How many of us have felt moments of deep despair, pain, or grief? In these moments where it feels like the sun has stopped shining forever, we can sometimes feel completely absorbed by the waves of our emotional turbulence. I’m willing to bet we have all felt a variation of this at one point in time or another.
There have been days (even weeks at some points) in my past that I was unable to get out of bed or leave my room. Needless to say, I wasn’t taking care of myself at all during these depressive states. I felt intensely suicidal – so much so that it was the only thing I could think about. I hardly ate or slept.
When I was seemingly stuck in these lows, it would have been so immensely helpful if I knew the concept of emotional first aid and had a kit on hand.
In a culture where we’re taught to conform and receive massive amounts of conditioning and programming, self love is a concept that seems elusive to many of us. Although self love is rapidly gaining traction, exactly how to put this into practice can still feel like a dog chasing his tail.
For this reason, I’ve put together a practical guide of things to focus on in order to master self love, and to help you continue on your journey to fulfillment and wellness.
How many of us have felt the gnawing sensation of anxiety in our lives? Most of us are aware of the word “anxiety”. After all, anxiety disorders are the leading mental health issue we face as a species today. But how many of us are actually able to identify the emotion when we experience it and understand what it is trying to tell us?
The way anxiety manifests for every individual differs slightly. For some this can be felt as a chest tightness, throat constriction, and shortness of breath. For others this may be a swirling of thoughts in the mind, leading to dizziness and vision impairment. For you, the sensation of anxiety could be something completely different than the next person might experience.
Identifying the anxious state is step number one, so good on you if you’re already able to do this! The next thing we all want to work on is understanding anxiety for what it is in order to accept it as a deeply human condition, and understand the purpose of anxiety plays in actually assisting our wellbeing.
I know, I know, it sounds outrageous! Anxiety? A good thing? How can this possibly be? Here’s a few things I learned along my mental health journey that helped me to understand the role of anxiety in my life.
The end of the year signals the release of what is no longer serving us in order to welcome in the new possibilities, opportunities, and adventures of the upcoming year. Just as when decluttering our homes, we must clear space in our lives, minds, and hearts to bring in the new.
At the close of 2018, a year of trials, successes, and abundant lessons learned from the multitude of retrogrades this year, take a few moments to reflect on how far you’ve come. Consider what you’d like from the year to come, and what you’d like to leave in 2018. Set an intention for 2019, perhaps write a list of goals you’d like to accomplish, write a list of what you are releasing and letting go of.
So you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution. Good on you! I love a person who is willing to continually work on themselves.
Resolutions do not have to be an exclusive New Year thing. If we have the resolve and commit to changing for our highest growth, it doesn’t matter what day we choose to start – as long as we start.
Now let’s talk about how to keep your resolution and prevent it from fizzling out after the first week or two.
The holidays are a magical time of year. People are more filled with cheer. Love and peace are in the air. Maybe it’s all the Christmas blitzkrieg propaganda we are fed through advertising or maybe we should credit the drugs pumped through our air systems – possible? I kid on the latter, folks.
For those of us who celebrate the holidays, we embrace the music, the food, and altruistic giving wholeheartedly. We essentially get a vacation from our lives, and embody the person we wish to be. It’s the most wonderful time of year, no?
So here’s my beef with the holidays.
Along my early journeys, I struggled immensely with getting into these negative downward spirals and having no idea how to break out of them. It even got to the point where I was the one unknowingly perpetuating these energetic cycles – sinking to devastating lows and rising to alarming highs.
I would spend weeks in depressive states where I was intensely suicidal and then rapidly cycle into days of sleepless mania. Wash, rinse, and repeat. I had created quite the toxic cycle for myself.
As I began to awaken to the fact that we each are in control of our internal states, I began to claim full ownership of my part in the decline of my mental health. As I began to leave behind the mindset of helplessness and victimhood, I took back my power, which meant the challenging path ahead was only beginning.
As a person who has experienced the ins and outs of the mental illness systems, I can confidently say that the issue of mental illness and how medication applies is one that is rooted in deep systemic dysfunction.
This is not so farfetched when you consider the main motivation of those running the mental health industry. It is important to analyze the intent of anything (be it person, industry, etc.) when trying to determine The Why of the way things are. I am a huge advocate for understanding the why in order to begin implementing desired changes.
In the case of the mental illness industry (yes, it is an industry), we first need to examine the intent of what they’re trying to accomplish.
In the case of most industries, the goal is to maximize profit. Why is this problematic for those of us trying to improve our mental health? Let’s look at the different cogs of the mental illness industry machine and how they fit together.
So you’re curious about going vegetarian or even vegan? Whether this is due to personal health reasons, wanting to do your part in preserving our environment, or animal rights, this documentary list has got something for everyone!
The purpose of this list is not to convert anyone to vegetarianism or veganism nor is it to force any belief systems down anyone’s throat. However, it is important to acknowledge that much of the happenings in the animal agriculture have been purposely hidden from and distorted to the public. I simply want to make this information available to anyone who wants to be in the know.
In my post 5 Ways To Eat Mindfully, we examined the importance of eating with loved ones and its impact on our sense of belonging and community. Today we’ll be looking at five ways to eat more socially to cultivate a feeling of connectedness and establish a more collective journey towards health.
Mindfulness is the practice of becoming intensely present in the current moment. It sounds more challenging than it actually is. All mindful eating is, is to be conscious or aware of the what, how, and why of our eating behaviors.
What are we consuming? How are we consuming it? Why do we eat in the way we do? Be present in the present, my friends!
For most of us, Friday symbolizes all that is free and good left in the world – it marks the triumphant (albeit exhaustive) end of the day-in-day-out tedious drudgery of the work week.
Friday is the day we are able to collectively stick it to the man, shouting with exuberance, “You don’t own me anymore! …At least not until Monday.”
“I’m going to be extremely productive and go above and beyond this Friday!” said no one ever.
We all encounter moments in life where our emotions and thoughts may become overwhelming. Our mind can begin to swirl with ruminating thoughts and we can feel the emotions running rampant throughout our body.
For some of us, these tumultuous states seem to appear more often than not (shoutout to my fellow anxiety-prone friends) and often, we are at a loss for how to stop these energies from taking over our day.
For those who have tried traditional therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, or dialectical behavioral therapy with little or no progress, here are 7 alternative therapies for those who better process experience and emotions through a more creative avenue.
The idea of meditating can seem intimidating for many of us. Understandable when the word meditation is generally associated with having a tabula rasa empty mind for hours on end.
Meditation is much more than simply having an empty mind. It is a practice in which the individual focuses their energy, mind, and spirit in order to become intensely present in the Now. It sounds more daunting than it actually is!
Pranayama is a Sanskrit word meaning extension of the prana, or the practice of breath control. This is an essential yogic practice that originates from ancient India.
The prana, or breath, carries a person’s vital life force.
The practice of Pranayama releases and channels the body’s stores of internal pranic energy. Regular practice contributes to health of the body and mind.
How many times have we tried to accomplish a particular goal or make a passionate dream of ours a reality, only to have it fall short?
We are more than capable of doing anything we set our hearts, minds, and souls to! Sometimes we all need a reminder that the dreams we seek, big or small, are all within our reach.
Anger is one of those emotions that seeps into the cracks of your being when you’re not looking, not paying attention. There are certain situations, be it at school, work, home, that we encounter in our lives that inevitably trip our what-the-actual-f*ck-sensors.
We conclude, yes, it probably is best not to let the rage monster out in public. So, what can we do?