If you're feeling trapped in the negativity bubble, chances are you're not alone. I used to be the guy who fell into the negativity trap, often feeling pessimistic towards just about anything. What this meant for me was I started attracting people in my life who thought the same way and together we built a community of naysayers. When things began to turn around for me several years ago, I noticed a shift in my daily life, albeit in small stages. I began to enjoy more uplifting music, I smiled more, I laughed lots, I was able to make jokes at my own expense, and I started to attract friends and people who carried a positive glow.
Getting regular exercise can do wonders for your body and mind. Whenever I feel an onset of stress and anxiety, exercising helps me to reset. However, it wasn’t too long ago when I sometimes felt it was impossible to get myself motivated enough to even move a muscle. During that point in my life, I was on the edge of 220 lbs and had poor eating habits comprising of fast food and greasy Chinese take-out on a regular basis. In addition, I was carrying the weight of depression on my shoulders.
How can we declutter our brain from all those running thoughts? When we're conditioned to be productive or frantically chasing, keeping up with our busy lives, we're often caught in a cycle of feeling stress and anxiety. Here's a simple tip you can use to help bring balance back into your daily lives.
Communicating hasn't always been easy for me. If I had a problem, or felt a little anxious or depressed, I bottled up my feelings. I'd hang on to my feelings of stress and take it out on others, passively or sometimes directly with spiteful words. And saying sorry for my behavior was out of the question. Sorry? What does that mean anyway?
Anxiety is a perfectly normal emotion to feel. We feel it sometimes for a variety of reasons, but most often times in my experience, it's self-inflicted. When I peel back the onion, the root of the issue is when I find myself thinking too far into the future, worrying about things beyond my control. When I focus on things I could only do in the present state, I feel relief and a greater sense of calm.
Small steps, Jason is what a former mentor and CEO once said to me when I was feeling frustrated from a series of failed test trials at work. I never forgot that even though the words are so simple, it resonated deeply in me coming from someone who leaned on me for the success of the project and had complete faith in my efforts.
Every now and again those words pop up in my head especially when I reflect on how far I've come as a man over these last 5 years (and change). Not only am I talking about my mental health, but as a dad, friend and much more. I struggled before with managing my anger. I was the guy who cursed in traffic, worried anxiously over little things beyond my control such as the weather and other people's decisions, and was fragile when it came to my self-esteem.
Inspiration strikes sometimes when we least expect it. It can come from any direction and could be a chain reaction of events that sparked the ideas. As I rose up from my bed, I picked up my journal and began scribbling down ideas on what I want to do next to promote mental health awareness.
When I made the promise of being the best dad, I took it seriously and still do! Naturally, I stumbled along the way from time to time, being a dad who was impatient, selfish and angry, mirroring many similarities to my own father. However, I always managed to self-reflect after I faltered, hoping I wouldn't repeat the same mistakes by trying to identify any recurring patterns. By self reflection, I mean working with counsellors, meditating, journaling, and doing the work.