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.

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

Things They Don’t Tell you About Being Single

So, I’ve been getting used to this single thing, and it’s actually not too bad.

One of the things I feel I never got to do when I first moved to the DMV area was a chance to really explore everything I wanted. I have this book that my boss got me called 100 things to Do in DC before you Die. The title doesn’t really do much for me but there’s lots of great finds on things that go on in the city that you can’t really search for on yelp, so very excited to start crossing some things off.

I still haven’t gotten used to the fact that people here are just out and about during the winter days like there isn’t a slight chill in the forecast, but I know I’ll get there. So, I wanted to make my own list of things I feel are benefits to being single.

It can be a time of growth, understanding and challenges but in all it is a point in any one’s life where there is a choice to either accept how things are or continue to maneuver through life still challenging yourself, and becoming a better person as a result of it.

Being just single comes with some great benefits:

  • Your alone time becomes something you care about: Maybe before you had to share this time or had less of it. Now, it’s something that you look to, it helps you think, helps you regroup, helps you feel centered and allows you to know how precious that time is for you. It becomes a space where you get things done for yourself and allows you to do the things you want to do at the end of the day.
  • Things you neglected become more of a priority: You look back on relationships, goals and just other things that you neglected and you make those things more of a priority. Hopefully this next time around you allow it to stick bc you’ve built up an arsenal of things that you know bring joy to your life so regardless of anything new that comes into your space, you know how to balance those things out.
  • Be selfish: To get your mind right, most of these benefits mentioned, require some selfishness which you shouldn’t apologize for.
  • Can make an effort to date yourself: Find who you are, any part of you that got lost in some way, this is the time to bring it out ad nurture it.
  • You can sit back and realize that life milestones can be changed and best suited for what works for you: This is your life and if you choose to do things a bit later than what is expected of you, it is A-Okay, bc this is your path and you have to be ready when you’re ready, not when others want you to be.
  • You have time to gain some mental clarity: You get to think through some things, how do you make yourself a better person, are there some changes you need to make? Being able to have this moment is about being able to make decisions that are best for you. You’re trying to get your life together so you can be ready for any thing that comes your way. The great Beyoncé said on Oprah some years back that what makes her good in her marriage was that she had a life of her own before she started this great journey with her hubbie. That’s the level I’m trying to be at and that’s my focus.

If you have any other benefits, do share. This is a time of enlightenment for anyone in this same space and its all about finding a part in life that is for you and only you, so hopefully you can share aspects of this for any future relationship to come.

 

Thanks for reading

 

Alvina

 

 

 

Calming Yourself Down With Your One

Hey there. Long time no see but I’m trying, just thought I’d poke my head out and let you guys know I’m still here. Being busy at times can be good and not so good, so I’m still trying to find a balance. Plus, I’m working on moving so that’s another layer of things I have to focus on. I think I would like to talk about my calming activity that has been oh so helpful.  As I sit on my couch, flipping through Netflix, not really finding anything. I cut the cord a while back or is it I cut the cable, but anywhoo not sure if getting older but I just can’t seem to find much that interests me on tv nowadays. 

As I like to multi-task oh so well, I’m also coloring in my adult coloring book and that truly is my peace right now. It’s my one. What is this “one” that I’m talking about? It’s really an activity/hobby that you find for yourself that helps create a calming bubble for you any time of the day. 

Coloring for me is my one thing that I look forward to doing lately, just to take my mind off things and just relax. In the midst of the day-to-day routine, this is my one right now. I used to look forward to meditation, which I still do but there’s a calming effect when I’m just sitting and coloring that I like. 

What I’m paying attention to during this process

  • Colors: I want to make sure I pick the right color for this design, do I want certain areas to match? Do I want to shade certain areas and make others more darker? Decisions, Decisions.
  • Staying in the Line: I understand elementary school for me was eons ago but I still find myself trying to perfect this process, not sure if I never fully mastered this but this is a careful process for me to make sure I stay in the lines.
  • Make it unique: We have a sense of how certain things look in our world and these pictures allow me to change that bc it’s what I want to see.

Ok, so why am I just talking about coloring? Because it helps create a sense of control and peace in the moment. Adult coloring books can aid in managing anxiety, improving mindfulness bc you’re focusing on the task at hand and nothing else really matters. I’ve also read how this can be an alternative to meditation, if it’s not quite your thing yet. My boss got me my first coloring book and its been something that has come in handy for me when I need to relax

What It Means to Have A One

Having a one means you’re putting your self-care first. It means you value personal time with yourself and you’re ok with having alone time to get you right. If you need help in letting go of your stressors for a good bit of time, then its about finding your one. 

Be that person that looks forward to doing something else besides flipping the channels and letting technology take over in every aspect of your life. Remember as a child how you may have looked forward to snack or nap time? Well, just think about that feeling you would have, when you had a few minutes until that time. Find something that brings on those feelings.

Your one needs to bring some joy and happiness your way, it needs to be calming and it needs to be something that motivates you in some way. 

You heard about my one, what’s yours?

Thanks for reading

Alvina

Thinking of A Different Outcome To Manage Certain Feelings You Might Have

We can always expect that we know how a situation will play out. Maybe they won’t like me, or they’ll talk behind my back, maybe I shouldn’t do this presentation because I already know it won’t go great. You see we tell ourselves quite a bit in situations where we’re about to challenge a possible weakness and possibly strengthen this quality about us but our self-talk is hiding out waiting on these moments to keep you in the same space you’ve always been.

We Have Work To Do

This is what can keep us in our heads, strays us away from growing and doing great things with what we’re capable of and just get out of this comfort zone we love to cuddle in. I think what can work is learning to think of a different outcome, when we’re able to be challenged in a way that we aren’t comfortable with.

For every thought we have about what could possibly go wrong, why can’t we have the same thought about how the situation could go good?

See how that can help with shifting your mindset overtime? We at times are so immersed in how a situation may look, we’ve thought about how bad we may do in a situation, how others may comment on how bad we did, we even think of ways that we can negatively label ourselves and what does that do? It just keeps hitting on that self-esteem of ours and this is what frightens us in a way to not challenge ourselves in different aspects of our lives.

What Can Happen?

Now if you were to shift your thinking, what do you think that would do to you? Your confidence goes up, you know you can be in control of situations, and that you have certain strengths in you to do what you’re meant to do in whatever situation you’re about to go in.  To go into situations confident that you will do your best, it starts with how you train your mind to shift to the good rather than the not so good. I’ve yet to meet someone who could tell me whats really going to happen in a situation before it happens so why create that already for ourselves, but if you know of someone I’d like that number, but then again why would you want to know? Experiencing life as it is, is so fruitful because you challenge aspects of you that have been waiting for moments like this to help you grow and discover the greatness in you.

Thinking of A Different Outcome

  • Get your self-talk in check in any moment: This is where it starts. So, be mindful of the things you say and think about yourself in any situation, it helps with knowing what things you need to change, because that self-talk isn’t going anywhere.
  • Start to see the good in moments no matter how big or small: If you can’t do it in the moment, wait until the end of the day and look back and find something you may have missed from everything that didn’t go so well. Find that small ounce of positivity in your day on something that did go well and savor in that moment for a bit. Also, try to think through what you could have done differently to have a different outcome.
  • Recognize the Control You Have: You have an abundance of control over a lot of situations, you feel you don’t.  Like I mentioned above, it starts with what you think and then its truly believing in your abilities, and following through with what you believe. That belief that you got this, is all you need in making sure you can take moments for what they are. Its not going to be about what you create in your head, but how you plan to do what you’re capable of doing to make it known you always had it in you.

So, how will you think of a different outcome to ponder on to overcome situations that keep causing you some form of anxiety, fear, frustratation, sadness, etc?

 

Thanks for reading

Alvina

Thoughts on Self-Care

So I don’t know about you guys but last week was just one of those weeks. With all the things going on in politics, it really is just tough hearing all the news.  I’ve mentioned before how important it is to make sure you make your mental health is a priority, especially with the state that our world is in. I’ve never been too much into politics but lately, its been something I’m focusing more on. This post isn’t necessarily about that,  just stressing the importance of taking time for yourself consistently, making your self-care a focus.

I thought about this topic early on Thursday morning when I made some time to actually eat breakfast. I usually rush in the mornings and eat my breakfast at work. Being able to take these few minutes to make my breakfast and sit was a pretty relaxing moment because I made it a self-care priority. It felt good sitting in a bit of silence, getting prepared for the day. How often do you make little moments in your life that focus on how you take care of yourself a priority? If you’re finding it hard to answer that, I need some answers on why? I can wait…

What You Need To Do

You need love and care too and shouldn’t let that be dismissed because of all that you may have going on. So, in honor of this self-care Sunday, which I think can be applied to any other day, make it a point to do things for yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s just knowing that at all times, you need to be good with you before applying yourself to other areas of your life.

What You Might Need To Get In Check

If you need to make sure your mental health is good, that may mean taking a step back from going out, gossiping, being in the mix of everything but your own business and finding out what you need to manage the feelings you have. If you have a way of how you talk to people and maybe it doesn’t come out in the nicest way,  work through ways of how you approach communicating with others, figure out where that type of communicating comes from and fix it. Maybe you still feel don’t feel fully connected in your relationships, then maybe it’s having a transparent come to Jesus moment with yourself to see what things you can work through to make you a stronger individual for yourself before you place yourself in a relationship that requires a good balance of independence and compromise.

Maybe you’re trying to upgrade your life in some way and having issues with following through. Whatever it is, focus on what you need to do to get your self-care in check.

Things I’ve Learned

I’m learning the importance of self-care, even when I feel I’ve got it down pact, something may happen that changes my focus. Our lives can really consume us to the point where we don’t look after ourselves. It can be about completing this for work, making sure you’re making this person happy, limiting exercise, holding things in, etc. These moments are ways that our environment is telling us things need to change before it’s too late and it becomes our life and any ounce of self-care gets thrown out the window.

Let your self-care become a habit.

Thanks for reading

Alvina