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Forgiveness: You Have a Choice

Forgiveness is a powerful act in the human psyche. If we continue to think in an unforgiving way, we will always have resentment. If we are continually having angry and resentful thoughts, we will never be satisfied and find pleasure.

When we forgive, we are excusing ourselves. If we hold on to our negative emotions and try the justify our negative processes as the way out, we will be stuck in our own prison of shame, anger, and doubt. It is very telling in those situations that we believe we are trying our best to get out, but nothing is working. If you are feeling stuck, maybe you should ask if there is something that you have not forgiven.

When you do not move willingly with life in the present moment, it usually indicates you are leading from the past. Holding on to unforgiveness will consume the present moment. It’s only in the present that can you create your future. Your thoughts and words are powerful, so to not forgive means that you will be bringing your negative emotions into your future self.

When you blame another person for how you feel, give your own power away. You are putting the security for your emotions to someone else.

There is a difference between forgiveness and acceptance. Forgiving someone does not mean that you condone their behavior. The act of forgiveness takes place in your mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person. The truth of forgiveness lies in placing ourselves free from carrying the pain. It is a way of releasing yourself from a negative mindset.

Forgiveness does not mean allowing the painful actions of another to continue in your life. Sometimes forgiveness means letting go. When you forgive and take a stand to your emotions, it helps to set a healthy boundary. When you let it go, you free up some headspace to think of thoughts that make you feel stable. This new headspace may allow you to pay attention to the present moment and give you enough room to create a more positive construct for the future.

You have a choice.

#forgiveness #peace #love #spiritual #life #believe #hope #mindfulpractice #forgive #soul #compassion #wisdom #spirituality #trust #mind #worry #meditation #calm #faithful #destiny #guidance #meditate #thankful

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Banana Bread Featured

Yummy Banana Breakfast Bread

I had some time to spare and a few ripe bananas. I thought I would share the recipe that I use when making banana bread. It is super easy and is a great snack or part of your breakfast.

Whenever I get overwhelmed or need to focus, I find cooking does that for me. I loved cooking since I was tiny and experimented with all kinds of ingredients to feed my brothers and sisters. Sometimes the food came out fantastic and other times….well, not so much.

There is actually a movement for this type of therapy, which I will reference below that states:

Cooking and baking are pursuits that fit a type of therapy known as behavioral activation. The goal is to alleviate depression by boosting positive activity, increasing goal-oriented behavior and curbing procrastination and passivity.

If the activity is defined as personally rewarding or giving a sense of accomplishment or pleasure, or even seeing the joy of that pumpkin bread with chocolate chips making someone else happy, then it could improve a sense of well-being,” says Jacqueline Gollan, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.”

So, if you need a pick me up, please try this recipe.

Dry Ingredients:
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar & 1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Wet Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. To a large mixing bowl add, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
  3. Combine and blend well together and set aside
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, add 4 very ripe bananas and mash well with a fork until it looks like paste
  5. Add butter and room temperature eggs and combine all together with a fork until it is well-mixed.
  6. Combine wet and dry ingredients together and mix well
  7. To a greased loaf pan or use parchment paper (it’s up to you)
  8. Pour batter into pan
  9. Distribute evenly and press down on the mixture to remove any air bubbles
  10. Bake for 40-50 min (test with a toothpick around 40 min and it comes out cleanly, remove)
  11. Let cool on a wire rack

Eat and Enjoy!

What’s your favorite breakfast recipe? Do you enjoy cooking?

Please let me know.

A Road to Mental Health Through the Kitchen: https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-road-to-mental-health-through-the-kitchen-1418059204

#bananabreadrecipe #bananabread #banana #sundaybaking #baking #nondietapproach #bakingrecipes #bananarecipes #nondiet #bananabreas #therapy #depression #selfove

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How to Recognize A Toxic Person

For most of us, we like to assume in the best of people. Unfortunately, that can get us in trouble. Toxic people do exist, and chances are we’ve met one. Sometimes they might not even realize they’re causing harm to others. Other times, they are fully aware of the power they hold over other people and actively aim to do damage.

Fortunately, there are warning signs, so please be mindful when reading this post. It could be information in this piece to help you understand a difficult person in your life.

Toxic people play the victim, they are in a constant state of their tragic world. The people who struggle with the victim mentality doesn’t think they have power over their lives and they blame other people in the circumstances. This can be from being unhappy to avoid taking responsibility for their lives. Playing the victim can give someone the power to control another person. These type of people seem to prey on your feelings of compassion and goodwill. They usually do to see how much you are willing to surrender to make them happy. You will not make them happy and will end up wasting your time and energy.

A classic victim attitude is when they flip a situation to make it about them. They put themselves down while defensively blaming you for their life situation.

If you have caught someone lying several times about things that generally are ordinary, you might be dealing is a pathological liar.

Pathological liars are someone who continuously lies to protect their image. They are masters of manipulation. They tend to be impulsive people with a need to fascinate others. They might not always have a purpose to why they are lying.

The pathological liar can leave you feeling frustrated, misguided, and neurotic. It might even make you question your rationality. Pathological lying can also be a symptom of more severe problems of mental illness. Please ask for advice from a professional should you suspect mental illness.

Emotional abuse can be one of the most grievous forms of savagery. It creates marks that can last longer than physical ones and it’s challenging to detect. This type of toxic person can leave you with depression, demoralization, self-blame, and very low self-esteem.

Emotional abuse can be passive aggressive behavior, shouting, depreciating, judgment and be accusatory to your actions.

Certain people project their vulnerabilities and insecurities onto another person in the form of anger and bullying. They are ineffective of considering limits. They can’t process their own toxicity. They deal with it by putting it on to someone else. They will try to break your will. They need to make someone feel small, so they can feel big.

You are usually walking on eggshells around this person. The person can routinely mock you and dismiss your beliefs, thoughts, and feelings. They will blame you for the problems in your relationship and tell you that is it your fault. If you find yourself in an emotionally abusive situation, please distance yourself. You are worth more than what you are being told.

Toxic people can be master manipulators, and they are smart about hiding their true intentions. They try to control people whether directly or indirectly. They need something from you and will work hard to make sure they get it. They might be utterly incapable of feeling remorse and recognizing their bad behavior.

A controlling person needs to know where you are at all times. They like to micromanage your work. They will try to pull you away from your loved ones and friends. They will try to keep you for themselves. If you are dealing with this type of personality, talk to them and if that doesn’t get through to them, gracious leave or distance yourself.

I mentioned a couple of times about toxic people and how we should try not to have them in our lives. A toxic person doesn’t have to be toxic to everyone, they could be using you. You may also find that you may fit into one of these definitions of a toxic person. Before you dump someone or truly start to doubt your existence, I would recommend talking to people and researching before many any decisions.

We all deserve to live in harmony. If you find yourself in one of
these situations, please take the necessary steps to make your life better.

Points of Reference:
Dealing With Toxic People You Can’t Just Cut Out Forever: https://www.scarymommy.com/dealing-with-toxic-people/

8 Strategies for Dealing With the Toxic People in Your Life:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-support/201612/8-strategies-dealing-the-toxic-people-in-your-life

How Emotionally Intelligent People Handle Toxic People: http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/How-Emotionally-Intelligent-People-Handle-Toxic-People-1028629190-p-1.html

Signs of a Toxic Person and How to Cut Those Toxic People out of Your Life: https://theartofcharm.com/empowerment/cut-toxic-people-life/

7 Types of Toxic People and How to Spot Them: https://www.scienceofpeople.com/toxic-people/

#selflove #psychopath #survivor #boundaries #selfcare #narcissism #divorce #nocontact #healing #npd #empath #fakelove #anxiety #domesticabuse #love #liar #cheater #narcissisticabusesurvivor #cptsd #narcissisticmother #depression #fraud #toxicrelationship #traumabonding #loveyourself #pathologicalliar #narcissisticpersonalitydisorder #awareness #motivationalquotes #recovery

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A Simple Exercise in Gratitude

I am no stranger to anxiety and depression. I have suffered from it for most of my life. Nowadays, I am a little open-minded to the possibility that I can change my mood or at least the view of my day by doing a simple exercise.

It seems that in today’s world, being negative is sort of taking over. There seems to be more and more things that are not acceptable, and there are other things that are acceptable but entirely unattainable for the average person. So, I hope this practice can help you and your outlook.

This exercise is designed to help you think more positively and hopefully be able to help you deal with the negative things a little bit better. It sounds easy, but can be challenging for those stuck in a depressed or anxious state.

You just start by creating a gratitude list each day.

Each day, write down the things that you appreciate in life. You may start off great, but you’ll have a day when nothing seems excellent. That’s where your mind is going to kick in and will help you find the appreciation of the smaller things.

An example for me would be the love of my family, the support of my friends, having a home, and the ability to eat good food. In a few days, it may be harder, so I have to start to look at my current surroundings like, my dog under my foot as I type or this warm cup of coffee that tastes amazing. By consistently practicing this, it helps make me feel good and helps to set up my day a little bit better.

Now you might think that sounds weird, especially if you are currently anxious or depressed, but that’s kind of how it works. I really have started to appreciate the tiny little things. It gives me a moment to get out of my head or opens me up to get help.

It does help me to think more positively and to really start appreciating everything in my life. When you are in a mood, the negative thoughts are a lot more powerful than positive ones. It’s so easy to think of something negative. This exercise, allows your mind to tell your brain, “Ok, you do not like it but, here at least there is something positive in the situation.” You want to keep trying to put these positive thoughts into your mind until they start to become second nature in your daily practice.

I wanted to share this little exercise because it seems to help me. It does take time and patience, but try not to be hard on yourself. Gratitude is something most of us don’t practice because we are stuck in the past or future of being without. This exercise allows me to pay attention to the moment and can help me change my thoughts. I hope it does the same for you.

What kind of practices do you do to help change your mood?

#gratitude #love #life #peace #grateful #happiness #blessed #joy #meditation #motivation #yoga #inspiration #nature #family #happy #selflove #positivevibes #thankful #spirituality #fitness #believe #faith #mindfulness #goodvibes #travel #energy #bhfyp #depression #anxiety #needhelp #tips #gradtitudelist

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Too Much Pride

It’s happening again,

my sense of pride is too high.

I don’t even know how to tell you a simple “why.”

I hold it inside hoping all my mediation will give me some light.

I do not cry.

Well, maybe in the middle of the night.

It’s happening again,

that secret wish that I would magically die.

I do not want it,

not death.

I just want relief from these thoughts in my head.

It’s happening again,

that fake smile and tone-deaf laugh

You do not want to know my feelings

You will have none of that

It’s better to acknowledge my muted eyes as real.

They are not bright.

It’s happening again,

my need for darkness.

You won’t understand.

You see it as a weakness.

It’s better to pretend that it’s just tiredness.

It’s not,

you can see it,

I am worthless.

It’s happening again. 

I am too quiet.

You don’t mind.

You don’t hear me anyway.

It’s better to think I am just busy.

I am not,

it’s a silent scream.

Please help me!

I have too much pride.

You’ll never know why.

#Depressionpoem #poetry #poet #depression #poetsofig #screenshot #firstdraft #poems #poet #depressed #depressioning #anxiety #depressionedits #mentalillness #fightingmentalillness #pathetic #loser #worthless #hopeless #ugly #freak #hurt #lost #suicidal #suicidalpoem #sucidalquotes #heartbroken #heartbreak #lonely #quotes

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10 Ways of Self-Love in 2019

I hope that 2018 was an excellent year for you but if it weren’t, a new year would be starting in a few days. I hope you are ready for 2019.

I have learned through my personal journey how vital self-love is to grow as a person. This is not natural for me, I have the tendency to blame myself for everything and take on damage because I deserve it. This year, I had to wake up and make an effort to love myself. It has been a journey and one that I still continue to do each day.

I thought it would be fun to share with you some ideas for 2019 shows you how to set up the new year to be more positive and kind to yourself.

Number One: Be Kind to Your Body

You can start by taking care of your body more than you have in the past. For example, adding in some nutrient-dense food into your diet. It will be an excellent gift for your mind and your body.

You can also be conscious of your movement to try to get some endorphins going. When you are doing activities that you like doing, like taking a walk in Central Park you are moving your body and getting fresh air. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel not only about yourself but also in your outlook on life.

Number Two: Start a Journal

Journaling this is a great way to build a relationship with yourself. I personally started journaling about a year into my journey for self-love and for dealing with significant changes in my life.

I have been making it a habit of waking up in the morning and writing in my journal. Even if it’s a simple sentence or a picture of a squirrel, it something that has helped me to connect with myself and my surrounds.

Start implementing a journal in your daily life and you may find that you had the answer all along or will get the answer you needed upon reflecting from your writings. I see that by making an effort to pay attention to me, my mind can come up with fantastic ideas and advice.

Number Three: Declutter Social Media

How many people are you following that when they post something and makes you feel bad about yourself? Are you comparing your body or your state of mind to them?

Yes, they can be inspirational, but also there’s a fine line between inspirational and comparison. Go through your social media and if you’re following anybody that makes you feel any type of negative feelings towards yourself or others, just click the unfollow button. You don’t have to see that in your feed every day.

You can instead find other people on social media to follow who are more like you or seem to help you want to grow as a person. It’s a great way to start working on self-love.

Number Four: Removing Toxic People

This is something that I did over the past year or so. If you don’t know what a toxic people is, it’s basically someone who it sucks all of your energy when you are around them. They make you feel bad about yourself while at the same time trying to bring you up to fit their mold.

For example, you may have a friend, and they are always talking about themselves and what they’re dealing with in their lives. They don’t take a moment to acknowledge you to see how you’re doing or what you’ve been dealing with you your life. It can also be someone who makes you feel not that great when you are done interacting with them. This friend or person could be a toxic person to you.

If you have anybody like this in your life, it is okay, and not selfish to set limits or just eliminate the time that you spend with them. Sometimes this isn’t always possible, like a family member or coworker, so try to limit the amount of time and pay attention to the positive things in your surroundings.

Number Five: Accept It For What it Was

Forgetting about yesterday is such a massive thing for me. I am not saying to avoid it or pretend it didn’t happen. I am speaking to acknowledge it, learn from it and try to move on from it.

My past does not define my future. It doesn’t determine what I am doing right now, so I try not to identify how I am feeling right now. The actions that you take on a daily basis is the focus. Try to focus on what you can do right now to better your relationship with yourself.

One thing I do in the morning when I am journalling is coming up with an affirmation and intention for that day. Doing a morning affirmation and intention keeps me present. It guides me into thinking on what I can do now. During the day, I reminded myself of that affirmation by setting a unique ring on my phone. When I hear it, I am now conditioned to think about my affirmation, my intention and what I have accomplished for the day.

Six: Meditate and Breath

When I sit for a moment and think of nothing but my breath, I feel so empowered. When I do meditate, it reflects in my daily routine, it reveals how I feel when going through challenges and triumphs. It’s just a really great way to get yourself in a constructive mindset.

Meditation and breathing have really changed my life. When I first started meditating I had it in my head that I needed to like to sit with my legs crossed and have some incense burning. However, that is not the case, there is no wrong way to meditate, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. For example, if you are on the subway, meditate by finding a spot on the floor to stare at and just focus on breathing.

Whenever I’m feeling stressed, or I have anxiety building up, I will stop what I’m doing, and I’ll just breathe. My breathing helps me by bringing me back to my center. It’s a great way to kind of stay calm and helps me to avoid having anxiety attacks.

Number Seven: Acknowledge Your Emotions Without Judgement

Don’t want to ignore your emotions that you’re having at any moment. However, it would be nice to sit with them and still feel at peace. Basically, you’re telling yourself that it’s okay to have anxiety and to feel. You are acknowledging them. You want to be able to recognize those emotions so you can accept them as a part of you.

When you take out the judgment from your feelings, they become simple and easy to acknowledge. They are valid emotions. Acknowledging your feelings without judgment will help not to let them dictate your day or actions. I like to think of it as giving yourself a hug when you need it.

Number Eight: Better Sleep

Try to commit to better sleep. This one is especially important because when you get better sleep, your mood improves, your body is, and you can think clearer. When our energy level is better, you can feel like you are ready to take on the day.

I need seven hours of sleep. I know that some people say you should have at least eight. However, I think they need it different for everyone. So, figure out what works for you and then make sure that you’re getting it every night.

One tip that I try to practice every night is to put my phone down an hour before bedtime. There’s a blue light on your phone, and that blue light has been shown to increases your brain activity. It makes it harder for you to fall asleep. For the hour before bed, try to get your brain into a relaxation mode like reading a book or listening to soothing music.

Number Nine: Write a Happy List

Write out a list of everything that makes you happy or everything that you love. This can be petting your dog to going to Paris. Then figure out a way to implement them into your life. Doing at least one of these items once a week will allow you to take time for yourself to do the things that you love. This will boost your overall well-being.

Number Ten: Unplug

We’re seemed always to be doing something digital. It would be perfect to take one day a week or a few hours in a day to just stay offline. When you start the practice of unplugging, you may begin to focus on the now.

It’s helpful for me to spend some quality time with my reality and not focusing on what’s going on online. There’s a lot of negativity in the news and online that does affect my mood and overall well being. I find unplugging from social media allows me to have the space to think. It allows me to create and love myself and family even more. I now appreciate my time away from social media.

So, these are the ten things that I have started but will continue to do in 2019. It has been a journey for me and will continue to be.

Please remember that you can do what you like to help yourself to love yourself just little more. The point of self-love is to be self-acceptant. If you set yourself up with unrealistic goals. You will fail. Set goals that are obtainable and have focus. You may find that setting up new habits are actually a lot easier if you start by taking small steps to the larger goal.

I love to hear from you. What actions for you take to give yourself a little self-love each day? What are you planning for the new year?

#selflove #love #selfcare #motivation #loveyourself  #inspiration #like #fitness #art #follow #quotes #happy #newyear #goals #mentalhealth #beautiful #happiness #health #life #positivevibes #beauty  #myself  #me #healing #2019 

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2019 – Ways to Make a Better Resolution

I am always trying to be hopeful when it comes to each new year. I strive for it to be better than the last. When you’re dealing with anxiety and depression, sometimes this can be clouded.

I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions, rather I think of the moment, and I ask myself this question: Did I actually make any dents positively in my life? I just don’t think of a New Year’s resolution as a one time deal, but rather an all-time agreement because I strive for improvement. 

It is essential for someone with any type of mental illness to have some kind of structure in their life. The goal should always involve trying to function at the highest capacity while remaining as independent as possible. Unfortunately, this may not be a straightforward task for some who are in the grasp of their illness. I like to think you have to start somewhere no matter where you are in your journey in life.

From my experience, small steps will lead to a bigger and better outcome in my life. I am not dwelling on the specifics of the larger goal but what steps I need to do to get to that place. Dealing with goals in this manner helps me make decisions on whether or not my actions are getting me to the target.

Here are some questions that I ask myself: What is it that I want to accomplish this day, this week, this month, this year? What can I do better? What didn’t work? Why? How can I improve it? What are some victories? Do I need to talk to someone because I feel stuck?

To prompt me to think about my life, I like to think first about what I can control, for example, my emotions. Though sometimes my anxiety can totally cloud my judgment and my trust in people can attract people with toxic personalities, there is a moment that I can recognize this behavior. To have an awareness of my emotional reaction to a scenario or person has taken a lot of work for me to be at this place, as I totally did not have the awareness when I started the journey into adulthood.

One of the most significant factors in this clouded haze was my need to stay with my routine. I needed the structure no matter the cost. I was very rigid. No one likes change, but we have to accept it, and it’s the way we move forward. With this reflection and stopping my need for a strict schedule to get through life, I started to open up to possibilities of new and better things happening for me.

I am totally not perfect and fall into the traps that I set up for myself. However, I become aware of this problem by simply making it my routine to be open and asking myself honest questions of what worked and didn’t work. Sometimes, I will not have the answer right away, but it does come to me. When that realization does make itself known, it does change my views and therefore my behavior. We don’t have to feel stuck since we can drive the direction we want to go in. It just takes some work.

When we let negative thoughts override the way we look at the world, it can be very frustrating. Sometimes all the professional help and medication that are available cannot help us unless we are willing to help ourselves. I genuinely believe this statement. I try to practice this belief in my daily routine. If I want to have a different perception of life, I need to change the way I think. We all have the capability of doing it.

There are going to be good days and bad days that is just inevitable. However, I have the habit of planning each day with a general question or intention, like “What do I need to do to have a good day? I intend to have a good day, no matter what barriers (of x,y,z). I am going to get through them with a positive attitude and strive to understand what did and didn’t work.”

So, with all of this written out, the point of the yearly resolutions isn’t to have a one-time annual quest. To have a goal doesn’t sound like a wrong way to start off January 1, 2019, it is just the matter of making for a plan behind it to keep yourself accountable and flexible to change throughout the year. This article is just a suggestion on what works for me, but you’ll find coping methods that work best for you if you genuinely want to change.

CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) has helped me tremendously to get to this place of concentrating on one item at a time. This has made a considerable difference in my self-confidence. My anxiety and depression seem to be less episodic than in the past. I learned that my goals should be realistic to me and my lifestyle. Setting up goals that fit me rather than what society expects, does allow me to have the freedom to change.

Whatever your plans are for 2019, I hope it is a healthy and honest intention. You deserve it! You have already worked hard to get where you are today.

#cbt #2019 #NewYearsResolutions #MentalIllness #Howto