Mid Week Reflection: Your Day is Coming!

This is one of my favorite quotes.  The reason why I love this quote so much is that it shows that there is always hope – there is always a better day on the horizon.  This quote speaks to me on a couple of levels.  One level is the thought that there is always something positive on the horizon.  I am pretty sure that the caterpillar thought that his lot in life was to just always crawl around at this slow, slothful pace while everything was bustling all around him.  But one day he turns into a butterfly!  The sky is now the limit and he is free to go anywhere he please at whatever pace he chooses. The second level that this quote speaks to me concerns the notion of shedding the old you for a new you.  We all have had our caterpillar moments. Feeling low, desiring to do more, watching the world bustle around us while we slowly move along trying to figure everything out.  But then one day, you become a butterfly.  Just as the butterfly is not a new creature but a different version of the caterpillar; you are not a new person, but a different version of yourself.   This quote gives me great hope that, when things look dark or bleak or when life seems to be almost unbearable, there is always hope.  What has you down today?  Are you feeling that there is no hope? Just hold on, your day is coming.

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Managing Your Stress (Part Four)

Today is the final day of this series about stress and I wanted to end on a high note.  I hope to assist you with ways to help alleviate your stress. Please remember that, although stress is all around us, stress can be managed and there are quite a few things that you can do to manage your stress.  Hopefully one of these things can assist you on your quest to alleviate your stress.

1. Journaling.  Get some of those thoughts out of your head and on paper. Journaling can also help you notice patterns in your behavior and can help you with your self-reflection.

2. Exercising. Stress can be relieved through exercise because exercising produces endorphins which reduce your stress levels. Regular exercise can go a long way in your efforts to manage your stress.

3. Laughing.  Have you ever had a good, deep belly laugh that pulled you out of a bad mood? Laughter can take your mind off of your stressor while easing a lot of muscle tension.

4. Meditation.  Meditation allows you to get to such a deep place of relaxation that you are able to sort through all of your jumbled thoughts. Your anxiety may be eased if you are able to sort your thoughts and tackle them one at a time and not all at once.

5. Eat healthily. Eating foods high in nutrients can help improve your mood and energy which can reduce stress. Foods that are rich in Vitamin C, as well as some herbal supplements, can help to reduce stress.

6. Reading.  Reading allows you to escape your reality and enter someone else’s reality. This allows you to take your mind off of the things that are stressing you out and allow you to relax.  This temporary escape from your reality can keep you from being overwhelmed.

7. Slowing down your thoughts.  This may sound simple but it is one of the hardest things to do. Slowing down my thoughts has helped me greatly. Stress can sometimes come from the feeling of being overwhelmed and having to figure out everything at once. Slowing down your thoughts allows you to focus on one thing at a time.

8. Breathing deeply. Breathing deep breaths when stress threatens to overwhelm you helps to relax your body and relieve tensions. It also helps you with being able to clear your mind to the point where you can put your stressors in perspective.

9. Therapy.  If the stress that you are trying to manage feels that it is unmanageable, please consider getting help from a therapist. Excessive stress can be an indicator of other mental illnesses that need to be addressed by a professional.

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Please remember if the stress is so overwhelming that you just feel like nothing you do is helpful, please see a professional. Comment if there are some things that you have done to alleviate stress that was not included on this list.

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Mid Week Reflection: Feelings Are Not Facts

Feelings are defined as an emotional state or reaction.  They can describe how you may be feeling at a certain time but they do not always have to dictate your reality.  We sometimes struggle with our emotions being confused as facts.  For example, feeling a little down that you did not get selected for a position at work does not translate to you being an employee whose work is not valued.  Feeling like a failure for not being successful at a new diet does not make you a failure.  You have to be careful not to let your feelings take hold in your spirit to the point where you begin to really believe what you are thinking. Beware of allowing your feelings to determine how you see yourself and the way you begin think about yourself and your worth. Separating feelings from facts is vital to our self-esteem and our overall outlook on life. We have to practice positive self-talk to convince ourselves that the negative thoughts and feelings that we have taken as fact are not true. This has to be done on a daily basis to ensure that you do not succumb to feelings which can often be misleading. What feelings have you taken as facts lately? What positive self-talk will you utilize to prevent yourself from accepting those feelings as facts?

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Mid Week Reflection: Acknowledge Your Potential

Some of us have things in our past that we wish we could change.  We have made decisions that altered the course of our lives and may have put ourselves in difficult positions as a result of those decisions.  You may be feeling that you should be further along in life than you are right now.  You may be feeling that you have spent so much time just trying to make it day to day that you have not tapped into your true potential – that thing that really defines you.  We sometimes become prisoners of our current circumstances.  We do not realize the joy that comes from reaching the fullness of what you have to offer the world in the form of your talents and your worth.  We even sometimes believe that where we have been is so terrible that we do not deserve to experience the joy of reaching our full potential.  These thoughts are what holds us back.  Dare to turn your back on what and who you were and step into your full potential. Change your mindset and step boldly into your purpose. What would you be doing now if you were not so busy looking at your past?

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Mid Week Reflection: Make “One Day” Today

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Have you ever had so many wonderful thoughts about all of the wonderful things you wanted to do but never actually did them?  Everything is going to be done “one day”, “someday”, or “one of these days”.  One day I am going to write a book. Someday I am going to make myself a priority.  One of these days I am going to start eating better.  If this is you, do not feel bad because this is me and several others also.  The problem with “one day” is that the days pass and you end up looking back and realizing that you have been saying the same thing for months, if not years.  I encourage you to just start.  Start today!  Whatever that thing is that you are itching to do but just waiting on the right time, start now. You may be wondering if it is really just that simple and the answer is yes. We sometimes overthink things by believing that the timing has to be just right or that certain things must be done before we can begin. But that is not true. Just start. Once you start you will find that a lot of things will just fall into place. Find one thing that you have been putting off and start today with baby steps or start by jumping in headfirst – but just start.  What will you start today?

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#SelfReflectionSunday

Providing you with an opportunity to reflect, think, and to get to know yourself a little better.

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What would you have accomplished by now if fear or uncertainty was not holding you back?

I would probably be further along with my writing if I had not been afraid to put my work out there for others to read.

Feel free to answer this question in the comments below or just think about it.

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Surviving Survival Mode (Part 2)

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What are some of the signs that you are in survival mode?

Not Being Able to Plan Ahead.  Being in survival mode makes it extremely difficult to see beyond the present moment. If you are lucky you can plan for the next day, but a few days or even a week ahead is virtually impossible.

The unexpected and unplanned causes a meltdown.  To be able to halfway maintain your sanity in survival mode, everything must fall perfectly into place. Any unexpected request or slight change of plans could cause one to become upset because there is only enough mental energy for the things you have planned.

Shy away from major decisions. In survival mode you only have the mental energy to get through the day. Having to make major decisions in survival mode is almost impossible. The mental strength needed to think about something major is just not there.  When making a major decision in survival mode, you either (1) run the risk of making a decision that you hopefully do not end up regretting later or (2) you procrastinate and do not decide at all. Honestly, neither option is good.

Days go by in a blur.  In survival mode the only thing that you are really trying to do is make it to the next day. Because of this, the days begin to blend to where something that happened a month ago can feel like it happened yesterday. Your concept of time is blurred, and you are only focusing on what is going on right now.

You are always tired.  Even if you think you are getting enough sleep, your brain is in overdrive because it is just trying to make it from doing today. Being in survival mode is exhausting!

Tomorrow we will be discussing getting out and staying out of Survival Mode.

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Surviving Survival Mode (Part 1)

What is survival mode?

As someone who has had the experience of living in survival mode for a significant period of time, I would define survival mode as being present in the current moment and only having the mental energy to make it to the next moment.  This week we will be discussing survival mode – what it looks like and how to get out.

Let us explore a few ways that people end up in survival mode.

Traumatic life event. Unexpected life events, like the sudden death of a loved one or a life-changing diagnosis, can put you into a space where all you can do is just make it through the day. Some people can get through life-changing events while maintaining a sense of normalcy.  Others go into a lower level of functioning and begin operating at a level that is just enough to get them through the day.

Financial Distress.  Layoffs, furloughs, and unemployment have pretty much defined these COVID-19 times. The thought that you will not be able to provide for your family can be terrifying. The stress and fear associated with being in financial distress coupled with the desperate need to provide for your family could get you to the point where you begin living day-to-day with no real direction.

Being overwhelmed.  This is what put me and so many others in survival mode. Having so many daily responsibilities that could lead to becoming overwhelmed with life, we run the risk of getting not being connected to anything other than the things that need our immediate attention.

Many other things can put you in survival mode, but these are a few of the main ones. Tomorrow we are going to discuss how you can tell that you are in survival mode and how you can get out.

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#SelfReflectionSunday

Providing you with an opportunity to reflect, think, and to get to know yourself a little better.

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What do you love most about yourself?

What I love most about myself is that I am still pursuing my dreams after several set-backs, stops, and stalls, I still have desire to write and make a name for myself as an author and blogger.

Feel free to answer this question in the comments below or just think about it.

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Mid Week Reflection: Think Positive Thoughts

Have you ever had a great idea and talked yourself out of going for it?  The negative thoughts of doubt and uncertainty are louder than the positive thoughts that would encourage you to keep striving for your goal.  For some reason, it is easier for some of us to listen to the discouraging thoughts and not to the thoughts that tell us that we can achieve our goal or dream. Controlling our thoughts is not easy but it is necessary to keep ourselves encouraged so that we can continue to move forward with achieving our goals.  Just as we watch the words that come out of our mouth, we must watch the thoughts that we allow to take hold in our minds. We must begin to push back against our negative thoughts.  We have to learn to challenge these thoughts.  If you begin to have thoughts that you are not strong enough to reach your goal, you counter it with the thought that you are strong and that you will reach your goal.  If you begin to have thoughts that you are not worthy enough to even dream as big as you dare to dream, counter it with the thought that you are as good and as talented as those who are already where you want to be.  I challenge you to counter those thoughts that bring you down into positive thoughts.  When you begin to think more positive thoughts will you begin to see more positive results.  What thoughts will you challenge today?

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