Dealing With Grief

I am writing this post, because I recently talked to a friend who is dealing with the loss of her grandfather. There were laughs, crying, happiness, joy and sadness. Also, feelings of guilt and sorrow. With many questions. This is quite normal when dealing with grief. Emotions are all over the place, and that is perfectly fine.

I was happy to be there for her to vent, and to talk about her grandfather. She had lovely stories to tell. All of these things that happened are totally normal for grief. There will be ups and down, even in a span of 30 minutes. You will not get over it quickly. You will struggle to come to terms with the loss. There will be questions about death. These are ways we cope.

We try to suppress our sadness, the tears, anger, guilt, frustrations, but we have to remember it is part of the process of healing. We want to get over it, but it just isn’t possible. You may even start putting blame on yourself for having these feelings, or putting blame on yourself for not doing too much, or being there enough for your loved one that has passed. This is quite normal, but we must be reminded, during this fragile time to be kind to ourselves, and remember that we are not perfect, and that you most likely did all you can do.

It will take time to recover. In the meantime, allow your emotions to flow through you. It may be hard at times, but it can be really helpful to just let go. Try not to be ashamed of crying. It is your body’s way of letting your sorrows out. It is better to let it out, than to suppress it.

We all grieve in different ways. At a different pace. So cry, some don’t. Some talk, some are silent. Some lash out, some stay calm. Some prefer to be around others, some prefer solitude. There is no wrong or right way to grieve, unless it purposely causes harm to others, others than that grieve how you want. Death is the most difficult thing to cope with in life. It is one of life’s biggest struggles.

The journey to recovery can take time, especially if it was someone close to you. Also, if there is someone close to you who lost someone, please try to take time to be there for them, and check on them. Giving them a space to talk and vent is important. All you have to do is listen and be empathetic.

I also recommend during the grieving process to be creative and productive. Try some meditation, exercise, journal, and read as well. Most importantly, keep your distance from social media as that can hinder your healing process. There will be times when you just want to lay down and do nothing, that is perfectly fine. You’ll need that mental and physical break.

Another thing I like to mention is, I preach living in the moment, but I found the importance of pictures, while visiting my friend. She had many photos of her grandfather. It was nice to see, and it is nice to look back on them. I get being in the moment, but memories fade, and pictures can be helpful in keeping memories alive. It made me realize I should take more pictures.

Thoughts Are Our Stories

Thoughts are just thoughts. They are stories of the mind. Be it retelling stories of the past, or pondering stories for the future. Our thoughts are not based on reality. They are bias, and they tend to be negative. Thoughts are our mind’s way of trying to understand the complex world around us. It is there to try to understand the difficult emotions and situations we face. It tries to provide comfort, but usually ends up making us feel worse.

We must remember thoughts are stories of the mind. They tend to focus on the past, or future. The reality is in the moment. You can have thoughts about the future, but it isn’t reality, until you are in the future moment, experiencing the situation. You can have thoughts of the past, but it isn’t reality, it has already happened, and usually your thoughts of the past are distorted.

Thoughts about ourselves and others are also distorted. Talking down to ourselves. Judging others. These thoughts are not based on reality. They can be negative biased. They make us feel worse about ourselves and others, than we really should. Our mind’s want to protect us from getting hurt by painting this brush of negative thoughts and worse case scenarios, but it doesn’t work. It doesn’t help. It tends to make us feel worse.

We have negative thoughts about others, because we want to feel better about ourselves, but it doesn’t help us fix our own struggles. We have negative thoughts about ourselves, because we have high standards for ourselves and want to be perfect, but that is impossible, because all humans have flaws and make mistakes. It is important to be aware that thoughts are just thoughts, thoughts are stories, thoughts are bias, thoughts are distorted to fit your perception. They do not reflect reality. They do not define you.

35 Things That Improved My Life/Things I Appreciate

Today I will be celebrating my 35th birthday. Some people see their birthdays as getting older, but I look at it as celebrating another year of life on this earth. I made it another year! That is something to celebrate. I wanted to make a post of the 35 things that improved my life, or things I appreciate to celebrate 35 years. It is good to put focus on the good, and look at the bright side, so I wanted to make this. The list isn’t in order of anything. I appreciate all these things equally.

1.Becoming aware

2.Practicing mindfulness

3.Appreciating connections with friends and family

4.Drinking more water

5.Eating healthier

6.Consuming less sugar

7.Creating this blog

8.Journaling

9.Learning not to strive for happiness/seek contentment

10.Accepting my flaws

11.Getting a better paying job

12.Having mindful time

13.Taking deep breaths

14.Meditation

15.Getting a dependable car

16.Taking small steps

17.Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day

18.Reading

19.Not allowing Social Media to control my thoughts & emotions

20.Learning to accept all emotions

21.Taking nature walks

22.Appreciating the people who love me/like me

23.Not caring about likes and attention

24.Expressing myself without worries

25.Appreciating being in my own skin

26.Taking in the moment as much as I can

27.Looking at the positives

28.Appreciating my strengths

29.Learning happiness comes from within

30.Finding appreciation for the people and things in my life

31.Finding the joys of life

32.Becoming a plant owner

33.Learning patience

34.Embracing the struggles

35.Accepting life for what it is

While writing this I found a couple of other things that I could list as well. You don’t realize how many things you appreciate in life, until you start looking. I implore you all to do a list like this, not just for your birthday, although that would be fun, but just in general to show you how much their is to appreciate in life. Yes, there are negatives and bad things that happen in life, but there is also plenty of good and positives. Putting your attention on the good brings peace and happiness.

Overthinking

Overthinking is a problem we all face in life, so more than others. Overthinking keeps us a way from mindful living, and keeps us stuck in the past, or future. Overthinking can be a hindrance to our happiness, peace of mind and well-being. It cultivate feelings of anxiety, frustration, sadness and more. Why do we do it?

It is our brains way of trying to understand the world around us. Our minds wants to protect us, it wants control of a situation, so it goes into overdrive trying to find a solution. The problem is, it does the opposite. Our thoughts are our mind’s way of trying to understand what happened in the past, and what will happen in the future. Overthinking can hinder our ability to problem-solve and take action. This is why the saying ‘don’t think, just do,’ is so important. The more you think, the less you do.

You would think thinking more would allow you to resolve things, but it just makes you feel worse. You just go in circles. Your thoughts are stories. They are not reality. You are creating a movie in your head, but it won’t bring you clarity or peace. Overthinking stops you from problem-solving, it stops you from taking action, and it stops you from making decisions. This is why it is important to get out of your head, and be aware that these thoughts are stories of the mind.

Ways to combat overthinking:

  • Meditate
  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Journal
  • Challenge your thoughts-Question your thoughts, are these thoughts facts, is there evidence to back them up
  • Reframe your thoughts-Put your thoughts in a more realistic, positive light.
  • Double standard technique-This is talking to yourself in the same compassionate way you would a friend. If your friend was in your situation, what would you say? If it is true for them, why not you?

Clarity and peace of mind have come from using these practices and techniques. It helps calm your thoughts and brings relief. Thinking too much has never caused me peace of mind. It has only allowed me to lose sleep, creativity, productivity among other things.

Questions to ask yourself when overthinking:

Thoughts of the past: How would this help me now? What can I learn from this? Are these thoughts helping me at the moment?

Thoughts of the future: Am I really in danger? Would I die from this? Are these thoughts helping me at this moment?

The most important question to ask is how is this helping me right now? It is important to be aware of if these thoughts are helping, or hurting you. When you are aware, you have a better chance of combating your thoughts with helpful techniques to gain peace of mind and clarity.

My Mindful Week

I wanted to create this post to discuss the mindfulness practices I implemented this week. I will start with my self-care routine I have been doing before work. I usually tend to scroll online before work, but this week I decided to change this up. I really want to read more books this year, so I decided to use my time before work to do some reading. It really helps me spark up my imagination and creativity. It also inspires me for my daily life, and my work. I learn a lot from reading. Reading allows you to think as well. I get enjoyment from reading. It gives me the opportunity to be present with my full attention.

I also like writing in my journal, during this time as well. Getting my thoughts out on paper is very therapeutic. It also helps me problem-solve, and brings clarity to the situations in my life. This time has also allowed me to mediate more. I sometimes just sit on my bed, doing nothing, but listening to my thoughts flow. One day it was sunny out, and it was nice staring at my plants with the reflection of the sun. It was nice being in the moment staring at the beauty before me. It was really relaxing just sitting there.

Going back to my thoughts. I realize thoughts do affect your emotions. It is interesting when you are aware of your thoughts, and what they do to you physically and emotionally. I was feeling down, because my thoughts were on a situation that happened at work the day prior. I was overwhelmed with work, and I was tired of being overworked, so I let out my frustration at my bosses. The confrontation left me stress, exhausted, and frustrated. All these thoughts brought me down.

I did end up feeling better at the end of the day, because I realized I had power. I realized I was overworking myself. I was doing more than I can handle. I wasn’t forced to do all that. Being angry at my job for all the work won’t help me, but recognizing I have the power to reduce the amount of work I do is quite powerful. I decided to dial it down at work the next, and felt much relief from doing so. The job didn’t overwhelm me. My high expectations of myself did. I did too much. This distinction is so important for your piece of mind.

I feel a bit embarrassed that I let out my frustrations the way I did, but it had to be done. I could not continue to hold it in. I don’t regret it. Due to my talk with them. They were able to come to a solution that can help me out, which I liked, so sometimes you gotta let people know how you feel, so something gets done. You gotta do what is best for you. I am not saying to complain all day, everyday, but there are times when you got to express your discontent with a situation.

One last thing, I got this mindfulness book for Christmas. I absolutely love it. It has reminded me that I need to live moment by moment. We do one task, thinking about what to do next, then we go to that task, thinking what we should do next. We rush from one task to another. We forget to actually live in the moments. I became aware I do this a lot, especially when I do mundane everyday tasks, like brushing my teeth, or washing dishes. I am trying to live in moments. It can be hard, during those times, and when I am at work. I do realize that even though these tasks aren’t fun. They are still part of living, and I should put my attention to it when I am in the moment. It isn’t easy, but it can be done.

I was even doing this, while I was on a walk today. Focusing on what I will do after this walk. I realized what I was doing, and put my focus on the beauty around me. I told myself, ‘I am walking, I am looking at the trees and sky. I am listening to music.’ I did this, so my mind can be in the moment, rather than having thoughts of the future, or the past. It allowed me to enjoy my walk, even more. Life is about living moment to moment. The good, the bad, the boring, they are all part of living. You got to live in the moments to fully live.

Mindset Habits for 2021

It is a new year. It is time to set your year the best way you can. We tend to always set up goals, but I think setting up mindset habits are important as well. I got this lovely idea from the Youtube vlogger Rowena Tsai.

Mindset habits can help determine how well your life goes. It can help determine how peaceful your state of mind will be, or how happy one will be with their life. I decided to start the year discussing mindset habits I like to implement more this year. Maybe these habits can be helpful for you, or it may spark some mindset habits of your own you would like to try.

1.Be aware: Being aware of my thoughts, emotions, and actions has been very beneficial to me, and my peace of mind. Being aware of my thoughts allows me to reframe my negative thinking to a more positive and realistic approach. Being aware of my emotions gives me the opportunity to immerse myself in the emotion, allowing it to be, and to come to an understanding of it, and why I have the feeling. It helps me move on. Being aware of my actions allows me to learn from mistakes, and grow as an individual. Awareness is very important for our well-being. It cultivates mindful living. It cultivates peace.

2.Take control: What I mean by this, is that I have power over how I cope and handle things in life. I have power with how I deal with difficult emotions. I have power over how I cope with adversity. I have power over my thoughts. I may not control what comes to mind, but I can control where it leads. I have responsibility over the actions I take. I have the power to overcome any struggles in my life. Knowing you have control of some aspects in life is a powerful mindset to have. Everything is not out of your control. We are stronger than we think.

3.Find perspective: Reminder, that life doesn’t revolve around me, or you. I like to always see the other side. Whether that be someone with an opposing view, or challenging my own thoughts, and reframing them. It is easy to just focus on things that fit your beliefs and ideals, but you learn and grow from allowing your view points to be challenged. This allows you to come to an understanding, and reduces ignorance, anger, and frustration. I like looking at the other side of my viewpoints. I sometimes realize that their viewpoint makes sense, and I learn to agree with what they say.

This also goes with thoughts. Our thoughts tend to be negative, but learning to reframe them is really powerful. This goes with arguments, disagreements, or dealing with difficult emotions. It is important to look at different perspective, not just one. Nobody can learn from just one perspective. Don’t just see things from your perspectives, don’t just look at the negative. Open yourself up to the other ones as well.

4.Be kind to yourself: Being kind to others is so much easier, than being kind to yourself. I have been very kind to myself this year, and would love to be kinder this year. You are a human being just like anyone else. We all make mistakes, we all do stupid things, we are all imperfect beings. We are also unique beings who have strengths of our own. I know I have flaws, but I also have strengths. I know I have great qualities about me, and that is what allows me to shine. This goes for everyone. Build yourself up, rather than knock yourself down. I will make mistakes, or make bad decisions, but I will still be kind to myself, because I know it is all a part of the human experience. I am not perfect. Treating yourself with dignity and respect is very important.

5.Take in all emotions: This is something I have learned about this year, and would love to improve upon this year. All emotions should be welcomed. Some may be harder than others, but they still should be embraced. Avoiding doesn’t help, it even makes it worse. Learning to just let the emotion be is incredibly powerful. Emotions are there to guide us. We just go to learn to use it to our advantage.

6.Challenge yourself: Definitely something I struggle with the most, but comfort doesn’t provide experiences or excitement. Living is about doing things out of the norm. My most memorable moments are doing things outside of my bubble. I like to challenge myself and do things that create discomfort for me. It may be difficult in the beginning, but once I do it, the easier things will get. It may turn out, as it usually does, to be a fun experience, or a learning experience. It will only help me become stronger, and more resilient.

7.Appreciate Life: Instead of focusing on the things I don’t have. I like to put that energy into the things I do have. Showing gratitude increases happiness and well-being. I don’t have everything, but who needs everything. Everything won’t make you happy. I have enough, and I am perfectly happy with that. You will always want more if you seek happiness from external means. I like to look at the little things that bring me joy. I like to focus on the good in my life.

Most people say this year sucked, because they focused on things they couldn’t do. To me it didn’t. I still got to connect with friends. I became a plant owner. I went on a lovely beach trip. I went on some lovely nature walks. It is all about where you put your energy towards. If you see the bad, life will suck. If you see the good, life is good. Simple concept, but hard to implement.

8.Be creative: I like to work towards my creative side this year. Due to Covid, we are indoors a bit more. This gives us an opportunity to be creative in whatever we are creative in. Creating something is a beautiful thing. It gives me purpose. It makes me feel accomplished. It is rewarding. It also allows you to be more mindful, and in the moment.

I hope I am able to implement these habits this year. I do think they will be beneficial to my self-growth journey. I hope you all have helpful mindset habits that can help you get though the year in a more mindful and peaceful manner. I hope this new year is full of new adventures, new experiences and new discoveries.

Goodbye 2020/Hello 2021

This was an interesting year. A year of change. A year to adapt. Although, we can look at this year in a negative light. You can also find some highlights and positives to the year. Plans may not have happened the way you may have wanted, but that is life, and we got to learn to keep going and move forward, instead of dwelling of what could have been.

A new year is upon us. Some people see it as a new start. I am sure we all want to move on from 2020. Although, the pandemic will still be alive into 2021. There is hope for better days into 2021. I do hope for happier days in 2021, but I am also aware that challenges will arrive. The year will have its ups and downs. We can hope for more ups. Lets look forward to new experiences, and lets learn to embrace the challenges that come our way. Its great to be hopeful for greatness, but it is also beneficial to be mindful that life is not smooth and easy. This can make the year much more peaceful for your mind.

To all the people who dealt with loss, be it a job, or loved one. My heart hurts for you. There is nothing anyone can say, or do to heal those wounds. It does get easier with time, but it is a process. Sadness, anger, and frustration will be prevalent, and that is okay. I do hope this year will be a better year for you. I hope you have a healthy way to let out your emotions.

This is the end of a new chapter, and on to the next one. There will be twist and turns. There will be some fun times and some dark times. All you can do is do your best. Work for what you want, and find ways to bring as much joy and peace into your life. Here is to the new of possibilities, wonders, and discoveries. A year of learning, growing, and evolving as a human being. A year to learn more about yourself. A year to love and appreciate yourself and others more. Happy New Year!

2020 Reflection/2021 Planning Post

Happy holidays everyone! Although, we call it happy, not everyone is happy, during these times. There are some who are grieving, struggling mentally, financially, or physically, also dealing with other difficulties in their lives right now. This can be a happy time for some, but a sad time for others. Happiness shouldn’t be forced, during this time. It is okay to be sad, upset, tired, lonely etc,. Forcing happiness won’t help. Accepting these low emotions will help one move forward sooner. Just ty to bare through, and do the best you can. Feeling happiness, joy and excitement are not necessary, even if society depicts it that way.

This was a year of change. A year to adapt. A year to cope. Although, this can happen any year. The same thing hit us all at the same time. Plans needed to be changed, or canceled. We had to learn to live life differently. It may have been hard, but we came through it. We learned to adapt. We learned to cope. We can look at this year in a bad light, but you can also find some good, positives, and things to appreciate this year. Change is hard, but it help us grow. Change is inevitable, whether you want it or not, so accepting it is the best option. Why questions will get you nowhere, but figuring out ways to cope, and deal with this new change will set you free.

The pandemic will not end in the new year. It will seep into 2021 as well. We got to try to make the best, and enjoy our lives as much as we can. I am sure you can find some great experiences you had this year, and you can find things that you appreciate in your life at the moment. 2020 was a year of learning and adapting for all us. We should go into every year expecting change, and a need to adapt. Change doesn’t always happen on our time, so preparation is important. It creates less pain in the future.

Lets go into the new year with a mindful mindset. Hoping for the best, but aware that the worse could happen. That struggles will appear. That life is unpredictable. It has good and bad moments. The new year won’t be perfect. Your life doesn’t automatically change in the new year. Things don’t reset. But you can always make changes. You can always make things better for oneself. You can always improve and evolve. And that are some of the beauties in life. Lets look forward to the new year for our continuation of growth through our progress for personal development.

I prepared a couple of reflection/planning questions as well. If you like to go through them that would be great. I think it is important to reflect and plan at the end of the year. This helps show how far you have come, and how you can grow. It also helps to put things into perspective. I also answered the first six myself. Hopefully these question will be helpful.

2020 Reflection Questions

1.Positives of the year?: Becoming a plant owner, connecting with family and friends, going on a trip to the beach, being more mindful

2.Challenges of the year?: Being quarantined, things being restricted, due to covid 19, 

3.Things that benefited me this year?:Being mindful, being a plant owner, learning to cope and accept difficult emotions

4.Things I learned this year?:To be aware of my emotions, and that all emotions are valid and necessary. Connecting with others is important.

5.How Did I grow this year?: Learning to be more at peace with myself, learning to cope and accept all emotions, learning not to allow social media to control my mindset

6.Achievements this year?: Buying a more reliable car, making more visits to the dentist, being more at peace with myself and life, keeping my plants alive, getting employee of the month, started writing my book.

Here are some others to think about.

What are my thoughts of 2020?

What were my challenges? How did I cope?

What new experiences did I have?

What can I improve on for next year?

What can I take with me into 2021?

What can I get rid of in 2021?

What positive habits have you gained this year? What would you like to gain next year?

What negative habits would you like to lose next year?

What are you proud of this year?

What goals do you want to achieve next year? What are the short term pains? What are the long term gains? Can you make the short term pains manageable? Are there ways to overcome them?

Emotions

What are Emotions?

-a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

-instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.

– an emotion is a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components: a subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioral or expressive response.

These are a couple of definitions I found online. There are many different opinions on what are emotions. My thoughts, it is a feeling that arises from an event(that can be from an experience, a person, a situation). Emotions can be difficult to grasp and understand for some, if they try to suppress or avoid them.

What Kind of Emotions Are There?

Emotions permeate our lives. They are important to be aware of, understand and accept in our lives. There are known to be 6 basic emotions. Happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust and surprise. That seems to be a bit small. I am sure we express more? A study by Alan S. Cohen and Dacher Keltner, PHD recognized 27 different emotions, during their study.

  • Admiration
  • Adoration
  • Aesthetic Appreciation
  • Amusement
  • Anxiety
  • Awe
  • Awkwardness
  • Boredom
  • Calmness
  • Confusion
  • Craving
  • Disgust
  • Empathetic pain
  • Entrancement
  • Envy
  • Excitement
  • Fear
  • Horror
  • Interest
  • Joy
  • Nostalgia
  • Romance
  • Sadness
  • Satisfaction
  • Sexual desire
  • Sympathy
  • Triumph

Some notable ones are missing, like anger, or compassion, but here we get more of a variety of emotions, and some I never even considered, but I like this list. We are complex creatures. The first list seems too simplistic for me. But they are considered basic emotions, so I guess that makes sense, but I like to express that we as humans experience a plethora of emotions.

Emotions Just Are

As the lovely Psychologist and author of Emotional Agility Susan David states, ‘Emotions just are.’ I really love that statement. There are no positive or negative emotions, good or bad. It is all in the way we perceive these emotions that make it that way. We view positive emotions as comfortable and uplifting. We view negative emotions as uncomfortable and difficult. We put them in categories to make it easier for us, but doing so allows us to push away the “negative” or “bad” emotions, which isn’t helpful for us. Happiness/sadness, joy/anger, anxiety/calmness are all emotions that need to be felt. There is nothing wrong with any of these emotions. The way we cope and perceive these emotions is where the importance lies.

Dr. David Burns, a Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist, has an approach I found interesting and insightful. He first asks his patients to confront the difficult emotions, and then asked them to see how that emotions can be useful to them. I thought this was a beneficial approach. By looking at the emotion in a different way. It can help dial down the emotions to a manageable level. For example, stress/anxiety allows you to be alert, it helps protect you from future danger. Sadness shows that you are a caring individual, and you wish the best for yourself and others. Anger allows you to fight for what is valuable to you, it shows that you have standards, it shows there are things of importance to you. Once you look at it in this way. You realize these emotions have value as well. They are necessary as well. The problem is we use these emotions to hurt ourselves and others, instead of helping us, because we assume these emotions are “bad.”

We got to remember that emotions just are. They are here to tell you something. Nothing good or bad. They are there to guide you. To show you what you need to do next. You can use it to hurt you or help you, but it is all in your power. Emotions will never go away, so trying to do so will make it worse. Accept them, and recognize they aren’t there to harm you, they aren’t necessarily there to help you either. They just are, and it is up to you to choose what to do with it.

Sources:

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-emotions-2795178

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2017/09/09/here-are-the-27-different-human-emotions-according-to-a-study/?sh=547b9a381335

Little Mindful Reminders

Hello my lovely followers. I am staying home preparing for the storm coming. I just wanted to post some mindful reminders I use for myself. I remembered having them, while doing my mindful evening routine. I haven’t read them in awhile. It is nice to look back on them. Some are more relevant to me at the moment, than others. Maybe they can be helpful for you, or maybe you have, or can make some of your own. I did revamp some of them. I also make new reminders if something new pops up, and I want to make a reminder for future references. I think these are nice to have around whenever you need that reminder. Please don’t mind the handwritten, not the best hand writer, but still wanted to show them, because hey, we all got our flaws. I still think these are useful.

There is also something else I like to write. I wrote down some phrases as well. At first I wrote down ‘Be this’ or ‘Be that,’ but then switched it to ‘Find this’ or ‘Find that.’ I realized that saying “be” makes it sound easy, it isn’t, find is a better word, because you got to search and work for these things in life. It won’t come easy, but it is available to you at all times. Have a lovely day or night everyone. Much love<333