Worry No More, Touch Your Worries Away

I know it’s been a while, just over here starting my online counseling practice but I know the title of this post probably has you a bit intrigued on what I’m planning to talk about. Well, when we worry, what is usually going on?

What Happens When You Worry

  • You can’t stay present
  • You’re having ruminating thoughts
  • You’re piling on those anxiety symptoms that can do some damage internally, if you do this activity quite often.

Helping Yourself When Worrying

One of the things that I’ve mentioned before that is helpful is figuring out a way to be present. Incorporate a grounding exercise to get you back to a state where you can control what you’re doing. Next, it’s about figuring out a plan, especially if this is something within your control. What is the first step you can take to get this problem solved? If it’s out of your control, then maybe it’s getting out how you feel in some way (journaling, talking to someone) or figuring out a coping technique that can help. We don’t want to just keep thinking and worrying, without an exit plan.

So, in using your senses, I thought it would be good to share a little tip. Find an item that you think can serve as a good distraction for you, something small that you can put in your hand and make it serve a purpose. That purpose is being able to tell yourself to not worry about things out of your control, calm down, breathe a bit and anything else you feel you want this item to tell you in moments where you just start to worry. Carry this item with you, rub it, squeeze it, hold it, but start to make a connection for yourself that this item is supposed to help you limit your worrying, calm you down and help you stay present and out of your head.

The reason this topic was so important for me to share today was bc I recently was given this item called a “worry rock” and I never knew such things existed. I am aware of stress balls and other items to put in your hand when stressed but never this and I’ve been using it quite often. I think being able to turn your attention to something in your hand, helps keep you distracted for a bit to ponder the following.

Questions to Ask Yourself When You Finally Distract Yourself From Worrying

  • Why am I worrying about this right now?
  • Is this going to matter tomorrow or days from now?
  • Is this taking me away from something that I do need to focus on?
  • Can I come up with another way to look at this thing that I keep worrying about?

Additionally, try other sources of touch that can help you in certain moments to balance or calm you down. There are studies out there on the benefits of touch and so it’s doing what works for you. At one point I started to just try to be still in moments where I felt like my heart was racing and I would just rest my hands on my chest and just let it stay there for a while, and I found that was very helpful in bringing my heart rate down. I believe this is something similar to Reiki, which I have been going to a massage therapist for and after my sessions lately, I feel much more relaxed than when I walked in.

Worrying shouldn’t be where you just stop and allow your mind to just keep going about the what-ifs, what you should have done, or things you feel you can’t do. Make this a moment where you take some control and don’t allow your worries to take you away from dealing with what you need to so you can move on to feeling like you should.

To Love, Live, Laugh

To live carefree in this year, I’m learning to kick things up a notch and love and live in this life. So, I’ve talked a bit about certain things I’ve been working on for self, but I think this year, its being able to do what truly feels right for me. We are told certain things throughout our life and just so many things can influence what we read, eat, what we do, etc. I feel now, I want to influence myself to the point that I’m living for me and not how this world wants to me live. 

To Love

For one, since my relationship ended last year, I think I’ve had this battle with myself on if a relationship is in the cards for me and if I even want that. Through some sole searching, I feel that I want to give love another chance. Just because several people in my past may have messed up how I view relationships. I think for me, I haven’t found someone that can truly make me look at relationships in a more positive place and I think it can happen, it just may take time and I’m here for it. 

  • So many times, we can allow that one person to affect how we approach future situations and I think it’s about reflecting on what you learned, what you can improve on and promising yourself time to get right, so you’re not just filling a void of loneliness and jumping into the next relationship quickly. 
    • If you’re in the same situation, let your past teach you things, but don’t allow it to damper your spirits about relationships. Cry your eyes out when you feel you need to and spend some time with you. It may not be fun at times but this is your time to love you, appreciate you, get your goals back in check and just be set in you so that this next relationship, you will handle it differently, you’ll appreciate it differently and it will be such a breath of fresh air when that next person treats you the way you should be treated

 To Live

Another thing is being honest with people by speaking my mind when I’m not too pleased about something.  I’m very much a person that might hold things in, out of fear of hurting people’s feelings but I think I’m over that. There is a way to get your thoughts out in an assertive way to make sure things are being released. No more just accepting how things happen, it’s now about being vocal because your voice, like mine is important, so don’t be fearful of that

  • If you’re trying to learn some ways to be assertive, its first making sure you’re set with you, that you have some understanding of your core beliefs. These beliefs are pretty important since they factor into what you think about self, so if you think ‘you don’t matter’, this may be shown in how you approach situations with others. So, fix those beliefs about self, replace it with more positive statements, then focus on speaking on things, regardless of how big or small it may be, it’s learning that, that voice of yours matters. The more you do it, the more you become comfortable in hearing that great voice of yours.  

To Laugh

Lastly, it’s about laughing, life doesn’t have to be so serious. At times I can get in my own head and instead of being able to be present in the moment to enjoy it, my thoughts can at times take over. So, no more being in dance class, beating myself up about missing a step, I’m going to start getting out of my head and just laugh and smile that I’m in this space. It’s ok to make mistakes, to laugh at yourself, to have fun, to enjoy what’s going on around you. What’s not ok is not being able to find that inner child every so often to be able to let loose. 

  • If you need some ways to let go, make mistakes intentionally, knowing that you don’t have to be perfect.  Have fun with yourself, create play time for yourself. Get out of your comfort zone and get of your head.  Start to enjoy moments with a mindset that, “each moment of my life, I will make it a fun experience, no matter what.” Shake it out, scream it out, dance it out, whatever it is you need to release that extra tension, do it so you can get to more fun things.

Change the Scenario

I’ve talked about this before and wanted to share more ways we can change the scenario to get a different outcome for ourselves.

One of the things that occurs in life is how we can continue to place ourselves in situations or we may avoid  moments due to a perceived fear of what we think could happen if we change things up for the better. At times we think this change may not work, so it may be best to continue with doing what we’ve done in the past, using an unhealthy coping response.

Think about it, if you’ve ever experienced anxiety, you tend to avoid moments where your anxious feelings could be affected. With depression, you tend to not do anything at times, because of the thought you can’t, things won’t change, etc. so you just continue to be in this state of feeling like you do.  The thing is you can’t see the change you want to see in any moment if you don’t try to tackle it in some way..Right?

To be comfortable enough to take that next step in any moment to overcome the certain feelings, it’s focusing on changing your scenario. Basically, this is changing up how you see this moment, imagining a different outcome and taking necessary steps to get you over this hurdle.

There is no set rule that we have to continue to live in this state of feeling anxious, sad, angry, frustrated, irritable, etc. It can be changed. I always wonder if at times we think this is possible. Yes, at times there are mood changes within us that arise unexpectedly, but if we experience certain emotions long enough, should we try to take some responsibility in changing up how we are affected so it doesn’t continue to hinder our growth?

To Change Up the Scenario, a few things to get you started

  • Know What Resources You Have to get over this:

    From your support system, having someone that can hold you accountable to take the necessary steps that you need to take. Also, what are some strengths you can use in this moment to stay strong and motivated? There are moments where we can get overwhelmed and feel we don’t have the resources to improve on certain ways we feel. So, that’s why it’s important to make a list of the things you have around you and also identify anything you might need to improve these moments for yourself. You want to make sure you’re ready and this is where it starts.

  • Imagine things a bit differently:

    At times you can replay the same scenario in your head and it keeps giving you the same outcome, so what do you do? Avoid, Avoid, Avoid. We don’t want that, there is something in that situation that can be changed and it’s starts with thinking of a different outcome. Thinking of how you can approach the situation a bit differently, thinking of a way your behavior can be shifted to get a more desired outcome to face certain fears.

    • Let’s say public speaking isn’t your thing and you keep ruminating about how everyone is talking about you when you’re presenting information that you know like the back of your hand. You replay this moment in your head, you can’t find the words to say what you need to, your voice cracks, you’re sweating profusely, etc. Now, what if instead of thinking of all these not so great things, you think about how you’ve practiced this situation several times and are ready.  You do a few relaxation techniques prior to this moment to calm yourself down, you take a stress ball with you to the podium to help you relax and you focus on the content of your presentation instead of what people are thinking, how that could shift how you feel about being prepared for a moment like this? You might just relax a little bit more, feel a bit more confident. So, imagine if you kept replaying this in your head, what do you think the outcome would be for you?
  • Take Baby Steps to Get You Started:

    It’s always good just to start with what that first step can be, no matter how big or small. What do you feel inside of you would be an easy first step to get you going? Write that step down, think about doing this step, set a date, then begin. Schedule this step in your weekly routine and keep it going until you feel you’ve mastered this, then think of another step and just repeat this process.

  • Build Up How You Feel on What You Know Your Capable of:

    Build up on your confidence. If there is something hindering your self-esteem and confidence, what is that thing and how can you make sure your self-concept is intact to believe in yourself during this process? Be careful with your thoughts, they could be saying things in certain moments that may unconsciously bring you down and make you feel like you can’t do certain things. Try to make it a habit to uplift yourself, create moments where you celebrate yourself, savor in moments where you did one small thing. It may not mean much to you but your psyche on the other hand may really appreciate this and doing more of these things can open up some pathways in that brain of yours to think and do things differently in situations to overcome the fears you may have.

Not every thought that we have about certain moments is valid. Recognize when your mind is playing tricks on you, when you’re just limiting yourself, recognize when you’re not challenging yourself and take a simple approach to think about things differently to create a new scenario for yourself.

Thanks for reading, I got 2 post in the bag this week. Look at me and if you didn’t catch what I wrote, check it out here.

Have a lovely weekend

Alvina

Consistency Is The Focus

Happy New Year..I was trying to think of a word that described a bit of how I wanted to look into the new year and happened to find that consistency is where I wanted to start.

I’m not big on resolutions for the year but having a word to focus on may just be what I start to do from here on out. It may be something that could work for you as well. You can feel a bit more in control with a word. Also, its not as overwhelming as creating a list on top of lists for your New Year’s resolution.

The reason for this chosen word is because I know I have a tendency to stop certain things and then I wonder why things continue to be the same. I think if we want things to be different, we have to have some sort of consistency in how we approach situations, people, etc. One of the things that I have started to do is make lists for myself at work and home. This helps me hold myself accountable in focusing on my goals. Consistency to me is the ability to take yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s a way to be driven towards something that is important to you and it can be helpful in making you create an action plan for yourself to make sure you’re fully aware of what you’re trying to do.

I created a video today that I shared on my Instagram stories and what I mentioned along with consistency is just the ability to reinvent yourself. That should be a focus because its about looking at where you’re currently at in your life and recognizing the changes that need to occur. Consistency with this is knowing yourself to the point that you continuously check-in with self to make sure things are going as planned and if not, going back to the drawing board to create a new path, even with the same goals.

The plan for this year and my word ‘consistency’ is being able to follow my passion, sticking with a plan I have had about having my own business one day, taking care of self to the point where regardless of who comes in and out of my life, no one can break that bond that I have with self and lastly its truly bringing a lot more satisfaction into my life by creating opportunities for growth, adventure and self-acceptance.

I shared with you my word or focus, how about you and what are your thoughts for the new year?

Thanks for reading and I promise to start being more ‘consistent’ in posting.

Alvina

Your Inner Self

I think I’ve told you guys my love for the motivation app. Just like I have certain routines in the morning, this has been a staple for me every morning for a while now. I’m dealing with a little bit of writers block and just getting back into the groove of things after moving and traveling. I wanted to share this message because I feel like someone needs to hear this today.

I received this message yesterday morning as I proudly looked through my morning notifications until I found my 6 am morning message from none other than the motivation app. Not sure how you roll in the mornings but this is what I look forward to, to help me get the day started and to just be a source of inspiration to keep me focused on the prize. What’s that prize? It’s just making sure that I’m making consistent changes in my life to evolve into the person I want to become. I’m eyeing Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming” as a book to keep me on this path as well.

So, my focus was just talking about this message/quote. Isn’t it a nice way to really dig deep into creating a space around you that you’re happy with, but first starting off with all the things within you.

How you talk to yourself should be a start? Are you kind? Are you negative? Whichever one, pay attention. How you treat yourself sets the blueprint for how you see things. We miss quite a bit on how we can bring ourselves down. “I’m not doing a good job,” ” I’m so stupid for making that mistake..” Constantly making statements that do damage to your self-esteem, effects how you’re able to enjoy different aspects of your life. If you’re constantly not great to you, the only person at times you need to take some time and nurture for a bit, then all the great things going on that you could be enjoying, won’t even matter.

Do Something About Your Inner Space

  • Be aware of things you say to self, if it’s not good, how can you start to catch yourself?
  • Check-in with yourself and make sure things are matching up. If you’re feeling a certain way, can anything help in this moment? Your thoughts can at times help or worsen a situation so make a plan on certain things you can say to yourself, certain things you can do in the moment to keep you thoughts on a path that is healthy for you.
  • Be immersed in making self-care a priority.  What are those things that help you relax, help you feel good, bring a smile to your face, etc? Whatever it is, make sure you’re doing these things consistently.
  • Start to replace certain usual descriptions of yourself with something more positive. Just think of how you usually describe a friend and apply the same concept to how you talk about self
  • Identify the good in you, maybe think of five things and while you’re at it write this list down and post somewhere and then keep adding to this list.

Learn to focus on what you deserve, your worth, your value, what you bring to different aspects of your life. When you can identify your qualities, your skills, what is truly rewarding to you, you’re making a shift into this space of building up your self-concept and that right there is so important.

There are some people who don’t have a good grasp on who they are and so they don’t know what to improve on and the life they have is everybody else’s but their own.

It takes time and it takes patience with self to start to see life in a different way. For your happiness to show in your behaviors, how you interact with your outside world, it starts with the internal dialogue you unconsciously/consciously/subconsciously have with the voice inside you. You can do so much to change it so start today. Like right now, go ahead.

Thanks for reading.

Alvina

Being Appreciative of That Thing

Hey everyone.. Hope the nice holiday was eventful for you and hope you’re doing well. It has been a minute and I can explain. So, I was away at a conference and I’ll share more about it in a later post, so my focus was on that and then I moved the week of thanksgiving so then I was focused on that and now I’m about to attend a workshop out-of-town so just been a tad bit busy, but that shouldn’t be an excuse. Still should have checked in. I’m writing this as I need to start packing but I will be short.

One of the things I thought about this morning is just being appreciative of the things we do have. Making that a focus in our thoughts. This year again, I wasn’t able to make it down to see my family, but I was appreciative of being able to communicate with them. This just falls in line with what I wanted to share today.

Being Appreciative of the Little Things

At times we have a tendency to ignore the good things in our life, from our families, friendships, our health, our senses, etc. How much do you take advantage of these good things in your life? Maybe we don’t call people as much or just say aloud how much you appreciate these things in your life that you may take for granted. Sometimes these things that we should shout to the mountain tops that we are grateful for are as simple as opening your eyes in the morning or being able to have another day, these things are supposed to happen right?, so why show appreciation for them?

Well, when we start to appreciate little aspects of our life, it becomes that much more important to us, we nurture those things if we can, we also move towards changing our focus. How? Well, this may help us shift our focus from the not so great things in our life, to just being appreciative that we have our health and with that your health may become more of a priority and you start to consistently participate in activities that can benefit your health and this takes you away from criticizing self and focusing on all the things you can’t do. Make sense?

Showing this gratitude and appreciation of everyday things in your life, helps to change your thoughts and we know from previous posts, this can help with changing how you feel and behave in situations.

So, I challenge, if you’re up for it, as we’re in the last few weeks of the year, what is one small thing you’re appreciative for in your life and what will you do to nurture that as the new year is upon us?

The Evidence You Need Is Getting Out of Your Head

You know how almost every season, there’s always a new fashion focus, whether its certain colors, different style changes, but there is always something that they saturate throughout the media for us to buy. Why can’t they do this with things that can help with our mental health? I think we talk so much about the issue but to destigmatize it, why not have ways that we tell folks what goes together this season to manage how our thoughts can factor in to our feelings and behaviors.

Why isn’t that very popular on the news rotation? I would love to start this trend, so this brings me to what I feel goes together right now.

It’s been getting colder, Daylight Saving Time is over, and I feel that’s another story on its own. I don’t think we need it and don’t think its helpful with our overall fatigue which can trickle down to other factors of mental wellness, but I’ll stay on track.

So, for this season, what goes together in managing how you decide to react to certain things is being able to identify what evidence you have for thinking the thoughts you have and learning to take a pause before saying and doing things you don’t mean.

At times we really are motivated by the sudden rush of adrenaline and this makes us want to react right now, but NO, NO,NO, take a pause and think through things before you impulsively react. Our minds and the things we think about can play some not so great tricks on us, if we’re not fully aware.Some can have a hard time identifying how realistic certain thoughts are so that’s why it is important to identify what you’re doing now and then take the necessary steps to rectify the situation.

Some Tips to Keep Those Thoughts in the Present

  • What do you know to be real right now? What evidence do you have for thinking this way in this moment? This may be the best time to take a step back, identify what you know and don’t know and then go from there. Feeding those thoughts that are merely how you perceive the outside world, without some evidence at times, needs to STOP here.
  • Take a minute and distract yourself with another activity, then when you have had some time, come back to this thought, this moment and really identify if having this thought really fits with your current environment or is it something that is being created by the anxieties from how you normally perceive your world, which at times may or may not be accurate. You have to be realistic with yourself on how you coast throughout your day to day tasks to be able to identify areas that need some adjustment.
  • Learn to observe, no need to judge a moment as right or wrong, good or bad, just be in the moment, that you’re having this thought and just observe. Just like you can observe the person sitting in front of you, or that bird that just flew  on that tree branch, just be in that moment and observe. Be aware of this thought that you’re having and know that you don’t necessarily have to react to it in any way.

This is the season to identify what things don’t match up in your space and this is the time to do something about them. If your thoughts go off track at times, let’s work on reeling them back in, so you can be in this moment focusing on what matters right now because it is what you have some control over, right?

Thanks for reading,

Alvina