You Write The Rules

Low angle photography of yellow architecture

Chapter 1: Creating

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?

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 am ready. Care to join?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Create Wisely

Person holding paintbrush covered in paint

Your Environment Relies On Your Decision-Making

You have one computer and that’s all you get. There is no yearly updated version like a brand new Windows computer or MacBook with a new M1 chip. Your brain is all you have and if you don’t continuously upgrade it by challenging yourself, seeking new horizons and crossing new boundaries, then you will remain in your present reality that will eventually dull your existence.

Guess what happens when your existence is dulled? Mental health problems arise. In order to avoid such problems, you must constantly recreate your reality by keeping your decision-making in check. What do I mean by this? Well . . . if you continue to make the same decisions month after month, your reality will not change much; you will become a slave to your environment. Your decisions prescribe your reality; if they’re not carefully crafted, you will puff up with confusion, dismay and displeasure.

So how do you create wisely? No one can provide you with that answer. Life is based on trial and error. Start the trial, pile up the errors and constantly update your computer.

. . . I think I just told you how to create wisely.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Your Life Is A Dream

Man standing in middle of road at night

So Snap Out Of It More Often

Everything regarding the way you interpret reality stems from the most important organ in your presence: the brain. How you think and view the world is based on your personality and interpretation of your surroundings. If you can match your personality with an accurately honest, portrait of society, then you can proceed to viewing and observing reality for how it is meant to be viewed. But once you allow your mind to be influenced by outside forces (i.e. political influences, the entertainment industry or even dishonest conspiracies, etc.), you become more susceptible to programming or the manipulation of your mind, oftentimes without you even noticing it.

So take what you can from society that is still good and add it to your arsenal. But always remember that it’s your mind that is most precious, so snap out of it more often to keep it in check from outside forces! Protect your mind for it roams openly in a dangerous land, ready to be attacked at any minute by invisible forces.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Leeches Swarm Us From All Angles

Angry yellow and black smiley wall art against red brick wall

User Beware

Leeches are people who sponge off of you and do not offer much in return. For instance, they request to borrow money but do not pay you the correct amount back in time, or they offer to help you with a project and demand recognition for their efforts, despite the fact that their help was not that great to begin with. You can tell when you are dealing with a leech by the way that they interact with you and others; they’re needy, obnoxious, demanding and “lose it” when things don’t go their way. It’s quite frustrating to witness because you wonder to yourself, “How do people have such great insecurities to the point of making a fool out of themselves?” But that’s not your problem to fix. What you need to do is to remain mature, cool, calm and collected and carry on.

Cheers!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Living An Honest Life

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 that 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 you life having fun. As you grew older, you learned the importance of being honest with yourself and others; living an honest life.

You discovered how the world is no longer a cute, little, fun place where everything goes your way. You realized that the world is a big playground full of bullies who tempt you to sin, lie and deceive others; for a moment, you even considered putting honesty aside as you saw no positive results from it. Through honesty, you learned that others would take advantage of you and you would end up getting hurt in the end, when all along you had good intentions.

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

Some people win by lying but that does not make them winners in my 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 in the long run, their sins are chipping away at their soul. You have to make the decision of what’s more important to you: waking up in a successful state of mind but feeling corrupt inside or waking up with less success and feeling like an angel inside.

I hope you decide to take the angel route because this is the route of growth and growth often leads to success; it might just take longer than the shortcuts provided by lies and deceit. Remember that life is not a race but a marathon; it does not matter how long it takes you to reach your desired level of success, as long as you do it honestly and with pure intentions. It’s very easy to fall in the trap of sin and temptation and much more difficult to get out of it. Therefore, take your time and live an honest life even if you don’t see the immediate results you have always dreamed of.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Depressed As A Doormat

Grayscale photo of depressed woman sitting next to window holding doll

When People Stomp All Over You

There are many people who were raised to not disobey their parents and argue back, but at a very extreme level. As children, they feared their parent’s disapproval and did everything they could to appear perfect. As they slowly exited out of adolescence and entered the real world, they soon realized that the way they were brought up was not suitable with people outside their culture. They found themselves to be depressed by their interactions with others because they always cared about what others thought of them; they also never had the strength to stand up for themselves.

Your upbringing defines your adulthood to a great extent. It’s when you’re a child and adolescent that your personality is molded and shaped into the person who will carry you to the end of your days. If your personality is not shaped well from a young age, you will experience difficulties in relationships later on in your life. When people stomp all over you, it means that you do not have the courage nor strength to argue back and stand up for yourself.

You give others the power and even turn them into authority figures, similarly to what you did with your parents growing up. When others make fun of you or point out your flaws, you become ashamed of yourself, almost internalizing and believing everything they say, rather than standing up for yourself. You may even experience what some like to call a “shutdown;” an episode of low energy, drive or motivation to do anything besides being paralyzed on your couch or in your bed. You become a doormat and everyone keeps walking all over you.

Even though you may have a job, raise children and still be functional, your interactions with others limit your happiness. If people are nice and get along well with you, then you find yourself having no problems. It’s only when those who argue back and critique you that you become frozen in time and no longer know how to react. You want to fight back, experiencing an internal desire to stand up for yourself and tell them, “stop saying these things! They are not nice and I don’t believe in what you are saying!” But sadly, you never learned how to do that growing up.

But it’s never too late! Psychotherapy is the process of analyzing your life and learning how to change your thoughts and behaviors. Anyone can benefit from psychodynamic/psychoanalytic therapy; you don’t need a mental illness to be qualified for therapy. If you find yourself in this category of persons who are functional but struggling with depression and problematic behavioral patterns, then I highly recommend you start psychotherapy! You will not regret it.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Different Chapters Of Life

Open book on brown wooden table next to coffee mug

Life Is Made Up Of Many Different Chapters

There are moments in life when you start to realize that things may not be going your way. You start to realize that it’s the beginning of a new chapter but you also start to worry that it may not go your way. Sometimes you start telling yourself that it may be the worst four months of your life that are about to follow. You even wake up sad asking yourself, “Do I even want to go to work today? Do I even enjoy what I do?”

What you are experiencing when this is happening is the transitioning from an old chapter in your life into a new one. No one likes transitions; it’s human nature to feel uncomfortable with changes and to prefer to remain in one place with everything already going your way. But life has many different chapters in store for you and when these changes are ready to happen, it means that it’s time to finish an old chapter and start a new one.

Sometimes you have to hop onto a new chapter in order to improve. You might not recognize the improvements at first but in the long run, you’ll come to appreciate the new chapter that was opened up to you. This is because your new chapter may be cloudy at first; everyone handles changes differently. Some people have a harder time letting go of previous chapters in their life and moving on; these are the ones who have a lot of potential to benefit from future changes.

Just remember that you are not the only one who dislikes changes in life. Many people experience difficulty moving on in life and you have to remind yourself this whenever you are feeling down. The last person that you want to be angry with is yourself. It may or may not be your fault that you are experiencing a new chapter, but you never want to take it out on yourself or others. Just go with the flow and begin the new chapter as life has it set up for you.

In the end, experiencing the different chapters of life helps shape you into the person you are. Don’t fear change but learn to let go of your past and accept your new future. It’s not easy to step out of your comfort zone, but it feels awesome once you get the hang of your new chapter and start noticing the benefits and positive changes in your character and in your life. Don’t be discouraged when the road becomes bumpy and you start feeling insecure and uncertain with yourself; we all go through it!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Stressful Nature Of Life

Stressed young blonde girl with braces yelling

Remaining Cool, Calm And Collected

One of the most annoying things about life is the stressful nature that comes with it. It seems that no matter how well you are doing, life still finds a way to annoy you and provide you with stress. But is it life that is doing that to you or are you doing it to yourself? It’s a complex question because I don’t believe that all fingers can be pointed to only one source. Sometimes you are to blame, while at other times life just gets in the way.

You don’t always have control over your environment. You should always strive to do your best, but unfortunately, life throws at you obstacles which you have no way of avoiding, besides giving up. We all know that giving up should never be an option because to do so is like accepting a negative fate because of your lack of effort and belief. As a matter of fact, life often throws at you difficult situations so that it can shape your character and help you become a stronger person.

If it weren’t for life’s obstacles, we wouldn’t be growing as human beings. There is no such thing as a perfect life without obstacles and if there is, it’s probably experienced by people in the middle of nowhere who lack motivation and are satisfied with sitting in a cabin. If that’s what you want, then so be it; we are not here to judge. But is that what you want? In order to gain more out of life, you need to face life’s challenges and obstacles without running away.

Sure, it’s annoying and sometimes you just want to pull your hair out or drink five shots of bourbon to calm your nerves, but none of that is necessary. The key is to remain cool, calm and collected and know that this phase will eventually pass. What you have to do is to learn how to handle difficult scenarios by living in the moment and not worrying about the near future.

When we worry about the near future, our mind comes up with many “what ifs” which only stress us even more and slows down our course of action. A good way to help you remain calm in the moment is by practicing mindfulness or the act of being nonjudgmental to your thoughts; you have to allow the thoughts and emotions to float away like clouds. When you practice mindfulness on a daily basis, you’ll start to notice that events that previously annoyed you will no longer have as strong of an impact.

Mindfulness is like a bulletproof vest for your mind. The key is to actually wear the vest and not just utilize it once; in other words, mindfulness requires much practice but it pays off in the end.

How do you handle life’s stressful situations?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Meaning Of Our Lives

Sad white woman's face looking into the distance

The Meaning Of Anything

As we sit in the comforts of our homes, time continues to become molded into our consciousness; we observe the hour hand moving ever more slowly as we start wondering the meaning of our lives. The pouring rain outside our windows makes the social distancing situation even more depressing; now we cannot even enjoy some fresh air. We have truly become isolated.

Sometimes it feels as if we are living in a social experiment created by a group of elite billionaires sitting on a french chateau porch enjoying mimosas and expensive Cuban cigars. Can this truly be a designed social experiment to observe how humans interact and survive in a pandemic?

In times such as these, we are naive and doing ourselves a disservice if we do not question the meaning of our lives; the meaning of anything! Curiosity is necessary in order to pose questions that help us arrive at better answers. We cannot simply sit like sheep watching CNN and Fox News every day and accept what is fed to us without questioning.

While the democrats and republicans hash it out in congress and on the senate floor to arrive at an agreement for an appropriate stimulus bill, Americans and other people around the world continue to get exposed and infected by the invisible enemy known as COVID-19. We are like sitting ducks, exposed to an enemy with no defense by our sides.

Society is slowly shutting down and we have nothing but time on our hands to question the meaning of the universe. Is there an endgame to this situation? Will this too pass? Maybe reality has forever changed . . . perhaps we are going to have to reside in the comforts of our homes for the next couple of years!

Any question is fair game during this time of social isolation . . . any question that stimulates our minds and helps us to see beyond what lies in front of us. Even conspiracy theories are fair game; do not allow the stereotype to prevent you from entertaining them. Keeping an open mind is a must, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

What is the meaning of your life?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Life Is Like A Movie

Person holding clapperboard in front of desert

Turning Your Life Into A Blockbuster Hit

The difference between a good and a bad movie is not based on one or two factors; its complexity relies on many pieces that come together to display something beautiful or something awfully boring. The same applies with your life: you can either work at improving it every day or slack and allow it to turn into something miserable. Life is like a movie and it depends on you to turn it into a blockbuster hit.

It starts with a positive mindset; this cannot be emphasized enough. Every day, you are presented with different challenges that have an impact on your mental health. One random small change can be enough to drive you off your course and instill negative emotions. As previously said, negativity is part of life and must be experienced, but you must also know how to quickly extinguish it.

It’s not difficult to adopt a positive mindset, but it’s very difficult for many to consistently maintain one in the long run. The more that you practice positivity in the presence of adversity, the better you will become at it. You cannot go through life hoping to automatically be positive without practicing it; there’s just too many triggers that prevent you from doing so.

If you can maintain positivity during the toughest of times, your movie will start shaping into a blockbuster hit; something that everyone wants to learn more about! You are the director, producer, screenwriter and actor of your move. All the other folks in your life just make up the background and noise.

If you can master your life, you will master the movie. In addition to a positive mindset, you must have direction and know what you’d like to accomplish. Without direction, your movie will flop and people will no longer waste their time with you. But having direction is not enough.

You must work to strive in the right direction at all times. If you do not put in the time and effort required to accomplish your goals, your direction ultimately becomes the wrong one. A great movie requires time, patience, direction, fun and entertaining scenes and vibrant characters.

You must remain vibrant, fun, enthusiastic and positive throughout your life. Turning your life into a blockbuster hit is not that difficult, but definitely a challenge. But it’s through challenges that you will obtain the motivation, desire, strength and stamina to end up on top. And what lies at the top?

An awesome film to kick back to with your popcorn and ice-cold Pepsi.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)