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Turning Anxiety Into A Superpower?!

What Is Anxiety?

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

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

Physical Symptoms Include:

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

What Is An Anxiety Disorder?

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

Anxiety Disorders Include:

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

How Anxiety Can Be Your Superpower?

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

Different Brain

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

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

Different Perspective

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

These Abilities Include:

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

My Personal Experience With Living With An Anxiety Disorder

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

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

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

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

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

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

Change In Perception

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

What Is Reframing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Do You Handle Your Negative Thoughts?

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

Sources:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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How to turn ADHD into something positive.

In this blog I’m discussing a topic about something that has always been a part of my life. That’s ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

What is ADHD?

A neurological condition that makes it hard for people to inhibit their spontaneous responses. These responses can involve everything from movement to speech to attentiveness.

ADHD is a chronic condition that usually begins in childhood but can linger into adulthood. It’s estimated that at least 5% of adults in the United States have ADHD.

It may contribute to problems such as:

  • Low-self-esteem
  • Troubled relationships
  • Difficulty with school and work
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Impulsiveness
  • Sleep problems

ADHD has been known to be comorbid with psychiatric disorders.

What is comorbidity?

A medical term for two or more disorders that occur at the same time.

ADHD can be comorbid with:

  • OCD
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Dyslexia
  • Anxiety disorders

It’s common for adults with ADHD to suffer from a mental health disorder. At least half of adults with ADHD have an anxiety disorder while others deal with depression. If left unmanaged ADHD can affect your life in many ways by causing problems in our relationships, our jobs and our health.

How to work around ADHD in a positive way?!

ADHD does not have to put a person at a disadvantage in life. It’s important to get to know yourself and improve yourself to manage it.

ADHD symptoms are managed with:

  • Medication: ADHD symptoms can be managed with medication. Taking supplements along with medication can help too.
  • Coping Strategies: An individual can cope with ADHD by creating structure in your life by creating a routine and sticking with it and this can include exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and maintaining a daily to do list.
  • Taking Responsibility: The first step toward taking responsibility for ADHD is accepting your diagnosis and working around it.
  • Education: Learn as much as you can about ADHD.

When you have ADHD as an adult you’re going to have different strengths and weaknesses. 

Strengths include:

  • High energy levels
  • Spontaneous
  • Creative and Imaginative
  • Inventive
  • Need for novelty
  • Hyper focused
  • Greater Resilience
  • Compassion and Empathy
  • Greater Problem Solving Skills
  • Talents for Multitasking
  • The willingness to help or mentor others
  • Positive people-oriented interpersonal skills
  • Greater Adaptability

Weaknesses include:

  • Being highly impatient
  • Difficulty performing tasks quietly
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Trouble waiting for things or showing patience
  • Losing things frequently
  • Talking seemingly nonstop
  • Jobs that are too routine
  • Prone to boredom

It’s harder to stay focused and organized and finish tasks on time. This creates challenges.

There are jobs that are a better match if you have ADHD. It’s important to pick a career that can utilize your strengths and where challenges brought on due to you weaknesses are less likely to create issues.

An adult with ADHD is successful at jobs that are fast paced and offer a high level of interaction. Along with encouraging creativity it’s important to find a job that offers a variety of daily routines and is broadly focused on knowledge from many areas. This broad-base of knowledge is great for an exceptional problem solver.

It’s important to pick a career you enjoy. We all do better at a job that sparks our interest and keeps us motivated. It’s harder to stay on track at work if you grow bored and frustrated easily. 

Best jobs for ADHD:

Teacher

Chef

Hair Stylist

Small Business Owner

Entrepreneur

Emergency First Responder

Nurse

Writer

Artist

Software Developer

Famous people past and present with ADHD

Richard Branson: An English business magnet and investor who founded Virgin Group.

Michael Phelps: An American swimmer who won a total of 22 Olympic medals.

Bill Gates: The creator and founder of Microsoft, estimated to be worth $92 billion dollars.

Albert Einstein: One of the most famous thinkers of all time who developed the Theory of Relativity despite being inflicted with ADHD and possibly Asperger’s Syndrome.

Jessica McCabe: An American actress, writer and YouTube personality. She is best know for as the host from the YouTube channel How to ADHD.

Howie Mandel: Famous comedian, actor, television host and voice actor. Best known as the host of the show Deal or No Deal.

Ty Pennington: Famous for his role on Extreme Makeover; Home Edition.

Andre Brown: A former American football running back. He had been a member of the Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins and Houston Texans.

Michelle Rodriguez: An American actress best known for her roles in Hollywood blockbusters such as Fast & Furious, Resident Evil and S.W.A.T.

Brookley Wofford: Best know for being a pageant queen who won the crown as Miss Minnesota United States in 2015. She has been the buster of myths surrounding ADHD and now she’s the national spokesperson for Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD).

I wanted to share with you a part of my life I’ve been quiet about for years. When I was growing up I struggled with behavior and learning problems when I was in school. School was not my strong point when I was a kid, in fact if you ask anybody I grew up with they’ll remember me as the class clown and this was due to being so prone to boredom and frustration. I was officially diagnosed with ADHD when I was 19 and I’ve been taking medication and been managing the symptoms ever since. Also, despite having problems in school and not expected to do well I did go to college and earn an Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree. Since then I’ve continued to help myself overcome the odds. I’m convinced that ADHD is a superpower that can be continuously harnessed for awesome things. Including this blog.

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