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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?

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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 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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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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Gaining Courage in the Face of Fear

What is Courage?


Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you. It is the strength you need to face pain or grief and the strength in the face of a tornado, an earthquake or the global coronavirus pandemic.

The word courage originated from the Old French word “corage”, from the Latin word “cor”, which means ”heart”.

Why is Courage Important?


Courage is important if you want to begin something that you want to do or when you have to face a crisis. It allows you to act despite being fearful.

Courage is important for putting aside your fear of failure; especially if you have to venture off into the unknown or if you want to go for what you want. It’s important for overcoming anxiety characterized by the fear of rejection or self doubt caused by negative self talk.

Courage is more important than confidence. Confidence is very important; it comes from believing you can do something, but courage on the other hand is doing something despite being fearful.

Courage and Confidence are like yin and yang, because they depend on one another. Without courage we never develop confidence and a confident person can be brought down when facing a crisis if it weren’t for courage.

Examples of Courage?


Courage can come in all shapes and forms. It could come from you standing up for someone who’s being bullied, asking your crush on a date, racing into a burning building to save someone’s life or being courageous in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve been seeing 24/7 news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s been more of an emphasis on the negative things that many people have been doing in reaction to this crisis including attacking other people for their toilet paper or bottled water or the spreading of misinformation. 

How about the awesome people who’ve been courageous since this crisis started? 

There hasn’t been enough said about the moral courage from the doctors, nurses and other medical staff in the face of the intense challenges they’ve been facing and the one’s they’re facing right now. 

Dr Helen Chu?

It was reported that in Seattle, Washington of epidemiologist Dr. Helen Chu demonstrated great moral courage by reporting critical data to health officials despite being told by federal authorities not to. There was a group of study participants she wanted to test for coronavirus to determine if it had arrived in Washington state, however she was denied authorization. 

Despite being denied Dr. Chu still had an ethical obligation and went ahead with the testing anyway and found a teenager had tested positive for the virus despite not traveling abroad or contact history, demonstrating community spread. This information was sent to a public health official just before this teen was sent back to school. Even after all that the federal government served her with a cease and desist order. 

Volunteers Rescuing Pets?

Here is a more lighthearted example of courage.  There was a news story from Spain that I saw about pets that were left behind due to their owners getting sick with the coronavirus. A group of volunteers from the kindness of their hearts looked after these abandoned pets. If and when their owners recover and are released from the hospital they will be reunited with their pets.

How To Become More Courageous?


The examples written above show why courage is a universally admired quality that’s very important to have. 

Ways To Become More Courageous Include:

  • Face The Fear of the Unknown: Becoming more courageous can be as simple as finding the cause of your fear, questioning what the cause of it is, accepting it, riding the wave of fear and learning to embrace change.
  • Use Relaxation Techniques: Fear can be paradoxal; a little bit of fear can amp you up and transform you into your best self and at the same time too much fear can shut you down and leave you stuck. It’s important to keep your physiological responses in check and this can be achieved by using relaxation techniques such as tactical breathing and mindful meditation.
  • Learn New Skills: There are many scenarios that involve risk and danger, it pays to develop a wide range of skills such as self-defense and first aid, to automotive repair and the ability to speak a foreign language. The more knowledge of what to do when trouble arises the braver a person you will be.
  • Think of Yourself Less: The more egocentric you are, the more scared you’re going to get about taking action. Egocentrism can lead to someone becoming more self-conscious about what other people think of them when and if they make a decision. This way of thinking leads to fear and anxiety that leads to decision paralysis and inaction.
  • Form Closer Relationships: Being from a culture that’s individualized and atomized (fragmented) we’re taught that drawing strength from being part of a group is something that’s negative. In reality it can be the opposite, because having close friends and family can cause you to act in a more positive and courageous way when a crisis occurs.
  • Do Something New Once a Week: At least once a week engage in something that will make a little nervous or scared in order to keep you outside your comfort zone. This can include something simple as eating out at a restaurant that is unfamiliar, hiking on an unfamiliar trail, traveling to an unfamiliar place or studying something that is challenging.
  • Lean Into Your Role: An effective way to become less self-conscious is to start thinking about the actions you need to take to transition into your more courageous self. Overtime when you lean into the role that you need to be to help others it’s no longer just about you.

How Courageous Are You?

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If you’re struggling with fear please click on the button below:

Sources:

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/courage-a-matter-of-the-heart/

https://medium.com/better-humans/why-courage-is-more-important-than-confidence-f97865efc930

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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. 

If you’re dealing with anxiety issues please click on the link below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

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