Influenced by the Environment

White man with arrows pointing to head

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 accurate portrait of society, then you will experience a more realistic experience. But once you allow your mind to be influenced by outside forces, you become more susceptible to programming or the manipulation of your mind. You become influenced by the environment to your detriment.

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; keep outside forces in check. Protect your mind for it roams openly in a dangerous land, ready to be attacked by invisible forces. These invisible forces do not care for your sanity. As a matter of fact, they prefer that you join the sheep and obey without questioning. When you ask less questions, you make it easier for them to control you. Their ultimate goal is to control the masses because it makes them feel superior, as if they are God. But they will never be God.

Influenced by the environment - skull with brain experiencing waves of butterfly effects

How do you Know if you’re Influenced by the Environment?

If you believe everything you hear or read in the mainstream media, then you’re being influenced. Of course, almost no one will admit to “believing everything” they hear in the media. “Everything” is obviously an exaggeration. When I say everything, I mean generally being in agreement with what is televised on a daily basis. Many people are glued to CNN, Fox News or BBC without questioning what they see or hear. They were quick to stick out their arms for new mRNA vaccines as soon as they were released to the public. Many don’t question the fact that the vaccines came out within a year or that mRNA vaccines were released during a pandemic out of all times.

Why don’t people question? Because they put too must trust in their government and find it easier to trust a large entity than small sources. They believe that if they start listening to small sources, they will be labeled as a “conspiracy theorist.” Little do they know that the CIA supposedly invented the conspiracy theory tactic. They did this as a form of protection from the masses seeking the truth. But hiding the truth from a population of 7.9 billion is impossible; it will always leak. So as a form of insurance, they created a psychological tactic that labels the truth-finders as “nut jobs,” with the mainstream media as their pawns.

I’m not saying that you need to become a conspiracy theorist. Just keep an open mind to alternative stories and explanations, because the truth always lurks somewhere in the middle. Think outside the box.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Creativity is Intelligence Having Fun

Person holding paintbrush covered in paint

Kill Rigidity with Creativity

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. Creativity is intelligence having fun.

Guess what happens when your existence is dulled? Mental health problems arise. To avoid such problems, you must constantly recreate your reality by keeping your decision-making in check. What do I mean by this? 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.

Creativity is intelligence having fun - brain inside lightbulb

Creativity is Intelligence Having Fun – The Process

So how do you create wisely? Life is based on trials and errors. Start the trial, pile up the errors and continue to update your computer. But if you don’t start the trial, you don’t have any opportunities to improve yourself. To start the trial, you must first seek to be creatively intelligent. I’m not necessarily referring to arts and music, even though these can help to reshape your reality. I’m referring to your thoughts and getting creative with them. To be creative requires a special form of intelligence that anyone can tap into. It involves the will to use your imagination to explore new thoughts and ideas.

Try to find that inner child of yours that will help you become more imaginatively creative. Remember when you were a kid and how you loved to explore new activities? I used to love playing with snails and other insects in my backyard in Montreal when I was 5 years old. I used to pick them up and position them near each other and observe how they would interact. Today, I dislike insects. That’s what I mean by being creative; finding the desire to try new things. If you can tap into that desire, make it part of your personality and maintain it, it will become much easier for you to alter your reality.

Don’t be one of those people who are afraid to try new things. Your thoughts can be experimented with and can be used to improve your life. But if you remain rigid, life will keep providing you with rigid options. Rigidity prevents you from being flexible, thinking outside the box and trying new people, places and things. Rigidity can be deadly to your mental health. Kill rigidity with creativity.

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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.

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Mental Health Podcast

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Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone Dr. Alexander's DSMReady

We become used to our comfort zone, preventing us from trying new things in life. Whenever this happens, we experience pain, sadness, frustration, annoyance and many more emotions. You are the one in control of your decisions; if you want to do something, just get out there and do it. By holding yourself back, you are complicating your life. Just do it. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/doctoralexander/support
  1. Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
  2. The Stabbing Pain of Insecurities
  3. Negativity is Contagious
  4. Opening Up About Your Mental Health Symptoms
  5. Exercising For Your Mental Health
  6. Social Media Toxicity
  7. Psychiatric Labeling
  8. Analyzing Your Life
  9. Manipulating Your Mental Health
  10. Experiencing Panic Attacks

In this mental health podcast, Dr. Alexander discusses issues and concerns that most of us face in our everyday experiences. Mental health is like physical health in that we experience it all the time, but don’t pay attention to it as much as we should. For example, most of us are aware that our diet can use some improving and that we’re also not exercising enough, but we continue the same habits. These habits affect our physical health by contributing to an elevated body mass index, high blood pressure and elevated blood glucose and triglyceride levels. The same applies with our mental health; we experience stress, anxiety and depression but we don’t do anything to prevent them.

Mental health podcast - microphone next to iPhone

A Mental Health Podcast for Humanity

Dr. Alexander discusses topics such as analyzing your life, mental health labeling, negativity and insecurities. Not everything has to be related to a mental illness. A lot of what we do in life affects our mental health, from negative automatic thoughts to self-sabotaging behaviors. Without addressing these experiences, we go through life living in pain that chips away at our mental wellbeing. Some people continue to live in pain but don’t develop a mental illness, while others become diagnosed with a mental disorder. This podcast is not meant to give you intensive, psychiatric information. You can find that on websites such as WebMD, Healthline and the Mayo Clinic.

This podcast delivers you information that anyone can relate to, especially if you don’t have any knowledge or background on mental health. It’s easier to connect with people by discussing topics that we can all relate to. This is especially important because of the existing mental health stigma that prevents many people from seeking the care they desperately need. If Dr. Alexander can touch one person who is affected by mental health stigma, then it’s a win.

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Taking Advantage of Other People

Angry yellow and black smiley wall art against red brick wall

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. They may 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 they interact with you and others; they’re needy, obnoxious, demanding and lose it when things don’t go their way. What you need to do is to remain cool, calm and collected and carry on. But if you find yourself taking advantage of other people, then you need to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror.

Even friends and family members often try to take advantage of you. I’m sure everyone knows a person who is nice to you, but always seems to request something from you that is just off. For instance, I have a childhood tennis friend who still keeps in touch with me. We’re on good terms but not the best of friends. He recently came on vacation to Manhattan and knew that I was leaving to Tampa and Pittsburgh for a week. He had the courage to ask me if he could sleep in my apartment for a few days while I was away. This is a friend who I talk to every 2-3 months; we barely keep in touch. The fact that he asked me that question just reinforced my take on his character; someone who wants to take advantage of a situation without considering if it’s an appropriate and respectable action to take.

Taking advantage of other people - hand holding puppet by strings

Taking Advantage of Other People is Pathetic

I think we all have the potential to take advantage of others; it’s called human nature. But you need to correct yourself when you feel like taking advantage of others. If you find yourself requesting something from someone with an uncomfortable feeling in your chest, take a step back and ask yourself why you’re doing it. If you find that the other person stands nothing to gain from your request, is your request even necessary? Classically, people with narcissistic, sociopathic and antisocial traits are notorious for taking advantage of others. They simply do not care about what happens to them, as long as they are gaining something and benefiting in the end.

Another reason people try to take advantage of others is because they don’t want to do the right thing in life. Many times, doing the right thing means putting in more work or taking the less comfortable route in life. Many people are weak-minded and don’t have the discipline or courage to do the right thing. Instead, they spot opportunities in others, regardless of whether they are harming them in some subtle way. When people take advantage of others, they are being manipulative. Manipulation is easy to spot for the trained eye. If you’re not one of those people, then I recommend you start educating yourself about common manipulative tactics, so you can protect yourself from those who take advantage.

Don’t be one of those people. Do the right thing.

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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!

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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?

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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?

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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)

Different Walks Of Life

Grayscale photo of person with backpack walking in black and gray panel paintings

Stories Shared From Across The Table

The stories shared by different types of people is exciting and engaging to listen to. The different walks of life that people come from is what makes us different and unique. It’s these different paths that keep us craving for more information; they help us become understanding and appreciative of one another’s experiences.

Your perceptive on life way be completely different than the Native American sitting across the table from you, the kid from Philadelphia who witnessed 12 UFOs hovering above a river near Delaware, or the quiet and observant guy with the spiked blonde hair sitting in the corner not spitting a syllable. Coming together at a table to share our presence and unique life experiences is what makes us human overall.

You will come to realize that not everyone that you meet is based on a coincidence; many times, life had these encounters already planned for you. You may never receive the answer as to why, but if you think outside the box and connect the dots, it becomes clearly apparent. And this should not freak you out; ride the experience and take away from it what you can.

It’s a beautiful thing that all of us come from different walks of life. If we were all the same, we wouldn’t have as many rich stories and diverse experiences to share with each other. One person’s story is another person’s dream! God brings us together so we can encounter different beliefs, attitudes and ways of being.

If God wanted the same people from the same location with the same experiences, then he would have created that. But he didn’t. Instead, he made Africans, South Americans, blacks, whites, Native Americans, Alaskan natives, etc. He made different continents with different cultures so we can appreciate the inherent beauty of his creation.

Each of us is a different story waiting to be unfolded from across the table. Each of us are unique in many different and beautiful ways. Each of us have the power to make a difference in somebody else’s life through our actions and words. We are so different in many ways, yet so similar in regards to being human.

Have you shared your story from across the table?

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