Be Strong and Courageous

Three blue abstract bubbles

Courage: The Road Less Taken

Our automatic response is often, “no, I don’t want to, why should I do that” whenever we’re presented with a new situation, idea or encounter. Why do we shy away from being strong and courageous? This is because we’re comfortable in our bubble; the space where no one can bother us and where we feel in total control. Whenever new ideas pop up, they threaten our bubble by risking inducing uncomfortable feelings, emotions and a general discomfort; we often don’t want to put effort into a situation or person that is not already in our existing bubble.

We all do what I mentioned above, but the question is how do we prevent that? It’s simple on paper but harder in reality: you say no to your bubble and take the opportunity to step out of it. You just have to do it by just saying yes when the opportunity arises. You will feel discomfort and annoyance but the key is to say yes without putting much thought into it. The more you dwell on whether you should do something or not, the higher your chances that your mind will convince you not to do it; your mind loves the bubble.

White husky dog running across wooden bridge

Strong and Courageous: Conclusion

So in other words, sometimes you have to pop the bubble and break yourself free. Relying on others can be hit or miss, but relying on yourself is success if you’re willing to try it. But courage is required from you. Courage is the road less taken because people don’t enjoy taking chances and risks in life. The most successful people are those who take risks. Risks provide you with opportunities you didn’t even know existed; they reward you for being a brave human being who is willing to explore a brave new world. In the end, try being strong and courageous; you’ll feel better doing it.

What is your experience with courage and stepping outside of your comfort zone?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Strong and courageous smiley GIF face

The Psychology of Money

Grey and black knit textile face

Money in the Bank

Our everyday interactions are intertwined with the psychology of money. From the day we discover money as children, we immediately appreciate the power that lies at our fingertips. Whether it’s that yummy cheeseburger at McDonald’s or those candy bars at the local convenience store, we realize that money can bring us immediate happiness; the food or candy provides us with a sugar high and a dopamine rush. Our brain then associates the currency with the awesome feeling, and so we seek to ask our parents for more of it, work for an allowance or get a job as a teenager.

Something changes in adults however; some become very motivated and learn to make handsome amounts of money, while others are lazy and unmotivated and settle for much less than their potential would have afforded them. Why does this happen if most of us appreciated money from a young age? It doesn’t matter where you grew up; even those in urban and poor neighborhoods appreciate the value of a dollar when they see their favorite athletes on television or even drug dealers on their block rolling on 24 inch rims.

Psychology of money

Psychology of Money: Accumulation

Is there a psychology behind accruing larges amounts of money? I believe that there certainly is and that it has a lot to do with drive, belief, vision, motivation and dreams; don’t forget luck. Keep in mind that most of those factors have to be present for one to be successful at obtaining large amounts of money. You can’t just have dreams but not work towards them. You can’t just work hard but not have dreams; otherwise, you’re adopting the role of a robot and you will eventually burn out.

Belief is a very important factor behind the psychology of money; definitely a top 3 factor. Belief is the gasoline in the engine; it keeps your ride moving forward. The engine is your drive, the motivation is the rider and the dream is your destination; don’t forget luck because that’s responsible for a smooth ride. Now do you see how all of these factors are connected?

What is your experience with making large amounts of money?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Psychology of money smiley GIF face

Words of Encouragement

Blonde white girl spreading arms near body of water

Pandemic: Living in the Era of COVID-19

Take my words of encouragement how you like them. It’s so easy for you (and for us) to wake up every day and dive into a negative state of mind, especially during the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. We turn on the news and hope that we don’t hear any more mentions of “lockdowns,” “mandatory vaccines,” “delta variant,” and “masks.” After one minute of the television chirping in the background, we’re already slightly stressed and quickly turn it off. This process is even worse when you’re suffering from a mental illness.

So what are my words of encouragement for you? I know it sounds simple but they are, “practice gratitude and be thankful for what you already have.” A mistake many people make (including myself) is that they constantly desire more in their life, at the expense of practicing gratitude for what they already have. While there’s nothing wrong with desiring more and creating goals to accomplish new dreams, always seeking without practicing gratitude puts you in a “consciousness of lack.” In other words, you attract more of what you don’t have because that’s what your mind is focused on.

Words of Encouragement: You Already Have What You Need

Just remind yourself that you already have more than you need; never forget that. We’re already very selfish by nature so don’t let your environment make you even more selfish. You can imagine how terrible it must be for your psyche if you’re not practicing gratitude, always seeking more and suffering from a mental illness, all while in the middle of a never-ending pandemic. Gratitude is like medicine but we often ignore this potent medicine that lies within us. We’re too focused on our environment rather than internally being thankful for what we have.

Cloud formed as heart in sky

Starting from today, practice gratitude this very moment and continue to do so for the rest of your life. Lastly, I want to mention that I don’t write long blog posts due to time and energy. As a psychiatrist, it’s a challenge to write impressively long content, so I hope you enjoy these short pieces.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Words of encouragement smiley winking GIF face

I Can Only Imagine

Low angle photography of yellow architecture

Creating Your Reality

You’re given a brain that is blessed with a mind. This mind gives you the ability to experience reality, mental health, perception, emotions, thought content, relationships, etc. This mind gives you the ability to create, though you never thought about doing that before, have you? I can only imagine how wonderful it is to be able to visualize something into existence.

Many of us rely on our environment to create our reality; sometimes our mental health too! We rely on others to provide us with happiness, joy and contentment, when we should be providing this for ourselves.

What is the solution? Writing the rules. Waking up tomorrow and deciding that you will start taking things in your own hands. Waking up tomorrow and crying your tears out, realizing how much power you truly hold.

You disconnecting from your environment which is most likely half asleep and living in a trance like sheep in a pen. Aren’t you ready to evolve beyond this? Aren’t you ready to create and design your reality so that you can avoid mental health suffering?

I can only imagine: white hand holding green Earth

I Can Only Imagine What Reality Looks Like

The one defining feature that separates humans from animals is our imagination. Through imagination we can create our reality. Through repetition of thoughts, our unconscious mind somehow learns to attract our desires into the physical realm. I’m not sure how it works but it does. Have you ever repeatedly thought of something and then noticed it appear in your life? It usually happens when you least expect it.

You don’t always get access to it, but at least you can observe it. But sometimes you do get access to the object or person you visualized. My point is that our thoughts shape our reality, but I don’t understand how. Somehow, we attract in our life what we think about. I don’t have an explanation for how it happens, but I’ve noticed that it does.

Your job is not to focus on how your mind manifests things into reality, but to use your mind to manifest whatever you desire. A lot of people don’t use their imagination and live simple lives. Are you satisfied with just having a random job, house and a car? Don’t you want more out of life? If you do, then you have to start using your imagination and believing that your dreams will become a reality.

It can happen and it will happen. You just have to do it. I can only imagine.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

COVID Lockdowns

Person wearing cheetah coat with gas mask on sitting on couch with toilet paper on table

Life During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge around the world, multiple countries are implementing 4-week national lockdowns. Whether the U.S. will be next is still yet to be seen, but it is my opinion that national or even local lockdowns are a terrible idea. COVID lockdowns do not work. Take a look at the following reasons why:

  • Small business owners are losing their income
  • The economy is crumbling
  • Many who are home are experiencing mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety
  • Many who are home are using more substances such as alcohol and cannabis
  • Lockdowns create uncertainty and fear in many people
  • They force many people with a mental illness to stay home rather than being out and about
  • Lockdowns promote more virtual communication via Zoom and Webex rather than in-person interactions

And the list goes on. The worst part about it is that even if we protest against lockdowns, the federal government will do what they wish. This is a form of control and a big middle finger to the people who elected them in the first place. It’s truly a dark time that we are living in, but we must make the most out of it and remain positive. With the Delta variant surging, don’t be surprised if lockdowns get reinstated in the near future. Vaccines are preventing severe COVID cases, but breakthrough cases in those who are vaccinated are still happening.

COVID lockdowns - people staying home

Will the Delta Variant lead to more COVID Lockdowns?

Because of the many breakthrough cases in vaccinated persons, the Delta variant is showing no signs of slowing down. What will likely happen is that the virus will continue to mutate as more people get vaccinated. This is because the viral load in vaccinated persons is just as high as in those who are unvaccinated. This is buying the virus more time to mutate. Viral mutations are the virus’ survival mechanism; it keeps it alive in nature by dodging threats to its existence. Before scientists have enough time to create more effective vaccines, the virus will likely develop many new strains.

If this continues to happen, the governments will be forced to revisit lockdown measures. But as listed above, lockdowns are clearly bad for our society. Do we have any other options? I believe that lockdowns should never be reinstated ever again. I also don’t believe in vaccine mandates. If the U.S. spent more time providing education on the vaccines rather than promoting vaccine mandates, more people would be willing to take the shots. Instead, we are demonizing those who refuse vaccines, causing further divide among the masses. Rather than vaccine mandates and lockdowns, we need to continue to provide education on vaccines and move on. Life needs to go on while we continue careful measures such as wearing masks in crowded indoor places and washing our hands.

What is your opinion? Do you believe in lockdowns and mandatory vaccines?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Never Stop Believing

Do not give up scrabble letters

The Power Lies Within You

It’s very easy to allow society to discourage you from your wildest dreams. After all, why would anyone want to see you succeed? Use that as motivation when society laughs at your dreams. You can climb as high as you’d like because this is your life and you are the player; God has given you free will to live as you wish. Don’t allow lavish goals to become impossibilities. Anything is achievable if you can envision it within your eye’s mind. Forget all the details of, “How, when or even why.” Just keep dreaming and believe that life will position all the pieces in their right place. The next thing you’ll know after you open your eyes is your newfound reality based on a once upon a time dream. Never stop believing.

It’s also very easy to get discouraged when you don’t see the results you want. Many people motivate themselves by believing in something new, only to become disappointed when they don’t achieve it. A belief does not always immediately manifest; oftentimes, it takes years for a result to become apparent. People are very easily influenced by their environment. Whenever something bad happens that is not even related to their beliefs, they quickly become discouraged and give up. This is what separates successful people from those who plateau; they never stop believing.

Never stop believing - white woman with open arms

Don’t Give Up and Never Stop Believing

No one ever said that life is easy. Even for people born into wealth, they struggle with mental health problems due to insecurity of not having achieved their own wealth. You have people who don’t have wealth and struggle, and people with wealth who struggle. Mental health has no boundaries. Wealth is materialism and does not guarantee happiness and satisfaction in life. What guarantees happiness and satisfaction is the way you view the world and the thoughts that you experience. If you constantly experience self-defeating thoughts, your beliefs will crumble and your motivation to achieve your goals will fumble.

You have to understand that your environment will constantly challenge you; there’s no avoiding it. There are simply too many factors in our environment that easily influence us, such as people, the media, employment, education, etc. The only way to minimize environmental influences is by isolating yourself remotely in the countryside. But what will isolation accomplish you? Isolation is just a form of running away and hiding from your own expectations. People who isolate are either depressed or scared to work for their goals; they’re afraid of failure. You cannot be afraid of failure. The most successful people in life have admitted that it was through failure that they learned to become successful. Don’t ever give up and never stop believing in yourself.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Dream Diary

A simple message to dream with shimmery purple and pink glitter bokeh

8/27/20 Dream Analysis

  • Unknown location (Dream I): I was in a house with two big sliding doors overlooking a parking lot. I noticed a man in the parking lot looking at me in surprise and two men beating an innocent man in the street who was confronting them. It felt like I was in Florida or something. The man in the parking lot jumped over the gate and fled while the other two were most likely hiding the body. I pulled the shades down and hid under my bed thinking that they would come to kill me too. Later that night, I was eating in the bedroom with two other guys. We then noticed a familiar man pulling up in a van in the parking lot.
  • We thought it was them who were back to kill us because we were witnesses to their murder and suspicious activity. Someone threw me a gun and I went in the backroom to warn my dad that they were here. I told him to get ready and to also get the dog and head for the car out back. I ran downstairs to the basement to get a shotgun for my dad. When I got back upstairs, someone was walking in the hallway saying, “Hello?” I did not see the person. I also noticed a Chinese guy named James from medical school.
Dream diary next to cup of coffee, iPad and pencil

Dream Diary – Second Half of My Dreams

  • Unknown location (Dream II): I was driving my Mercedes quite fast on very wet highways that were surrounded by many streams and marshes. There were no railings between the highways and streams. I then lost control of my car and ended up flying and landing perfectly on an island. The island was a young man’s rich property. I noticed my car was actually a Lamborghini. I knocked on the door of the mansion and a young man with his girlfriend answered. They were informed of what happened and asked if they could help me get off the island. The young man agreed to take my car while his girlfriend agreed to drive me in hers. Then something happened to the young man like something evil at play. I was stuck with his girlfriend and one of us had turned into a vampire.
  • Unknown location (Dream III): I heard a scary voice that almost sounded demonic. The voice was saying, “go awayyyy” and then I woke up to the noise of a loud truck outside that made a car’s alarm system go off.

Sigmund Freud was known for saying, “dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.” What does your dream diary consist of? Feel free to share you dreams as well.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Being Honest

Cute white woman wearing blue shirt standing in front of buildings

Honesty – In all Shapes, Forms and Sizes

Think back to when you were five years old and the way you viewed the world. If you were raised in a good family, then you can relate to the fact that almost everything around you was based on the idea of having fun. At that age, you didn’t have responsibilities, expectations, work or pressure. You just lived your life having fun. As you grew older, you learned the importance of being honest with yourself and others.

You discovered how the world is not a cute, fun place where everything goes your way. You realized that the world is a big playground full of bullies who tempt you to sin. For a moment, you even considered putting honesty aside as you saw no positive results from it. Through honesty, you learned that others take advantage of you and you end up getting hurt. You learned that your good intentions were not always respected.

Not everyone has had a negative experience with honesty but almost everyone can agree that honesty is important. Being honest prevents you from feeling corrupt and allows you to feel good about yourself. Even if you don’t always get the results you want, you’re at least doing the right thing. Don’t connect honesty with winning because they aren’t always in the same boat.

Being honest - white angel wings in front of rainbow heart

You Will Not Always Win While Being Honest

Some people win by lying but that doesn’t make them winners in many peoples’ eyes. Trust me when I say that they don’t feel good about themselves when they are winning and lying. Maybe in the moment, they enjoy the high of winning, but their sins are chipping away at their soul. Is it more important to you to wake up being successful but also corrupt, or wake up with less success and feeling like an angel?

The angel route is the one of growth which often leads to success. This route might take longer than the shortcuts provided by lies and deceit, but it’s worth it in the end. Remember that life is not a race but a marathon; it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to reach your desired level of success. As long as you are aiming for success in an honest way and with pure intentions, you will be in good hands. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of sin and temptation and much more difficult to get out of it. Take your time by living an honest life even if you don’t see immediate results.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Heart Full of Love

Jesus Christ statue inside church

Positive Affirmation: Loving Heart

“I am full of love because I was born to heal and spread happiness. God leads me to Jesus Christ who teaches me the correct ways to live by. I am full of love because I was given the holy spirit to heal others and connect with them on many loving planes. I don’t allow my mind’s anger to overtake my heart’s placid stream of love, but use my heart’s power to heal my mind in times of testing. When others do me wrong, I don’t attempt to apply the “eye for an eye” tactic; that only brings more pain and division. Rather, I show them love back and allow them to realize that through their hatred, I continue to radiate love. I am thankful that The Lord continues to bless me every day! My heart full of love keeps me on the right path. This path leads me to The Lord because there is no other way.”

Heat full of love - Jesus cross in front of rocky cave

I Have a Heart Full of Love

“My heart full of love is ready to be poured onto the world. When people hate me, I forgive them. When people wish me harm, I pray to The Lord to heal their heart. I don’t hate others because I am too spiritually mature. I use the love in my heart to lead a peaceful life. The love in my heart heals the stress from the world. The love in my heart guides me during times of adversity. When I feel low, my heart reminds me of my connection to The Lord. When I am happy, I drink my heart’s contents and radiate happiness onto others who lack it. Sometimes my cup of love is running low, but I pray to The Lord to refill it. Only The Lord can refill my cup.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Will Cryptocurrency Become The Next Internet?

Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP coins on fiat money

The World Of Digital Assets

Outside of mental and physical health, we are living in exciting times to be able to recognize the adoption and implementation of digital assets in society. If successfully executed, these digital assets will revolutionize our transfer of money globally. Not only will society be positioned on a universal platform known as the blockchain, but the internet of value will allow the transfer of money and liquidity ultra smoothly and efficiently. It will no longer take 3-4 business days to send large amounts of money internationally; it will be like picking up a cup of coffee.

Whether it’s Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP or Chainlink, not many coins will survive up until the finish line. Out of the 5,709 coins in existence, most likely 10-15 will be prevalent in the mainstream world. It’s way too early to spot the future top contenders but the race is certainly on. Whether competition or not, we should all work together to help adopt a new technology that will help everyone all over the world, including third-world nations who need and deserve the most help.

Bitcoin is slowly adopting the role of “digital gold” while XRP wants to implement a new system that will make cross-border payments flawless. What about Dogecoin? The “joke cryptocurrency” that is gaining moment because of a recent Tik Tok fad. The easiest way to start learning about cryptocurrency is by watching educational and informative YouTube videos and doing your own investigation by researching digital assets and their respective history and future intentions.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)