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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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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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Coping Through Cooking

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

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

Coping Through Mindfulness

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

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

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

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

Cooking In The Moment

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

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

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

Benefits Of Cooking?

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

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

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

What Are Some Of Cooking’s Benefits?

Benefits Include:

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

How Do You Cope With Your Bipolar Symptoms?

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

Sources:

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

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

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

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

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Tips For Improving Your Self-Perception

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

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

What is Perception?

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

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

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

What Is Self-Perception?

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

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

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

What Problems Occur Due To Unhealthy Self-Perception?

Numerous problems occur due to unhealthy self-perception including:

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

How Do You Improve Your Self-Perception?

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

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

Tips For Improving Self-Perception

Here are Tips for Improving your self-perception:

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

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

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

Sources:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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?

Please Like and Comment!

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

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Overcoming Procrastination

What Does It Mean To Procrastinate?

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

Why Do People Procrastinate?

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

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

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

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

What Are Some Signs Of Procrastination?

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

Signs Include:

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

How To Overcome Procrastination?

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

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

How To You Overcome Procrastination?

Please Like and Comment!

Sources:

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

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

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

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

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

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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