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Gain Mental Freedom, Embrace a Life of Wellbeing

You can gain mental freedom, experience wellbeing. Break free from struggles to live the quality life you envision. Use these steps for mental freedom.

Among the many types of freedom, mental freedom is perhaps the most important of all. Every year in early July, the United States celebrates Independence Day. Many nations joyfully observe their own independence at various times throughout the year. Regardless of where one lives, an independence day is a day that celebrates freedom from unwanted control. The significance of this day goes far deeper than the political realm and touches each and every one of us on a personal level of being and impacts our mental freedom and wellbeing. .

To live well and embrace a life of wellbeing, we need to experience mental freedom. When we feel as though we are under the control of anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders, brain injury, toxic relationships, or so much more, we often feel caged. Our mental health and happiness suffer. Just as entire nations have broken free from unwanted control, so can we as individuals who want to live quality lives. 

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Memorial Day Gratitude and Action for Our Wellbeing

Today is Memorial Day.

For many, it marks the beginning of summer. Some schools have already dismissed, the academic year officially over. It’s the unofficial first camping weekend of the season. It’s a day of picnics and barbeques, of gardening—planting and nurturing vegetables and fruits that will nourish us in the moment and through the next seasons as well as planting beautiful flowers to appreciate and enjoy mindfully.

Memorial Day weekend—the weekend, not the “Day”—is this, yes. The dedicated day, however, is beyond this. Today is a day that we remember, honor, and appreciate soldiers who sacrificed their lives standing for the freedom they valued for everyone. It began in 1865 at the end of the Civil War and continues today as an honor those who have continued to preserve our way of life for 153 years and counting. 

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Appreciate Beauty by Creating Your Own

Appreciate beauty as a way to enhance your wellbeing. Appreciating beauty helps us shift our focus, and it's a part of mindfulness. If you can't find beauty, create beauty.

To appreciate beauty, to be able to pause, take in the world around you, and enjoy the myriad beautiful things around you is empowering. Appreciating beauty is many things at once. It is a:

  • character strength, something inherent within us that we can develop and use to enhance our lives and the lives of others
  • mindfulness technique to rein in your thoughts and attention to the here-and-now
  • grounding experience that connects you to the physical world (versus the realm of your thoughts and emotions)

By doing the simple act of savoring splendor, you stop your anxious thoughts, worries, stressors, depression, all mental health challenges, and physical health struggles. Certainly, these problems don’t automatically stop and retreat forever when you pause to appreciate beauty. It would be nice, but it doesn’t work that directly. What happens when you pause and appreciate beauty is that you experience a shift in focus and perspective. What happens, though, when it’s hard to find something beautiful to appreciate? 

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What is Mindfulness? 6 Mindfulness Facts: An Infographic

 

Mindfulness. What, exactly, is it? We hear the term often, yet there is much about mindfulness that remains a mystery. Beyond living in the present moment, what is this practice we call mindfulness?

May 15th, the middle of Mental Health Awareness Month, is the first day that the physical copy of The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety is available. Whether you’re catching this on the launch day or far past it, mindfulness is relevant. The more we know (I’m always learning), the better we can use it to decrease anxiety or other challenges and cultivate our lives of wellbeing. 

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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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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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