I Am Kind-Hearted

Colorful church window baptism

Positive Affirmation: Heart Of Gold

“I am kind-hearted because I have learned through my life experience that doing the opposite has never resolved any problems. Weak people rely on hate and division, but I rely on God’s love which he has shared with the world before our creation. I am kind-hearted because this helps the world evolve into a better place, whether or not others recognize it. I am not like the rest because I am not of this world as God teaches us in the bible. And that’s why I am kind-hearted!”

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Gray-Hearted Individuals

People Who Get Under Your Skin

We have all experienced being around people who get under our skin; there’s no avoiding it. These individuals roam the world like wild flock, crossing your path at predictable and unpredictable times. Some of these people you have to work with and see them on a daily basis while others randomly come and go. Whatever the situation, almost anyone will agree that they are a pain in the ass to deal with. Not only do they get under your skin, but they get under many people’s skin.

One thing to keep in mind is that attempting to understand where they come from will do you no good in the long run; you’ll often never find out. You may ask yourself why. The reason is because they will not change their perception and attitude towards you; if they haven’t after a month, six months or a year, then they never will. So why bother wasting your energy attempting to under them?

I call these people gray-hearted individuals because it’s not clear whether their hearts are filled with love or hatred. A lot of times, it feels like they are in-between; on some days you are able to sense some love while on others, all you can feel is anger, jealousy, envy and hatred. One thing that you know for sure is that their hearts are not full of love because otherwise, they wouldn’t be rude and mean to you in the first place.

People who carry a lot of love in their hearts do not consistently get under your skin. These are the people who you can feel their love radiate not only onto you, but onto everyone in the room as well. These are the people who even if you don’t have much in common with, you can sense that they are loving human beings. Remember that you don’t have to have something in common with someone who is loving.

But these gray-hearted individuals are bitter and lack a heart full of love. If they feel threatened in any way by you, they are quick to jump on your back to stab it a few hundred times; it’s almost an automatic response for them because they have been doing it their entire lives. On the other hand, if you get on their good side, they decrease their attacks on you, but at what expense are you willing to sacrifice your sanity to get on their good side? If you can do it by still being yourself, then that’s what you call emotional intelligence!

What is your experience like with these gray-hearted individuals?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

You Are Free Of Emotional Pain

Positive Affirmation: Emotional Pain

“I am free of emotional pain because I am in tune with my emotions and I am in control of them at all times. Even when people hurt me, I know how to immediately recognize negative emotions and process them effectively. I don’t allow emotional pain to hold me back in life. Emotions are like clouds that come and go; I observe and process them and allow them to float away. I am in control of how I feel today and tomorrow!”

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Depressed On Drugs

Using Drugs To Cope With Depression

Not everyone will admit that they use drugs to cope with depression, but it’s quite common. Whether it’s your bottle of liquor, line of cocaine or blunt of marijuana, substance use comes in quite handy in times of depression. But there’s a catch; they actually make your depression worse in the long run because they don’t fix the problem to begin with. Substances only mask the problem, allowing you to believe that you can now live your life without experiencing the symptoms of depression.

Another danger with using substances to cope with depression is the increased risk of impulsive acts. Substances give you more power, freedom and ability to perform acts which you otherwise would not have if you were sober. In relation to depression, the most severe act is a suicide attempt. Because substances impair your judgment as well, you can end up doing something very dangerous towards yourself or others.

Many patients will deny having problems with substances and you can tell so by observing how they become defensive about the topic when you inquire more about their alleged use of a substance. If you pay attention to their body language as well as to the tone of their voice, you will realize that they experience your questions as intrusive, judgmental and even accusatory.

But you’re not doing any of that (hopefully)! What you’re in fact doing is called motivational interviewing; a technique utilized with substance abuse patients that attempts to understand where they are coming from and whether they are ready to make a change, the change being to eventually quit the substance. But patients who are depressed may have a more difficult time with motivational interviewing because many will hide their substance abuse in the first place.

Depressed patients typically have a low self-esteem during their depressive episodes, so the last thing that they want to do is to reveal their problems with substances; some might, but many won’t. Depression and substance abuse is a deadly combination because the substances give more power to the user to commit suicide. In addition, substances and psychiatric medications are never a good mix, sometimes even inducing serotonin syndrome if a combination of cocaine and SSRIs are used.

If you encounter a depressed person and you suspect substance abuse, then you’re likely right. But don’t pressure them to reveal their use; this will almost always backfire. Inquire and show your concern, but allow them to slowly reveal it to you when they are ready. Rather, you want to focus more on their depression because often times, it’s their depression that made them start abusing substances in the first place.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Don’t Be A Slave To Technology

Hooked On Apps

With modern-day technology right at our fingertips, it can become very easy to fall trap to an addiction. Whether it’s dating apps, gaming or binge watching Netflix all day, everyone has a tendency to surf the border between a normal experience vs. a pathological one. This is because technology does a great job at targeting our reward center in the brain known as the nucleus accumbens. This is where the neurotransmitter dopamine is released, making us feel good!

It’s very difficult for us to step away from technology because it’s so prevalent in our lives. Unless you decide to go live in the great outdoors somewhere in Colorado or Montana, you’re going to be surrounded by technology whether you like it or not. Unless you decide to live without cable, internet or even a cell phone, then you’re going to be surrounded by technology. It’s scary to say but there’s almost no escaping it!

So what can we do so that we don’t feel enslaved to it? We have to harness the willpower within us to balance our lives. Consciously, we know that we need to make a change but we often lack the strength to do so. It’s easier to succumb to our habits of relying on technology because it provides instant gratification, on a conscious level and all the way down on a neurochemical level. Minute amounts of dopamine release is enough to keep us engrained in our daily technological habits.

The willpower that I am talking about involves putting aside your technological habit and replacing it with something else, whether it’s for 5 minutes or a couple of hours. The replacement obviously should be something not related to technology, such as reading, exercising, socializing, etc. Most people fail at this point because they realize that they should be doing something else, but end up just doing what is easier; in this case, technology.

It’s quite a challenge these days to get involved with activities that don’t incorporate technology, especially as it continues to rapidly evolve. Honestly speaking, it sometimes feels like a virus that surrounds us 24/7. This virus might be more deadlier than COVID-19; it might not kill you, but it certainly has the potential of psychologically harming you over many years to come. How about the young man who committed suicide after he found out that he owed $750,000 dollars on Robinhood after an unsuccessful investment? But let’s not view technology as a virus because it seems too gloomy to do so, but it is food for thought!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

I Am In Love With The World

Positive Affirmation: Loving The World

“I am in love with the world for God loved the world so much, that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ so that it can be saved. I do not identify with evilness but recognize its shape and form when it manifests around me and even in me at moments in time. Aside from the evilness in the world, I love the world because I am of God and I am his child. And when someone commits an evil deed towards me, I kiss his other cheek for I am here to spread love, kindness and positive vibes. I am not here to judge the world but to live for God by spreading love.”

Not Fearing COVID-19

I Am Stronger Than A Virus

COVID has definitely affected the mental health of many people worldwide. It continues to affect the mental health of many because it brings pain, fear and destruction upon humanity. Anytime that there is a disaster in our society, shockwaves are sent to peoples’ minds, affecting their mental health adversely. Have I mentioned that watching the media does not help? The media is almost as contagious as the virus itself.

You have to learn how to not fear this virus and to continue to live your life as if there was no virus, but by also practicing good hygiene and the necessary precautions of staying safe and not acquiring the virus. Social distancing have become two annoying words and I hate to see it become part of our psychological relations, but unfortunately humanity has already been infected with this concept.

Don’t you think it’s about time to replace “social distancing” with “common sense?” This involves not being too close to strangers, but this does not mean that you should not be hugging, shaking hands or even kissing those who you know or are close to you. I know, I know . . . the media and “top health experts” will tell you otherwise, but don’t you think that the social distancing that they want us to practice is adversely affecting our mental health?

At the end of the day, we have to live our lives and this should not involve being locked up in our homes and practicing “social distancing” 24/7. When we do this, we allow the virus to win. Yes, there are currently many lives being lost in the southern U.S. as well as in South America and Africa, but there must be another solution that we can effectively implement. We cannot keep practicing social distancing for the next decade or we will truly lose our minds.

What are some suggestions that you think we can implement that will prevent us from becoming infected, but at the same time allow us to live a normal life again?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Are You In Isolation?

Share Your Pain With The World

Are you in isolation but just not sharing it with the world? Do you feel like you have to hide your pain or mental illness out of fear of ridicule and embarrassment? Do you feel like you’re spiraling into a black hole with no one there to save you? If yes to any of these questions, then you are not alone. Many people all around the world feel isolated despite having friends, colleagues, coworkers, family members or acquaintances to interact with. Isolation can mean many different things to each individual, but we all experience it at some point or another.

I’m sure you already know that isolation is worse than the potential embarrassment that you may experience by sharing your pain or mental illness with the world. What’s the worst that can happen with embarrassment, if it even does happen? You’ll start caring what other people think about you, like it even matters? But what’s the worst that can happen with isolation? Suicide.

When people are depressed and isolated, it becomes much easier for them to act on their suicidal thoughts; they have no distractions at hand. Depressingly enough, the thought of ending their life becomes their distraction, as a means of escaping their misery and torture. You may not really be as depressed as you think you are, but if you continue isolating yourself, the depression that you are experiencing can begin to spiral out of control.

So rather than isolating yourself, find someone who you are comfortable with and share your pain, frustration or mental illness. And if you don’t have anyone to share it with, then seek a psychiatrist, psychologist and/or therapist. Never go through your problems on your own! We are in this together.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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We Are In This Together

We Are A Mental Health Family

The DSM Ready Community was started in order to attract an international body of people who have or currently suffer from a mental illness or just want to discuss mental health issues in general. Not everyone suffers from a mental illness, but everyone suffers from mental distress at some point in their life. No one is able to say, “I’ve never felt anything before.” We all have! By opening up about your issues, we will be able to attract more people into this community and help the stigma of mental health fade away for good!

The Importance Of Maintaining Professionalism

You Won’t Like Everyone That You Meet

You’ll find yourself in many situations where you’ll meet new people and immediately feel the disconnect and distance. The first few moments are the warmup stage; you shoot your shot and they shoot theirs. But after about 30 seconds to a minute, you quickly realize that things are getting awkward and that maybe distance is the better option. Everyone experiences these situations and you are not alone!

What I mean by professionalism is that even though you may dislike this new person in your life, it is important to still maintain proper manners and be respectful. This seems like common sense but it’s so easy to lose your cool, especially if you’re not having a great day. Remember that just because you guys didn’t click at first does not mean that you will never click. For some relations, it just takes more time to break the ice.

But you may never break the ice and that is okay as well. Remember that the other person is still thinking about you and observing you despite their lack of connection with you. This means that by being respectful towards them, they are recognizing that your character is valuable and respectful as well. This will help you establish a good reputation that others will remember you by.

You won’t like everyone that you meet but that’s life! Don’t fret over it and definitely don’t lose sleep. Your mental health is much more valuable than getting into pointless arguments with someone who you just met. Just play it cool and focus on what you have to do. The rest will fall in its place.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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