Bye, Bye Anxiety

Does anxiety control you? Are you stuck living with anxiety? Do you tell yourself “there is no way out“?

Well, there is a way out. Anxiety is a vicious friend, but a friend nonetheless. Anxiety tells you when you need to make a life change. Anxiety is the emotion that tells you that something is not right in your life and you need to change it – – a career change, a relationship change, an environment change, a thinking change, a goal change.

You have the power within you to literally “will “anxiety away.

Steps to eliminating anxiety:

1.) Figure out what thoughts are causing your anxiety.

2.) Replace negative, unproductive thoughts with positive, productive thoughts.

3.) Take deep breaths.

4.) Exercise every action with integrity. You would be surprise the number of people who experience depression and anxiety because they are not exercising good character. Anxiety and depression are ways that the subconscious lets you know that you are not being your best self.

5.) Focus on successful thinking.

6.) Do no harm to others. Be grateful. Be selfless. Don’t be selfish.

7.) Remove toxic people, thoughts, habits from your life.

8.) Remove negative behaviors from your life such as:

Binge/comfort eating

Excessive sleeping/lethargy

Excessive entertainment

Excessive sex/promiscuity

Excessive shopping/spending money

Hoarding

Substance abuse

Depressing thoughts

Angry thoughts

Procrastinating thoughts

Prejudiced thoughts

Envious thoughts

Jealous thoughts

Resentful thoughts

Avoidance/denial

Blaming others

Blaming life

Guilting self or others

9.) Replace with positive behaviors, thoughts, habits:

Exercise daily (at least 15 minutes)

Eat healthy

Research healthy strategies

Self-educate on self-help topics

*****************

In what ways are you coping negatively?

What are positive ways you can cope?

Are you ready to replace your negative coping with positive coping?

Are you willing to practice positive coping?

It is important to get to the underlying issue of your negative coping. Negative coping and negative thoughts are symptoms of unresolved emotional trauma.

Last, how is avoidance and denial counterproductive to positive mental health?

Male Vulnerability: Is It a Weakness or a Strength?

Dai Manuel guest-hosts with Heather Blackwell to discuss the topic of ‘vulnerability’ as it relates to strength of character, interdependence, a cohesive self-identity, and a productive/holistically-rewarding life experience. To learn more about Dai Manuel’s Men’s Empowerment group, contact Dai via Instagram @daimanuel. Also check out Dai’s website at https://www.daimanuel.com/

Check out these audio clips from my convo with Tedx Speaker, Dai Manuel! 😀

To hear the entire conversation, click here.

Mental Health: What is Your Status?

The picture above is me when I was 21 and now when I’m 43. A lot has happened since then.

Mental health is important to harness. Mental unhealth is a struggle and a reality. Becoming mentally healthy is a choice; this is also a reality. Mental health can be obtained via self-education/self-help/lifestyle changes…very rarely is medication needed.

Mentally healthy people have a choice and a right not to share company with those who are mentally unhealthy; those who are unhealthy can drag down those close to them who are healthy and this is called ‘codependency’.

Oftentimes, those who are mentally unhealthy must walk their journey alone until they become mentally healthy. Once a mentally unhealthy person becomes mentally healthy then he or she can become a productive member of society and work to educate society on how to become mentally healthy.

I was born into a mentally unhealthy family who created mental unwellness in me and as a young adult, I subconsciously gravitated toward those who were mentally unhealthy, because I subconsciously sought out those who reflected the maladaptive tendencies of my family members. In my late 20’s, I realized that my mental unwellness was a maladaptive behavioral pattern resulting from childhood trauma and so I began a self-help journey to reverse the damaging effects of living among my family members throughout my formative years. For years, I walked alone in my journey (secretly I called myself ‘Bruce Banner’).

I allowed no one into my inner circle while I studied and practiced mentally healthy behaviors. By age 36-40, I became mentally healthy. Now, I incorporate mentally healthy people into my life. I educate others on how to become mentally healthy. Personal and civic responsibility are important to consider. It is a ‘victim mentality’ to expect anyone mentally healthy to suffer the abuses of the mentally unhealthy, which is much like a drowning person trying to save him/her self by clinging to those who can stay afloat.

There are mental health professionals (MHP), self-help books, and educational information available for those who need and seek advisement for self-improvement.

Don’t drown others in an attempt to save yourself. Contact a MHP to learn how to save yourself.

New Podcast Episode!

Have you ever wondered what it means to have a personality disorder? Are you familiar with the term ‘codependency’?

Join Jeff and me as we have a candid conversation about personality disorders, personality traits, codependency, and specific healing techniques for…all of the above.

This episode is jam-packed with therapeutic information sure to help heal any degree of wounded psyche.

If you have considered starting a self-help journey, or if you wonder what that means, then check out this clarifying episode!

After Marriage, Comes What??

(Originally published Summer 2014)

Marriage — a waitress and two bottles of ketchup

Commitment — the ideal, mutually felt, and long-lasting agreement.

— Heather Blackwell

Is it easy to add quality, committed people to your inner circle?

No.

Do most people respect the people within their ‘inner circle’?

Hmm…let’s consider.

Besides our children, it is the ‘significant other’ that people typically disrespect the most, and then parents and then friends and then co-workers and then that guy driving his car too slow in the right lane, “Doesn’t he know the speed limit?!”

You get the picture … back to significant others …

Is it easy to successfully add people to your life?

No.

Why is that?

I think most of you know. The answer is that we take it for granted that this significant person will not only be there to accept the disrespect — they accepted you, they should accept everything you say or do…right?? Wrong — but we believe that they “should” take the disrespect.

The Fallacy of “Should” Statements

*Remember: “should” is a thinking mistake.

When making a “should” statement, ask yourself:

1. Does this person have the experience to know in order to do?
2. Is this person willing to do?
3. Do we have the same expectations?

If the answer to these questions is “no” then he or she “shouldn’t” be doing … whatever it is you think they “should.” (Also…you are not their nanny or mama or daddy, so you don’t get to say what they should do.)

Now, if we can’t disrespect the people closest to us, then who can we disrespect? Of course, I am being sarcastic. You know. I have said it. “No one deserves to be disrespected.”

About Marriage

Let me tell ya. I don’t like the word marriage. It has a negative connotation. I shudder to think of a man asking a woman — or a woman asking a man … or a man asking a man … “Will you marry me?” To this I would reply, “Sure I will … just tell me when we are getting divorced!”

Instead, what I hope you would ask is:

“Will you choose to accept me into your life and, with me, accept the mutual responsibility of a life-long commitment marked by mutual respect and mutual love?

And then do you know what I hope? I hope you “put the ‘pause’ button on” and ask yourselves together:

“Do we know what respect means? Do we understand that we have to be self-respecting before we can respect each other?”

Ask together: “Do we understand that we have to be self-loving before we can love each other?”

Only after you have both communicated the correct response to these questions do I encourage you to answer the initial question regarding life-long, loyal, commitment.

And then do you know what I hope? I hope you will go to someone who is trained to know how to guide you in making sure you know who you are and to guide you in cataloging your list of strengths and weaknesses — not only as a couple. More important, seek help as an individual to learn self-analysis and self-correction, which are the core principles of personal accountability and will ensure life-long pleasure with your significant other.

Now. There are four elements that comprise a successful relationship — whether that is work-related, romantic, or platonic. These elements are the following:

• Compatibility 
• Communication
• Commitment
• Compromise

Commitment

Commitment is a scary word, isn’t it? Do you know why? Because what if I grow tired of being with the same person? What if we fall out of love? Can I truly stay with the same person for a lifetime?

Yes, a lifetime is a mighty long time.

So if you’re going to make a commitment you better make sure you are compatible, you better make sure you are not committing to a disrespectful, an abusive, or a neglectful person, or even a person who does not share your core principles (e.g. outdoor girl vs. indoor boy, Protestant vs. Muslim).

Let me tell you, though. Unless you jump head first and commit to someone after a handful of dates, the warning signs are there.

If the warning signs are there and you lie to yourself that ‘changes in the relationship can be made “after” the commitment is established, then you have doomed yourself to failure, because what the relationship is in the beginning is most likely what it will be in the end. I’m sure there are some miracle cases where he or she found higher power — or something along those lines — but the majority of times it doesn’t happen like that. Last, if you choose to enter a committed relationship with a disrespecting person then it is your responsibility to take, well, personal responsibility for the choice you made. I’m not saying the disrespect is right or that you are responsible for their choices; I’m saying you are responsible for your choices.

Compromise

I have to what?! Oh, yeah, buddy. Compromise.

In what life! In what world do we ever get everything we want when it involves another person — whether that is work-related, romantic, or platonic? We practice diplomacy or our relationships fail; it is that simple.

1. Problem: He wants to watch football; she wants to watch the Lifetime Network.
    Solution: Have sex.

2. Problem: She likes beef; she likes chicken
Solution: Have sex…just kidding. Go out for dinner or cook two separate entrees—either together or alternate cooking schedules … prepare for left-overs.

Those are two examples out of an infinite number of exasperating possibilities. No one said commitment was going to be a bed of roses, so why are you expecting it?

If you can’t handle the four C’s, then don’t enter into a commitment — commit to yourself and get a pet (I have a plant). There’s nothing wrong with living the single life; I’m content with it ….
*Mental note … Need. To. Buy…another plant.

Please observe your circumstances — you, your partner, ideals, desires — before you move forward into a commitment or decide to end a commitment. If you’re in a relationship where nothing is fundamentally wrong — which I define as abuse or neglect — but you’re “just getting bored”, then I say to you, “Stay Committed, because it’s the right thing to do.” You made a promise and what are you worth without your integrity. If the relationship is getting dull, there are ways to make it sparkle again.

Check your actions

• Are your love languages different?
• Are you burned out in another area of your life and not using your partner as a resource for healing?
• Are you taking an emotional problem out on your partner instead of dealing with the emotional problem and moving forward?
• Are expectations not meeting reality?
• Are you not communicating?
• Is it something else? Only you know. Type in and tell me.

Last Thought: Save Your Emotional Money For “Spectacular … Work Included.”

If it doesn’t work out …

…don’t beat yourself up. We live in a world gone awry. Our society doesn’t teach commitment; society teaches self-gratification—here today, gone tomorrow, out with the trash. Pertaining to my failed marital relationship, I made the mistake of ignoring the warning signs; my ex made the mistake of ignoring the warning signs. It seems like everyone saw the warning signs but us. And of course, I made the mental mistake, “Marital Miracle-Solving”, which is the idea that there is a self-correct mechanism after “marriage” has been initiated. BTW: Ketchup bottles empty eventually.

In conclusion, do your best and leave the rest, but most importantly don’t expect your partner to be your source of happiness or security; your happiness and security are waiting to be realized by you.

Last Last Thought: Be Discriminating. Be realistic. Be logical. Be practical. Be self-forgiving and forgiving of your partner. Shoot for the fairytale, and consider that at times you both will act like toads.

Above All…Be committed.