By Guest Nicole SG
1. Practice gratitude.
Sounds simple, but the act of practicing gratitude helps put an end to anxious thoughts by forcing your brain to focus on the positive. Anxiety can often make you feel cut off from the world around you, and cultivating gratitude actively fights against that feeling. Plus, it works: Studies have shown that practicing gratitude daily positively affects mental health, reducing anxiety and stress and even making you a bit happier.
2. Start each day with intention.
Whether you're meditating, stating affirmations, or setting a daily intention, this short and sweet practice has one goal: to stop thoughts that lead to anxiety dead in their tracks.
Here are some suggestions:
Whatever I do today, it's enough. And so am I. I have the power to make changes. I decide how my story is told. Today, I choose joy. 3. Get CBD involved.
Ever heard of the endocannabinoid system? It's a network of cannabinoid receptors in the cells of our nervous system, immune system, digestive system, and many of the body's major organs. These receptors interact with the natural cannabinoid-like chemicals our bodies produce—and yes, the cannabinoid content from the cannabis plant—to help our systems keep calm and carry on under stress.
4. Move a little.
Walk, run, burpee, cat/cow—do whatever your body likes to do, and make it a habit: Research proves over and over that exercise can help your brain cope with stress because physically active people have lower rates of anxiety than more sedentary people.
5. Get your internal dialogue on paper.
Keeping a bedside journal or thought diary is another useful way to manage stress and anxiety. Writing can be a healing practice, especially if you find it a bit difficult to talk about your anxious thoughts or are facing a new challenge or big decision that's causing overwhelm. Jotting down your thoughts on paper can give you clarity and a heightened view of your internal dialogue and release pent-up feelings and negative thoughts.
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Sabrina here and I'm going to share some insights that will change all of your relationships for the better, especially your relationships with men. It comes down to one major realizations and that is: no one can ever make you feel a certain way. Allow me to elaborate.
Let's say you have two girls who are equally attractive, equally smart, equally successful and so on. The only difference is that one is supremely confident and the other is extremely insecure. Now let's say these girls date the same guy. And let's say the guy makes the exact same comment to each girl, maybe he says something about her not being the hottest girl he's ever dated or something stupid like that. In this scenario, the confident girl will laugh it off. She will instantly recognize that he's trying to get a rise out of her and she won't give him the satisfaction of a response. Instead, she'll brush it off and will start to reconsider whether she wants to be dating someone so pathetic.
The insecure girl, however, will crumble and start to doubt everything about herself.
She'll stalk his Facebook profile endlessly trying to search for ex-girlfriends to figure out what they have that she doesn't. She may start acting passive aggressive towards the guy in an attempt to get compliments, affection, and apologies out of him. She'll start putting an insane amount of effort into her appearance in an attempt to win him over and prove how hot she is. She will whine to her girlfriends about how “ugly" and "insecure" he made her feel.
Now how can the same comment affect two people so differently? He said the same thing, shouldn't it have had the same impact? No, because the impact of an insult is in direct proportion to your sense of self.
If you feel amazing about yourself, nothing anyone else says will change your mind. If you stand on shaky ground, you will get knocked down time and time again.
I, like the majority of women, suffer from the occasional body image issues (this is something I actively work on, as we all should, and I am nowhere near as vulnerable to this kind of thing as I was in my younger years).
Several years back, I was at a boyfriend's place eating a yummy cake I had baked. We were sitting on the couch watching a movie and when I leaned over to cut myself a second slice, he pinched a layer of my flesh and jokingly said, "You sure you want that second piece?" Suffice to say I was furious and had to summon all the restraint I had not to take the cake and slam it in his smug face. Instead, I stormed out of the apartment, waited a few minutes for him to come out and comfort me, and when he did, proceeded to lash out at him for making me feel fat. He apologized profusely, of course, but my anger took weeks to subside.
And during that time, I was constantly analyzing my body and complaining about it. I would also make a big show about how little I was eating in front of the guy in some twisted attempt to make him feel bad and get him to apologize again and tell me how thin and beautiful I am.
Looking back, the only reason his words had such an impact is because I was already insecure in that area. Rather than accepting that this was my own insecurity, I blamed him for making me feel that way. (FYI- I'm not condoning what he did because it was pretty immature, I'm just using this example to illustrate a larger point.)
If that same thing happened to me today, I probably would have laughed and called him a jerk and said, “Yes, in fact I am having a second slice. I may even have a third," and that would be that. No arguing, no crying, no guilting, no resenting, none of the usual relationship killers.
I like my body as it is, so why should I allow anyone to make me feel otherwise? The choice is up to me and I choose to formulate my own opinions of who I am and how I look, rather than relying on outsiders to determine these things for me.
Another person's approval has no ability to affect your mood unless you think what he/she says is valid. If someone makes a comment and you have a reaction, it's because you already felt that way about yourself.
When you can truly internalize this, you will realize that there is no use harboring anger and resentment towards someone for making you upset or insecure.
When you allow your insecurities to dominate, you will be on high alert for anything that validates these feelings. Being constantly on the lookout for disapproval will guarantee you find it everywhere. If you go into the world expecting to be rejected, then you will see rejection everywhere and in everything.
You'll interpret your boyfriend being distracted by something as him losing interest and not finding you attractive. You'll believe the grumpy man working at the bodega thinks you're a fat big because you bought a tub of ice cream. You'll think your boss is mad at you and thinks you're incompetent because he/she didn't smile at you that day. You get the point.
When you really think about it, it's kind of funny that people react so strongly to criticism. I mean think about it, why should it ever affect you?
If someone says something disapproving, then whatever! They might have a point, but who cares? No one is perfect, we all have faults and the best we can do is either accept them or work on improving them. And if what they say isn't true, then seriously, who cares? You know it isn't true!
The lesson here is to build a firm foundation for your sense of self to rest on. When you do this, no one will make you feel anything. We are all works in progress, each and every one of us. If you can accept that and be kind to yourself, your quality of life (not to mention, the quality of your relationships), will significantly improve.
Lots of love,
A New Mode
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
It’s been close to 3 years since I separated and later on, divorced from my husband.
We were only officially married for 1 year and half but unofficially together for 7 years. He was my best friend. I looked up to him and secretly felt I could not keep up to his ability to be successful.
Three years ago, l lost sight of everything meaningful in my life, and spiraled into self- sabotage and rebellion. When we broke up, I took it upon myself to change as a person, because I thought that was partly the reason my marriage had deteriorated. What I came to realize is it was the marriage with myself that I never allowed to heal properly. Before we can love someone wholeheartedly, we need to love and accept ourselves first.
Year one taught me survival through various avenues of meditations, traveling, one-on-one coaching, researching topics of interest (self-help), and continuous self-introspective writing. Year two opened the doors towards discovering who I am, my true self and layers of my mind that contributed to my years of “unconscious” living (along with the help of therapy.) Year three helped me accept that I am already in the place I need to be and learning to accept myself as I am as well as being more compassionate with myself. It is also more of a “free” year, where I am living day by day and just being with myself not doing anything in particular as previous years – I am actively watching myself “just being me.” (As weird as that sounds!) I am very clear about the mistakes I made back then.
Marriage is when two imperfect souls can accept each other just as they are and grow as persons and as a unit simultaneously. Marriage is compromise, love, empathy, understanding, strength, vulnerability and maturity amongst the obstacles and difficulties thrown at us by the universe.
Divorce is just another new beginning to look at yourself and reflect on what went wrong.
It’s an opportunity to learn about yourself and to appreciate your previous partner as another teacher in your life (once you move past the anger phase, because you do experience it – and it’s totally normal!)
I learned more about me, then I did after any other difficult time period of my life.
It was hard for me in the first few months, as I am a sensitive individual. Time went so slow, my loved ones spent hours calling me, inviting me over for dinner, and sharing countless words of wisdom. I felt I was experiencing an outer body experience.
Surprisingly, work became more interesting because I drowned myself to avoid feeling pain. I often woke up earlier and fell asleep earlier than usual. I started experiencing anxiety attacks and I started praying frequently again. This only reaffirmed my desire to create change for myself. I am eternally grateful for the spiritual coach who guided me during this time and opened up doorways for my self-improvement (my healing).
Here are my tips to work on healing from your heartache while improving yourself and loving yourself:
1. Don’t lock yourself up indoors.
When we feel down, we feel lifeless, we are walking zombies and we do not want to get out of bed. My godfather told me, “When you feel sad: get up, grab your purse, open the door, and hear it slam. Then, come straight over to our house. No matter how many times. Get up and get out.” You have no idea, how much I have listened to this. Once you are out, you won’t suddenly feel thrilled but after 2hours of engaging with others, laughing or in-depth conversations of moral support, you will feel better.
2. Set intentions and be compassionate with yourself.
If you have no other options, because we tend to close up, then set an intention to be compassionate with yourself. For example, I have very few intimate friends, so I did often stay at home, in bed with the lights off. But, I knew I couldn’t stay there forever. I set a realistic intention to give myself a minimum of 3 days at home. Day 3 came and I would get up to go out or do an activity such as writing, visiting loved ones, going for a walk or seeing a movie.
3. Allow yourself to feel.
Do not avoid it. If you need to talk to someone (you trust) for hours to get things off your chest, do so. We are creatures of service; another person will listen to you and help you feel relaxed. If you don’t have someone, I recommend writing down every thought going through your mind. If you suddenly feel the need to cry or laugh, don’t hold it back. Feel it, watch it, and release it – whatever feeling it is, will go away on its own. Don’t avoid thinking or feeling by working overtime or going out every chance you get as an escape. In the long run, this will bring more harm because pain gets buried and will resurface when a new relationship or situation comes around.
4. Get help from a professional outsider: a coach or therapist.
I met a wonderful life coach through a mutual friend. She guided me in every session, hearing me out, giving exercises, written homework assignments and insight. Sometimes we need another’s eye and expertise to comprehend what we are going through and provide you tools to move forward. There were so many topics and tools I would have never thought of without her. She opened my mind to study myself and be understanding that this new life experience would allow me to reach my goals of healing, true love and self-acceptance.
5. Take a seminar or a class.
When you find yourself as a student again engaging in adding skills to yourself professionally and/or as a hobby – you are left with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, giddiness and success. It will make you feel so much better and you will begin to notice you forget about your sadness because you are doing something loving such as an exercise dance class, meet up group, meditation or yoga seminar.
6. Don’t do rebound relationships.
I have done these in the past, though I didn’t do it after my divorce from my last partner. I have found that you are still in a tender phase and you need to work on those feelings of hurt, discomfort and loss. Sometimes, we think we are ready and what we really need is to meet new people and be friends first. If the right partner comes along, you will know it. Don’t rush, take your time.
7. Don’t stay in contact with your ex/exes.
My last ex found it annoying I stayed friends with previous exes. He use to say, “Exes can’t be friends.” I use to debate this all the time. I found it brought me more harm than good, even affecting my marriage. Growing up as an only child with little or no family, we tend to make our friends our family. I couldn’t let go of certain relationships because I was scared to be alone. In past relationships, I had keep my exes as friends but by doing so I only kept it as “yellow” light just in case the flame would revive. In order to move on, we need to keep a distance. Otherwise, we are prolonging pain or in some cases, engaging in relationships with no ties – where there is always one person that gets attached and gets hurt. No matter how much we love or loved that person, we need to let go and accept the one relationship worth keeping is the one with ourselves.
8. Do pray or meditate.
Religion and spirituality continue to be the most contributing part of this healing and self-transformation equation. If you belong to a particular religion, prayer is universal – give it to God. If you are not part of any religion, being spiritual is another tool. Spirituality isn’t all about a religion. It is also about belief in yourself, your inner center, the universe and the stars. I went to free meditation seminars on Sundays during year one and even pulled up some good mediattions and mantras from YouTube. Meditation frees you to – give it to the universe. For me, giving myself to God and the universe through prayer and meditation allowed me to feel peace again, especially in those sad or anxious moments during and after my divorce.