Tag Archives: thoughts

Taking Action Against our Negative Thoughts – Auburn Roe

 

Author Bio: As a born and bred London blogger, Lois is passionate about spreading positivity, talking about mental health and empowering other millennial to push boundaries in order to live their best lives.

Social Links:

www.auburnroe.com

www.instagram.com/auburnroe

www.facebook.com/auburnroe

www.twitter.com/auburnroe

There’s so much pressure in today’s society to be happy (thanks social media!) and it’s so normal for us to compare ourselves to others, whether we’re aware we’re doing so or not. When I first started university 3 years ago, I realized I wasn’t having as good a time as all my friends seemed to be having… fast forward 2 months and I was at the lowest point I’d ever been.

Now I’m not totally putting all the blame on social media – I should probably give some credit to the combination of a nasty relationship break up and moving to a completely different city 200 miles from home. I love social media (it’s part of what I do for a living so I kind of have to), but there’s no denying that it’s put a strain on how today’s younger generations view themselves and others.

After eventually realizing how something so innocent as seeing my friends having a good time on Instagram could be so damaging, I didn’t know what to do. There was no way I was just going to give it up (as addictive as it is, I wasn’t going to just throw away my way of connecting with the world), but I knew something needed to change.

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I decided to try to transform it into something slightly more positive by following people that would supposedly bring more value to my news feed. You know, the typical motivational speakers; the likes of Gary Vee etc. etc.

Eventually I found someone that changed the game for me.

Mel Robbins has a very ‘no bullsh*t’ attitude when it comes to self-development and loving yourself. She delves into the science behind why we feel the way we feel, and what we can do to counteract negative thoughts.

No ‘imagining a cheque for a million dollars’ or anything like that, just good old-fashioned FACTS.

Through Mel’s (completely free) online content, I started to understand why I was having such negative thoughts and that it was no wonder I was feeling as low as I was.

Once I’d got to the root of what Mel calls my ‘limiting beliefs’, I was able to use her golden nuggets of mental health wisdom to tackle my cynical thoughts, which included (but were by no means limited to):

  • Everyone secretly hates me
  • I’m not good enough to do the things I aspire to do
  • I’m going to look back on my life full of regret
  • I’m a selfish person

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s important to note that if you’re going through a seriously low patch to the point where you have no energy to do anything (I know I’ve been there), then all you can do is pretty much just ride it out. Wait for the storm to blow over.

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And when you notice the clouds slightly starting to dissipate, that is when you’ve got to take action on those toxic inner commentaries.

Somewhere along the timeline of our lives, we develop a DEFAULT way of thinking (usually from our childhood) and this default way of thinking takes the PHYSICAL FORM of neurons in our brain called the ‘Default Mode Network’. This forms our automatic thinking patterns, so by identifying when we think these thoughts, we can counteract them with something positive like “I am good enough”. This can help us to live and think deliberately (even if we don’t believe it at first), and eventually believe in ourselves enough to achieve our goals. Even just knowing that the only problem was what I believed, I knew that I could at least try to work to change that.

The next thing I learnt was this crazy thing I had never heard of called the RETICULAR ACTIVATING SYSTEM. Like, it even SOUNDS scientific. And that’s because it is. (Why do they not teach this sh*t in high school?!)

It’s the part of our brain that filters what you focus on.

Ever heard a song for the first time in ages and then suddenly you notice it playing on the radio every time you go to the supermarket?

Ever felt kind of low and then suddenly feel that everything in your life is an absolute disaster?

That’s because your Reticular Activating System is filtering in what you’re already thinking about. If our brain consciously registered everything we experienced, our heads would be so overloaded with information that we would probably spontaneously combust. So when we feel low, the fact that that person cut you off earlier whilst you were driving home from work can feel like the end of the world.

Taking action against our negative thoughts is the only way to achieve a calmer state of mind and in turn have a happier outlook on life in general. Yes, it takes a lot of discipline and you’ll realize how hard it is to force yourself out of your auto-pilot mode.

But if you’re serious about taking control, why not use social media as a useful resource to help you get to that place?

Since my low point 2 years ago, and even only really in the last 6 months I have:

  • started my own freelance business
  • won an award at university for my academic achievements
  • seen my goals manifest literally before my eyes

It’s crazy how far a little bit of education, self-belief and hard work can get you.

Knowledge is, for sure, power. And although platforms like Instagram and Twitter are full of toxic, useless garbage, the information that can help you change your life is out there. You’ve just got to find it.

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Striving Towards A Simple Life – Just a Bit Further

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Is it even possible?

Is it possible to live a simple life, given the velocity that life careens through the cosmos these days? A life that gives you room to breathe and ultimately to live life on your own terms. Not necessarily life as the result of ditching everything and living off-grid in a self-hewed cabin in the wilderness of northern Ontario, but a life regardless of where you are, that in all intense purposes is simple.”

How many of us are desperately seeking this kind of quiet change? A major hurdle to overcoming this pilgrimage of living “simple” is the concept of “living simpler”. Sadly, this is pretty much polar opposite to the world as we know it.

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This comes as no huge shock, but we live a crazy, and insanely busy time.

What defies logic is; although we bemoan and complain about how insane it all is, when we flip the coin over we find ourselves glorifying busy and all the insaneness.

We extoll with our friends and colleagues on how many hours we can work. All of which goes hand in hand with how little sleep we need to work all those hours. At the expense of friends, family and relationships in general, we glue our noses to computer screens or our smartphones, using each precious second we can find. We become addicted to the “likes” and “comments” hoping they will inject a level of validation into what can be a somewhat superficial and sad commentary of our affairs.

Like sitting around a poker table, we raise the stakes higher and higher. We take on more commitments. Our jobs demand more and more of us, to produce greater outputs, meaning longer hours and even more commitments. We are driven to do more and, yes, buy more. Many people abuse themselves with drugs and/or alcohol in an out of control attempt to get distracted from the insaneness until they are anesthetized into dreamland and stressed beyond human comprehension.

Okay, that might be a stretch for some, but it certainly is the reality for many. But, granted it is tough.

Many of us were raised in environments where achievements and the pursuit of wanting more is hard-wired into our DNA. So, there is never enough and there is always more to be had. We push more and more to get further ahead. To be better than last year, striving for a better and more prestigious title at work. And always lurking out there somewhere, like a northern pike circling the shallow water for his next meal, is the lure of more money. We believe “money” to be the answer to all our troubles and strife. Believing that more money will buy us the peace, happiness and a simpler life we have so longed for.

What might happen though, if we decided to take a bit of side-step?

To strategically work on leaving the craziness and insaneness behind, and to go for a life that was much simpler in its complexity?

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Is it even possible?

Let’s make the assumption that it is. If so, what might a less simple existence even look like?

Again, I’m not suggesting or promoting heading off to a northern Ontario wood-lot deep in the boreal forests anywhere north of Manitouwadge and hand whacking a tiny cabin together with nothing more than an axe, grit and determination. Although, if that’s what you think it takes, more power to you!

Like I do, most of us live in the real world and we have real-world commitments. It is those commitments that require us to live in the real world. The reality we see each day when we open the front door.

How can we be in this world (the crazy and insanely hectic one), but move towards living simpler? How to get out of the “race” and to step away from the busyness, whether self-imposed or not. How can I/we slow things down, while fulfilling our purpose, doing great work and living a wonderful life?

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Breathing

Creating and living a much simpler life is all about breathing.

Establishing space through cutting or scaling back gives you space to breathe.

Doing more and having more doesn’t lead to happiness and fulfillment. In fact, the opposite is true. It’s about finding joy in the simple things, and being content with solitude, quiet, contemplation and savoring the moment.

A few things to keep in mind though.

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We Are Our Own Worst Enemy

All of the stress, the irritations, the dissatisfaction, and disappointments; all the craziness and rushing around; we created all of it. So, whether you like it or not, we are our own worst enemy. Every one of those things we created in our own minds. We made those decisions and we created these with attachments in our heads. By letting go, we can relax and live more simply.

Clutter and Complexity

Get rid of stuff.”

When we can get rid of “stuff” and become less attached, a couple of things can happen. If you sell some of the “tangible stuff”, you’ll have a bit of cash in your hand and most significantly, getting rid of clutter can result in these benefits:

  • sense of confidence – I have only X amount of space, so I need to be bold with what goes and what stays
  • more energy – relates to the first point. Puts you in the get things done mode
  • reduces anxiety – most of us prefer order as compared to chaos. Decluttering creates order and order reduces anxiety
  • creates more time – not overwhelmed now with the time that WAS needed to clean and tidy. Creates time for other things or to do nothingWhen we can do something like getting rid of the clutter around us, our lives start to become simpler.

Social Media

Might as well blurt it out there – “social media is the scourge of today. Okay, it might not be “the scourge of today,” but it rates right up there.

There is no getting around it, we are addicted to those little electronic devices. Our phone, Ipads, computers and all that they deliver – we can never get enough. We check our FB feeds to see how many likes did that post get. We upload a picture of our dinner on Instagram and then head over and update our life on Twitter. Each time we “just check for a second,” a wee tiny blast of dopamine let’s loose in our brains and we become more and more addicted.

For too many of us, it’s insanely hard to stop.

In search of making our lives simpler, cutting back on social media time is an excellent element in our quest. In checking to see who’s doing what and who said what, we waste time and energy. Sadly, we get stuck in a trap of comparing ourselves with “influencers” and others on social media, which over time can erode our confidence and takes away the power we have within us as individuals.

Less screen time equates to more breathing time and space.

A Few Simple Things

How many feel that their lives and activities need to be complex. In that, complex equates to better. Often, that includes a cycle of “more complex and better” as time moves along. Yesterday’s complex and better doesn’t cut it today.

Striving towards a life that is simpler means looking inside of us, deep inside of us to discover those simple joys and activities in life.

For me, those include writing/blogging, reading and discovering new things; as well as the outdoors; including hiking and walking. Most importantly, spending time with Lynn, while she captures all of this with her photography skills and passion.

When we downsized our home after our daughter left for college, we gave more stuff away than I can remember. And when I say downsize I mean downsize… to a 700 square foot two bedroom home.

When our lives become focused on the simple things you love doing, life suddenly becomes simpler.

Less clutter; less stuff; less worry.

“No” Is Not A Bad Word

Most of us are not very clear about what we want. How many of us see a post on social media of something really neat or exciting and we become obsessed about doing whatever that was. Next thing you know, we find ourselves heading in a new and totally different direction.

When someone invites us out, we instantly say, yes. Why? Because we’re “yes people” or “people pleasers.” We simply cannot say no.

Because we can never say no, our lives and schedules get stretched to the breaking point. There’s never enough time left for the things that are most important to us.

No is not a bad word.

What if we worked really hard on those things in our existence that held the most and dearest value to us? Saying, “yes” to those things and “no” to the other stuff. If we knew what we wanted to create and the direction we want our lives to head in, we could say yes to these things, and no to everything else.

Saying no to more things would simplify our lives. No is not a bad word!

Do Nothing – Practice It Until You Get REAL GOOD at it.

Have you ever just sat back and did nothing for a day? Just hung loose and did NOTHING. No need to feel that the day had been wasted if something had not been accomplished.

We all need idle time. Time built in to sit and watch the clouds drift by on a warm summer’s afternoon. A time that is free to do nothing.

Many people feel the need to have every waking moment filled with activities and the need to accomplish so much, each and every day. The reality is we need that down time to rejuvenate ourselves…..to meditate; to think; to reflect.

Why?

Having that time to do nothing and just “be you” helps to foster and create contentment with life.

Get In Alignment

When working towards achieving a simpler life, at some point along the way it will become clear to you which things in your life are no longer in alignment with your values.

Part of living more simply will help you identify those unnecessary aspects of your daily life. It might be less FB and social media time, or it might be areas in your life that need significant review and thought. This could be your job; friendships; where you live; belongings (getting rid of things) or anything else that just doesn’t line up with your simpler existence.

So, is it even possible?

Yes, it is possible and like much of life, it comes down to a decision. We are the only ones who can decide if we want our lives to be less hectic and more simple in existence.

It doesn’t mean packing up and living in a tiny cabin out in the hinterlands cut off from everything. It’s about making priorities; figuring out what we want our lives to look like and then acting on those things to accomplish it.

Something tells me that as time marches on, life will become more and more complex, with greater demands on our time. Perhaps now is your moment to re-evaluate where you are… where you’re headed. To start now and simplify your life to create something that gives you room to breathe and room to live!

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To quote Yvon Chouinard, an early rock climbing pioneer and founder of the outdoor equipment and clothing company Patagonia and environmental activist.

Thanks for reading and stopping by.

How To: Be Resilient Against Your Chronic Society Anxiety – Ariette Hung

About the Guest Author:  
This article is written for The Unsanity Blog by Canadian blogger, Ariette Hung. She is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling. She cares deeply about mental health literacy, promoting resilience and growth, and instilling hope in others in times of adversity such as mental health struggles. When she isn’t studying, you can find her at her blog, ariettehung.com, where she blogs about saving money, side hustle ideas, entrepreneurship, and how to run a profitable blog.
Social links: Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), the defining feature of social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.

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In today’s post, I will be outlining some clinical insight on managing, reversing, and becoming resilient to your socially anxious thoughts, behaviors, and tendencies.

Practice mindfulness meditation and practice breathing techniques.

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When you’re anxious, you might feel physical changes in your body that make you feel pain or discomfort — it can manifest in shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweaty palms, feverish feelings, tension, dizziness, nausea, or in the sensation of suffocation.

Managing your anxiety through meditation and breathing techniques can be very grounding and can assist you in adjusting misaligned and irrational thoughts to positive, and rational schemas. With proper therapeutic breathing techniques and meditation, you can soothe your nervous system and calm your heart rate.

My Calm-Down-Anxiety-Breathing Technique

  1. Sit up straight and relax your shoulders.
  2. Try to release any tension in your body.
  3. Place your hand above your diaphram (belly) and your heart.
  4. Breathe in slowly for four full seconds. Exhale slowly over 6 seconds.

Slowing your breathing can help you relax and regain your sense of equillibrium.

Resources to help: Headspace, Yoga with Adriene, The Mindful Kind podcast

Try exercises that reduce your anxiety.

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Exercise is closely linked to mental health, because your mind feels better and more “awake” when your body is moving. This is because your body produces endorphins when you exercise, which gives your mood a boost, almost like a natural “high”.

Hate traditional working out or the idea of going to a gym? Try these: Swimming, dance class, yoga, rowing, hiking, going for a walk, running, spinning, biking, skiing, skating

If you incorporate physical exercise into your routine on a regular basis, you will feel much better!

Prepare accordingly for socially anxious situations.

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Give yourself a pep talk and remind yourself that it’s going to be okay. If you know that large crowds overwhelm you, ask a buddy to stick by your side throughout the night.

Truth is, no one is going to pay as much attention to you as you think they will. And I know, your brain tells you otherwise and you feel panicked. Your feelings are valid.

But, your perception of reality might be warped. In order to assist you, have a friend “coach” you through socially difficult situations (whether it’s talking to your crush, talking to your professor, standing up to your parents, or asking for a raise at work), and if you see a counselor for your anxiety, I recommend working on your anxiety with him/her.

Implement self-compassion practices.

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Journal about good days. Forgive yourself for bad days.

Challenge negative thoughts with the talk-back technique. writing

The purpose of this exercise is to identify the ugly, inner critic inside your head, and challenge those negative notions with a rational and positive voice.

Write down all the negative thoughts you have about yourself. Unleash your inner critic.

Your list can look like…

  1. You can’t do anything right.
  2. You are a failure.
  3. You are never going to make it.

Now, think about it, are these facts really true? Embody the most rational voice you have (maybe impersonate the most practical, logical person you know) and talk back.

Your talk-back statements may look like…

  1. You may not have succeeded at everything you’ve tried, but you’ve at least tried and you’re improving every time that you do it. That’s still a win.
  2. You are not a failure. Failure is something that can happen to you but it is not something you are. So, you can fail, and maybe you have, but it doesn’t define you. If anything, again, it means that you tried and that deserves credit.
  3. You may not be where you want to be right now, but you will be if you continue to work at it. After all, anyone who has ever “made it” in life has hustled for it.

Point is, the rational voice is right. It is not there to sugarcoat anything or baby you. But it is there to put things into proper perspective so you can see yourself and your problems with a realistic lens. Using this technique, you take control of your schemas.

To whoever is reading this article today,

I hope that this blog post and its suggestions are helpful to you.

I understand that anxiety looks different for everyone as we are all individual, unique people so please consult a professional consultant as needed. These are suggestions and practices that I have developed to aid me through my own anxiety over the years (it’s considerably managed), and have studied in school as an aspiring psychotherapist.

I may not know you and you may not know me, but know that I am rooting for you.

With love and light,

Ariette

 

 

#FreebieFriday – Planner Pages

Good morning Unsanity readers!

It’s another #FreebieFriday for you finally. I’ve been out of the loop writing here myself (currently featuring a whole BUNCH of guest bloggers instead!) and wanted to share something for your Freebie today.

Click the link below to download your 4 different color scheme daily planner pages! You can also find this here on my page if you lose this post amongst the others.

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You Can’t Stress – Sarah D’Anne

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I’m Sarah D’Anne, a writer of books and blog posts. When I’m not working in the deli at my local convenient store, I’m at home with my six cats and my mother. Besides writing, I like to doodle, do photography, and daydream.
Blog: www.unexploredboundaries.wordpress.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sarahdanne
IG: www.instagram.com/highlyfaveured
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/aceyroch

“You can’t stress.” These were the words my mother said to me after her encounter with bowel blockage, shingles, and a seizure. They came after her mother passed away. My mother carried a lot on herself, including anger and resentment.

The word “can’t” in this sentence doesn’t imply “not allowed.” It implies that I am “not able to.”

So, what is someone who is not able to stress, doing writing a post about mental health? Well, that’s the question of the day, isn’t it?

I’m here to tell you what it feels like to not be able to stress.

I bet you’re thinking, “It would be so wonderful to not be able to stress. I can actually go on with my life, not caring about anything. I can let things slide right off of me, and let things happen the way that they are supposed to.”

You know what? You’re right. That’s exactly how I feel.

Do you know how hard that is, though? Watching people struggle, stress, be anxious and depressed? It’s not easy.

“It’s so hard to make ends meet. I’m broke before I even get paid,” a coworker might say to me. I stand there, motionless, trying not to blurt out the thoughts that run through my head. “Well, stop spending fifty dollars a week to get your nails done,” I think. But I slowly nod, speak a soft, “Hm,” and walk away.

Does this mean that I can’t relate to people? No. I can, actually. Growing up with a mother who deals with depression and stress, has allowed me to understand what goes through peoples’ minds when they are in these mental states. My mother is very open about how she feels and what she’s thinking. She always has been, even now. So when those that are around me, express these thoughts and feelings, I am able to understand that they feel a certain way, but I am not able to relate with the feeling itself. Which may make me seem cold and unsympathetic. I can come off like that, of course. In fact, I hardly ever have sympathy for anyone. Empathy, sure, but rarely sympathy.

So, what’s my secret for a no stress life? Do I meditate? Exercise? Stay away from any and all stressful situations? The answer is simply, no. Instead of meditating, I close my eyes and take a deep breath and let it out in a long, loud, forceful sigh, so that everyone around me knows exactly how I feel. I do listen to music, but it’s not soft. At all. In fact, it’s mostly heavy rock. I also don’t exercise. I do quite a bit of physical labor at my job, but on my off days, my butt is in my chair.

Do I lack the stress gene 5HTR2C? Are my chemical levels constantly balanced? Do I have the long long genotype called 5-HTTLPR?

Let’s face it, no one really knows what genes they have, do they?  In fact, stress can actually change your genes.

To be honest, I don’t know why I can’t stress. Maybe because I grew up watching a mother stress over everything, every day of my life. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to. Maybe it’s because I walk into every situation I am faced with, with this in mind: if I stress, I am of no help. I won’t have a clear mind to make the right decisions, or say the right things. If I stress, I can’t help. If I can’t help, what good am I?

At the end of the day, all I know is I don’t have a worry bone in my body. Do I get sad? Yes, at least I still get sad. Do I wonder about the future? Of course, who doesn’t? But I don’t necessarily worry about anything.

The beautiful part about this is, people still confide in me. People still tell me about their worries and fears and struggles. Even though I have a difficult time relating to the physical feelings, and the thoughts, I still listen and learn. I am self aware to the point that I am able to put aside my cold, unsympathetic aura, and replace it with an empathetic one.

For those of you who are prone to stress, depression, anxiety, and others, please be patient with us non-worrying types. If we could worry about how we come off to people, we would. And please don’t think that if someone doesn’t worry, that they don’t understand. Because I do.

My mother almost died because of stress. She had a seizure because of stress. Every time she feels under the weather, she gets depressed. She was very angry when I was little and would cry to me almost every night and tell me how she was feeling. They say that one out of three people will get shingles in their lifetime. Mom has had it more than once. Mom had to have open heart surgery because, when she got so sick from stress that she weighed ninety pounds, her heart grew weak and she developed a prolapsed heart valve.

To those of you who endure the pain, I see you. I feel you. I will cry with you. I don’t care if I don’t understand what you’re feeling, but what you feel is real. That’s what I understand, and to me, that’s all that matters.

Your feelings matter.

YOU MATTER.

It’s Time to Stop Punishing Yourself with Food – Nourish With Renata

Hello Unsanity readers, as promised, here is another guest blogger for your Friday! This one comes from a fellow blogger of mine, Renata, who specializes in healthy easy recipes!

 

Hi! I’m Renata and I am the founder of NourishwithRenata.com, a healthy recipe blog focusing on delicious, easy recipes that not only taste good but are good for you! I am a mom, wife and foodie, living in Texas with my husband, 3 kids and trusty labrador. I love helping people rediscover healthy food through the recipes on my blog and e-books, as well as my personalized cooking classes. 

It’s the beginning of a new year and lots of people are making New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions might be about making healthier lifestyle choices, like working out or eating healthy. 

But what does it mean to eat healthy? Does it mean doing juice cleanses? Does it mean only eating one meal a day? Does it mean not eating carbs???

What some people don’t realize is that these kinds of restrictive diets are not sustainable long term. Depriving and restricting your body is actually punishing your body. It is not allowing your body the fuel and nourishment that it needs to not only survive, but to thrive. And that means that your body will try to find a way to get back the calories you were depriving it. This is why so many people gain back the weight that they were trying to lose, and then some. 

This begins the cycle of purging and binging, or what I call, the diet culture. It is a completely destructive way of treating your body and it forces you to look at food in a harsh, negative light. Foods are either “bad” or “good”. And more often than not, you feel guilty for giving your body the nourishment that it needs. 

Diet culture is a slippery slope. I think that is why so many people start having eating disorders. We are programmed by social media to think that we have to look and eat like everybody else. That a “quick fix” is the only way to change, that immediate gratification is the only way to get recognition. That in order to be “liked”, we have to be the same as everyone else. 

THIS SIMPLY ISN’T TRUE. It’s time to change our mindset. It’s time to stop trying to be like everyone else, and start being our truest selves. It’s time to bring a whole new perspective to how we think about ourselves and how we think about food. 

Instead of punishing your body, start building a positive relationship with food. Food is a fuel source, a way to nourish your cells, brain and muscles with the nutrients and energy that it needs to support you during the day. By giving it the foods that provides you with maximum energy and vitality, you are ensuring that you can achieve your to-do list, you can work out without feeling drained, and best of all, you can spend time with your loved ones without feeling bloated, lethargic or a slave to food. 

So how can you stop punishing yourself with food? Here’s a few tips:

  • Pay attention to how you feel after you eat: If it helps, make a food diary, so you can record how foods are making you feel. Focus more on eating the foods that help you feel energized for longer, and less time eating the foods that make you feel tired and sluggish. Food affect people differently, so your list of energizing foods may be different from someone else’s.
  • Don’t worry about fads: There are so many diets out there from keto, paleo, whole 30, vegan… the list goes on. Your friends may be doing some of these diets, and if so, let them! You don’t have to join in. Scientific studies have shown that the best diet for weight loss is one that is sustainable. So don’t worry about fads. Fads are a one-off that may help you lose weight quickly, but are not sustainable. Stay strong against peer pressure and focus on nourishing your body with whole foods that taste good and are good for you. 
  • Building a healthy, positive relationship with food takes time: This is real life. There will be times when you will go out to lunch with friends or go to big family gatherings that have a buffet of foods that you don’t normally eat. It is ok to eat different foods! It is ok to eat richer, more indulgent foods sometimes. It may make you feel less energetic than normal, but it’s ok. Building a healthier, positive relationship with food means that you don’t ever have to feel guilty for having dessert. 

Changing your perspective on food can have incredible repercussions on other aspects of your life. Once you see the positive change from how you think about food, you will feel energized and motivated to accomplish other goals in your life. But best of all, you will gain back your self-confidence. Your relationship with food is in your control. And it’s time to make it a positive one. 

You can connect with Renata on the following platforms:

Nourish with Renata blog at www.nourishwithrenata.com 

Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/nourish_with_renata

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Nourish-with-Renata-2030856650493733/

Twitter at https://twitter.com/NourishwRenata 

Traveling as Therapy – Denise

Hi readers! As you can probably guess, I took a week or so off blogging to gather more stories from you guys to read and love/interact with. I have quite a few more bloggers coming your way, and that’s in a nutshell! A few of my guests have expressed interest in being a repeat guest with me, so I have taken the liberty to organize a few bloggers to post once or twice per month on The Unsanity and continue telling stories or forms of therapy that can help my readers and audience. Today, however, we have Denise, who will be talking about traveling as therapy for anxiety and depression. Thank you for sharing your post, and I look forward to working with you again in the future! On top of her blog link below, you can find her on Facebook and Instagram as well!

Hello everyone!

My name is Denise and I’m the person behind http://www.pieceofdenise.com/ – my blog where I share my life experience with you. One of my favorite things to write about are my trips; for my 25 years I realized how mentally enriching and healing that can be. That’s why today I’m going to tell you about why I think that travelling can be an amazing therapy.

Traveling gives us the opportunity to disconnect from our regular life. You get to forget your problems/issues for a few weeks, it can also help you figure things out that you would not have understood without the distance traveling can give you. We all have crazy schedules, work and a family to take care of, going away alone or with some friends can give you distance and perhaps even make you realize how important these people are for you. Like the saying says: we never know what we have until we lose it.

Another great benefit is the relaxation you get to do. It’s nice to live life to its fullest and enjoy a stress free time with yourself. Going on vacation lets us recharge our “batteries” by disconnecting us from our regular life. When we come back we feel invigorated and we are happy to be back in our day to day routine. It’s a very good stress remover that has a lot more to give than most people are willing to accept.

Traveling relieves the symptoms of depression. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, made in 2013, relieving tensions that we experience during travelling is partly a psychological result of the change in our environment. When we physically move from the places and activities that cause us stress, we allow our minds and bodies to recover and refresh themselves. People who travel once every two years are prone to suffer depression and stress much more than people who travel at least twice a year.

Where should I go?

If meetings and conversations with many people in a busy work environment cause the stress in your situation, then it is best to go to a peaceful place, surrounded nature – take a long walk, breathe fresh air, sleep in a hut even. Of course, you need to choose it according to your physical training and do not forget that you need an equipment in case you choose a mountain trip. If you don’t have one, try an easier route near a hut, guest house or hotel – safety’s first. If you spend a lot of time at home, you need social contact. It’s time to invite some friends and go on a journey. Day or two can recharge you completely. Visit a city you’ve never been to.

During travelling, you may experience the craziest, most exciting things, that will eventually become great stories that you can tell others. When you grow old and look back at your life and all your travel experiences, you will realize how much you have done in your life and your life was not in vain. It can provide you with happiness and satisfaction for the rest of your life.

Interested in being a guest on The Unsanity Blog? Send me an email to koral.novak@gmail.com – I would love to hear from you and collaborate!

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How I Dealt with The Monster – Robert Forster

A special slot for a guest blogger this Sunday evening – I want to thank Robert for his story and his time writing about such a touchy subject we have all come to know about here in the USA. While Robert is from England, this resonates with many of us in the USA, and should resonate with anyone around the world. Thank you for reaching out and wanting to tell your story, Robert, and thank you for being here today with us still!
This post talks about the attempted suicide. Please be aware and choose wisely before you continue.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
INTRO

In this post I want to write about suicidal thoughts and how I dealt with them. I hope my post does not upset or offend anyone, as it’s completely personal. This is my story.

Around 2004, Me and my ex-partner where at the point of no return. She had met someone else. I had been cheated on. The strange thing was, when she told me about him. I didn’t feel upset. If anything, it was a feeling of relief.

We had been together for around 10 years or so, but it wasn’t the healthiest of relationships. Prior to her cheating, we had been toxic – arguments, stress, tears, and potential violence, and the relationship was not built on a solid foundation.

THE BEGINNING

We were teenagers when we met – her 18 and myself 19. We had been together for around three months. I felt no real attraction to her, really originally, and we both decided that we would split up because we had already had a few arguments and it wasn’t very serious. It was leading up to Christmas and that’s when she told me the gut wrenching news – “I am late with my period.”

We went to see a family planning officer, and she gave in a pee sample. A few minutes passed. The lady confirmed that she was pregnant. When she originally told us, it felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. Both of us looked at each other and cried. The lady asked “wasn’t it planned?” We both shook our heads. Then my ex told me that I could leave her if I wanted… Happy Christmas: oh the irony.

The thought to leave her never entered my mind. My family had always been solid. They were dependable and honest. My sister became  a mother at an early age, and the family rallied around her. I am a firm believer that any dick can make a baby, but it takes a man to raise one. Because of this baby, we stayed together. It was an incredible struggle. We had no place, and no money, and to top it all off, her mother kicked her out whilst she was pregnant. Thankfully though, my family helped us.

HAVING A CHILD

Having a kid changed my life in many ways. Like many teenage parents, we tried to get by. I had the urge to knuckle down and work. I studied Computer sciences at night school and got my shit together. My ex stayed at home and looked after Bob. We had arguments like any couple but there were underlying issues. Red flags that showed me what lay ahead. One time, we were at a friends and I was holding Bob in my arms. We had an argument over something or other, and she stood up and punched me in the face. In front of her friends! There are two sides to every story, and I wouldn’t want to bad-mouth my ex. Couples break up for many reasons – trust, love, attraction, not working in general.

A downside of having a kid so young was not being able to go out. In hindsight, this could be perceived as being selfish. My excuse would be because I was still young, I wanted to go out. She didn’t. Many times, I offered to stay in and look after Bob. We could have someone babysit and go out together, but there was just no interest, which led to many arguments in itself.

A few years passed, and we tried to work on things. I stopped going out so often. I landed a decent job and carried on studying. We were getting along. We moved to a bigger place and starting to get on our feet. It was around this time, we decided that Bob shouldn’t be an only child. Thus, we had our second son, Dan. Things seemed normal at this time. Bob and Dan are great kids,  both balls of energy. I would read bedtime stories to them both, imitating the voices and just being stupid. As parents, I would say that we were fine.

WALES

Another job opportunity appeared, this time in Mid-Wales. This was one extreme to the other. We left the city-life of Incomplete sentence Liverpool for the countryside tranquillity of Mid-Wales. On paper, it seemed like a smart move. Looking back, it was more than likely the trigger for our separation. My ex didn’t drive which didn’t help. I would take the boys to school, and she would  stay at home. I noticed that she was using the Internet a lot more – we both were.  The underlying problems were still there – deep down we were unhappy but didn’t want to admit it. I had no real respect for her. She loved me more than I loved her. It was a mess.   We tried not to argue in front of the boys, but Bob was getting older. The arguments started again. Shouting and screaming at each other. My ex would hit me. I would defend myself. Like I said it was  toxic. Problematic sentence structure  When we had the conversation. She told me that she had been chatting with someone on the Internet, and she developed feelings for him. I was angry but, relieved. She took the step. She wanted someone to love her which I couldn’t do, and I don’t blame her. We didn’t work and hadn’t worked for years.  At the time,   I was a firm believer in the family unit. Mum and Dad staying with each other through thick and thin. The boys always came first. We tried to make it stable, but it was a lie.

In my head, it was the correct thing to do, but it wasn’t. For a family to function, there must be a solid foundation. Both parents attracted and loving each other. We stayed together for around a month after she told me. This was not through choice but through necessity. Living with your partner when they have admitted to cheating is not healthy. Both of us arguing, fighting, screaming and hating. This wasn’t healthy for us or the kids. Things got so bad that a good friend let me move in with him until I got back on my feet.

I could cope with my ex cheating on me. No problem. My main concern were the lads. It broke my heart leaving them… they were my world. They were the only reason that we had stayed together, and I loved them so much. The thought of not coming home and seeing them each day really hurt. The thought of another man stepping into my shoes was too much to handle.

MY LOWEST POINT

Landscape

It was at this point that I took a drive. I drove to Elan Valley which a beautiful spot in Mid-Wales. Completely broken – emotionally and mentally – it was all becoming too much. I couldn’t see a way through the pain. I had nobody to turn too and was alone. It was depressing. That’s when the thought hit me. Why not end ther pain?  I planned it in my head, take a hose pipe and attach it to my exhaust. Close my eyes and drift off. It would be so easy.

I considered the options. Overdose on tablets or exhaust. I cried and felt sick… It’s hard to  explain the feelings when you hit rock-bottom. You feel like there is nobody to  talk to and nobody to turn to to talk you off the ledge. I had lost weight and wasn’t looking after  myself. Something deep inside told me not to do it. “Think about the children.”  If I wasn’t around anymore. This would affect my boys more than not seeing them every day. I would always be their Dad, no matter what.

SALVATION OF SORTS

A random memory from the deep recesses of my mind presented itself.

As a teenager, I studied Psychology for a year at night school which I found interesting. I remember one of the lessons discussing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  In its basic form, as I understood it, was that for people to be productive or satisfied, they have a hierarchy of needs. The first layer is the physical layer. Breathing, sleeping, eating, exercise – that type of thing. If these needs are not satisfied, you will lack motivation. The thought hit me. This is where I had been going wrong. One of the side-effects of stress in my case was a loss of appetite. Without realizing, I had stopped eating. Another effect was lack of motivation. Feeling lost and alone in my misery. I drank and smoke more to mask the pain – I withdrew into myself. My boys would always be around, and I wanted to be there for them no matter what.

That’s what changed my mind. 

The thought of them raised by another man upset me. But, the thought that I wouldn’t be in their lives upset me even more. I will always remember this day and this low point in my life. I was responsible for my lads, like their mother. It wasn’t the boy’s fault that we never got along. If I was to be responsible for my boys, I had to take responsibility for my own actions.   This was my choice.   Over the next couple of days, I started to get back on my feet and get my head together. I come to terms with things. Forced myself to eat and kept fit by learning martial arts. Slowly, I started to  feel better.  I was still staying in friends and had very little money. Little changes, small steps to mental stability. I spoke to my friends and family. I stopped withdrawing into myself. Nobody knew how close I was that day. After I hit rock bottom,  I did feel ashamed of thinking that suicide could have been an answer. It wasn’t.

I love and care for my lads with all my heart and would do anything to protect them.  A few months passed, and I started to see the kids more often. I managed to get myself a small bed set and get some furniture. The people I worked with were amazing, and I managed to keep my job. My friends helped me so much, and I am forever in their debt.

Years later, my boys are now men, and we stay in touch all the time.

Family

Life moves on, embrace it. You only have one.

NAME

 

Procrastination and the Holidays – Nichola Dewapriya

Hello The Unsanity Friends! Here is another post for the holidays from my guest Nick! He writes about the fear and stress about dealing with tasks at hand during the holiday season. Procrastination is a major key that people somehow get lost in during the holidays and even the every day life. Follow along as he goes through his thoughts.

Hello My name is Nichola Dewapriya currently a medical student studying in Gomel, Belarus but Im natively from Sri Lanka. Im also a blogger in which I share my experiences as a medical student and most of the problems and difficulties I come across under the topics of being committed to your work, being passionate and organized, handling procrastination and also how to keep up with long distance relationships from my own perspective experiences.

My blog can be found here: http://nickded.com Please do visit, read and subscribe for the latest of content! Follow me on instagram https://www.instagram.com/nickded_evolve_blog as well as Twitter https://twitter.com/NickDeDevolve.

So without further delay let’s take off!

Today I‘m passionate to talk about anxieties that comes along with long Holiday periods and completing tasks at hand. A long holiday in my perspective is a time period that is more than 4 days consecutively, for some it may be 7 days or 10, but amount of days doesnt really matter. So with me being actually a very busy person and living a very hard daily routine, I find 4 days to be a great deal of time for me. Lets gather up the anxieties or feelings that we get once we enter the zone.” 

  1. Fear of coming up with a detailed plan to spend time productively through out the course of the Holiday.
  2. Fear of not executing the plan you have already come up with.
  3. Guilt that you feel when you are dissatisfied with your progress when you look back to the start.
  4. You have already lost it!

This is the sequence of fears and anxieties that arise from within you. So as a person who is known to be lazy but dedicated at the same time, Ill be explaining all the aspects on some general facts including what I have  experienced my self.

According to point number one, all I want to say is as higher beings among many we humans like to place ourselves on a pedestal and sometimes we overestimate what we truly are, so we plan big for ourselves while in the back of our head, we already know it isn’t going to work out. But I also would like to testify that some people are naturally or long time #gogetters, as they are used to the handling it ALL.

But as a normal human, being true to your self is quite a cringe so most of tend to go to a better zone” We accumulate so much to our list and when we see it ourselves we procrastinate on it and at the end of the day, nothing is done. Start and come up with something really small to start off and when you have time to go for another; just go for it, no stress!

Simultaneously we can intertwine the second point to the 1st as you have already made your decision, so now you are half way through the process, and making any change would either break down the whole system or make no change at all; only that we sometimes may lie to our selves to feel less insecure.

The third point is the biggest of strikes. Now that its all over and its only a few hours left until the whole so called productive time is over, some may get into the adrenaline mode and somehow finish whats supposed to be done because they know the bitterness they will have that keeps them up all night if that task is not complete.

Some of us blame ourselves or better someone else for wasting our time because they were so distracted. All the procrastinations they did, and now that they havent done anything at all; all they are going to do is curl up and sleep, then wake up not caring a thing and what do you know – they aren’t happy at all!

Better yet, some are so much used to being like this that they dont even try planning tasks in the first place, which is quite sad I would say! So that will automatically conclude the fourth point and the idea of this post of wasting time.

As a conclusion, I would like to put it out to you that it doesnt matter how small or big holidays or free time you get, all you have to do is start with something small give a little promise to yourself, make it a habit but dont try to make it the perfect; Because perfection never exists. We’re only human after all.