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.

How Much Does Stress/Anxiety Affect You

Anxiety and stress are ubiquitous. There is no escaping it, but there are ways you can learn how to cope with it better. I would like to ask some questions that I found in my mindfulness handbook. It is a very useful book if you would like to practice mindfulness, and reduce anxiety/stress in your life. If you are interested in the book it is called A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook by Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein.

These questions pertain to stress/anxiety in your life. It is a way to reflect on how stress affects your life.

  1. How is stress or anxiety about people affecting your life?
  2. How is stress or anxiety about work affecting your life?
  3. How is stress or anxiety about the world affecting your life?
  4. How is stress or anxiety about food and eating habits affecting your life?
  5. How is stress or anxiety about sleep and sleeplessness affecting your life?
  6. How is stress or anxiety about exercising or lack of physical activity affecting your life?

Answering these questions will not fix all your struggles with stress, but being aware of how much stress and anxiety affect your life can do wonders. You would be able to see how much impact stress/anxiety have on you, and how things may need to change to reduce the stress in your life. There are many steps you can take to improve your life and reduce stress/anxiety. It doesn’t happen quickly, but mindfulness practices can help guide you into a life of peace and calm. You got to start somewhere.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress is ubiquitous. Society has created this world of stress. We are more stressed today than ever. Stressing about money, paying bills, work, school, relationships etc. It is all around us. The stress can sometimes develop into something more severe. They can develop into anxiety disorders. We all have our worries, and fears. Sometimes it can control our thoughts, change our brain structure, and cause physical symptoms out of our control. There were plenty of times I left school with a huge headache from all the talking I had to do. I have Social Anxiety, so having to speak up in class was a chore for me. I didn’t mind doing it. I liked speaking my mind, but my body didn’t like it. I would get heart palpitations every time I thought about speaking up, sometimes I wouldn’t attempt to speak up, because I was too nervous, but sometimes I decided to fight through it, because I really wanted to say what I wanted to say. This would end with me having a headache everyday, which wasn’t fun. When it comes to an anxiety disorder, you know your thoughts are irrational, but the limbic system of the brain-the emotion center of the brain-and the chemicals of the brain take charge, and cause physical symptoms. Anxiety can cause nausea, sweating, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, and other things. Now I like to discuss some anxiety disorders.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder-People with generalized anxiety disorder display excessive anxiety or worry for months and face several anxiety-related symptoms(NIMH).

Panic Disorder-People with panic disorder have recurrent unexpected panic attacks, which are sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; sweating; trembling or shaking; sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking; and feeling of impending doom(NIMH).

Social Anxiety-People with social anxiety disorder (sometimes called “social phobia”) have a marked fear of social or performance situations in which they expect to feel embarrassed, judged, rejected, or fearful of offending others(NIMH).

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder-PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event(NIMH).

Anxiety is something cultivated by the world we live in. It is extremely hard to control, because your brain is restructured to become anxious and stressed in a given situation. Now it may be hard to get rid of anxiety and stress. There are ways to manage and cope with stress. Not everyone deals with these severe cases, but we all deal with stress and anxiety. There is no avoiding it. So what we should do is find ways to cope with it when it happens and also find ways to restructure our brain to handle stress in a better way. The chemical imbalances in our brain can be restructured, so that we don’t become more susceptible to stress.

One way that has helped me cope with Social Anxiety is the mindfulness approach, and meditation. I have and will speak on this a lot, because it a helpful tool. Mindfulness is all the present. Focusing myself to the moment gives me less time to worry about the future, and all my negative perceptions about it. Meditation always has a way of bringing me to a calmer state. My thoughts consume me at first, but after 10-15 minutes the thoughts subside, and I am at peace. I feel much more relaxed after it. Another thing that can be helpful is changing your mindset from a negative one to a positive. When it comes to anxiety, and thinking about the future. We think the worse, but we never think it will be better than we think. We don’t see the bright side. You probably think, ‘this is going to go awful,’ ‘this will be awful. You say all these negative things to yourself, but you can also flip that, and say ‘it will be fine,’ ‘I may enjoy it,’ or ‘it will go great.’ Remember, a situation is never as bad as you think it will be, it never is for me. I always think after the fact that is wasn’t as bad as my mind thought it would be. Just remember that the feelings of stress will pass, just like all emotions pass. We get happy, sad, anxious, it is cyclical. No emotion is stable through life. Things in life are too complicated for our emotions to stay stable. Just think about things you were stressed about a year ago, and if you are still stressed about it today? More often than not, you have moved on. You bounced back, and got through it. We are pretty tough, and can handle a lot more than we think, so try to believe you can get through the stressful time. Better times will come. As I mentioned the mind is a powerful tool, so let’s try to use it for some good for our own well-being. Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Aerobic exercises, Self-Help and Support Groups can also be helpful. Medication is also used, but using only medication will only alleviate symptoms. It will not help you cope and learn how to deal with stressful events. If you like to read more about those her is a link. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

It all depends on what can be helpful for you, whatever works for you, try it. Maybe you can try doing something you enjoy, going out for a walk, listening to calming music, writing, drawing, doing puzzles. We all just have to find our own way to cope with stress, because if we can’t cope, it will consume us in a negative way mentally and physically.