Don’t Allow Racism To Stir Up Hate

People wearing gas masks in city streets rioting

Life’s Challenges In The Mix

Racism is nothing new; it’s been around since the beginning of time. Racism is not just white against black; everyone is racist against everyone, even if the mainstream media rarely reports on it. Racism will not go away anytime soon; don’t count on it. So why allow these terrible murders to stir up so much anger, negative energy and hate in our society? Why allow riots and looting to go on? These things will not solve racism and will only worsen our mental health.

You have to understand that this murder of George Floyd was not by accident when you look at the big picture. This is how life works; it introduces a powerful event in society which often ignites a wildfire of anger, frustration and anger in the masses. This is to see how the world reacts to such events and guess what? We are still failing in our reaction! Rather than remaining cool, calm and collected, we are allowing the weak side of our psyche to prevail.

This weak side of our psyche is based on anger, poor judgment such as looting and burning buildings and even violence. As a whole, society is failing in the solution to the problem. We need to be constructive in our solutions to racism and this is done by protesting in peace, carrying on with our daily objectives and not allowing anger to become our dominant emotion. The day that we will start to implement this solution towards racism, will be the day that we will no longer feel defeated and overwhelmed when another innocent person has their life robbed from them.

Honestly, do you really believe that there will not be another black man who will be killed by a police officer in the future just because we are having large demonstrations in public in 2020? There will be hundreds of more deaths and this is the sad reality of the world that we live in. Even if your grandiose goal of driving out President Trump from office ever comes true, do you believe that racism will end the day after?

Racism runs through the blood of millions of individuals worldwide; this is not something that can be stopped. So rather than igniting anger and frustration, we need to continue to live our lives in love and dignity and pray to God to help guide us. You can put the most “liberal” person in office as president and racism will still flourish; this is human nature and as I’ve said many times, human nature does not always carry the best traits in a population.

We are doing more damage to our mental health by living in pain and anger. Yes, it hurts to see George Floyd die a tragic death. Yes, those police officers deserve a grave punishment. Yes, we are in pain. No, racism will not end tomorrow or in ten years. So we must devise a new solution because the current one is failing terribly. You cannot extinguish fire with fire and that’s what we’re currently trying to do.

Let’s come together and remain cool, calm and collected. The DSM Ready Community is about uniting all races, ethnicities, religions and political affiliations, but we are not a community based on anger, protests, looting and other counterproductive emotions and behaviors. We are based on love, purity and intelligent solutions.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Hatred In Our Hearts

White man against black background with hand diving face in half

Racism Has No Boundaries

Not only is the mental health sigma up and running throughout the world, but racism as well. Stigma and racism should not even be separated; they’re both different forms of hatred but with a common goal of dividing the masses. Stigma focuses on preventing people who suffer from a mental illness from getting treatment and making them feel ashamed and insecure, while racism focuses on physically and mentally destroying others based on their skin color.

But where does stigma and racism stem from? The answer is more simple than we like to think and one does not have to go to school to find out; our hearts! Just based on numbers alone, the 7.8 billion worldwide population is going to have many bad batches of rotten fruit that will promote and approve stigma and racism. These people are either uneducated, educated but evil or simply full of hatred.

Is someone born with hatred in their heart? Absolutely not. There is no known genetic makeup that will inform parents that your child is born with a characteristic trait known as hatred. Hatred is taught and learned through human behavior and experience. If a child gets beat up by two white kids or vice versa, he or she will learn through their own experience to hate that child, along with what they hear in the mainstream media or on the internet in relation to racism.

Stigma and racism are also taught by parents and family members who promote such ideologies to their children. When children are raised in such households, they observe from a young age the thought process, content and perception of viewing others in a negative light. Racism is not only white against black; it has no boundaries and goes all ways. Do not make the mistake of believing that racism is only white against black.

How can we actually end racism rather than turning on the news and witnessing more protests in the streets? Everything stems from our hearts. What will help is establishing a global platform that will bring people to stand together against mental health stigma and racism in a peaceful way. This platform has to start somewhere but without consistent support, it will become very difficult to establish.

I started The DSM Ready Community with the vision of creating this platform, but I cannot do this on my own. That is why I am thankful to meet many of you who support this blog and comment on my daily posts. Together, we can continue to help grow this really small community so that we can one day stand on a world stage and celebrate the progression towards the end of mental health stigma and racism.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Being A Great Sport

Angry white man wearing a red tank top with hands on face

Maintaining Composure During Times Of Adversity

You will encounter many situations in life where you will lose your cool and make a fool out of yourself. Let’s hope that those situations are in the past and that you can now prevent future ones from occurring. But we all know that life is very unpredictable; one minute you’re on top of the world and the next you’re fuming and steam is coming out of your ears. The key is not avoiding distressing situations as sometimes life just throws you in the middle of them without any control on your part.

But just because you lack control in certain situations does not mean that you should allow them to throw you off your game. You have to be quick to react and come up with effective solutions on the spot while maintaining proper composure. By doing this, you will avoid many awkward encounters, problems with your job and burned bridges. Anyone can act appropriate from time to time, but not anyone can be a great sport at all times.

Maintaining composure during times of adversity is not easy depending on the situation that you find yourself in. It’s so much easier to just blow up, get your anger out of the way and move on with your day. But what’s easier is not always most effective; this applies to anything in life. Oftentimes, the easier solution brings upon temporary fixes that end up crumbling when more adversity is encountered down the road.

You have to find a way to remain composed at all times, even when dealing with conflicting and uncomfortable emotions. This applies to your professional life as well as your social; the more consistent you remain in your display of emotions, the more trust people will have in you. This is all based on behavioral psychology; people are turned off by hotheads and attracted to those who are cool, calm and collected.

So the next time that you encounter a situation where you feel like you might lose your cool, take a step back and remind yourself, “This too shall pass. Just play it cool and try to make the most out of it without displaying your frustrating emotions.” The more you practice being a great sport, the easier it will become for you to handle life’s conflicts and roadblocks.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Don’t Forget About Your Family

Father walking with child near trees towards lake during sunrise

Stuck In Your Own Ways

As we continue to isolate ourselves due to evolving technology, it becomes much easier to forget about our family. With so many social media platforms, entertaining websites, Netflix and other outlets of entertainment, we sometimes end up getting stuck within our own world, forgetting about the important matters of life. One of the most important matters is maintaining a strong and meaningful connection with your loved ones.

As you grow older, it becomes easier to depart from your family as you gain more independence. Your thoughts change, the way you view the world evolves and your past relationships are not necessarily interpreted the same as in the present. As you continue to go down your path, by slowing losing touch with your family, you grow more distant from them, only making the process of reestablishing rapport and a meaningful connection more difficult.

Don’t allow technology to ruin your family relations; think of technology as a bonus and not a necessity. The beauty of technology is that it provides us with greater access to information and entertainment, but sometimes at the expense of face to face communication, and nothing is greater than in-person interactions. Don’t tip the balance on technology’s side; family and friends should always come first.

Especially during this pandemic and social distancing, it’s much easier to isolate yourself at home and get lost in your own little world, forgetting to keep in touch or simply losing interest in doing so. The more you spend time by yourself, the more you become comfortable going without the opinions, thoughts and beliefs of others in your life. In other words, you become comfortable distancing yourself and sometimes you don’t even know it; others have to tell you.

Enjoy every moment that you spend with your loved ones because tomorrow is not promised. Even though it might seem like a “been there, done that” feeling whenever you gather together, change that thought and replace it with “just being in the moment.” You want to learn how to appreciate the present moment regardless if it reminds you of a previous experience in the past. Make each moment something new and special; just enjoy every second and imagine instructing your mind to slow down your perception of time, so that you can make sure to capture every detail as vividly as possible.

Every moment spent with your loved ones is a blessing; treat them like so.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Rebellious Freedom Of Adolescence

Three girls and one boy sitting on steps outside holding cell phones

The Wild, Wild West Phase Of Life

Not for everyone but for many, adolescence is a time for experimentation, disconnection from family, personal exploration, stubbornness, risk-taking, drug use and promiscuous behavior. During these years, you grow up and realize that your parents just don’t cut it anymore; everything is about status, fitting in, experiencing sex, getting drunk, getting high and just being free while spending time with your friends.

Unfortunately, many don’t grow out of this phase and continue with the same immature mindset in their late 20s and even early 30s. While there is nothing wrong with being rebellious during your adolescence, it’s almost expected that you eventually grow out of it and become a responsible adult. But many who get hooked on drugs remain in this mindset and never grow out of it.

It’s interesting how many adolescents actually experience a much different phase during the ages of 14-18. There are the nerds who study hard with the intent on getting into a great college: these nerds can be the unpopular ones who don’t care about their appearance or the popular ones who still socialize, play sports and do well in academics.

Then there are the “losers” who don’t do well in school and are not popular; they’re kind of “just there” on the sidelines for people to make fun of. Unfortunately, these are the ones who end up developing a mental illness such as depression and commit suicide or go on killing sprees. The “losers” unfortunately fall in a pattern where they don’t apply themselves in school and are also socially awkward.

How about the jocks who are big and strong and dominate the soccer, football and lacrosse fields? Yes . . . the boys that all the girls secretly crave. These guys are naturally gifted with height, a muscular built and many with good looks. Because of their appearance and success in sports, they develop a lot of confidence and self-assurance, attracting females left and right while enjoying their popular status.

And lastly, the cool kids! They are either in a band, play sports as well or neither . . . they’re just cool by nature. They’re smart enough to know how to talk, dress and attract attention from other popular kids; they don’t have to be necessarily good at any particular activity besides being cool and partying. These kids are the ones who are always invited to a party or throwing the party in the first place; their life is full of booze, drugs and sex.

As you can see, the adolescence phase is the wild, wild west for many teenagers, but for other kids, it can be the worst four years of their life. I decided to write about this topic because I find it fascinating how there are many routes that a teenager can take during high school; the psychology of adolescents is quite “cool” by nature. Anything can happen during these years and for many, they end up determining their future.

How was your experience with the rebellious freedom of adolescence?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Thanking The First Responders

Redhead female doctor holding red stethoscope

In Harm’s Way On A Daily

It’s easy to forget about the people who wake up early every day and arrive to work to help others in need while putting their lives at risk. It’s easy to forget because most of us check out and disconnect from those who aren’t in our immediate vicinity; it’s called human nature at play. But as I previously said, sometimes human nature needs to be changed in order to better yourself.

The first responders don’t have to do this; no one forces them to go to work and expose themselves to the coronavirus. They do it because it’s their nature; that’s why they got into their field in the first place, to help people in need! Most first responders are heroes by nature and heroes do not back away from a challenge very easily; instead, the view it as an opportunity to better themselves.

When first responders improve their character, they put themselves in a better position to help people in the future. Without improving your skills, you can only be of help to a certain extent; humanity requires those who go beyond the call of duty because of their drive to exceed in their field. Humanity requires those who are not afraid of a little pain.

I would like to thank the police officers, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, social workers and doctors who are on the front lines every single day. You guys are the ones who are truly keeping this country running; it’s easy for the suits in Washington to meet in their safe havens and pass stimulus packages while the federal reserve uses a printing press that goes “brrr.”

You guys are the ones who are juggling multiple jobs, studying and raising families all while exposing yourselves to COVID-19. Your courage is outmatched by anyone else in society because you are fearless, determined and hungry to save human lives; you do not shy away from a virus that has killed over 100,000 people worldwide. Through your performance others can hopefully learn from and be inspired to step up to the plate for future generations to come.

Thank you!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Connecting With The Human Inside

Two women smiling sitting in front of bonfire near forest

People Just Want To Be Heard

What people continue to miss on a daily basis is the importance of listening to others when they speak. So many of us are inclined to express what we have to say, not really taking into consideration what others have to say. Oftentimes, we want to get in what is on our mind despite the other person trying to express themselves. It’s almost like a race of who controls the conversation first, except that no one controls it when we don’t listen well to what others have to say.

This is especially true when it comes to psychiatric patients. Many doctors are quick to dismiss what they have to say out of the sake of time. Even family members just cancel out their messages for noise, as if they are wearing noise-canceling headphones during conversations. Psychiatric patients are more fragile to begin with because of the mental illness that they are suffering from; someone speaking over them does not mix well with their emotions and thoughts.

By listening more carefully and attentively, people will appreciate your time and presence much more than if you’re just there to speak all the time. Have you ever tried just listening to someone talk, even if it means sacrificing your spotlight in the moment? It’s quite enjoyable actually when you surrender your platform and allow others to dance on it for a little while.

This is because when you listen attentively, you get to learn more about others’ thoughts, emotions and behavior. Think of it like a chess match: aggressively making moves without studying your opponent will only lead to a checkmate or at best a draw. But when you take your time to listen to the other person and understand where they’re coming from, you put yourself in a better position to connect and help them.

So don’t always be quick to control a conversation. Some of the smartest and wisest people in life are actually the best listeners; they pay attention to every small detail and only talk when necessary, not revealing too much information but just the right amount that proves to be sufficient in the conversation. If you can learn to master your listening skills, then you will be able to connect much more effectively in your daily interactions.

We need more great listeners in this world and especially in the mental health field!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

There’s Beauty In Your Tears

Person's hand holding glass of Jesus Christ on cross

Happy Easter: He Has Risen

We are in the midst of a vicious storm; no tornado, hurricane, tsunami, earthquake or avalanche has seen the power of this one. Many of us are losing hope as every day passes, quarantined in our homes with tears falling down our faces. We look outside our windows wondering if this is how we are going to spend the rest of our days. But one hope remains within our hearts and that is God and His Son Jesus Christ who has risen.

Fear not this storm for God sees its destruction and has a plan for us. Not everything that works through God becomes apparent right away; it takes time, patience and faith to witness His plan manifest. God is all powerful and can defeat any storm risen by Satan, but God acts in mysterious ways which we cannot always comprehend as human beings. All we can do is to have faith; that’s what God expects from us!

Don’t cry anymore my brothers and sisters, for we all live together under God’s grace. As His children, we must remain united, thankful, strong and faithful. We cannot allow Satan’s storms to destroy our lives. The more that you live in fear and uncertainty, the more credit and satisfaction that you are giving to Satan; he wants us to suffer.

One important thing to keep in mind is that as Christians, we do not look down upon those who don’t believe in God or accept Jesus Christ as His Son. Because we know that with the Holy Spirit within us, God teaches us to love everyone in the world, whether they are on the right path or not. As Christians, we pray for those to find the right path to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we do not believe that we are better than others, for what is better in God’s eyes? We are all human beings and God is the ultimate judge at the end of times. Many of us may not be in the best of spirits at this time; we become easily tempted to hate others. But don’t allow this coronavirus pandemic to fill your hearts with hatred; remain tender-hearted and continue to spread love and faith in the world.

There will be a time where we will all be reunited in God’s house, surrounded by forever-lasting peace and love. The ones which we have lost in previous storms and the present storm will come back running to us with hugs and kisses; we will cry so joyfully that the beauty in our tears will wash away our pain. We will all walk holding hands in a beautiful, brightly-lit land called Heaven towards His thrown and meet God and His Son Jesus Christ.

So brothers and sisters, I ask you this on this Easter Sunday, “Do you have God in your heart and mind?” Because God is awaiting to help and guide you and provide you with love and the Holy Spirit; you just have to be willing by believing and opening up your heart to Him and His Son Jesus Christ. Don’t be afraid and take the first step to ask God for guidance in how to pray and reach out to Him.

For me personally, I was blessed to be introduced to God by my grandmother when I was nine years old. During that summer when I first heard about God and Jesus Christ, I had a spiritual experience which I am still able to tell to this day: I was standing in my living room (I may have been home alone) and suddenly, it’s as if time had frozen and I was just stuck in place. My mind then filled with a bright light that comforted me with peace and there was a message which I interpreted to be from God, something along the lines of, “You have found me.” There was no voice in my mind but just a thought or message; it’s very difficult to describe spiritual experiences in words but this is all I got! And ever since then, I have been a believer.

This is the power of God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Backstabbers Never Rest

Angry blonde woman walking away from backstabbing-man in park

Some Friends Can’t Be Trusted

There are many people who will come across your way and get you excited as a potential new friend. You may even have a lot in common with them, thinking that you’ve just made yourself a “keeper of a friend.” You guys may laugh a lot, share a similar sense of humor and even get lunches together. But you can really tell who your real friends are when they start to act differently at times and refuse to help you out when you ask them to. Backstabbers never rest.

So why do they do this if you have so much in common with them? It’s because you’re not really in their heart. They may like you and enjoy spending time with you, but when he turns left and you turn right, you become “out of sight, out of mind” for him. At first, you won’t be able to tell right away because you’ll be blinded by the illusion of being decent friends.

But this illusion will slowly break down when you ask them not once but at least twice to help you out with something. And I’m not talking about something small and insignificant. We’re talking about asking for help in a situation that would make your life easier and even offering to help them back in the future.

But it doesn’t matter because they can’t find it within their heart to help you. It’s not necessarily that they don’t want to help you, but they put their selfish interests before yours, something that an apparent decent friend should not do. Good friends learn to sacrifice their self-interests from time to time to come through for their boys!

Many of these types of friends can be classified as backstabbers; when you turn your back, they silently attack. But they don’t necessarily attack by putting you down in front of others or doing you harm without your noticing. They attack by throwing you under the bus in a certain situation in which you didn’t deserve to be in, in the first place.

You then confront them hoping that they’ll recognize their mistakes and change for the better, but keep dreaming folks! No change ever happens. So the veil has been removed and you now see their true character; it doesn’t really shine as brightly as you once thought. And guess what happens at this point in time? Your unconscious mind has recorded everything that has just happened and will start influencing your perception of them.

You will now start to view them in the light that they deserve to be viewed and that light is no where near your standards anymore. If you have eyes, then open them and start using them! These types of people surround us every day and we don’t deserve to give them our genuine kindness and love. However, we must still remain kind and loving human beings at all times, but while keeping in mind who our real friends truly are.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your family and friends!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Integrity Comes Before Self-Interests

Young black man shaking hands with brown man across wooden table

Doing What’s Right Even If It Means Feeling A Little Pain

The easy way out in life does not deliver you respect from others; it shouldn’t even deliver respect from your own self. People choose the easy way out all the time out of fear and insecurity; they know deep inside that they are succumbing to anxiety. But you have to learn how to control your anxiety; if you don’t, then it tends to become pathological. Remember that integrity comes before self-interests.

Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Someone who has integrity does what is right in a certain situation, even if it means exposing themselves to a little pain. The more integrity that you display, the better you will feel about yourself and the more respect that you will earn from others.

Don’t expect respect when your integrity flops at random times. It means that you cannot be trusted and when you cannot be trusted, certain doors will close for you in life. Sometimes the best things in life are saved for those with the most integrity because actions always speak louder than words.

Would you not be willing to help someone out more who displays consistent integrity? Someone’s integrity gives you confidence that they can be trusted and can be there for you when they’re counted on. Unfortunately, many people are afraid of negative outcomes and so they sacrifice their integrity so that they can feel comfortable.

You have to understand that comfort has to be sacrificed at times in order to do what is right. Everyone wants to be comfortable; it’s part of human nature. But not everyone wants to do the right thing. The more that you practice doing what is right, the easier it will become and people will take notice! And when people take notice, they spread the word to others about how impressive your record of integrity has been.

You just never know what important person may hear about you and give you a call one day asking, “Are you interested in this offer?” And your life may change right there and then.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)