Whose an Approachable Person in Your Life?

Have you ever been around someone and you just get a vibe from them about whether or not you should talk to them or not? Their words say one thing and yet your not sure if you should ask them a question or not. You start thinking ‘should I even be around them though’.

If you have had these thoughts before, your not the only one. I’ve had those thoughts myself. There are people who are cautious about who they talk to. They are also cautious about who they invest their time and energy with.

Why Do People Think This Way?

Shyness, unwanted stress and anxiety, letting insecurities run your life, not knowing how to introduce yourself to others, and fear in general can be factors of why someone will keep to themselves and not talk to someone. These factors can cause someone to think other people are not approachable. If your confused and/or don’t understand something, you don’t ask a question or for help and you just keep it to yourself. However that’s not always the case.

People give off vibes about their personality. This is can be from the way they talk and the way they act around friends, family, and strangers. Some people say things to invite others into their lives like, “If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask”, or “You can call or text me anytime”. Words say one thing, the behavior from the person can say another.

There are people who can pick up on good and bad vibes from others very easily. There are people who you can open up to about anything. There are those you can open up to, but you are still reserved on some deep personal things.

Examples

If you know someone who raises their voice to the point of yelling during a simple conversation and has trouble talking to people, chances are this person isn’t very approachable even if they say you can talk to them anytime you need to. Then you have someone who smiles when they’re around people they know and don’t know. They are being kind and generous to others. When they say things, you can take their word for it. These types of people are approachable to go up to. You can introduce yourself to them and ask them questions easily.

Here’s some tips and ways to approach other people better and how you can become more approachable to others:

  • Be respectful to others and yourself
  • Smile and laugh
  • Take people up on their offer when they say you can ask them anything
  • Use eye contact
  • Take some deep breaths
  • Rehearse your introduction to others
  • Keep your head up
  • Mirror the person your talking to
  • Avoid nervous twitching and habits
  • Be accessible to others
  • If your holding something like a drink, hold it at your side, not in front of your chest
  • Be positive
  • Nod and acknowledge the other person during a conversation

Wrap Up

Anyone can be approachable; only you can decide if that’s you. Confidence doesn’t come easy for some people. It can take time, but that’s ok. Just be patient and keep working on it. If you have trouble looking someone in the eye, try looking at just one of their eyes or in between their eyes until it gets easier. Not everyone is out to get you. People who say ‘you can come to me and ask me questions’ some really do mean it. That goes for the same to those people who say ‘were always here for you’.

Take care, stay safe, and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.

Video Discussion: You can be at Peace Again

So for this video discussion, I decided to talk about a piece of music that is near and dear to my heart.  It comes from the game Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.  I had done a previous video discussion on a this game before which was a cutscene on not comparing yourself to someone else. 

This music to me represents overcoming hardships, bumps in the road, rough patches, storms, dark days, tragedies, anything rough. It can also mean accomplishing anything, breathing a sigh of relief, being filled with joy, happiness, kindness, even love. I encourage you to take a moment to listen to this for a bit and reflect on something that you got through and/or the last time you felt true genuine happiness.

A bit of backstory, this music plays after you beat the game return to the world map. When I first heard this, it was during my social media hiatus. I felt a sense of warmth fill me up. It was a few days after that I figured out that I was healed from the pain and heartache that happened to me back in October 2019. The healing process had come to an end. I also felt at peace and was ready to go back to social media and return to this blog.

Long story short, at the end of October 2019 my brother-in-law unexpectedly passed away at 29. The day before that I got hurt by someone I had feelings for and really cared about. I questioned who I was, the people in my life, sort of ghosted a special friend of mine on and off, closed up, and kept people at arms length.

With Mental Health Awareness month coming to an end, it doesn’t mean that you stop taking care of yourself. Whatever it is that your going through even if it’s hard, you can get through it. If you are healing from something, keep working at it; in time, you will be healed. If you are working through something and you feel stagnant and/or are taking steps back, it’s ok that can happen. If you think this storm your going through will not end, it will end.

I got through my storm, rough spots, and tough days, so you can as well. Your most definitely not alone. People you go to school with, volunteer with, work with, and those around you right now are probably dealing with something difficult or have dealt with something tough in their life.

To those who are dealing with unwanted stress, depression, a broken heart, or high levels of anxiety, cry if you need to, let out a scream in private, write down your thoughts and feelings, seek professional help, talk to a trusted friend, family member, teacher, or individual. You will get through it, you’ll be stronger for going through it and you’ll be wiser because you’ll learn from it.

Even though I healed, that doesn’t mean I’m immune to unwanted stress, anxiety, or any kind of pain. What I know is that I’m more prepared to handle any new bad thing that comes my way. I’m human, I’m not perfect which means tough days can still happen to me and I can still make mistakes. I look to see what I can learn from those mistakes and those tough days.

Take care, stay safe, and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.

Video Time: The Importance of Mental Health

Hi everyone. I want to change the content a bit. This post has 3 videos describing the importance of mental health. Mental health isn’t visible yet it affects our spiritual, emotional, and physical health. Mental health isn’t something to make fun of or dismiss. We are all fighting battles we don’t tell everyone even our closest friends and family members.

Stress isn’t a 100% bad thing. We need a bit of stress to alarm us to recognize unwanted stress. Trying to not let stress become too much for us to handle is one of life’s greatest challenges.

Take care, stay safe, and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.

5 Things You May Not Know About Obsessive Ruminating

So have you ever thought about something over and over? Something didn’t go the way you wanted and your thinking about all the things that went wrong. You think about various scenarios and different factors for an extensive period of time, but you aren’t coming up with any solutions. You may feel very stressed out and exhausted at this point. Well what you did was a lot of ruminating.

I’ll tell you now that I have done this numerous times myself. I guarantee you that you that pretty much every person out there has done at some point in their lives. Your definitely not alone in this.

Why Do We Ruminate About Things Especially the Negative Ones

We’ve all heard of ‘critical thinking’ at some point. It’s what we do when we’re trying to figure something tough out, coming up with something new and creative, and thinking outside the box. Critical thinking requires some deep thought and brainstorming. In doing so though, we can get caught up in the process to where we’re stressing ourselves out and not getting solutions.

Obsessive, on-going, ruminating can be bad for our mental health. According to Wehrenberg (2016), “Rumination is one of the similarities between anxiety and depression. Ruminating is simply repetitively going over a thought or a problem without completion. When people are depressed, the themes of rumination are typically about being inadequate or worthless” (para, 1). When our self-worth is down, the feeling of being inadequate and inferior will raise our anxiety and can bring about depression. Our brain can replay different scenarios where other things in our life went wrong or didn’t work out. We can have trouble coming up with simple solutions to simple problems. The easy things can become hard. This kind of thinking can be a downward spiral that can also affect our energy level and possibly cause fatigue and weakness in our muscles.

The Toll You Take

Obsessive ruminating can take a toll on our mental and emotional health, however it can even take a toll on our physical health.

One thing this can do to us is cause our stress levels to go out of whack. Our cortisol levels go up which then results in our anxiety going up which can lead to muscle weakness, possible weight gain, possible skin changes like bruises, increased thirst, frequent urination, osteoporosis, a flushed look on your face, and mood swings. For those of you who don’t know, the society of endocrinology (2019) states that “Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of vital processes throughout the body, including metabolism and the immune response. It also has a very important role in helping the body respond to stress” (para, 1).

The second thing obsessive ruminating can do is cause us a negative state of mind. Our stress vision goes out of control and we can easily succumb to becoming depressed and unhappy. We can become pessimistic about people’s actions and words, loose hope on different things in life, and be rude to our friends and family.

A third thing that can happen is that we start to be less proactive in our daily lives. We start to put off things till the next day and before we know it, we have put those things off for 4 days. It can reach the point where we are not eating or getting enough sleep.

A fourth thing goes back to my post on self-sabotage. Obsessive ruminating can lead to developing negative coping behaviors like stress eating. This can lead to more unwanted stress and a downward spiral of negativity.

A fifth thing is that hypertension (high blood pressure) is connected to obsessive ruminating. Elizabeth Scott (2019), mentions that “Rumination may prolong the stress response, which increases the negative impact of stress on the heart” (para, 17). You can feel yourself getting worked up when you have the same constant thoughts run through your mind over and over and your not getting any solutions or the solutions you think you should get.

Here are some ways you can stop obsessive ruminating thoughts:

  1. Distract yourself by doing something you enjoy or examining an object like how that lamp in your living room was built or how they designed that colorful pattern on your shirt. Anything to take your attention away from your thoughts.
  2. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, listening to music, yoga, and meditation for example.
  3. Socialize with people. Talking to people will make you listen and pay attention to them and get you out of your head. Ask them questions and talk about things you enjoy, that they enjoy, and what you both enjoy.
  4. Identify what thoughts and or fears cause you to ruminate. Is it a person, word, phrase, behavior, place, something that happened in your past, worried about something happening in the future? Whatever it is, identifying these things can help you to avoid ruminating about them. In time and with practice, you can develop a better handle on controlling your thoughts so that you don’t obsessively ruminate about them.
  5. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Knowing what you are capable of handling can help you to stop obsessively ruminating. Should the worst case scenario happen, you know whether or not you can handle it and most of the time it’s not life or death or the end of the world.
  6. View those mistakes you made as learning experiences. Mistakes aren’t always permanent. As I mentioned in a previous post about mistakes, you can learn what went wrong so that in the future you don’t repeat them. ‘What’s done is done’ and ‘What’s gone is gone’ are phrases you may have heard at some point in your life. You gotta keep moving forward.
  7. Exercising is a great way to focus on your work out and get your mind off your thoughts.
  8. Get more in touch with your five senses. What are you hearing? What are you seeing? What are you smelling? What are you touching? What are tasting (if you have food in your mouth or are drinking something)? Putting more focus and attention toward your five senses can get you out of your mind and focus more on the present instead of the past and future.
  9. Seeking therapy is another way to help you to stop ruminating if you are really struggling to do it on your own. There is no shame in seeking professional help.

Wrap Up

Though ruminating is associated with depression and not good, under the right certain conditions, it can be helpful. In this case, you can call it critical or deep thinking.  You’re able to think and talk about your feelings and emotions in more depth which gets them off your chest and they’re no longer bottled up. Now keep in mind this doesn’t work for everyone. Whatever your thinking style is, it’s up to you to figure out. Once you know that, you can get better at not ruminating on your thoughts and or fears. If your able to think deeply and come up with solutions to things and not ruminate, that’s good. If thinking deeply is causing you to stress, get worked up, or drain your energy where you feel tired and fatigue, your probably ruminating. Now you can go back and think of fond and happy memories, but keep moving forward. Try not looking back on the bad ones. This is where obsessive ruminating can take place and become unhealthy especially if you’re spending a lot of time thinking back on those negative things. I’ll leave you with this quote. Until next time.

ba0e367b3adaf2c3fc3aa5e41315c6324807163193787241558.jpg

Reference

Scott, E. (2019). “Rumination: Why Do People Obsess Over Things?”. Retrieved from                     https://www.verywellmind.com/rumination-why-do-people-obsess-over-things-                   3144571

The Society of Endocrinology. (2019). “You and Your Hormones”. Retrieved from                           https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/cortisol/

Wehrenberg, M. (2016). “Rumination: A Problem in Anxiety and Depression Springboard           out of negative networks into new solutions”. Retrieved from                                                     https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/depression-management-                                       techniques/201604/rumination-problem-in-anxiety-and-depression

Video Time: Anxiety and Stress

This week I’m posting two videos on how to distract yourself with anxiety and stress. Next week will be a regular post.

The first video is a segment taken from the Doctor Oz show about a few foods that can help calm yourself if your anxiety is way up.

The second video is from LPC, NCC Paige Pradko. She discusses 10 different ways of how you can distract yourself if your anxiety levels are too high.

I hope you all have a great week and remember your not alone. What’s going on out there in the world, we’ll get through this together. Till next time.

Combating What Others Think of You

What other people think of you is not your business. If you start to make that business your business, you will be offended for the rest of your life.

Deepak Chopra

At some point or another, we have thought about what other people have thought of us. We wonder if they really like us as a friend or something more, what they think of our clothes, or if they think were weird or cool. There are so many things that we think about when it comes to what other people think about us. It can cause us to experience a whirlwind of emotions that can bring us down and drive us a little crazy. I have been in this predicament dozens of times myself. Your definitely not alone. It happens to everyone. The key is not letting this idea rule our lives.

Why Do We Care About What Others Think of Us

It’s just something that happens to us as we grow up. As we begin to think more critically, we begin to figure out who we are as a person. We begin to have more in depth conversations with people. People are able to develop more opinions about themselves, life, places, and other people. As time goes on, those opinions get challenged by others and what you think isn’t the way someone else thinks. You then start to think about what the other person thinks of you.

Acceptance

You could be in a place where you want to be accepted by someone or a particular group of people. You believe that if they accept you, you will feel better about yourself and always be happy. You also think that you will feel horrible and sad if they don’t accept you into the group. At this point, your putting the control of your happiness in other people’s hands. Going back to acceptance, you may believe that your not fully accepted by your family or friends for who you are; so you may go to great lengths to find out what you can do to be accepted by them even if it goes against your character, your personality, your morals and values.

Sense of Belonging

We have a need to feel like we belong somewhere. We seek to find our place in the world. We try different things and go through trial and error to find where we feel comfortable and where we can thrive at. During the process, we encounter people who seem like they have it all together. We want to have what they have and we think that we won’t be able to befriend them if we’re not on their level. We may let the stress get the better of us and think that the other person will look down on us for being where we are at in our life. We also may think that they will judge us for the job we have, the grades we get in school, how we dress, if we have any tattoos or piercings, how social we are with others, even our age, height, weight, gender, and ethnicity. We may do or get things that we don’t like or find appealing just to feel like we belong somewhere and not get looked down upon.

Here are some ways to stop caring about what other people think of you:

  • Find what makes you happy
  • Age and maturity
  • Boost your self-esteem
  • Stay true to yourself
  • Try not to please others
  • Don’t overthink
  • Life is too short, live in the moment
  • Desensitize your triggers

If you find what makes you happy, you will be in a place where you feel satisfied and relaxed. In this state of mind, you won’t care about what others think of you because you’re already happy and feel no need to please anyone.

I learned a long time ago that the older you get the more you tend to not care what other people think. Some of us are worried about being embarrassed in front of others and that we may get a bad reputation or be seen as a weirdo or outcast. Being embarrassed only means were human and it happens to all of us.

If your self-esteem is up, your confidence will be up. If your confidence is up, you feel more of a sense of satisfaction especially around people. You won’t feel a need to think about what other people think of you sense you already feel good.

It’s important to stay true to yourself. There is only one of you in this world. Don’t sacrifice your morals and values just to please other people. Your family and real friends will like you for who are. Pleasing others can lead to getting unwanted stress and you may not get the respect of the other person or people in the end.

You can find yourself overthinking about everything which can drive you nuts. You can even find yourself overthinking about what others think about you which, in my opinion, is worse. There are things out there that come to you that are face value. There are people out there who will be honest and tell you the truth up front. Those are the people you can trust. Not everyone out there is out to get you.

Another way to stop thinking about what others think about you is to desensitize your triggers. What I mean by that is what are the things that cause you to start thinking this way. Do you believe that the other person isn’t being honest with you? Did you overhear something and now you don’t know what to do with that information? The challenge is to catch yourself before this kind of thinking begins. What I have found helpful is to pay attention to your emotions. If you begin to get emotional and your anxiety spikes up, then maybe you found a trigger.

Final Thoughts and Sum Up

Life is too short to be constantly caring about what other people think about you. Easier said than done I know. It’s taken me some time to just let things go and move forward with my life. Focusing and living in the present is where you can find peace, enjoy good times, and make memories. The right people will come along in your life and you won’t have to be heavily concerned about what they think about you because they will accept you for who you are.

Comparing Yourself to Others…Nah

We’ve all been done it at some point in our lives, comparing our talents, skills, personalities, a lot of things about ourselves to other people. I have done this myself and have struggled with it for a long portion of my life. For example, we see other people and sometimes think ‘I wish I was muscular like that guy or I wish I had great hair like her’. There are times when we make a mistake or mess something up, we may feel low about ourselves. We may begin to think that we can’t do anything right and think that the people around us have no trouble doing anything. This kind of thinking can hurt our self-worth and influence us to believe in lies.

You see someone who has a nice car, nice clothes, a lot of friends, is doing well in school, work, or just life in general and you think ‘that person must have no troubles or problems at all’. Sometimes you get jealous or envious of the other person and start comparing your accomplishments to the other person. When we do this, most of the time we conclude that the other person is better than me. Our self-esteem and our self-worth takes a hit when we do this. People sometimes think that they if they had what the other person had, they would be happy as well. For example, I have been in predicaments where I felt that I’m struggling to get an A in a class and everyone else is getting A’s without trying. This however wasn’t true; it was my insecurities getting the best of me.

A common comparison I have witnessed and experienced is seeing a friend, family member, or stranger in a relationship with another person and I start thinking that those two people are happier and doing better in life than I am. The truth is that those in a relationship may not be as happy as you think. So it seems silly that we would think that, but our insecurities get the better of us sometimes and our minds send us on a downward spiral. We have our own lives to live and shouldn’t try to mimic what other people are doing. The reality is that what works for some people may not work for other people. For example, someone who chews gum before taking test to relax may not work for the person next to them. This other person may do some deep breathing to relax. The thing is that both methods can work, it all depends on the person; we are all wired differently.

Here are some ways we can start to break this cycle and start doing our own thing:

1) Discover what makes you unique This may require some trial and error, but discovering what your capable of is part of your life journey and that can be fun. Maybe you have a knack for painting, building things, maybe you have always had a way of taking great care of animals than your friends. You should find out.

2) Focus on what you do best You have your own skills and talents. These things are what makes you unique. Close friends and family members may see special things about yourself that you don’t. Ask them and then excel in them and you’ll find your own peace and happiness.

3) Find and embrace joy When you are filled with joy, life gets easier. Create your own joy by doing things you love. Overtime you may begin to feel that confidence returning and your perception of measuring up to someone else fading away.

4) Distract yourself Comparing oneself to others can become a habit and it may take some time to break that thought cycle. When that thought cycle starts, try distracting yourself with something else. Focus on something else, get a song in your head, an object (I’ve focused on the color of bark of a tree), say something to yourself like ‘stop or no’, get invested in a movie, video game, watch TV, listen to music, try talking to someone, dance around. This could take some trial and error as well, but if you work at it you’ll find something.

5) Challenge the thoughts The thoughts that make you think that someone is better than you may not be real. Challenge the thought with positive things about yourself. List your skills and talents. Think about the compliments you have gotten, most people wouldn’t have said those compliments if they weren’t true. What are you good at? You are good at something. If it helps make a list of the positive things about yourself. Keep that list on you or somewhere where you will always see it. Recite these things when you wake up to help start your day. Overtime, your mind will begin on focusing those positive factors as second nature and you will begin seeing that what made you feel inferior to someone else was false.

We make our own path and our own choices, we shouldn’t follow someone else’s. The path that someone else is on may look good, but it may not be the right path for you. We are all wired differently and part of the journey of life is finding what works well for us. People will follow the herd as a way to not be alone or are afraid to stand out. This can lead to following someone’s path that isn’t a good one. We may know that this way of life or path is bad for us, but we are afraid to break away out of fear of something bad happening or our insecurities have something to do with that.

Doing our own thing and finding what works for us is a step in breaking the habit of comparing ourselves to others. This idea can be confusing because people only look to obtaining happiness, but there is more to it than that. What we have to do is see that there is a good and healthy part and the happiness part. Let me explain, someone may be happy in their life, but that happiness is coming from putting other people down. This scenario has the happiness part, but it’s lacking the good and healthy part. Both parts have to be together in order for your confidence to grow which I admit can be challenging and will take time. Our insecurities, the lies we get told by other people, and other things lower our self-esteem which hurts our confidence and we begin to compare our self-worth to other people. Don’t be hard on yourself, be patient, this can be beaten, it takes time, effort, and not giving up. I know you can do it.