Category Archives: Thoughts

Thoughtful Thursday #221 – Flashbacks

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I have had two strong flashbacks that has kicked my complex trauma response into high gear. That’s the thing with C-PTSD flashbacks, it places me in two worlds. The world of the past and the present.

Flashbacks are important in trauma recovery but not at all easy to process. Flashbacks are a necessary part of healing. You can’t heal if you don’t feel.

At this time there is a part of me that feels it’s safe enough to allow a repressed memory to surface. I am thankful for that. Doing this kind of work and the willingness to feel the feelings of the past uncovers underlying traumatic emotions.

Once the repressed feelings come to the surface it is easier to make positive change, stay in the present moment and get happy again.

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Thoughtful Thursday #217 – Bullying

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No one wants to be bullied and as we know the objective is to oppress, torment, intimidate and browbeat someone into submission.

Bullying is easily recognized if we are observing it in real-time. But do we recognize bullying when we do it to ourselves? Probably not, here are some signals you are bullying yourself.

  1. your inner critic has a field day beating you up by noticing everything that you do wrong.
  2. your inner critic says unkind, mean things to you.
  3. some believe that the inner critic is a motivator to do better, this is completely false.
  4. anxiety, image issues, social anxiety can be the inner critic hounding you with negativity.
  5. watching TV shows that are violent and traumatize you with fear. (I binge watch crime shows.)

You can’t completely get rid of the inner critic however you can arrest its relentlessness and power with a these few tips.

  1. pay attention to your thoughts.
  2. don’t beat yourself up about these thoughts.
  3. notice what your triggers are.
  4. respond to yourself with kindness.
  5. speak to yourself with compassion.
  6. turn off your TV for a while and limit the shows that are violent. (I’m watching more happy programs.)
  7. redirect your thoughts and actions to something happy.

Being mindful, kind and compassionate to yourself is an important skill to learn and takes some time.

Instead, you want caring, reassuring, encouraging and supportive words and actions towards yourself.

You are so worth the time and effort.

Hope VS Hopelessness

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Hope-a feeling of trust, a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen and thinking it could happen.  A feeling that something good will happen or be true.

Hopelessness-a feeling of despair, without hope, downhearted, having no expectation of good or success, incapable of redemption or improvement. Feeling dreadful, horrible, terrible and useless.

When we are triggered we can swing between both of these feelings; here are a few suggestions on how to remain hopeful in the face of hopelessness.

  1. Take a walk in nature.
  2. If you are into prayer or mediation, indulge in it.
  3. Listen to music.
  4. Reach out and talk to someone.
  5. Write your guts out.
  6. Exercise
  7. Get enough sleep.
  8. Drink water.
  9. Don’t isolate.
  10. Be kind to yourself and others.
  11. Know that you will come out on the other side.

The feeling of hope is light; the feeling of hopelessness is heavy.

Hope is uplifting; hopelessness is oppressive.

You will know the difference immediately if you pay attention.

 

Solitude Is Great Until It Turns To Isolation.

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I cherish alone time, lots of it, but I can take it to the extreme until it becomes isolation.

We are social creatures by nature and without being social we can lose self-esteem, and self-confidence.

Isolation has a way of creeping up on us and separating us from friends, real world interactions, causes anxiety, you feel like you are in captivity in a cage, and detached from any healthy interactions.

Social media does not help, it lends itself into isolating us even more, plus it encourages the feelings of exclusion and an unrealistic idea that others lives are better than yours. Isolation also causes social anxiety. There is hope. Change is always possible.

Here are some suggestions to cure isolation:

Talk to everyone you meet.

Accept invitations even if you don’t think you want to go.

Build relationships.

Spend less time on social media.

Reach out and have an actual phone conversation instead of just social media.

Leave the house.

With a little bit of discipline and investment of your time you can get out of isolation and back into life. And if life is too much you can always go back to solitude but this time without the isolation.

 

Thoughtful Thursday #215 – Is This My Last Post – Not Really

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The month of May has been Mental Health Awareness month here in the USA. When the month began I decided to write a post every day for that purpose. Today is the last day of May 2018.  I enjoyed writing so much that I will keep up the posts, perhaps not on a daily basis but certainly more than once a week.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed the information I shared and my personal experiences.

It is my deep wish for every one of you to find the healing you need for all your troubles. I know how hard it is sometimes to understand this uncertain world and I am so proud of all who read this blog, you have taken on one of the most important journeys of your life –  the journey of self-discovery.

Keep up the good work and thanks for hanging in there with me and my journey.

I look forward in continuing writing for you.

 

 

Self Discovery

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Self discovery is hard work and slow to see results. Self discovery is a process of getting insight into one owns character.

Self discovery can be exciting, tedious, frustrating, scary, exhilarating, with lots of ups and downs.

Self discovery is the path to find yourself, not in a cliché way, but a deep tender way with lots of curiosity, compassion, non judgement and self-care.

Self discovery is finding out how you personally feel about your life, beliefs, and so on without blindly following others.

The only risk is in what you believe, your false beliefs with die a natural death.

How do you know you are making progress.

In a very organic way you will change your understanding of yourself and surroundings. You will know without a doubt what is right for you without the influence of others opinions. You will get stronger in your convictions.

You will be mindful, ask lots of questions, find your purpose, figure out your core beliefs, surround yourself with people who support you, examine your childhood and listen more than speak.

Will this journey be quick, Nope, self discovery is a long-term self-care action, there is no end destination, there is only progress and personal growth.

Start slow, and be watchful of how you feel, if you are searching and seeking answers you will find them in the very powerful journey of self discovery.

Happiness

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I write a lot about looking for the negative aspects of mental health. Today I was reminded about happiness.

Happiness seems elusive but if we can balance our view, happiness is there and directly parallel to negativity.

For example, my car engine exploded, I got a newer and better car.

My sunglasses fell apart, so I borrowed my daughters so I could drive.

A family member died and I was reminded about how loved and supported I am.

I got an infection in my tooth and got antibiotics, I cared for myself and took back my health.

These simple occurrences can be the ones that are the most annoying and have us lose sight of the good parts.

Take a moment to reflect how an annoying situation turned out right.

Grounding And Unsettled Thinking

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To ground oneself in an effort to gain healthy mental health is very necessary. It’s not easy because we get caught up stuck in our heads, thinking too much.

Grounding helps us to calm down our minds so we can get clarity. Grounding facilitates that emotional release we need to heal ourselves.

We can’t heal ourselves from unsettled thinking through a cerebral process. It doesn’t work that way. Our unexpressed emotions and unexpressed truths will consume us until they are looked at and this is where grounding comes in.

Here are a few examples of grounding that worked for me:

  1. focusing on the breath gradually working up to about 2 minutes.
  2. paying attention to what you are thinking and write it down.
  3. coming back to the present moment, what are you doing at that moment.
  4. meditation, quiet time, reflection.
  5. do artwork, draw, paint, doodle, sew, knit, woodwork any kind of crafts.
  6. write, even if it is a word, or sentence, write what you hear, write from the heart.
  7. listen to music, any music that you like.
  8. take a walk, breath in deep, look at nature, go to the ocean.
  9. take a different action, redirect your actions.
  10. exercise, any exercise is better than none.

Grounding is an important part of getting in touch with your body where a lot of negativity, hidden memories, and confusion  is stored.

Our mind needs grounding for clarity and our bodies need grounding to get rid of stored negativity, hidden memories and confusion that it holds.

By practicing grounding on a regular basis, even once a week reaps great benefit and help change your thinking by changing your emotional life for the better.

 

Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries Don’t Leave Home Without Them

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Boundaries are powerful.

We all have experienced someone whether in our personal lives or work life who just does not know the meaning of personal space and minding their own business. Wasting your precious time and resources. We have to learn skills for handling such situations.

  1. know when to say yes, know when to say no and mean it. No point in being wishy-washy.
  2. know that boundaries keep you mentally and emotionally safe.
  3. know that boundaries are a big part of your well-being.
  4. physical, intellectual, emotional, sexual, material and time are all subject to boundaries.

There are soft boundaries, rigid boundaries, boundaries somewhere in the middle that are very flexible. We all have a mix of these types of boundaries. A soft boundary may be for a child, a rigid boundary may be for your job, the middle flexible boundary may be for your family. No matter who we interact with boundaries will look different.

You may think setting boundaries is selfish, it is not selfish, boundaries are an important part of healthy mental health and happy well-being. If someone gets upset with you setting a boundary, it’s their problem, not yours, stick to the boundaries that keep you safe.

We must abide by others boundaries too. Boundaries are a two-way street. Boundaries cause us to feel more in control of our lives and that is very important in feeling a whole lot less fearful.

If you are not used to making boundaries then take it slow, a change like this does not happen immediately.

You are worth the effort, keep trying, and figure out a way to set healthy boundaries.

 

Narcissism

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There’s so much information about narcissism out there. You can google narcissism and the information is overwhelming.

I can tell you from personal experience that the longer you keep a narcissistic person in your life the worse your life will get. Don’t be the bigger person because the narcissist really doesn’t care. They enjoy hurting and damaging other humans and even animals. It doesn’t matter how the narcissist became that way and besides it is not your responsibility to figure it out. The responsibility is on them.  Most of the time the narcissist never changes because they do not have any awareness of their own destructive behavior and not any interest in self-awareness.

Here are some red flags that are attributable to being a narcissist:

  1. they take advantage of others
  2. feels superior to just about everyone
  3. needs constant praise and if you don’t they will try to destroy you
  4. your needs don’t matter
  5. envious
  6. arrogant
  7. cares only about themselves
  8. very destructive to you and not caring at all

These are just a few red flags, but if this kind of behavior is consistent there’s a good chance you are dealing with a narcissist. Feel free to research the subject for more information.

My advice to you, and I can tell you from experience, that it is best you leave to protect yourself. It is not likely they will change. It’s best you go on to have a better life.