Tag Archives: inspiration

Get Clear on Why You Care So Much


One way to learn to stop caring so much about irrelevant issues and thoughts of others is to dig in deep and study yourself in a new way to get to the bottom of the reasons you care so much. Three ways help you get clear on why you care so much that you can use.

Journaling 

You can use your computer, buy a specialized journal, or you can simply use a notebook you have created to journal. It’s up to you what type of system you use and whether it’s modern or analog. The important part is that you try to use your journal to express your thoughts, emotions, and stream of consciousness about a problem you’re trying to solve or a feeling you’re trying to explore without judgment or censoring.  Write in your journal every day when you’re trying to understand why you care so much. You may end up discovering your life purpose or a new reason for getting up each day, one you had not realized before. 

Meditation 

Before you use your journal, it can help to clear your mind using meditation. Meditation practice is all about not thinking and not judging your thoughts or feelings even as they still happen during the meditation.  Each time you meditate, you can have a purpose of self-discovery, or goal to clear your mind and relax.  To practice this type of meditation, you’ll want to find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lay down. Concentrate on your goals for the meditation, close your eyes, and start focusing on your breathing.  Think about the situation you’re trying to understand for a moment, then clear your mind. If any intrusive thoughts come in, brush them aside by refocusing on your breathing. You mustn’t allow any outside information or sensation to distract you during this time.  Many You Tube videos offer instructions and help.

Therapy 

Today, we are fortunate to be able to access psychological therapy from the comfort of our homes using your computer or smartphone. Numerous companies offer this service and varying price points. In addition, many insurance companies include several sessions as part of your benefits.  If you seek therapy, make sure you find someone experienced working with you on overcoming people-pleasing and putting yourself last in life. Remember, your wants and needs matter too. Most therapists can guide you through the self-discovery process, to finally know what you want, regardless of what others think

Any or all three of these methods, help you become crystal clear regarding your motivations to seek approval from others and even help you stop doing it. Remember, what you want from life is important too, and following someone else’s dreams will never get you what you want and, more importantly, content in your life. 

Wishing You Well,
Juan

What You Need to Know About Health Anxiety


When you’re living through a pandemic, it’s natural to pay more attention to any symptoms that seem suspicious. However, if these concerns are interfering with the quality of your life, you may be experiencing health anxiety.

That’s the modern name for what used to be called hypochondria. It often starts in early adulthood and grows more serious as you age. You may be convinced that you have one or more major illnesses, even if lab tests and other evidence prove otherwise. Health anxiety varies in intensity. You may be able to put your mind at rest with some effort on your own, or you may need to seek professional care. Try this guide for understanding your options.

Medical Care for Health Anxiety:

  1. Consider counseling. Health anxiety is often connected to other disorders, including other forms of anxiety. You may benefit from cognitive behavior therapy or similar methods that can help you address your overall well being.
  2. Take medication. Talk therapy may be enough, or your doctor may prescribe drugs. That could include antidepressants and anxiolytics that reduce anxiety.
  3. Communicate clearly. If you tend to exaggerate your symptoms, it may be difficult for your doctor to assess your condition. Keeping a journal may help, or you could ask a spouse or partner you live with to share their observations.
  4. Explore family history. You may be more prone to health anxiety, if you or a family member had a serious illness while you were growing up. Let your doctor know if this could be a factor.
  5. Seek appropriate care. While many patients with health anxiety spend too much time at the doctor’s office, others go the other extreme. If you’re afraid of finding out you have an illness, keep in mind that early diagnosis can often give you the best possible outcome.

Self Care for Health Anxiety:

  1. Educate yourself. Maybe you perceive ordinary experiences as being more dangerous than they really are. Learning about common minor ailments could help you keep things in perspective, when you have a headache or an upset stomach.
  2. Limit online searches. On the other hand, maybe you’re overwhelmed from reading too many medical sites. Take a break and find other pastimes. Like you, I have Googled my symptoms when I felt unwell, and convinced myself it was time to get my affairs in order.
  3. Help others. Shifting the focus away from yourself is one of the most effective and constructive distractions. Volunteer at a food bank or animal shelter in your area. Start a community garden in your neighborhood. Find a cause you can get behind.
  4. Manage stress. Chronic tension can aggravate any condition, including anxiety. Try to think positive. Experiment with relaxation techniques to find what works for you. Listen to music, or book a massage.
  5. Be active. Do you avoid doing things you used to enjoy because you think you’re not strong enough? Encouraging yourself to stay engaged could lift your spirits and help you to be more realistic about your abilities.
  6. Sleep well. Anxiety interferes with sleep, and sleep deprivation leaves you feeling out of sorts. Make it a priority to stick to a consistent bedtime that gives you 7 to 8 hours of rest each night. Limit alcohol and caffeine, especially later in the evening.
  7. Breathe deeply. For fast relief, practice breathing exercises that can calm you down or give you energy.
  8. Build support. Let your family and friends know how they can help you. Talking with someone you trust may help you deal with emotional issues that could be contributing to your health anxiety.

If you think you or a loved one may be troubled by excessive and irrational health concerns, talk with your doctor. An effective treatment plan can help you to take care of your mental and physical wellbeing and enjoy life more.  The next three posts will offer ways and tips to help family members with anxiety. Look forward to having you.

To Your Success,
Juan

 

Anxiety and Fear are Cousins


Welcome Back,

Pleased to have you. Thanks for stopping by!

Do you feel anxious before a medical/dental visit, or starting something new? Full disclosure; I get very anxious years in the Dentist office. I crumble into a million little pieces. I am constantly amazed at how quickly it happens! I start sweating profusely. My bladder starts filling up again, doesn’t matter if I went minutes ago. My body is wound so tightly, I have to force myself to relax. Recently, the Dentist finally suggested I take Valium. My PCP agreed.

Have you gotten the jitters before speaking in front of a large group, or sweaty palms when thinking about the future? These are common reactions, when faced with something that’s scary or unfamiliar, and it doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong. However, some people suffer from a more severe form of anxiety, that causes more serious physical symptoms. To better understand if your anxious feelings could be a sign of an anxiety, or panic disorder, let’s do a deep dive:

1. If your heart is racing, and you can’t breathe correctly, this can be a symptom of anxiety that is severe, enough to get professional help.


2. Some people have uncontrollable fears of things like crowded places, driving, or germs that cause complete avoidance of places or situations.


3. The consistent inability to concentrate can be a symptom of anxiety. This must be consistent behavior, not just on those occasions when you lack sleep, brought on by hunger, for instance.


4. Nervous behaviors, such as walking around the same area, over and over again, or twitching your fingers or toes repetitively, can be another indicator.


5. A feeling of doom that something will happen to you, such as an accident, heart attack, or even death, can be symptoms of an anxiety disorder or panic disorder.


6. Numbness in your hands, fingers, toes, and legs or feeling like you can’t stand are  common.


7. If you have trouble swallowing, or unusual dry mouth episodes, these may be indications of anxiety.


8. Fear of people around you, and the desire to be alone, are feelings many anxiety sufferers face.


9. The inability to leave your home, can be a symptom of a severe anxiety or panic disorder.


10. If your normal activities become overwhelming, you could be suffering from anxiety or a panic disorder. More than fifteen years ago, I worked the front desk of an animal clinic. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had a panic attack, later confirmed by EMS personnel. One of the worse experiences of my life. My Doctor surmised, it was related to working and attending school full-time. 

Certain cultures rarely openly acknowledge mental health issues. More than ever, I hope to reach this demographic. Being born and raised in the Caribbean, I can attest to this.  The good news, is that these symptoms and conditions, are no longer considered taboo in mainstream society. The COVID pandemic, has shed a huge light on the burgeoning mental health crisis.

If you suffer from anxiety, please do not do so in silence. Many mental health clinics, and hospitals offer affordable support, if you’re on a lower or fixed income. Your health insurance can help you get treatment, they cannot reveal your diagnosis to your employer. Medications, meditation, and relaxation techniques are also beneficial. Understanding your condition, can help alleviate the stress and fear caused by panic attacks.  Living life in fear of another panic attack will hold you hostage.  Get the treatment that can put you back on the road to peace, health and happiness. You’ll be glad you did!

If you are experiencing a crisis, and need to speak with someone immediately, please contact the National Suicide and Crisis Hotline, at 1800 273 8255.

Here is a FREE Anxiety Self Test worksheet to help you sort things out.

Up next, surprising facts about anxiety.

To Your Success,
Juan

 

Re$et Your Wealth


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

If you are reading this, you made it through the hand that 2020 dealt us. I am so happy we made it. Happy to be back to blogging after being on a break! Seems like forever. Here are some lessons I learned from last year; have more than one source of income, learn how to properly invest and plan for retirement, and the importance of stop trading my time for money. Towards the end of the year, I began taking concrete steps to become financially independent. I have started my FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement, as I have some catching up to do. 

Perhaps you are already years ahead in the FIRE movement. Keep at it. Maybe you are already retired. Enjoy these precious years, they go by quickly. However, if you are like me, and have no idea where to start, you are in the right place. It all starts with a belief, that you deserve every good thing that could possibly come your way. You must affirm it. Whether you realize it or not, every word you think or speak is an affirmation. Affirmations are declarations, observations if you will, about you and the world around you. The concept seems simple enough until you realize that what you affirm, positive or negative, is what you internalize and make a part of your reality. Suddenly that statement you made last week to friends about how you will never be able to get ahead isn’t so innocuous, right?!

You can change the way money shows up in your life though, simply by using daily positive affirmations. Eventually, these positive thoughts and words will replace the negative self-talk you’ve had for so long. And when that happens, you’ll begin to enjoy wealth in a way you never thought possible. Affirmations work because they replace the ideas and beliefs that you’ve held for years by replacing them with new statements, that define you in every aspect of your life. That is why it’s so important to use positive affirmations in your life, at every opportunity. That’s especially true for the behavior you want to change, or in how you wish to feel about yourself.

When developing a wealth mindset, affirmations become vitally important. Whatever you affirm, becomes your truth regarding money. Negative thoughts and negative talk about your money make for an impoverished you. What are some positive affirmations regarding a wealth mindset that you can use instead? Try saying these things:

  • I practice good habits that will lead me to success.
  • My intellect is sufficient to lead me to untold wealth.
  • I have what I need to live the life that I want.
  • I am a tribe-gatherer who brings together people and resources that will enable me to reach my goals.
  • My actions are positive and designed to increase my wealth daily.
  • I see opportunities where others do not.
  • I deserve the wealth I desire.
  • I am comfortable asking for help from mentors for what I need.
  • I already have everything I need to become wealthy.
  • I find connections and know-how to leverage my resources.

By repeating these phrases every morning when you get up and again in the evening when you go to bed, you create a habit of thinking positively about money. These affirmations become powerful in rewiring your feelings about wealth and money, and will then subconsciously begin to guide you in ways to make these words a reality. Affirmations have a way of making what you say come true. So be careful of your words. Guard your thoughts. Stay positive and make bold statements about yourself and what you’re out to accomplish. Only then will you seize wealth and leave poverty behind.

Where and how do you start taking control of your financial future? There is a plethora of information to go around. Choose FI (financial independence), offers one of the best courses I have seen on the topic, which I strongly recommend. It will change your life! I am not affiliated with the company in any way, but I am part of the worldwide FIRE movement. believe when we commit to helping others grow, it adds to our wealth. It goes without saying, please do not ever compare your journey with anyone else. The important thing is to start where you are!

Millions have taken the course and started on their own path to wealth. The course is completely free to anyone, regardless of where you live.I hope you found this post helpful, if so, feel free to share on social media or leave a comment below with suggestions. Start your journey to financial independence

To Your Success,

Juan

STRONGER THAN YOUR EXCUSE


My first post of the decade Promises, Promises examined the goals we set each year, but sometimes never accomplish. By the time February rolls around, some goals are already a distant memory. My intent over the next several months is to provide additional support and resources, to help your goal setting journey. It’s never too late to start over. Let’s begin goal setting!
Too many people resolve to lose weight, but never actually have a plan in place. Therefore, year after year, they make the same New Year’s resolution, because their goal was never achieved. Has this happened to you? How can you change this relentless pattern? It might come as no surprise you are frustrated because you never seem to get it right. Not from a lack of trying either. Creating and following a goal-setting system, is crucial to success.

It’s important when setting goals to follow the S.M.A.R.T. goal system. This system will help you accomplish what you set out to do in a timely fashion.
Specific. Be explicit in what you want. Write down a specific number of pounds that you would like to lose.
Measurable. Weigh yourself every week and take note of your weight change, either up or down. Keep track of this in a journal.
Attainable. Small goals that lead up to a larger goal are often easier to reach. The success of reaching these small goals will keep you motivated.
Realistic. Understand what your body is capable of doing and set your goals accordingly.
Timely. Keep your goal in focus by setting a completion date.

Consider the following weight loss tips, if this is one of your resolutions:
1. Have a plan of action. How much weight do you want to lose? Break your total down into a series of smaller attainable goals. For example, plan to lose _ pounds by _ (date). Make these goals realistic, and then follow a plan of diet and exercise to achieve them.
⦁ Your plan may require changes in your lifestyle. Work these changes into your daily routines one-by-one to attain your goals.
⦁ Write your goals down in a journal, and review them every day.
2. Change your diet. Figure out how many calories you’ve been consuming each day. If it’s over the recommended daily allowance, gradually decrease the number of calories instead of immediately dropping to the desired number. Eventually, you’ll reach your goal without being severely deprived.
⦁ Reducing your daily calorie intake will require healthy eating choices. Consult your physician for recommended nutritional guides, and choose the one that works best for you.
⦁ There are online programs and apps (my fitness pal, better me etc) which calculate your calorie and fat intake. All you do is write in your food choices. Use whatever tools you need to simplify your tasks, and stay motivated to reach your goals.
3. Get off the Couch. Set a reasonable exercise schedule to help you with your weight loss goal. Design your exercise regimen to target the areas that need the most toning (i.e. thighs, abs, arms, buttocks, etc.).
⦁ Keep your exercise goals realistic. Start small, and then increase your regimen. For example, running 5 miles every day will burn off a lot of calories, but it may not be feasible. First try walking to build up some stamina and then add running, little by little.
⦁ Setting goals that are too far from your normal activities, will quickly wear you out and discourage you. Start small and build on each success. Increase your exercise time (or treadmill speed, or incline, etc.) by a small increment each week.
⦁ Exercising a little bit each day will increase energy, and help you become healthier. You don’t need a gym membership or expensive exercise equipment either. Walk or run around your neighborhood, or use canned foods instead of weights. You can even borrow exercise DVDs from the library.
4. Make friends. The people who are usually the most successful in losing weight and keeping it off, are the ones who have a great support system. Nothing deters you, like knowing you’re accountable to others for every bite.
⦁ Your support team will encourage, serve as workout partners,, and bring inspire confidence in tough times.
⦁ Some people find it helpful to join a local weight loss support, or online weight loss group. Celebrating your weight loss successes with others will make them that much more meaningful. There is strength in numbers.

Losing weight is possible for anyone who approaches the challenge wisely. With some careful planning and determination, your weight loss goal can certainly become a reality in this Year. As with every article about diet and exercise, always consult your healthcare professional.

Until the next post,
Best,
Juan

 

About Last Year


Consider how many mistakes we make each year. Mistakes are inevitable, and a necessary part of our learning and evolution. Now, imagine if we could learn from them and avoid repeating them. It’s not just our mistakes, but all the things we tried that didn’t work, and the things we saw other people try that didn’t work. Fortunately for us, more than a few things did work out. All of this knowledge can be applied to this coming year. After doing this for several years, our lives would be pretty spectacular! Since you’re learning so much each year, why not put it to good use? Unfortunately, we don’t change our behaviors very much from year to year. Commit to making this year different.

Apply the lessons of the past to the future

Review the lessons this year has taught you. What did you learn, both positive and negative? What mistakes did you make? What were your biggest wins? Now, consider your family and closest friends. What challenges did they face? What were there successes? What can you learn from them? Do you see a pattern in any of your mistakes? Many of our challenges are caused by making the same mistakes year after year. How can you apply the lessons?

  • Take the best and the worst from your past and learn from them. Make use of that information to enhance your life.
  • Find alternatives to your least effective actions. Maybe you procrastinate too much or consistently show up to work late. What are the changes you want to make in the coming year?
  • Identify those behaviors that support your success. Perhaps you made your spouse feel loved and lost 25 pounds. Those are behaviors that you might want to repeat.
  • Create new habits. Choose habits that will counteract your less-effective behaviors and ensure your positive behaviors occur more frequently. Consider these examples:
    • Procrastination: Take immediate action when you know something needs to be done. Remind yourself of the pain and frustration procrastination has caused in the past, and imagine how amazing it will feel to complete the task.
    • Late to work: Place your alarm on the other side of the room so you’re forced to get out of bed. Choose your clothes the night before. Commit to leaving the house in plenty of time.
    • Spouse: Spend 15 minutes each day doing something nice for your spouse. Remind yourself of what you love about them.
    • Lose 15 lbs: Continue making healthy food choices and working out three times each week.
  • Monitor yourself. If you’re not careful, you’ll quickly slip back into your old patterns of behavior. Change is challenging, and you can expect to face a lot of internal resistance. Avoid being too hard on yourself when you slip. Just vow to redouble your efforts going forward!
  • Celebrate your successes. When you apply what you’ve learned from last year, you can expect some great things to happen. Appreciate them and be proud of yourself. This is the best way to ensure good things keep happening.
  • Reinforce behaviors by feeling good about yourself. You’ve faced some tough times in the past. Take advantage of those challenges! You’ve had some good times, too. Repeat them in the future. Your past is the key to your future. Take what you’ve learned and leverage that experience going forward. It would be a shame to repeat your mistakes in the future.

You can have the best year of your life, but not if you fail to learn from your past experiences. Your results have lessons to teach. Are you paying attention? I hope you found these suggestions most helpful and will find ways to integrate the suggestions into daily living.

Starting soon, I plan on switching things up a bit; focus on one topic each month, post more often, and provide helpful downloads, worksheets, and reports.

Until the next post, Happy New Year to you and yours!

Best,

Juan