Personal Growth = Stress Relief

*Author’s note: Here I am talking about stress today and I accidentally erased the entire post that I wrote! But instead of stressing, I’ve decided to take steps to avoid that from happening again. What do I mean? I’m typing this into a word processor (as I normally do) instead of directly into the WordPress app (which I don’t normally do) lol…

So. Stress. Stress management tips and methods. Also known as, how to not freak out and get overwhelmed.

There are two types of common stress: Self-Induced and Circumstantial.

Self-Induced stress means that the stressful situation could have been avoided if you had either:

  • Reacted differently
  • Or made better decisions.

If you’re like most people, you have a memory. And if you have a memory then you have the power to remember what happened.

Now, it’s important to note that you don’t want to dwell on bad experiences. You don’t want to live there mentally because if you do, you’ll re-live the stress and uncomfortable feelings over and over again until the end of time.

What to do? First, you have to have the ability to accept personal responsibility for what you did wrong in the bad experience. This takes self-awareness and maturity. It is worth it to develop these traits as it will serve you forever in your life.

Of course it’s not so easy but discipline will produce a level of authenticity in your life that can only come from being in control and disciplined.

Next, take a look at the bad experience and see what you could have done differently. Are there any signs that you missed? Any keywords that you didn’t pay attention to?

If you didn’t do anything wrong then all you need to do is let go of the situation and move on with your life.
If you did do something wrong then here’s what you can do:

  1. Make a note of what you don’t want to happen again.
  2. Determine how you need to make changes to your behavior.
  3. Move forward with confidence that you will make better decisions in the future.

It’s important to state again that reliving old stress is being mean to yourself. Holding on to things that hurt you is very undesirable and is a lack of self-control.

Discipline solves this because it allows you to give your energy to things and experiences that are going to move you forward in life, whether that’s mentally or physically. Moving on from trauma is an individual thing. But if other people do not allow you to move on, they either:

  • Are clueless to how you feel, or
  • They know exactly how you feel and they want to cause you pain.

You can choose how to move forward with those people. If they’re continually causing you anxiety then that abusive behavior needs to be cut off as soon as you can.

Now, let’s talk about Circumstantial Stress.

Circumstantial Stress can be short term or long term, it really depends on how you deal with it.

  • Reacting badly can draw it out into another stressor that you don’t want to deal with.
  • Reacting thoughtfully will allow the stress to roll off you like water droplets on duck feathers.

Yes, my dear. It is your RESPONSE that will determine how much stress you experience. That’s why this quote is so popular: “Life is 5% what happens to you and 95% how you react to it.”

Yeah, it’s a bit clichΓ© at this point in quote history but it’s still true.

( Personally, I’d adjust the percentages to a 20%/80% balance but my way is less dramatic.)

Anyway, Let’s get back on subject!

SELF-DISCIPLINE, by way of controlled emotions, will save you all sorts of mental anguish.

Uncontrolled emotions will have you reacting to and attaching feelings to things that are not worth your emotional energy. Things that hurt you, or hurt other people, or hold you back, etc.

So many things in life are not worth feeling stressed out or anxious about.

But, undoubtedly, things will come into your life that SUCK but you have to DEAL WITH IT ANYWAY. That is apart of life. Here’s the game plan for that:

  • Only deal with what is a fact (don’t assume),
  • Don’t become emotionally invested,
  • Develop the ability to redirect your thoughts to other things.
  • Don’t let the stressful stuff become a part of your identity.

Personal development by way of self-discipline can help you to maintain a more balanced life.

I feel like I didn’t say enough about self-discipline so here are some other good things about discipline.

  • Discipline is looking out for yourself.
  • Discipline will prevent unnecessary pain, stress, and anxiety.
  • Discipline is not easy to consistently implement. BUT being disciplined will increase your self-respect.
  • Discipline will allow you to reach your goals and dreams.
  • Discipline and routine will keep you emotionally balanced.

If you’ve reached this part, thank you so much for reading! I really do feel like there is more to add to this post but it has to come to an end here. Peace to you and leave me a comment if you have any thoughts. Thank you!

Sweet and Savory POPS Review

One thing that’s not so great about travelling is when you happen to fall in love with a snack that you can’t find when you return back home.

I’m starting to feel that way about a particular Made in Nature snack.

Made in Nature is a brand that has a line of “POPS”. Contrary to the name, they’re not a popsicle, or lollipop or anything on a stick. If anything, they’re a similar size to cake pops.

Made in Nature POPS are made with organic plant-based ingredients. Vegan friendly, too.

I had the pleasure of trying 3 types of these snacks and here’s the review here!

Starting with the ‘NANA POPS BANANA-RAMA SUPER SNACKS 🍌

At first, I was surprised. These only had 3 POPS in the pack. But once I took a bite I realized why:

They’re really filling. These balls of bananas, raisins, figs, nuts, dates and more are all pretty dense ingredients.

They are soft and the banana flavor is not overpowering. People who are seeking a healthier banana candy may enjoy these.

The flavor and texture is pleasant but the picture on the package is a tad bit misleading. Particular the part that says “NUT BUTTER FILLED”. The ones I had were no such case. Perhaps the taste of almond butter was there but the word “filled” is an exaggeration.

Other than that slight complaint, I would buy this again if I wanted something small and filling.

Next we’ll quickly cover MANGO POPS. Quickly because I don’t have the pictures of the actual snacks. Luckily, they look strikingly like to the ‘NANA POPS.

The Mango Pops were my least favorite. I’m a Mango lover and they don’t have what it takes to fulfill me on the subject of taste.

Would not buy again 😦

But, do you know what I would buy again?? The VEGGIE POPS!

I would eat these VEGGIE POPS for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I could. They are SO tasty.

And, I regret not grabbing a ton more when I saw them. Next time I won’t make that mistake!

What makes them so good? The flavor combined with the mouth-feel.

They’re like Kale chips. Not the plain olive oil coated Kale chips…. the type that are coated with pleasant coating of flavourful goodness usually involving sunflower seeds or cashews.

You guys, these are so tasty and flavorful. They need no dip, no extra seasoning.

Unlike the other POPs that are chewy, these are light and crispy.

I highly recommend these to everyone!

Wicked Crisps Chips

Shopping for snacks in Food Lion, I came across a big bunch of Wicked Crisp chips. Knowing me, I picked out the non-dairy ones and thought I would be getting a gourmet version of veggie chips.

With a name like Wicked Crisps, I assumed that there would be BOLD flavors happening in this bag. I also assumed it would be crispy like chips ought to be.

I was wrong, on both accounts. The texture first – hard and plastic-y. Maybe some people like thick and hard chips but I am not that person.

With these sturdy chips, there’s no chance they’d break off into a dip.

Both bags that I purchased – Spring Vegetable Medley and Red Curry Hummus – had this same kind of chip: thick, sturdy, dry.

The main difference would be the flavor. Take a look at this Spring Vegetable Crisp:

There was not one shake of seasoning on these things. They were dry and largely flavorless. We decided they’d be better with soup. But we were at the beach and we had no soup so we put these away and tried the Red Curry ones.

The Red Curry Chips were the same undesirable texture but they had a shake of seasoning and it was very tasty. BUT, it was also very LITE.

I enjoy a lot of seasoning with my food and snacks. These Red Curry Hummus Crisps were made for people who don’t like heavy seasonings.

I found myself mindlessly eating a lot of these chips just so I could get the flavor of the curry. That’s not a good thing.

What else can be said about these? Thank you for your offering, Wicked Crisps, but we’ll pass on em.

Taste Test: Country Crock Plant Butter

Plant based enthusiasts rejoice!: Another big name company is getting on the vegan train, making it easier for all of us to enjoy a non-dairy lifestyle.Country Crock has done it with their new line of PLANT BUTTER. Here’s the ingredients:One concern is the Lactic Acid but I’ll assume that has plant-based origins as well.The name Plant Butter is slightly indulgent as the ingredients are mostly oil (79% to be exact) but that’s only an issue for people who avoid oil for whatever reason. That’s not me so I’m totally free to enjoy this to my heart’s content.These plant butters come in a spreadable version and in sticks for baking.The flavor choices are olive oil, avocado oil and almond oil.Almond oil is the most unique out of the three so that is the one that I grabbed. It would be nice to try all versions in the same timeframe but I may need to discuss that with Country Crock more directly (anyone have a phone number…?) :)So what is in my fridge is the almond oil based plant butter.I made toast with it this morning for my son and I to enjoy before he went to school.”Is that oil?” He asked as he inspected the toast.(Sometimes I drizzle bread with olive oil for toast and he doesn’t really like it that way.)”It’s a new vegan butter.” I tell him as he takes a bite.My son Legendary is known for his honesty and quick determination when it comes to new foods. He gave his thoughts on it immediately:”It’s good!” He proclaimed.And good it is.Buttery and salty, just like I like it.It tastes slightly like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, but a little fresher and real.Next, I gotta get some sticks of Country Crock Plant Butter and see how it does in baked goods.Omg, vegan pound cake, perhaps?! My mouth waters at the very thought!

Caffeinated Sparkling Water

Given the popularity of caffeine, it’s no surprise that a zero calorie option would be desired! Sparkling water infused with Caffeine fills that void.I picked up a can to try, and then I noticed that there were many options available:I think it’s weird, but the irony here is that I’m so sleepy right now, I’d gulp one of these down immediately. I did try one the other day, a black cherry flavor:It actually tasted pretty good. The black cherry flavor was so tasty that I didn’t even miss the sugar.Now, let’s get real about what matters: the energy boosting powers.How was it as a pick-me-up?It worked! I actually did receive a boost in energy from consuming this can. It was steady and long lasting energy. Mission accomplished!Be sure to drink some pure water too, though. Speaking water is fun but it’s not the most hydrating, unfortunately.

Easier Relief from Anxiety Attacks

*Summary at the end of this article!*

If you know what anxiety feels like then you already know: anxiety is not fun. Anxious feelings are unpleasant.
At best, the anxious feelings won’t be more than mild nervousness before something important or meaningful is about to happen. At worst, the anxiousness will be a full blown anxiety attack over something small or out of your control.

As with all medical problems, see your doctor if anxiety is disrupting your quality of life. And also, all medical problems will come with circumstances that are specific to you and your situation. One size does not fit all.
The numerous anxiety-related disorders pinpoint all the different ways that these uncomfortable feelings and stress responses display themselves.
To have true happiness in your life, anxiety sufferers have to find a way to not be weighed down by it. As with everything, rising above anxiety starts with knowing what it is. This is key to stopping anxiety attacks once and for all.

What Is Anxiety?
The Easy Light Sources definition of anxiety is stress. This can be the stress of the unknown, the stress of not being in control, or anything else that applies.
Stress is a part of life. How you handle it is really what matters. A lot of stressful situations can be prevented by:

  • Being organized
  • Not obsessing over things you cannot control
  • Controlling your thoughts
  • Having a hobby or interest to participate in

Unrecognized stress and anxiety can turn into unhealthy coping skills. Uncontrolled anxiety can get progressively worse.

Chemical-Free Anxiety Medication?

Treating yourself without medication is only for the strongest amongst us. Everyone is stronger than they think.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a split brain, or you believe that you need medication to stop you from hurting someone then go ahead and medicate yourself. But just remember, a dependency is not a cure. If you as unable to have the anxiety management drugs, you don’t want to fall apart.
Treating yourself without medication and pills is possible. It’s just stress management using the natural resources available to you!

A word about anxiety treatment with natural substances: CBD Oil is the latest natural supplement for anxiety. People love it and there’s are thousands of testimonials that support the claim that CBD Oil is the bees knees. On a lesser tier, herbs, such as valerian and passionflower also do the same relaxing things in the body. Natural substances are a good way to go but NO substances is the actual way to go for longevity (long-term anxiety relief).

It would be helpful to learn ways to ground yourself with your five senses. Learning these things before you have an anxiety attack will make it easier to use them during an anxious moment.

  1. Sight – Take several moments to look at something beautiful. Pretty flowers, regal animals, artistic cloud patterns, smiling faces of your loved ones, lush green grass, colorful fruit. Anything that you like that you find pleasant to your eyes… You can also close your eyes and visualize the pleasant things that you enjoy looking at.
  2. Smell – Make it a priority to smell some fresh air every day. There are other scents too – natural oils, essential oils, fresh flowers, cooking food and/or baked goods, pungent herbs, coconut oil, and more.. It doesn’t have to just be things you like the smell of. The scent of bitter herbs also brings new energy to your experience.
  3. Feelings – Take a moment to appreciate the texture of different materials around you. The pattern of your jeans, the softness of a cotton shirt, the cool metal of your earrings, your heavy belt buckle, a plush blanket, a soft pillow…. Feelings also come in the form of an emotional expression. Indulge in the feeling of things that you are grateful for, thankful for, and what brings feelings of joy.
  4. Taste – Because of the tendency for food to become a dependency, anxiety-related disorders should not be treated with food. Sweets, candy, salty foods, chips, all of these things should be enjoyed in peace. Anxiety attacks are not peaceful moments.
  5. Hearing – “They say music can alter moods and talk to you.” It’s true! Because of this truth, the music that you listen to during anxious moments should be pre-chosen before you have a moment. Use any and all of your favorite songs. If you enjoy hate music – That is, music with negative or harm inducing lyrics, listen to it once or a few times. As you listen to it, have the intention to release your anxiety into the lyrics. Cry if you need to. But balance it out with some “it will be okay, it’s a wonderful day” type of lyrics.

The options are endless! It is worth it to take the time to determine what you like and what adds good energy to your mental state. Keep your resources close to you.
If none of the simple suggestions above help, you may really want to consider whether or not you actually want to be rid of anxiety. You have the give it a try.

Now we should really talk about social anxiety.

What Causes Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety has two components:
You
Other people

Other people can be mean, they can be jerks. For some reason there are some people who are mean spirited on purpose. They want other people to feel pain and hurt. Being on the receiving end of this energy can certainly cause people problems socially.
Being teased will certainly prevent someone from wanting to share their thoughts and ideas with others because of the fear of being ridiculed.
It’s understandable but it’s also a weak position that hinders you from progressing socially and otherwise.

A person with social anxiety would benefit much better to accept more responsibility for their social anxiety.
The harsh truth comes down to the fact that most socially anxious people have insecurity at their core. Sure, the insecurity may be caused by someone else’s actions toward you but it takes a strong person to decide to control their own feelings. Be that strong person.

Strength and believing in yourself has many forms and it looks different depending on the situation.

Being able to adapt is a key skill to live without anxiety. But first, let’s see what strength and believing in yourself looks like:

  • Saying no when you want to say no.
  • Letting someone know when they’re being a jerk.
  • Speaking your opinion and/or speaking facts that you know to be true.
  • Dressing in a style that you find appealing.
  • Leaving a room that is hostile towards you.
  • Entering a room that you belong in.
  • Not believing negative things that people say to you or about you.
  • Choosing to be happy.
  • Practicing self-care to increase your personal value.
  • Always doing your best.

When it comes to adaptation, there is strength in flexibility. Being too rigid makes it hard for other people to work with you. Just how you have your own thoughts and ideas about things, so do other people. Only wanting to do things your way is unfair to other people. It is also unfair to you because that means that you’re blocking your ability to expand your mind via other other perspectives.

Control issues is a form of anxiety, too. Wanting to control everything causes stress because 1) you’ll be stressed if things don’t go according to how you want it to. And 2) you’ll be uptight as you hold on too tight.

Just. Relax.

Drugs and Anxiety
Drugs cause anxiety. If you can’t get the drug, you’ll be anxious. You can become anxious as you worry about the quality of your drugs. The way that a drug reacts with your brain cells may cause anxiety. Being high and not in control can cause anxiety. Taking a break from drugs can cause anxiety as your body cleanses itself.
And so on. Remember, any substance can cause anxiety. Especially if you can’t get any and you don’t know how to cope with sobriety.

Why Does Depression and Anxiety Commonly Go Hand-in-Hand?
The unfortunate truth is that many people who have depression also have anxiety. Depression, for many, is a lower energy form of anxiety.
To be frank, each of these emotional disorders are bad enough on their own. Combining them into a common phrase -depression and anxiety – subliminally encourages people to put them together and claim both problems.

However, unfortunately, lots of people who have one of these disorders will have the other. That’s because they share a root cause of perspective: pessimism.

So, What Are Some Proper Solutions / Anxiety Coping Skills:

There are some coping skills listed earlier in this article geared toward the 5 senses. So instead of repeating those great suggestions, it would be helpful to mention something that is not popularly stated when it comes to treating anxiety. That is –
SELF-CONTROL.

Anxiety is an emotional and thought-driven disorder. You can control your thoughts. JUST THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE.
Before you say “It’s not that easy” ask yourself this question: “would you rather think about what’s causing your anxiety attack or would you rather think about something else?” Stop reliving bad experiences.

If you must think about the trigger then CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE about it. In any unfortunate situation, determine how you can win or benefit from it. Whatever it is, frame it in a way that it works to your advantage.

If you can’t do that then your mental fortitude needs to be strengthened.

**SUMMARY**

  • Anxiety is an unhealthy response to stress.
  • Grounding yourself is a good way to curve anxiety attacks.
  • For long-lasting anxiety relief, it’s imperative to learn how to cope without the use of any substances (natural/unnatural).
  • At the root of social anxiety is insecurity.
  • Drugs cause anxiety.
  • Depression and anxiety both have pessimism as a root cause.
  • Anxiety solutions include getting an anxiety bracelet, getting counseling, meditation, controlling your thoughts, being organized, and going with the flow.
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