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Mental Health Monday – The Negativity Trap


Hey everyone!
I’m not even going to get into another long-winded explanation of how busy and crazy life has been and how blogging hasn’t really been possible and blah blah blah. Instead, we are just going to get right into today’s topic.

The negativity trap.

This post is one that I have wanted to write for almost a month now. However, due to life and emotional stuff and all that nonsense, it just hasn’t happened. Needless to say, I am super stoked to finally be able to sit down and write about this close to my heart topic.

So, this “negativity trap.” What exactly is it?

In a nutshell, the negativity trap is the phenomena that occurs when you surround yourself with others who have a negative attitude about a particular topic, or just life in general.

For example, say that you are talking to a friend and they are going on about a certain professor/teacher/employer that they just can’t stand. You are also a student/employee of this particular person, but you don’t have the same extreme opinion about them that your friend does. Heck, you may really even like this person.

So your friend is going on about how horrible this person is, how much they hate them, the whole nine yards. At first, you just let your friend vent without interjecting with your own personal opinion. However, this only works until you realize that your friend is actually expecting you to have an opinion as well.

Realizing this, you try to respond appropriately, while still not agreeing with the hateful views of your friend. Eventually, as your friend continues to go on, you find yourself agreeing more and more. In fact, you find yourself complaining about this particular person as well.

It’s strange, and it is something that I notice very frequently. It’s a bit like peer pressure… When you surround yourself with negativity, eventually you will find yourself giving into it.

So how do you handle this situation?

It’s trickier than you would think. You don’t agree with someone’s negative opinion? Just say so! …Right?

Not necessarily.

Unfortunately, us human beings have the tendency to let our ego control our thoughts an actions. We have some deeply routed need to fit in, to feel validated, supported. That being said, just because the ego wants to control us doesn’t mean that you have no choice but to succumb to it.

The goal of not just avoiding the negativity trap, but of life itself, is to achieve the highest level of self-actualization…. And a huge part of this is to let go of the ego, of the herd need, of the fear (that sometimes you don’t even know is there) that is making you give into the negativity that is attempting to make its way into your mind to alter your thinking.

See, it is so much easier to think in the same way as everyone else… And once you do fall into negativity, it is just a slippery slope. Negativity is infectious. But guess what? So is positivity.

It’s a difficult process, and it takes a lot of mental strength and control to avoid falling into the negativity trap. Going against the popular opinion is  difficult, it’s terrifying and uncomfortable. It takes practice, but I assure you that you will feel so much better if you stay true to your beliefs.

When we allow ourselves to give into negativity and allow others to project their thoughts and opinions (that we don’t actually agree with) on ourselves, we allow ourselves to be lesser than who we actually are.

Think about it for a second. Think of a time where you allowed someone else so put their opinion on you. Think of a time where you said something that you didn’t mean or agree with just to make someone else happy. How did you feel after the conversation ended? Did you feel guilt? Did you think, “Why did I say that?”

It’s not a good feeling.

Also, when we allow ourselves to fall into the negativity trap, we portray ourselves as something that we are not. When we surround ourselves with negativity, even if we are not thinking the same negative thoughts as our peers, we are lumped together with those that we surround ourselves with. When we agree with ideas that we don’t believe in and voice negative opinions that are not even our own, we project an image of being something that we are not. Fall into the negativity trap and you take on the image of being a negative person, and that is not who you are.

As I said earlier, it is definitely not easy to avoid falling into the negativity trap. It requires mental strength and control. It requires not allowing your thoughts and behaviors to be controlled by the ego. It requires a constant awareness and constant analyzations of your thoughts, words an actions.

There are always going to be times when you fall into this negativity trap. There will always be times when you let your guard down and let other’s thoughts and opinions warp your own. No one is perfect. However, in this life, the main mission is to become the greatest and most authentic version of yourself. It is a journey, and staying true to yourself even when you stand alone is just one step on this never-ending journey.

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fitness, healthy living, life, recovery

SMART Goal Setting + My Goals For The Week


Hello there people! How is your Sunday going?

Workout: Insanity Pure Cardio + Abs

Today has been a day full of a whole lot of nothing. I’m not feeling well whatsoever, so I’m just trying to rest up as much as possible in anticipation of a long night at work tonight.

I don’t know about you guys, but with rest often comes a ton of thinking… And I have certainly been thinking about a lot today.

I have a lot to work on in my life. In fact, this blog has become a means of chronicling my own journey in doing just that. I have a lot of healing to do, both mentally and physically. I have a lot of growing to do. I have a lot of self-discovery to do.

I have been in a truly horrible place for so long and I have only just recently began thawing. It’s been a slow process, and unfortunately it seems that for every step forward I take in healing, I take 5 steps backwards.

So it’s time to accept the fact that what I have been doing, or not doing, hasn’t been working… And it’s time to move forward.

I think that something I do, and that a lot of us do, is set huge long term goals and leave it at that.

I am going to get healthy.

I am going to lose xx pounds.

I am going to get a good job.

I am going to get a 4.o in school.

The problem with these type of goals is that that they are so broad that they often leave the goal setter feeling less inspired and more overwhelmed.

In my exercise science class, we learned about a type of goal setting called the SMART model.

Goals should be:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Time oriented

Now, we were learning about this specific way of goal setting in regards to fitness and weight loss, but it can easily be applied to any and every goal that one sets for themselves.

And this SMART model of goal setting is definitely, dare I say, smart.

Here’s an example of how this model would be used (this isn’t a goal of mine… just one that I made up).

Broad goal – To lose weight.

Specific – I want to lose 20 pounds

Measurable – Weigh ins and measurements taken weekly

Achievable – Losing 20 pounds at a steady pace of 1-2 pounds per week. (What you wouldn’t want is to set a goal of losing 20 pounds in a month…)

Realistic – Pretty much the same as Achievable

Time Based – Lose 20 pounds in the next 4-5 months.

Braking up a huge goal into smaller, more manageable mini-goals makes the goal less overwhelming. It’s like when your room is a complete mess, so you decide that one day you will clean out the closet, then your drawers the next day, and so on and so forth.

That being said, part 1 of what I have dubbed Operation Makeover My Life, is setting weekly goals!

I always psych myself out when it comes to setting weekly goals because all I can think of is, “What if I fail at accomplishing all of my goals and then am a pathetic failure because I can’t do anything right?”

Is this a tad overdramatic? Why yes.

First thing to write down for yesterday’s challenge – I will fail at accomplishing all that I set out to do this week. I will accomplish my goals for the week… And if not, that is ok. There is always next week. I will be kinder to myself.

So here are a couple of my goals for the week:

1. Drink green tea!

 

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I have actually already started on this one! I’m enjoying a cup of green tea with lemon while I am writing this!

Green tea is something that I used to enjoy daily, and I have to say that I actually felt better when I did. Green tea has such a huge amount of health benefits, curbs the appetite, helps control sugar cravings, and helps stimulate the metabolism. It’s also very hydrating.

And delicious.

It seems simple and silly, but as part of bettering my health and body, incorporating a cup or two of green tea into my daily routine seems like as good of a place as any to start!

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I also want to work on getting my hands of some matcha (it’s just so darn expensive) for even more health benefits!

2. Reduce my intake of processed carbohydrates.

We all know how I feel about my (grotesquely large) “snack” plates as meals.

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See all those pretzels and rice snaps? Now, there is nothing wrong with enjoying some pretzels now and again. I know that a lot of people look at carbohydrates and breads as the devil… But the way I see it is that if pretzels are the most unhealthy thing that I am eating, then I don’t exactly see it as the worst thing in the world.

What makes my pretzel habit problematic is that they seem to make up almost half of my total intake for the day… I include them in my lunches, and often my dinners since I often have snack plates for dinners as well. Along with incorporating them into meals, I also snack on them throughout the day.

I just don’t feel comfortable with the percentage of my total intake coming from these types of foods or with the lack of nutritional value that these foods offer.

And this leads me to my next goal.

4. Eat more protein!

I seem to have fallen out of incorporating lean protein sources into any of my meals… I maybe have something like tuna or chicken breast of fish twice a week… And that is certainly not ideal. Funny thing is, I know that part of my aversion to protein sources is my stupid fear of calories… I feel like if I am going to intake x amount of calories, I would rather get them from something that I enjoy more (hello pretzels).. Which is dumb.

Protein has a thermogenic effect on the body, so incorporating more protein into my diet would actually encourage a higher metabolic rate after meal time which would encourage a leaner physique.

and that brings me to my final goal for the week…

5. Normalize my meals.

One cannot and should not live on acai bowls, snack plates, and pretzels alone… I strongly believe that if I started eating more normal meals, my issues with constant grazing and high intake of low fiber carbohydrates would greatly lessen.

Then maybe I would feel better about myself and less bad about my diet and eating habits.

 

Small steps. Small steps.

Here’s to a good week!

Question(s):

What are your goals for the week?

What is your biggest dietary downfall?

 

 

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fitness, life, recovery

Best Swim Workout to Date


Hey everyone! I am finally done editing tomorrow’s video for my Youtube channel so I finally have a chance to type up this post! I’m hoping I’ll actually get it up before midnight haha…

Today I woke up at 6:30 to head on over to the gym for my last swim workout before I go away for the long weekend. I’m considering buying a knee brace and trying a short run while I’m away to see how my knee feels. As much as I enjoy a good cross training session, I miss running so much. Plus, there’s something about running while on vacation that is just the greatest thing on the planet.

Not only was my swim absolutely awesome this morning (although the dragging myself out of bed and throwing myself into a cold pool was not), but I also got the lap lane all to myself for a majority of my swim! This never happens at my gym since I typically go when all of the people who are going to the gym before heading off to work are there and there are only two lap lanes.

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How many times am I going to reuse this photo? The world may never know.

Here’s the breakdown of my workout:

Warm up – 350m freestyle

Endurance –

2 x 200m freestyle pull (buoy between legs and using    arms only to swim)

2 x 200m freestyle kick (hold kick board and use legs only to swim)

2 x 100m freestyle

Sprints –

4 x 50m IM style format (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle)

2 x 25 freestyle

Repeat sprints 2x

Cool Down –

100m breaststroke

300m freestyle

Done!

The workout in it’s entirety took about 55 minutes total (the 200m freestyle kicks took about a million years since I kind of fail at the whole kicking thing) and my legs and arms will definitely be feeling this tomorrow!

After my workout, I hit up the sauna for a few minutes to sit and meditate before starting my day. I am one of those people that always means to meditate but either forgets to or doesn’t have the patience to do so. I find that sitting in the sauna allows me to quiet my mind enough to really reflect and mediate and I have really been loving starting my day this way.

Next, I hit up the shower, put some makeup on, grabbed some coffee, and headed off to therapy!

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It feels really weird saying, “therapy,” on my blog… But I really am not ashamed of the fact that I attend therapy and I really love going. I’ve said it before, but the type of therapy that I attend is holistically based and marries different techniques of healing like meditation, hypnosis, and traditional talk therapy.

I started work the other day and it has been triggering a lot of anxiety in me along with the fact that I am going away tomorrow until Sunday with my entire family (I love traveling but it also freaks me out because it means not being able to have my normal routine that I do at home) so I am so thankful that I got in a good session today! We talked about a lot of really great things like positive affirmations and having hope for the future.

I would really love to share some of what we spoke about today, but I think that I will save that post for later in the week when it’s not midnight and I’m not falling asleep on top of my computer so that I can really write an in depth post. I both hope and think some of the coping techniques that I learned today may be helpful for some of you =).

Now off to bed so I can get up tomorrow and get my video uploaded and my workout in before I have to pack and leave!

Oh, and my night ended in a really good way… Just saying ;).

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New Video: My College Experience


Hey everyone!
Today was a crazy day full of filming, editing, uploading, aaaaand…

A job interview!
I actually wound up getting the job. I’m so nervous! My last job was absolutely AWFUL and I think that that may be the reason that my anxiety is so high. Here’s hoping it’s a good experience!

Also, since it’s Wednesday… that means a new video on my Youtube channel!

Today, I decided that maybe it would be fun to do a vlog-ish type video where I just sit and talk to you guys. If you have any interest in hearing what my first year of college was like, check it out!

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