No Need to Rush(Live in the Moment)

I realized how fast I want the week to go, so that the weekend would come, but the weekend comes, and that time flies by as well, then the cycle begins again. We are now already in April of the new year. Time flies. I am already anticipating my adventures for the summer. I keep looking forward, but not living mindfully, and in the moment.

The moment is precious, but I and many others take it for granted at times. We continue to look forward. Rushing through the days, and then realize how time flies. The years, the weeks, and the days go by fast. I can’t just look forward to the weekends, that is only a couple of days out of the year. I got to try to enjoy each day of the year. Trying to embrace the moment as much as I can. I need to step back, pause, and live in the moment.

Yes, work can be difficult at times, but that doesn’t define my whole day. There are moments connecting with coworkers that are enjoyable. There are also moments before work that can be enjoyable as well. Life is too precious to just focus on the weekends, or special adventures. Although I can look forward to my summer adventures. Those moments are far off. The future isn’t here yet. Life is unpredictable, and nothing is set in stone. I need to appreciate the moments now, rather than anticipate the future that doesn’t exist yet.

The moment is now. Your life is now. We are all guilty of rushing. It is part of our nature. It is good to anticipate something in the future. It brings us hope, joy, and excitement, but our focus should be in the moment. Trying to make the best of what is right in front of us.

I no longer want to rush through the week. These are 5 precious days you can’t get back, so I will try to make the best out of these days. We all should make the best out of all our days. Remember your work days are longer, than non work days. Those are a lot of days to rush over. It will be the end of the year sooner than you know it.

Just try to relax, step back, and live as mindfully as you can. Enjoy the little moments. Make moments to enjoy. Try to find little joys within these days. Lets try patience and going through the motions. There will be bad times, dull times, exciting times. Some days suck more than others, and there are days we will like to rush over, that is understandable. You can use those days as a learning experience. Not everyday will be exciting, fun and full of happiness. We should try not to make a habit of rushing through everyday, because time flies faster than you know it. The only time you are truly living is in the moment.

Life Quotes // Inspirational // Live In The Moment | Moments | Moments  quotes, Realization quotes, Life quotes

Mental Health Boosters

Mental Health is very important. The focus on mental health should be as strong as physical health. I like to list some habits that encourage a healthier mindset. A healthier mind leads to more happiness, peace with yourself, others, and life. It cultivates self-growth and confidence.

We as individuals should always strive to improve our mental state for our well-being. For our ability to live life fully. Here are some habits/routines that can be beneficial to our mental well-being. Reminders and awareness of these habits can help us work towards improvement and mindful living.

  • Set goals-Writing a list of goals and checking them off is a great way to boost your confidence. The feeling of accomplishment and achievement is a great feeling. If you can do one thing, than you are much more confident to do another. Make sure the goals are specific and manageable. I always feel better when I accomplish a goal, like finishing a blog post. It improves my mood, and my perception of the day improves.
  • Get movement-Exercise releases endorphins, which helps elevate your mood. You may not be a fan of exercise, but at least 20 minutes of walking can be helpful. Get up, and get moving in anyway you possibly can, even if it is walking around for a bit. Our bodies need movement, and so does our minds.
  • Commute with nature-Spending just 5 minutes in nature can help improve your mood. Something about being outdoors in nature just lifts my spirits. It calms me, and rejuvenates me. It shows you the beauty of the world, and it gives you a sense of appreciation. It gives you the space to think, and be free. It can bring you back to reality, and what truly matters.
  • Get sleep-Our mind needs rest. Getting enough sleep gives you clarity, allows you to be more productive. It gives you the energy to go on with your day, and get what you need to get done. Less sleep creates exhaustion, unproductiveness and anxiety. It can lead to one feeling low and down. Sleep helps heal our body and our minds, so it is important to get as much as we can. Most see sleep as a luxury, but it isn’t, it is a necessity. We all know what our mental state can be with lack of sleep. We can’t think, or function like we normally do with a sleepy mind and body.
  • Create a mindful routine-You can do this in the morning, at night, and during the day. This is the time to step away from distractions and just be in the moment. I think it is great to do this before bed, and after you wake up. It can help relax you before bed, and it can help recharge you before you head out for the day. This is the time to step away from digital devices, and live in the moment. Distractions can cultivate feelings of anxiety, frustration, anger, sadness etc,. Stepping away from that for a bit can help alleviate those feelings, and allow us to be in a more calmer and happier place.
  • Try something new- We all have routines, but would it be more fun to do it in a different way? This can help spice up your day, and bring a bit of excitement to your day. It would make your day a little less mundane, and a bit more enjoyable.
  • Less reactive mentality-Try to go with the flow of life. Remind yourself that life doesn’t always go to plan, or life isn’t always smooth. We should make some breathing room for the unexpected, so when the unexpected happens. We are able to cope better. Traffic jams, accidents, flat tires, lost keys happen etc, in these moments, take deep breaths, and accept what is. This can allow for a calmer state of mind.
  • Connect with others-I always feel uplifted after meeting up with a good friend, or family member. We are social beings, so connecting with another individual is important for our well-being. Remember that quality, over quantity is important. Being able to communicate our true thoughts with another can be a wonderful experience.
  • Express yourself-Similar to the one above. There are other formats to express your thoughts and feelings as well. Journaling, writing(lyrics, stories, poems), drawing, composing, can all be forms to communicate your thoughts that can be therapeutic for oneself. Letting your thoughts out brings relief.
  • Drink water-Our brains are made of 75% water. Loss of hydration can have serious effects on your mood, concentration and cognitive functioning. Studies have shown that decreased water intake cultivates higher levels of anxiety, depression, anger, tension and fatigue.
  • Reduce sugar/processed food intake-Eating added sugars and processed foods is linked to higher rates of depression and anxiety. It is also known to deplete the B vitamins we need to sustain good moods. Try to add a bit more nutrient dense foods to your diet. Balance is key.
  • Gratitude-Counting your blessings is a great way to see life in a more positive light, and lift your mood. Focusing your energy on the things you do have, and the things you do enjoy is a great way to boost your mood, and put you in a happier place.

As you can see there are plenty of ways to help improve your mental health. I just wanted to bring a bit of awareness to some things that can help improve your overall well-being. Our mental health should be a priority. Mental instability is prevalent, and there should be more focus on improving our wellness. There should be lessons and classes on this for everyone. Awareness is key. Below are some visuals of mood boosters. I thought it would be a nice addition.

6 Instant Mood Boosters | Self care bullet journal, Self care activities,  Self improvement tips
Immunity Boosters: Nutrition and Health Facts - News, Yoga, Health, Fitness  and Mental Health www.Yogfit.in

Mindful Reminder Post(Worry)

Just a reminder that your struggles at the moment will pass. I had a day last week where I felt anxious and worried. The unpredictable experiences of life can get to us. Just remind yourself that it may suck, or be bad right now, but the worry and struggle will pass. Having this reminder helped me cope, and allowed me not to be as anxious as I used to be. Life is in constant motion. The feelings and experience at the moment will pass. You will get through this hiccup just like the many ones before. Our thoughts tend to exaggerate the situation. They tend to focus on the negative outcomes. Awareness of this can help us counter those thoughts in a more positive or realistic way. It may not flip our negative mindset entirely, but just a bit of awareness comes a long way.

Changing Cognitive Distortions

I discussed Cognitive Distortions a couple of posts ago in Cognitive Distortions. I like to take this post to list some techniques that can help you change those distorted views. Dr. Burns listed plenty of help techniques. I will discuss a couple here. I recommend buying the book to get the full scope of techniques. It is important to remove these distortions from permeating our lives, so that we can move towards healing and living more peacefully.

  • Positive Reframing– Putting your focus on the negative thoughts and difficult emotions one is feeling. Ask yourself these two questions: (1) What are the advantages, or benefits to these type of emotions and thoughts? (2) What do these thoughts and emotions tell me about myself and my values that is wonderful?

Feelings of anxiety can show that an upcoming event is meaningful to you, or that you are doing something outside your comfort zone, which can be something beneficial to you in the long run. Looking at these emotions is a different light can help alleviate the negativity associated with these difficult emotions. You may start to feel better about an upsetting situation.

  • Straightforward Technique-This one is pretty straightforward as the name states, but as straightforward as it is, this can be difficult for most to do. Try to switch your perspective to a more positive, or realistic approach, rather than negative.

Ask yourself questions, Is this negative thought really true? Do I truly believe it? Is there another way to look at it? I absolutely love this technique, and use it all the time. Switching your perspective can make such a difference to your state of mind.

  • Double Standard Technique-Rather than putting yourself down. Try talking to yourself in a way you would talk to a good friend you care about.

It is so much easier to be cruel to ourselves, and lift other up when they are down, but we should learn to show the same kindness to ourselves. When you say negative things to yourself, remind yourself if this is something you would say to a friend who is going through the same thing, or who would say those negative things about themselves.

  • Examine the Evidence-Rather than looking at things in a negative light. Try to look into the facts of what you are saying.

Is what you are saying really true? What are the facts? What does it show? Telling yourself you are a failure. Look up the definition, does that truly describe you. In most cases this would not be the case.

  • Socratic Method-This is when you take a deeper look into what you are saying, and analyze if it is true or not.

If you think you are a failure, or a awful person, or suck at life. Look into what those words really mean. Do you truly fail all the time to be a failure, or have you had some achievements? Are you really awful?, or did you make a mistake, or make one bad decision out of all the great things you do? Does life truly suck, or are you having one bad moment? Is that really relative to you, or is this something that happens to everyone? This method allows you to look into what you are saying, and find insight to the truth of the matter. It showcases our faulty thought patterns.

  • Thinking in Shades of Gray-We usually face problems, because we tend to see things in black and white, but things in life aren’t normally that way.

There are good and bad things about oneself and life. Experiences in life aren’t always great or bad. You are not perfect, and one mistake doesn’t make you a horrible human being. Learning to look at both sides is important.

  • Semantic Method-This method is about looking at the language you use to define life experiences. Instead of saying, “I shouldn’t have made this mistake this,” you can say, “It would have been better if I have not made that mistake.” Instead of saying, I can’t do this, it is too hard” try saying, “It will be hard to do this, but I can try my best. Instead of saying, “I hate how I look,” try saying “I don’t look my best today.” Instead of thinking, “I hate my life,” try thinking, “this moment sucks, but it will pass.”

Finding better wording can allow one space to practice self-kindness and compassion. It is all in how you word things. Wording things in a more compassionate, and positive way can help you move through difficult situations much more smoothly.

  • Let’s Define Terms-This method allows you to actually look at the definition you are labeling yourself.

When you label yourself a loser, failure, foolish, ugly, horrible etc,. Once you look up the actual term for these things. You realize that doesn’t define you. When you actually look up these definitions. You realize how absurd it is to define oneself in those ways.

  • Be Specific-It is important to focus on the specific situation, problem, mistake flaw etc,. It is easy to globalize our problems, mistakes, flaws to other areas. It is just one bad day, one flaw, one mistake. There are plenty of good days, things to appreciate, and strengths to yourself and your life.
  • Self-Monitoring-This method is about keeping tracking of all your negative thoughts, either writing them down when you have them, or put the number of how many negative thoughts came to mind on a watch or phone. This can make you aware of how often you have negative thoughts. Having this awareness cultivates a diminishing of the negative thoughts.

I really like the self-monitoring technique. Awareness is very important to self-improvement and recovery. Having a visual really can open our eyes, and allow us to make changes.

I believe all these techniques above can be beneficial to changing our distorted ways of thinking. It can help cultivate a healthier mindset, and peace of mind. There are plenty more techniques in the book, but wanted to limit it to the ones I liked the best. I recommend the book if you like to know more, but I think these techniques suffice. It is important to be aware of our faulty thought patterns, so we can figure out ways to cope and manage them, so that our lives can be more fulfilled.

Mindful Break Time(Mindfulness Reminder)

I needed a break from the information overload I was getting online. I found this lovely passage in my mi dullness book. I appreciate the awareness I have from mindfulness practice to take mental breaks and be mindful.

It does a great job of clearing my mind, and helps rejuvenate my spirit. I absolutely can’t wait for the nicer weather to be able to enjoy the freshness of the outdoors, and beauty of the natural scenery.

Mindfulness is a wonderful thing. It opens you up to opportunities, new adventures, shifts in thoughts and behavior, and creative power. I now feel refreshed and ready to start my shift.

I think it is important to be aware of when to take breaks. Your mind can only withstand so much. A break may be all you need, even if it is 5 minutes. Sit, take a walk, stretch, write etc,. Mindfulness practice isn’t a quick fix, but it can improve your well-being over time with continuous practice.

Sharpen the Saw

I was reading the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There is a chapter about sharpening the saw, and it really resonated with me. I found this concept to be similar to mindful time. The story behind this is that there was a competition between a younger and older lumberjack to see who can cut down the most trees. The younger one continued to cut the trees without breaks, while the older one took breaks throughout the day. The older lumberjack ended up winning, despite being older, weaker, and less energetic. The reason is because he took breaks to sharpen his saw. A sharp saw will win over a dull one anytime.

This story and concept show how important it is to take breaks to sharpen the saw, meaning to gain clarity. Constant working leads to exhausting and cloudiness of the mind. You will be much more effective when you give yourself space. I have to say my best ideas comes from taking time to breathe and be mindful. When I am journaling, taking walks, reading, watching inspirational vloggers, or on vacations. It is important to be present, and in the moment, so that your mind can breathe and gain insight. Our minds need breaks. The mind won’t work well with continuous work and overload. You may think it is a good idea to keep going, but doing that just weakens your clarity and creativity.

I am staying indoors today, due to another snow storm, thankfully not as bad as the last one, but I wanted to be productive and mindful today. This is where this idea came from. I didn’t want to waste my only day off for the next 10 days on distractions only. This is where mindful practices come in handy. I did some reading, some yoga, some writing as you can see. I even found going outside to clean my car therapeutic. Most may see it as a chore or annoying, and I do majority of the time as well, but today I didn’t mind going out. I put some music on, and cleaned the snow off, it was kind of nice. The snow is really fluffy, so it came off easy, and it gave me a nice workout. It was nice to just do something, rather than just sitting inside.

I know this topic has become a recurring theme of my posts, but that just means how important this concept is, and how it never gets old to be reminded of it. Breaks are really important, sharpen the mind, like you sharpen the saw. This can only come from giving yourself the space to think and relax. To be in the moment and enjoy life as it is. Work will always be there, but the moment will not.

Cognitive Distortions

After reading Dr. Burns book Feeling Great. It made me realize how much our thoughts and emotions intertwine with each other. Our thoughts can make things uncomfortable and difficult for us. It can allow us to see our emotions in a negative light. As I mentioned before, emotions just are, how we perceive them is what creates problems for us. He mentions the 10 cognitive distortions that cultivates suffering in our lives. Cognitive distortions can affect how we perceive ourselves, other people, emotions, and life situations.

Cognitive distortions cultivates self-hatred. It lowers your self-worth. It aides in painting ourselves, other people, and our world in a negative light. These distortions allow us to beat down on ourselves. It keeps us suffering longer than we need to. I wanted to discuss these distortions. We all have done these, but being aware of these distortions can help you to learn not to fall into these thought patterns continuously.

All or Nothing Thinking

When you’re convinced that you’re either destined for success or doomed to failure, that the people in your life are either angelic or evil, you’re probably engaging in polarized thinking.(healthline.com).

Life and people work in shades of grey. No one is completely one thing, or the other. Life is not one way, or the other. We will fail at times, and succeed at other times. This type of thinking can lead you down a miserable path.

Overgeneralization

When people overgeneralize, they reach a conclusion about one event and then incorrectly apply that conclusion across the board.(healthline.com).

One situation does not define every other situation. One person in a group does not define all people within that group. This type of thinking process can lead to bias and discrimination. It can also allow people to stay within their bubble, and not branch out. Life is unpredictable, things that happen in one situation. Most likely won’t happen in another situation.

Mental filtering

This distorted thought pattern is the tendency to ignore positives and focus exclusively on negatives.(healthline.com).

It is much easier to put the focus on the negative, which leads to suffering and misery. Life is full of positives and negatives. We got to find that balance.

Discounting the positives

Similar to mental filtering. Ignoring the positives, and putting focus on the negatives.

Learning to appreciate the good, positives, accomplishments, and joys of life is important. Try not to ignore what is good in your life. You may think everything is bad, but if you look more deeply, you’ll find the good.

Jumping to conclusions

Jumping to conclusions that aren’t warranted by facts.

  • Mind Reading-You assume you know what others are thinking and feeling.
  • Fortune telling-You make negative predictions about the future.

We all fall into this trap. This type of thinking leads to anxiety, tension, anger and frustration. We make stories about what others are thinking, and what the future will be, but this type of thinking isn’t helpful. We don’t know the future, and we don’t know how others perceive a situation. We should try to put our focus on things we can control, like ourselves.

Magnification or Minimization

Blowing things out of proportion, or shrink their importance significantly. You perceptions allow things to be bigger, or smaller than they really are.

We think something bad that happened is the end of us, our world is over, but most of the time, as time passes, we move on, and cope. Vice versa something may be important, but you blow it off, which can come back to haunt you. It is important to see the reality of the situation.

Emotional Reasoning

Emotional reasoning is the false belief that your emotions are the truth — that the way you feel about a situation is a reliable indicator of reality.(healthline.com)

While it’s important to listen to, validate, and express emotion, it’s equally important to judge reality based on rational evidence.(healthline.com).

You feel hopeless, so that means your hopeless. You feel sad, so you conclude you are a miserable person. You feel guilt, so you conclude you are a bad person. Your emotions don’t define who you are. Emotions come and go. They are a part of living, but they are not part of who you are.

Should statements

When people find themselves thinking in terms of what “should” and “ought” to be said or done, it’s possible that a cognitive distortion is at work.

I should be better at this. I should be smarter at this. I should know what I am doing. I should have known. I shouldn’t make mistakes. Humans are imperfect beings. We will not be great at everything. Give yourself a break. We can’t do everything. You are allowed to make mistakes. You are allowed to not know everything.

Labeling

Labeling is a cognitive distortion in which people reduce themselves or other people to a single — usually negative — characteristic or descriptor, like “drunk” or “failure.”(healthline.com)

You label yourself and others, instead of focusing on the specific problem.(Feeling Great).

We as individuals are a plethora of things. We are not defined by one feature. It is easier to just put a label on yourself and others, but we as individuals are more complex than that. We have many defining features.

Blaming/Personalization

One of the most common errors in thinking is taking things personally when they’re not connected to or caused by you at all.(healthline.com).

You may be engaging in personalization when you blame yourself for circumstances that aren’t your fault, or are beyond your control.(healthline.com).

Self-blame and blaming others is common, but not everything is your fault, and not everything is someone else’s fault. Life happens. Showing compassion for yourself, and others can help you live a more peaceful life. Just because you make a mistake, or do something wrong. Doesn’t mean there needs to be fault. Mistakes are part of being human. If you didn’t mean bad intentions, don’t be too hard on yourself. This also goes with blaming others as well. Recognize when there is truly fault in a situation.

All of these thinking patterns can create uncomfortable emotions and experiences in our lives. It can lead us away from a peaceful state of mind. These are thinking traps we all fall into, but being aware of them can steer you away from falling into these thinking patterns much less.

Sources: Burns, D. D. (2020). Feeling Great: The Revolutionary New Treatment for Depression and Anxiety. PESI Publishing & Media.

https://www.healthline.com/health/cognitive-distortions

Dealing With Stress(My Personal Story)

We all deal with stress in different. I deal with it by being distracted and mindless. Yesterday I was stressed with lots of things on my mind. Now the best way to clear one’s mind is by being mindful, but as a flawed human being I tend to be programmed to distract and escape.

I filled my day with distractions and mindlessness by scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter a disgusting amount of times. I also watched mindless things on Youtube to escape from my own struggles. I also tried to find answers online to the things that I was stressing about.

None of these things helped. It just exacerbated the problem. It also put me in a negative place. I mean, I know all this, but I still fall into this trap when I am stressed. Stress is definitely the biggest trigger to be mindless for me. For some reason it is hard for me to be mindful when I am stressed.

Anyway, it got to a point where enough is enough. I just couldn’t keep doing what I was doing. I knew none of this was helping, and that I had to pull away and be mindful. I closed the computer, sat for a bit and tried to meditate. I could only do that for a couple of minutes. I decided to journal, and after that listen to some music. After doing all these things I started to feel more relaxed and calm. This isn’t a surprise, I know mindfulness is the answer to calm stress. Being mindless and finding distractions is the habit of being an imperfect human. It is just easy to find distractions, so I continue to follow that path at times.

The important thing is to be aware of when to finally pull away. That awareness will set you free, and allow you to truly find peace. I was also able to get some more reading done as well. I am already almost halfway through one of my books I bought this month.

I decided today I will not go on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter today. I just had too much of them yesterday. I need to be cleansed from them today. I will use Youtube only to watch inspirational things, or things that instill knowledge, also plant related stuff. I will most likely do more reading, before heading into work. I am so happy to get back to work. I can’t deal with being home this much. I am so looking forward to the warmer weather, so I can be out and about.

Anyway, after being mindful I realized the things I was stressing about wasn’t as big of a deal as my mind made it out to be. You get a sense of clarity and reality when practicing mindfulness. I tell myself I will get through it, like the many other times I got through a stressful event. The storm will pass.

I wanted to write this to show you even though you practice mindfulness for years, and are an aware individual. You will have your setbacks, but you will always bounce back much quicker. That is the beauty of mindfulness practice.

A Society of Overstimulation

It just seems more and more difficult to focus, and to do the things that need to be done, be it for work, or for our own self-fulfillment. The digital/technological age has made it hard for us to just focus on one thing. I sometimes find it hard to sit through a 20 minute Youtube video without looking for something else to stimulate my brain.

It has become increasingly hard for us to do the tasks that need to be done, or to just simply sit and be alone, read, mediate, exercise, be creative. We just rather scroll, and watch videos or movies. It is just so much easier to do so. It doesn’t take a lot of energy to do these things. The things that can be beneficial for our mental and physical health takes work, so people tend to choose the latter.

Getting ourselves to focus is hard. Getting ourselves to get motivated and take action takes work. Getting myself to continue writing my book takes work, but I continue to remind myself, or be reminded that the end goal is most important. It doesn’t matter how small the step is, just do something.

I have found reading to be quite easy and pleasurable to do recently. I wanted to read, but never took the steps to read, until recently. Now that I am reading more. I want to read more. So the time I use to scroll. I use to do something more meaningful for myself, which is read. The power to scroll loses its appeal. It is all about learning to build these habits, even starting small makes a difference.

I was just watching a video of how overstimulation is ruining our lives, and it prompt me to write this. I mean, we all know it isn’t good for us to be on social media, watch TV, procrastinate, and do nothing that helps us grow, but we still do it, because it is easy, why not? The things we want in life takes work, and who wants to do that!? No one does, but it has to be done, if you want improvement in your life, if you want inner peace, or if you want to reach your goals.

Overstimulation is ubiquitous in our lives. Doing one task has become incredibly difficult. Enjoying the simple things have become incredibly difficult. People need their quick dopamine fix. Searching for the next thing to entertain them, rather than finding things on their own to entertain themselves. With the likes of Tik Tok(I believe to be the worse SNS platform) that has made it possible.

I fall for this trap, so I am not hear to preach to you all. I am part of this need for overstimulation. It is ingrained in us. I have a TV, computer, Alexa, and phone in my room. So I am surrounded by over stimulating objects. I do try to use one at a time, and be intentional with how I use them to the best I can.

I now have my phone behind me, out of sight for now. I think it is best when working on a task, or doing something mindful that you keep your phone out of sight. It is easy to get dragged into the notification whole. It is also easier to pick it up, and look at it just to check if you have any notifications, man I do this a lot. I was able to do some writing today, and I started reading a new book as well. I also did my Saturday morning plant maintenance routine as well. I believe it was a successful proactive Saturday morning.

I am just trying to be more mindful, and trying to focus on one task at a time. This isn’t easy, especially watching videos, but it can be done with a certain amount of will. We can easily be distracted. I know I can, so I want to take this day to be intentional with how I put my focus on to things. One thing at a time. Be proactive. Be intentional. Keep distance from overstimulation. Things to remind myself, and hopefully I can remind you as well.