Tag Archives: Mental health

Get Back In The Driver’s Seat


Is your life out of balance? From time to time, our lives can feel out of control. You spend too much time focussed on work, and your family life suffers. Or you spend too much money on your social life, and your finances suffer. Maybe you’re running yourself ragged and your health is taking a back seat. If this sounds like you, then I hope the following tips help!

Regain balance in your life with these strategies:

  1. Identify the different parts of your life. If you were going to divide your life into columns, what would the column headings be? For most of us, they would include family, work, health, finances, and social life. You might have additional categories such as music, spirituality, and volunteering.
  2. Start with your health. Is your health negatively impacted by your lifestyle? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating properly? How much exercise are you getting each day? Have you been to the doctor lately? How is your bodyweight? What can you do to improve your health?
  3. Evaluate your family life. Does your family only get attention when you have time left over from your other obligations? Are you spending enough time with your partner and children? What do each of them need right now? How can you provide it to them? How can you enrich your relationship with your family?
  4. Is your social life getting too much attention or not enough? Have you lost track of your friends? Is your family upset that you’re spending too much time socializing? Or maybe your overactive social life is causing challenges in other areas of your life. Consider what changes would help balance out your social life.
  5. Take a look at your values and priorities. What is most important to you? You can’t have it all unless your wants are quite limited. Make a list of your values and priorities. Alter your life to emphasize those things.
  6. Where are you wasting time? Perhaps you can bring your life back into balance by freeing up more time for what’s most important to you. First, identify how you’re wasting time and eliminate or minimize those activities.
  7. Learn to say “no”. There’s not enough time in the day to say “yes” to everything that crosses your path. This goes back to your priorities. One of the most effective ways to regain balance in your life is to eliminate the unnecessary. What can you live without? What will you be glad to get off your plate?
  8. Be grateful for what you have. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be easy to see the dark side of things. Remind yourself of how much you have in your life already. With a positive outlook, you’ll have a better chance of making progress. Begin each day with a grateful heart, try gratitude meditation, works wonders.
  9. Make a plan. Once you have a few ideas, make a plan on how you intend to put them into practice. Avoid the mistake of believing that identifying the cure is a cure in itself. It’s necessary to take action.

Everything gets out of balance once in awhile, including your life. The key is recognizing the challenge you face and setting priorities. Eliminate those things that don’t add value to your life so you have more time for the things that do. Take control of your life and create a life that truly fulfills you.

Here is a simple, free. Defining-Your-Life-Purpose-Goals-Worksheet-IV to kick things off. 

To Your Success,

Juan

Strategies For Putting Yourself First


Below are some healthy ways to help you develop the habit, without burning bridges or negatively affecting your energy, enthusiasm, and motivation. These tips will help you achieve your goals, protect your mental and physical wellbeing, and overcome even your biggest challenges. Bear in mind, if you do have to burn some bridges, don’t dally, just get on with life, and know you are doing what is best for your future self.

Choose Your Purpose: Having a clear purpose is essential. It is the simplest, most basic thing every person needs to live a fulfilling and satisfying life. Without a purpose, you will end up living your life haphazardly. Your purpose also makes it easier for you to say ‘No’ to people and things that do not align with your highest good. Living it helps you identify what you need to do and when. Consciously reaffirming your purpose regularly multiplies your efforts of taking action.

Live by a Vision: Putting yourself first also requires that you develop a clear vision of the life you want to lead. A vision keeps you focused on the journey, and will allow you to effectively prioritize your tasks and projects as the important things will align with your purpose and vision of your ultimate life. To get clear about your vision, start by reflecting on these three questions: Who do I want to be? What do I want to do? How do you want to feel? If you are unsure about your vision, ruminating on these questions will assist you in getting clear. 

 Set Personal Goals and Plan: wise way to ensure your vision becomes a reality. Goals make the realization of your vision much more achievable, will keep you motivated and focused on what you want out of life. After taking the time to set your goals, set aside regular time to plan how you will achieve them.

 Learn New Skills: As you draw up your goals and develop your vision, you may find you need to learn new skills to make your ideal life a reality. Take some time to identify those areas that you may be lacking. Then take proactive steps to bridge the gap between your present level and your desired level.

Set Personal Boundaries: skill you need to master when learning how to put yourself first, because you will need it a lot on every step of your journey. That is especially true if you tend to be a people-pleaser. Others are used to you backing down and giving them what you want, so you’ll need to stay strong. Look them in the eye and kindly say, “No, thank you.” Even when they try to convince you to think otherwise, practice sticking to your decision by not get pressured into consenting. Setting personal boundaries is a vital skill because it enables you to defend your time and your rights which is an essential component of putting yourself first.

Get Active: Putting yourself first isn’t only about goal setting and getting ahead. It’s also about taking the time for self-care. After all, if you don’t take care of your health, you’ll be unable to live your purpose or fulfill your life’s vision. Put yourself and your health first by starting a program of regular exercise as soon as possible if you aren’t already doing so. Engaging in a brisk daily walk is all that’s needed to improve and maintain your health.

Eat Healthy: A healthy diet is equally as important as your body’s need to exercise. Eating a nutritious diet is a huge part of taking care of your health and putting yourself first. If your diet needs a major overhaul, take it one step at a time and work your way up to your ideal diet. Remember, putting yourself first is about being kind to yourself.

Get enough rest: Getting sufficient sleep is another essential component of putting yourself first. It is also necessary for boosting your performance and replenishing your energy. By getting enough sleep, you will be better equipped to face the hurdles of the new day with greater confidence, energy, and enthusiasm. Never allow anyone or anything come between you and the need to get enough sleep.

Schedule Relaxation: Sometimes you may be lacking the energy you need to live your ultimate life. Rather than trying to push through such times, it is better to maximize your relaxation and recovery. You can engage in activities that will help reduce fatigue and replenish your energy, such as meditation, yoga, massage, or a quick nap. If you find you run low on energy and motivation on a regular basis, start scheduling relaxation or downtime into your day. A consistent relaxation routine will keep you on more of an even-keel, so you don’t burn out.

Journal : Apparently, you have 60,000 or more thoughts per day. When you feel you have a lot to do and you are overwhelmed with too many ideas, journaling will help clear your head, can lead to better self-awareness, which is the foundation of putting yourself first. You can journal any way you wish—with paper and pen or by using an app. You might choose to journal every day or only when you feel overwhelmed or unsettled. Whatever works for you is perfect.

Practice Gratitude: Take some time each day to reflect on the positives in your life. It’s easy to focus on the things we’d like to change and neglect to be appreciative for all we have. It is very important to have a realistic perspective on your life and identify the positives for the sake of your health and wellbeing. As you find the time to write down and reflect on all the things you are grateful for each day, you will reduce your stress levels and naturally find more and more to be grateful for in your life.

Putting yourself first is something you must make a conscious effort to do. You must fill your cup first, or you will end up with nothing left to give.  Be prepared for pushback, as this new way of living might not sit well with those in your circle, who take, take, and take. Stand your ground, in a few months, you won’t recognize the person staring back at you in the mirror!

To Your Success,
Juan

 

Things You Likely Didn’t Know About The Types Of PTSD


Welcome back!

Although major symptoms are similar across the board, there are different types of PTSD. Depending on type, symptoms may be more severe or long-lasting, or they may require different types of therapeutic treatments. Given how detailed my last two posts concerning the subject matter might be, don’t be afraid to take it all in small, bite sized pieces.

COMPLEX PTSD
PTSD may have become more familiar to the common person, but there is a lesser-known variation of PTSD called complex PTSD (c-PTSD). The traditional form of PTSD may emerge after a single traumatic event. An example may be a life-threatening car crash. A person who lived through a car crash may find themselves afraid of driving, avoid getting in the car or driving in traffic, and have other symptoms associated with PTSD.

C-PTSD, on the other hand, is the result of repeated or ongoing traumatic events. Those who develop c-PTSD may have suffered ongoing childhood abuse, neglect, or repeatedly witnessed violence acted out on someone else.  C-PTSD is more often associated with people who experience trauma in their childhood. It affects development, since they’re exposed to trauma during a highly developmental time in their life. This term is not in the DSM-5, but it is a term that mental health workers use to help describe the difference between someone who has experienced a single traumatic event, and one that has experienced chronic trauma, especially in childhood. 

Symptoms of c-PTSD are similar to PTSD, but they also include additional behavioral differences:

  • Negative self-view. Those with c-PTSD may think very poorly of themselves or may carry ongoing feelings of guilt, shame, and helplessness.
  • Trouble controlling or regulating emotions. An explosive temper, given easily to sadness, or even have feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts.
  • Difficulty developing or maintaining relationships. Trouble trusting others and will avoid starting relationships.
  • Dissociative symptoms. Disconnected thoughts, memories, actions, difficulty concentrating, and identity.  Some develop alternative identities. It’s a brain’s defense mechanism that tries to escape reality. Some people may also suffer from amnesia. Therapy can help people diagnosed with c-PTSD, but it’s usually a longer process and takes more effort from a therapist and patient to undo the damage done in childhood.

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS
PTS or Post Traumatic Stress is actually not a type of PTSD, but it could be a precursor for it.  Those with PTS experience many of the same symptoms as PTSD such as avoidance or nightmares. The difference is that those who suffer from PTS experience those symptoms with less severity and for a shorter period of time. People with PTSD will continue showing those symptoms for longer periods of time and with greater intensity. 

According to Dr. James Bender of the Deployment Health Clinical Center: PTS is a common, normal, and often adaptive response to experiencing a traumatic or stressful event. Common occurrences, like car accidents, can trigger PTS as well as more unusual events like military combat or kidnapping. Almost everyone who experiences a scary situation will show at least a few signs of post-traumatic stress. Symptoms from PTS will subside after a few days and they won’t interfere with a person’s life in any meaningful way. The traumatic event may make them more careful in the future, but it won’t stop them from living their life normally.

COMORBID PTSD
Those with comorbid PTSD are people who have both PTSD and another mental disorder. In this case, someone may have PTSD and depression, or PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety, depression, and substance abuse are the most common types of comorbidity with PTSD. It’s estimated that as much as 80% of people with PTSD have another co-occurring psychiatric disability.

Thanks for being here! Your readership of my blog is much appreciated, and I hope it has been a learning experience thus far. PTSD sufferers often exhibit risky behaviors, which often affects their relationships-the focus of the next post.

Hope to have you!

To Your Success,
Juan

Fight Depression With Exercise


Is turning to therapy and medication the most effective solution for fighting depression? Studies are beginning to show, you can fight depression at home with a change in your activity level. It’s true! Physical activity can have a profound impact on your ability to overcome what ails you. If you’re feeling depressed, it might be time to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. Exercise comes in many different forms, find a regimen that fits you. 

Try these effective strategies to fight depression with exercise:

  1. Experience the runner’s high. Following a good workout, your body will experience what is known as a runner’s high, which results from an endorphin surge. The temporary mood lift this surge provides, can be beneficial in reducing depression on a short-term basis.
  • When you’re feeling tense, overwhelmed, or down in general, seek a temporary pick me up in the form of a workout. Go for a short walk, hop on a treadmill or elliptical, or ride your bicycle. Yoga, Pilates, and strength training workouts can provide you with a boost of endorphins.
  • Working out for at least 30 minutes to combat symptoms of depression, can also provide you with a boost in energy and concentration, which can reduce some of the negative feelings associated with depression. 
  1. Improve your overall well being. Strength training is a great way to improve your health and well being, which can reduce symptoms of depression. Lifting dumbbells, for example, can build long, lean muscle, which improves metabolism and builds a stronger and healthier body.
  • While strength training may not directly impact your depression symptoms, its ability to improve your health, can have long-term effects on your overall well being 
  1. Exercise daily. Exercise at least 30 minutes each day (or as often as you can), six days per week. According to the Journal of Preventive Medicine, several weeks after you establish this regular exercise routine, you’ll begin to feel relief of your depression symptoms on a more consistent basis. 
  1. Replace medications with exercise. The Journal of Preventive Medicine recently featured a study of patients with depression who worked out for at least 3 hours per week. This study found that the remission of these patients’ symptoms, was comparable to cognitive behavioral therapies, and medication treatments. You should never replace medications without approval from your medical provider
  • While exercise may not be able to completely replace your need for other treatment options, it can benefit your mental well being in many ways, making it an excellent way to balance the therapies that you rely on for relief.
  • If you’re currently in treatment or taking medication, discuss any changes in therapy or medications with your doctor before you change them.
  1. Develop a routine. Developing a regular routine for exercise can have numerous benefits. Not only will it combat your depression, having a routine to look forward to can boost your spirits, and ward off the overwhelming feelings of depression.

The Bottom Line
Depression can negatively impact your life in many ways. Experiment with different therapy and treatment options to get the help you need. Exercise is a great way to reduce the symptoms. Helping to clear your mind and improve your energy, while also giving you a general sense of well being.

If you don’t already have a regular exercise regimen and you’re suffering from depression, then this is a treatment option that is well worth considering. It may work well in conjunction with current treatment options or it may replace those treatment options altogether. Please consult with your physician to learn more.

To Your Success,
Juan

Develop The Growth Habit Mindset


Readers,

Have you ever considered the flip-side of all that, by building a habit that’s positive? What if the habit you formed was one of growth and personal development? Having a growth mindset positively impacts your life. What are the benefits of developing a growth mindset? Why put yourself through so many cathartic changes? Below is my take:

1. You keep learning. Learning is important as you not only discover new ways to do things, but by making it a practice, you develop new ways of thinking, and ideas. Learning connects you with more of the world and helps you see things with a deeper significance than you ever thought possible. But more than that, people who stop learning, very quickly stagnate. Studies have shown that the practice of learning new things when you are older helps ward off problems related to dementia. In short, learning is good for your brain!

2. You learn perseverance. As we learn new things, we adapt and change how we think. That gives us the ability to see other solutions to problems, that would have frustrated us in the past. By challenging yourself to grow, you learn how to push through obstacles and forge new paths.

3. You embrace challenges. Growth can be challenging. But by pushing yourself, you’re able to look at challenges differently. An obstacle now becomes an opportunity to learn something new, and to do things in a way you haven’t before. 

4. You embrace failure. When you’re interested in growing as an individual, you start to see failure differently. Everything becomes a potential lesson in a way that you didn’t think would work. 

5. You become more open to criticism. By being willing to grow, you start to see that the input of other people has significance. You see their words not so much as something negative, but one you can use to develop as a person, and learn something about yourself. You might not always like the lesson, but that’s part of growing too.

By embracing personal growth, you find the best version of yourself. You have the opportunity to become more than you ever thought possible. And the best part? Finding out you can become more still, and that the furthest edges of yourself are far beyond what you thought you ever could be. 

Mind & Body


Did you make a resolution to improve your health, and you are  unsure which of your priorities is most important in the New Year? Do you have plenty of dreams for the future, but not many concrete plans? 

I have curated a list of 15 resolutions you can make right now, to improve your physical and mental well being during the next 12 months and beyond. Comment below if you found them helpful.

Simple Resolutions to Improve Your Physical Health

  1. Eat right. Focus on adopting healthy eating habits rather than resorting to crash diets. Learn to eat more slowly and reduce your portion sizes.  Eat a variety of foods with plenty of complex carbohydrates, fresh vegetables and fruits. Add in some lean proteins and healthy fats to complete your meals.
  2. Exercise daily or as your schedule permits. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every day. Round that out with training for strength and flexibility. Find a variety of activities that you enjoy, like brisk walks and biking. Get an exercise ball or treadmill that you can use at home on busy days or when the weather outside is unpleasant.
  3. Get adequate rest and sleep. Insufficient sleep can make you more vulnerable to weight gain and many illnesses. Different individuals need different amounts of sleep, but the conventional eight hours is a good rule for most people. If you constantly feel drowsy, try going to bed earlier.
  4. Take care of your bones. Almost half of all women over 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture. Men can be at risk too. Eat plenty of foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Get some sunshine and lift weights or do other resistance training.
  5. Practice good posture. Strong abdominal muscles will protect your back from injury and help you look younger. Get used to pressing your navel towards your lower back and keeping your shoulders relaxed. Breathe from your abdomen rather than your chest.
  6. Quit smoking. You probably already know all the dangers of smoking, including lung cancer and premature aging. Many people make several attempts before quitting for good so be open to various cessation methods. Your doctor may be able to help you find the right plan for you.
  7. Drink alcohol in moderation. Some people may need to avoid alcohol all together. Others can stay safe within the general limits of one drink a day for women and two for men. Avoid alcohol before bed so you get good quality sleep.
  8.  See your doctor. Regular checkups enable early treatment to keep small health issues from growing worse. If you can’t afford health insurance, you may be able to get some free or inexpensive screenings at local pharmacies and health fairs.

Resolutions to Improve Your Mental Health

  1. Manage stress. Keeping stress under control lets you enjoy life more. Set aside time each day for meditation or listening to soothing music.
  2. Build healthy relationships. Develop a strong network of support. Communicate openly and with respect.
  3. Monitor your thoughts. Think positive. Divert your attention away from nonproductive worrying by brainstorming creative solutions to challenging situations.
  4. Practice positive self talk. Be a good friend to yourself. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments.
  5. Be compassionate. Show compassion to yourself and others. Be aware of the suffering in the world and look for ways to alleviate it.
  6. Engage in lifelong learning. Keep your mind sharp by giving it constant challenges. Take adult education classes or listen to foreign language tapes.
  7. Consider counseling. It’s wise and courageous to ask for help when you need it. Professional counseling or spiritual practices may help you bounce back from unfortunate events like divorce or unemployment. They can be useful for smaller things, too, like if you’ve just had a rough week.

While many New Year’s resolutions get discarded faster than the dried out Christmas tree, there are ways to make them stick. Set specific goals that are meaningful and attainable for you. Improving your physical and mental health is a great gift for yourself and your whole family.

To Your Success,

Juan

Dealing With Anxiety In Turbulent Times


 

Dear Readers,
How are you keeping during these turbulent times?! Parents with children being homeschooled, it’s even more difficult to balance work and home life. My followers diagnosed with PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, etc, have you found it even more difficult to combat the triggers of your mental illness? Many of you are divorced, separated, with no children at home, how do you spend your time? There are so many questions!

Yes, these are very uncertain times. Uncertainty rules the day, and the unknown is more distressing than anything else. Two months ago, our lives changed, dramatically. I live in NYC, the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States. I was stunned by the level of death and destruction around me. After experiencing multiple symptoms for almost a month, I was finally able to get tested. Negative! I am fortunate, I know, and I hope the result is true. I was told to “power through my symptoms” some of which still persist today.

Three of my clients were directly impacted by COVID; one lost a mother, another a cousin, and the other was hospitalized for several days. I currently work at home, so for the past month, I have been putting out several fires, which is mostly the reason for my absence here. NYC is made up of strong, tough people.  The 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Sandy, multiple airplane crashes, etc has not weakened the resolve to keep fighting.  I expect us all to come through on the other side. Hundreds continue to die every day, but, the situation has stabilized; field hospitals being taken down, the NAVY Comfort has left, hospitalization rates have decreased, and we are finally “flattening the curve”. 

Six out of seven continents have been affected by COVID-19. Besides the normal day to day hustle, and immense stress of daily living, we now have a pandemic to contend with. Today’s post will hopefully provide support on the panic affecting so many. Anxiety is not necessarily a new phenomenon, however, with all that is happening, it will only exacerbate the issue. We are so connected through the internet, social media, and other outlets, not only are we exposed to the issues in our immediate communities but across the entire globe. Furthermore, with so many working from home, or in some cases, those working on the frontlines, we are expected to juggle growing responsibilities simultaneously and remain productive. Anxiety varies in intensity and frequency, please use the following suggestions, and resources to improve your overall quality of life.

Live In The Moment
The only point in time in which you will EVER exist is right now. Ironically, most of us dedicate the bulk of our mental energy to the past or future. Anxiety often tricks us into replaying past mistakes in our heads over and over and worry about things that have not happened yet. A big part of dealing with anxiety is to live in the moment. This means focusing all of your physical and mental energy on what is going on right now. Not only does this simplify life, but it also allows you to get the most out of your limited time. Trying to deal with your entire past and future on a constant basis makes it virtually impossible to appreciate what is right in front of you. Over the years, Mindfulness and Meditation have helped to turn things around for me and completely changed my life. First I had to know who I am. Pick up a copy of this book Discover My Life’s Purpose. Doing so helped me to remain focused on the present moment. I was no longer worried about where I stood in comparison to others. My path was my own, and it did not matter if others agreed. they don’t have to! Learn how to. You too can learn how to  Enhance Your Life With Mindfulness.

Control What You Can Control
The truth is, many of the issues causing anxiety in your life are beyond your control. This includes global and community issues, as well as problems in your personal life. What you need to realize is that the weight of the world is NOT on your shoulders, even though it can certainly so at times. Anxiety tells you to worry about solving problems that are out of your hands. In reality, focusing on the issues that you actually have the ability to resolve is a much healthier response. Awareness is the key to conquering fear created by the ego, which leads to anxiety. Once you’re aware of how your ego is creating fear and anxiety, then you can observe it, and learn to shape it. You have the power to stop the fear in your mind. It’s important to remember that all the negative scenarios in your head don’t have to happen in real life. They can stay as imaginary issues. They may never materialize or cause you heartache. You can control how you respond to challenges.
Yes, we are tired of Netflix and Chill, homeschooling, puzzles, and games, but there is so much more you can do, being stuck indoors. Learn how to create a family website, make a family movie, coding, create a film festival, go on a virtual field trip, etc. Take a look at this invaluable list I put together, with direct resource links in Ultimate Guide To Indoor Fun

It’s Okay To Not Feel Okay
Another side effect of anxiety is a feeling of isolation and loneliness. People experiencing anxiety on a routine basis, often believe they are the only ones dealing with the issue. Everyone else is much happier, and no one will accept us if they knew the extent of our anxiety. It is so important to realize, this is far from the truth. Everyone around you is experiencing some degree of anxiety and fear of the future. You are far from alone. Don’t feel like you have to go through life acting as if everything is okay when it isn’t. Recognize the feelings, accept them, embrace, and challenge them. Maya Angelou said ” We are more alike, than we are different”

Get Help If You Need It
Finally, if your anxiety is something you are having trouble dealing with on your own, then don’t! There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional help. Ironically, our society welcomes getting help for even minor ailments but shuns the same approach for serious mental issues. Consider this, if you had Pneumonia or another physical illness, you would seek the appropriate doctor for care. Why would you not do the same, if you are suffering from mental health issues, such as anxiety? There is help out there, get it if you need it! I have been blown away by the more than 100k medical and mental health professionals, who came to the aid of New Yorkers!

We can and will get through this. We are better together.

Until Next Week,
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

Foolproof Tactics For Negative Nancies In Your Life


Photo Credit: Mark Adrianne

Recently, a sweet, dear friend reached out to me for advice; how to deal with negative people. I thought about my experiences. Humbled by the trust placed in me, I asked for a little time, to formulate my response. For years, she had dealt with negative nannies, another day or two, won’t make much difference. In my line of work and personal experiences over the years, I had my fair share of dealing with negative energy.

I am sure, you know someone like this.  Since they’re everywhere, it’s important to know how to coexist with them. Negative people can have an impact on your attitude and your day. But that doesn’t have to be the case.  There are ways to mitigate the effect negative people have on you.

Practice these strategies to avoid allowing negative people to negatively impact your life:

  • Understand that you can only control yourself, but you can influence others. You can’t snap your fingers and make the people around you take a more positive view of the world. But you can control yourself and how you choose to react to their negativity.  You might even be able to sway people over to your way of thinking a little bit. Set a good example and be a positive influence on those around you. Accept people for who they are. It’s just easier that way.

  • Be grateful. One way to maintain a positive attitude is to remind yourself of the positive. When you’re feeling run down by the negativity around you, make a quick mental list of the things in your life that you’re thankful for. It will give your mood a quick boost.

  • Remember it’s not about you. Everyone has their challenges and issues. There’s no reason to be upset that someone has a negative attitude. It likely doesn’t have anything to do with you at all. It could be circumstances in their life or their basic nature. Just keep on doing what you’re doing.

  • You have the choice to be positive or negative. You can choose to be affected or not, by the people around you. Focus on yourself and keep your chin up. Take care of your business and let others view the world however they choose.

  • Speak up. Sometimes it can be helpful to tell people to just cut it out. Many people will push until someone calls them on their behavior. Have a frank talk with someone that’s perpetually negative. Maybe they’re not aware of the impact they’re having on others.

  • Spend time with positive people. Recharge your batteries with the positive energy of other positive people. Get away from those negative people and spend time with people full of a positive attitude. It doesn’t take long to recenter yourself when you surround yourself with the right people.

  • Make the most of your time alone. Make the most of the time you have to yourself. Do things you really enjoy doing. Read positive affirmations. Watch feel-good movies. Put your attention on positivity. It can be like armor against negative people.

  • A headphone can be your friend. If the situation permits, put on some headphones or earbuds. What you can’t hear can’t bother you. Consider listening to a positive podcast or music that makes you feel good. If your work situation allows this, it would be silly not to take advantage of it.

  • Stay away. There are plenty of people in your life that are optional. Stay away from negative people that you don’t have to associate with. You have some control over who is part of your life and who is not.

Negative people will drag you down if you let them. Take steps to minimize the impact they have on your life. Practice gratitude each day, and you can maintain a positive perspective. Block negative people out with headphones and stay away from as many negative people as possible.

Negative people are not going anywhere, but you can learn how to deal with them, and still be a positive person. I hope you found these suggestions and tips helpful. Though not a one size fits all approach, like everything else in life, take what you need and leave the rest.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

Who Is Pulling Your Strings?!


Photo: Google Images

 

The Disease To Please

Do you say yes to people and things, when you really wanted to say no? Do you have an irrepressible need to be loved and accepted by everyone? When you are in a conversation, are you bothered and worried about how you are being perceived? Do you agree with actions, opinions, and activities, just to be able to fit in? Do you say “I’m sorry” even when it’s not necessary? Do you go to great lengths to keep the peace and avoid conflicts? Women, in your relationships, do you often find yourself getting the same results from different men? Finally, have you abandoned your truth, and no longer recognize the person in the mirror? My friend, in all likelihood you are a people pleaser!

People pleasers go above and beyond to make everyone happy. You are not alone, there are millions like you, wearing the same ill fitted shoes. You are often anxious, depressed, and overly burdened by the stressful expectations, you have placed on yourself. The problem is very common. Of course, it starts out harmlessly enough in childhood. We are rewarded and complimented when we behave in the manner that is expected of us. Unfortunately, for many, this unquenchable thirst for approval continues into adulthood. Friends, putting others before our own happiness, comes at great costs to our well-being.

There is no one type of people pleaser, they come in all forms. You refuse to end relationships, even remaining friends with an ex, you have no ties to, out of pure guilt. You are that one colleague who always says yes, because you crave the acceptance of everyone in the office. You are single woman who always seems to be baby-sitting her friends’ children. The person who loans money, knowing that you might be short, when rent comes due. Shall I go on? In almost all instances, you find yourself bogged down by guilt, depression, and in the coming years, resentment.

If you are a woman reading this, you are hard-wired, and raised to take care of others. Seeking for approval and love by our deeds. Soon enough, we are known as the “yes woman”, literally killing ourselves, to be everything for everyone.  Women are continually putting the needs of others, well above their own. The reality? We want what no one could give: unconditional love and acceptance. What we fail to realize, is this rarely possible, if at all.

So, how do you take your power back, and free yourself from the “disease to please”?

Consider these five steps:

  1. Is it time to have a genuine, honest, discussion with those in your circle who take, take, take and give nothing in return? Let them know that you are have decided to make changes in your life, and the way you relate to those around you. The people who truly love and care for you, will not take offense, and if they do, it’s time to examine their role and purpose in your life.
  2. The next time someone asks you to do something for them, consider this response “Can I think about it and get back to you?” Give them a time when you will respond their request. Doing so not only gives us space to think about the next step, but to truly evaluate if this is what we want to do.
  3. Let go of the need to be liked by everyone! Remember, not everyone you meet will like you. Your tribe will know you. Stop wasting precious time trying to hold onto relationships that do not serve any purpose in your life. Love, affection, and attention should be freely given. The old saying “You can be the juiciest, ripest peach in the world, and there will still be someone who doesn’t like peaches” applies here. A word of advice, take this a step further and figure out why the need to be liked, is important to you.
  4. Please, let go of the need of having to always explain your actions to someone. For instance, let’s say you’ve come back to the person who made the request, and your answer is no. Keep it simple “Sorry, I’m busy that day” NOT “I would really like to, but I have to be at this thing, that was scheduled months ago…” etc. The word “No” can become a complete sentence, free from explanations and justifications.
  5. Each time you say no to someone, you are saying yes to other activities, opportunities, goals, passions, and dreams, you’ve buried, because you were busy taking care of everyone else. Your life will start to look different. Better yet, you will begin to attract the right type of relationships . Establish boundaries and keep them in place. You will always be enough. If you are too much for them, then they are not enough for you.

Stop sabotaging yourself just to meet the expectations of other. We teach people how to treat us, and what we allow is what will continue. You are not responsible for healing every problem that comes your way!

Make today the day, you begin to live an authentic life.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan