How are you?

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU ASKED SOMEONE HOW THEY WERE DOING? DID YOU GENUINELY MEAN IT? DID YOU TAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN?

Many may not realize that in the moments of battling a mental illness (or any illness), these three words can make a huge impact on the day of the minds like ours (yes, I had to throw that in there). One year ago I made a commitment to myself to be sure to ask those around me how they are doing, at least one person – every.single.day. Strangers, friends, family members, and coworkers. However, it’s important to not only ask the question but to mean it genuinely. LISTEN. Watch their body language, their facial expressions, their words, their tone. It says it all.

The reactions I receive when asking this question are somewhat surprising to me. In my personal experience, the responses go one of two ways:

The first and most common reaction go something like this: Good, thanks. – Simple and quick.

The other reaction I also find common is: I did this and this today, I’ve been really busy. – Thinking I asked them what they did today or what they are currently doing, not realizing that I just asked how they are feeling.

Nowadays, a lot of conversations are unfortunately in the form of texting, and social media has taken over to show off to the world how crappy or happy we are, therefore, many won’t ask how others are truly feeling, they think they can see and understand it all through technology. OR, we are wrapped up in our own lives that we don’t take the time to ask others how THEY are feeling (I’ve been there!), OR maybe we feel as though expressing our feelings is a sign of weakness or burdensome to others (It’s really not). Either way, the question, “How are you?” is often used in passing, yet not being taken serious enough, in my opinion.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO PICK UP THE PHONE AND ASK SOMEONE HOW THEY ARE DOING.

The reason why I say this is because, as someone who lives with a mental health condition and has faced many difficult times, including the feeling of being completely alone – I really just needed someone to ask me to how I was doing in a deep way that made me feel as though they genuinely cared. This past week I have experienced a lot of emotional and physical pain. I believe some people could tell. I have voiced my feelings to a few, but not one person has genuinely asked me how I was doing…until today. My sister. Gahh – I love her sweet heart. She must have sensed something all the way from Texas because out of the blue I received a message asking me if I’m okay. It immediately put a smile on my face. (Thank you, sis!)

A couple weeks ago about 300 people were laid off from our company due to closed facilities. It was a difficult time for everyone was affected by it. One of the gentlemen that were given an end date with the company sat near me and although we were not close I still wanted to ensure he was okay. I went into his office and asked him how he was doing. His response went something like this, Oh you know – trying to get my tasks done today, I’m swamped.

I responded with, “Okay, let me ask again. HOW ARE YOU? Are you doing okay?”

The look on his face was a look of shock as though he had never heard the question before. He sat back in his chair and said, “I’m stressed out. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I have options, but I need to think about which option I will take. It’s sad. Thank you so much for asking.” I sensed appreciation in his tone after our heartfelt conversation.

You see, when someone you know is in a hospital bed bleeding or with other signs of a visible injury or illness, people will run to their bedside in panic or worry asking with sincerity if they are okay. What about our invisible illnesses?

Last year, my mentee was admitted to the psychiatric hospital for self-harm. She was 15 years old. I had spent many days with her, picking her up from school, having her over for sleepovers and movie nights, and enjoyed weekends exploring and going to the movies. She was such a bright young girl, and I loved bonding with her. I received a phone call from her mother one evening stating that she was “contemplating” on taking her daughter to the hospital. I immediately advised that she admit her or I would. She needed help and was apparently suffering. I asked her mom for the information of which hospital she was admitted to, and her mom responded in shock, “Why?”. I said, “because I am going to visit her. I can meet you there if you’d like?”

The point of my short story is that her mother never showed up to visit. From my understanding, she never even called her. Her daughter was in the hospital for 5 days. When I appeared at the hospital to visit her, this young girl was completely shocked and cried as she grabbed onto me. I asked her why she was crying and she told me, she had never had a visitor before (it wasn’t her first attempt). In fact, most of her roommates hadn’t either. We sat in her room, and I listened to her talk for a couple hours. I gave her the best advice I could about coping skills and reassured her that she wasn’t alone. I learned so much that day, especially the importance of empathy.
Did you know about 8.3 million people have had suicidal thoughts in the past year? It is important to reach out and ask others how they are doing. You could save a life with one simple question and take the time to listen, and when you do, remember this:

THEIR FEELINGS ARE THEIR FEELINGS. THEY MATTER. THEY ARE VALID AND ACCURATE TO THEM. DO NOT DISMISS, DISAGREE OR TELL THEM THEY SHOULDN’T FEEL THE WAY THEY DO.

This is so important to understand. This goes for all circumstances, not just hurting people with a mental illness. For everyone.

I’ll end it with this – How are YOU doing? Respond below or email me if you need someone to talk to. Help is always out there.

-Minds Like Ours, Kayla Fae

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12 Tips for Recovering from Emotional pain

By: Luminita D. Saviuc | Pain (any pain–emotional, physical, mental) has a message. The information it has about our life can be remarkably specific, but it usually falls into one of two categories: “We would be more alive if we did more of this,” and, “Life would be more lovely if we did less of that.” Once we get the pain’s message, and follow its advice, the pain goes away.” ~ Peter McWilliams

Have you noticed how afraid we all are of feeling any emotional pain? And how we would do anything in our power to avoid it? Nobody wants it. We all try to get rid of it. We all try to hide andrun away from it, and the irony is that the more we try to reject and resist it, the more intense it gets and the longer it stays with us.

We all have our ups and downs. We all experience emotional pain from time to time. But that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with us. It doesn’t mean we’re ‘broken’ or ‘defective’. On the contrary. It only shows that we are human. That we have feelings and emotions.

Today I would like to share with you 12 tips for recovering from emotional pain. So that you cancontinue living your life in peace and harmony and do the things you so much enjoy doing.

1. EMBRACE WITH GRACE ALL THAT YOU FACE.

“Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you.” ~ Wayne Dyer

Let go of any feelings of anger, disgust or frustration you might have towards yourself, your emotional pain and your current reality. Resist nothing. Embrace with grace all that you face. Surrender to what is. Accept what you’re going through. All your thoughts, feelings and frustrations. Accept your emotional pain as if you have chosen it.

2. GIVE YOURSELF TIME.

It takes time to drive out the darkness from our minds and our hearts. It takes time to accept the presence of emotional pain into our lives. So give yourself time. Time to rest, time to heal and time to fully recover. Be gentle with yourself and trust that everything happens exactly as it’s supposed to happen.

3. LET GO OF CONTROL.

“There is a time for being ahead, a time for being behind; a time for being in motion, a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous, a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe, a time for being in danger. The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. She lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle.” ~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Please refrain yourself from making comments like: “I have been feeling like this for far too long. I should be fine by now.  Why does it take so long for this pain to be gone?” and so on. Allow things to follow their natural course. Allow yourself to heal at your own pace. Let go of the need to control the healing process. Let go of the need to speed up your recovery.

4. SUFFER CONSCIOUSLY.

Observe your emotional pain, your anguish and frustrations. Observe the constant stream of negative thoughts that run through your mind. The dreadful stories that keep feeding your pain, but choose not to identify yourself with them. See yourself as the one who’s observing all that emotional pain and all that discomfort. But don’t make the pain part of who you are. Don’t make it your person life story. Don’t claim it as your own.

“Suffering consciously is when you feel, sense and accept the suffering. It is not suffering anymore it is just pain. To be suffering you must have an unhappy me with a story and the world that is doing it to me.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

5. LOVE YOUR PAIN AWAY.

Nobody likes to be in the presence of pain. We all want to get rid of it. To run as far away from it as we possibly can. But there are times when pain demands our presence, our focus and attention. There are times when pain demands to be felt. So take the time to know your emotional pain. To nourish it, to understand it. Don’t curs your pain. Love your pain and it will go away.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King,

6. GIVE TIME, TIME.

“Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.” ~ Regina Brett

It takes time to drive out the darkness from our minds and from our hearts. It takes time to heal our wounds and accept the presence of emotional pain into our lives. So give time, time.

7. SPEND TIME ALONE WITH YOURSELF.

When you love someone, you spend private time with that person, quality time. And in the dark moments of our lives, when pain is present in our hearts and in our minds, spending time alone with ourselves is one of the best gift we can give to ourselves.

Take the time to be alone with yourself. To acknowledge, love and appreciate the parts of you that are beautiful. To love yourself and to know yourself. To rest, time to heal and to fully recover fromall that you are feeling.

“Your light is seen, your heart is known, your soul is cherished by more people than you might imagine. If you knew how many others have been touched in wonderful ways by you, you would be astonished. If you knew how many people feel so much for you, you would be shocked. You are far more wonderful than you think you are. Rest with that. Rest easy with that. Breathe again. You are doing fine. More than fine. Better than fine. You’re doin’ great. So relax. And love yourself today.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch

8. REACH OUT FOR HELP AND SUPPORT.

“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.” ~ Karl Marx (composer)

Reach out for emotional help and support from those you love and trust. Surround yourself with cheerful and happy people. People who can make you laugh, who can make you see how beautiful life is and who can show you that there’s always something to look forward to.

9. LET NATURE HEAL AND COMFORT YOU.

“One has to be alone, under the sky, Before everything falls into place and one finds his or her own place in the midst of it all. We have to have the humility to realize ourselves as part of nature.” Thomas Merton

Spend more time outdoors and Look outside in nature for evidence of decay, destruction and death. Of rebirth, rejuvenation, and renewal. And remind yourself that you too are part of nature. Allow nature to be your wise friend, teacher and companion. Allow nature to heal and comfort you. To teach you more about the infinite circle of life. About birth, life, death, rebirth and about yourself.

10. CLAIM NOTHING AS YOUR OWN.

Love everything but cling on to nothing. Make peace with this idea that nothing in this life lasts forever, that nothing is yours to keep. Live each day as if it were your last. Each moment as if it were your only moment. Make the best of everything life sends your way and waste no time on arguing against what is.

“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.” ~Dalai Lama

“A person who lives moment to moment, who goes on dying to the past, is never attached to anything. Attachment comes from the accumulated past. If you can be unattached to the past every moment, then you are always fresh, young, just born. You pulsate with life and that pulsation gives you immortality. You are immortal, only unaware of the fact.” ~ Osho

11. TURN YOUR WOUNDS INTO WISDOM.

Every experience that comes your way, comes your way for a reason. Seek to know what that reason is. Seek to learn from every painful experience and every painful interaction life sends your way. Be an alchemist. Turn your wounds into wisdom and your difficulties into opportunities. Let your pain make you better, not bitter.

“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein

12. NO PAIN IS FOREVER.

If you’re still alive, if you’re still breathing, it only means that there’s still a lot of life for you out there. A lot of places for you to go to, many new and exciting things to do, to learn and to love.  So pick yourself up. Dust yourself off, and start all over again. Start rebuilding your life and make it ridiculously amazing. Don’t let a bad and painful experience make you feel like you have a bad and painful life. Don’t let a rainy day dampen your fun. Never forget that the Sun always shines abovethe clouds. It’s always up there :)

“Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.” ~ Joseph Addison

Do you think it’s possible to reach a point in life where you are entirely free of emotional pain?  You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below :)

With all my love,

danas-medium

 

Day 20: BPD Challenge (Expressing Yourself)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 20: How do you usually express yourself?

I express myself through music and writing. I love listening to music and singing in my car at the top of my lungs. It is the best feeling to me and completely changes my mood.

I love writing and blogging, this blog/website of mine has completely helped me to express myself.

 

Day 19: BPD Challenge (Lyrics)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 19: What are some lyrics that describe what you’re going through right now?

“All I Want”

All I want is nothing more
To hear you knocking at my door
‘Cause if I could see your face once more
I could die a happy woman I’m sure

When you said your last goodbye
I died a little bit inside
I lay in tears in bed all night
Alone without you by my side

But if you loved me
Why’d you leave me?
Take my body
Take my body
All I want is,
And all I need is
To find somebody.
I’ll find somebody like you.

Oh oh

So you brought out the best of me,
A part of me I’ve never seen.
You took my soul and wiped it clean.
Our love was made for movie screens.

But if you loved me
Why’d you leave me?
Take my body,
Take my body.
All I want is,
And all I need is
To find somebody.
I’ll find somebody.

Oh

If you loved me
Why’d you leave me?
Take my body,
Take my body.
All I want is,
All I need is
To find somebody.
I’ll find somebody like you.

Oh

Love Yourself- Article

HOW TO QUIT NEGATIVE SELF-TALK AND GET HAPPY

“Negative self talk! Why have we all fallen victim to this nasty state of bringing ourselves down? Let’s get one thing clear, self-talk isn’t just mindless chatter spiraling around in your head. It has a way of creating its own reality. Telling yourself you can’t do something can make that come true. Tell yourself you’ll never lose weight and it can be like eating a box of doughnuts. Tell yourself it’s too hard to find a new career and you will be likely to continue the cycle of disliking your old job and stay within that exact rut.

“Self-talk dictates how you relate to yourself and how you show up for other people. Let’s say you think you have nothing interesting to say. If you keep telling yourself that, other people are going to see you that way too.” – Franco Beneduce

People who think negatively tend to be less outgoing and have weaker social networks than positive thinkers. Multiple studies link positive emotions with more satisfying relationships, more romance and even lower rates of divorce and separation.

self-talkThe more you focus on negative events or shortcomings, the harder it is to put them behind you. In a survey of 231 college students, those with a positive outlook in life were more likely to look back on negative events and report how much better things are for them now. There are lessons in every challenge and an opportunity for growth. Acknowledge a bad day as just that, a bad day, don’t allow a certain event, conversation or let down determine your happiness.

If negative self-talk came with an off switch, you could just flip it off and be done with it. But it doesn’t. It takes a plan and some work to tone it down. Learning to dispute negative thoughts might take time and practice, but it is worth every effort. Once you start looking at it you’ll probably be surprised by how much of your thinking is inaccurate, exaggerated, or focused solely on the negatives of the situation. Here are a few ways to work through it.

Focus On Something Else

Over-thinking involves focusing on a train of thought that goes around and around. You can stop that train of thought by focusing on something else, ANYTHING ELSE! Read a book, breathe, get outside for 5 minutes, rest, make lunch, whatever it takes to break that thought pattern. We can stay in the victim state forever if we don’t choose to break free of the patterns.

Dispute It

You might ask yourself, “Is that really true? Is there another way to look at this situation? Is thinking this way helping me to feel good or to achieve my goals?” You may also look for some benefits. If you missed that job promotion, are there any lessons for the future you can take from the situation? Or could another opportunity come out of it? Was that really right for you, for your path?

Listen To Your BodySelf Talk

Use your feelings as your cue to reflect on your thinking. Whenever you find yourself feeling depressed, angry, anxious or upset, use this as your signal to stop and become aware of your thoughts. I say this all of the time, your body knows exactly what you need, LISTEN TO IT!

So Why Do We Do It?

Why are you negatively talking down to yourself? BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BE BETTER! So why are we focusing on what is wrong, bad, not exactly where we want it to be and creating more of just that? Up until now you may have been unaware of your thoughts manifesting your reality, but you have the tools to build a healthier thought pattern now. Focus on what is going well in your life, I can promise you there are some! Dwelling on the past, what has gone wrong and what isn’t going right for you will only manifest more of those patterns for you. It’s a hard concept for some to accept that we are our own creators but until we believe that, we are continuing the cycle of giving away our own power.

Moving Forward – Get To The Source

Recognizing that your current way of thinking might be self-defeating can sometimes motivate you to look at things from a different perspective. You can conquer your negative self-talk today by challenging yourself with the questions above every time you catch yourself thinking something negative to yourself. When you find the source of why you do it, you can kick it for good.”

Day 12: BPD Challenge (Family)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 12: What’s your relationship with your family?

I have a great family. My parents are fairly young; they had me when they were 18. They are still together, married for 28 years now. They used to battle with drug and alcohol addiction when they were young. When they had my siblings and I, they committed to changing their lives and overcoming addiction. They have been sober for 10 years  now. Although I have never done drugs in my entire life, let alone smoked a cigarette, I do drink from time to time and this worries them. My parents are the strongest people I know, they are funny, supportive and only want the best for me.

I have two wonderful younger siblings. My sister, who resides in Austin, Texas and my brother, he lives close by. They are my best friends, they aren’t judgmental and have always been there for me when needed. I am truly blessed to have a wonderful, big family. Every time I am around all of them, it’s a great time and constant laughter.

photo

#100HappyDays – Challenge

I’ve heard of the 100 Happy Days Challenge, but today I decided to look into it. I think it’s a cute idea!

We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towardslong term happiness of any human being.

71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason. These people simply did not have time to be happy. Do you?
The Challenge is to post a picture of something that makes YOU happy, everyday. It can be anything from a meet-up with a friend to a very tasty cake in the nearby coffee place, from a feeling of being at home after a hard day to a favor you did for a stranger.
 
#100happyday challenge is for you – not for anyone else.
It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting.
I am starting my 100 day challenge on Monday, Sept. 1st. via Instagram (kla.fae). I will share a picture of what made me happy everyday and link it to my blog for those of you who do not follow my IG. I encourage you to try it!

🙂

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

SELF-CARE ISN’T SELFISH

  • Posted on: 25 August 2014
  • By: Tiffany Keesey

“You know those moments where someone perfectly puts words to something you’ve been feeling but haven’t named?

That moment happened for me when I was sitting in the conference room at Invisible Children three years ago and a guest speaker was talking about insecurity. It wasn’t even his main point, but I will never forget when he off-handedly said, “You can’t invest in others if you don’t invest in yourself.”

It struck me. It felt as if he had just given me permission to embrace something that I had felt stirring within me. At that point, I had been working for the organization for 5 years, and I was exhausted. I loved my job and the organization, believed in the mission, and was surrounded by the most incredible community, but I was worn down. I couldn’t understand why I felt continually tired and overwhelmed when I knew I was doing the job I was supposed to be doing.

And here’s what it came down to: I was putting myself last. The tendency in the nonprofit world is to always put the cause above ourselves. It’s easy to forget to prioritize self-care when you are doing something you feel is more important. I had been working crazy hours and pouring most of my energy into my job, and I was doing it without putting much thought into what was fueling me.

I know this is not just true in the nonprofit world. My friends that are new parents struggle to find any time for themselves when their kids demand all their attention, and students are taught to achieve in order to get into college or to land a good job, often forgetting to take care of themselves. Somehow, as a culture, we’ve come to view rest as weakness and self-care as selfish and unnecessary.

None of that is wrong. Working for a cause, working hard in school, and being there for your child are all wonderful things. But I believe it is time for a shift in our mentality. When we take time for ourselves, when we prioritize balance, and when we cultivate other interests, we are better for it.

Studies show that we are 20 percent more productive when we work from a happy state of mind, as opposed to a negative, stressed, or even neutral state. When we are energized, we are equipped to tackle the game-changing tasks instead of just checking our inbox. We’re better prepared to solve problems, to overcome obstacles, to make the hard decisions, and to innovate.

Every now and then, let’s trade practicality for play and work for balance. Think of it as preparation for the next season in life where your life or your family or your job demands a lot from you. You need to be your best in those times. You need to show up. So, for now, let’s free ourselves of the guilt of having to always be busy because busyness just masquerades as productivity.

It doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Here’s where you can start:

1. Go back to the basics. Feed your mind and body with nutritious food. Stay hydrated and get enough sleep. Get outside for a few minutes if you’re stuck in an office all day. Be active, even if that just means choosing the stairs over the elevator.

2. Incorporate a daily ritual. We all can find an extra 15 minutes a day to invest into ourselves, whether that means waking up a little earlier, cutting out some wasted time at work, or getting off Instagram for a little bit. Begin or end your day with something that energizes you – maybe it’s journaling, taking a brisk walk, reading poetry, practicing yoga, or just making coffee and letting your mind be still.

3. Find time to cultivate larger interests outside of work. If you don’t know where to start, go back to what you loved when you were young. If you were a bookworm like me, join a book club. If you miss sports, join a kickball league. These activities remind us who we are.

4. Learn how to say no. This was the hardest thing for me, as a recovering people pleaser living with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I challenge you to think of your time to recharge as sacred. Put it on your calendar if you need to, and don’t allow it to get pushed to the bottom of your priority list.

Repeat after me: I will be a better [student / friend / leader / spouse / professional / parent] if I take care of myself.

Great. Now go be amazing.”

To Write Love On Her Arms

twloha.com