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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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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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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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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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Feeling Stuck in Life (Part. 1): What Are The Signs?

In this post I’ll be exploring what it means to feel stuck in life. It’s not always the most pleasant feeling and it can leave us anxious and depressed, so it would be interesting to discuss it on a deeper level.

What Does It Mean To Feel Stuck in Life?

Feeling stuck in life or feeling like we’re hitting the wall is a feeling we will all experience a one time or another. Whether you’re a recent college graduate who is entering the workforce, someone who has grown unhappy in their chosen profession or if you’re unhappy in your personal life it can be a painful emotion. 

Feeling stuck in life or “stuckness” can make us feel like we’re drowning in mud when it seems like we can’t make progress in our lives.

Why Do We Feel Stuck in Life? 

We get stuck when we feel like our lives should be something different than it is. It occurs when it’s time to make a change when something isn’t working for you anymore. 

Signs That You’re Feeling Stuck in Life

When we’re feeling stuck in life there are many signs that include:

It’s Hard To Get Excited About Anything: Stuckness can cause a person to become depressed and cause you to perceive the world in a less upbeat way. When upbeat music is played on the radio it doesn’t excite you, you start seeing the world in black and white rather than in vivid colors and you become an overall boring person to be around.

You Keep Reminiscing About The Past: We all get nostalgic about past memories that bring us comfort and joy from time to time. However, stuckness can cause you to use past memories to substitute present experiences that you perceive as unpleasant. 

You’re Always Daydreaming About A Different Life: Stuckness can cause you to daydream about being somewhere else rather than where you are now. This can be a problem, because daydreaming too much can become a form of self-sabotage that disrupts your long-term goals toward improving your life.

Feeling That Your Life Has No Purpose: It’s a myth that money is the only motivator. Along with making money it’s important to be in a line of work that gives you a sense of purpose, whether it makes you happy or it’s rewarding.

Staying Put, Because It Feels “Safe”: Some people feel stuck, because they feel like there are no other alternatives. They feel that they have to stay somewhere despite being unhappy, because it’s the “safe” thing to do.

Feeling Unwell On A Regular Basis: Due to the stress and anxiety of feeling stuck in an unhappy situation you’ll find yourself feeling unwell on a regular basis. For example, if you have a job that stresses you out it may cause stomach issues.

Neglecting Your Health and Well-Being: Feeling stuck in life is a downward spiral that affects many aspects of your life. Chronic stress and anxiety can lead to depression and that can cause you to neglect your health and well-being, whether you stop exercising, eating a poor diet or neglecting your love life.

In part 2 I’ll be offering tips on how to not feel stuck anymore.

Have You Ever Felt Stuck In Life?

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If you’re struggling with anxiety please click on the button below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intimacy-path-toward-spirituality/201610/if-you-re-feeling-stuck-may-be-why

https://medium.com/the-mission/feeling-stuck-in-life-this-is-how-to-take-powerful-action-to-live-a-rewarding-life-101703ff6865

https://www.themuse.com/advice/7-signs-youre-stuck-in-a-rut-and-need-to-make-a-change-today

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Overcoming Self-Doubt (Part.2): Not Letting Self-Doubt Consume You

This is the second part of a two part series on self-doubt.

In part. 1 I discussed what it means to have self-doubt and its causes. Now I’ll be discussing ways to overcome self-doubt.

Some Self-Doubt Is Healthy

Some level of self-doubt is healthy; it’s ok to doubt yourself once in a while. For example, doubting a decision you have made and having second thoughts can broaden your perspective and cause you to be on the lookout for new ideas and possible solutions. Over time you might also discover and eventually confront things in your life that have been dragging you down. 

Why is it Important to Overcome Self-Doubt When It Consumes You?

Self-doubt can be consuming; whether self-sabotage emerges from your own fear of failure, denying your own sense of achievement due to your lack of self-kindness or believing you’re a fraud in disguise because of your imposter syndrome.

When self-doubt consumes you it causes depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem and mood swings that can cause a loss of concentration, feelings of indecisiveness, guit, shame and worthlessness. It may bring pessimism about yourself that causes you to avoid responsibility, isolate yourself and it can lead to phobias.  

It’s important to recognize that self-doubt has an adverse effect on your life and it’s important to break the cycle of self-doubt so you can overcome it.

How Do You Overcome Self-Doubt?

Here are some tips for overcoming self-doubt:

Connecting With Good Friends: People who are always doubting themselves are always criticizing themselves. It’s interesting that good friends can be an effective personality mirror. They can reflect things back to you that you may not see about yourself. Good friends are an opportunity to talk about what’s on your mind also.

Connecting With Yourself: When I’m doubting myself or I’m feeling anxious I write my thoughts on paper; whether I’m journaling, writing this blog or writing and publishing an ebook I come to new realizations about who I am.

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others: People who frequently doubt themselves tend to get stuck in a comparison trap, especially if you’re in the habit of comparing your success to others.

Stop Giving a S%^t What Others Think: This is a big one, because when you’re anxious and always doubting yourself you become preoccupied with what others think of you. 

Learn To See Setbacks As Temporary: We have all been at a point in our lives where we have a setback and we respond by seeing things through a negative and dark lens. However, it’s more of a benefit to you to think that setbacks happen all the time, they are temporary and we can learn from them.

Sharpen Your Skills: Sometimes self-doubt can be caused by a lack of skills in a specific area. For example, if you frequently doubt yourself before a presentation then it would help to sharpen your presentation skills.

Have You Ever Experienced Self-Doubt?

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If you are struggling to overcome negative thinking brought on by anxiety or self-doubt please check out my 5 Step Guide by clicking on the button below:

Sources:

https://articles.aplus.com/a/why-self-doubt-is-good-for-you?no_monetization=true

https://www.positivityblog.com/overcome-self-doubt/

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Gaining Courage in the Face of Fear

What is Courage?


Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you. It is the strength you need to face pain or grief and the strength in the face of a tornado, an earthquake or the global coronavirus pandemic.

The word courage originated from the Old French word “corage”, from the Latin word “cor”, which means ”heart”.

Why is Courage Important?


Courage is important if you want to begin something that you want to do or when you have to face a crisis. It allows you to act despite being fearful.

Courage is important for putting aside your fear of failure; especially if you have to venture off into the unknown or if you want to go for what you want. It’s important for overcoming anxiety characterized by the fear of rejection or self doubt caused by negative self talk.

Courage is more important than confidence. Confidence is very important; it comes from believing you can do something, but courage on the other hand is doing something despite being fearful.

Courage and Confidence are like yin and yang, because they depend on one another. Without courage we never develop confidence and a confident person can be brought down when facing a crisis if it weren’t for courage.

Examples of Courage?


Courage can come in all shapes and forms. It could come from you standing up for someone who’s being bullied, asking your crush on a date, racing into a burning building to save someone’s life or being courageous in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve been seeing 24/7 news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s been more of an emphasis on the negative things that many people have been doing in reaction to this crisis including attacking other people for their toilet paper or bottled water or the spreading of misinformation. 

How about the awesome people who’ve been courageous since this crisis started? 

There hasn’t been enough said about the moral courage from the doctors, nurses and other medical staff in the face of the intense challenges they’ve been facing and the one’s they’re facing right now. 

Dr Helen Chu?

It was reported that in Seattle, Washington of epidemiologist Dr. Helen Chu demonstrated great moral courage by reporting critical data to health officials despite being told by federal authorities not to. There was a group of study participants she wanted to test for coronavirus to determine if it had arrived in Washington state, however she was denied authorization. 

Despite being denied Dr. Chu still had an ethical obligation and went ahead with the testing anyway and found a teenager had tested positive for the virus despite not traveling abroad or contact history, demonstrating community spread. This information was sent to a public health official just before this teen was sent back to school. Even after all that the federal government served her with a cease and desist order. 

Volunteers Rescuing Pets?

Here is a more lighthearted example of courage.  There was a news story from Spain that I saw about pets that were left behind due to their owners getting sick with the coronavirus. A group of volunteers from the kindness of their hearts looked after these abandoned pets. If and when their owners recover and are released from the hospital they will be reunited with their pets.

How To Become More Courageous?


The examples written above show why courage is a universally admired quality that’s very important to have. 

Ways To Become More Courageous Include:

  • Face The Fear of the Unknown: Becoming more courageous can be as simple as finding the cause of your fear, questioning what the cause of it is, accepting it, riding the wave of fear and learning to embrace change.
  • Use Relaxation Techniques: Fear can be paradoxal; a little bit of fear can amp you up and transform you into your best self and at the same time too much fear can shut you down and leave you stuck. It’s important to keep your physiological responses in check and this can be achieved by using relaxation techniques such as tactical breathing and mindful meditation.
  • Learn New Skills: There are many scenarios that involve risk and danger, it pays to develop a wide range of skills such as self-defense and first aid, to automotive repair and the ability to speak a foreign language. The more knowledge of what to do when trouble arises the braver a person you will be.
  • Think of Yourself Less: The more egocentric you are, the more scared you’re going to get about taking action. Egocentrism can lead to someone becoming more self-conscious about what other people think of them when and if they make a decision. This way of thinking leads to fear and anxiety that leads to decision paralysis and inaction.
  • Form Closer Relationships: Being from a culture that’s individualized and atomized (fragmented) we’re taught that drawing strength from being part of a group is something that’s negative. In reality it can be the opposite, because having close friends and family can cause you to act in a more positive and courageous way when a crisis occurs.
  • Do Something New Once a Week: At least once a week engage in something that will make a little nervous or scared in order to keep you outside your comfort zone. This can include something simple as eating out at a restaurant that is unfamiliar, hiking on an unfamiliar trail, traveling to an unfamiliar place or studying something that is challenging.
  • Lean Into Your Role: An effective way to become less self-conscious is to start thinking about the actions you need to take to transition into your more courageous self. Overtime when you lean into the role that you need to be to help others it’s no longer just about you.

How Courageous Are You?

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If you’re struggling with fear please click on the button below:

Sources:

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/courage-a-matter-of-the-heart/

https://medium.com/better-humans/why-courage-is-more-important-than-confidence-f97865efc930

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Making Leading Edge Decisions

What Does It Mean To Make A Decision?

What is Decision Making? It’s the process of deciding something based on a logical choice from available options.

When we’re trying to make a decision we take a look at the positives and negatives of the options available, along with considering the possible alternatives. 

After looking at the available options we also must be able to forecast the outcome of the final decision. 

An important factor that’s overlooked that affects decision making is being aware or mindful of our own thoughts and emotions.

Why is Good Decision Making Important?

The cornerstone of good leadership skills is the ability to make a decision and stick to it.

Decision making is an ongoing process in every business regardless of size and also in our personal lives as well. 

Having critical thinking skills allows us to approach a problem and decide on a solution that is beneficial to not only yourself, but to other members of your organization or those close to you in your personal life.

What Influences Our Decisions?

There are a lot of factors that we’re not aware of that can influence the decisions we’re making.

These factors include:

Our Thoughts and Emotions: Our own thoughts and emotions can affect our decisions, not only the nature of those decisions, but also the speed in which they’re made. If your judgement is off due to negative thoughts that lead to anger and make you impatient and cause you to make rash decisions.

Being Hungry: It’s interesting that feelings or states of being can spill over from one area to another. This occurs a lot with our physical desires, for example when we feel hungry or thirsty it can affect the decision areas of our brains. We can feel more desire for big rewards and this can motivate us to make higher risk choices and keep wanting more.

Quality of Ventilation: This is important, because the physical environment can have an effect on our physical and mental health along with our cognitive health. For example when the level of CO2 in your workplace is increased it can cause a decrease in cognitive and mental abilities and lead to poor decision making. It’s a good idea that your work environment has adequate ventilation and plants to decrease CO2 levels.

Number of Choices: Sometimes our ability to make decisions can be affected by the number of choices we have in front of us. When we’re presented with two or more choices it’s easy to look at the pros and cons of each choice. However, if we’re bombarded with endless choices whether we’re car shopping, using dating apps or entertainment apps it leads to a paradox of choice than makes decision making more difficult.

Past Experiences: This is an interesting one. Past experiences can impact present and future decision making. These include events that happened when you’re younger that shape the way you think, act and interact with people close to you.

Familiarity: Making decisions based on factors that are familiar with is deeply entrenched in our minds without being aware of it. We not only like things we’re familiar with, but we fear and judge anything that is different.

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How Being Mindful Leads To Better Decision Making?

Decision making is not always as simple as saying “yes” or “no” and it’s not always a thoughtful or cognitive exercise, instead it can be an impulsive reaction to satisfy immediate needs.

We make decisions everyday about what we eat, when we leave for work, how often we check our smartphones or what assignment to complete. We also make crucial decisions that affect ourselves and others. Many people are not aware how important day-to-day decisions really are until they make the wrong ones. 

Sometimes we fear the unknown so much that we make bad decisions due to fear and anxiety.

Conventional decision making can only take you so far, so it’s important to learn about mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the environment around us.

Mindfulness is one of the most powerful tools for understanding your mind and focusing your attention. It can be applied in many ways including:

Mindful Breathing:  Mindfulness involves focusing your attention on your breathing. When you’re focusing on the rise and fall of your chest or the sensation through your nostrils your breath becomes an object of concentration when you start becoming aware of your mind’s tendency to jump from one thought to another.

Finding Your Purpose: Mindfulness makes you more aware of your purpose which leads to a greater sense of direction, a valued sense of self and a more meaningful life. Once you know your purpose you get to decide whether saying “yes” or “no” to a decision will ultimately serve your purpose.

Making Informed Decisions: Mindfulness can make the decision making process a thoughtful and cognitive exercise by making us aware of our impulsivity. For example, it’s important to be informed of the full impact of a decision before it’s made rather than be impulsive and regret your decision.

Finding Balance Between the Heart and the Brain: Overtime we’ve become more reliant on the human brain alone for day to day decisions. It was never meant to be the main source of wisdom and decision making. It has tendencies to push the human body past healthy limits and may result in fear, doubt and insecurities. In my previous post I mentioned that mindfulness puts an emphasis on dropping into your heart space, by doing that the brain and heart balance each other out. The brain receives the information that we make decisions from and the heart incorporates wisdom to help make good decisions.

What Do You Do Before Making Decisions?

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Sources:

https://open.buffer.com/decision-making/

https://www.bachremedies.com/en-us/emotional-health-blog/how-do-our-emotions-affect-decision-making

https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/the-psychology-of-choice

https://www.customerservicemanager.com/decision-making/

https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/mindful_breathing

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tracking-wonder/201902/mindful-approach-decision-making

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How To Turn Cynicism Into Something Positive?

What is Cynicism?

Cynicism is the belief that people are mainly motivated to do something purely out of self-interest. A person who inclines toward this way of thinking is labeled as cynical.

A person who is cynical has a mindset that is scornful or jaded; they’re always thinking the worst and have a hard time seeing the good in anyone. 

The origin of the term “Cynicism” is associated with the ancient Greek philosophical school of Cynicism was founded by Antisthenes of Athens almost 2500 years ago. 

Why Are Some People Cynical?

Some people become cynical as part of a defense posture to protect themselves. It’s typically triggered when we feel hurt by or angry about something. 

Traits of a Cynical Person Include:

  • Someone who is distrusting or disparages the motives of others
  • Shows contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality, because they’re viewed as hypocritical and serve no purpose
  • Bitterly or sneeringly distrustful or pessimistic
  • Tends to use a lot of sarcastic language
  • Someone who is always preparing for the worst in life
  • All compliments and positive words have a clause

Some people have personalities that gravitate toward negativity and negative emotions that are cynical as a result of being nasty, arrogant or pretentious. However there are others that become cynical or jaded due to being beaten down by life and cannot seem to find hope anywhere in sight. 

Life can be cruel at times; it can throw a lot of misfortune at you whether it’s one tragedy after another being thrown at you or if you try to turn things around for the better in your life, but things continue to fall apart. Sometimes you may feel broken and defeated and always expect bad luck.

There are still others that become a little cynical because of the wisdom that’s gained through experience.

What Are The Consequences of Being Cynical?

A major consequence of being cynical is that people will distance themselves from you because they’ll find you irritating and dispiriting. 

Cynicism overtime will cause you to miss out on the things that make life worth living such as friendship or love. They also tend to hold back from the public sphere, which leads to reduced social and economic contribution and can result in relative poverty and isolation. Overtime relative poverty and isolation brought on by cynicism can cause health problems.

A topic I’ve always found interesting is the mind-body connection. The biological functioning of our bodies is affected by our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes whether they’re positive or negative that occur in our minds. Overtime negative thinking brought on by cynicism can cause health problems.

There are numerous health effects from being too cynical including:

  • Increased inflammation in the body
  • Increased risk of developing cancer
  • Higher risk of cardiovascular problems due to higher blood pressure
  • Three times more likely to develop dementia
  • More likely to suffer from mental health problems such as anxiety and depression

It’s been reported that millennials have been labeled the most cynical generation ever. This mindset is part of the reason why a lot of people from my generation have chronic ailments. 

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How To Reframe Cynicism?

What is Reframing?

I’m referring to cognitive reframing. The idea behind it is that a person’s point of view depends on the frame it is viewed in. When the frame is shifted, the meaning changes and thinking behavior often changes along with it. 

A simpler way of explaining reframing is to recognize negative thoughts that cause distress and serve no purpose and reframe them into positive ones. 

This works really well with cynical thinking, for example if you meet a person instead of assuming that person is only out for their own self-interests you could ask yourself if this person can be trusted. Reframed cynical thoughts can be useful in all areas of your life. 

Tips for reframing cynicism include:

Promote a Balance Between Positive and Negative Thoughts and Emotions: There are so many benefits to positivity such as hope, joy, contentment and gratitude. Being optimistic has been linked to benefits such as improved health and happiness. However unchecked optimism can lead to unrealistic expectations and becoming unaware of dangerous risks that are being made that can lead to loss and the negative emotions that come with it. There are negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, resentment and anger that come with being cynical. The right amount of cynicism can keep us safe in certain situations like positivity does. It protects us from situations that have the potential to raise red flags because we can pick up on negative vibes more than anyone else. However, being too cynical has a major downfall including missing out on opportunities whether they’re professional or relationship related. The universe is all about balance between opposites and this includes the right balance between positive and negative thoughts.

Instead of Being Bitter be Better: There are some cynical people that are the way they are due to bitterness. They tend to spew their inner hurt and anger by saying and doing things that hurt others such as exhibiting ruthless verbal and emotional cruelty to everyone around them. This negativity doesn’t just hurt those around you you’re hurting yourself as well. Instead of being bitter, be better. Start by getting healthy; physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you’re feeling bitter about being physically weak it’s important to get emotionally strong or something is happening that makes you feel emotionally weak such as a relationship coming to an end then hit the gym and start working out. Also, start paying attention to what you put into your body, because a proper diet will make you feel good, while a bad diet will not. Also, it’s important to learn from whatever disappointed you or whatever happened to you at the lowest point in your life. I’m not referring to learning about the reasons why these things happened, I’m referring to the wisdom you’ve acquired that you can apply to make into a better person.

Turn Cynicism Into a Sixth Sense: Being cynical affects how you perceive the world; it’s affected by over generalization caused by negative thinking. However, as I mentioned in my post about turning anxiety into a superpower negative thoughts can be reframed into positive ones. Cynical people tend toward seeing the worst aspects of human nature. In fact trust and cynicism complement each other. Power and money has always been a source of corruption along with other despicable behaviors. Even if you’re the most positive and bubbly person in the world, it helps to know that a little bit of cynicism is not a negative thing. Cynicism can make you aware of your surroundings and can determine whether to trust someone or not. It equips you with the ability to read people. It helps you make better decisions about whether it’s worthwhile to engage with a person or move on if you suspect that person will take advantage of you. 

Have you Ever Felt Cynical?

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