Calming the Stressed/Anxious Mind

My anxiety sprung up a bit yesterday night, and last morning. Worrying about how to deal with HR related stuff for my leave of absence, having to make phone calls that I normally don’t like to take. Phone calls are stressful for me. I had to deal with more phone calls these past two weeks, than I had all this year. It can be overwhelming, but for the most part, the exposure has made it easier to deal with phone calls. I normally do my best to ignore phone calls, but have been answering all of them lately with little hesitation, so there is a positive. Anyway, back to the anxiety.

Anxiety is our minds way of preparing for the worst case scenario. It is for our survival. It doesn’t recognize that our everyday fears are mostly non-threatening, but our minds see it that way. The logical part of our brain recognizes that, but the amygdala, and limbic part of our brains overwhelms that part.

There were three things that helped calm my mind. One was, taking a step back, and just letting things be. I realize things our a little overwhelming right now, but worrying isn’t going to solve anything, and it is just going to ruin the rest of my day. I want to enjoy the moment as much as possible. I tell myself, things will come together. You will not die. It isn’t the end of the world. I will figure things out. Just let it be. My worries seem to dissipate, and weaken when I think this.

Another thing I did was meditate. I did this last night, after feeling nervous about making the phone call. This helped calm my mind and body down. The thoughts kept coming in, but I kept letting them in, and letting go. Eventually, things calm down, and then clarity comes along. The amygdala was no longer ruling my mind. The logic and reasoning part overruled it. I realized that it won’t be as bad as I think it will be, and that I will get through it, like the many other phone calls I got through. I was able to sleep peacefully with no worries. I did make the phone call right when I got up, because even though I was calmer. It is best for me to get things done and over with.

In the morning, I became a bit stressed again from all the things I needed to get done from that phone call. I decided again that stressing wouldn’t help, so decided to do something good for my body and mind. I decided to do some yoga. This gives me a chance to put my focus on my body and my breaths, by doing that, it keeps my mind away from all those negative thoughts. Once I was done, I was able to find calmness and clarity. I was able to be aware that everything will be fine, and that now that my mind is clear. I can figure out what I need to get done, and that is what I did. I also felt refreshed from getting a nice and relaxing workout.

I did not want anxiety and stress to define my day. I wanted to make use of my day in the most productive way. Worrying doesn’t help. It gets nothing solved or done. I found some ways to help calm my mind from those stressors. Maybe they can be helpful for you, or maybe there are some others way that help you. Either way it is best to find calm and peace as much as you can possibly can.

Random Thought Post

It is quite therapeutic to go for a walk/run out doors when feeling stressed, or down. It has been quite a stressful day at work today, so I decided I would go for a run outside, and I am happy I made that decision!

I feel so much more relaxed, and stress-free. My mind was able to become clear. Exercise, and being outdoors are two things that can help boost your mood, and calm your mind. It definitely did wonders for me. It is something to try whenever something/someone gets the best of you.

This picture is from around my neighborhood the other day. I decided not to take my phone with me on my run/walk. Just wanted to be in the moment, which is beneficial to clearing/relaxing your mind. Don’t need those distractions.

Have a lovely evening, or morning!, wherever you are.

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Wind Down Time

We all need a little wind down time. After a day of work, or after a busy day, or after doing anything physically, or mentally draining. It is good to take a moment to relax the mind, and body, and just sit still.

Sitting still is quite an arduous task. Humans struggle to stay still. We want to keep busy, distract ourselves. But this can be exhausting for our minds, and bodies. It is a nice feeling to just sit still, and relax. It could only be for a couple of minutes. Just that bit of time can be good for you. Our minds and body need this time.

We owe our minds and bodies this relaxation time. It could be helpful to keep us at peace. It is about self-control, and training our mind, and body to be still, and relax. Your body, and mind have been running around all day. It is time to relax.

You can try by sitting in a comfortable place in your house. Just sit, and breathe. Relax the body, and allow the mind to flow, with no judgments. Let thoughts flow from the day. Try not to let anything linger. You can even have a timer set, so you don’t have to do it for long. If you have other things you want to get done. That bit of time can be helpful.

If just sitting is too difficult, which it can be. You can focus on something in your surroundings, look around. If you have a window. You can look at the scenery outside. You can also start doing some mindful writing. I am always able to think of ideas and creative stuff when I do this wind down exercise.

This is all about giving your mind and body that time to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate itself. Times like these can help us learn about ourselves, answer questions, and cultivate creative ideas. So why wouldn’t we want this down time? We should all try to give ourselves this time. It can be helpful for our peace of mind. We don’t want to drain ourselves, or exhaust ourselves too much. Give yourself a break. We deserve a little wind down time.

Image result for relaxing mind and body quotes

Image result for relaxing mind and body quotes

Have A Mindful Day

Try not to rush through things throughout the day. Focus your energy on the task you are doing. Focusing on what you are going to do next leads to anxiety. Remember things will get done eventually. Just immerse yourself in the activity one is doing at the moment. No matter how dull you may think it is. Immerse yourself with your thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and behaviors in the present moment. You can always learn something new with any experience. Living in the moment is when you are living. Embrace it. It will lead to peace, calm, and relaxation of the mind and body.

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Train Your Mind, Improve Your Life

Many people say they don’t have time to to practice mindfulness meditation. I say one can spend at least 5 minutes doing this activity. People don’t want to do it, because it is difficult to sit still and calm the mind. It is much easier letting the mind wander, allowing anxiety and depression to creep in. It is much easier letting negative thoughts consume the mind. It is harder to train, and rewire the mind to focus on the present. To see things in a more positive light. To accept things for what it is. To let thoughts flow through you. This is why people don’t have the time for this practice.

     I don’t believe one doesn’t have five minutes to spare. This is about your peace of mind. Just like when a doctor says to rest. You will most likely do so, which will halt your regular activities, but this is just as important as treating a physical injury. Mental health is very important and can be crippling, so you should do what you can to be mentally healthy. We disregard our mental health, but if our mental health isn’t treated with care, than it will spill into physical health problems, and you will have a whole other set of problems. I am sure none of you like to be anxious or depressed. Yes, there are triggers and episodes that will be out of your control, but mindfulness meditation will help you cope and handle it better, and have you bounce back quicker. 

     Instead of being depressed and anxious 24/7, 365 days a year. It can be reduced to a couple days/weeks a year. The emotions will not consume your life as much. So you can see why it is important to practice mindfulness and calm the mind. You have to remember what benefits you in the end. Being anxious and depressed doesn’t, so it is best to find ways to reduce these emotions.

Image result for mindfulness practice

Image result for mindfulness practice

Helpful Tips When Dealing With Anxiety or Depression

 

  • Sit with the emotions.
  • Do not fight, or push them away:

-It permeates negativity, negative self-talk.

  • Ruminate over the thoughts and emotions one is feeling during your episode.
  • Gain knowledge of the triggers, and the causes of your anxiety/depression.
  • Accept the feelings for what it is:

-it sucks, but part of life, and who you are.

-Try not to ask why questions-why me? Why can’t this go away?

-It solves nothing, and promotes negativity.

-Your life does not suck, because of this disorder.

-You are not awful, because of this disorder.

  • Remember that the emotions/feelings will fade.
  • Emotions come in waves/they are not stagnant.
  • There will be sunshine again.
  • And it will pour again, but that is okay.
  • Accept that anxiety and depression are part of who you are.
  • Accept that it will never go away.
  • Accept that anxiety/depression episodes are out of your control.
  • But remember, You can gain power back by accepting it in your life, and learning how to cope with the symptoms better.
  • Knowledge is power-learn triggers, causes, and how you can handle episodes better.
  • Self-Awareness is power-Focus the energy on oneself. Do not put blame outward. You can’t control outside forces, but you can control your thoughts, and how you handle things from within.
  • And always remember that it is okay to have anxiety or depression.

-You are not wrong.

-You are not awful.

-You are not weird.

  • Acceptance is vital-Acceptance of oneself, of reality, of your disorder cultivates inner peace, happiness, and relief.   

 

 

Confront the Struggle

As the great Carl Rogers said in the quote below, I am a believer in confronting struggles, not avoiding. As I mentioned many times before, avoiding solves nothing, just cultivates more problems. I am not a fan of medication-as it is a form of avoiding/masking- unless the disorder is severe, and dangerous.

Anxiety and Depression control much of our lives, but we can learn to take control back by confronting the root of the problem, and figuring out what triggers the emotions, and how we can be able to manage it better in the future. Anxiety and Depression come in waves. There will be good days, and bad days. It isn’t something that will go away, but it can be managed better. It is hard to get out of the turmoil of sadness, and worry on the bad days, but acknowledging your struggle can be a start, and then you can move on to figuring out ways to help alleviate the emotions. It will still be there, but more manageable, sometimes it may get you out of that state of mind.

It is always good to ruminate over the episode once it is over, or on the good days, because that is when you are thinking more clearly. Maybe think about what triggered the episode, what the outcome was, and what could have been done differently- thoughts/perceptions/behaviors. It won’t stop another episode from happening, but it can help build coping strategies the next time you feel anxious, or depressed.

Just remember that it is okay to feel depressed and anxious. Try not to get down on yourself for something that is out of your control. It is all part of the whirlwind that is called life.

Image result for carl rogers quotes

 

Take Time Away From Social Media

     Step away from the world of Social media. I have read many articles of people becoming happier leaving their social media accounts, and putting their phone aside. Doing this gives you time to prioritize your life. You realize how much free time you have to do more productive things in life. You have time to run errands, exercise, go for a walk, read etc,. You have time to get things done that you wanted to do. When you step back, you realize how many times you checked your phone a day. It imprisons you, but we can all break free of that cycle! It isn’t easy, but once you step back, you realize how much you don’t really miss it.

     I am writing this, because I recently decided to pull back on my social media/phone use. I barely used my phone today at work. I realized how much freedom that brings. I also realized how much time flew by when I am not constantly checking my phone, and looking at the time. I was just in the moment, and it felt great. I have had a sense of peace, since I pushed back on SNS use. I had more time to read, which I love to do, but barely did, because of my social media use. I have more time to gain knowledge, and expand my mind. Lack of social media use can really allow you to focus on yourself and expand your mind, which is very important. You can benefit physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually from lack of social media use.

     Now most people would prefer to delete social media. I choose not to do that, because I do think there are aspects that are beneficial. I also don’t like avoiding things, since it won’t help me overcome my struggles. If social media causes lots of distress and sadness in your life, then it is best to avoid it. I like the feeling of being able to go on social media, and not let the negativity get to me. I feel empowered being able to overcome this struggle. There are a couple of struggles I deal with that I am sure many of you deal with.

     Comparisons are hard to avoid, and is probably a big reason people leave social media. I have done that as well. It is an innate trait in us humans unfortunately. I have a Facebook friend that I went to school with who was able to get a job I haven’t yet. Now I can be bitter, sad, or angry about her posting about her job, or I can take a step back, and realize she did something I didn’t to get that job, and it is her time, not mine at the moment. I also don’t know her real life, and I am pretty sure everything isn’t perfect. I think seeing things differently can change your experience online. This is why I do not see social media as good nor bad. It is our thoughts/perceptions that make it good or bad. It is the people behind the screen that makes the experience good or bad.

     I also can get annoyed, and frustrated by some people’s comments, because I don’t agree with how they see/say things, but once I step back. I realize we all have different points of view on things, and even though I don’t think their way of going about things is the best. Nothing I say can change their opinion on things, so it is best to let it go, and keep scrolling. People can be negative and mean, but it is best not to get caught in it, and keep it moving, don’t engage! I have had a sense of peace and empowerment from being able to do that.

     Another thing is getting noticed/likes. I am sure you thought, why didn’t this post get any likes? It was an awesome post!? I have said this myself, and I know others who have as well. I have known people who took down a post, because it didn’t get enough likes. The amount of likes validate us. It gives me, you, that sense of accomplishment, but how sad is that? People liking a status validating us. That isn’t something that should validate us, it isn’t an accomplishment. All the people with lots of likes, lots of friends/followers. Are they all happy? I can guarantee that it is a big no! The amount of likes doesn’t benefit you in any way. It may even cause stress, because now you have to top that post, or make other interesting posts from that point on.

     One last thing that may be a reason people don’t want to leave is FOMO(Fear Of Missing Out). This is a reason I didn’t want to step a way. I realized once I stepped away, that there is far more I am missing out by being online all the time. There is potential, creativity, opportunities, experiences, and self growth that you miss out on by being attached to social media. The stuff you fear of missing on social media is trivial.

     Now I like Social Media, because it connects me to others around the world that appreciates all the things I love. I also like to share the things that I like with others. The problem arises when there is a need for attention, likes, making comparisons, bullying others, hatred of differences of opinion. I won’t say leave social media, but learn to use it less and more wisely. Don’t get caught up in the attention seeking and negativity. I still struggle with this sometimes, but have gotten much better at handling it recently. It is a process. I will say, if social media cultivates mental health problems-anxiety, depression, addiction-it is best to leave it behind. Just to note, unless it is an addiction or bullying. The problems you may have on social media may not be solved by just leaving, because you are not facing your struggles, and it may spill into your real life, so you should be cognizant of what bothers you, and if it is something you need to face and work on. In the end,there really isn’t a negative consequence to leaving social media, so if you think that is best, then leave it behind.

 

 

 

Self-Reflection

This topic is going off my last post “Put Emphasis on You.” Self-Reflection definitely helps put the focus on you. I believe it is important to do this activity I say once a day, but I know it can be hard in this busy world, so at least try once a week.

So what is it? Self-Reflection is examining your own thoughts, feelings, goals, motives, values, and actions. It is about learning who you are, and what life means to you. I think it important to know these things about yourself.

So why is it important? It can cultivate a positive mindset. It can lessen anxiety, depression, and any other negative emotion. It can help you be less critical of yourself. It can also help you achieve your goals, and help strengthen your career. Being able to reflect on yourself, you can learn your strengths and weaknesses, your triggers, what truly makes you happy, what you really want out of life. Knowing your strengths can help you utilize those strengths to help achieve the things you want in life. It can also help you see yourself in a more positive way. Knowing your weaknesses can also be helpful. It can teach you to learn from them and improve, which can help you grow personally and mentally. Being able to overcome your weaknesses can build character and improve your self-esteem.

You can also learn that some weaknesses can not be improved upon, but you can learn to accept them, because we are human, and we come with strengths and weaknesses. We should learn to accept them both. Self-Reflection is about having a better sense of yourself, learning to perceive yourself in a better way. I don’t think we take enough time to sit down, and learn about ourselves. I know it is hard in this busy world, but it is worth it for inner peace and happiness.

Making time to reflect on who you are can help you mentally, personally, physically, and spiritually, and isn’t that worth it? Life is stressful right? Life can be depressing sometimes right? If you are able to sit down and reflect. You can be able to pinpoint exactly what is stressful and depressing, ruminate over it, and learn from it, you may be able to accept things, and come to peace with it, or you may find a way to make things less stressful or depressing. Introspection is an important tool in life. It is a tool that can help you become happier and calmer in life.

One thing you can do is use a journal. This can help you reflect on your day and life, and you can see how much you grown, and what you learned. It is always interesting to look back on things, and see how different your mindset is, or how you thought something was bad at the time, but now you are fine. You can also do a self-reflection board, putting your goals, dreams, strengths, weaknesses, things you love, dislike. You can get a visual of who you are. In self-reflection it is important to asks yourself questions. I found some questions online, and I made my own questions to post here to guide you on the self-reflection journey. Good luck! I hope this is helpful.

  • Am I using my time wisely?
  • Am I taking anything for granted?
  • Am I employing a healthy perspective?
  • Am I living true to myself?
  • Am I waking up in the morning ready to take on the day?
  • Am I thinking negative thoughts before I fall asleep?
  • Am I putting enough effort into my relationships?
  • Am I taking care of myself physically?
  • Am I letting matters that are out of control stress me out?
  • Am I achieving the goals that I’ve set for myself?

Found these questions on https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/introspection-self-reflection/

 

  • What positive thing happened today?
  • What did you learn today?
  • What obstacle did you have today? How did you cope with it?
  • What did you learn about yourself today?
  • Are you in a place of peace and calm today?
  • Were you stressed today? Why? Would it still bother you a week or month for now?
  • Did I have negative thoughts today? What was it? Is there a way to see it in a more positive way? Is there anything you can learn from it?
  • Is there something I can work on about myself?
  • Say one positive thing about yourself?

These are my own personal self-reflection questions.

 

Put Emphasis on You

I just wanted to post about how important it is to focus on yourself. Please try to take time for yourself. If it is meditating, doing yoga, writing, drawing, going for a walk, taking a soothing bath, reading or watching inspirational books or videos, learning something new, practicing mindfulness. I don’t think we spend enough time on ourselves, reflecting on ourselves.

I think writing in a journal self-reflecting can be very therapeutic. It helps us learn more about ourselves. Learning about ourselves can help our mental and spiritual growth. It can also benefit us physically. It is important not to get caught up in society, or social media. That puts too much emphasis on others. It is okay to pay attention to others, but your attention should mainly be on yourself and your growth and development, whatever it is that can get you there, do it. This can be the gateway to inner peace, calm, and happiness.

Putting too much focus on others drives us away from ourselves, which can lead to unhappiness and misery. In this society it is quite easy to stray from ourselves, but you should try your best to center yourself back to you. It is integral for your well-being.