blog!

If you’re in the San Diego area and are looking to take charge of your mental health, get in touch with us at Solara Mental Health Center. We look forward to serving you.

,

Did You Miss World Mental Health Day? 3 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Improve Your Mental Health

lifestyle-changes-for-better-mental-health

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Mental health awareness can help you develop stress management skills and improve your overall sense of wellbeing. Did World Mental Health Day passed you by? Not to worry, because you don’t need to wait until next October 10th to start improving your mental health.

In fact, you can start implementing changes that can start helping your mood improve.


What mental health looks like

Individuals who might be considered to have “good” mental health share some common characteristics:

  • Self-confidence and high self-esteem
  • An overall  sense of contentment, satisfaction, and love for living
  • The flexibility to adapt to change and to learn new things
  • The ability to cope with and manage stress, and to bounce back from challenges
  • Good work/play/rest/life balance
  • A sense of meaning and purpose in activities and relationships
  • The ability to laugh easily and have fun
  • A healthy ability to build and nurture meaningful relationships

If any of these don’t sound recognizable to you, it’s OK. If you put some effort into it, you can learn to enjoy these same benefits.

Are you ready?

  1. What the heck are you eating? A brain-healthy diet is always good for your mental health.

Have you ever thought about the effects your diet has on the way you feel and think about life? Eating too much of the wrong things and not enough of the right ones can impacts your brain and your mood saps your energy, disrupts your sleep, and debilitates your immune system. So what to do? You need to change over to a healthy diet, low in sugar and rich in healthy fats.

Everyone is different and responds differently to foods. Genetics and other health factors come into play, so go ahead and experiment a little. First, get rid of your “bad fats,” the ones that can wreck your mood and optimism for life, and start consuming all the good fats that are healthy for your brain.

Foods/drinks that mess with your mood:

  • Fried foods
  • Sugary snacks and soft drinks
  • Trans fats/anything with “partially hydrogenated” oils
  • Refined carbs (e.g., white bread, white flour, white rice)
  • Foods with lots of chemical preservatives/hormones
  • Caffeine/soda/energy drinks
  • Alcohol

Foods that help your mood:

Fatty fish rich in Omega-3s such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna

  • Avocados
  • Nuts (i.e., peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, almonds)
  • Flaxseed
  • Beans
  • Leafy greens such (i.e., spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale)
  • Fresh fruit (e.g., blueberries)
  1. Get moving!

Physical activity releases endorphins, which are mood-boosting chemicals that also give you energy. A regular exercise regimen (it doesn’t take a lot!) will also improve your memory, release stress, and improve your sleep. By getting on top of your physical health, you’ll start feeling better almost right away. Also, you can’t have a healthy mind without a healthy body.

How to get started

You can get away with as little as 30 minutes for your exercising to have a positive effect on your brain. Even broken up into three 10-minute blocks will work just as well.

  1. How about some rhythmic exercises that get your arms and legs moving? Walking, running, weights, swimming, dancing, martial arts, etc.
  2. Be mindful. Mindfulness can help enhance your exercise. Don’t let just let your mind run wildly and blindly, rather focus your thinking on your breathing, on how your body is feeling as you move, on the wind on your skin, on the way your feet feel as they touch the ground. This will help clear your mind, too.

So, take a walk at lunchtime and enjoy the fresh air. Play Frisbee with your dog. Dance to your favorite tunes. Play active video games with your family. Start cycling and walking more.

A little bit of exercise goes a long way and helps you get a sense of more vigor and control.

  1. Stress management

Stress will sap your mood as quickly as just about anything, leaving you feeling emotionally drained and bummed out. Life is always going to have some level of stress (if you had zero stress, you’d never be motivated to go to work, pay your bills, take care of yourself, etc.!), but it is unhealthy to have it in excess; fortunately, you can keep it controlled. Try some stress management activities and say “hello” again to a sense of balance in your life.

  • Learn to enjoy leisure time. Do plenty of things simply for the sake of doing them, and because they make you feel better. Watching funny movies, walking on the beach, diving into a good book, etc. And don’t feel guilty – you’re not being irresponsible. Your brain and body need to decompress from time to time.
  • Spend time with family and friends. Getting some face time in with someone who cares about you and your wellbeing is a surefire way to calm your nerves and insulate your stress. You’ll feel better quickly, even if you can’t change the stressful situation right away.
  • Be good to your senses. Big, scented candles. Soothing music. A hot bubble bath. The warmth and the scent of coffee in your favorite café. Do any of these things sound appealing? How about squeezing a stress ball? Opening the window and listening/smelling the rain? Start experimenting with some things that make your senses tingle to find out what you respond to best. You’ll always be able to get yourself to calm down and relax when you need to.
  • Gratitude. Nothing dissolves a bad mood quicker than being grateful. Pray and meditate on these things, keep a gratitude journal (write down at least three things daily you’re grateful for), remind yourself to be grateful more often. Your outlook on life will begin to improve drastically.

Bonus tip! Own your emotions

How well do you know yourself and what you’re feeling? How good are you at identifying and articulating those feelings for yourself and others? If you learn to be more aware of, identify, and take more responsibility for your emotions, you’ll be well on your way to better mental health management skills. Find an app or check out this free online pdf download that can walk you through some techniques.

When to seek professional help

If you’ve made honest and consistent efforts to get your mental and emotional health normalized where you’d like them to be and still aren’t functioning optimally at home, work, and in your relationships, it may be time to seek professional help. Input from a trusted mental health professional may be able to motivate you to do more for yourself than you’d otherwise do alone.

What is the latest regarding your mental health? Always remember that it is very treatable and manageable. If you or someone close to you need to talk to someone about mental health issues that seem overwhelming, we can help. Consider reaching out to our expert team at Solara Mental Health at 844-600-9747.