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Coping Through Cooking

Have you ever had a bipolar disorder coping strategy that became a passion? 

Did this passion help you reduce your symptoms and at the same time fill the room with delicious smells?!

Coping Through Mindfulness

I’ve had bipolar disorder my whole life. Along with medication and therapy, there are other ways to manage symptoms including coping strategies.

Coping strategies include mindfulness, which means living in the moment and awakening to experience. 

Mindfulness includes forms of meditation such as breath awareness and kundalini yoga.

Did you know that cooking is a basic and overlooked form of meditation.

Cooking In The Moment

Cooking is a simple daily task that can help you find peace and enjoyment in the present moment.

An example is an easy and simple recipe such as candied sweet potatoes. When you’re starting it on the top of your stove by adding butter to your pan you’ll notice your mind is set on that simple task. 

Then you start adding brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to the butter. When this happens there’s a delicious smell that not only makes you hungry but also triggers feelings of warm nostalgia, along with activating areas of your brain linked to emotion and memory. You’ll find that this calms an anxious mind.

Benefits Of Cooking?

It’s hard to get motivated when your in a depressed mood because of bipolar disorder.

Due to depression weighing you down; you might be in the mood to overeat, but you might have a hard time getting up and doing anything else. 

When you’re feeling depressed there are many benefits to cooking for yourself.

What Are Some Of Cooking’s Benefits?

Benefits Include:

  • Cooking Is Therapeutic: Cooking is an effective therapy, because it encourages creativity. It also reduces anxiety and depression.
  • Healthier Food Options: People who cook for themselves tend to have better overall health.
  • Focus On What You’re Eating: When you’re cooking for yourself you’re not surrounded by other distractions. You can enjoy your food more and exercise better control over what you eat.
  • Cooking Forces You To Get It Together: Preparing your own food takes some planning. It encourages you to be organized and focused, which helps with bipolar symptoms.
  • It Connects You With Others: Cooking for someone else is a way to express love. Whether it’s for your significant other, kids, roommates, family or friends you’re all working together to make something amazing.

How Do You Cope With Your Bipolar Symptoms?

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If you want to learn more about mindfulness please click on the button below:

Sources:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320392

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-babble/201501/smells-ring-bells-how-smell-triggers-memories-and-emotions

https://lifehacker.com/when-you-eat-focus-on-just-eating-1548927900

https://www.headspace.com/mindfulness/mindful-cooking

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Tips For Improving Your Self-Perception

Today’s post is a follow up of a blog post I wrote about “Turning Anxiety Into a Super Power”. I mentioned that change in my self-perception was one of the changes I made in my life to overcome the worst of my mental health issues.

If you want to read the post I just mentioned click on the link below:

What is Perception?

Perception is how we view ourselves and how we view others.

Your perception of something is the way you think about it or the impression you have of it. For example how you perceive the world and everything around you has a direct effect on your thoughts, actions and behavior.

Also, your thoughts, actions and behavior are directly affected by how you perceive yourself. 

What Is Self-Perception?

Self-Perception gives you an awareness of who you are or who you think you are.

When you perceive yourself in a healthy way when you’re able to assess your strengths, weakness, talents and potential. Also, you have the ability to be honest with yourself, be true to who you are and take responsibility for your choices and action.

However, when you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way you may think you know yourself; you’re unsure of yourself and you tend to lie to yourself that everything is fine. 

What Problems Occur Due To Unhealthy Self-Perception?

Numerous problems occur due to unhealthy self-perception including:

  • Distorted Self-Esteem: Self esteem refers to self-worth or self-respect. When you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way you can have low self esteem that causes you to feel defeated and depressed, along with failing to live up to your full potential.
  • Anxiety: Unhealthy self perception can lead to an anxious mindset that can distort the way you view the world and reality. Symptoms of anxiety include feeling nervous and always have feelings of impending doom. Anxiety is an alarm for triggering your fight-or-flight response.
  • Guilt: When you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way you feel an unhealthy amount of guilt for things that are beyond your control such as feeling guilty about someone’s low opinion of you.
  • Negative Self-Talk: Negative self-talk is any inner dialogue you have with yourself and it’s best known as your inner critic. It can cause you to have limiting beliefs about your abilities and it diminishes your ability to make positive changes in your life or your confidence in yourself to do so.

How Do You Improve Your Self-Perception?

It’s important look at why you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way. Factors such as stressful life events such as divorce or illness, past trauma or abuse, unrealistic goals or mental health problems play a role in our self-perception. 

It is possible to face these problems and transform how you perceive yourself.

Tips For Improving Self-Perception

Here are Tips for Improving your self-perception:

  • Identify Your Perceptions: You can identify your perceptions by asking yourself certain questions. You’ll notice certain thoughts come to the surface that feel familiar or true to you. For example you can ask yourself a question such as “What do I always say about myself ?” thoughts pertaining to your self perception comes to the surface such as “I’m an a@#h&le”. Then it’s important to examine that perception you’ve identified and ask why it’s justified and why you think that way about yourself.
  • Listen To Your Inner Critic: It gets worse if you ignore or suppress your inner critic, instead you should listen to your inner critic and take note of what it’s trying to tell you. At that point you have the opportunity to judge what your inner critic is trying to tell you, maybe it’s telling you to take the action you need to take.
  • Stop Ruminating: Rumination is repetitively going over a negative thought or problem. It’s important to keep your mind occupied if you start ruminating, along with learning about your triggers and question your thoughts.
  • Boost Your Self Esteem: There are a lot of ways to boost your self esteem. These include learning a new skill, challenging your limiting beliefs and stand at the edge of your comfort zone.
  • Get Outside Your Comfort Zone: Getting outside your comfort zone creates enough good stress to ramp up your focus, creativity and drive. It helps you to respond to life’s stresses when unexpected things happen.

Have You Ever Felt Like Your Self-Perception Affects Your Life?

Please Like And Comment!

If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below to download your free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.essentiallifeskills.net/self-concept.html

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-self-esteem-2795868

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160928-how-anxiety-warps-your-perception

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

https://www.thefix.com/living-sober/toxic-guilt

https://www.verywellmind.com/negative-self-talk-and-how-it-affects-us-4161304

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B Vitamins For A Better Mind!

What are B Vitamins?

B vitamins refer to a class of water-soluble vitamins that are vital for maintaining good health and well being. 

They are building blocks for a healthy body that have a direct impact on your energy levels, cell metabolism and also brain health.

B Vitamins Include:

  • B1 (Thiamine): Helps your body generate energy from carbohydrates. The main role of carbohydrates is to provide energy for your body, especially your brain and nervous system.
  • B2 (Riboflavin): Helps your body breakdown carbohydrates, protein and fats to produce energy.
  • B3 (Niacin): A B vitamin made and used by your body to turn food into energy. It helps keep your nervous system, digestive system and your skin healthy.
  • B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Very important for making blood cells and helps convert your food into energy. 
  • B6 (Pyridone): Helps your body make energy from food and form red blood cells that help deliver oxygen throughout your body. B6 also regulates the hormones dopamine and serotonin.
  • B7 (Biotin): Your body needs Biotin to convert certain nutrients into energy. It’s also important for your hair, skin and nails.
  • B9 (Folate): Helps form your DNA, which is important for every cell (Including Brain Cells) in your body.
  • B12 (Cobalamin): Helps your body make energy from food just like B6. It keeps your body’s nerve and red blood cells healthy, and helps make DNA for all cells.

B vitamins play a vital role in producing brain chemicals that affect your mood and other brain functions. 

Low levels of B vitamins such as Folate, B12 and B6 have been linked to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, along with worsening the symptoms of mental disorders such as bipolar disorder.

Where Do You Get B Vitamins?

B Vitamins are obtained by eating nutrient-rich foods. 

These Include:

  • Avocados: Long before avocados were considered a stereotypical millennial stable they’ve been regarded as a superfood. One whole avocado is packed with B vitamins.
  • Plain Low Fat Yogurt: The amount of nutritional value varies from brand to brand, but they tend to be rich in vitamin B12 and riboflavin.
  • Salmon: This is a low mercury fish that’s high in omega 3’s. It’s also high in other nutrients including B vitamins.
  • Chicken: Chicken, along with turkey are loaded with B vitamins such as niacin and pyridoxine.
  • Eggs: One chicken egg contains 33% of the recommended daily intake of the B vitamin biotin.
  • Chickpeas: Foods such as chickpeas are a great source of B vitamins, especially B6 and folate.
  • Tofu: Along with being a valuable plant source of iron and calcium, tofu contains vitamin B1.
  • Dark Green Vegetables: Vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce and kale contain large amounts of folate.

However, there are people with bodies that have a hard time absorbing B vitamins or they can’t obtain B vitamins from diet alone.

There are many vegetables that could lose of their nutritional content while being cooked. Unless you eat them raw.

Some people have cut meat out of their diets which is a significant source of vitamin B12.

It’s recommended that they look into taking a multivitamin or a vitamin B complex supplement.

What Is Vitamin B Complex?

Vitamin B-Complex is a supplement that includes all eight B vitamins in one pill.

It’s been shown to improve brain health by providing optimal psychological and neurological benefits. This significantly benefits mood along with reducing stress.

Despite the added benefits of a vitamin B supplement there are health risks as the dosage goes up, so talk to your doctor first before taking it.

Bipolar Disorder And B Vitamins

Bipolar Disorder is associated with episodes of mood swings that range from depressive low moods to manic/hypomanic highs.

Symptoms include mood swings, depression, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, inability to focus and appetite fluctuations.

The exact cause is unknown but a combination of genetics, environment and altered brain structure and chemistry play a role. An often overlooked factor that plays a role is poor diet.

A poor diet deficient in nutritional content can play a role in bipolar disorder, especially low B vitamins.

Studies have shown that vitamins B1, B6 and B12, in particular play a role in decreasing bipolar symptoms. Also they improve the overall health of your brain, which leads to better management of bipolar disorder.

Please talk to your doctor before increasing the amount of B vitamins in your diet.

Do you take any supplements to improve your health?

Please Like and Comment!

If you’re interested in learning more about how blueberries are a superfood please click on the button below:

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/vitamin-b-complex

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/vitamin-b12-and-depression/faq-20058077

https://www.eatthis.com/best-foods-vitamin-b/

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/#:~:text=Vitamin%20B12%20is%20a%20nutrient,absorb%20vitamin%20B12%20from%20food.

https://www.livescience.com/51966-vitamin-b2-riboflavin.html#:~:text=Riboflavin%20is%20a%20vitamin%20that,be%20used%20by%20the%20body.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b-foods#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-b-complex#1

https://psychcentral.com/lib/vitamins-for-bipolar-disorder/

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Tips For Building Rapport

Rapport is a very important but underrated skill to have. I’ll be discussing tips on how to build rapport.

What is Rapport?

There is a word that you may have heard called “rapport”, but you may not be aware of what it means.

Rapport is a meaningful connection or relationship with someone else. 

It’s also considered a state of harmonious understanding with an individual or group, examples include showing a real interest in someone else’s hobby or empathizing with someone’s situation and feeling “in sync” with them.

Building rapport is very important whether it’s with a client or more importantly with your personal relationships.

However, a lack of rapport can lead to not only a lack of communication, but also a lack of trust.

Why Is Rapport Important?

It’s important to build rapport with someone, but do you know why it’s important? 

Important Reasons Include:

  • Building Trust: It’s interesting to note that rapport can be built at the same time as trust. Rapport focuses on establishing a bond or connection with someone, which helps you to establish a reputation for reliability, consistency and keeping your promises that builds trust.
  • Improved Mental Health: When rapport is being built between a therapist and yourself to treat a mental disorder it can lead to a more successful outcome. 
  • Forming Deeper Relationships: Rapport forms the basis of  deep and meaningful relationships between people. It’s the sense of connection you feel when you like and trust someone, and understand their point of view.
  • It’s An Important Life Skill: Rapport is an often overlooked essential skill that helps you build relationships faster and improve communication more rapidly. This is important for all aspects of your life whether you’re connected on a more intimate level or professional level.


How To Build Rapport?

Here are some tips for building rapport with other people.

Tips Include:

  • Overcoming Communication Barriers: Strong communication skills are key to building rapport. However there are barriers in place that make building rapport difficult, so it’s important to learn how to overcome them.

Examples Of Communication Barriers Include:

Cultural Differences and Language

Inability To Listen To Others

Information Overload and Lack of Focus

Disorganized Thinking

Depression and Anxiety:

Lack of Empathy

Lack of Trust

Poor Social Skills

  • Improve Your Appearance: One of the fastest ways to build rapport is to make a great first impression. This includes taking pride in your appearance.
  • Find Common Ground: It’s essential to build rapport by asking someone open-ended questions about themselves. You’ll find common ground and build a deeper connection.
  • Be Your Authentic Self: When you’re being authentic, you’re being real. This is important for building rapport, because it helps to establish trust between you and other people.
  • Learn How To Be Empathetic: Learn how to see someone else’s point of view in order to find common ground. This is important when you’re trying to find common ground with them.
  • Mirror and Match Mannerisms and Speech: When we’re building rapport with other people, we may or may not be aware that we’re adopting their temperament, mannerisms, speech patterns and even their body language.

If you’re interested in overcoming social anxiety that keeps you from building rapport please click below:

How Do You Build Rapport?

Please Like and Comment!

Sources:

https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/rapport.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-therapy/202001/how-therapy-works-the-role-real-rapport

https://www.smartcompany.com.au/people-human-resources/developing-rapport-empathy-workplace/

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/building-rapport.htm

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Overcoming Procrastination

What Does It Mean To Procrastinate?

Procrastination refers to the action of delaying or postponing tasks. This is especially true for tasks that need to be accomplished by a certain deadline.

Why Do People Procrastinate?

Procrastination often occurs due to being afraid to fail at the tasks that need to be completed. 

It could be a habitual or an intentional delay of starting or finishing a task despite knowing it might have negative consequences. 

For some people procrastination might be a symptom of a mental disorder. It’s been linked to depression, irrational behavior, low self-esteem and anxiety, which are associated with disorders such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and even bipolar disorder.

Procrastination has many consequences attached to it. It not only causes serious stress and illness, but it also causes self sabotage that can ruin your chances at success.

What Are Some Signs Of Procrastination?

Whether it’s habitual or intentional, or due to mental illness there are many signs of procrastination to look out for. 

Signs Include:

  • Having Uncertain Goals: Even if you’re not diagnosed with a mental illness having uncertain goals can trigger fear and anxiety, which lead to procrastination. However, if you’re certain of what your goals are you’ll have less fear.
  • Hard Time Concentrating:  Whether it’s from lack of sleep, stress or a short attention span you’re more prone to procrastination when you have a hard time concentrating.
  • Making Excuses: It’s a sign of procrastination if you’re making excuses for not finishing a task.
  • Being A Perfectionist: Perfectionists have a fear of being unable to finish a task perfectly.
  • Limiting Beliefs: There are a lot of limiting beliefs around both fear and guilt that can stop you from completing a task. For example “I fear that I’m good enough to finish this assignment”!
  • Setting Unrealistic Goals: When you set unrealistic goals you’ll set yourself up for disappointment. Then it can lead to fear of failure which can cause you to put off tasks.
  • Feeling Anxious: It’s interesting to note that anxiety and procrastination go hand in hand. When you’re feeling anxious about something, you’ll put it off.
  • Unstable Moods: Having conditions such as bipolar disorder can lead to unstable moods. It’s hard to stay focused and get a task done on time when moods are hard to regulate.
  • Fear Of Failure: Setting unrealistic goals and facing disappointment can lead to a fear of failure. You’ll find yourself putting off things because you’re afraid of failing again.

How To Overcome Procrastination?

  • Promise Yourself An Award: When you finally complete a difficult task you should reward yourself. If you like coffee, buy yourself one as an award.
  • Get Plenty Of Sleep: If you’re having trouble focusing and keep putting things off, it could be something as simple as not getting enough sleep. When you get enough sleep you’ll be able to focus better.
  • Rephrase Your Internal Dialogue: Your inner dialogue may be telling you “you have to” complete that task and it’s making you stressed and anxious. Try reframing the thought into something more empowering, for example say “you want to” instead.
  • Minimize Distractions: It helps to minimize distractions so you can complete a task. This includes turning off social media, email and television.
  • Improve Mood Management: There was an interesting study done about procrastination. It concluded that it is more about emotional management rather than time management. For example you may avoid a certain task because it’s associated with a negative emotion and unless you face that emotion the task will never be finished.
  • Letting Go Of Perfectionism: Learning how to let go of perfection is important for overcoming procrastination. Start by letting go of unrealistic expectations, practice self-care and stop obsessing over what others think of you.

If you’re interested in reading a previous post about overcoming fear please click on the button below:

How To You Overcome Procrastination?

Please Like and Comment!

Sources:

http://literacy.kent.edu/salt_fork/time_priority/timemanagement/procrastination.html

https://www.medicinenet.com/difficulty_concentrating/symptoms.htm#:~:text=Difficulty%20concentrating%20is%20a%20normal,how%20we%20think%20and%20concentrate.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-practice/201908/how-recognize-anxiety-induced-procrastination

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_96.htm

https://www.postpartumhh.com/blog/3-steps-to-letting-go-of-perfectionism

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How To Get Off Of Effexor?

Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) is an antidepressant and nerve pain medication.

It’s prescribed to treat conditions such as:

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder 
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder

It’s part of a class of antidepressants called serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI)s. They increase the level of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain by blocking or delaying their reuptake by nerves.

As far back as the year 2000 I was prescribed Effexor. During this time I was diagnosed with ADHD and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

At the time there were tangible benefits including reduced anxiety and less depression. However, my symptoms keep recurring and my doctor increased the dosage and the symptoms subsided. This was an endless cycle that kept occurring until the dosage was maxed out at 300 mg. By this time I started having problems.

Over time there were fewer tangible benefits to being on Effexor; anxiety and depression began to worsen and I started experiencing worsening mood swings. 

I wanted to get off this medication, but due to severe withdrawal symptoms I gave up and continued taking it for a number of years. 

Why Is Effexor So Hard To Withdraw From?

Trying to get off of Effexor is easier said than done. This is due to very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, which vary in severity depending on how much the dose is reduced. Also, these symptoms occur even when you miss one dose.

Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Feeling Dizzy
  • Vomiting
  • Nightmares
  • Headaches
  • Brain Zaps (mini seizures)
  • Body and Muscle Aches
  • Sleep Problems
  • Recurring Anxiety and Depression

My Motivations For Getting Off Of Effexor?

Reasons Include:

  • New Diagnosis: After changing therapists in 2017 it was determined that I didn’t need to be on Effexor. It turned out that I had high functioning bipolar disorder instead of ADHD and the medication was making my symptoms worse.
  • Class Action Lawsuit: Due to some really nasty side effects such as severe withdrawal symptoms and numerous birth defects there have been numerous class action lawsuits against the makers of Effexor.
  • Side Effects: Over time the benefits of being on Effexor were outweighed by the side effects. These include long term problems with sleep problems, weight gain, worsened anxiety and depression, mania, memory issues, brain fog, confusion, inability to focus and high blood pressure.
  • Psychological and Physical Addiction: Effexor is not considered an addictive drug, but some users can become psychologically and physically addicted to it. This means you can have a mental and emotional attachment to a substance.

How To Get Off Of Effexor Successfully?

Starting in 2017 I worked with a new therapist to start slowly tapering off of effexor. It’s not recommended that you quit taking cold turkey.

Here are some tips for minimizing the severity of the withdrawal symptoms:

  • Taking Benedryl: Benedryl is an over the counter allergy medication that has been reported to minimize effexor withdrawal symptoms. Be careful to not take too much.
  • Stay Active: When you’re tapering off effexor it can be difficult to stay motivated, so it’s important to start slow with a 20 minute walk a couple days a week.
  • Stick To A Schedule: It’s important to stick to the schedule layed out for you, because it makes withdrawal more painful if you jump ahead of schedule.
  • Taking CBD Oil: There’s a lot of promising research into CBD oil and it’s usage for treating withdrawal symptoms, especially when you’re feeling anxious and nauseous. 
  • Eating Nutrient Dense Foods: What you eat affects your mood. A lot of processed foods that contain white flour and sugar can make withdrawal anxiety worse. The foods that are recommended are anti-anxiety superfoods such as blueberries, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, avocados and turkey, which are nutrient dense.

Please click on the button below to read about blueberries being a superfood:

  • Supplements: It’s important to include supplements when you’re having withdrawal symptoms. These include Omega-3 Fatty Acids, B Vitamins and lots of Vitamin C.

Getting off of Effexor was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Benefits To Getting Off Effexor Include:

  • Lost 50 pounds
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Reduced Anxiety
  • Better Sleep
  • Clearer Mind
  • Improved Memory

Have you ever had a hard time withdrawing from a medication?

Please Like and Comment!

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/antidepressants/art-20044970

https://www.verywellmind.com/brain-shivers-as-effexor-withdrawal-symptom-1065516

https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/getting-off-venlafaxine-can-be-incredibly-challenging

https://www.terrybryant.com/houston-drug-injury-lawyer/effexor-lawsuit

https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-to-reduce-antidepressant-withdrawal-symptoms-1066835#:~:text=If%20you%20were%20on%20a,it%20has%20a%20sedating%20effect.

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/12-ways-to-soothe-antidepressant-withdrawal-1362312753700918.html

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Rediscovering Self Confidence After A Setback

Life is strange! 

Sometimes you win and other times you lose. 

When life is going well you feel good about yourself.

Life can also throw you a curveball that can set you back. Most setbacks are minor and don’t throw your life off track, examples include being turned down for a promotion, being rejected by a love interest or if you have a cold.

However there are major setbacks that can happen that interrupt your progress, can keep you from finding success and make you feel like you’re stuck.

What Are Some Examples Of Major Setbacks?

  • Job Loss: There’s nothing more stressful than a job loss. It becomes a setback when you have to leave the workforce and retrain due to obsolete job skills.
  • Financial Setbacks: It’s challenging when you have a financial setback, whether you’re unable to pay your mortgage, your credit card debt or your student loans.
  • Divorce/End Of Relationship: A divorce/end of relationship is not only a financial setback, but also an emotional one.
  • Unexpected Expenses: These are expenses that you don’t see coming, but can throw your life off. For example you might be facing a medical emergency and have to go to the ER. Also, the ailment you’re going to the ER for may require emergency surgery.
  • Major Illness: Dealing with health setbacks is tough. Whether you’re dealing with a physical ailment such as diabetes or a mental health condition such as bipolar disorder.

Consequences Of Setbacks?

Life altering setbacks can make you feel stuck. You may end up feeling defeated, leave you doubting yourself and having less self-confidence.

Major Setbacks can be damaging to your self-esteem and can lead to down a downward spiral. When this happens it can make a situation worse.

How To Rebuild Your Self-Confidence?

Setbacks, whether they alter your life or not are a part of life. You’re going to face adversity sometimes, but instead of letting your baggage get the best of you it’s important to see a setback as a time to take action.

Tips For Bouncing Back:

  • Take Your Time: Overcoming a major setback doesn’t happen overnight it may take months or even years to achieve. Meanwhile take your time to work on yourself so you reemerge more resilient. This can be achieved by eating the right foods, exercising, reflecting on past mistakes.
  • Challenge Limiting Beliefs: When you’re feeling stuck you may see yourself in an unhealthy way and have unhealthy beliefs about yourself. Challenging these beliefs puts us in a more positive life state and help us overcome setbacks. Please click below to learn more about overcoming limiting beliefs.

  • Be Grateful: Gratitude is a warm feeling of thankfulness toward the world, or toward specific individuals. When you’re grateful you feel thankful for what you have.
  • Surround Yourself With The Right People: Surround yourself with people who love and support you. They encourage you to ignore negativity along with making you happy.



How Do You Overcome Challenging Setbacks?

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Please Click On The Button Below And Download A Copy Of Your Bipolar Trigger Guide:

Sources:

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2015/02/how-to-handle-setbacks

https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/how-to-bounce-back-when-you-lose-it-all/

https://medium.com/@kerrisullivan/overcoming-setbacks-and-changing-the-mentality-behind-them-efcd752888f6

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Benefits To Being Authentic

What Is Being An Authentic Self?

Being authentic is to come from a real place within yourself. It’s when your actions and words align with your beliefs and values. Also, it’s not caring about what other people think of you, especially when you’re expressing your whole self genuinely.

However, when you were growing up you might have been taught behaviors and standards by your parents and teachers that were intended to lay out rules for adapting to different situations, which is fine but this can lead to behaviors that aren’t authentic.

Consequences Of Not Being Authentic?!

When you’re living as your authentic self you’re trying to live truthfully and honestly, without trying to hide your feelings or being afraid to admit your weaknesses along with your strengths.

There are many reasons why you’ll try to hide who you really are.

Here’s an example! At work you might take on more assignments than you can actually handle. This is usually due to not only gain recognition within your organization, but furthering your career as well., which it not necessarily a bad thing.

However, there are a lot of people who also want recognition and success, but they seek it in inauthentic ways.

An Example Of Not Being Authentic?

For example people may seek validation by trying to please others, they’re preoccupied with what others think of them, they have a fear of being disrespected, they have an unwillingness to ask for help when they need it, “faking” it and they’ll put their own needs aside in order to become successful.

This way of inauthentic thinking has consequences on your physical and mental health. After constantly behaving in that way day after day it takes its toll. 

What Are Some Emotional and Physical Consequences?

Emotional Consequences Include:

  • Low Self Esteem
  • Lower Self Confidence 
  • Low Self Worth
  • Feeling Trapped
  • Low Self Respect 

Physical Consequences Include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Tension 
  • Depression 
  • Lack of Self Care
  • High Blood Pressure 

Inauthentic living can not only damage your overall well being it can be a nightmare for someone who suffers from a chronic physical or mental health ailment. If you’re suffering from diabetes, hypertension, bipolar disorder, PTSD, major depression or an anxiety disorder it’s like dumping gasoline on a fire.

If you have a mental health condition such as bipolar disorder it’s common to have depressive episodes where you may feel low self worth, not respect yourself and also have tension, anxiety and high blood pressure.

When you’re not being your authentic self whether you’re at work or you’re with somebody you can experience stress and anxiety in addition to bipolar disorder.

Tips For Authenticity

Learning how to be your authentic self is important for not only your career and relationships it’s important for improving your overall well being.

Here Are Some Tips For Authenticity Include:

Identify Your Values and Incorporate Them Into Your Actions: It’s important to know what you value. Values are the glue that hold your actions together, for example only when you value self worth is when you’re able to take action for what you want, not what someone else wants.

Be Courageous Enough To Be Vulnerable: Being vulnerable is the willingness to take a risk and expose yourself emotionally and at the same time be able to endure the uncertainty of the results. It takes a lot of strength to be vulnerable and will allow you to connect with others on a deeper level and become more authentic.

Stop People Pleasing: Stop with equating success with trying to please everyone. You’re a human being and you’re hardwired for connection and to be in relationships. You’ll find that you’ll not only thrive when you connect with others, you’ll also feel less anxious and more authentic and that’s good if you suffer from a mental illness.

Healthier Boundaries: Having boundaries is being comfortable with who you are. You’ll learn that you don’t have to change yourself to be liked or neglecting your own needs. By setting boundaries you’ll have less anxiety.

Better Health: Being your authentic self means to not neglect your need to stay healthy. You’re more likely to eat healthy, get regular exercise and get regular physical exams, also your mental health improves when there’s less internal conflict with who you should be in order to please others. You’ll have a healthier life.

How Are You Being Authentic?

Please Like and Comment!

Please Click Here To Download Your Free Bipolar Trigger Guide:

Sources:

https://www.psycom.net/finding-your-authentic-self/

https://unyte.com/blogs/news/the-impact-of-authenticity-on-your-mental-emotional-and-physical-health

https://www.jeffreyheiser.com/authentic-self/

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How To Cope With Irritability?

Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness characterized by mood episodes that alternate between mania/hypomania and depression.

If you’re feeling manic/hypomanic you may have symptoms such as an inability to sleep, anxiety, talking rapidly or taking too much work or responsibility.

When you’re feeling depressed it can manifest itself as sadness and lack of pleasure. However it can manifest itself as irritability, which is an often overlooked symptom of bipolar disorder.

What is Irritability?

Irritability or feeling irritable is a state of nervous excitement brought on by life’s stress. It’s a normal reaction if you’re feeling tired or sick, or if you’re feeling anxious.

However, it’s an indication of a bigger problem if you’re feeling extreme irritability or if you’re irritable for an extended period of time.

When you’re irritable for a prolonged period of time it can make you angry.

Irritability is slightly different than anger, it’s when you feel easily frustrated or impatient. Anger happens when you’re lashing out at others for feeling irritable for a long period of time.

What is Bipolar Irritability?

A consequence of extreme or prolonged irritability is a form of anger called bipolar rage.

Bipolar rage is anger that’s impulsive, intense, erratic and explosive. An example would be if you’re asked a simple question and responding with irrational anger.

This means that you’re lashing out for no logical reason, on those you love and care for you. This can damage relationships and also lead to job loss and other forms of self-sabotage.

How To Manage Bipolar Irritability?

It’s important to take a healthy approach when you’re experiencing irritability or anger. You’ll find that your relationships with others and your overall quality of life improves when you learn how to cope and manage your bipolar mood episodes.

Coping Strategies Include:

  • Sticking To a Treatment Plan: Irritability and anger can be effectively managed when you stick with a treatment plan. This includes talking to a therapist and taking medication.
  • Identify Your Triggers: It’s important to learn what your triggers are. These can be events, people or requests that can upset you. These include arguments with loved ones, stressful events such as losing a job or death in the family and good things can be triggers as well, such as getting a promotion or getting married.
  • Harness Your Negative Energy: If you feel like lashing out, but you want to avoid negative social interactions it helps to harness that negative energy. It can be done by taking deep relaxing breaths and feeling the weight being lifted off your shoulders, or if that’s not your thing start walking, jogging or even hiking to lift your spirits.
  • If you’re interested in learning about relaxation techniques please click on the button below and read a previous post about mindfulness:
  • Connect With Your Support Group: A support group can be family and friends that understand that you have bad days. Also, when you stay connected to your support network it can minimize the severity of depressive episodes.

How Do You Handle Irritability and Anger?

Please Like and Comment!

If you’re struggling with bipolar disorder and want to learn more about it please click on the link below and download my free bipolar trigger guide:

Also, if you’re interested in transforming negative thinking please click on the button below and for $11 you can download a copy of my ebook:

Sources:

https://www.verywellmind.com/difficult-moods-in-bipolar-depression-379838

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324361

https://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2016-08-19/extreme-irritability-when-youre-beyond-cranky

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The Importance of Social Connections

In our busy world it’s a challenge to balance work and life. We focus on school, hobbies and self-care, but we end up neglecting our social connections. Whether they’re with your family, friends, co-workers or social media support groups are more important than you realize.

When you’re able to connect with another human being it has many benefits you may not be aware of. 

Benefits Include:

  • Lower Anxiety and Depression
  • Help You Regulate Emotions
  • Higher Self-Esteem
  • Higher Empathy
  • Improves Your Immune System

When you neglect your need to connect with others your health is at risk, including your mental health.

Bipolar Disorder and Isolation

Lack of social connection leads to isolation and loneliness. 

If you have Bipolar Disorder; feeling isolated and lonely are among the most powerful triggers of depressive episodes.

A lot of people with bipolar disorder are unaware that they have isolating tendencies. 

Feeling isolated is a trigger for a depressive episode. Also, anxiety caused by hypomania can be the beginning of an episode as well. 

Becoming Aware Is The First Step

If you have bipolar disorder you’ll have periods of feeling overly happy and energized. When this happens you might become the life of the party. However, as mentioned before when you’re overly happy and energized due to hypomania anxiety can occur before a depressive episode. 

When this happens you may unconsciously withdraw from your social connections. It’s important to realize that self-isolation can make your depressive episodes worse. 

Even when you’re not up to it, it’s important to stay connected, because it helps to keep your depressive symptoms to a minimum.

Tips For Staying Connected

Social connections can be difficult to maintain if you have bipolar disorder. Simply having someone to talk to face-to-face can be an enormous help when you’re having a depressive episode. The people you turn to should be great listeners, instead of trying to fix you. Also, the more people you can turn to the better. 

Remember! Reaching out to others is not a sign of weakness. 

Here are some tips to keep you connected:

Don’t Isolate Yourself:

Keep in regular contact with your friends and loved ones who are supportive. Remember that you can trigger depression when you self-isolate.

Build New Relationships:

If you don’t have a support network to fall back on it’s important to take steps to develop new relationships. However you may be unaware that people with bipolar disorder can attract unhealthy relationships.

In a previous post I discussed how loneliness can lead to unhealthy relationships. If you’re interested

please click below:

Join a Bipolar Support Group:

It helps to spend time with people that are going through the same thing. You can benefit from other group members sharing experiences and advice.


If you’re interested please click on the link below and join my new Facebook Support Group:

How Do You Manage Your Mental Health?

Please Like and Comment!

Don’t forget to click on the link below to download a copy of my ebook if you’re struggling with self doubt and negative thinking brought on by bipolar disorder.

Sources: 

https://www.psychreg.org/why-people-isolate-themselves/

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How Probiotics Help With Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar II is a type of bipolar disorder that consists of depressive and hypomanic episodes. 

Depressive episodes include sadness or hopelessness. 

Hypomanic episodes include symptoms such as a persistent elevated or irritable mood, 

anxiety, decreased need for sleep and increased self esteem. 

Factors such as poor gut health make bipolar ii worse, but there is 

a solution.

Your gut is home to your microbiome, which is the trillions of bacteria and yeast. 

It’s not only home to 80% of your immune system, but also 95% of the neurotransmitter 

serotonin. 

Your gut is often called your “second brain”.

When your microbiome is disrupted it leads to inflammation, which is caused by processed 

foods, exposure to chemicals, the immune system attacking an infection, taking antibiotics 

and some prescription drugs. 

Bipolar II symptoms are made worse by gut inflammation, because it disrupts the production 

of serotonin and makes symptoms such as anxiety and depression worse.

Symptoms were still occurring despite taking 150 mg of an SSRI, so a probiotic was taken to 

supplement it. Symptoms were becoming minimized.

Not all probiotics are created equal. The one mentioned  is specifically for boosting mood, 

immune system and digestion, along with minimizing bipolar symptoms taking a probiotic has 

been proven to help you lose weight helped me lose weight as well. 

The specific probiotic product that’s recommended by me is Garden of Life. 

Before you take any supplement please talk to 

your doctor.

Also, if you’re interested in reading about the five 

steps you can take to overcome negative thinking 

brought on my self-doubt please click on my 

link below and for $11.00 you can purchase 

and download my ebook.


Sources:

https://www.bustle.com/p/10-ways-to-get-rid-of-inflammation-in-your-gut-according-to-experts-10087816

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-26408/4-gut-problems-that-trigger-inflammation-even-if-you-eat-healthy.html

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Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs was the topic of my previous blog post. They’re assumptions or perceptions about ourselves and the world around us that constrain us in some way. They shape our lives and they cause problems for our mental health, but we can overcome limiting beliefs.

How Are Limiting Beliefs Shaped?

These Include:

  • Past Trauma
  • Family Belief Systems
  • Relationships With Friends or Significant Others

It was past trauma caused by bullying and betrayal while growing up. However, I took steps to overcome that limiting belief.

Identifying The Limiting Belief

The first step I took was to identify a limiting belief that wasn’t serving me, “I can’t be my real self or I’ll be judged”. When I was growing up it was a struggled to fit in when I was in school.

The long-term effects of bullying include experiencing a wide range of emotions. These include feeling angry, bitterness, vulnerable, helplessness, frustrated, lonely and being isolated from your peers. The longer you’re bullied the odds of being depressed and anxious increases. Also, you develop self-esteem issues and can lead to social anxiety.

I wrote a post about how to overcome social anxiety. If you like to view it please click on the button below. This post describes social anxiety in more detail and on a deeper level.

Challenge The Limited Belief

The next step was to challenge my limiting belief. I started to become aware that it was not factual, I just believed it was factual. For example I believed that a friendship would fall apart just like when I was in school.

I examined the so-called facts and found that I blew them out of proportion and shaped them to form a false narrative.

When this happened I started to overcome social anxiety by questioning that false narrative.

Replace The Limiting Belief

The next step is to replace your old limiting belief with a new one. I’m using my own experience as an example. I identified and challenged my belief, “I can’t be my self or I’ll be judged”, and replaced it with, “It isn’t my job to please other people”. By doing this you’ll feel like a different person, however it’s important to strengthen your new belief.

How To Strengthen Your New Empowering Belief?

Our beliefs shape our identities and our behaviors. Also, our habits as well.

When you’re transitioning into your new belief you may feel fear and resistance. This may trigger an automatic urge to do an old habit. For example, if the transition is difficult you may find yourself engaging in negative self-talk such as “This is impossible” or “What’s the point” and then give up.

It’s interesting to note that giving up is not a habit. However, you may not be aware that you’re giving up because of habits such as fear of failure, underestimating yourself or others, procrastination or laziness.

When you become aware of these habits it’s important to identify them, challenge them and replace them. For example if you’re underestimating yourself it’s best to look into why you see yourself in that way. Then take action toward changing this habit by assessing your strengths, weaknesses and talents that make you more aware of your abilities or skill up your abilities.

Conclusion

When you’re overcoming limiting beliefs it’s important to not only identify, challenge and replace the belief, but also to change bad habits that get in the way of your new empowering belief.

If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources: 

https://personalexcellence.co/blog/limiting-beliefs/

https://www.verywellfamily.com/bullying-impact-4157338

https://www.fastcompany.com/3058647/5-habits-to-get-over-self-limiting-beliefs

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The Benefits of Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone.

In this blog I’ll be covering an interesting topic about getting outside your comfort zone.

I was experiencing a life full of chaos due to financial, mental and physical health problems for 5 years. These problems went hand-in-hand with anxiety. When my life was becoming less chaotic and pulled myself together, I decided that I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone. Despite feeling anxious it is a great way to test my limits and keep growing as a person.

Traveling is a means to step outside your comfort zone and to prove to your anxiousness that you’re capable.

What does it mean to step outside of your comfort zone?

It means doing things that you don’t feel comfortable with doing including traveling to unfamiliar places. 

Why is this important?

Stepping outside your comfort zone causes you to grow as a person. People are meant to keep experiencing new things and to progress. Also, it’s an opportunity to make yourself come alive.

Where did I go to get outside of my comfort zone?

In 2014 when I went to Nova Scotia, Canada it was a trip that allowed me to push myself into the unknown. Going by train from Boston to Portland, ME then on a cruise ship to Yarmouth, NS was something I’ve never done before. 

In 2016 and 2018 Costa Rica was the destination of choice. 

October 2018 was my trip to Italy.

My latest adventure outside of my comfort zone was a trip to Ireland.

What do you need?

A source of anxiety for a lot of travelers are the what if questions about your passport. What if you lose it? An important safety tip is to make at least two photocopies of your frontpage and keep them with you in case you lose your passport or you need to have that information with you but want to keep your passport in your room safe.

Here are things that are needed before you can start your adventure.

Get a passport: A passport is needed for entry into any country. It’s important to start the application process at least several months before your flight date. This can be done by going through an authorized passport agency such as certain branches of the United States Postal Service (USPS) and can take up to six weeks to receive it in the mail.

Universal Voltage and Plug adapter: In the United States and Canada electric voltage from our outlets is 120 volts, the standard frequency is 60 hertz and the power plugs and sockets are Types A and B.

However, when you are traveling to Ireland the power plugs and sockets are type G (also used in the United Kingdom, Malta, Malaysia and Singapore), standard voltage is 230 volts and the standard frequency is 50 hertz.

Universal adapters are available at stores like Best Buy or sometimes hotels can provide you with one free of charge.

I have sleep apnea and I’m required to have a CPAP machine. The universal adapter can convert the voltage to what is needed, however CPAP machines are connected to a/c adapters.

Be able to communicate with home: The first thing I do when I reach my intended destination is to either call or send a text message home. There are plenty of places to access free wifi such as airports, public places or your hotel room so you can access the internet and communicate with loved ones via facebook.

However it is important to check your cell phone plan; some can be activated abroad but others can not. 

One option is to purchase and carry around a phone card if you need to make a call, but not everyone would be comfortable with doing that.

 Another option is to look into the SIM card capabilities of your phone. 

What is a SIM card?

A SIM card or a Subscriber Identity Module card is an electronic device that’s used to identify and authenticate subscribers on cell phones.

Research the place you want to visit: When you’re preparing for you out of comfort zone adventure it’s important to research the place you want to visit. This should go hand-in-hand with planning your itinerary.

It’s important to do research on:

How much will it cost?

What currency is used?

What language is spoken?

What kind of food is eaten?

Is it safe to go there?

What are the best attractions?

My trip to Ireland

I arrived in Dublin at 620am on Monday after leaving Boston at 930pm the previous night.

After getting off the plane I arrived in customs. It’s necessary to have you passport and itinerary information ready.

Before your passport is stamped the officer will ask you questions.

  • What is the purpose of your visit?
  • How long are you staying for?
  • What hotel are you staying at?
  • What are you planning to see?

I admit that it can be stressful going through customs for the first time. 

One thing that makes me stressed after going through customs is claiming my luggage. My anxiety is triggered by what if..questions?! What if they sent it to another city? What if they lost it? This question constantly running through my mind once triggered a panic attack. 

Luckily my luggage was claimed.

Who wants to know an interesting fact about Ireland? They drive on the left side of the road and your steering wheel is on the right side of your vehicle. When I was taking a cab to my hotel this was an interesting thing to see. 

After reaching the hotel I was going to be staying at the first thing I did was set up my CPAP machine and used a universal adapter to plug it into a type G receptacle. Then took a nap for an hour.

An adventure begins

After a brisk 20 minute walk to the center of Dublin I arrived at Trinity College. A beautiful campus that is home to the Book of Kells and an amazing library called the long room.

What is the Book of Kells?

The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin. It contains the four Gospels of the New Testament along with prefatory texts and tables. The date and place this book was written is still up for debate because the monks that wrote it were dispersed due to Viking Raids. I found it inspirational that despite the constant existential threats of their time the monks had the determination to finish this book. 

At any time something could’ve happened to these monks but they weren’t crippled by fear and anxiety. 

Northern Ireland

An amazing day spent in Northern Ireland started with a walk on the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge near the town of Ballintoy in County Antrim. It links the mainland with the tiny island of Carrickarede and has a height of 98 feet (30 meters). 

It was a thrilling experience walking on this bridge as the wind rocked me back and forth. If you’re anxious because of heights this a great way to escape from your comfort zone if it’s safe to do so.

Another experience in County Antrim was Giant’s Causeway. It is an area of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that are the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. 

Along with a last minute hike that I went on while visiting the site there was another fun part of this experience. According to Gaelic mythology Giant’s Causeway was built by a giant. An Irish giant named Finn MacCool accepts a challenge from the Scottish giant Brenandonner. Finn MacCool starts building the causeway across the North Channel so the two giants meet. Across the sea there are identical basalt columns at Fingal’s Cave on the Scottish Isle of Staffa.

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are sea cliffs located at the southwest edge of the Burren region in County Claire, Ireland. Despite a three hour drive from Dublin it was worth the trip. Walking along the cliffs taking pictures while trying to keep your balance while the wind tries to blow you down onto the ground.

County Wicklow

My favorite part of my adventure was the day trip to County Wicklow. 

About 10 miles south of Dublin is County Wicklow, which consists of the Wicklow Mountains. This beautiful region was where my paternal grandmother’s family Saunders was from.

While exploring the ruins of an ancient monastery called Baltinglass Abbey I felt drawn to a specific spot in the cemetery surrounding it and the headstone said “Robert Saunders”. It’s possible that I met one of my ancestors.

The itenarary for the day included a trip to a farm and my group and I received a tour. I’ve had a life long interest in agriculture so this was up my alley and as an added bonus this farm produced industrial hemp. 

I’ve written about CBD oil in previous blogs and it was an awesome experience visiting a farm that grew hemp.

Glendalough is a place that consists of the ruins of a monastic city built by Saint Kevin and it was situated in Wicklow National Park. The walk along the beautiful trails that became a boardwalk over a lake made for some excellent pictures and this place will put you into a meditative state after being there for a while.

Conclusion

It’s important to pull yourself together and get your anxiety under control. Being able to get outside your comfort zone has it’s benefits. Great pictures, great experiences and great memories. Travel is a great way to show your anxiety who’s boss.

How do you get outside of your comfort zone?

Please like and comment!

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Limiting Beliefs In A Nutshell

In my previous post the topic was about improving your unhealthy self-perception. However, I’d like to discuss something that’s a reflection of how you see yourself. I’m referring to limiting beliefs.

When you perceive or see yourself in a healthy way you’re more aware of who you are as a person. For example you’re more aware of your strengths, weaknesses, talents and potential and you take responsibilities for your thoughts and actions.

However, when you see yourself in an unhealthy way you’re more likely to be unsure of yourself and your abilities. This can manifest itself as a toxic belief system that inhibits your growth as a person.

If you want to refer back to my last post, please click on the button below:

What Are Limiting Beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are assumptions or perceptions about ourselves and the world around us that constrain us in some way.

We’re unaware that we end up impoverishing our lives when we follow these beliefs and this is due to a number of negative effects. They can keep us from making good decisions, taking advantage of new opportunities or reaching our full potential. 

Limiting beliefs leave you stuck in a negative state of mind. They prevent you from living the life you want. However, have you wondered where limiting beliefs come from?

Where Do Limiting Beliefs Come From?

Different things that happen in our lives shape our limiting beliefs. 

Things that shape limiting beliefs include the following: 

Past Trauma: Something traumatic that happens to you as a child can remain stuck in your psyche. When this happens it’s like a record that skips and stops you in the same place over and over.

Your Family’s Belief System: The belief system of your family plays a role in how you view and interact with the world. For example if you’re from a family that values playing it safe in life you might be convinced that you’re not good enough to any other path.

Expectations From Family: You’re raised with certain expectations. For example you’re expected to go to college and get a 9 to 5 after graduation because it’s a safe option. However, you’re more interested in starting your own business, but underlying guilt about meeting expectations and fear of judgement from family can leave you feeling stuck.

Relationships With Friends and Significant Others: Limiting beliefs can impact how you view the world. For example if you were bullied as a child in school, betrayed by a friend or were cheated on by a significant other it causes you to see all people as untrustworthy.

Types Of Limiting Beliefs

According to Inc.com there are 3 types of limiting beliefs. 

Unhealthy Beliefs About Yourself:

When you conclude that you’re a failure that won’t amount to anything in life, this belief will prevent you from being your best self.

Unhealthy Beliefs About Others:

There are limiting beliefs about everyone being out to get you, everyone is untrustworthy or manipulative it can be impossible to develop relationships.

Unhealthy Beliefs About The World:

If you believe that you can’t succeed, because the world is unfair and scary, then it will take a toll on you and make you feel stuck.

In my next post I’ll be offering tips for changing your limiting beliefs and this will include the story of my personal transformation after changing mine.

Have You Ever Had Limiting Beliefs?

Please Like and Comment!

If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below to download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

http://changingminds.org/explanations/belief/limiting_beliefs.htm

https://business.tutsplus.com/tutorials/what-are-self-limiting-beliefs–cms-31607

https://www.lifehack.org/858652/limiting-beliefs

https://www.inc.com/amy-morin/3-types-of-unhealthy-beliefs-that-will-drain-your-mental-strength-make-you-less-effective.html

https://tomillama.com/blog/limiting-beliefs

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Is Mass Media Feeding Your Anxiety? Version 2.0


How Do You Feed Your Anxiety?

I mentioned in a previous post about the fear of the unknown. It occurs when we’re faced with something that’s unfamiliar or something we don’t understand. 

We become anxious about what that unknown thing means for our lives; most of us cope by exercising, listening to music or connecting with friends. However, there are some people who seek out information in an effort to resolve their anxiety; it may or may not be true and sometimes it ends up being misinformation that causes us to become more anxious toward that unknown thing they fear.

Misinformation refers to false or inaccurate information. Sometimes its due to errors or inaccuracies caused by false rumors, insults, pranks or embellishment; other times it’s due to disinformation caused by the deliberate falsehood by design and this includes malicious content such as hoaxes or propaganda.

If you’re feeling anxious please click on the link below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

What are the Sources of Misinformation?

Misinformation along with disinformation and propaganda has been around as long as mass communication; which began with the development of the printing press at the end of the 14th century. 

In today’s world we are constantly bombarded with mass media including the mainstream media and social media.

The mainstream media consists of news organizations and their websites. They are always competing with each other for ratings or views and they’ve always embellished news stories.

To embellish something is to add something more interesting or entertaining to add extra details to a news story, especially the ones that are not true.

Due to the rise of internet news organizations along with social media mainstream media news organizations have seen a decline in ratings among the coveted 18 to 49 year old age demographic. Not only news media, but television viewership in general. Declining viewership had meant declining quality in the form of embellishment.

Social media is emerging as the main source of news online; along with other digital technologies. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have allowed journalists to instantly report just by using their smartphones.

Over 77 million Americans have a social media profile. Being on social media allows you to easily connect with a large audience. It’s an effortless way to connect with like minded people regardless of location with just a single click.

Observers often lack the skills and motivation to interview participants to get the full unvarnished story. This can lead to the reporting of news that’s often distorted by the observers built-in bias (prejudice), intended to inflame public opinion or to play down the impact of an event known only to the observer.

More often than not social media will only give you news and information tailored to what it thinks you want to read about.

What are the Consequences of Misinformation?

The effects of misinformation on your mental health is the same as gaslighting.

Gaslighting is described as a form of manipulation and control in which a victim is systematically and deliberately fed false information that leads them to question their own self-worth and even their sanity. It can occur as a form of emotional abuse in our personal and professional relationships, but overtime misinformation  from the media can have the same effect.

Constantly being fed false information can contribute to a victim’s sense of hopelessness and confusion and lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

An example of gaslighting by the media has been the news coverage of the Coronavirus.

According to scientists we know that the Coronavirus is officially called COVID-19; it comes from the same family of viruses as the common cold. 

COVID-19 is a new strain that has not been identified in humans; it’s zoonotic meaning its transmitted between animals and humans.

It’s recommended that to prevent the infection from spreading you need to wash your hands more frequently, cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze and to avoid close contact with anyone showing any of the symptoms listed above.

Since COVID-19 is a disease that was not previously known it’s only natural that people all over the world are experiencing anxiety and fear. I mentioned in a previous post about the fear of the unknown; it is a human instinct intended to protect you from potential threats. 

The amount of anxiety people are experiencing varies widely; since there’s an absence of clear cut resolutions many people are worrying and trying seek out more information in an effort to relieve their anxiety.

However, people seek information through the news; whether it’s through mainstream media or social media. The news is either embellished to exaggerate the story in order to get you to watch it more or the information is full of errors and inaccuracies that cause you to be in a constant state of confusion and make you feel hopeless as your anxiety worsens.

The constant negative news coverage has led to a form of collective gaslighting that’s making us more anxious than we have to be.

In a previous post I discussed the positive and negative effects of the internet and if your interested in reading that post please click below:

Don’t Want To Feed Into Your Fears? Here’s What To Do?

Focus On What You Can Control: If you’re feeling anxious and you’re seeing to resolve those feelings. Instead of using news media to try to resolve anxious thoughts you refocus your attention on what you can control, because to tell you the truth you have no control over things that are either happening or will happen. However, you are in control of how you react to what’s happening or to what you fear. 

Be Mindful That You’re Not The Only One Feeling Anxious: It’s comforting to know that you are not the only ones feeling anxious. If you’re looking to resolve your anxiety you’re better off talking about it with other people.

Mindfulness Meditation: The misinformation spread by the media can make it feel like reality is being distorted. Mindfulness Meditation helps you stay aware of what’s really going on; it protects your mental health and increases your attention span, along with helping out with slowing down racing thoughts and overwhelming feelings of anxiety.

Limit The Amount of Time You Consume Media: Limiting how much media you consume has many benefits including having a better ability to focus, having a greater sense of self-awareness and improved mental illness. It’s estimated that more than half of Americans experience stress and anxiety from watching the news, so reducing how much you watch is a positive.

Be Mindful About The Accuracy of The Information You Have: Start by empowering yourself with accurate information by fact-checking every piece of journalism you read and every headline you share on social media.

Have You Ever Felt More Anxious Trying To Find Answers To What You Fear?

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Tips For Improving Your Self-Perception

Today’s post is a follow up of a blog post I wrote about “Turning Anxiety Into a Super Power”. I mentioned that change in my self-perception was one of the changes I made in my life to overcome the worst of my mental health issues.

If you want to read the post I just mentioned click on the link below:

What is Perception?

Perception is how we view ourselves and how we view others.

Your perception of something is the way you think about it or the impression you have of it. For example how you perceive the world and everything around you has a direct effect on your thoughts, actions and behavior.

Also, your thoughts, actions and behavior are directly affected by how you perceive yourself. 

What Is Self-Perception?

Self-Perception gives you an awareness of who you are or who you think you are.

When you perceive yourself in a healthy way when you’re able to assess your strengths, weakness, talents and potential. Also, you have the ability to be honest with yourself, be true to who you are and take responsibility for your choices and action.

However, when you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way you may think you know yourself; you’re unsure of yourself and you tend to lie to yourself that everything is fine. 

What Problems Occur Due To Unhealthy Self-Perception?

Numerous problems occur due to unhealthy self-perception including:

  • Distorted Self-Esteem: Self esteem refers to self-worth or self-respect. When you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way you can have low self esteem that causes you to feel defeated and depressed, along with failing to live up to your full potential.
  • Anxiety: Unhealthy self perception can lead to an anxious mindset that can distort the way you view the world and reality. Symptoms of anxiety include feeling nervous and always have feelings of impending doom. Anxiety is an alarm for triggering your fight-or-flight response.
  • Guilt: When you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way you feel an unhealthy amount of guilt for things that are beyond your control such as feeling guilty about someone’s low opinion of you.
  • Negative Self-Talk: Negative self-talk is any inner dialogue you have with yourself and it’s best known as your inner critic. It can cause you to have limiting beliefs about your abilities and it diminishes your ability to make positive changes in your life or your confidence in yourself to do so.

How Do You Improve Your Self-Perception?

It’s important look at why you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way. Factors such as stressful life events such as divorce or illness, past trauma or abuse, unrealistic goals or mental health problems play a role in our self-perception. 

It is possible to face these problems and transform how you perceive yourself.

Tips For Improving Self-Perception

Here are Tips for Improving your self-perception:

  • Identify Your Perceptions: You can identify your perceptions by asking yourself certain questions. You’ll notice certain thoughts come to the surface that feel familiar or true to you. For example you can ask yourself a question such as “What do I always say about myself ?” thoughts pertaining to your self perception comes to the surface such as “I’m an a@#h&le”. Then it’s important to examine that perception you’ve identified and ask why it’s justified and why you think that way about yourself.
  • Listen To Your Inner Critic: It gets worse if you ignore or suppress your inner critic, instead you should listen to your inner critic and take note of what it’s trying to tell you. At that point you have the opportunity to judge what your inner critic is trying to tell you, maybe it’s telling you to take the action you need to take.
  • Stop Ruminating: Rumination is repetitively going over a negative thought or problem. It’s important to keep your mind occupied if you start ruminating, along with learning about your triggers and question your thoughts.
  • Boost Your Self Esteem: There are a lot of ways to boost your self esteem. These include learning a new skill, challenging your limiting beliefs and stand at the edge of your comfort zone.
  • Get Outside Your Comfort Zone: Getting outside your comfort zone creates enough good stress to ramp up your focus, creativity and drive. It helps you to respond to life’s stresses when unexpected things happen.

Have You Ever Felt Like Your Self-Perception Affects Your Life?

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If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below to download your free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.essentiallifeskills.net/self-concept.html

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-self-esteem-2795868

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160928-how-anxiety-warps-your-perception

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

https://www.thefix.com/living-sober/toxic-guilt

https://www.verywellmind.com/negative-self-talk-and-how-it-affects-us-4161304

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Feeling Stuck In Life (Part.2): Tips For Overcoming Stuckness

In my previous post I was discussing what it meant to feel stuck in life and why you feel stock. In today’s post I’ll be offering practical tips for overcoming the feeling of stuckness.

Why Do Some People Stay Stuck?

Many people end up staying stuck and unhappy for many reasons.

Reasons may include liking or depending on the financial stability that their job provides, they may fear change or fear failure and they may not have the education or resources to make a change.

However, there are some simple and realistic ways of getting unstuck.

Tips For Becoming Unstuck

Letting Go Of The Past: Holding on to the past, whether it’s unresolved baggage from a bad relationship, a past job or from a bad financial decision can cause us to sabotage ourselves when we start asking ourselves “What If” questions. If we look back at these memories and learn from them then let them go we can set ourselves free from baggage.

Change Your Perspective:  After letting go of the past it helps to take a break from your current situation whether you like to hike, go fishing or meditate to clear your mind in order to gain a new perspective about your life. You’ll notice that you no longer feel stuck when you learn how to perceive your life in a different way.

Take Baby Steps: Remember that small baby steps can become big things. For example, you can start reflecting on your life and start working toward what you truly want, instead of what other people want.

Explore Your Purpose: Your life purpose is what makes you feel alive. I’m referring to the you’re passionate about including a job that you enjoy doing, helping others reach their full potential or growing as a human.

Consider Hiring A Life Coach: The benefits of hiring a life coach include getting help with providing clarity, commitment and visioning your success, along with encouraging self-reflection and providing strategies and goals to suit your needs.

Learn How To Believe In Yourself Again: We learn how to believe in ourselves as we develop the courage to face inevitable obstacles, rather than getting discouraged and feeling defeated when an obstacle knocks us down.

Practice Being Hopeful: We might feel stuck, because of feelings of protective pessimism brought on by having a lot of disappointments in your life. However, when you need to change and overcome this negative way of thinking it helps to practice something that inspires hope. These include meditation, prayer or reading inspirational books.

Seek Professional Help: Some people might feel stuck because of an underlying mental health problem such as depression. I know from experience that episodes of depression can cause a change in how you perceive your life. If this is a problem that persists see a medical professional.

Conclusion 

The topic of today’s post came up a lot in conversations among my peers. Some of them are deeply indebted because of student loans, some are struggling to find affordable housing to buy or rent and others feel like they’re stuck because of lack of job satisfaction. 

There have been plenty of times in my life in which I felt stuck. I felt stuck after graduating college, because of underemployment and unsure about whether my chosen field was a good fit. I ended up going back to night school to study subjects such as college physics, computer programming and biology. Taking this small step eventually led to a better job. Its possible to not feel stuck anymore when you have the willingness to take action regardless of your situation.

Have You Gotten Stuck in Your Life?

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If your struggling with anxiety please click on the link below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.simplemindfulness.com/letting-go-is-hard/

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Feeling Stuck in Life (Part. 1): What Are The Signs?

In this post I’ll be exploring what it means to feel stuck in life. It’s not always the most pleasant feeling and it can leave us anxious and depressed, so it would be interesting to discuss it on a deeper level.

What Does It Mean To Feel Stuck in Life?

Feeling stuck in life or feeling like we’re hitting the wall is a feeling we will all experience a one time or another. Whether you’re a recent college graduate who is entering the workforce, someone who has grown unhappy in their chosen profession or if you’re unhappy in your personal life it can be a painful emotion. 

Feeling stuck in life or “stuckness” can make us feel like we’re drowning in mud when it seems like we can’t make progress in our lives.

Why Do We Feel Stuck in Life? 

We get stuck when we feel like our lives should be something different than it is. It occurs when it’s time to make a change when something isn’t working for you anymore. 

Signs That You’re Feeling Stuck in Life

When we’re feeling stuck in life there are many signs that include:

It’s Hard To Get Excited About Anything: Stuckness can cause a person to become depressed and cause you to perceive the world in a less upbeat way. When upbeat music is played on the radio it doesn’t excite you, you start seeing the world in black and white rather than in vivid colors and you become an overall boring person to be around.

You Keep Reminiscing About The Past: We all get nostalgic about past memories that bring us comfort and joy from time to time. However, stuckness can cause you to use past memories to substitute present experiences that you perceive as unpleasant. 

You’re Always Daydreaming About A Different Life: Stuckness can cause you to daydream about being somewhere else rather than where you are now. This can be a problem, because daydreaming too much can become a form of self-sabotage that disrupts your long-term goals toward improving your life.

Feeling That Your Life Has No Purpose: It’s a myth that money is the only motivator. Along with making money it’s important to be in a line of work that gives you a sense of purpose, whether it makes you happy or it’s rewarding.

Staying Put, Because It Feels “Safe”: Some people feel stuck, because they feel like there are no other alternatives. They feel that they have to stay somewhere despite being unhappy, because it’s the “safe” thing to do.

Feeling Unwell On A Regular Basis: Due to the stress and anxiety of feeling stuck in an unhappy situation you’ll find yourself feeling unwell on a regular basis. For example, if you have a job that stresses you out it may cause stomach issues.

Neglecting Your Health and Well-Being: Feeling stuck in life is a downward spiral that affects many aspects of your life. Chronic stress and anxiety can lead to depression and that can cause you to neglect your health and well-being, whether you stop exercising, eating a poor diet or neglecting your love life.

In part 2 I’ll be offering tips on how to not feel stuck anymore.

Have You Ever Felt Stuck In Life?

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If you’re struggling with anxiety please click on the button below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intimacy-path-toward-spirituality/201610/if-you-re-feeling-stuck-may-be-why

https://medium.com/the-mission/feeling-stuck-in-life-this-is-how-to-take-powerful-action-to-live-a-rewarding-life-101703ff6865

https://www.themuse.com/advice/7-signs-youre-stuck-in-a-rut-and-need-to-make-a-change-today

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Turning Your Story Into A Blog (Part. 2): Tips For New Bloggers

In this post I’ll be offering tips for anyone who wants to start blogging.

Why Do People Blog?

When I was starting the blog I was asking myself this question. Why Do People Blog?

There are many reasons why people blog including:

Blogging About Their Passion: If you feel strongly about an issue or topic and you want to bring attention to it, then it’s a good idea to start a blog and attract an audience you can reach out to.

Sharing Their Expertise: If you’re a blogger with the heart of a teacher and you have some knowledge of a subject, you may blog in order to share that know-how with your audience.

Share Their Experiences: Some bloggers like to post about the progress they’ve made while learning something new. Whether, you’re learning how to bake a cake or learning how to manage a chronic health condition.

Express Themselves: A simple reason why some people blog is to express themselves. Some use blogging as a way to practice their writing with an actual audience as a way to try different writing styles and formats, and to express themselves creatively. However, there are others that use their blogs as a way to entertain an audience, whether they’re writing humorous posts or writing about life in general.

Process Their Thoughts: Blogging, like journaling helps us organize our thoughts that are usually a jumbled up mess until we either write them down or type them out.

To Write A Book: There are a lot of authors that create and share their content in shorter form blog posts. Overtime, they’ll compile and edit these into a book manuscript.

Blogging To Find Others: Blogging is an opportunity to connect with people who are interested in the same thing. Overtime you can build a community made up of your ideal reader.

Make Money: There are some bloggers that make money blogging. It’s not necessarily a form of passive income or a get-rich-quick method. However, if you put the time and the effort into your blog you can make a side income or a full-time living from it.

Getting Started

Here is a link you should click on when you want to start your blog:

https://firstsiteguide.com/start-blog/

When I first started blogging I chose a topic that was a personal interest of mine, which was CBD oil. Due to anxiety and stress brought on by bipolar disorder and sleep apnea I was having sleep issues, so I used CBD oil as a sleep aid. 

This first post gave me some idea of what my niche was going to be. A niche is a specific group of people or a specific market you want to reach with your blog. My niche has different segments including individuals that suffer from anxiety and other mental health issues, those who want to improve themselves and those who advocate for holistic health.

I started to post more frequently and attracted a bigger audience overtime.

Tips For New Bloggers

Since starting my there have been a lot of ups and downs and there were things that I learned by accident or through trial and error. 

Here are some tips for new bloggers:

Getting Ideas From Your Audience: I get emails all the time from subscribers who either have questions for me or a lot of them have ideas for future blog posts.

Understand Your Audience: As you get to know your audience better you start having a better idea of what blog content will resonate with them. I like to post engaging quotes on facebook and Instagram as a way to test blog ideas. If my audience responds well to it, then its a great topic to write about.

 Build a Relationship With Your Audience: As a blogger you’ll get obsessed with finding new readers. However, you might end up ignoring or neglecting the readers you already have, so it’s important to spend time each day engaging with your audience and building relationships.

Build Your Email List: Since the blog was launched I started building an email list. Even if you’re not selling products, having an email list allows you to promote your new content to your audience directly. Also, your email list becomes your community and caring for them by writing for them and delivering value to them should be your number one goal.

Post Regularly: It’s important to note that it’s easier to lose blog traffic than it is to build it up. Bloggers that post on a regular basis (more than once a week) added subscribers over twice as fast as those bloggers that added content once a month. 

Keep It Short: When I started blogging I posted blog posts that were 3 pages or more. I learned that when a post runs too long my audience may lose interest and you should be aware that there are thousands of other posts competing for their attention. It’s important that your posts are short (minimum of 300 words) and straight to the point.

Give It Time: Blogging is the wrong path if you’re looking for a quick path to wealth and recognition. Plan to invest in blogging for a long time before you see a return. If you can stick it out for years without results and you have a willingness to learn and make improvements to your blog along the way you can achieve something awesome.

Have You Ever Considered Writing a Blog?

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If you’re struggling with anxiety please click on the button below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1

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Turning Your Story Into a Blog(Part.1): Writing Away Anxiety

I received a message from a follower suggesting that I write a post about my blogging career.

My Story

A decade ago my life was going downhill really fast. I was undergoing a lot of financial hardship brought on by the 2008 stock market crash which resulted in job loss. 

The stress and anxiety from trying to pull my life out of a tailspin got to a point where I had a nervous breakdown when I could no longer cope in a healthy way. It began when I started coping in reckless ways such as blacking out at a party after drinking 15 beers and seven shots of whiskey. From that moment on I actually lost the ability to function in everyday life and it was made worse by being out of work. 

After a couple of years I did find full time work and things were starting to look up and I was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder. 

Living with bipolar disorder/BPD is difficult, along with therapy and medication I overtime learned how to self-manage my symptoms, not let this condition define me and live a healthy and fulfilling life. Along with diet and exercise I learned different coping strategies including meditation, practicing good sleep hygiene and journaling.

I’ve come a long way since that infamous party. I’m doing much better, although I still have bad days, but as long as I take care of myself I’ll be ok.

My Blog Started Out As Journaling

My blog started out as journaling. For those who suffer from any kind of mental health problem whether it’s stress, depression or anxiety journaling is a great outlet for writing down my thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. Also, journaling can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health.

Blogging just like journaling helps with anxiety for one big reason, it helps organize my thoughts better. Also, blogging helps me process what I’m feeling just like journaling and it’s intended to help other people as well.

I started blogging in early 2019 partly as a New Years Resolution. It started as a holistic health blog that discussed topics pertaining to CBD oil, organic food and probiotics, and their role in treating anxiety. The blog was originally called “Mike’s Holistics”.

Over time the blog evolved as I started to discuss different topics when I was finding my niche.

If you don’t know what a niche is, it’s a place, job or use for which a person is best fitted, for example I’m part of the health and wellness niche, specifically anxiety and mental health.

I ended up changing the name of the blog to “Mike’s Blog”, however as it continued to evolve it became “The Mindful Mastermind”.

In part. 2 I’ll be offering tips for anyone interested in blogging.

What Do You Do That’s Therapeutic?

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If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the link below to download my free anxiety expert guide:

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Overcoming Self-Doubt (Part.2): Not Letting Self-Doubt Consume You

This is the second part of a two part series on self-doubt.

In part. 1 I discussed what it means to have self-doubt and its causes. Now I’ll be discussing ways to overcome self-doubt.

Some Self-Doubt Is Healthy

Some level of self-doubt is healthy; it’s ok to doubt yourself once in a while. For example, doubting a decision you have made and having second thoughts can broaden your perspective and cause you to be on the lookout for new ideas and possible solutions. Over time you might also discover and eventually confront things in your life that have been dragging you down. 

Why is it Important to Overcome Self-Doubt When It Consumes You?

Self-doubt can be consuming; whether self-sabotage emerges from your own fear of failure, denying your own sense of achievement due to your lack of self-kindness or believing you’re a fraud in disguise because of your imposter syndrome.

When self-doubt consumes you it causes depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem and mood swings that can cause a loss of concentration, feelings of indecisiveness, guit, shame and worthlessness. It may bring pessimism about yourself that causes you to avoid responsibility, isolate yourself and it can lead to phobias.  

It’s important to recognize that self-doubt has an adverse effect on your life and it’s important to break the cycle of self-doubt so you can overcome it.

How Do You Overcome Self-Doubt?

Here are some tips for overcoming self-doubt:

Connecting With Good Friends: People who are always doubting themselves are always criticizing themselves. It’s interesting that good friends can be an effective personality mirror. They can reflect things back to you that you may not see about yourself. Good friends are an opportunity to talk about what’s on your mind also.

Connecting With Yourself: When I’m doubting myself or I’m feeling anxious I write my thoughts on paper; whether I’m journaling, writing this blog or writing and publishing an ebook I come to new realizations about who I am.

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others: People who frequently doubt themselves tend to get stuck in a comparison trap, especially if you’re in the habit of comparing your success to others.

Stop Giving a S%^t What Others Think: This is a big one, because when you’re anxious and always doubting yourself you become preoccupied with what others think of you. 

Learn To See Setbacks As Temporary: We have all been at a point in our lives where we have a setback and we respond by seeing things through a negative and dark lens. However, it’s more of a benefit to you to think that setbacks happen all the time, they are temporary and we can learn from them.

Sharpen Your Skills: Sometimes self-doubt can be caused by a lack of skills in a specific area. For example, if you frequently doubt yourself before a presentation then it would help to sharpen your presentation skills.

Have You Ever Experienced Self-Doubt?

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If you are struggling to overcome negative thinking brought on by anxiety or self-doubt please check out my 5 Step Guide by clicking on the button below:

Sources:

https://articles.aplus.com/a/why-self-doubt-is-good-for-you?no_monetization=true

https://www.positivityblog.com/overcome-self-doubt/

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Overcoming Self-Doubt (Part.1): Self-Doubt In A Nutshell

This post is the first part of a two part series on overcoming self-doubt.

What is Self-Doubt?

Self-Doubt is the lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities. 

We have all been at that point in our lives where we’re questioning ourselves. Are we good enough? Are we capable of facing all of life’s uncertainties? 

A certain amount of self-doubt is good. For example if you have self-doubt about how strong you are in a particular job skill can motivate you to always keep learning and growing in order to become the best you.

However, persistent fear and self-doubt can affect your life in a negative way.

What Causes Self-Doubt?

There are many causes of self-doubt including:

Past Experiences: Experiences from our past can shake and rattle our beliefs. If we keep referring back to bad experiences whether they were bad breakups or job losses we’ll doubt ourselves and our abilities when faced with similar situations in the future.

Childhood Trauma: Our habits and personalities are shaped by our upbringing. If you’re constantly being told that you’re not good enough or you’re bullied by your peers while in school you’ll always question yourself and your abilities as an adult.

Comparing Yourself To Others: Self-doubt kicks in when we start comparing ourselves to others. This is not always a bad thing, because sometimes comparing yourself to others causes you to look into what you lack in your life and find ways to improve yourself.

Fear Of Failure: Sometimes due to circumstances in our lives that are beyond our control such as illness or a bad economy we might experience setbacks and feel ashamed. It might cause us to fear failure and not take chances out of shame.

New Uncertain Challenges: If you’re experiencing a new challenge you’ve never faced it’s natural to have some self-doubt due to lack of experience.

My Experience With Self-Doubt?

Due to a childhood of stressful life experiences I ended up suffering from self-doubt made worse by Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Self-Doubt is not technically categorized as a mental illness, however it can spark anxiety and depression that can affect your life. It can lead to a negative thought pattern that can make you feel incapable of doing things that you need to do, making a mountain out of a mole hill when faced with the unknown and being unable to make clear decisions.

I overcame a lot of problems with self-doubt over the years with therapy and lifestyle changes. I wanted to share my experience with others who feel stuck and anxious about themselves, so I wrote a 5 Step Guide For Overcoming Negative Thinking.

In Part.2 I’ll be discussing how I overcame self-doubt.

By clicking on the button below you can download and purchase a copy of my new ebook:

Sources:

https://www.lifehack.org/567587/the-reasons-of-self-doubt-and-steps-to-deal-with-it

https://www.themuse.com/advice/self-doubt-good-for-your-career

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Blueberries: A Super Food For a Super Mood

Earlier this year I wrote a post about the possible link between processed food and health problems such as increased anxiety. 

If you eat foods such as processed meat, fried food, refined cereals, candy, pastries and high fat dairy products, you’re more likely to be anxious and depressed. However, if you eat a healthy diet rich in whole fiber-rich grains, fruits, vegetables and fish you can stay on an even keel.

There’s one particular fruit that’s been labeled a “super food”, because they’re bursting with health benefits. I’m referring to Blueberries.

What Are Blueberries?

Blueberries are a popular small fruit native to North America. They can be eaten freshly picked or used in a variety of recipes and can be purchased frozen.

Why Are Blueberries Labeled a “Super Food”?

Blueberries contain a plant compound called anthocyanin; this gives them their blue color and many of their health benefits. They also contain nutrients such as fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and numerous phytonutrients.

Phytonutrients are natural chemicals or compounds produced by blueberries; they not only protect blueberries from insects and the sun they also function as powerful antioxidants.

Antioxidants are substances that protect cells against damage from disease linked to free radicals and inhibit the growth of many kinds of cancers. 

Are Blueberries Good For Mental Health?

It’s an interesting fact that when we’re feeling anxious and stressed our bodies crave Vitamin C and other antioxidants to help repair and protect our cells. 

I mentioned in a previous post about processed food being linked to poor health; some of the worst problems occur in the brain. Disorders such as ADHD, anxiety, depression and brain fog have been linked to inflammation and damage to the brain’s synapses.

Antioxidants in blueberries not only inhibit the growth of many kinds of cancer they also have antiinflammatory properties that improve brain health by reducing anxiety and depression. 

There was a study that examined the effects of oral vitamin C supplements on anxiety in a group of students. The study found that antioxidants are useful for both the prevention and the reduction of anxiety.

If you want to be either less anxious or anxiety free it’s recommended that you munch on this superfood.

What Superfoods Do You Eat?

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Sources:

https://www.psycom.net/foods-that-help-with-anxiety-and-stress/

https://www.webmd.com/depression/ss/slideshow-avoid-foods-anxiety-depression

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287710#benefits

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Social Media’s Role In Pandemic

It’s interesting to see the human response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve already discussed how being on lockdown is leading to more active sex lives, how some people cope with their anxiety through being creative and how some people are helping others in this crisis.

In part.4 I’ll be discussing how people respond to the pandemic through social media.

What is Social Media?

Social media is a term that used to describe websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. Social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram and Zoom.

Social Media! A Curse or a Blessing?

The consumption of social media has increased since the beginning of the pandemic. The role of social media has been paradoxical since this crisis started. It’s been a curse and a blessing at the same time.

It’s been a curse due to the large amount of misinformation about the pandemic that’s feeding into our anxiety. Also, before this crisis it was well documented that overuse of social media has been linked to low self-esteem, anxiety and depression.

However social media has been a blessing for many reasons as well.

Why is Social Media A Blessing?

Reasons Social Media is a Blessing Include:

  • Crowdsourcing: This involves seeking knowledge, goods or services from a large body of people through social media. Crowdsourcing is being used by organizations and individuals to raise funds to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • A Marketing Platform: Despite some companies preying on the COVID-19 mass hysteria, there are others providing powerful and empathetic responses to this crisis. The main responsibility of brands right now is to provide for the safety and wellbeing for not only their employees, but their customers as well.
  • A Source of Information: We never had more real time information available in the face of a worldwide event until now. Social media provides information that can provide us with a better understanding of what’s occurring and how it might impact us.
  • Virtual Medicine: Virtual medicine is helping to make access to healthcare more convenient and help those who are most vulnerable. People can see and talk to a doctor through their smartphone, tablet or computer instead of visiting the doctor’s office. 
  • Keep In Touch With Family And Friends: Platforms such as Zoom make it easier to connect with family and friends remotely. Due to lockdown and social distancing many people can’t see their loved ones face-to-face, so they’re connecting via social media. 
  • Working-At-Home: Social media is being used to keep remote workers connected with their employers while on lockdown. 

Do You Use Social Media More While Under Lockdown?

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If you’re having problems with anxiety please click on the button below and download your free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://techxplore.com/news/2020-03-social-media-positive-possibilities-pandemic.html

https://khoros.com/blog/social-medias-role-during-covid-19

https://newsroom.uhc.com/open-enrollment/virtual-visits.html

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The Pandemic Response (Part. 3): People Helping People

In the past month the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the news 24/7. It’s very interesting to see the human response to this crisis.

Breaking Apart and Coming Together

Regardless of what background you’re from, humanity is breaking apart and at the same time coming together. 

Some people push others out of the way at the grocery store, however there are people helping others in need and work together with them to achieve a common goal. 

I’ll be discussing how people are helping other people in the COVID-19 crisis.

What Are The Benefits of People Helping People?

It’s interesting that there are many benefits derived from helping other people. It’s not only a benefit to the people you are helping, but it can benefit you as well.

Volunteering your time to help other people has been linked to improved happiness, health and sense of well being.

Health benefits derived from volunteering include reduction in chronic pain, lowered blood pressure and a mental boost from connecting with your community while social distancing.

People Are Helping By:

Helping Neighbors Under Quarantine: It’s easy to fall back into old habits when you hang out with people who are perpetually negative and bring you down every time they’re around. I’ve learned to associate less with people who bring me down and associate with people that are upbeat and build me up.

Volunteers Donating Blood: All over the world there’s a blood shortage being made worse by the COVID-19 lockdown, blood drives being cancelled and people being afraid to make donations due to the fear of catching the virus. Despite everything that’s been going on many COVID-19 survivors are donating blood plasma to help seriously ill patients fight the virus.

Donating To Local Food Banks: The massive lockdown put in place to fight COVID-19 has caused mass layoffs and led to a high demand for food aid. I saw a news story about a food bank in Texas that served 10,000 families in a single day, which put a huge strain on their food supplies due to huge demand. Food banks across not only the United States, but across the world are under a lot of stress, so a lot of people including myself are making donations to local food banks. 

Engineers Offering Aid To Hospitals: When the pandemic began in March Italy was hit hard by COVID-19. Hospitals were experiencing shortages of not only PPE, but also important disposable ventilator parts such as venturi valves. An Italian start-up called Isinnova figured out how to reverse engineer venturi valves and then manufacture them using a 3-D Printer. 

Volunteers Making PPE For Medical Staff: The global demand for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) due to the ongoing pandemic has caused a severe shortage of items such as face masks for medical staff. Volunteers have gotten together under the guidance of the  CDC (Centers For Disease Control & Prevention) to sew masks.

Have You Ever Volunteered Your Time?

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If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Source:

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/03/18/good-and-beautiful-things-ive-seen-amid-coronavirus-pandemic

https://www.asme.org/topics-resources/content/coronavirus-update-engineers-to-the-rescue

https://www.upworthy.com/san-antonio-food-bank-swamped

http://www.forthoodsentinel.com/living/covid-19-pandemic-causes-blood-donation-shortage/article_a66dda02-7364-11ea-9921-1be5db86de13.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-survivors-keep-up-the-fight-donate-blood-plasma-to-others-11585733401

https://www.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/patient-education/sewing-masks.html

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The Pandemic Response (Part.2): Being Creative While In Lock-down

The human response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been an interesting one; one of the most interesting aspects has been the role of art in helping people cope.

This is a difficult time for all of us and it’s really easy to fall into a pit of despair. However, it’s important to learn to see a silver lining; being in quarantine or lock down can be really scary and boring, but at the same time it’s an opportunity to indulge in self-exploration.

Creative Coping

Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11th followed by a lockdown that resulted in not only the lockdown of individuals, but also the postponing or cancelling of mass gatherings such as ball games and concerts. I’ve noticed more people are coping with their stress and anxiety by being creative. 

Creative Coping Includes:

Art: Despite the cultural sector slowing down to a halt, some people hunkering down in self quarantine have turned to art to pass the time. Forms of art, such as painting may seem trivial, but they can offer a powerful means of connection and a welcome escape from the disorienting present.

Writing: Isolation or quarantine is a great time to prioritize your mental and physical wellbeing, along with being productive. In the early 1600’s London was under a lockdown due to a bubonic plague pandemic, which led to the closing of the famous ‘King’s Men Theatre’ that William Shakespere was a shareholder in. While in quarantine Shakespere put all of his creative energy to ride out the pandemic by writing what would become his most famous works such as ‘King Lear’ and ‘Macbeth’.

Cooking: Some people I know have passed the time while in quarantine by baking and cooking. Quarantine cooking is more than just feeding yourself, it’s also about providing entertainment and relaxation.

Playing and Writing Music: During lockdown a lot of musicians are turning to social media to broadcast their music.

Photography: This is an interesting hobby to have, especially when you want to capture images of the pandemic while social distancing.

Writing For Anxiety Relief

I’m an essential full-time employee who’s not working from home. I see the silver lining in this, because if I had to be on total lock down my mental health would be a lot worse. However, during my down time after work I’ve been writing more due to the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic.

Pandemic or no pandemic writing is a creative outlet I’ve been using since I was growing up. I’ve noticed overtime that the more stress builds up in my life the more I want to write, so due to the pandemic I’ve been very busy writing.

I’ve been working on a big project along with the blog and when I’m finished with it I’ll be launching it at the end of this month.

You have all been such an awesome audience and my big project is intended to help you become a better you.

What Have You Done While In Lock Down?

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If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below and download your free anxiety expert list:

Sources:

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/620764/productive-people-in-quarantine

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Increased Sex Drive In Lockdown

The current COVID-19 pandemic is causing people from over the world to respond differently to it. Some people are becoming more compassionate while others are becoming colder, some people are coping through art and music while others are coping in negative ways such as drugs and alcohol. I’ll be discussing the sexual response to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Is The Pandemic Affecting You Sex Drive?

It’s interesting to hear about the conflicting reports about the COVID-19 pandemic having an affect on people’s sex drives.

The stress from the ongoing crisis and having to be on lockdown is putting a damper on desire for many people, but for others the stress is making them horny. 

What Are The Reasons?

Reasons For Increased Sex Drive Include:

Reminded Of Our Own Mortality: The morbid 24/7 news coverage of the pandemic is constantly reminding us of our own mortality. In order to cope we change our attitudes and behaviors in ways designed to help us cope.

Loneliness In Isolation: I mentioned in a previous blog that we’re facing a loneliness epidemic partly due to the internet adversely affecting in-person connection. Lockdown and social distancing is making this problem worse, so some people are doubling down on not only connecting with new friends online, but also online dating that involves texting and video chat along with sexting.

 Killing Boredom: A lot of singles and couples have been responding to lockdown boredom and spicing up their sex lives at the same time with the use of sex toys. It’s been reported that the same of sex toys increased since the pandemic began.

More Time On Our Hands: Due to other distractions in our lives such as working, long commutes, school, family obligations many couples have been too stressed or too busy to get intimate. Veering between social distancing and close cohabitation there have been a lot rediscovering each other while under lockdown.

Lockdown Heats Up Erotica: The COVID-19 pandemic has given birth to a new genre called quarantine erotica. Social distancing has led to the writing of raunchy stories about love in the time of COVID-19.

What Should You Be Aware Of?

If you are someone who has an increased sex drive as a reaction to this current crisis there are some facts you should be aware of.

Looming Global Condom Shortage: Due to Malaysia being on lockdown and the shutting down of factories owned by Karex, which is the largest condom company in the world had to shut down production resulting in a disruption in the global supply chain due to COVID-19. I recommend stocking up on extra condoms instead of extra toilet paper.

Online Dating Scams: If you’re starting out with online dating be aware of scammers. Online dating scams include catfishing, which is luring a victim into a relationship based on the attacker’s fictitious online persona. 

Economic Slump: Be mindful of what the economy might do during and after this pandemic. If you don’t have a job or you might be losing your job due to a downturn be careful of unwanted pregnancy.

Spread Of STIs: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) already occur even without a pandemic, however since the medical system is tied up at the moment with COVID-19 patients it might be hard to get treatment.

COVID-19 And dating!

COVID-19 Has Made Dating Difficult: Even before the pandemic dating was already difficult. Now it’s a new challenge; due to social distancing we have to stand 6 feet from one another, we can’t hug each other or kiss each other because of the virus. Experts say that you’re at risk of catching the virus if you’re meeting someone for the first time or if you see someone, but don’t live together. If couples were already cohabitating then there’s less of a chance of getting sick. This is the reason why virtual dating is popular for singles right now.

How Are You Responding To This Crisis?

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If you’re struggling with anxiety please click on the button below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-myths-sex/202004/why-the-lockdown-is-turning-some-people-others

https://slate.com/human-interest/2020/04/coronavirus-roommate-loneliness-sex.html

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/intimacy-in-the-time-of-corona-home-bound-couples-find-love-as-sale-of-condoms-go-up/articleshow/74793351.cms

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/coronavirus-pandemic-sex-toys

https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/how-to-deal-loneliness-self-isolation-coronavirus

https://www.dw.com/en/love-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-covid-19-changes-the-game-for-online-dating/a-52933001

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Keeping Mind and Body Healthy: Coping with COVID-19 Anxiety (Part.2)

I mentioned in Part.1 how the COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult time for everyone, particularly those who have issues with anxiety and anxiety disorders. I’ve been living with chronic anxiety long before this crisis started, but I’ve learned how to manage it in a holistic way. I’ll be sharing with you how I’ve been coping with COVID-19 anxiety.

I don’t have the luxury of working from home and I’m an essential worker, so it’s important for me to stay healthy and take a proactive approach toward my health by not only protecting my physical health, but my mental health as well.

I mentioned in my previous post about the mind-body connection; our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes can have an effect on our overall health. How you cope with anxiety is very important.

Ways of Coping Include:

Attempt To Maintain a Routine: This pandemic has thrown my normal routine off and it’s difficult to stay focused. I’ve been using block scheduling to maintain a routine for not only work, but also for exercising and for writing this blog.

Focusing on Breathing: Just simple breathing works its magic on anxiety. Taking deep breaths while meditating calms your brain down while you’re focusing on the present moment.

Exercise: An excellent way to maintain a good mind-body connection is to get moving and exercise. Since the gym is closed and I don’t want to risk getting bit by ticks by walking in the woods, so I’ve been taking time after work to take long walks while social distancing.

Watching What I Eat: I mentioned in a post about how there’s a negative connection between processed foods and mental health, and that it’s really important to watch what you eat.

Recommended Foods To Reduce Anxiety Include:

  • Turmeric
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Green Tea
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Almonds
  • Blueberries
  • Turkey Meat

Food To Avoid include:

  • Fried Foods
  • Artificial and Refined Sugars
  • Caffeine
  • Soda
  • Foods High in Sodium

Getting Enough Sleep: Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep is important, pandemic or no pandemic, because when you don’t sleep well you not only have worsening anxiety, but also a weakened immune system.

Putting Limits On How Much Media I Consume: The 24/7 news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic will take a toll on my mental health and at the same time I need to stay informed about what’s happening, so it’s beneficial to limit how much news media I consume.

Limit alcohol consumption: In the short term having a drink or two is relaxing, however overtime excessive drinking can interfere with the chemicals in your brain that regulate mental health and cause worsening anxiety, depression and stress becomes harder to handle.

Connect with Friends Remotely: One of the most difficult aspects of this pandemic has been lockdowns and social distancing. Once a week I like to get together with friends to go hiking; I get my exercise and I socialize. However, due to social distancing I haven’t been able to go, so I connect with friends remotely through texting, social media and phone calls.

This is a tough regiment to live by to keep chronic anxiety under control and this challenging time we’re living in is making it even tougher.

How Are You Coping With This Tough Time?

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If you’re struggling with anxiety please click on the button below to download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-cope-with-coronavirus-covid-19-anxiety-psychologist-2020-2#use-the-time-to-reach-out-to-loved-ones-and-reconnect-with-old-friends-10

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/mental-health/alcohol-and-mental-health/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-foods-that-reduce-anxiety#section7

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Keeping Mind and Body Healthy: Coping with COVID-19 Anxiety (Part.1)

By now we all heard of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It causes cough, fever and shortness of breath and it’s now causing a worldwide pandemic.

As the pandemic unfolds, we are all experiencing a wide range of emotions from mind anxiety to serious panic. This is a frightening time, some people have already been affected by coronavirus while others are waiting in fear about what’s coming next.

It’s natural to feel anxious about the fear of the unknown that this pandemic is bringing, but this is a very difficult time if you have an anxiety disorder.

Coping With An Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety helps us prepare to respond in a more adaptive and healthy way. Some people can tolerate some degree of discomfort and can manage their anxiety in a healthy manner, because overtime they’ve learned healthy coping mechanisms.

However, there are other people with anxiety disorders that have more trouble coping with this frightening time. If you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) you’re already suffering from chronic worrying that leads to catastrophic thinking and leads to increased anxiety and prevents you from taking action in an actual crisis. 

Symptoms of Anxiety

Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling Nervous
  • Having a Sense of Impending Doom
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Breathing Rapidly
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling Weak
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Weakened Immunity

Anxiety and the Mind-Body Connection

I’ve written in this blog about the mind-body connection; our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes can positively and negatively affect our physical health. 

An example of this connection is the relationship between anxiety and your immune system; There’s evidence that too much anxiety can weaken your immune system. It puts stress on your body and releases the stress hormone cortisol, which is intended to be nature’s alarm system that activates your fight-or-flight response. 

Cortisol weakens your immune system by weakening beneficial antibodies in an attempt to reduce inflammation when you’re under severe stress and it’s been known to move resources from other immunities such as T cells and white blood cells.

During this pandemic it’s very important to take a proactive approach toward managing anxiety and your overall health.

In Part.2, I’ll be discussing how I’ve been managing my anxiety during this crisis.

How Are You Coping With COVID-19 Stress and Anxiety?

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If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below to download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/coronavirus-anxiety.htm

https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/immune-system

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Becoming Mindful of Success, Part. 2 (Habits That Lead To Success)

This is part 2 of 2 about success.

What Are Habits?

Habits are routine behaviors that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously. They are automatic responses to specific situations that can be either good or bad.

Examples of Habits

Examples of habits include everyday essential activities such as taking a shower, brushing your teeth or getting dressed for work.

There are habits that are good for us that we work hard on establishing such as eating well, exercising and get enough sleep.

However, there are habits that are bad for us that can limit our success such as procrastination, envy, caring too much about what other people think and apologizing too much.

It’s possible to adopt new habits that lead to success. This can happen by changing your bad habits and replace them with new ones. It’s interesting that when you create a new habit your brain creates a new neurological pathway allowing you to more easily use those habits.

What Habits Lead To Success?

Success starts with you. 

Factors such as your personality, your motivations and your habits determine how successful you’ll be at achieving a goal.

Here are some habits that successful people adopt:

Finding a Sense of Purpose: When successful people find their sense of purpose it fuels their motivation and gives them a definite sense of direction toward what they want to achieve.

Developing a Powerful Daily Routine: A powerful morning routine can include waking up earlier than you have to in order to practice daily gratitude, reading something uplifting and getting active with a morning exercise routine. Also, use your time in the morning to plan your time wisely by block scheduling your daily tasks.

Embrace Failure and Try Again Every Time: Just because you fail at something doesn’t make you a failure, instead it can make you wiser. Once you figured out what went wrong try again and you may succeed.

Taking Risks: I mentioned in a previous post that it’s important to learn how to face the fear of the unknown and take risks in order to be successful at achieving your goals.

Building Confidence in Your Abilities: Confidence comes from feelings of well-being and believing in your ability, skills and experience

Letting go of the Past: Holding on to the past can hold you back in so many ways; not only holding back your own happiness, but your success as well.

How Have You Become Successful In Your Life?

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If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://greatperformersacademy.com/habits/10-bad-habits-that-will-hold-you-back-from-being-successful

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Becoming Mindful of Success, Part.1 (Factors That Lead To Overall Success)

This will be the first of a two part post about success.

What is Success?


Success is defined as the accomplishment of a goal or purpose. It can also refer to a person or thing that achieves a desired goal or attains prosperity. It’s important for boosting confidence, security, a sense of well-being, hope and leadership. 

Examples of Success?

Success means different things to different people. It’s the achievement of something desired; whether it’s weath, happiness or well-being.


Examples of Success include:

  • Having a great job
  • Having a happy marriage
  • Having a lot of money
  • Finally being able to finish a puzzle
  • Successfully overcoming an anxiety disorder
  • Successfully losing 50 pounds

What Factors Lead To Success?

We live in a world where success is measured mainly through money; this is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of success and for a lot of people it’s the only way success is measured. Material success is important; it drives creativity along with economic and social advancement. 

However, it’s important to be aware that when money becomes the only criterion to measure success other factors are overlooked such as your happiness, well-being and wisdom that contribute to an overall successful life.


Some factors that are overlooked include:


Courage During Adversity: Adversity is discouraging and exhausting. It can leave us overwhelmed by fear and unable to move forward. Courage is the ability to do something you fear and by having the courage to face adversity you’re on your way to success.

Self-Control: Success can be due to the amount of self-control you have. Have you ever tried losing weight and changing your diet, but at the same time struggling with compulsive eating? If you have enough self-control you can successfully change your habits and lose weight.


Level of Learning and Knowledge: Successful people are always learning new things and they are knowledgeable in a wide array of disciplines. It’s a myth that learning stops when you finish school and the more you learn the more successful you become.


Life Satisfaction and Good Health: Increasing your life satisfaction and feeling fulfilled leads to a happy and successful life. This can be achieved by focusing on the positive, relieving stress and not being afraid to take out for yourself. There is nothing more important for achieving success than good health; whether it’s good physical health or good mental health where anxiety is at a minimum.


Spiritual Success: Spiritual success means being in touch with who you truly are and it can refer to our character and integrity. It can also refer to the qualities of our success such as discipline, honesty, loyalty and love.


Where Have You Found Success in Your Life?

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Sources:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/importance-of-success_b_837924

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2013-12/25/content_17194820.htm

https://fac.ksu.edu.sa/adalayed/publication/66617

https://www.australianacademicpress.com.au/aap_blog/post/courage-in-adversity

https://lifehacker.com/success-is-controlling-how-you-spend-your-time-1682657639

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-be-successful-in-life-4165743

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What is CBD Oil?

What is CBD oil?

What is CBD oil? CBD or cannabidiol is one of many chemical compounds found in cannabis sativa or (industrial hemp) called cannabinoids. 

It is found along with 113 other cannabinoids including THC. Cannabinoids act on receptors found in the endocannabinoid system.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system or ECS is a system of cell receptors that bond with cannabinoids to regulate homeostasis or the balancing of your body’s physiology. 

The endocannabinoid system is described as being a lock and key mechanism. The receptors are the lock and the cannabinoids are the key. This triggers a reaction that affects the brain and body.

The ECS consists of two types of cell receptors:

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1(CB1): Expressed in the peripheral nervous system and central nervous system which includes the brain. 

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2(CB2): Expressed in the immune system along with the digestive system and many of the body’s organs. Mainly found in white blood cells, in the tonsils and the spleen. CB2 is very important in the regulation of the release of cytokine. What is cytokine? Signaling molecules that mediate and regulate immunity and inflammation.

What are the Benefits of CBD oil?

Benefits include:

Manage Stress and Anxiety: CBD oil has been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety including reducing rapid heart rates.

Improve Sleep: Since CBD oil reduces anxiety that interferes with sleep and helps you get more restful sleep.

Reduce Pain and Inflammation: CBD oil has anti-pain and anti-inflammatory effects that help with pain management.

Could Benefit Heart Health: The anti-inflammatory and anti oxidative properties of CBD oil may be able to reduce the risk of factors that can lead to heart disease.

May Reduce Acne: Using CBD oil may help reduce acne by reducing the amount of sebum the body creates.

Can Alleviate Cancer Symptoms: Research has suggested that CBD oil along with other cannabinoids may ease neuropathic pain, nausea and poor appetite due to cancer and cancer treatment.

Heal Without Habit: CBD oil and other cannabinoids may be a viable alternative to narcotic pain killers.

How is CBD Oil Applied?

There are three ways CBD oil can enter the body: 

  • Inhalation
  • Ingestion
  • Absorption

Inhalation: Inhalation occurs when you apply CBD oil though the lungs either by vaping or smoking.

What is Vaping?

Vaping is a popular way to apply CBD oil. It is fast acting and the effects can last up to three hours. It is a popular way to relieve stress and anxiety, chronic pain and it helps those who want to quit smoking cigarettes.

There are two options for vaping CBD oil vape juice or vape pen. The use of a CBD vape pen is the easiest way to vape CBD oil due to the easy to use out of box solution that required little or no set up. However the solution  found in CBD pens have to be replaced over time and that can get costly. The use of CBD vape juice is preferred when you want to mix CBD oil with a favorite flavor of vape juice. However the vaping device has to be purchased separately. 

Vaping CBD oil is fast acting due to it going directly to your lungs. When this happens the CBD diffuses directly into your bloodstream. Other methods of applying CBD oil take longer to take effect because it has to pass through your liver and gut.

There is a risk for lung irritation or damage from vaping. Over the long term inhaling hot CBD oil has the potential to damage your lungs. There are chemicals in many vape pens that contain thinning agents like propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol that are known carcinogens.   

Ingestion: Ingestion occurs when you apply CBD oil through your mouth. It can be by consuming an edible or applying a tincture.

What is an Edible?

A CBD edible is a tasty way of getting a daily dose of CBD. They can provide long lasting relief for the condition you’re trying to treat. However they take 30 minutes to 2 hours to fully go into effect. The results last longer than inhalation.

There are active compounds in CBD extract added to CBD edibles  that can be added to cooked or baked goods to add additional health benefits like boosting antioxidants. An example would be using cannabutter and CBD crystals when cookies or brownies are being baked.

It’s easier to get the correct dosage of CBD eating edibles than vaping. When edibles are purchased or made pre-dosed servings are added. However when CBD oil is inhaled by vaping it is harder to determine how much dosage you are getting.

What is a Tincture?

A tincture is a concentrated liquid form of one or more herbs, such as cannabis. When produced it can be refined to contain certain compounds from cannabis such as CBD and/or THC. 

CBD oil tinctures can be applied under your tongue and the full effect occurs between 50 and 90 seconds. I asked someone on a social media forum about other ways tinctures are used and he said that he added 3 to 5 drops or 5:1 Ratio of CBD tincture in his coffee every morning.

Tinctures are not only popular they are effective. They are so concentrated that it delivers CBD to the body quicker than edibles and the body can break them down quicker also.  If a user cannot vape CBD oil due to health restriction tinctures are a great alternative.


Absorption: Absorption occurs when CBD oil is absorbed through the skin when it is applied topically as an ointment, salve or lotion.

Topical CBD oil is excellent for providing relief from pain in the muscles, joints, nerves and neck and back. It can be used to treat skin conditions like acne, contact dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and skin rashes. Research shows that its possible it can be use as an effective treatment for bacterial infections such as MRSA.

Topical CBD oil is considered the most versatile among the already versatile CBD products. What do I mean about it being versatile? CBD oil can be used not just to treat anxiety and depression, but it has many other functions. 

 I discovered another use for CBD oil started when I started using it to relieve pain caused by a fractured finger. I rubbed it on topically and it dulled the pain as effectively as taking ibuprofen. According to a study done by the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research CBD oil strengthens bones and accelerates the healing of fractures.

Is CBD Oil Federally Legal?

The answer to this is yes. CBD oil is federally legal as long as the amount of THC doesn’t exceed 0.3%.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabidiol) like CBD is one of 113 cannabinoids identified in cannabis. However, unlike CBD THC is a psychoactive compound that can cause someone to become “high” and it is still considered a schedule 1 controlled substance by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency).

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was a proposed law that would’ve removed industrial hemp from schedule 1 controlled substance and would’ve made it an ordinary agricultural commodity. The provisions were incorporated into the 2018 United States Farm Bill that became law on December 20, 2018.

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20180507/cbd-oil-all-the-rage-but-is-it-safe-effective#1

https://www.fb.org/market-intel/2018-farm-bill-provides-a-path-forward-for-industrial-hemp

Have You Ever Been Curious About CBD Oil?

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Making Leading Edge Decisions

What Does It Mean To Make A Decision?

What is Decision Making? It’s the process of deciding something based on a logical choice from available options.

When we’re trying to make a decision we take a look at the positives and negatives of the options available, along with considering the possible alternatives. 

After looking at the available options we also must be able to forecast the outcome of the final decision. 

An important factor that’s overlooked that affects decision making is being aware or mindful of our own thoughts and emotions.

Why is Good Decision Making Important?

The cornerstone of good leadership skills is the ability to make a decision and stick to it.

Decision making is an ongoing process in every business regardless of size and also in our personal lives as well. 

Having critical thinking skills allows us to approach a problem and decide on a solution that is beneficial to not only yourself, but to other members of your organization or those close to you in your personal life.

What Influences Our Decisions?

There are a lot of factors that we’re not aware of that can influence the decisions we’re making.

These factors include:

Our Thoughts and Emotions: Our own thoughts and emotions can affect our decisions, not only the nature of those decisions, but also the speed in which they’re made. If your judgement is off due to negative thoughts that lead to anger and make you impatient and cause you to make rash decisions.

Being Hungry: It’s interesting that feelings or states of being can spill over from one area to another. This occurs a lot with our physical desires, for example when we feel hungry or thirsty it can affect the decision areas of our brains. We can feel more desire for big rewards and this can motivate us to make higher risk choices and keep wanting more.

Quality of Ventilation: This is important, because the physical environment can have an effect on our physical and mental health along with our cognitive health. For example when the level of CO2 in your workplace is increased it can cause a decrease in cognitive and mental abilities and lead to poor decision making. It’s a good idea that your work environment has adequate ventilation and plants to decrease CO2 levels.

Number of Choices: Sometimes our ability to make decisions can be affected by the number of choices we have in front of us. When we’re presented with two or more choices it’s easy to look at the pros and cons of each choice. However, if we’re bombarded with endless choices whether we’re car shopping, using dating apps or entertainment apps it leads to a paradox of choice than makes decision making more difficult.

Past Experiences: This is an interesting one. Past experiences can impact present and future decision making. These include events that happened when you’re younger that shape the way you think, act and interact with people close to you.

Familiarity: Making decisions based on factors that are familiar with is deeply entrenched in our minds without being aware of it. We not only like things we’re familiar with, but we fear and judge anything that is different.

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How Being Mindful Leads To Better Decision Making?

Decision making is not always as simple as saying “yes” or “no” and it’s not always a thoughtful or cognitive exercise, instead it can be an impulsive reaction to satisfy immediate needs.

We make decisions everyday about what we eat, when we leave for work, how often we check our smartphones or what assignment to complete. We also make crucial decisions that affect ourselves and others. Many people are not aware how important day-to-day decisions really are until they make the wrong ones. 

Sometimes we fear the unknown so much that we make bad decisions due to fear and anxiety.

Conventional decision making can only take you so far, so it’s important to learn about mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the environment around us.

Mindfulness is one of the most powerful tools for understanding your mind and focusing your attention. It can be applied in many ways including:

Mindful Breathing:  Mindfulness involves focusing your attention on your breathing. When you’re focusing on the rise and fall of your chest or the sensation through your nostrils your breath becomes an object of concentration when you start becoming aware of your mind’s tendency to jump from one thought to another.

Finding Your Purpose: Mindfulness makes you more aware of your purpose which leads to a greater sense of direction, a valued sense of self and a more meaningful life. Once you know your purpose you get to decide whether saying “yes” or “no” to a decision will ultimately serve your purpose.

Making Informed Decisions: Mindfulness can make the decision making process a thoughtful and cognitive exercise by making us aware of our impulsivity. For example, it’s important to be informed of the full impact of a decision before it’s made rather than be impulsive and regret your decision.

Finding Balance Between the Heart and the Brain: Overtime we’ve become more reliant on the human brain alone for day to day decisions. It was never meant to be the main source of wisdom and decision making. It has tendencies to push the human body past healthy limits and may result in fear, doubt and insecurities. In my previous post I mentioned that mindfulness puts an emphasis on dropping into your heart space, by doing that the brain and heart balance each other out. The brain receives the information that we make decisions from and the heart incorporates wisdom to help make good decisions.

What Do You Do Before Making Decisions?

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Sources:

https://open.buffer.com/decision-making/

https://www.bachremedies.com/en-us/emotional-health-blog/how-do-our-emotions-affect-decision-making

https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/the-psychology-of-choice

https://www.customerservicemanager.com/decision-making/

https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/mindful_breathing

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tracking-wonder/201902/mindful-approach-decision-making

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How To Benefit From Mindfulness?

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of making a gentle effort to pay attention in a particular way that is open, receptive and non-judgemental to what you’re experiencing at the present moment.

It means to slow down to really notice what you’re doing and being intentionally aware and awake to each moment and be fully engaged in what’s happening.

Mindfulness helps promote physical, emotional and cognitive stability. 

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How Do You Practice Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is not just about being alert to the present moment, it’s also paying attention very carefully to the environment around you. 

The things you need to consider before you start practicing mindfulness:

It Won’t Cost You Anything: It’s not necessary to buy a special cushion to sit on and you can practice mindfulness anywhere. All you need is the time and space to devote towards developing your mindfulness skills.

Don’t Worry About Quieting Your Mind: The goal of mindfulness is not for you to have an outworldly or blissful state of mind; what you’re trying to do is to pay attention to the present moment without judgement.

Your Mind Will Drift Off: Practicing mindfulness involves trying to focus on what you’re thinking at the present moment. However you’ll find that many thoughts arise including those about what you did yesterday and these may make your mind wander. Through mindfulness you become aware of this and consciously bring your focus back to the present moment.

Your Inner Critic Will Try To Take Over: We’re all guilty of listening to our inner critic in our heads more than we should. Our inner critic is in the form of negative thoughts that cause us to judge ourselves and not be aware of it. The practice of mindfulness involves intentionally focusing on a present moment without judgement, so we learn how to look at these thoughts and react to them by making mental notes on them and letting them go.

It’s All About Returning Your Attention Back To The Present Moment: Mindfulness is the practice that uses the sensation of the breath as an anchor to the present moment. Our minds have the tendency to wander into random thoughts, this is why mindfulness is the practice of returning to our breath over and over again when we’re trying to refocus.

Sometimes the terms mindfulness and meditation are used interchangeably, many of us think that they’re the same, they’re not. 

Mindfulness involves intentionally focusing on the present moment, while meditation is a mental exercise that involves relaxation, focus and awareness; its practiced individually in a still seated position and with your eyes closed.

The practice of meditation leads to the enriching of mindfulness.

What are the Benefits of Mindfulness?

The practice of mindfulness has many benefits including:

Being Able to Make Better Decisions: The mind has tendencies to wander toward unconscious thoughts such as ruminations, emotions and memories that can trigger feelings and reactions that cloud our judgement. Being mindful is becoming aware of these thoughts and the inner workings of your own mind and making you a better decision maker.

Improves mental health: Mindfulness is a practice that’s an integrative approach that helps people manage thoughts and feelings that cause mental health problems.

Improves Physical Health: Scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques have physical health benefits including stress relief, lowering blood pressure, reduction of chronic pain and relieving gastrointestinal problems.

Increases Attention: Mindfulness along with other treatments can help you develop inner skills that promote your ability to control your attention by strengthening your ability to self observe and develop different relationships to experiences that are stressful.

Helps You Sleep: The world we live in can be stressful; at work we have tight deadlines, along with being anxious about job security. Stress can affect sleep quality and incorporating mindfulness into our daily routine can help us sleep better.

Improves Relationships: Since mindfulness increases the awareness of our thoughts and actions it’s great for improving relationships. 

What Makes a Mindful Mastermind?

A mastermind is described as someone who has an outstanding intellect or someone who plans and directs an ingenious and complex enterprise.  People from different walks of life can be described as masterminds such as inventors, intellectuals and famous geniuses such as Albert Einstein. 

Being intelligent or smart means that you have an easier time processing and understanding information. 

Most people think that intelligence and wisdom are one and the same. 

Wisdom is the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge and good judgement. 

When a form of practical wisdom such as mindfulness teaches you how to think about and apply what you have learned. 

Sometimes we learn things that cause our minds to wander toward negative thoughts that contribute to limiting beliefs and anxiety that we try to control. Mindfulness makes you aware that this is happening, you accept what is happening and lose yourself within your heart space when you’re feeling inner peace after letting go of negative thoughts that don’t serve you.

What Do You Do To Create Mindfulness In Your Day?

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Sources:

https://youmatter.world/en/definition/what-is-mindfulness-definition/

https://www.mindful.org/how-to-practice-mindfulness/

https://www.fastcompany.com/90420954/how-mindfulness-improves-decision-making

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The Mind and Body Connection and Meditation.

What Is The Mind And Body Connection?

The mind and body connection is a set of mechanisms through which one’s thoughts, emotions and spiritual practices can affect the way your body functions.

An example is how the way your body responds to stress and/or constant worry over jobs and finances. Your mind and emotions control your health just as much as the food you eat.

What is Meditation?

The process of quieting your mind by utilizing concentration and relaxation to pivot yourself away from distracting thoughts and instead focus on the present moment.

What we call meditation is referred to in Sanskrit as “Dhyana”. It came from eastern religious practices of India, China and Japan. 

How do you meditate?

Here is a simple way to meditate.

  1. Sit or lie comfortably
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Start breathing naturally
  4. Focus your attention on your breath and how your body moves when you breath in and out.

What are the different types of meditation?

There are seven types of meditation:

  1. Mindfulness Meditation: Involves focusing your mind on your experiences in the present moment.
  2. Transcendental Meditation: Involves the use of a mantra while sitting with your eyes closed.
  3. Guided Meditation: Involves one or more participants meditating in response to the  guidance given by a teacher.
  4. Vipassana Meditation: Also called insight or awareness meditation, gives us insight into the true nature of our experiences.
  5. Loving Kindness Meditation: Also called “metta” meditation consists of mentally sending goodwill, kindness and warmth toward others by repeating a series of mantras.
  6. Chakra Meditation: Chakra is a Sanskrit word that literally means disk/wheel. The practice involves a transfer of energy wheels throughout your body. Each chakra is regarded as a focal point linking your emotional, physical and spiritual energies.
  7. Yoga Meditation: Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means union with the divine. It’s a practice that involves conscious breathing, conscious concentration and relaxation along with a steady pose that should bring you to a meditative state.

What Are The Benefits of Meditation?

  • Anxiety: A section of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex has numerous neural pathways that emerge from it to connect with the brain’s fear and bodily sensation perception centers. This part of the brain becomes stimulated when were stress out of anxious. Meditation relaxes these connections and you’ll feel less anxious.
  • Resilience: Meditation can lead to the increased resilience of the brain. For example if a particular part of the brain get injured it can quickly repair itself.
  • Stress: Meditation is a great way to relieve stress. When you’re dealing with stress your body produces more cortisol and this can lead to an inflammation response that can disrupt sleep, increased anxiety and depression and high blood pressure. Meditating regularly may reduce this inflammation caused by stress.
  • Creativity: A calmer mind after meditation can lead to increased creativity.
  • Memory: Meditation has been described as being weight lifting for your attention span. Regularly practicing meditation can increase your attention span and allow you to focus on a specific task longer. It’s possible for meditation to reduce age related memory loss.

How Did I Get Into Meditation?

My interest in meditation started in the beginning of 2016 when I went to an intro to Buddhism meeting. This was for Nichiren Buddhism; a form of Buddhism that started in the 13th century in Japan by a monk named Nichiren Daishonin. His teachings emphasize the recitation of the mantra “ nam myoho renge kyo” for health, happiness and enlightenment.

From this point one I became increasingly interested in mindfulness. After dealing with mental health problems that involve depression and anxiety for years meditation was the one practice that benefited me the most. 

Something simple such as practicing mindfulness meditation while sitting in my car during my breaks at work help relieve stress and help me focus.

As of last fall I started practicing yoga. At first I had trouble with balance but with enough practice I improved and it resulted in a looser body and a clear mind.

Have you ever meditated before? If so which type?

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How To Turn Cynicism Into Something Positive?

What is Cynicism?

Cynicism is the belief that people are mainly motivated to do something purely out of self-interest. A person who inclines toward this way of thinking is labeled as cynical.

A person who is cynical has a mindset that is scornful or jaded; they’re always thinking the worst and have a hard time seeing the good in anyone. 

The origin of the term “Cynicism” is associated with the ancient Greek philosophical school of Cynicism was founded by Antisthenes of Athens almost 2500 years ago. 

Why Are Some People Cynical?

Some people become cynical as part of a defense posture to protect themselves. It’s typically triggered when we feel hurt by or angry about something. 

Traits of a Cynical Person Include:

  • Someone who is distrusting or disparages the motives of others
  • Shows contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality, because they’re viewed as hypocritical and serve no purpose
  • Bitterly or sneeringly distrustful or pessimistic
  • Tends to use a lot of sarcastic language
  • Someone who is always preparing for the worst in life
  • All compliments and positive words have a clause

Some people have personalities that gravitate toward negativity and negative emotions that are cynical as a result of being nasty, arrogant or pretentious. However there are others that become cynical or jaded due to being beaten down by life and cannot seem to find hope anywhere in sight. 

Life can be cruel at times; it can throw a lot of misfortune at you whether it’s one tragedy after another being thrown at you or if you try to turn things around for the better in your life, but things continue to fall apart. Sometimes you may feel broken and defeated and always expect bad luck.

There are still others that become a little cynical because of the wisdom that’s gained through experience.

What Are The Consequences of Being Cynical?

A major consequence of being cynical is that people will distance themselves from you because they’ll find you irritating and dispiriting. 

Cynicism overtime will cause you to miss out on the things that make life worth living such as friendship or love. They also tend to hold back from the public sphere, which leads to reduced social and economic contribution and can result in relative poverty and isolation. Overtime relative poverty and isolation brought on by cynicism can cause health problems.

A topic I’ve always found interesting is the mind-body connection. The biological functioning of our bodies is affected by our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes whether they’re positive or negative that occur in our minds. Overtime negative thinking brought on by cynicism can cause health problems.

There are numerous health effects from being too cynical including:

  • Increased inflammation in the body
  • Increased risk of developing cancer
  • Higher risk of cardiovascular problems due to higher blood pressure
  • Three times more likely to develop dementia
  • More likely to suffer from mental health problems such as anxiety and depression

It’s been reported that millennials have been labeled the most cynical generation ever. This mindset is part of the reason why a lot of people from my generation have chronic ailments. 

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How To Reframe Cynicism?

What is Reframing?

I’m referring to cognitive reframing. The idea behind it is that a person’s point of view depends on the frame it is viewed in. When the frame is shifted, the meaning changes and thinking behavior often changes along with it. 

A simpler way of explaining reframing is to recognize negative thoughts that cause distress and serve no purpose and reframe them into positive ones. 

This works really well with cynical thinking, for example if you meet a person instead of assuming that person is only out for their own self-interests you could ask yourself if this person can be trusted. Reframed cynical thoughts can be useful in all areas of your life. 

Tips for reframing cynicism include:

Promote a Balance Between Positive and Negative Thoughts and Emotions: There are so many benefits to positivity such as hope, joy, contentment and gratitude. Being optimistic has been linked to benefits such as improved health and happiness. However unchecked optimism can lead to unrealistic expectations and becoming unaware of dangerous risks that are being made that can lead to loss and the negative emotions that come with it. There are negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, resentment and anger that come with being cynical. The right amount of cynicism can keep us safe in certain situations like positivity does. It protects us from situations that have the potential to raise red flags because we can pick up on negative vibes more than anyone else. However, being too cynical has a major downfall including missing out on opportunities whether they’re professional or relationship related. The universe is all about balance between opposites and this includes the right balance between positive and negative thoughts.

Instead of Being Bitter be Better: There are some cynical people that are the way they are due to bitterness. They tend to spew their inner hurt and anger by saying and doing things that hurt others such as exhibiting ruthless verbal and emotional cruelty to everyone around them. This negativity doesn’t just hurt those around you you’re hurting yourself as well. Instead of being bitter, be better. Start by getting healthy; physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you’re feeling bitter about being physically weak it’s important to get emotionally strong or something is happening that makes you feel emotionally weak such as a relationship coming to an end then hit the gym and start working out. Also, start paying attention to what you put into your body, because a proper diet will make you feel good, while a bad diet will not. Also, it’s important to learn from whatever disappointed you or whatever happened to you at the lowest point in your life. I’m not referring to learning about the reasons why these things happened, I’m referring to the wisdom you’ve acquired that you can apply to make into a better person.

Turn Cynicism Into a Sixth Sense: Being cynical affects how you perceive the world; it’s affected by over generalization caused by negative thinking. However, as I mentioned in my post about turning anxiety into a superpower negative thoughts can be reframed into positive ones. Cynical people tend toward seeing the worst aspects of human nature. In fact trust and cynicism complement each other. Power and money has always been a source of corruption along with other despicable behaviors. Even if you’re the most positive and bubbly person in the world, it helps to know that a little bit of cynicism is not a negative thing. Cynicism can make you aware of your surroundings and can determine whether to trust someone or not. It equips you with the ability to read people. It helps you make better decisions about whether it’s worthwhile to engage with a person or move on if you suspect that person will take advantage of you. 

Have you Ever Felt Cynical?

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What Is The Fear Of Love? Version 2.0

What is Love?

Love is a set of emotions that stem from feelings of strong or constant affection, protectiveness and respect for another person. 

Love can also be used to describe non-human relationships including the love for your pets, love for political freedom or love for whatever higher power you believe in.

Benefits of Love:

  • Fewer Doctor’s Visits
  • Less Depression
  • Natural Pain Control
  • Reduced Anxiety
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Heal Faster After An Illness

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Falling in Love vs. Loving Someone

When you fall in love, it is a feeling that makes you want to be with someone. The initial spark that causes two people to fall in love is due to numerous factors including physical chemistry, sexual attraction and shared interests that lead to compatibility. 

There’s a difference between falling in love and loving someone, but we use the word love to describe both. Falling in love can stem from feelings of infatuation, lust and obsession and after we fall in love feelings develop on the surface after you both start talking, holding hands, hugging and kissing each other. 

Symptoms of falling in love include:

  • Exhilaration
  • Euphoria
  • Sleeplessness
  • Increased Energy
  • Trembling
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Increase in Anxiety

The complex set of feelings that develop when you fall in love may last or they may not. Also, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll love that person forever, but the initial phase is a trigger for taking action.

Loving Someone

When you truly love someone it goes beyond those initial feelings of infatuation, lust and obsession that leads to surface feelings. Over time you have a desire to see them grow, you start looking past their flaws and you start to motivate, encourage and inspire one another.

Why Do Some People Fear Falling in Love?

The most interesting thing about love is that it has something in common with fear. Both love and fear are governed by the hormone oxytocin.

What is Oxytocin?

Oxytocin is best known as the love hormone. It is secreted by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain when you’re bonding with someone whether you’re initially falling in love, cuddling, making out or hugging. Overtime it can make you feel like going all the way.

It’s interesting that oxytocin also goes to work when something socially stressful or horrible happens to you. When this happens the oxytocin enhances your memory of the event and sometimes the bad memory might be a past relationship that makes you fearful of falling in love again.

Reason why falling in love can be scary include:

Cynicism About Love: Cynicism or being cynical is a belief that people are motivated purely by self-interest and this leads to a general distrust of others. There’s a lot of cynicism about love; it’s part of a defensive posture we take to protect ourselves from being hurt. This can stem from a previous relationship when one partner cheats on the other and betray their trust and the anger and bitterness can make them fearful and cynical about love.

Fear of Being Vulnerable: Fear of vulnerability occurs when you’re afraid to open up emotionally partly due to fear of rejection or abandonment. This fear over time turns into a metaphorical wall that you build around yourself to minimize the risk of being hurt again. Also, a new relationship is uncharted territory and we are naturally fearful of the unknown because of the risk involved.

Unrealistic Expectations: Many fear falling in love again is due to a previous relationship falling apart because of unrealistic expectations. These unrealistic expectations can include one partner becoming fixated on making their partner conform to their idea of perfection and overtime this makes their partner resentful overtime. Some say that romantic comedies create a warped sense of how perfect relationships should be; expectations include love at first sight, real love is proven through grand romantic gestures, you’ll find someone who will complete and worst of all the expectation that every problem will magically disappear as soon as you enter a relationship. Also, these unrealistic expectations sometimes cause us to think that we’re not perfect or good enough to love someone.

Fear of Losing Them: The more someone means to us the more afraid we are of losing that person. This is a normal feeling to have, but it becomes a problem when you become preoccupied with loss and abandonment. When you allow this fear to consume you it will make you fearful toward getting close to someone.

Fear of Losing Yourself: Some see falling in love as a loss of our wholeness and our independence. 

The Issues That Plague Modern Relationships

The way a lot of our generation sees relationships is not how our grandparents viewed them. Instead of describing love as something that you need to nurture like a flower and letting it grow, a lot of our generation describes love as a virus that you don’t want to catch.

We have a bad habit of falling in love too quickly, we start fighting too quickly and worst of all we give up on relationships too quickly.

Instead of taking responsibility for the flaws that make us who we are we force others to accept them and at the same time we expect others to change for us.

Biggest Problems Facing Modern Relationships Include:

Lack of Communication Between Partners: Since the main form of communicating between partners is texting other forms of communication have been cast aside such as talking on the phone and also listening.

Commitment Issues: Commitment issues in relationships are nothing new, but in modern relationships some see long-term commitment as a trap.

Influence of Dating Sites and Social Media: Dating sites and social media have led to FOMO (the fear of missing out). There’s something called the paradox of choice that causes decision paralysis when we’re constantly waiting for someone better to come along.

Constantly Chasing After Excitement: A lot of our generation craves newness or novelty. This is true when we’re looking for love and when we frequently meet someone new it excites us.

Manipulation: Relationships are supposed to be a shared emotion. However there are many one-sided relationships in which the person who could possibly care less about it and they know the other person would do anything to save the relationship. Forms of manipulation include guilt trips, passive-aggression, gas lighting, selectively showing affection and lying.

Everyone is Looking For “The One”: Unrealistic expectations about love cause us to fear inperfection and causes us to wait for “the one”. Many people do find the one, but others wait too long and they end up losing their window of opportunity.

Also, many of us are finding ourselves asking questions including:

“What is the point of getting married?”

“Is there someone better out there?”

“What does this text from my significant other or crush mean?”

“Do I want to be financially tied down to my partner”

“When will my partner grow up and stop playing video games?”

Love is something that was already scary and complicated. As the world grows more scary and complex due to changes in society, the economy and technology it may make people more fearful of love because of the potential consequences associated with modern relationships.

What To Do About Your Fear of Love?

Approach Love With Realistic Expectations: I mentioned above that we have unrealistic expectations about love and relationships. We expect instant gratification, but in reality bonding with someone takes time. We expect relationships to be easy, but they’re really hard. We expect a prince/princess, however it’s realistic to accept that people have flaws. 

Get Out of Your Head: The phrase “being in your head” is a general metaphor for overthinking or overanalyzing something. Being in our heads too much leads to obsessive negative thinking that causes depression and anxiety. This negative thinking can cause us to doubt ourselves, and cause us to doubt whether the person who loves us loves us back and start questioning whether we’re worthy of love. The first step toward getting out of heads is reframing our negative thinking mentally reciting a mantra and sticking with it, for example if we’re frequently thinking that “We’re not good enough” can be replaced with “I’m an awesome person”. Also, it helps to keep your mind occupied as much as possible with activities that relax the mind such as hands-on hobbies such as woodworking, writing or cooking.

Seek Out Someone Who Shares the Same Relationship Values: One reason modern relationships are so fragile is confusing love with other feelings such as lust when we first fall in love. Also, modern relationships have lost sight of important factors such as mutual trust, compromise, dedication, patience and sacrifice, along with a factor frequently overlooked shared values. The values I’m referring to are trust, commitment, same lifestyle, same or similar beliefs and a general understanding of the same things.

Change Your Perspective About Your Fear: I mentioned in my previous blog post about fear is a condition about being afraid of something or being worried about a specific outcome. Fear can be a scary thing and hold you back from taking that step you need to take toward something positive. For example, the fear of rejection and the fear of failure can cause someone to become emotionally paralyzed and cause self-doubt. However, fear itself is not necessarily a bad thing it has a positive side. The fear of rejection and the fear of failure can be reframed, so they can teach us how to do better by reconsidering our goals and remind us that we’re human and that we make mistakes.

What Do You Fear About Love?

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