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How To Stop Social Media Triggers!?

Social Media is a big part of 21st century life.

Using it has brought benefits to its users, however using social media has a lot of triggering effects like loneliness, anxiety and depression.

Let’s learn how to stop social media triggers!

What Is Social Media?

Social Media refers to websites and applications that allow users to be part of a social network. They allow users to create and share content.

Different Types Of Social Media Include:

  • Social Networks: Websites such as Facebook that allow users to post information, comments, images and messages.
  • Microblogging: Sites such as WordPress that allow anyone to post comments to a micro blog that attracts an audience.
  • Photo Sharing: Sites such as Instagram that allow users to share digital photos online.
  • Video Sharing: Online video platforms such as YouTube allow users to upload, convert, store and playback video content on the internet.

What Is Social Media Used For?

Social media platforms help users connect, share and give information and connect with millions of other users.

It’s important not to ignore social media, since it is an important part of our lives today.

There are roughly 3.5 billion people worldwide that use social media. That’s 45% of the world’s population. As of 2019 an additional 360 million people started using social media.

What Are Some Pros and Cons Of Social Media?

Pros Include:
  • Marketing Tool: Social media can be used for marketing a business. Since so many adults use social media it is a great for getting leads.
  • Self Education: Social media platforms such as YouTube have changed how we teach ourselves. Whether it’s a video blog (vlog) or a video posted by a college professor social media has changed how we learn. 
  • Build Relationships: At its root the purpose of social media is about connecting people to people. As you build these relationships there are opportunities to tap into new networks that may open up new opportunities.
  • Share Your Expertise: Social media is great for sharing what you know. Sharing what you know can attract other connections.

Cons Include:
  • Depression And Anxiety: A major effect of social media is being a trigger for depression and anxiety.
  • Cyberbullying: A person can be bullied by another person on social media through triggering messages.
  • FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): We get anxious seeing something more exciting going on in someone else’s life. We also feel jealous and angry when we think we’re missing out.
  • Internet Addiction: Using social media can turn into an addiction. 
  • Unhealthy Sleep Patterns: The overuse of social media via electronic devices makes it harder to sleep.
  • Poor Body Image: Social media can cause a user to have a poor body image. They may start comparing themselves with other users. 
  • Half Baked Ideas About Life: Social media paints a picture of what life should be like and we become addicted to posting the perfect post in order to receive likes. 

How To Stop Social Media Triggers?

The triggering effects of social media harm a user’s mental health.

There are users called trolls that cause a lot of problems for other users.

What Is A Troll?

A Troll is a social media user that starts fights or upsets other users. They post triggering and off topic messages in order to provoke other users.

Once a user has a presence on social media, it’s hard to totally avoid trolls. I’ve learned over time how to handle them.

Not letting trolls bait you online is good for your mental health.

Tips For Handling Trolls Before You Get Triggered:
  • Be Empathetic: A troll might be having mental health problems of their own. They may use social media to vent their problems.
  • Be Aware Of The Issue: Before things gets out of control, find out why the troll is angry. If it’s being caused by something you’ve done, apologize for it.
  • Take It Offline: Talk to a troll privately through private messaging.
  • Ban Or Block Them: A troll may have to be banned or blocked. Especially if they’re still trying to trigger you.

How Do You Handle Social Media Triggers?

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Please Click Below If You Have Bipolar Disorder and You Want To Learn About Some Coping Strategies:

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social-media.asp

https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

https://www.howtogeek.com/465416/what-is-an-internet-troll-and-how-to-handle-trolls/

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Tips For Stopping Self-Hatred

What Is Self-Hatred?

Self-hatred means that you don’t love yourself.

It makes you feel like you’re not good enough. Also, it causes you to feel anxious and depressed.

Self sabotage and other bad behaviors, along with not living the life you want happens when you don’t love yourself.

What Causes Self-Hatred?

Self-hatred comes from a downward spiral of bad self-esteem that has many causes.

Trauma

Trauma can lead to self-hatred. If you’ve been through trauma you might see the world differently. You might view the world as unsafe and see other people as dangerous.

It can feel safer to attack yourself over what happened. It might be hard to accept that bad things happen randomly in the world.

Mental Illness

Bipolar disorder or PTSD have symptoms that include self-hatred. If it happens during episodes of bipolar depression, you may start believing things about your life that aren’t true.

It’s Part Of Our Culture

We’re taught to compare ourselves with others at an early age. We’re made to feel self-hatred if we don’t live up to a culture’s half-baked pipe dreams .

Feeling Stuck

Being in a place in your life you don’t want to be makes you feel stuck. It’s a feeling that leaves you anxious and scared. Also, you end up comparing yourself to others due to self-hatred.

Please Click Here To Learn More About Getting Unstuck:

How Self-Hatred Can Ruin Your Life?

Feeling self-hatred causes anxiety that can lead to bad behaviors.

In order to deal with or numb the anxiety you may end up cutting or damaging your skin. Eating disorders and drug abuse are other ways to attack your body. It’s also possible to have suicidal thoughts.

Self-hatred and it’s bad behaviors cause you to isolate yourself. When this happens you hide your state of mind. Then you feel ashamed and feel even worse than before.

After a while you feel that you don’t deserve to be happy. This causes you to avoid things that make you happy such as eating good food, having good friends or having self respect.

How To Stop Self-Hatred?

It’s hard to avoid comparing yourself to others. You probably do it all the time at work, with your friends or on social media.

Overtime you might feel like you’re not good enough. Comparing yourself to others might trigger feelings of self-hatred.

Here are some tips to stop self-hatred:

Pay Attention To Any Triggers

Self-hatred can be brought on by triggers. If your life is stressful due to work stress or money problems it can trigger anxiety.

Anxiety can lead to unwanted thoughts and self-doubt. When this happens you might start comparing yourself to others.

When you become aware of what triggers anxiety you can stop self-hatred.

Tame your Self Critic

Self-hatred might be due to unwanted thoughts from your inner voice. Take a step back and let these thoughts pass. If that doesn’t work you might need to be treated by a doctor.

Look At Your Strengths

Look at your strengths to stop self-hatred.

Your strengths may include what you’re already good at. If you have to ask someone you know what they think.

Sources:

https://www.verywellmind.com/ways-to-stop-self-hatred-4164280#:~:text=Self%20loathing%20is%20extreme%20criticism,of%20good%20things%20in%20life.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/self-hatred

https://www.google.com/search?q=feel+stuck+and+self+hatred&client=safari&sxsrf=ALeKk01NLVh3bAK4dCqU14hx7XYpmPFH4w:1610579645858&ei=vX7_X-3sM7Cp5NoPiY2ayAk&start=10&sa=N&ved=2ahUKEwitv7HdhJruAhWwFFkFHYmGBpkQ8tMDegQIBxA2&biw=1440&bih=820

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/unrealistic-expectations#:~:text=If%20you%20say%20that%20someone,something%20they%20want%20to%20achieve.

https://mind.se/en/information/related-conditions/self-hatred-destructiveness/#:~:text=How%20does%20this%20affect%20a,punish%20the%20body%20as%20well.

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

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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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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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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

It’s important to identify, challenge and replace a limiting belief. Also, change the 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?

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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?

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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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