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Shed Social Anxiety and Be Still, Mindful

Social anxiety can be paralyzing and prevent us from living life fully. It's possible to shed social anxiety and embrace life. Use mindfulness, acceptance, and more to create your quality, anxiety-free life.

Social anxiety prevents us from fully living our lives. All anxiety does this, of course, but social anxiety does a particularly good job of blocking our movements along the path to our quality life. This anxiety disorder is more of a spectrum of experiences than it is one single form of anxiety. It ranges from shyness (which isn’t a diagnosable disorder) on the mildest end of the spectrum to avoidant personality disorder (this one is so pervasive that it’s categorized as a personality disorder rather than an anxiety disorder.

Social Anxiety Isolates the Real You

“In response to human interaction, either I clam up and can barely speak, or I click into intellectual mode so I can explain something and be done. Idiot.” —Brian Cunningham in My Life in a Nutshell: A Novel. 

Social anxiety gets in the way of our human interaction, which includes our interaction with others and with ourselves (because despite how it feels sometimes, we are human and we interact with ourselves.)  It involves the fear of judgement; a lack of self-efficacy, that inability to believe in ourselves and capabilities; the habit of overthinking every component of every interaction; a very unhealthy dose of negative, harsh self-talk which of course only fuels the anxiety. 

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Mindfulness, Wellbeing Tips: A Collective Photo Gallery

Discover reader tips for menal health and wellbeing in this photo gallery to enhance wellbeing. Join in by sharing your own tip. Together, we'll all build a great resource for quality life.

Mindfulness enhances wellbeing. It equips us to deal with what we don’t want, such as problems we don’t have much control over. It also allows us to drastically reduce things that are disrupting our lives, such as anxiety. Pictures reach us and teach us through our visual sense. A photo gallery can bring mindfulness to us aesthetically and show us useful tips for a mindful lifestyle. One that is a collective resource where we all share tips that work for us is a way for everyone to grow. So let’s do it!

For me, mindfulness is something that has helped, and continues to help, me create a quality life, and I’ve worked with wonderful people and have seen mindfulness let them improve their lives. Mindfulness proved to be a calming and empowering tool for students in a school for homeless and runaway adolescents where I worked as the teacher and counselor. It even helped a four-year-old boy in foster care when I was his play therapist. 

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It’s Mental Health Awareness Month: Create Yourself Anew

Mental heatlh awareness means knowing that you can create yourself anew, over and over again. Trees symbolize mental health, and we can learn a lot from a tree. Read more to learn about your mental helath and MHAM.

I love that Mental Health Awareness Month is in May. It’s the height of spring, and flowers are in bloom, leaves are unfurling, and birds are soaring as they build their nests. Signs of life abound when we tune in mindfully to enjoy them. May is the perfect metaphor for mental health (note that the representative color is even green).

Just as the earth is waking up and creating itself anew, so, too, can we. It’s what mental health and wellbeing are all about. This is an ongoing process and spans across all months, but Mental Health Awareness Month shines sunlight on the process on purpose, a reminder that we can take charge of ourselves and our wellbeing. We live an ever flowing journey of creating ourselves anew. 

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A Book Giveaway for Mental Health Awareness Month

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, win one of six mental health books in my book giveaway. Learn the details and enter here.

To celebrate mental health awareness month, join the fun and win one of six books in the 2018 mental health book giveaway. Why celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month? Because mental health and wellbeing are something to celebrate. Mental health means many things, but it can be summarized thus:

Mental health and wellbeing mean creating a quality life and embracing en-JOY-ment right now, despite problems and struggles big and small. 

Your life well-lived is something to celebrate. Mental Health Awareness Month is something to rejoice. I’m honoring the month (and beyond) in a couple of ways:

  • With my new website
  • With a mental health book giveaway
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What does Earth Day Mean for Your Mental Health, Wellbeing?

Something incredibly important to remember on Earth Day and every day is how deeply connected to, even dependent upon our planet we are for our mental health and wellbeing.

Earth day is a wonderful day because it’s about health. As a global society, we intentionally recognize the Earth and the good things it does for all life. This day is a reminder that we’re all in this together, that this planet is for all of us. Together, we all benefit from its health. Together, we all suffer from its illness. Taking this day to connect with the Earth and to thank it for all it does for us is a powerful, positive thing to do. Something incredibly important to remember on Earth Day and every day is how deeply connected to, even dependent upon our planet we are for our mental health and wellbeing.

Below you’ll find some of the myriad ways you can connect with nature every day to boost your wellbeing and life satisfaction. Which ones do you already do? What do you want to add anew or do more of? 

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Anxious Thoughts are Sticky: Use Mindfulness to Remove Them

Anxious thoughts stick to us and are hard to shake off. Learn how mindfulness reduces anxious thoughts and increases wellbeing and inner peace.

Anxious thoughts are annoying at best and quite damaging to our mental health and wellbeing at worst. Part of the problem with these worries, fears, and what-ifs is the fact that once they form, they stick. It’s as if they’re covered in oozing tree sap so when they pop into your mind, they don’t leave. When we try to shake them of, they tighten their hold. When we try to argue them away, they grow because we’re giving them our full attention. We are focusing on all of our anxieties, and they stick together, growing larger and larger and threatening to consume us. Plain and simple, anxious thoughts are sticky so they don’t go away. It can seem as though we’ll never be able to loosen them. That is a common thought/feeling borne out of the frustrations of anxiety. It’s also false. You can remove your sticky thoughts. Mindfulness is a powerfully effective way to do it. 

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Mindfulness Reduces Anxiety with a Gentle Shift

Mindfulness is effective in reducing anxiety and in creating a calm, peaceful quality life worth living. Learn more here.
Several years ago, when my anxiety was stuck in its intense phase, I decided to give mindfulness, the act and state of being of living fully in the present moment rather than stuck inside our mind, another try. Yes, another try. In my quest for the holy grail, that one thing that would miraculously poof away all of my social anxiety and generalized anxiety, I had tried many things many times. Mindfulness as a technique for soothing so many things, including anxiety, is something that was and continues to be hailed as effective in decreasing anxiety. 

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A Way to Be: Announcing The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety

What is mindfulness, and what can it do for you? Find out what practicing mindfulness can do for you, your anxiety, and your quality life.
Mindfulness receives quite a bit of attention. Rightly so, for it is a vital part of the ongoing journey of a life of mental health and wellbeing.

I’ve practiced mindfulness for over a decade. I was first introduced to the concept when I was hospitalized in a behavioral health center following a traumatic brain injury. Since then, it’s become a key element in my mental health and wellbeing, and it’s allowed me to both reduce anxiety and live well in spite of any residual anxiety or anxiety flares.

Mindfulness is so much more than trying to find time in our busy schedules to sit and meditate. In fact, while sitting meditation and mindfulness can go hand and hand, mindfulness doesn’t have to look like that at all. 

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Be Your Authentic Self for Happiness and Wellbeing

You can create happiness despite any circumstance by being yourself and carring your own colors with you. Here are 5 ways to create happiness.
Sometimes, life—our inner world, outer world, or both—is drab, dull, lackluster. When that happens, create happiness anyway. Carry your own colors with you.
Every March 20th, the world celebrates International Day of Happiness. This is just one of 365 days in a year that we can choose to embrace happiness in our lives and to spread happiness around us in a world that seem to need it now more than ever.

Ah, there’s the thing. We face personal struggles: physical health, mental health, financial health, relationship health, and more. The world is unhealthy in many ways, too. Has “happiness” become extinct, no longer anything more than an artificial construct in a psychology research lab?

Happily (and I use the word intentionally), the answer is an emphatic no. To see why happiness is alive and well and in reach of everyone, it helps to know a couple things about what happiness is and what it is not. 

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Triumph Over TBI: How to Turn Loss Into Opportunity

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause many types of loss. Learn how to use loss as opportunity for moving forward and thriving after TBI.
In the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), life can feel chaotic. There is so much to sort out, and doing so isn’t easy. By knowing what losses TBI brings, we can take action to turn loss into opportunity.
TBI can affect people more profoundly than (almost) any other injury. It can impact our physical and mental wellness, who we think we are, how we think, how we feel, how we act, and what we do. The brain is our control center, and when it is injured, we feel much of the damage in the form of loss. 

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