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Living with A Dysmorphic Disorder – What’s Going On and How to Cope?

I want to discuss image dysmorphia.

I’m struggling with it.

My distorted image makes it hard for others to give me proper advice. No matter how many times someone tells me that I am not the way I see myself, I still see a different person in the mirror.

My “friend” in the mirror sees all of my flaws. She also hides my clear image. I literally can’t see my real self unless I give myself a side-eye. Then, my “friend” will quickly distort the picture before I can fully process what I just saw. It’s frustrating to know you can’t see yourself, but your own mind will not let you change your distortion.

Sometimes, I wonder if I can see any bit of the reality that others see. Sometimes, I wonder if they are wrong, and my truth is right. Sometimes, I just know I am right. Sometimes, I know I am wrong.

When I take photos of myself, I look at them in disgust. I see flaws in every part of my body and mind. This leads to thoughts of self-deprecation. When I question myself, my “friend” hisses to shut-up because I am the one that knows nothing. I am stupid. I sometimes ignore her, other times, I fight her, but most of the time, I cower away too afraid to lose another battle.

I can look in the mirror, and I can see many things that I hate about myself. My “friend” makes me believe that everyone can see what I see and hate me as much as I hate myself. I can unconsciously (thanks to my “friend”) seek out specific people who with 100% certainty will validate what she has been telling me. She can’t be wrong if other people believe it too. It is a cycle that is tricky to break.

No matter how much I protest or try to protect myself from her evil thoughts. She is there, waiting for me to be weak. She comes in like a savior but leaves me as a sinner. I hate her, but she is me, so I love her too. My self-image is split and shattered. I live with this for most of my life.

So, there are so many ways my story could have gone. My path is twisted and hilly. I still rely on her to tell me, “like it is” when I don’t know the answers. She always comforts me with her evil banter.

However, it has gotten better. I can stand my ground and have won a few battles. The war still rages, and my reality will forever be distorted, but I go on. With every battle won, I hope to be closer to my truth.

Here are some ways that help me win my battles.

Get Help / Seek Out Positive People

When you see yourself as an awful person, you attract people who think the same about you. Try to find a couple of good people in your life and be honest with them. Tell them that you are trying to conquer a demon and need a supportive friend. This can be difficult at the beginning because your judgment in others may be off. If you can afford it or have the resources, seek professional help. They will help you learn the tools and guide you into accurately finding the right type of people that you need to surround yourself to maintain a healthy environment.

Say at least 3 things you love about yourself.

Many people struggle with this and only focus on the negatives. Sometimes, you have to stand for 30 minutes before you can come up with something. However, this is what you need to do.

Look at yourself in a mirror.

I avoid mirrors as often as I can whenever I look in the mirror I just think negative thoughts. Now, I try to focus on other things apart from what my “friend” thinks. It helps me to stop thinking so negatively about myself.

Look at yourself as though you are someone else.

I’m the type of person who often sees the good in everyone. I can look at someone and instantly see good qualities about them. I realized that I had to see the good in me. I had to see the positives about myself even if that means looking at myself as though I am another person.

I can look at others and think how great they are as a person. It helps me to realize that people look and act differently. We are all beautiful and unique.

So, why can I be the same too?

Stop comparing yourself to others.

Comparing yourself to others, you first have to learn to love yourself. You have to see how you look genuinely. Sometimes, it is tough to do. Especially when I feel that person has everything, and I have nothing to show. I start to turn on the negative faucet and pour it all over myself.

When I catch myself doing this, I turn it off. I stop looking. I stop trying to understand why they are so “great.” I try to focus on myself and what makes me “great” or what “in” nature is beautiful at that moment. One of these two mental exercises does pull me out of my head.

So, these are some exercises to help me to learn to love myself. You will be able to say good things about yourself. That initial haze of feeling stupid and vain will start to fade out. This is just your “friend” trying to stop you from seeing your truth. You will begin to pick up the habit of counteracting some of your thoughts and distortions.

If you spend most of your time, your thoughts and your energy on your body shape and flawed mind, you won’t indeed be happy. It takes so much energy and time out of your life. You need to let go of the obsessive thoughts and learn to love yourself and to live life.

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I Got Myself Out of Bed Today

I have been afflicted with depression for some time. I usually can pull myself out of it to be somewhat functional. It is hard to get yourself motivated when you feel like the world is dark and closed to you.

Sometimes, when I am walking down the street, I see a group of people enjoying the day. They are smiling. They are laughing. They are in their moment. I try not to compare myself because depression can hide in one of their smiles. However, I still compare the laughter.

I wanted to share some of the ways I get myself ready to start the day. Depression can be a severe matter. If you are spending multiple days in bed, feeling hopeless or wanting to end things, you need to speak to a professional. They will help you see through the fog. My advice is what helps me to get me started for the day. I hope it helps you too.

A routine is my secret weapon to getting out of bed. Usually, when I have a routine, I find myself more motivated to get up and get things done. Even when I want to stay in bed, knowing I need to do a chore will help me push myself out of the blankets.

I like starting my day by doing a self-care routine. This means making my bed, washing my face, brushing my teeth, and having a healthy breakfast. This routine gets me going. I do it every morning. While doing this routine, I also try to think of one thing that is positive for the day. This also could mean, “What do I look forward to doing?” It’s become so much of a habit, that I can pretty quickly figure out a pleasurable moment, like noticing my teeth look really clean, or I get to spend some time outdoors on a sunny day.

I feel like every time I exercise, I get a little more motivated to move throughout the day. Even when I do not have the energy to move, I do a couple of uncomplicated stretching exercises. Sometimes, this alone can get my endorphins pumping, and before I know it, I end up doing the whole workout sequence.

Finally, I go and do my work, I may still feel a little down. However, by having a stable routine, it motivates me to move on throughout the day. I think having healthy habits are like small lights that help break through the fog of my depression.

It doesn’t matter how I feel I know I have to accomplish my morning to-do list. You have to create these habits to trick your depression into not controlling you. Your morning list does not have to be big, it can be two or three small items to motivate you to get out of bed.

I may not be those laughing people, but my small accomplishments do provoke an inner smile. I feel lucky enough to see them having a good time. Habits change you. Positive patterns can help you reach your goals. Even if it is just getting out of bed, keep doing them.

I hope you found this a little helpful. Let me know how you go in and blast through your depression so you can function throughout your day.

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Giving Up My Ways

I wanted to share with you five ways in which I try to implement a healthy lifestyle. I don’t mean just by eating healthily or to workout. These things are a given for any healthy lifestyle, but I wanted to cover the other things that I find help me stay well when I am feeling or not feeling my best.

So, here they are:

One: Giving Up Bad Habits
Implementing a healthy lifestyle is to give up your bad habits so that you can make way for good ones. We all know what our bad habits. We have habits or things that we do in our life that doesn’t make us feel good. Some of it you are aware of and others you may not have a clue of it. However, you know very well that some things in your life don’t make you feel well or hold you back. Whether that’s a person, a job, your diet, not working out, debt, not getting enough sleep are all things that you don’t want to be incorporated into your life.

You can write all the things that you want to let go of so you can create space for those new habits. An example could be if you go to bed too late, maybe set the alarm to go to bed earlier. The goal is to take something negative and create a positive habit out of it.

It is suggested that it takes 21 days to create a habit, so if you are starting a newer practice, make sure that you’re keeping track. You can use a marker and with each day you that achieve it. You mark it. If you don’t, you start again. Eventually, that new habit will be ingrained into your mind and body.

You always have to be realistic about your new habit changes. You will get overwhelmed if you do too many at the same time. I would recommend looking at your harmful habit list and seeing if any, can be organized together.

Once they are organized, you can see how they are related and create a habit system and complete one habit that will help lead to the next bad habit to conquer. For instance, going to bed late and getting up late in the morning. Perhaps work on going to bed early first. Once that healthy habit has been established, the next logistical practice to create would be to get up earlier.

If you set up too much too soon, you’re going to end up stumbling, failing, and then end up quitting. Small changes in your daily routine will end up creating more prodigious healthy habits in the long run. You’re not going to be seeing instant results. You are looking to change your lifestyle, and you still want to live your life, you need to have the new habit feel natural in the long run.

Two: Mental Check-ins
When you check-in on your mental state, you are checking in with your body, mind, and space. Mostly, you are mindful. Your mindfulness is a huge component of starting a healthy lifestyle. You cannot start a healthy lifestyle if you are not mentally into it. You have to examine where you are right now.

You have to look at yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically within your area. When you check-in mentally, try to accept where you are, and where it’s at right now. When dwelling on the past or looking too much into the future, you are taking in a negative mindset. You are blocking your potential to create and implement a healthier lifestyle.

Mindfulness, at the beginning of your healthy lifestyle, is going to be detrimental to the success of it. Our mind is the reflection of what we see externally, but a massive part of our mindset stems from the internal representation that we see our inner self. You can create mindfulness through a multitude of different exercises, journaling, listening to music, taking a nature walk, practice gratitude, and positive self-talk. The positive narratives help set positive intentions for your day that can help in your mindfulness journey.

Three: 10,000 Steps
Focus on walking. I aim for about 10,000 steps in a day. I have been implementing walking into my life. I’ve been using my phone, but you can also estimate that 2 hours of walking in a day is about 10,000 steps. This doesn’t mean straight walking or even a long distance walk. It can be cleaning your home, parking at the back of a parking lot, walking to work, or going to the bathroom, or even taking the stairs, every step counts. So, two hours in your day of walking isn’t a lot. You can do little things to reach your 10,000 step goal.

You’ll be amazed how much walking you can incorporate into your daily routine. When you have a body stationary, it creates a loss of connection to the world and can increase the likelihood of depression. There is so much to benefit from moving your body. It creates flow not only with your organs but with your brain and your positive well-being.

Four: Clean-up Before Bed
I find by putting things away and creating a clean environment. I tend to have a positive morning. No one likes to wake up to a messy room. You may feel slow and unmotivated. In the morning, you may worry about the dishes in the sink or decide not to eat a healthy breakfast because there is no room to cook. It’s not the best way to start the day.

I like to do my daily prays and reflections at night. I can reflect on my day create stillness in my mind while I am tidying the end of the day. It’s an excellent way to clean up my mental trash before I go to bed. This practice helps my mind feel refreshed in the morning.

Five: Surround Yourself with Positivity
We all do this. We are in a funk, so we gravitate to the negativity that surrounds us. I know I have a hard time listening to how great someone has when I am suffering. However, this is a perfect time to listen to the positive. Your brain with a click and a switch, and you will stop resisting the negative pushback.

What I do is put on a playlist that makes me happy, meditate as I am cleaning, journalling for five minutes, sitting in a crowded cafe and listening to other laughter or even watching an adorable cat video could help me see a little bit more positivity in your life. Once you have that moment of realizing you are not quite in the funk, please do something to extend yourself to a better place, like talking to a good friend or writing an email to a coworker or family member to let them know they matter. I am surprised how this action can change my whole outcome for the day.

Implementing wellness in your mind every single day helps you create a positive space in every aspect of your life. Wellness is emotional, spiritual, and physical. Make sure that you’re doing things every day to create wellness and better behaviors.

You are all you have, so make the most of today.

I hope you found this piece to be helpful. If you have any suggestions or ideas, I would love to hear from you.

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The Five Minute Gratitude Exercise

Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~Melody Beattie

Gratitude is directly related to optimism, which makes people content with their lives. When we are grateful for what we have, we can feel the gratitude in our hearts and be aware of our feelings. This practice is an excellent tool for our mindfulness exercise accessories. When we feel intense emotions such as anger or frustration, we can get caught up in those emotions. Gratitude helps us handle those emotions by shifting our thoughts from anger to thankful.

Learning gratitude is such a valuable tool that can be used at any moment throughout your life. This super simple daily gratitude habit will help you be grateful every day (and it only takes 5 minutes).

I take a moment throughout my day to figure out what gratitude means and why it is essential. Then I visualize what I am grateful for the moment; I start to have a dialogue to why I find it necessary. I find that my five-minute gratitude journal can help me express what I am thinking and help to understand why I appreciate it. It is also a beautiful keepsake to have when I am having a rough day, and I can’t think of anything to be grateful for in my current moment. Lastly, in my gratitude exercise, I beath. I find that a breathing exercise at the end of a session will help to emphasize what I thought wrote or thought in my heart. I generally feel more at peace after my practice.

Gratitude makes us feel more appreciated. Thinking of acceptance is why a five-minute a week gratitude journal can make us so much more content. The sincere appreciation produced by during those five minutes is small, but the emotions of gratitude felt during those five-minutes are enough to trigger a grateful spirit.

I hope you enjoy this little piece if you have any suggestions on how to practice gratitude. I would love to read it. Please let a comment below.

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You are a Limited Resource

Hey you!

Did you realize that you’re a limited resource?

There is a no different person on the earth like you. You deserve to be known not just by those in you but by the most significant being in your life— you. Practicing self-love may be challenging for some of us, particularly at times when we face difficult challenges. It’s not about state self-absorbed or narcissistic, it’s about having a feeling with ourselves, our well-being and our passion. We learn self-love so we can go through our limiting beliefs and live the time that really shines.

My hypothesis works like this: Self-Love is the solution for growing into productive and running towards our goals. Self-Love is this motive we want to adapt to move harder with our relationships and self-betterment. Self-Love can really make us where we need to get in life. I believe Self-Love may be the solution for halting Anxiety and unhappiness (which be a lot more prevalent today) before they start.

That self-love does not mean getting soft on ourselves always, speaking to ourselves at sugary consolation, or being gentle hearted. As a matter of fact, I’d reason self-love is the opposite. Self-love, and knowing our creation, is about being dominant. It’s like the strength you can get out and strengthen. It’s the means of being weak, opening up, being compassionate towards ourselves, and being able to go through the uncertainty and bad feelings that do so well.

Self-love is not about being too balanced and intrigued with this idea of me or mine. Self-love involves a paradigm change that requires being able to feel connected to the power much higher than our specific self.

Make the image a try and see how self-love gains in your life. You are your own resource and love the comes from you will affect your world and those in it.

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Anxiety is a Reasonable Response, but…

Anxiety is a reasonable response to stress. However, the brain can backfire and cause a person to wage war on their thought processes. It’s not something that can be cured by medication or surgery. It doesn’t mean that you should stop seeking treatment.

Most people are alarmed before important events, such as significant tests, business presentations, or the first day of a new routine. However, fear is a disease that causes people to fear, terror, and torture. If these treatments do not, these disorders significantly reduce productivity and reduce the quality of life.

General causes of anxiety disorders; Daily and daily life events, at least six months of chronic, recurring events; The hardest shows almost always, but it is very few. Symptoms of fatigue, irritability, muscular tightening, headaches, nausea, are all symptoms of anxiety disorder. They can be mild or severe, depending on how much time has passed since the onset of symptoms. Some people have more than one sign, while others may have multiple symptoms.

How do I know if you entered a mature anxiety zone? Anxiety disorders are excessive in this situation and are characterized by severe, persistent concerns that remarkably avoid situations causing anxiety.

These symptoms cause pain, impair daily functions, and occur over a long period. For example, a person who needs to go home from work for several consecutive days because of a panic attack may have an anxiety disorder. Different evidence-based treatments are most effective against different anxiety disorders. For example, people with panic disorder may benefit from contact therapy, but women with social phobia are most often treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

However, there are some things you can do to reduce your anxiety.

You can:
· take a deep breath in and out of the mouth. This will help calm down your body and mind.
· try to relax your muscles and joints.
· drink plenty of water, especially before bed.
· take a cold shower to relieve your anxiety.

Knowing the basics of your mind is the key to reducing its effectiveness. Anxiety is often associated with fears that are often hidden from reality. Judgments can be cloudy, and you may not get the desired results because of the skewed decision. I know I have done this hundred of times in my life.

How do you know if your daily anxiety has crossed the barrier? This is not easy. There are various types of anxiety, such as panic attacks, phobia, and social anxiety.

You have to take action.

If you or someone you know has anxiety symptoms, consult a clinician to help determine if the symptoms are due to an anxiety symptom, a medical condition, or both. Often the next step in treating anxiety disorders is to refer them to mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors.

The difference between the official diagnosis and “normal” anxiety is not always clear. (Amanda MacMillan / Health.com., May. 2017)

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HOW MINIMALISM FEED THE MIND AND SOUL?

Minimalism refers to having fewer possessions in life whereas minimalism for the mind and soul relate to owning less but having satisfactory in living. It is not only about having fewer things but having more meaning in our life.

Simplicity or clarity is a direction starting from soul to the heart, body, mind, and our home or it is vice versa. Our deepest secrets, thoughts, feelings, and choices are hidden deep inside our soul.

To achieve simplicity, one needs to do things that nurture the soul. Here are some of the ways that help:

It generates choices
Through minimalism, we accept the things that matter to us and ignore those who veer us away from our purposes.

Creates the place for space
Every single bit of us needs some space from the world for “me” time that soothes the soul and mind.

Minimalism disengages additional pressure
A cured soul needs no one to influence. A restored soul is content with the less and has no interest in having more.

Minimalism helps to untangles everything
With less pressure, in our minds, in our homes, we can handle almost everything that comes our way. It makes our mind productive by focusing on the things that matter.

Shows our true self
The most important reason for including minimalism in our lives is that it shows our true self. It makes us look through our soul. We could see our goals, our value, our capabilities, our flaws with understandable clarity and accepting ourselves the way we are.

Stimulates creativity
Eliminating all that is preventing you to focus on the real intentions will help you take a closer step towards creativity and will expand your imagination.

Decluttered mind
With fewer things in the ownership, you will be able to pay attention more on contentment. Your mind will have less to concentrate.

Assessing minimalism
It helps you understand why do we have certain possessions and why we don’t. It helps in evaluating the things we need the most and the things that aren’t that useful for our mind and soul.

Start living a simple life. There is no right time to start anything that causes positive changes in a person’s life. What are ways you can help mend your soul?