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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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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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A Simple Solution To The Loneliness Epidemic!?


I’ve Been Hearing a Lot About Loneliness

When I was doing my research for my previous post about holiday related loneliness. I’ve stumbled upon some interesting facts about how the way people interact with each other has changed over the years. 

It was said that 2019 was a record year for people who preferred to find relationships online vs. face-to-face. 

About 40% of couples meet each other online now vs. through family and friends. Most teens prefer to chat online than in person. We no longer have to leave the comforts of home to meet new people.

Is the rise of the internet going hand-in-hand with the rise in the proportion of people who feel lonely?

What is Loneliness? And it’s Consequences?

Loneliness is an emotional state. It’s characterized by symptoms such as anxiety, stress, depression and sleep disturbances. It’s caused a lack of human connection from not having deep and meaningful relationships. 

The terms lonely and alone are used interchangeably, however they don’t necessarily mean the same thing.

There are many single people that live solitary lives, but don’t feel lonely. There are many people in committed relationships that are always around other people that feel lonely. 

Two Types of Loneliness

There Are Two Types Of Loneliness:

  • Acute Loneliness: Occurs when a life change such as a job loss, loss of a relationship/death of a loved one.
  • Chronic Loneliness: Occurs when the uncomfortable emotional state of being lonely goes on for a long time.

Health Effects of Loneliness

We all will experience loneliness at least once in our lives, but has many negative effects on physical and mental health. 

These Include:

  • Stress, Depression and Anxiety: Feeling lonely can lead to an increase of stress and results in depression and anxiety.
  • Lack of Self-Care: The negative effects that loneliness has on your mental health can lead to a lack of motivation to eat right and exercise.
  • Increased Cortisol: Cortisol increases the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increase the substances that repair tissues. However, prolonged stress caused by loneliness can lead to too much cortisol and this can wreak havoc on your body.
  • Lower Immune System: Loneliness can affect your body’s immune system.
  • Cardiovascular Problems: Loneliness can make you more susceptible to high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
  • Obesity: Loneliness along with lack of exercise, overeating and an increase of cortisol leads to obesity.

According to webMD loneliness has the potential to be just as deadly as obesity and smoking.


The Loneliness Epidemic and Its Causes

All of us will experience loneliness sometime or another. We will all end up in situations that can lead to the depletion of our social networks.

Feelings of loneliness are usually temporary. However, there are a lot of people that are lonely all the time. It’s estimated that ½ of all Americans report either having no meaningful friendships or they chronically feel lonely.

Social isolation that leads to loneliness is not just a problem for the elderly or the homebound. It’s also a problem for younger people. The largest group of chronically lonely people are adults age 25 to 44. However the loneliest group of all are young adults aged 18 to 25. 

Do You Notice A Pattern? 

There have been many social and technological changes over the years that have changed how we make friends. In the past face-to-face interaction was more common than it is now. Meaningful friendships were formed through our workplaces, family and friends and community organizations. What changed? 

Since the 1980s there have been changes in the economy. This led to more people taking temporary jobs or taking other full jobs after a short period of time. Another thing that changed was less participation in community organizations; more people had to work longer hours and didn’t have as much time to socialize with others.

The changes in the economy required more people to move to unfamiliar cities. They took more temporary work assignments and had to move again when the assignment was over. These factors can make it hard to form meaningful friendships.

The Rise Of The Internet

The biggest change of all was the rise of the internet, especially the rise of social media.

Social media has led to many positive changes, but it led to alot of negative ones. It has led to a decline in face-to-face interactions with the people we associate with.

However, there has been a decrease in the quality of our face-to-face interactions as our communication skills suffer.

Also, many people have become more antisocial. They’re more complacent with the idea of sitting behind a computer screen.

I’ve mentioned many times in this blog about the overuse of technology on our mental health. Issues such as anxiety, sleep issues, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and loneliness.

We’re relying on online relationships more than real life ones. It’s making it harder to form meaningful connections.

What is The Solution To Loneliness?

This is a tough question, because everybody is different. What worked for me may work for other people, but it may not work for others.

What does work is for you to find your tribe or community. As a species we humans are naturally hardwired to make other connections with other people.

Our ancestors lived in communities to increase their chances for survival. They had a shared interest in hunting and gathering food. Later on this led to agriculture and other shared interests included religion, customs, traditions and culture appeared. 

The Rise Of Post-Modernity

Since the beginning of modernity there has been less emphasis on community. Instead there was more emphasis on unifying the world under a single point of view.

Since the end of world war 2 we have been entering a period of something called post-modernism. The world is no longer standardized under a single point of view. We are going back to forming communities of like minded people that share the same point of view as us.

The formation of communities also works. Individuals or groups of people gather for a common interest in a particular hobby or profession. They can also share the same relationship status.

The place to start is ironically through using social media. A positive part of social media is being able to network with like minded through sites like facebook or meetup.com. 

This solution to the loneliness epidemic has shown positive results. Many previously lonely people have reported fewer hospital visits and better physical and mental health.

Conclusion

The loneliness epidemic is one of the biggest public health challenges. It’s not only in the United States, but worldwide as well.

Reducing social media usage and reemphasizing face-to-face interactions are a simple solution to an otherwise complicated problem.

This post was written in 2019. As of 2020 face-to-face interactions have been harder due to COVID-19. Try connecting through zoom or FaceTime if you can’t connect face-to-face.

How Often do you Engage in Face-to Face
Interactions with Others?

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If you’re interested in reading more about social media’s role in society please click on the button below:

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/loneliness-epidemic-consequences

https://www.forbes.com/sites/neilhowe/2019/05/03/millennials-and-the-loneliness-epidemic/?sh=183ba867676a

https://www.hrsa.gov/enews/past-issues/2019/january-17/loneliness-epidemic

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/05/01/606588504/americans-are-a-lonely-lot-and-young-people-bear-the-heaviest-burden

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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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Perseverance! How To Harness The Positive Of Being Stubborn

What Does It Mean To Be Stubborn?

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

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

Consequences Of Stubbornness?

Being stubborn can be associated with negative traits such as:

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

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

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

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

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

Can Stubbornness Be A Strength?

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

Some Positive Traits Include:

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

How To Turn Stubbornness into Perseverance?

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

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

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

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

Here are some tips to turn stubbornness into perseverance:

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

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

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

What Helps You Persevere?

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Sources:

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

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

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

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How To Improve Brain Fog?

What is Brain Fog?

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

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

What Causes Brain Fog?

Causes Include:

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

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

What Are The Consequences Of Brain Fog?

Consequences of Brain Fog Include:

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

How To Improve Brain Fog?

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

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

Here Are Some Tips To Improve Brain Fog:

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

How Do You Handle Brain Fog?

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Sources:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tips For Building Rapport

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

What is Rapport?

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

Rapport is a meaningful connection or relationship with someone else. 

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

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

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

Why Is Rapport Important?

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

Important Reasons Include:

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


How To Build Rapport?

Here are some tips for building rapport with other people.

Tips Include:

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

Examples Of Communication Barriers Include:

Cultural Differences and Language

Inability To Listen To Others

Information Overload and Lack of Focus

Disorganized Thinking

Depression and Anxiety:

Lack of Empathy

Lack of Trust

Poor Social Skills

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

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

How Do You Build Rapport?

Please Like and Comment!

Sources:

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

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

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

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