Video Time: 3 Ways Mindfulness Exercises Help You Relax and Keep You in the Present

Hey everyone, I hope your enjoying the summer season. For this Video Time post, I thought we focus on the topic of Mindfulness. These videos will explain what mindfulness is and the techniques that make it up.

These videos will discuss how to lower your stress levels, slow down your thoughts, and focus on your 5 senses. One video will break down the process of how a thought can quickly consume us and result in a negative feeling. We can have negative thoughts in which we can acknowledge and leave it at that. Whether or not we act on them is up to us.

Any thought can come into our mind and change how we behave and what we say vert fast. Remember different parts of our body can be affected by this process as well.

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

Video Discussion: Facing Your Trauma to Heal

This video is from a recent episode of the Flash. To set things up for those who don’t watch the show, this is an testimony from one of the main characters. The character is Iris West-Allen played by Candice Patton.

Spoiler Alert:

Last season, she was taken against her will by the main villian into what’s known as the Mirrorverse. It’s a dimension where everything looks the same, but incompatible to those not from it. The human mind can be wrapped to where an individual is no longer recognizable and is psychologically harmed to a big degree.

Iris spent 3 months there unable to call for help. Eventually, her husband Barry Allen a.k.a the Flash, frees her from the Mirrorverse and defeats the villian who kidnapped her and saves many other innocent people who were taken as well. However, Iris hadn’t dealt with the trauma she experienced. This video is Iris giving her testimony about her experience in the Mirrorverse to other survivors. Her testimony ends at 2:40. If you want to see the rest go ahead.

Trauma

Trauma is something we all unfortunately deal with at some point in our lives. We get hurt and betrayed sometimes by those we love and care about. We have people who pass away sometimes unexpectedly and sudden, we encounter situations that traumatize us with fear, sadness, and guilt. We see things so horrifying that we wish we didn’t see and would do anything to forget them.

I’ve dealt with some traumas in my life that I still remember today. I still remember the triggers and the feelings I was experiencing at the time like they just happened yesterday. Your not alone; your most definitely not alone. There are many others out there who have experienced trauma and the same traumas you experienced or are currently going through right now.

The Feelings of Trauma

Though Iris was taken to another dimension, she still experienced loneliness and dread like the others who were abducted. We don’t always have to be taken to an unknown place to experience those feelings. We can experience those feelings in places that are comfortable and known to us. Our favorite resturant, school, park, church, even our homes.

Iris was feeling angry and sorry for herself and hating that she was feeling like that. She thought that once she was saved and back home that all the bad feelings would go away and she would be healed and whole again. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case; like her many of us think that if were rescued from a bad and scary place whether it be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual that we feel better.

What I find powerful about her testimony is that she says that she can’t heal unless she gives herself permission to feel those bad feelings. I love how the writers wrote that. One would think why do I need to give myself permission to feel my feelings? A good question, yet the answer lies on our personality.

Who We Are

If were someone who has a sunny disposition on life, we may inadvertently think that we don’t let bad things affect us and that we can easily shrug them off. Others see us as not having a problem in the world and that we’re happy all the time. Yet were still human and we are not immune to negative emotions.

People who smile, laugh, goof around with friends and family, and have fun are not immune to bad feelings. They may hide their feelings from others even those close to them because they may be scared how others will perceive them. They think others will think things like ‘she doesn’t get mad, she’s always helpful and kind’, ‘he’s so happy, he doesn’t have any problems’, or ‘he doesn’t know what disappointment is because nothing ever goes wrong for him’.

We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to be able to express and go through those bad uncomfortable feelings even if they go against our nature. Were human and we are allowed to feel all the emotions in the world. Some we express and feel more than others and that’s fine. A person who rarely gets mad is allowed to get mad, no one can tell him or her otherwise.

I personally have seen people in my life who are happy and helpful get upset and annoyed every now and then. It doesn’t happen often, but I remember that they are not immune to those feelings, they are allowed to feel that way, they’re not perfect, and they are human.

The lines ‘If you are hurting, if you feel angry, if the constant presence of those emotions is exhausting you, you are not alone. I am with you’ speak volumes to me. These lines are like the foundation of this blog. I have experienced hurt and anger and those feelings have caused me fatigued and exhaustion.

Wrap Up

There is beauty on this life; that’s a fact. Sometimes when were dealing with trauma, it becomes harder to see that beauty because our mind can be clouded up with negativity and darkness. As Iris puts it, looking for the beauty within each other is very helpful. Though it may take some time, I guarantee you that it helps because it helped me 2 years ago. That time spent together with others who have gone through what you are going through or are currently going through what it is your going through is an opportunity to help one another and to keep each from falling down again.

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

Video Time: Judgement

Here’s 3 videos about judgment. We inadvertently judge other people about various things. Ironically, when we judge other people, it actually reflects who we are as a person. These videos talk more about that, where does judging other people originate from, and why we shouldn’t judge others.

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

Video Discussion: Music Speaking Your Mood

This video discussion is a bit different. This one relates to a piece of music from a video game called Astral Chain. I played this game back when it came out in August 2019. This piece of music spoke to me and it perfectly fitted the mood I was feeling at the time. I used this piece of music as a headliner for this post.

This piece of music is called Astral Plane. Here is a picture of the what the place looks like in the game.

When you’re experiencing different emotions, your mood of course is affected by them. You can feel happy, jealous, energetic, calm, satisfied, sad, angry, fatigued, etc. This particular piece of music speaks to me as being sad, being in a state of confusion and deep thinking, as well as being satisfied.

When you’re experiencing emotions, sometimes it’s best to let them ride out. Well letting them ride out is one thing, but sometimes you still feel the need to express them. Words and actions are ways to express them, but just sitting down, walking around, or laying down and listening to music is another way.

If your feeling sad, listening to sad music (like a piano being played slowly) can fit the mood your feeling. You may not want to hear anything that sounds loud or upbeat. If your feeling joyful, maybe listening to a sad piano isn’t a good idea.

Sometimes you don’t know how to describe how your feeling. Music is an outlet for people to be creative and to express their feelings. Different kinds of music speak to people. When you hear certain pieces of music, you may say things like ‘that music describes how I’m feeling right now’, ‘that music fits the mood I’m feeling’.

Wrap Up

So if you have had trouble expressing yourself with words and actions, try listening to music. If you let music express how your feeling, your not alone. Music is something that I use to express my mood. Words can be difficult to come up with because your not feeling one emotion entirely. You can feel 60% sad, 25% calm, and 15% jealous for example. Songs can have lyrics that speak to you on various levels. Listening to music without lyrics can be just as helpful.

I hope this has been informative and eye opening for you. Take care, stay safe, and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.

Symbolism: The Weather Reflecting Your Mood

Here is another new thing that I’m introducing. Symbolism posts is another idea I came up with. I found that if I wanted to understand my emotions better, I looked at something that was either in front of me or around me. Colors, physical objects, nature, and music have helped me understand how I was feeling when I couldn’t figure it out in my head.

So for the first symbolism post, I thought I talk a bit about the weather. Blue skies, cloudy skies, storms, hot and cold weather all make us feel different things. If you find that you can relate to the weather in terms of how you are feeling or you can’t, either way you’re not alone.

The pic above I found makes people feel down, but it can also make someone feel calm, relaxed, even content. We know there are people who don’t like storms, but there are those who enjoy them. There are people who, when they look at a sky like this, they feel content because the sky reflects how they are feeling perfectly.

This next pic pretty much makes a lot of people feel good. The weather is nice and warm (sometimes too hot). It puts a smile on your face and you feel more energetic and active. You feel more friendly around friends and family and sometimes even strangers. Sometimes the things that bother and annoy you, either don’t bother and know you as much or not at all.

These kind of skies I found make people feel laid back and sometimes bored. Your feelings are sometimes in the middle. Your not really happy but you’re not really sad either; you’re kind of in a weird middle.

A sunrise (above pic) and a sunset (below pic) mostly make people feel good. Contentment is the one thing that people feel the most. I found people like to just stop what they’re doing look up and do some reflecting and even meditating. These kind of pics help get people out of their mind, be in the present, and see the world in a different perspective.

Fall and Winter can uplift our mood, but they also can bring our mood down. This just goes back to preference which is different for everyone. The temperatures can vary between hot and cold which can lift and bring down our mood.

Wrap Up

The weather can make us feel great or miserable. The sun helps gives us vitamin D which uplifts our mood. Sometimes during that cloudy weather we don’t get the vitamin D and our mood sometimes isn’t always the best.

We have different kinds of memories when it comes to certain kinds of weather. Those memories, good or bad, can have an impact on how what emotions we will feel and go through. Some people feel more happy and content with stormy and crappy weather and believe it or not there are some people out there who find clear skies and nice weather uncomfortable.

So I hope you found this first symbolism post to be enjoyable. Maybe this provided some clarity on how you can figure out and interpret your emotions better. For the most part, I find the weather to be an outward appearance of how I’m feeling on the inside.

There’ll be more symbolism posts to come. Take care and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.

Ever Heard of Toxic Positivity? It’s a Thing

Well here’s my first official post after being on hiatus for a little over 2 months. While on hiatus, there were some new things that I learned about. One of them is toxic positivity.

Now how could positivity be toxic? That’s what I thought at first, but then I looked more into it. Well it’s something that isn’t catastrophic and horrible, but it can be hurtful even in the long run.

What is Toxic Positivity?

That’s the definition of this topic. I’m sure at some point in our lives we were in a situation where we had to make it appear that we were happy and everything was all right where in reality that wasn’t the case. We had to hold back our tears, keep our frustrations in check, and even forget about our problems and struggles.

This goes back to my post on wearing emotional masks to keep up a positive yet fake appearance. Not expressing and letting out other emotions like anger, sadness, or fear for example, your burying those feelings and not being true to yourself. This may not always cause complications right away, but there can be some problems in the future.

Toxic positivity is a form of avoidance. A person can have those negative emotions and not want to acknowledge them maybe assuming that they’ll go away on their own. Acknowledging emotions shows that their present, but something you may not know is that you don’t have to fully embrace them in that moment. You can recognize it, but you can move past it immediately.

Situational Examples

If you’re dealing with something negative, some environments make it hard to express these emotions. When were at school, it’s hard to show sadness for example because some would say that you would be disrupting the class.

If your at work and working with kids and your angry with someone, you couldn’t yell or swear at the kids for no reason. You would have to bite your tongue or in an extreme case don’t go into work if you can’t control your emotions. Any kind of outbursts toward the kids, boss, or your co-workers wouldn’t be good.

If you were around people who let’s say you believed were doing better than you, it may make you feel uncomfortable to be around or associate with them. Your outward appearance says happiness, but on the inside you feel jealous.

Your not being true to yourself or your emotions.

Phrases

There are some phrases that we may have said to someone who was feeling down and it turns out that those words weren’t helping the person and we’re actually making things worse.

Here is a list of some of those phrases:

  • Just be happy
  • Only good vibes
  • You’ll get over it
  • Think happy thoughts
  • You’ll get through this
  • Stop being negative
  • See the good in everything
  • Never give up

Some of these phrases I have said to someone myself in an effort to try to help them; so your not alone if you have done this. Giving up on something should ONLY be done if it’s causing you any kind of physical, mental, or emotional harm to yourself or to other people.

Below is a chart of positivity and toxic positivity phrases:

Handling Toxic Positivity

So you may be asking yourself, ‘how can I be true to myself?’ or ‘how can I help someone in my life without giving them any kind of toxic positivity?’. Here are some ways in how to handle toxic positivity:

  • Don’t believe that you should ‘be happy’ all the time
  • Talk to someone who will ‘really’ listen to you
  • Your not a bad person if your not happy
  • Possibly look into therapy
  • It’s ok to feel whatever it is your feeling. Welcome all your feelings
  • Lend a listening ear to someone instead of advice
  • Acknowledging that someone feels bad and being around them may be all the support and comfort they need

Here is a chart of how to avoid toxic positivity:

Discussion

As I mentioned before, you’re not alone if you have said any of those phrases or done anything that will be considered toxic positivity. Some of those phrases we learn indirectly from other people or from what we read sometimes. Those phrases or other behaviors that resemble toxic positivity are mostly done with good intentions. Most people aren’t trying to make things worse for the other person. Sometimes those you care about like family members or close friends may just need a hug to start feeling better. They don’t need any tips or a lecture on their problems.

Wrap Up

Looking into this topic was an eye opener for me. Maybe it was an eye opener for you as well. Some of our personalities is about solving and fixing problems that we encounter; that could be our own or other peoples. We sometimes get in our head that we have to do something huge in order to fix something even if it’s simple and that it’s going to require a lot of work. That’s not always the case; sometimes we just have to take a step back and look at the overall problem and deconstruct it bit by bit.

It’s nice to be back and there will be more content coming. Thank you for your support I really appreciate it and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.

What Everyone is Saying About Regrets

We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, your are not your struggles, and you are here now with the power to shape your day and future.

Steve Maraboli


Hey guys, hope you all have been doing well.  With everything that has been going on lately, I know people’s hearts have been very heavy and have been consumed with a lot of emotions.  Going back to my post on moving forward and not back, there was something else I wanted to include, but I thought it would make more sense to make it its own topic.  What I’m referring to is regrets.  I have things that I regretted doing and not doing.  Your not the only person who has regrets in this world.  Everyone has one thing they have regretted doing or not doing in their life. 

What Regrets Do to Us


As humans, we are not perfect.  We all make mistakes at some point in our lives.  We can forget to do something important, we say something we wish we could take back, and we forget to say something important to someone we care about.  We do things that seem right at the time and later regret doing them.  A mistake can turn into a regret depending on how you react to it and if there are other people involved, their reactions can have an impact on it.  Regrets also come about when we are disappointed over something and feel sad.  According to Psychology Today (2017), “Regret is the second-most common emotion people mention in daily life, some studies show. And it’s the most common negative emotion” (Grierson, para 2).  Regrets can eat away at you and bring down your mood.  You can begin to neglect your overall health and become weak and fatigued.  You may begin to think your not worth a dime to anyone and that all the good things you have in your life, your not worthy of them.  You replay what happened over and over hoping for a different outcome and what you did wrong or what went wrong in general.  You look for a hidden meaning which may not be there.  People can get lost in the sadness and guilt that can come with having regrets. 

Common Regrets People Have

There some regrets almost everyone experiences at some point in their life.  One of them is not having the courage to live a life that is true to who they are.  They live their life of what is expected by other people and they don’t find true happiness and peace of mind. 

A second common regret is wishing that they worked smart and not hard.  It’s one thing to work hard, but working smarter (while still working hard) to where your not burning yourself out, not sacrificing your happiness, being able to spend time with others, and maintaining your overall health is what you should aim for. 

A third common regret is being able to stay in touch with good friends.  We can so easily get caught up in our lives and whatever problems we are dealing with that we forget to see how others are doing.  We forget to spend time with our friends which can be helpful in recharging ourselves and breathing a sigh of relief.  We can also forget to ask them for help and forget to help them out. 

A fourth common regret is being able to have the courage to express their feelings.  Sometimes we bite our tongue to maintain the peace between friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and family.  Yet in doing so we may also suppress our feelings.  This can cause us to not reach out more to friends and family, build or rebuild bonds and connections with other people in our lives, and not be able to be vulnerable to them. 

A fifth one is just not letting yourself be more happy with your overall life.  So many times we let good things get away from us because were either scared of something or someone or not feel like we’ll be good at something.  We also can be blind to good things that are right in front of us because we’re so consumed with our problems, wishing for things we don’t have, and wanting the next day or weekend to come so that we can enjoy something while ignoring the other days.  

A sixth one can be how someone approaches their education.  Some regret not doing well in school, some regret not finishing school, and some regret their major in college.  There are those who regret the way they handled student loans.  According to PayScale (2019), “the years of commitment and the repercussions that academic choices can have on earnings potential leave many regretting their educational choices.  Our research shows that the vast majority – nearly two thirds – of those with at least a bachelor’s degree regret something about their education” (Gruver, para 2-3).

Here are some ways that you can avoid making mistakes that can lead to regrets:

  1. Don’t follow someone else’s dreams
  2. Don’t take your loved ones for granted
  3. Live in the moment and the present
  4. Stop pretending to be someone else
  5. Take care of yourself
  6. Don’t fear failure
  7. Experience and listen more
  8. Stand up for yourself
  9. Seize the moment
  10. Think before you act

Here is a list of tips on how you can better cope with regrets you have made:

  1. Acknowledge what you’re feeling
  2. Catch yourself doing negative self-talk 
  3. Find the triggers that make you feel down and avoid them until you feel no pain from them
  4. Focus on what your grateful for because others have less than you
  5. Genuinely apologize and forgive yourself
  6. Focus on and embrace your positive qualities (you have them)

Wrap Up

Life can be too uncertain to have any regrets.  Yet they happen still happen even to the best of us.  Seizing the moment is one thing, but there are scenarios and situations where you should think before you act and what to say, as it could hurt someone’s feelings or hurt them physically.  As I mentioned, there is probably one thing that you regret in your life.  I hope that by reading this that you find a way to cope with it so that it doesn’t rule your life and the decisions you make in the future and that you can better avoid making new ones.  I’ll leave you all with this, one thing I recently learned is to work on solving your inner conflicts first and then whatever is going on in the world, it won’t be as overwhelming to you.  

Reference

Grierson, B. (2017). The Meaning of Regret.  Retrived from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-carpe-diem-project/201710/the-meaning-regret

Gruver, J. (2019). Biggest College Regrets. Retrieved from        https://www.payscale.com/data/biggest-college-regrets

Hurt by Someone You Cared About? Yeah I Know the Feeling

Our parents are the first people who care for us when we are born. As we grow up we start to care for other people. Some of those people become friends. At some point we meet someone who we really care about and sometimes that develops into a romantic relationship which can turn into a marriage. At any point, these people we care for can hurt us. They hurt us because maybe we hurt them first, they hurt us because they misunderstood something or took something the wrong way, but they can hurt us for no reason. Whatever the reason or no reason, the feeling of being hurt by them can stick with us and it doesn’t feel good.

We all have feelings that can be hurt. Our friends, relatives, siblings, parents, spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, boss, landlord, even teachers can all hurt our feelings. Let’s be real, none of us like to have our feelings hurt by anyone. If we don’t like to have our feelings hurt, we shouldn’t hurt others peoples feelings. When it comes to the people we care about and have more of a connection with, our feelings can take a bigger hit if these people hurt us. These people are the ones we have invested more time in and let them in on personal information about us. As we get to know them, their opinions about us matter more. Their overall opinions on anything become more important to us. Were willing to listen to what they have to say, even if it’s something we don’t 100% agree with.

When we get hurt by someone, it can take time for us to get over it. The more we cared about the other person, the worse the pain will feel. I can speak from experience from the past and from a few months ago. Your not alone when it comes to being hurt by someone you really cared about. The pain can cause us to doubt ourselves. We can begin to think we can’t do anything, we screw up everything we do, and we don’t deserve to have good people in our lives. The feeling of being hurt can get to a point where we start questioning the people we are friends with, family members, and have strong connections with. Another thing that can happen is that we can go into self preservation mode. We put up walls and keep people at arms length. We may even isolate ourselves from the world and cheat ourselves out of the things that we enjoy doing. I have found that one of the reasons we do these things is because we don’t want to get hurt again. So our minds sometimes can into survival mode (our minds put out energy into making sure we stay sane) because it interpreted the feeling of being hurt as an attack on our well being.

Here are some ways to help you get over the hurt and to help you move forward:

1. Don’t Seek Revenge

One of the things we may want to do after we have gotten hurt by someone is to hurt them back. The feeling of wanting to do it feels good and you believe that you’ll feel even better after you get back at the other person. Don’t let the anger get the best of you. Be the bigger person and accept what has happened. You can’t go back and change it, its already happened. Your best bet is to move forward. If you get back and hurt the other person, you’ll feel good briefly, but then the guilt and remorse can come in and you’ll feel worse and than what you were.

2. Seek Emotional Support

I mentioned that it may be hard to be around others because you don’t want to get hurt by anyone else, but there are those specific people who you know will be there for you in your time of need no matter what. You know these people will be there for you for comfort. Are these people your parents? A trusted relative? A friend who’s like a brother or sister to you? A childhood friend? Only you know. Seek them out and talk to them, even if you just need to vent.

3. Forgive the Person

One of the hardest things to do is to forgive people especially those who have hurt us. Forgiveness helps us to move forward and not develop and hold grudges towards other people. As tough as it is, we have to forgive the person or people who hurt us. Forgiveness is about not letting the feeling of being hurt control you. You may not get an apology from the other person. If you do, great. If you don’t get an apology, one don’t let that make you feel inferior or that your not worth an apology. Second not getting that apology can tell you about who that other person really is.

4. Do Things You Find Enjoyable

You sometimes need time to process the hurt. I believe that your mind and maybe your subconscious is at work processing the hurt. While it does that, it doesn’t help to dwell on it. Instead do something you like to do. Get immersed in something that you have so much fun doing that you don’t even get a chance to think about the hurt your feeling. This a great way to distract yourself for the time being.

5. Distance Yourself

You may need to distance yourself from this person or people in order to move on. Delete them on social media, get rid of their phone number, get rid of photos, trinkets, or other reminders of that person if the hurt is real bad, change shifts so that your not working with them, and in some extreme cases change classes you have with them, change jobs, if your in on a team with them, leave the team if it hurts you way too much to be around them.

Be grateful for the people you do have in your life. These people have been kind to you, given you compliments, and helped you. It’s also important to bring yourself back to the present. When we have been hurt, we tend to live in the past and relive the hurt over and over maybe hoping for a different outcome. One of the things we have to do is let the negative emotions flow. It’s ok to be sad, so we have to allow ourselves to feel those negative emotions so we can move on. We just can’t dwell on them. Take care of yourself above all else. Be patient and gentle with yourself.

Vulnerability Can Be Good

With 2020 being here, I thought about something that I have been working on for some time which is being more open and vulnerable. It’s one thing we have heard or experienced at some point in our lives good and bad. When some hear this word, they may make anxious, nervous, or just scared. Sometimes seeing the word can stir our thoughts around and tug at our emotions.

Everyone has their own take on vulnerability. Some will say that it’s good for you while others will say that it means weakness and that its bad. When it comes to being very open with anyone, that can be a risky move because your sharing a very personal maybe sentimental experience or information with someone. Your opening up your heart to someone in the hopes that you will build a stronger connection and bond with this person. You also hope that they will not take advantage of you and not tell other people what you told them. Overall your trust toward the other person or people will be tested.

Being vulnerable is risky because in a way your giving a personal piece of yourself as an individual to someone. This someone can abuse and betray you which is no good and can lead to great pain. The trust you had with the other person or people is broken and may not be fixable. Forgive and forget right? Well not always; it all depends what was shared. If you told a close friend who have known for years a secret, you would expect them to not tell anyone else. If the person chooses to not tell anyone else, your trust builds with this person and you grow a bit closer to them.

Vulnerability can also means sympathizing with someone when they open up to you. For example, if someone shares an experience with you that was hurtful, you would want to sympathize with them because they are a friend or family member. Sympathizing with someone who opens up to you builds trust, strengthens bonds, and you make a deeper connection with someone.

Bring vulnerable with someone can be scary even sometimes when you know the other person so well. A girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, best friend are a few examples of individuals who you believe that you can trust. Openness and honesty are core traits that most people have. These two traits can also be the driving force for wanting to be vulnerable. Not everyone can vulnerable especially on command. It takes some effort to do so because your trying to figure out how you will say what you need to say and when will it take place.

Maybe you were vulnerable at one point and the experience was bad. You decide to put up a wall in your mind toward that person or people who did you wrong. You may even go out of your way to avoid them or keep them at arms length. If you want to be more vulnerable and if you want to be more open and honest, as well as here are some tips you can try:

1. Your Not Alone

If you think you are the only person who is struggling to be more open and honest with people, think again. You definitely aren’t the only one who has trouble being vulnerable. There are people who we can be open and honest with. They can be family members, close friends, or trusted teachers. You will be able to figure out who these people are from how they have treated you in the past, how long you have known them, and how close you are to them.

2. Be Careful Who You Open Up To

I want to emphasize this a bit. Being open and vulnerable is a great way to build a better connection with someone, it also involves some risk. You are, in some way, giving a piece of yourself to another person. That person can do whatever they want with that information. They could keep it to themselves or betray your trust and take advantage of you by telling other people and hurt your feelings. I would suggest that you be open and vulnerable to those real close to you. You also may be hesitant to confide in these people as well and that is a normal response. Like I said being vulnerable can be risky.

3. Share Information Your Ready to Share

We have that little voice in our head that helps us figure out what it is right and what is wrong. That voice can be helpful in deciding whether we’re ready to share something very personal to another person and be open and honest with them. Now this doesn’t mean sharing your whole personal life story with someone, but a piece of it. For example, if you have been struggling with something and you’ve been keeping it to yourself maybe this is what you want to open up and share to others. I have been in this position myself.

4. Trust Yourself

The one thing that could stop you from opening up and being vulnerable is not so much who you want to open up to, but yourself. You may be concerned about the outcome and if you can handle it or not. Think back to other situations that were tough for you, but you got through them. What did you do to get through those tough times? Did you think the outcome was going to be horrible at first, but it turned out to be fine? Did you have a support system? That little voice in your head may be telling you that this one friend or family member is someone who I can share this thing with rather than this one friend.

5. Your Worthy

The outcome and the response you get from opening up and being vulnerable is probably the thing going on your mind. You’re concerned that the response you get is going to be positive or negative. Being vulnerable involves strength, so you tell yourself that you are worthy of a positive response. If you are someone who cares about others, doesn’t cause trouble, and doesn’t put people down then I believe you are worthy of a positive outcome.

Sometimes you have to take risks in life. There are opportunities in your life that you can be open and vulnerable with someone or even a group of people. One thing to keep in mind is that the people who pay attention to you may be in a similar place you are. Your courage to be open and vulnerable may inspire them to do the same thing. I’ve seen it happen and I have also experienced it myself. Trust your instincts.

Afraid to Try Something New…Been There Done That

You ever feel like your in a rut and there are times where you can’t get out and are just stuck.  I have been there before myself quite a few times in my life.  Then I decided to try something I haven’t done before which was a bit scary.  Found out that one new thing was very fulfilling and just what I needed.  Trying that one new thing was helpful even though it was scary.

As we grow up, we learn things that help shape us into who we want to be.  Not all things however, we encounter are helpful to us.  Some of those things help us figure out what isn’t good for us.  In time we develop our comfort zone which gives us stability.  Our comfort zone is where we turn to during rough times and for fun times.  That sounds good right?  Well our comfort zone can stop us from spreading our wings and our growth. By staying in our comfort zone, we don’t learn new things, develop new skills, meet new people, and we can miss out on great things that can enrich our lives.

‘Get out of your comfort zone’ is something we have heard at some point in our life or a version of it.  Easier said that done for some people.  I have been working on this for quite some time in my life.  Some people when they hear this may think that they need to stop being quiet and shy and talk to everyone they meet, go to places that everyone is going to even if they don’t have interest in them, like a new club that just opened up. When some says to get out or move out of your comfort zone, it means to try something new.  That means one new thing, not a dozen of them.  Some people don’t have the time to try a lot of new things in one day for example.

Branching out and trying something new is a step to move out of your comfort zone.  That new thing doesn’t have to be something extreme, it can be simple.  I like to think of the concept in the form of a tree.  The tree and the leaves at the top is who we are (our morals, values, personality).  You could also say that the tree is also our comfort zone. The branches are our skills, abilities, knowledge, and what we like.  The number of branches on the tree varies from each individual.  One person can have 15 branches, someone else could have 10, another one could have 30.  The number of branches increases whenever we try new things.  Getting out of our comfort zone allows us to grow and expand and that is what a tree does when it grows new branches.

Tree talk aside, getting out of our comfort zone and trying new things can be scary because you don’t what what is going to happen.  We all have a fear of the unknown. Pushing past it is where the growth begins.  Here are some ways to help push past that fear and grow:

1. One Day- One New Thing

If your trying to move out of your comfort zone, don’t over do it on the first attempt. During the day, try one new simple thing.  Try a new food, go to a store or restaurant that you haven’t been to before, walk or drive somewhere you haven’t been to before, or try a new sport.  These are a handful of things that you can start off with.  Also remember to be patient with yourself; find and stay at your own pace.  Say you try one new thing a day, or one thing a week, or a month.  Be realistic and find what works for you.

2. Remember the Feeling

When trying something new, the fear can be present, (may not be there for everyone). When pushing past that fear, one can get caught up in the transition of passing through it as well as the feeling of the new thing itself that they forget how they handled it.  When going through that transition, remember how your handling it and what your feeling. Are you tightening your muscles, are you talking to yourself, are you holding your head up high, are you taking deep breaths?  People use different techniques to push past that fear and what’s important is remembering what worked and what didn’t.  You can use that technique or techniques the next time you try something new which in time will decrease the fear.

3. Try Something New with Someone

Getting out of your comfort zone can be scary to do alone.  Ask someone to try the new thing with you or have them there for support.  A good friend, family member, or a co-worker are some options.  The experience can be less scary with one person or a group of people with you.

4. Figure Yourself Out

I mentioned you have to figure out your own pace and what works for you.  In a previous post, I talked about how what works for some people may not work for you and to not compare yourself to others.  Getting out of your comfort zone is a process, not something achieved overnight especially for people who have stayed in their comfort zones for a long period of time.  If you try something new, give it an honest effort, and find out that it isn’t for you don’t get discouraged and think well ‘I’m not growing or expanding and I’m back to square one’.  Actually your realizing what isn’t for you and that’s all right.  Your not in the dark about that thing anymore and you have clarity which is a sense of relief.  You tried something new, it didn’t work out, yet you still stepped out of your comfort zone which is still a step up.  Just try something else.

5. Satisfaction Comes Out of it

Getting out of your comfort zone comes with satisfaction and adds another branch to your tree.  The satisfaction helps you realize that you are capable of trying new things and are capable of doing more than what you thought you can or doing what you thought you couldn’t do.  For example, you try skydiving and you love it, but may not want to do it again.  That’s fine, you can say you tried it and/or you did it.  Maybe in the future, you try it again, but that’s up to you.  In the end, the satisfaction increases your confidence, your self-esteem, decreases and eliminates the fear.

When things become stagnant, trying something new helps you break that routine and shakes things up in your life.  You can set a goal on how many new things you want to try in whatever period of time you want.  Don’t let someone else’s life hinder, stop you, or get you discouraged.  Be happy with the progress you have made even if it’s small. Remember you get out of your comfort zone when you try something new even if it’s small every time.  You grow and expand your horizon of skills, knowledge, abilities, get rid of boredom, you may meet new people who become friends, you may even gain a new perspective in your life.  New experiences are scary, but they can be enriching.