Video Discussion: 7 Things You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty For

Hi there everyone, I hope you all are doing all right.  There are a number of things that we can feel guilty about.  This video focuses on 7 different things that we feel guilty about and how they can influence different aspects of our life.

The feeling of guilt can lead to feelings of inadequacy, unwanted anxiety, and perfectionism. This then leads to high levels of stress and overcompensating on every thing you.

Your not alone if you have felt guilty about doing something for yourself. We are allowed to have hobbies, personal interests, and we are allowed to invest our time and energy into them. I have felt this way, your parents, best friends, teachers, co-workers, boss, significant other, family members, etc have all felt this kind of guilt before.

Feeling Guilty for Feeling Happy

At some point, we have felt guilty about something.  We feel bad for hurting someone’s feelings, not doing something we should have, and for doing something that makes us happy.  Yes feeling guilty about being happy is a real thing. 

We feel guilty of being happy for doing things we enjoy because our brains can translate that into being selfish and self-centered.  We feel we should be doing something for everyone in our lives and helping them with their problems.  Yes this is something we do, but we also need to take time for ourselves. 

We need to rest and recharge ourselves.  We also need to invest our time and energy doing things that bring us joy.  That isn’t being selfish, that’s taking care of ourselves. This video goes into more details.

Wrap Up

Not being perfect, asking for help, being successful, saying no when you need to, removing yourself from toxic situations or people, ending toxic relationships, and wanting to be happy are only 7 things we shouldn’t feel guilty about. There are various other things as well. Our self-worth, esteem, and inner peace are very special and important to our well-being. Yes we do want to please and help others, but we also shouldn’t feel guilty or ashamed that we want to take time for ourselves.

I hope this video shined some light on your life. Hopefully you got some clarity and some bettee guidance in your life. Maybe some heavy stress and anxiety just got lifted from your shoulders and mind. Maybe now you can breathe better too.

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

Feeling Lonely Around Other People: 5 Things You May Not Have Known

Going off of that quote, one would think ‘how can I be alone if people are around me? It’s not like I’m by myself’. Well I used to think that, but the feeling of being lonely was still present. You may have felt like this at one point; whether it was around other students, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, maybe even around family members.

Well let me to you, that there are many, many people out there who feel like this. Some tell others about this and some remain silent. I myself stayed silent about it numerous times. Being alone is one thing, but feeling lonely around others especially friends and family is way different.

I’m Around People: So Why Do I Feel Lonely?

You can be by yourself and feel lonely; we know that. You can be with someone and feel lonely. You also can be with a small or large group of people and still feel lonely. So why is this a thing?

You can be sitting next to someone and talking to them, but if they aren’t listening to you and are distracted by something, that can make you feel lonely. This can be a close friend you’ve known for years, boyfriend, girlfriend, child, even your spouse. For example, you can be in a relationship with someone and still feel lonely. You may have something that is bothering you and you need to talk things out, but the other person doesn’t want to discuss it or hear it. You feel like they aren’t paying attention to you and don’t care how your feeling. You feel lonely and may begin to think if this person cares about you like they say they do.

You can be in a a small or large group of people whether it’s friends, co-workers, family members, acquaintances, etc and if your just sitting, standing, not saying, or not doing anything, you can feel lonely. If your not making an effort to interact with people is one thing, that’s on you. If your trying to make an effort and you can’t get a word in, people interrupt and ignore you, they say they’ll come back to you but they don’t, you feel bad right?

You may feel like your not important, not welcomed, what you have to say has no value or is stupid. Your self-esteem can take a hit and negative thoughts can take over your mind. For example, you can be in a group of people (friends, family, co-workers, students, etc) and you can start feeling lonely because no one is talking to you despite you making an effort to initiate a conversation with them. You may be in an online group chat and people aren’t responding to your messages, yet they are responding to others. That can make you feel ignored and lonely and you can start thinking that you have no value to them.

Those 5 Things

  1. You crave some kind of closeness. This is where the closeness element can take the spotlight. You can have a lot of relationships with friends, but if most or all of them aren’t close ones, then you can feel unfulfilled and lonely. This loneliness can bring about feelings of misunderstanding and separation.
  2. Quality over quantity. It’s great to have a lot of friends. If you aren’t investing time and energy into those friendships, that feeling of loneliness will still there. You want to have at least one person that will be there for you whether it’s to lift your spirits up, confide to, or be a listening ear for you if you need to vent. If you have several that’s wonderful. There should be at least someone in your life who you can open up to. Once again, it’s not healthy to bottle up your emotions especially if they’re strong ones.
  3. Your guard is up and maybe you don’t know it. You may have been hurt by someone and you didn’t want to experience that pain and loss again from someone else. You may have built a wall up that is keeping people out from comforting and helping you. When we are in any kind of pain, our mind can go into what I call ‘survival mode’, and it’s protecting us from getting hurt again. This can be helpful for some people for a period of time, but remember you can take it down. It’s not something that be up forever.
  4. Too much social media may be making you feel lonely. You scroll through Facebook posts and tweets and see your friends having fun, going to places, trying new things, and you aren’t doing any of that. You may think that everyone is having fun without you. This can push you to spend more time on social media and make the cycle worse.
  5. Maybe you’re spending time and effort with the wrong people. You may be hanging around with people that you know a little about, but your not making a connection with them. Your spending time with them and getting to know them, but they aren’t putting in much effort to get know you. That loneliness feeling can still be present and you can feel stuck.

Here are some tips to help you beat this loneliness feeling:

  • Talk to someone in the group about how your feeling. Have a face to face talk with your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, close friend and let them know how your really feeling. Be honest with them. If they are really your friend and truly care about you, they will hear you out.
  • Move on. If people are excluding you in the group conversation, then maybe these people your spending time and energy with aren’t right for you. You can bring it up to them and work things out. If they still won’t hear you out, and think you’re just overreacting, making things up, and still overall ignoring you, then maybe you should forget these people and find new friends or a new person to be in a relationship or marriage with. It may be tough to do, but you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
  • Confide in someone you trust. Yes you can talk to your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or friend about this matter, but you may be afraid of the outcome. There is at least one person who can confide to about this matter. It can be a parent, relative, best friend, a counselor if you need professional help.
  • Don’t change who you are just to fit in. You are who you are. If you have a nice personality, you will attract good and the right people to interact with who won’t make you feel lonely and insignificant.
  • Build up your self-esteem. Your insecurities may take over the steering wheel and make you think down on yourself. Increasing your confidence and building your independence will help give you the courage to speak out and stand up for yourself. It will also help you move on from those who make you feel and think less of yourself.

Wrap Up

Feeling lonely in a large or small group of people is one thing; feeling like this in a group of people that you know is much different. Negative thoughts can send you into a downward spiral and make you think of things that aren’t true about your real friends, spouse, boyfriend, and girlfriend who truly care about you. Try catching yourself immediately when you have these negative and toxic thoughts and challenge them to see if they are true or not with the facts about the people in your life. I hope I was able to shine some light on this subject. It’s something that I have dealt with myself and I personally know people in my life who are dealing with it right now. Remember your not alone and you matter 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.

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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

The Transitions of Life are Real

When we are born, we start out as infants.  We grow up and become children.  We go to school and move up from grade to grade.  Then we become teenagers.  Next we become an adult and grow old.  During those times, we get a job, a new job, fall in love, go to college, get divorced, start a business, deal with the passing of someone, meet various people, have children, move away, etc.  All of these things and many more are transitions that happen to us in our lifetime.  These transitions can be smooth, but they can also be rough.

I have had small periods and long periods of transitions in my life.  Your not alone in dealing with tough transitions that happen to you.  Transitions in life are chapters that make up the story of you life.  When one ends, another one is usually around the corner.  These transitions can be difficult and rough for us. 

For example, someone who graduates high school and moves out of the house and goes away to college is dealing with a big transition that can have multiple parts in it.  One they are moving out and are going to be living on their own.  That can be scary for people because they may not be prepared to take care of themselves health wise and even financially.  The life skills and knowledge one acquires during their life can have a huge impact on how they will be able to live on their own and deal with real world things.

Second, going to college is a transition where one acquires desired knowledge and skills, takes on more responsibility, and where one’s discipline is tested and grows.  You have to wake up, get ready, and go to class.  You may not have someone to wake you up.  The professors may not care that you are in class.  You miss an assignment, handouts, lecture notes, even a test, it’s up to you to get them and make it up.  Some professors may help, but that’s not a guarantee.

We can get caught up in the emotions that come with these transitions that they can help us move forward, but they can also cause us stress.  We grow and we can change with each transition.  The transformation process that takes place can may us think of the unknown.  We don’t know what we will become of us during and after the next transition which can scares us sometimes.

Transitions can last for short periods, but they can last for long periods as well.  An adjustment phase takes place and as you begin to get familiar with what’s around you, you feel more comfortable.  Long periods of transition can be tough since, what I call the unknown factor, can make things frightening.  Your environment is a big factor during a transition.  This can include meeting the new people in it, the atmosphere of the place, and how we will be affected by it.  

If you are having trouble dealing with a current life transitions or have had trouble with them in the past, here are some tips to help you with your next one: 

1. Learn to Accept the Change

A transition in life is a change.  When it comes to change, we can have trouble accepting it and adapting into it.  We can fight it, but there are some transitions that happen that are out of control.  The first thing to do is to acknowledge it.  Then we ask ourselves if this is something we can stop.  If we can, we stop it.  If we can’t stop it, then we have to adapt into it.  Continuing to fight the change can cause stress and increased levels of anxiety.  

2. Patience is Helpful

Long transitions of life can be a transformative process that don’t happen overnight or even sometimes within the week.  In a previous post, I mentioned leaving our comfort zone can be unsettling.  Transitions take time, so being patient with ourselves is what we can do.  We can be hard on ourselves for not adapting quickly into a new role or with the event itself which can be discouraging.  We have to take things one day at a time and not expect to handle it or learn it all in one day, a week, or even a month.  This advice may not be the best if you landed a new job and need to be able to adjust and learn things quickly, but that is what the job interview is for; to figure out what all is expected of you and learn if the job really is a good fit for you.

3. Change the Way You Think About the Transition

Stressvision is where your mind imagines that the worst is happening or will happen when in reality that isn’t the case.  If we head into a life transition with a negative perspective, it will make the adjustment and transformative process harder to deal with it.  Make up a list of the positive things that can come about from this transition.  Recite them everyday, write them down and have them with you at all times.  

Transitions aren’t always clear, this can be called transition fog.  Here is a video of how to navigate through that transition fog from Brenda Kline Reynolds.  She is a business and change management consultant who talks about how to manage the changes that occur with life transitions.

Life transitions have affect on our feelings and emotions.  We can feel happy and joyful about them, but we also can be frighten and doubtful about them as well.  Some people thrive on the new experiences whereas some struggle with them.  If you are struggling with them, that’s ok, your not the only one.  Don’t put yourself down or beat yourself up over this change.  Give yourself a break every now and then as you acclimate into the next chapter in your life.  If you take one step each day, then your doing good; even a little bit is ok.  Remember, if you are having trouble with these transitions in any shape or form, there is someone else having trouble with them as well even the same ones your dealing with.

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.