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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 also throws you curveballs that set you back.

Most setbacks are minor and don’t throw your life off track. They include being turned down for a promotion, being rejected by a love interest or having a cold.

Major setbacks happen and interrupt your progress. They keep you from succeeding and leave you feeling stuck.

What Are Some Examples Of Major Setbacks?

Job Loss

Losing your job is stressful. It’s a major setback to leave the workforce due to obsolete job skills.

Financial Setbacks

It’s hard to have a financial setback. Especially if you can no longer make ends meet.

Divorce/End Of Relationship

A divorce/end of relationship is a major setback. It’s a financial and emotional one.

Unexpected Expenses

These are expenses you don’t see coming.

You might have a medical emergency and have to go to the ER. Also, you might need emergency surgery.

Major Illness

Dealing with a health setback is taught. It can be diabetes or even bipolar disorder.

Consequences Of Setbacks?

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

Major Setbacks can be damaging to your self-esteem. They 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. 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 some time to work on yourself. This can be achieved by eating the right foods, exercising and reflecting on past mistakes.

Challenge Limiting Beliefs

When you’re feeling stuck you may see yourself in an unhealthy way. Unhealthy beliefs about yourself hold you back.

Challenging these beliefs puts us in a better 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 people.

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 help you to move pass a setback, along with making you happy.

How Do You Overcome Challenging Setbacks?

Please Like and Comment!

Please Click Here To Down A Copy Of, “10 Coping Strategies For Bipolar Disorder”:

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/

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Overcoming Social Anxiety

What Is Social Anxiety?

Social Anxiety comes from the fear of being judged or evaluated in a bad way by other people.

Someone suffering from it might be mistaken or labeled as shy, aloof or even unfriendly. They want to make friends and be part of a group.

Social Anxiety is a long-term mental health issue that gets better with treatment.

What Are Some Symptoms Of Social Anxiety?

Someone with social anxiety can have different symptoms.

Physical Symptoms
  • Fatigue: Some people are hyperactive or aroused after an anxiety attack. There are some people that feel fatigue or extreme tiredness.
  • Trembling And Sweating: Anxiety, excitement and frailty can cause uncontrollable shaking or trembling and sweating.
  • Upset Stomach: Stress and anxiety can make you sick to your stomach.
  • Trouble Breathing And Dizziness: Anxiety tightens your muscles including the ones that help you breathe. The fear of passing out happens with shortness of breath. Being short of breath causes dizziness and can make you feel lightheaded.
  • Muscle Tension: Muscle tension causes you to feel stiffness or unexplained pain all over your body.
  • Fast Heartbeat: Anxiety causes a high heart rate and heart palpitations.

Emotional And Behavioral Symptoms
  • Fear Of Being Judged And Embarrassing Yourself: Have you ever asked someone an embarrassing question? Then you end up feeling a lot of shame and fear of being judged for asking it? This happens a lot with social anxiety.
  • Hard Time With Relationships: Social anxiety makes relationships harder. 
  • Body Image Issues: Being self-conscious about how you look can trigger social anxiety.
  • Substance Abuse: Substance abuse is more common in people with social anxiety issues.

Mental Symptoms
  • Anxiety And Panic Attacks: Anxiety is the feeling of fear of what’s to come in the future. A panic attack is an episode of intense fear with physical reactions including sweating, trembling and trouble breathing.
  • Depression And Low Self-Esteem: Along with depression social activity leads to low self-esteem.

What Triggers Social Anxiety?

Anxiety triggers vary from person to person. Some people feel anxious due to multiple triggers and there are others that feel anxious for no reason at all.

Stressful Events Include:

Stressful Life Events and Social Situations

A lot of stressful life events can trigger social anxiety including death of a loved one, job loss, divorce, moving, emotional problems, chronic illness or past trauma.

Caffeine And Diet

For those who suffer from an anxiety disorder consuming too much caffeine can trigger symptoms or make them worse.

Eating certain foods like dairy, fried foods, gluten and processed foods feed into social anxiety.

Negative Self-Talk And Suicidal Thoughts

Social anxiety can trigger negative self-talk that may limit you from believing in yourself.

Sometimes social anxiety can co-occur with depression and negative self-talk and cause suicidal thoughts. Please call a professional immediately if you’re having suicidal thoughts.

Lack Of Sleep

There is a connection between anxiety and lack of sleep. Not getting enough sleep causes anxiety and anxiety itself can cause sleep problems.

How To Overcome Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety can stay with someone for life.

When you get the right treatment it can help you to manage or even overcome your symptoms.

Ways To Overcome Social Anxiety:

Work With A Therapist

It’s important to work with a therapist. Social anxiety is managed through medication, cognitive therapy and setting objective goals.

Reduce Your Caffeine Intake and Change Your Diet

Reducing the amount of caffeine you consume and changing your diet reduces anxiety symptoms. Your diet should consist of whole grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables.

Exposure Therapy

It’s important to get outside your comfort zone and slowly expose yourself to social situations. These can include crowded places, parties or even traveling to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people.

Reframe Your Negative Thoughts

I mentioned in my post “Turning Anxiety into a Superpower” that reframing is the process where negative and unhelpful thoughts are replaced with positive and empowering ones.

Please Click Below To Learn More About Turning Anxiety Into A Superpower:

Have You Ever Dealt with Social Anxiety?

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Please Click Below To Download A Copy Of “10 Coping Strategies For Bipolar Disorder”:

Sources:

https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/social-anxiety-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20353561

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Coping With Post-2020 Chaos

In the aftermath of 2020 there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty ahead. 

It’s not the same world as it was just a year ago. What was a world of order and certainty is now being replaced with a new one of chaos and uncertainty. 

What Is Chaos?

Chaos means to be completely confused or disordered. To be chaotic is to be someone or something that’s disorganized or lacking order. 

The events of 2020 including the COVID-19 pandemic plunged our world into chaos. It led to uncertainty and panic that intensified anxiety in a short period of time.

The future effects of COVID-19 include more uncertainty and chaos from changes in the world including the economy, how we live and that the pandemic may not end anytime soon.

It’s important to learn how to cope with chaos. If you don’t it will be really hard to move forward in a new world.

Why Coping With Chaos Is Important?

So far the twenty-first century has been the century of chaos. It was already unpredictable to begin with changes in technology and changes in the economy.

 We live in a time where we’re bombarded with new information flooding the brain, new technologies, new obstacles at work and thousands of choices. The chaos that’s created leaves us feeling frustrated, irritable, angry, tired and anxious.

The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the chaos and caused our world to unravel.

We all imagine being back in a simpler time as a way of coping. However, the reality is that the simple time we imagine is never coming back.

What we can do is learn how to cope with the chaos around us.

Tips For Coping With Chaos

Some people who suffer from chronic mental illness their minds are already chaotic. They’ve lived with chaos for so long that they feel calmer in a crisis. Sometimes they feel uncomfortable, restless and aimless when the crisis is averted. 

It gets easier for them when they learn how to manage their chaotic minds.

There are things that we can all learn to cope with chaos:

Have A Plan To Cope With Stress

An important plan to have is to take care of yourself. This could mean eating healthy, exercising, getting plenty of sleep and giving yourself a break when you’re stressed out. A healthy body is more resilient in the face of uncertainty and chaos.

Also, it helps to have close friends and family to talk to when things get tough.

It’s important to recognize when you need help.

Cope With Stress By Redirecting Your Energy

Stress can go away on its own. However when it’s caused by emotions like anger, frustration, jealousy or fear it can linger.

We need to do more than just take a step back. Instead we’re going to need to channel those negative emotions into something more positive and productive.

We can channel our energies by learning something new like a new skill or writing out what’s stressing us out. Also, we can put our energies into making our lives more orderly by cleaning our homes.

Energy can be redirected into simple pleasures such as love making with a willing partner.

Find A Peaceful Moment

In order to minimize stress in chaotic times it’s important to find a peaceful moment.

It’s important to set limits by establishing boundaries. It’s essential for asserting your needs, more time and energy is freed up for self care and there’s less anger and resentment.

Learn To Anticipate Future Uncertainty

We live in an uncertain world that grows more uncertain everyday. It’s important to learn how to cope with it.

Being intolerant of uncertainty causes problems. It puts our nervous systems on high alert and triggers our fight or flight response.

Uncertainty can leave us fearful, anxious and powerless. It leads us into a trap of endless “what ifs” and worst case scenarios about the future. This way of thinking is not only unproductive, it’s unhealthy also.

It’s important to learn about uncertainty tolerance. This includes learning about the nature of fear and anxiety, along with making critical thinking skills stronger. It’s also important to learn how to roll with things you can’t control.

It’s important to acknowledge that “shit happens”!

If you like to learn more about the nature of fear please click below:

How Do You Cope With Chaos?

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Sources:

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/chaos

https://wallstreetinsanity.com/23-ways-to-positively-redirect-stress/

https://americanbrainsociety.org/how-to-cope-with-covid-19-chaos-if-you-suffer-from-an-anxiety-disorder/

https://www.apa.org/topics/stress-uncertainty

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Applying 2020 Lessons To Your Life

The year 2020 was described as being a “Dumpster Fire”!

The term “Dumpster Fire” describes something that’s a colossal mess. It’s something that no one wants to deal with and makes someone very anxious.

Year Of Intense Anxiety

Intense anxiety affected us all over and over again in 2020. 

From fear over COVID-19 to the isolating effects of social distancing fed the dumpster fire. Also, social and political unrest, natural disasters and financial struggles have fed it even more.

Many people have never experienced mental health issues like anxiety until 2020. Also, they’re very anxious about what 2021 is going to bring. 

Anxious Before 2020

There are a lot of people who’ve been living with an anxiety disorder, long before 2020.

For some their symptoms got worse, but for a few symptoms improved. 

Those few sufferers felt equipped to handle the present. They took the time and effort to work on their mental health and they also learned valuable life lessons along the way.

Life Lessons For Coping With A New World

The year 2020 has taught us many lessons to live by. These are the same lessons that chronic anxiety sufferers live by.

Life Lessons Include:

Self-Care Is A Priority, Not A Privilege

It’s hard to put yourself first. You have to pay attention to work, your family and other obligations.

Self Care is the attention paid to yourself in the spirit of growth and wellness. It’s important for staying healthy.

It’s often seen as a luxury. At times it’s mistaken for self-absorption and “me first”. However, self-care is really an important necessity for taking care of yourself, so you can take care of others.

Failure Is Inevitable For Success

Small or big changes in our lives happen that tear us down and cause us to fail.

Failure might make us feel unworthy for not succeeding. I got news for you, it’s an inevitable part of life.

Instead of seeing failure as a bad thing it’s important to see it differently. Failure should remind you to approach a goal in a different way based on the lessons you’ve learned. You might end up reemerging stronger than ever.

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Staying open minded is important, because things aren’t always what they seem.

Sometimes people, situations and certain events end up being different that how we see them. It comes to show that how you see a situation is neither correct, nor your beliefs are well adjusted.

Our minds have a habit of jumping to conclusions and rushing into things.

Be Intentional With Everything You Do

What does this mean? It means to live with intention, which means to consciously choose to create the life you want.

It also means to not have your life dictated by other people. Instead you do everything with a clear purpose and focus.

Listen To Your Gut Instinct

A gut feeling is something only you experience. It’s a personal feeling that no one else can weigh in on except you.

Often, its anxiety that comes as tightness in your chest or stomach.

It’s an intuition that tells you that a situation is off. Listening to it helps you avoid unhealthy relationships and situations.

Don’t Waste Your Time With People And Things That Don’t Add Value To Your Life

This is very important. It makes anxiety worse when you spend time with the wrong people. They’ll not only add zero value to your life, they also make your anxiety worse.

Please Click Below To Learn About Turning Anxiety Into A Superpower:

How Did 2020 Affect You?

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Sources:

https://www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/news-releases/anxiety-poll-2020

https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/treating-pandemic-wave-anxiety-depression-requires-team-effort

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm#:~:text=The%20coronavirus%20disease%202019%20(,same%20period%20in%202019.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/people-say-anxiety-changed-2020_l_5f7f3914c5b664e5baba8de3

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mental-illness-in-america/202001/making-self-care-priority

https://exploringyourmind.com/stay-open-minded-things-arent-what-they-seem/

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Importance of Having A Purpose

What Does It Mean To Have A Purpose?

Purpose is a reason why something is done or used. It also refers to the feeling of being determined to do or achieve something.

Most adults want to live a purposeful and fulfilling life. They want to improve themselves and also give back to others.

However, in reality the majority of adults have no clear sense of purpose in their lives. 

What Happens When Your Life Has No Purpose?

 It’s interesting how having no sense of purpose in your life can cause problems.

Living A Lifeless Life

There is such a thing as a lifeless life. 

Imagine not wanting to wake up every morning, but also not wanting to go to sleep at night. 

Picture yourself with no will to work, no friends or company to spend time with. Also, no reason to continue living.

Your mind is blank with nothing to think about. Also you lack emotions, whether negative or positive.

A lifeless life is one with nothing to look forward to.

An Anxious Life

A life that lacks purpose can be an anxious one. 

When your life lacks purpose it’s senseless. It might feel like nothing you do in life is connected and doesn’t fit.

Anxiety is triggered when your mind thinks your life is in danger. 

However, a lack of purpose triggers anxiety as well. Your brain translates a lack of connection as a threat to your life. It sees anything that doesn’t seem fit as dangerous.

Lack Of Motivation

A lack of purpose leads to a lack of motivation. 

Little or no motivation comes from anxiety that prevents you from taking action. The anxiety comes from not not being connected with your goals and purpose.

Affects Your Overall Health

A life without purpose is not good for your overall health.

The strain on your mind from a lifeless life leads to increased stress and anxiety. 

There’s a connection between mind and body. Your strained mind not only leads to hair loss and fluctuating weight, but there’s also less tolerance to pain and a higher risk of heart disease.

The Importance of Having Purpose

A sense of purpose is very important to have. It’s the  motivation that drives you toward your future. However it also helps you put your life into perspective right now.

What Does Perspective Mean?

Perspective is the way you see something or how you see yourself.

Having a sense of purpose guides life decisions, influences your behavior, shapes your goals, offers a sense of direction and creates meaning in your life. 

It also leads to a change in perspective. For example having a healthy sense of purpose causes you to see life in a better way and see yourself in a better way as well.

Tangible Benefits Of Having Purpose Include:

Get The Motivation To Get Things Done

Being connected to a purpose gives you sustained energy and keeps you motivated.

Having a sense of purpose leads to strong personal motivation. It’s that driving force which allows you to achieve your goals and go after what you want.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Anxiety comes from the doubt and distress that comes with trying to find your purpose.

However, once you find your purpose you’ll find that you’re less stressed and anxious when you’re no longer in doubt about your life.

Helps You When Things Go Wrong

Finding your purpose helps you to become more confident, resilient and focused. When something goes wrong in your life you’ll be able to face it and refocus on getting back on the right path.

Improved Health

If lack of purpose leads to poorer overall health then finding purpose has the opposite effect. Feeling less stress and anxiety when connected to your purpose leads to a lower risk of heart disease and overall better health.

How To Find Purpose?

We were all born with a unique life purpose.

The most important actions to take are to identify, acknowledge and honor your life purpose.

Tips For Finding your Purpose:

Explore What You Love

Your purpose is something that’s not something that you make up. Instead it’s already there; you just to need to explore it.

For example your purpose should be something that comes natural. If you’re naturally good at blogging then explore it some more until you master it.

Follow Your Inner Guidance

Let your heart be your guide.

One of the main ways your heart can be your inner guide is by noticing your feelings. These are feelings that come with warmth and encouragement.

Be Clear About Your Purpose

Keep your mind focused on your purpose once you’re clear on what it is. The feeling you get from following your heart is the joy that your purpose brings, which brings clarity.

Align Your Goals With Your Life Purpose

Once you know what your life purpose is, it’s important to organize all your activities around it.

If your purpose is to help others through blogging, move ahead and align yourself with that role.

Lean Into Your Life Purpose

Learn how to lean into your life purpose little by little.

When you start to live your purpose notice subtle changes in how your life changes and how you see yourself.

Have You Found Purpose In Your Life?

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Click here if you want to learn about the importance of being your authentic self:

Sources:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purpose

https://www.lifehack.org/879897/life-without-purpose

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/docs/default-source/senseability/sense-of-purpose-hand-out.pdf?sfvrsn=2

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/perspective

https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/what-life-purpose

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Turning Anxiety Into A Superpower?!

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is an intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.

It’s an emotion marked by tension, negative thoughts and many physical symptoms.

Physical Symptoms Include:

  • Fast Heart Rate: Feeling fearful, anxious or stressed your heart rate goes up.
  • Sweating: Feeling anxious causes nervous sweating.
  • Feeling Tired: Having anxiety can be physically and mentally tiring.
  • Restlessness: Being unable to relax is a common anxiety symptom.
  • Shaking: Shaking and trembling can happen when anxiety gets out of hand.
  • Feeling Nervous, Tense or Fearful: These are feelings that happen with impending doom caused by anxiety.

What Is An Anxiety Disorder?

An anxiety disorder is a chronic condition marked by overly excessive worry and tension about future events.

Anxiety Disorders Include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Severe, ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities. The symptoms are similar to panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other types of anxiety.
  • Social Anxiety: A form of anxiety caused irrational fear, embarrassment and self consciousness brought on by social interactions.
  • Phobia: An extreme fear of irrational fear of something.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): A disorder that leads to repetitive compulsive behaviors.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A disorder that causes anxiety and flashbacks triggered by a past traumatic event.

How Anxiety Can Be Your Superpower?

There are many people that live with anxiety disorders that have different brains.

Different Brain

Someone with chronic anxiety has a brain that functions differently than someone who doesn’t have it. They have an overactive amygdala, which is a region of the brain involved with regulating emotions.

An overactive amygdala explains why someone with chronic anxiety over generalizes and overthinks.

Different Perspective

People with chronic anxiety tend to see the world from a different perspective. This is due to overgeneralization, along with having abilities that someone without an anxiety disorder is less likely to have. 

These Abilities Include:

  • Increased Empathy: Anxiety causes you to recognize another person’s emotional state.
  • Creativity: Anxiety disorders can lead to creativity. There are artists, actors and writers who suffer from anxiety issues. The artist Edvard Munch had an anxiety disorder. An anxiety episode drove him to paint “The Scream”.
  • Higher IQ: Many people with anxiety disorders tend to have higher IQ’s. A symptom of anxiety is compulsive thinking and tendencies to compulsively analyze those thoughts.
  • Ability To Read Other People’s Vibes: Someone with an anxiety disorder is able to sense the energetic balance of those around them. Anxiety disorders lead to a preoccupation with negative outcomes. This makes it worse to be around someone who gives off a negative vibe.
  • Easily Pick Up On Lies: Negative self-talk that defines chronic anxiety can enhance your ability to detect dishonesty.
  • Has A Sixth Sense: A sixth sense is a natural ability to keep one step ahead. It allows warning signals to quickly reach the regions of your brain that help you take action.

My Personal Experience With Living With An Anxiety Disorder

All of my life I’ve had ADHD. It’s a disorder that can occur alongside bipolar disorder. 

ADHD symptoms include impulsiveness, trouble with focusing on tasks, being hyperactive and restless and having trouble with regulating emotions.

Over time my symptoms started changing, as young as 11 years old I started having panic attacks.

I also had problems with negative self-talk and overgeneralization.

Overgeneralization refers to viewing a single event as a set rule. I would fail at finishing one task and it led to an endless pattern of defeat in all tasks. It started off as a negative emotion that came with a setback. It convinced me that no one liked me and I couldn’t do anything right. 

My changing symptoms included worsening anxiety that led to a nervous breakdown.

Change In Perception

How I perceived the world and myself was affected by overgeneralization. However, I learned to challenge my thoughts with reframing.

What Is Reframing?

Reframing is a process where negative and unhelpful thoughts are identified and replaced with positive and empowering ones.

Learn how to see anxiety as a picture. When you make a picture either bigger or smaller it can change how you perceive it.

Anxiety is your natural alarm system. Most people see it as an unpleasant emotion, because of uncomfortable bodily sensations, especially if you have an anxiety disorder.

These emotions can be reframed to be seen as having an important purpose.

Anxiety tells us when some kind of danger is near, but it can also tell us that opportunity is near. For example having a sixth sense gives you the power of perception. It’s a natural ability to know about things before other people.

Having a sixth sense can tell you that a setback is around the corner. However it can be reframed to tell you that there’s a silver lining to your setback and that it’s an opportunity to move into something better.

How Do You Handle Your Negative Thoughts?

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If you liked this post please click on the button below and learn some Tips For Improving Your Self-Perception:

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety-symptoms

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

https://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/d/d_04/d_04_cr/d_04_cr_peu/d_04_cr_peu.html

https://culturacolectiva.com/technology/anxiety-is-a-superpower

https://www.verywellmind.com/reframing-defined-2610419

https://www.mentalhelp.net/self-esteem/changing-negative-thoughts/

https://www.verywellmind.com/the-purpose-of-anxiety-2797497

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Tips For Helping Your Circadian Rhythm

Have you noticed your bipolar symptoms change with the seasons?

Have you noticed your symptoms get worse around the holidays?

Seasonal Change And Less Daylight

I’m from New England. From November to March the weather gets colder and the amount of daylight goes down, especially after daylight savings. 

I find that the change in daylight makes my bipolar symptoms worse. It’s important to manage symptoms in a different way.

Why Seasonal Change Affects Mood?

Here’s an interesting fact!  Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, but also a circadian rhythm disorder as well.

What is a Circadian Rhythm?

A circadian rhythm is an internal clock that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. It repeats each time the earth rotates every 24 hours. 

The daylight from the sun helps sync your internal body clock to the outside world. 

When the seasons change there’s a change in daylight. Depending on where in the world you live you’ll notice that you’re mood is off during the day and less motivated to stay focused.

Any change to your internal clock is hard on your mood and sleep patterns, especially if you’re managing bipolar symptoms.

Quick Facts About Your Circadian Rhythm

Here are some quick facts about why your circadian rhythm is important:

  • Internal Clocks Are Tied To Everything Around You: Body functions such as alertness, hunger, metabolism, mood and fertility are tied to your circadian rhythm. It’s important to keep them healthy.
  • Changes In Sleep Messes Up Your Internal Clock: Whether you have insomnia or you’re looking at your smartphone while you’re going to sleep it can mess up your internal clock. It’s recommended that you get 7 hours of sleep every night.
  • The Bipolar Brain Is Different: There’s evidence that bipolar disorder is a circadian rhythm disorder, along with being a mood disorder. A neurotransmitter called somatostatin regulates your internal clock and there’s less of it in a bipolar brain.
  • Irregular Circadian Rhythm Leads To Mood Episodes: An irregular circadian rhythm causes problems with manic highs and depressive lows.
  • Sunlight Is Connected To Serotonin: Exposure to sunlight has been linked to an increase of a hormone called serotonin. It helps to boost mood and calms you down and stay focused.

How To Help Your Circadian Rhythm?

Here are some tips for circadian rhythm health:

  • Increase Physical Activity: Exercise is very important for a healthy circadian rhythm. If there’s snow on the ground in the middle of winter I recommend a fun activity like snow shoeing.
  • Don’t Stay In Bed Or On Couch All Day Long: When you’re tired you might feel like laying down all day, which messes up your circadian rhythm. Avoid staying in bed unless it’s for sleep or love making.
  • Increase Your Light Exposure: If there’s less daylight it’s recommended that you try bright light therapy to reset your circadian rhythm.
  • Take Some Vitamin D: Taking vitamin D helps improve sleep and mood. It helps your brain produce melatonin and makes you less anxious.
  • Avoid Or Limit Caffeine: Consuming caffeine can delay you circadian rhythm, especially when it’s before bed time. So, avoid or limit it if you can.

How Do You Make Up For Less Daylight?

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If you’d like to learn more about the role sleep plays in managing bipolar symptoms please click on the button below:

Sources:

https://www.bbrfoundation.org/event/circadian-rhythms-and-bipolar-disorder

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2867040/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6812517/#:~:text=In%20bipolar%20patients%2C%20irregular%20circadian,about%20light%20in%20the%20environment.

http://sleepeducation.org/news/2012/11/13/winter-sleep-and-your-circadian-rhythms

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32156230/#:~:text=Results%3A%20Vitamin%20D%20receptors%20and,human%20circadian%20rhythms%20and%20sleep.

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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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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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Perseverance! How To Harness The Positive Of Being Stubborn

What Does It Mean To Be Stubborn?

Being stubborn refers to someone or something that’s determined to do whatever they want and refuse to do anything else.

Anyone or anything that’s stubborn can be hard to move, change or deal with. 

Consequences Of Stubbornness?

Being stubborn can be associated with negative traits such as:

  • Too Much Ego
  • Unwillingness To Be Wrong 
  • Hot Tempered
  • Self-Centered
  • Fearful Of The Unknown
  • Controlling
  • Overly Competitive and Defensive

Stubborn people can be rigidly attached to their beliefs, opinions, ideas and tastes. 

It becomes a major flaw when they don’t consider the opinion of others because they feel threatened by people who disagree with them. 

Also, they may see their stubbornness as having determination to achieve a goal, but instead it becomes a form of self sabotage. 

They’re so inflexible with working with others, not listening to others and an unwillingness to listen to their own bodies, so they end up making themselves sick both physically and mentally. Also, their personal and professional relationships are strained as well.

Can Stubbornness Be A Strength?

Despite stubborn people having a character flaw that’s often associated with negative traits, they can also have a lot of overlooked positive traits as well.

Some Positive Traits Include:

  • Knowing What They Want: Stubborn people know what they want. They know when to take action.
  • Being More Decisive: They know what they want and they go for it. However, they won’t rush to make a decision without exploring the pros and cons of it first. By doing that it’s easier to make an informed decision.
  • Having Clear Boundaries: Stubborn people have an unwillingness to compromise themselves if it involves putting them in uncomfortable situations. They know what they value and will pursue the things that are most important to them.
  • Being Passionate: Whether it’s something they believe in or someone they care about, people who are stubborn will fight to the end for what they’re passionate about. They have faith that their ideas are valid and their voices are worth hearing.
  • Prefer Quality Over Quantity: Some people prefer quality over quantity and they’ll change or move when the opportunity is a good one. For example they might be selective about who enters their social circle.

How To Turn Stubbornness into Perseverance?

Stubbornness is neither good nor bad. However when people are determined it can be reframed into perseverance.

Perseverance is the ability to keep doing something despite the odds. People who persevere are determined to accomplish something despite how hard it is or how long it takes to reach their goal.

People who persevere continue to work for change despite failures, while stubborn people refuse to change or recognize failures. 

It’s great when people know what they want, are decisive, have clear boundaries and have a passion. However, these qualities won’t allow them to persevere and accomplish their goals unless they overcome the negative aspects of stubborness. 

Here are some tips to turn stubbornness into perseverance:

  • Seeing Compromise As a Strength: Being able to compromise is a strength. When people are able to see the big picture and don’t always have a need to be “right” they’ll be able to persevere toward what they want.
  • Remind Yourself That You’re Not Always Right: It’s important for people to recognize that there are other points of view to consider other than your own. Collaboration and outside feedback from others can help you a lot in reaching your goals.
  • Build Rapport With Other People: Being able to improve interpersonal relationships helps. When people build rapport with others that have different viewpoints they might learn something from them, including a better way of achieving a goal or debunk a stubborn belief they may have held.

Here’s a link to my previous post about building rapport:

  • Keep An Open Mind: This is important, because people need to keep their minds open so they can absorb ideas that work for them. If they stay closed minded then they may be missing out on an opportunity to persevere.

What Helps You Persevere?

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Sources:

https://www.elitedaily.com/life/culture/stubbornness-asset-downfall/767984

https://jobecker.co.uk/different-perspectives/being-stubborn

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/character-strengths-and-life-skills/what-is-perseverance

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How To Improve Brain Fog?

What is Brain Fog?

The term “brain fog” is not a medical condition. It is used to describe symptoms that can affect your ability to think. 

When you’re feeling anxious, confused, disorganized, finding it hard to focus. Also, if you’re having a hard time putting your thoughts into words it can be described as brain fog.

What Causes Brain Fog?

Causes Include:

  • Low Iron Levels: Low Iron or Anemia occurs when the number of healthy red blood cells in your body is reduced. This can lead to low energy along with brain fog.
  • Mental Health Issues: Brain fog can be caused by mental health issues. These include conditions such as bipolar disorder, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), major depression and different anxiety disorders. 
  • Overuse Of Electronics: Brain fog happens when you spend too much time on your smart phone or tablet.
  • Certain Medications: There are many medications that cause brain fog, including those taken for chemotherapy, anti-anxiety (effexor) and sleep. Talk to your doctor if you suspect your medication is making you feel foggy.
  • Poor Diet: A nutritionally inadequate diet can not only affect your physical health, but also brain fog. A poor diet consisting of foods that have high fructose corn syrup can make you feel foggy, due to spikes in blood sugar.
  • Lack Of Exercise: It’s interesting to note that when our bodies are inactive for too long our brains become inactive as well.
  • Lack Of Sleep: Sleep deprivation can disrupt your brain cell’s ability to communicate with each other. This leads to lapses in memory and visual perception.
  • Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea occurs when an obstruction in your airway causes your breathing to frequently stop and start while you sleep. Over time it not only causes brain fog, it also causes brain damage from lack of oxygen.
  • Diabetes: Sugar is your brain’s main source of energy. If you have diabetes your blood sugar is out of whack and this causes brain fog.

If you’re interesting in learning about high fructose corn syrup please click on the button below:

What Are The Consequences Of Brain Fog?

Consequences of Brain Fog Include:

  • Poor Memory: Memory issues caused by brain fog may be short or long term. 
  • Trouble Concentrating: When you can’t concentrate because of brain fog, you may feel impulsive, have intrusive thoughts, overreact or be inattentive.
  • Difficulty Carrying Out Tasks: Having brain fog causes you to have difficulties with starting and finishing tasks. These can include tasks that need to be complete within a specific timeframe.
  • Unable To Communicate Effectively: It’s interesting to note that not being able to think clearly can cause you to not only stumble over your words, but also affect how you build rapport with other people.
  • Worsening Mental Health: Chronic stress and anxiety can lead to an increased risk of brain damage, which can cause dementia, chronic depression and worsening anxiety.  

How To Improve Brain Fog?

It’s important to identify what’s causing your brain fog.

Once the cause is identified, the next step is to take action to improve it.

Here Are Some Tips To Improve Brain Fog:

  • Get More Sleep: When you improve the quality of sleep you’ll notice that your mind is clearer. For example if you have sleep apnea, it’s important to use a CPAP machine to not only assure that you get good sleep, but also increase oxygen to the brain.
  • Eat Healthier Foods: When you’re fighting brain fog it’s important to put food into consideration. For example foods such as dark green vegetables, avocados, olive oil and omega-3 rich foods like salmon are recommended for brain health. Also, along with dark green vegetables such as spinach it’s important to consider raisins, cashews, beans and red meats as sources of iron.
  • Exercise: When you get moving and exercise it promotes the growth of neural connections in the brain.
  • Spend Time In Nature: Exercise is a great way to promote brain health. However you’ll have the added benefit of increased oxygen from nature when you exercise outside.
  • Take Supplements: If you’re not able to get omega 3s from salmon, then you might want to consider a supplement.
  • Make Time For Self-Care: It’s important to take a time out once in a while for self-care. For example you can spend this time pursuing a hobby such as gardening which not only relaxes you, but allows you to produce your own dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Reduce Stress: Taking time out to focus on stress relief helps a lot. It helps to focus on the present moment by meditating and breathing deep.
  • Reduce Smart Phone Usage: The blue light emitted from your smart can keep you up at night. It’s important to shut it off a least an hour before bed.

How Do You Handle Brain Fog?

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Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/brain/ss/slideshow-brain-fog#:~:text=%E2%80%9CBrain%20fog%E2%80%9D%20isn’t,put%20your%20thoughts%20into%20words.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320111

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/can-screen-time-cause-health-issues

https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/brain-fog-potential-causes-and-treatment

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-apnea

https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/brain-fog-diabetes

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160121121818.htm

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/brain-food-for-fatigue#3.-Avocados