Self-development, Selfcare Tips

4 Steps to Ending Your Shame (Part 1 of 2)

You’re ashamed…

Of your past, your actions, and your decisions.

You feel guilty or embarrassed about something you have done or a quality in your character.

But why do you feel this way?

I find the topic of shame to be quite an interesting one because I believe it is far more nuanced than you might think. It is especially nuanced because it can arise for 2 different reasons: (1) as a result of your actions that namely effected other(s), and; (2) as a result of your actions that namely effected you.

To break things down simply, today’s blog post will be about the former reason (make sure you tune-in next week where I discuss reason 2)

So Why Shame?

If you do something dishonourable toward another person, I think it is incredibly important for you to feel remorseful; an essential mark of self-awareness is to recognize actions that are unethical, immoral, and that have negative consequences.

BUT, I do not think you should live with shame forever, nor should you be shamed forever by other people.

So what are the steps to ridding yourself of shame?

Shame kills your mental health. Keep smiling and ask forgiveness.

1) Ask for forgiveness.

Admitting that you did something wrong is incredibly difficult, especially when you admit it to the person(s) you hurt.

But admission coupled with remorse and a sincere apology is necessary for taking responsibility of your actions.

You cannot hide from the fact you did something hurtful and you cannot expect others to forget what you did by “never bringing it up.”

Humans have the capacity to forgive. And if you are scared that the person you hurt won’t forgive you…well yes, that is a possibility. And although I personally believe people should ALWAYS find forgiveness, I can’t make anyone forgive if they don’t want to.

So if someone chooses to not forgive you, then take it as a learning experience — your words and actions can have long-term consequences that you never expected in the first place.

BUT if they do forgive you, then consider yourself 1 step closer to ridding yourself of shame.

2) Do NOT feel the following 2 things in response to your shame:

• You shouldn’t feel proud. Yes ok, you learned and important lesson. But talking about your learning experience like it was something you read out of a prestigious academic article is disrespectful to those who you affected. The fact is, you learned something the hard way, and although you learned, the difficult experience you learned from was probably not ideal for anyone involved.

• You shouldn’t feel indifferent. As I said earlier, we must recognize the consequences of our actions. So if you want to be considered a decent person, you cannot just “not care” about the hurt you might’ve caused/created in the past.

3) Feel Empathy

When you acknowledge your actions and regard them as forever shameful, you might just be correct. To clarify my point, your actions were bad and if repeated in the same context, they would render the same bad consequences. But where you are INCORRECT is if you transfer the shame surrounding your actions onto your being. So to clarify again, you did something bad but you are not a bad person.

You must have empathy for those who were effected by your actions so that you can understand their perspective and contrast it your personal perspective. And through that contrast, come to understand why the choice you made at the time was wrong.

4) Cut-out the people who continue to shame you after you’ve completed steps 1-3.

You don’t need to convince anyone you’re a changed person, and at the same time no one should convince you otherwise.

Plus being around people who inhibit your growth will only be of detriment to YOU.

So in conclusion …

Swallowing your ego and taking responsibility for your actions does not mean accepting shame into your life – it means becoming a better person.

Shame kills your mental health

The moment you understand your actions were wrong is the exact moment you grow as a person.

And hey!!👋 Make sure you subscribe to my blog by typing in your email below so you’ll be notified of next week’s post where I discuss shame as a result of your actions that negatively you.

As always, Happy Monday ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Self-development

How to be Happy for Other People + 3 Deep Questions You Need to Ask in Order to Ditch Jealousy

“Jealousy is the root of all evil”

Have you heard that expression before? Maybe you’ve experienced the backstab (or frontstab) by a jealousy-fueled person… or, maybe you’ve been the dealer of similar jealousy-fueled actions…

Worry about you and no one else!

In talking with people since starting my blog, a question I often get asked is, why the f*** can’t people just be happy for other people?

It’s funny, I ask myself that question a lot too.

Why is it so hard for some to see a person happy in a career, a relationship, or any life circumstance and just say “congrats”? Why is it so easy for some to see a person happy then deliberately make that person miserable? …And what I think is the most frustrating question: Why is it so hard to NOT communicate the reason for being bitter toward the happy person? …I thought we were all adults here?

Are you green with envy?

Well, I think the reason some can’t be happy for others is jealousy.

And I know what some of you are thinking “wow Ella, who are you to say other people are mean as a result of jealousy?”

Well I can say that because (1) it’s my opinion and (2) I can actually recall times I’ve been jealous in the past (yes I will admit I have flaws) and noticed how it changed my view of other people’s success.

So that said, I’ve come-up with 3 questions you need to ask yourself if you’re having trouble being happy for other people:

#1 Are you in competition with that person?

Unless that person is in a life competition with you (doubtful), their is LITERALLY zero reason for you to be jealous of them. For example, let’s say you want to lose weight but you are having some trouble reaching your goal. One weekend you go to the beach with Sally and notice her shredded abs. You both go for lunch afterward and Sally orders a salad. You immediately tell her she is a boring friend for eating “rabbit food” for lunch. …Now, instead of poking fun at Sally for being healthy, try reconsidering your own decision to eat fries and a coke for lunch.

Now let’s say you’re looking for a long-term relationship. Then one day Sally tells you she found a man to share the rest of her life with. (…I know, it seems like Sally has it all. Don’t be jealous 😉 )

Anyways… after hearing about Sally’s relationship, you immediately cut her out of your life and start talking behind her back. Now, instead of being bitter, maybe you should just reconsider why you can’t find a happy relationship yourself.

So… if you are confused as to why I want you to ask yourself question #1, let me clear things up: YOU ARE NOT IN A LIFE COMPETITION WITH ANYBODY ELSE. The only person you should seriously be competing with is who you were yesterday. You can not control anyone’s life but your own so why bother exerting negative jealous energy towards other people, as if they should change their situation for you? The only energy you should exert is the kind it will take you to improve your own life.

Here’s an anecdote to help you understand better:

Top athletes like Lional Messi and Wayne Gretzky probably never made dirty, jealousy-fueled fouls against other athletes as kids. Instead, those athletes decided to improve their own tactical skills and techniques; they improved their personal talents so that they could be happy with themselves and become personally successful. They might’ve been jealous of other athletes at times, BUT they clearly manifested their jealousy in ways that never negatively affected those athletes.

Remember, you’ll never win the game by tearing-down people around you – you have to do things honorably and honestly. And the fact is, nobody is trying to go after the trophy of your life, so worry about your own trophy and be happy when someone else gets theirs.

#2 What about yourself are you not happy with?

Do you have any flaws to improve or insecurities to stop worrying about? Maybe you do…and maybe those flaws and insecurities are inhibiting you from getting what you want.

Furthermore, maybe you’re being ignorant to the fact that you do have flaws and insecurities (although I will admit, self-awareness is NOT an easy task). And yes, self-awareness requires effort and a break-down of your ego. I know what you’re thinking… it is unfortunate that you need to eat healthy and workout to get shredded abs, and it is inconvenient that you need to be a decent person if you want to be in any sort of friendship or romantic relationship. So just because someone else decided to put in that effort and you did not, that is no reason to NOT be happy for them.

#3 Can you clearly articulate the logical reason you cannot be happy for someone?

Has the person you aren’t happy for done anything to hurt you? Have they purposely done anything to make you upset? If the answer is “no”, but you still cannot articulate why you cannot be happy for them, my guess is you don’t want to admit the answer…And that’s because jealousy is nothing to be proud of.

If you find jealousy has boiled up inside you, IT IS OKAY because jealous is a human emotion felt by all of us. What is NOT OKAY, is allowing that jealousy to control your actions.

So please people, let’s all start practicing self-awareness. Why wouldn’t you want to be happy for others and why wouldn’t you want to be happy for yourself?

It might take a little hard work, but at the end of the day, you can win your personal life trophy and not have to worry about anyone else’s.

At the the end of the day, all you can do is focus on making the next 365 days the #YearOfYOU.

As always, have a very happy Monday ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

New Beginnings

What it Means to be Capable PLUS 3 Steps to Recognizing Your Self-Worth

In last week’s blog post I discussed the importance of recognizing your self-worth.

Humans have infinite worth

I mentioned that, as a human being, you are completely capable of developing yourself so that you can give meaning to your worth.

So my question for you today is: Do you know what it means to be capable?

Let’s start with ruling-out what you probably think capable means, and that is “the skill or power to do something”.

INCORRECT. That is actually the definition of the word able. On the otherhand, the word capable takes able to a whole new level. The word capable means to have the mental capacity or know-how to do things in the best way possible.

So as a human being, you may have certain physical characteristics and skills which help you reach your goals, but most importantly you have the brain power to strategize and figure out different ways to reach your goals.

Take the story of Nick Scott as a great example:

Nick Scott was a football player in high school. During high school, he got in a horrible car accident which ended his football career and put him in a wheelchair for life.

Even though Scott couldn’t walk, run, or play football, he still had the ability to bench press at the gym. So he capitalized on that ability and committed himself to benching more weight than anyone else in his high school. Nick Scott began to recognize he was still capable of creating a good life for himself even though his accident left him with a physical disability.

Scott’s weightlifting hobby soon turned into more than that — he decided to compete in a body building competition. After finding a new passion and talent, Scott fought to have a wheelchair bodybuilding competition established under the IFBB (International Ferderation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) so that him and others could compete professionally. He began winning shows and bodybuilding.com eventually signed him as one of their athletes.

Nick Scott wheelchair bodybuilder

Scott is now, a motivational speaker and a personal trainer for other men and women in wheelchairs who want to learn bodybuilding.

The moral…

Even though Scott wasn’t physically able to play football or use all the equipment in the gym, he used his mental capacity to figure out HOW he could become a winner in the body building world.

Nick Scott might have injured himself physically but he still recognized his infinite human worth – after he was injured, he exercised his CAPABILITIES to reach a new goal in the best way he could.

Just like Nick Scott, YOU are capable of reaching your goals. You are capable of strategizing and learning and developing yourself so that you too can be successful.

So if you don’t know how to access your capabilities try following these steps:

1) Make a list of your goals, both short term and long term, career related or personal.

List of goals to achieve

2) Write why you are or are not able of achieving each goal. Be realistic in your assessment.

Why am I able to achieve my goals?

3) Write down why you are capable of improving your abilities to meet your goals.

Why am I capable of achieving my goals?

Final Step: Realize that you just created new pathways of success for yourself.

New path to success created using my capabilities

In the words of Nick Scott, it’s not about your glass being half empty or half full, it’s about being grateful that you have a glass at all.

There are so many paths that can lead you to a single goal, so remember that if one path becomes impossible to go down, you can take another. Also remember that you can dig out a new and completely unique path for yourself. And even cooler than that, you can take a path that leads toward a different goal, one that you haven’t tried to reach before. You can do all this because you are a human and you are not meant to do just ONE thing in your life.

You are meant to THINK, DEVELOP, and ADAPT. You are meant to work hard and exercise your capabilities to give your worth some meaning.

And most importantly, you can do all those things and make the next 365 days the #YearOfYou.

As always, Happy Monday ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Selfcare Tips

Why You Should 🛑Stop🛑 Concerning Yourself with Self-Esteem

Give me ’til the end of of this 5 minute read to get you thinking differently about self-esteem.

Let’s start by looking at the definition of esteem:

Esteem ➡️ v. regard highly or favourably; regard with respect or admiration

Now hold that thought. And let’s look at the history of the word esteem:

“Esteem” comes from the Latin word aestimare and the Old French word estimer, meaning to estimate value or appraise (1) (2).

Now take the meaning of “esteem” and apply it to the way YOU perceive YOURSELF. Do you admire yourself? What sort of value you do you place on yourself?

High self-esteem; esteemed King.

If you value yourself highly, why is that? Do you have certain qualities that rank higher on the “esteem scale” than, say, your good friend?

And how about your friend … would you esteem the qualities of your good friend in the same way they would esteem them?

If you’re seriously thinking about those questions but not sure how to answer them, we are starting to get somewhere.

Do you esteem yourself?

Think about the intrinsic value of a human being (and yes, I said “intrinsic”). The intrinsic value of a human being (A.K.A. YOUR VALUE) is infinite.

So if the value of your being – your existence – is infinite, then why bother dissecting your being into qualities that you do or do not esteem?

When you describe the way you think about yourself, instead of saying “high or low self-esteem”, just use the term “self-worth”. Accepting the existence of your human-ness is preferable to a self-diagnosis of high or low self-esteem.

“But Ella, you’re over-thinking this. I am SUPPOSED to have high self-esteem! Having high self-esteem is good for my mental health!”

I SOOOO disagree.

First, I’m not over-thinking, I just like to use words properly. If words didn’t matter, I would start calling an apple and orange, and a house a car.

On that note, if you believe your humanness has value or purpose, then why use the word “esteem”? If you aren’t appraising yourself based on anything but your existence, then there’s nothing to appraise. You simply have worth as a human because you exist. Which leads me to my second point …

Neither appraising your qualities and placing yourself higher along the esteem scale NOR regarding yourself with esteem for no apparent reason are beneficial to your mental health. As I explained earlier, you have nothing to appraise – there is no scale of intrinsic human worth. And to the second point, your humanness alone leaves you capable of personal development and therefore capable of improving your life. You should not esteem yourself for no reason, but instead give your intrinsic worth meaning by improving your extrinsic qualities. It is always better to try to improving extrinsic qualities instead of lowering the value you place on yourself because of them.

Stacks of money represents not lowering your instrinsic value based on your extrinsic qualities

But most importantly, recognizing your worth does not mean you get life a participation trophy. Thinking you’re the bomb.com for no apparent reason is called narcissism. So instead, give yourself a reason to be confident in life. As a human you are COMPLETELY CAPABLE of giving yourself a good life by working hard for something that gives your worth, meaning. Take advantage of your humanness and give yourself a reason to keep living.

For example, both the alcoholic and brain surgeon have infinite worth. But only the brain surgeon has taken advantage of his humanness to give his worth, meaning.

And as you were probably expecting, here’s a nifty analogy to help you understand:

Let’s say you’re a soccer player. Your team never practices so they come in last place in the league. Your team should not get a trophy for simply participating. BUT just because you came in last place, that DOES NOT mean you or anyone on your team are no longer soccer players.

What your team decides to do is take advantage of their “soccer player-ness” and hold weekly practices. The more your team practices, the more your team gives itself a reason to keep competing.

So no matter your race, ability or disability, career, social economic status, etc., your existence as a human being has infinite worth.

You have self-worth because you are human.

Next time you say you have high or low self-esteem, remember that esteem doesn’t actually matter; what matters is the fact you exist and you can make your existence more meaningful everyday, and that alone is enough ❤

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Selfcare Tips

🤔 How to be Happy On a Monday

Happy Monday! … Right?

*insert awkward silence*

… What?

You mean you’re not happy? You’re telling me you’re miserable because you have 5 days left of work before you can relax again?

Damn…

Ok, well I really want you to be happy! And before you start questioning whether I’m oblivious to life’s problems, I’ll straight-up tell you I DO NOT THINK happiness is a 24/7 state of mind. I think happiness is something we choose to feel or find so that we can more easily be resilient in the face of adversity. This means you can be sad, anxious, stressed, or have any other negative reaction but you still decide to learn from experience, find positive aspects of your experience, and figure out how the hell you can keep moving forward.

You can find the key to happiness. I think I found it. Finding it was incredibly hard, but so incredibly worth it. Remember inner peace, positive mind.

That said, I need you to learn the key to happiness for the betterment of your health, your relationships, and your productivity. And as you may have guessed, I am going to tell you that key using this nifty analogy:

Think about the lightbulb in your kitchen. You know, the one you turned on this morning to make a cup of coffee before heading out the door.

That light works because a small wire inside the lightbulb creates a circuit of electricity, and that electricity is drawn-in from whatever source the lightbulb is plugged in to. So when you turn the light on…BOOM, HAPPINESS…wait no, I mean LIGHT! Hmmm… they are quite similar, don’t you think?

A lightbulb shines from within. Just like the lightbulb, you can find true happiness and shine from within.

Imagine yourself as that lightbulb.

If you want to shine, the little wire circuit inside of you has to (1) create a closed circuit, and (2) be plugged into a source of electricity.

So just like the light, happiness comes from within you; it is a decision you make to regard at least some part of an experience as positive (even if that just means learning from something shitty). HOWEVER you can’t forget about “plugging-in” to good sources of electricity like family, friends, content such as books and films, work, hobbies, etc.

But… remember that even if you’re plugged-in to the right things, you can’t find true happiness unless the wire circuit inside you is complete.

To find true happiness, you have to follow the personal development loop. What this means, is you have to give yourself the right doses of self-care, self-development, and self-discipline in order to live a balanced life.

Stressed from work? Use your lunch break to assess why that is.

Concerned about money? Take 2 hours on a weekend to set-up a budget.

Want to wake up earlier? Work on getting more restful sleeps then accept that you need to wake up when your alarm goes off EVEN THOUGH that will be hard.

You can do it. But that “it” you’re looking for can only come from you.

And to clarify again, I am NOT telling you to become happy 24/7 and therefore oblivious to the challenges of life. I AM telling you it is possible to learn how to manage shitty circumstances. Because the quicker you can bounce back from a tough time or pull through a struggle, the quicker you will get back to happiness.

So why is happiness important?

1) Your relationships will improve because others will enjoy being around you.

2) Your outlook on life will improve, therefore bettering your mental health.

3) Most importantly, happiness will motivate you to continue developing yourself.

And speaking from personal experience, my focus on happiness has VASTLY reduced my stress, improved my patience, and even improved my general attitude towards life.

Because I’ve trained myself to see the positive aspects of life while also learning from the negative aspects, there’s nothing that can stop me from moving forward.

So in conclusion…

… remember to be like that lightbulb in your kitchen. Because once you are, you’ll shine bright for everyone around you….once you are, you’ll be happy.

Shine bright like a lightbulb, bright with happiness.

So as always, I hope you have a very happy Monday ❤✌

“Outside, winter’s darkness closes in. Inside, you have found your own Light.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Self-development, Selfcare Tips

So You Want to Better Yourself… But You Don’t Know Where the F*** to Start – READ THIS

Last week, one of my buddies asked me a fantastic question, what is the first step to re-training your brain?

I thought it was an easy answer. And then I realized I was incredibly wrong. DAMNNNN. How have I not written a blog post about this yet!?

So here I am about 10 days later, sharing the very first step you need to take to re-train your brain.

– LIFE AUDIT –

Retrain your brain through the power of habit. Self-care, self-development, self-discipline.

Have you ever done an audit? Not the kind you do at work which looks at policies or finances etc… For this audit, I want you to look at 6 main categories within your life. I want you to assess your daily routines so that you can make necessary changes for success.

HOW TO:

Step 1 –

Grab a pen+paper, then divide the page into 6 sections. Each section gets 1 of the following headings: Family/Relationships, Work/Business, Health, Personal Development, Spiritual, Finances.

(If you want to add or replace a section that fits your life better, feel free to do so.)

Step 1 of life audit. Family/relationships, work/business, health, personal development, spiritual, finances.

Step 2 –

In each section, write down 1-3 goals that you’d like to achieve. They can be big or small; anything from mid-afternoon goals to goals that could take 1,5, or 15 years to accomplish.

Don’t worry about the details of the goal yet… just write down what the goal actually is. Go with your gut. If what comes out seems unrealistic, the next part of the audit will dissect the concrete from the exaggerated.

Add 1 to 3 goals under each section of life audit. Goals for success.

Step 3 –

Picture your life.

Visualize your in your mind, then scroll out like you would in google maps so you can take a look at your life through a giant objective lens.

Think about what do you from AM to PM 7 days a week. What routines do you take part in? What things should you stop or change-up?

Based on what you analyzed, write down 1-3 new routines that you need to implement ASAP in order to reach the goals you just set-out for yourself.

Make sure these new routines are realistic and practical, but also make sure they are challenging. Because no pressure means no diamonds…right?

Write down 1 to 3 routines/habits you need to implement in order to reach your goals.

Now start making changes. And because your changes and goals will continue to evolve, I recommend coming back to this audit every 6 – 18 months.

Keep in mind, you will have to work hard.

And if you aren’t prepared to work hard, then you aren’t prepared to change.

And that’s it! That is the first step to retraining your brain. If you’ve completed this audit, but you need help implementing your changes, let’s work together! I want to help you be successful. And SWEET BONUS: I am offering the first coaching session FREE to anyone who reads this blog post. Just make sure you send me a picture of your audit!

Alright, I hope you kick butt this week! And as always, have a productive and happy Monday ❤✌

[Like this post? Then don’t forget to follow my blog by typing in your email below. And consider sharing it with your friends and family on social media!]

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Selfcare Tips

That thing you’re probably not doing, but need to start doing ASAP in order to tackle anxiety 👊

I bet 8 in 10 of you reading this post have trouble falling asleep at night.

Anxiety before sleep

And I bet that’s because you can’t quiet your thoughts at night and just relax. Whether you call it stress, anxiety, over-thinking, or constant worry, the feeling you get when you can’t shut off your thoughts is unpleasant and tiresome.

So, am I right? … Are you one of those 8?

Now what if I told you I know the secret to relaxing your mind and improving your sleep? And what if I told you that secret would help reduce your anxiety and increase your productivity?

Well, here it is:

You no longer give-in to life’s daily distractions like social media, partying, mindless television, or unnecessary thoughts about work. And most importantly, you welcome your thoughts when they enter your mind.

“Ella, you seem confused. I thought we were talking about shutting off my thoughts, not welcoming them…?!”

Yes, yes – we are! But here is the key: the trick to NOT thinking during the wrong time is to THINK MORE during the right time 😃

Let me break that down …

The reason you find it difficult to shut off your brain before bed, is because you actually have a lot of shit to think about. And believe it or not, all this shit you want to think about has already attempted to enter your mind throughout your day! HOWEVER THE PROBLEM IS, when thoughts begin to enter your mind during the day you immediately find a million +1 ways to distract yourself; social media, work, what to make for dinner, and why Sally can lift more than you at the gym are just a few things that can easily distract you from your thoughts. So once you get home after work, eat dinner, and crawl into bed, your mind says “HOORAY” because it finally has time to think!

When you distract yourself from your thoughts until the moment you actually need quiet time, your thoughts seize the opportunity and pour out like someone forgot to turn off the faucet.

So instead of giving-in to constant distractions, try giving yourself 15 minutes during the day to actually be alone with your thoughts. Whether it be during your lunch break, walking to your car, sitting on public transit, showering, or working out, I seriously recommend you give your mind the time it wants to think.

And the more you give your mind this time, you’ll notice some thoughts begin to expand and flourish into ideas. You’ll notice other thoughts fade into the “it doesn’t matter” space in your brain. You’ll be able to more easily prioritize your thoughts. You’ll be able to realize why you choose to wear certain clothes, why you associate with certain people, what hobbies you actually enjoy, what your strengths and weakness are… and many more things about how you relate to the world! All that fading, flourishing, and prioritizing is called analytical processing.

And here’s the best part: The better you get at analytical processing, the quicker you’ll be at dumping pointless thoughts, studying critical thoughts, and ultimately controlling what you choose to think about. And if you get all this thinking done during the day, you’ll ultimately get more accomplished, more planned, and more discussed before it’s time to hit the hay.

Work hard, sleep well

The mind is a limitless force – it can create, re-train, calculate, and more.

Imagine how YOU could FLOURISH if you simply allowed your mind to think when it wanted to. Imagine your outcome after you simply allowed yourself to be silent with your own thoughts.

So in conclusion, treat your mind like your friend – give it time, love, and attention. Start welcoming your thoughts during the right time and watch yourself become one of the 2 in 10 people who fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow. Give yourself 14 consecutive days to implement your new routine, then come back to this post to let me know if I was right.

As always, I hope you have a productive week and a very happy Monday ❤✌

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself […] .” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

New Beginnings, Selfcare Tips

Why I Don’t Want You to Kill Yourself … and Neither Should You 🙏❤

“It gets better,” they say.

And if you think they are lying, I will tell you first hand, they aren’t.

I’ll tell you it get’s better. From the absolute bottom of my heart I will tell you it gets better. But most importantly, I need you to believe that’s true.

You need to hear the whole truth:

For the rest of your life, you will continue to experience hard times, people will continue to hurt you, and you will occasionally fail. But the game changer is, YOU ARE going to learn how to deal with it all. So if you hang in there and put in a good fight, it WILL get better.

The whole truth is, you are going to learn how to find good friends. You are going to find and practice something you are good at. You are going to learn how to love yourself for who you are.

So maybe the whole truth is not that it gets better, but that YOU get a hell of a lot better at dealing with it. 💪🧠

You might need help to get your feet off the ground – that’s ok. Help comes in many different forms: from reading to journalling, social workers to doctors, from family to friends, from yoga to prayer, and even from medicine to weekly counseling. You might need to take a weekend off and spend it with yourself. And you might need to learn how to say “no” to people you love. But I promise, the small sacrifices you make will be worth it in the end. Because in the end you’ll be happy to be alive.

And if you still aren’t buying my plead for your life, let me tell you my “life got better” story:

Every single night for as long as I can remember, I’ve said my prayers before bed. And every single night for as long as I can remember, I asked God to “please bless every person around the world with a long, happy, and healthy life.” And then the kicker — after asking for the best for others, I’d always ask him to let me fall asleep and never wake up. [FYI, I still say my prayers every night. And FYI I dropped the second part from my nightly prayers last year.]

Sad (and slightly embarrassing) to say, I spent a lot of years hoping the worst for myself. And after 23 years of life, I’d still wake up in the morning and ask myself why I was still f***ing living. I started to think, what the hell was so wrong with me that (1) I didn’t know how to live happily and (2) I was still living …?

It took me until age 23 to finally ask somebody for some help. And even though most of me was miserable, a tiny incremental part of me was saying “YOU CAN DO IT”.

I had lots of friends, a great education, a superb family, a sick job, and basically a sweet friggin life. I recognized all of that! So why the hell was I still unhappy?

It was only when I started researching about the brain that I realized I was missing a major ingredient: I never believed it could get better.

I never believed it. Yes, I put in the work to have a sweet life…that helped. But I didn’t believe it was reality. I always thought, “well it’s been a great week. That means a bad day is right around the corner.”

I was not doing myself any favours.

It was like this:

Imagine you have a delicious plate of food in front of you. You have not taken a bite yet, but the food was prepared by a famous chef. Everyone knows it will taste good, including the chef. But you tell yourself it will taste horrible, so you refuse to eat it.

Why? … It’s because you primed your brain with negativity which stopped you from trying the food with an open and objective mind.

How many times have you primed your brain with something negative, which in turn altered your behaviour? You know, like if your friend tells you, “I don’t like that person”. Then you meet the person for the first time and you already dislike them. Or you read a bad review on a movie, so you go into the theatre already assuming you won’t like the movie.

Or in my case, I assumed I life was never going to get better so my attitude towards my life never changed.

Habits often begin with a simple belief – a simple daily prime of your brain to help you believe life will get better. If you believe it will never get better, it will never get better. But if you believe it will get better because you will try to make it better, you’re golden.

Now, when I look back at my sad years, I’m not sure what to make of them. Maybe I’m just an extra sensitive or emotional person. Maybe I have issues with serotonin and other hormones. But regardless, I’ve come to learn that my über emotional personality is not a bad thing.

Just like I did and many others have, you will have to work hard to be happy. But one day you’ll realize the hard work paid off.

I want you to live, work hard, find meaning, and learn to love existence. I want you to do all those things. And I want you to want all those things too.

After years upon years of not thinking I could do it, I actually did it. And you can do it too. I swear on my life that i love so much, YOU CAN F***ING DO IT.

I don’t want you to kill yourself. And neither should you❤.

[If you like this post and know someone who needs this message, please share it with them. And if you need to talk, I am only a message away! All my social accounts are listed at the bottom of this page if you want to get in contact. And my email is ellasssofia@gmail.com]

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Self-Discipline

If You Think You’ve Got it Rough, Read This …

For every single person who has ever lived, their life has been difficult to some extent.

Yes you heard me right –

Every. Single. Person. I have a hard time believing there are people in the world saying their lives are perfect with zero difficulties.

Brain Injury Awareness Month - Rock Bottom

No matter if you’re Kylie Jenner, Tony Robbins, a 9 – 5 secretary, or living on the sidewalk … you’ve probably suffered some sort of hardship because:

(1) all people have different ideas about what life should be like, and

(2) all people are influenced to live life in various ways.

… So, the results are relative. Our vastly different lives result in experiences that might be hard for some and not as hard for others.

BUT does that mean some hardships rank higher on the “my problems are worse than yours” scale? Well interestingly enough, I think the answer to that question is both no and yes

Here’s a scenario to best explain:

If the worst thing that has ever happened to you is X, then you have no worse personal problem to compare X to. And if that is the case, X might just be your personal version of rock bottom.

Now, if you’ve hit your rock bottom you can either,

1) downplay your personal problem because you think it isn’t “as bad as someone elses”

OR

2) be ignorant to the fact that other people have problems, and claim your problem as the worst.

However those options aren’t mutually exclusive… so below you’ll find my explanation for surprise option 3 –

3) Acknowledge you have a problem and take responsibility for finding a solution. Big or small, you have to acknowledge your problem’s existence so you can start implementing actions to fix it.

That could mean removing yourself from the situation, changing your behaviour, grieving, praying, learning, practicing, etc.

BUT, at the same time, you have to remember your situation could always be worse. And somewhere around the world it is incredibly likely that there is at least one person suffering that “worse problem” you just imagined.

And if you’re still confused about option 3, here’s a sick analogy to help explain:

The other day I got home from work and went to wash the dishes. I put my hands under the running water but immediately removed them because of a stinging pain I felt. The culprit? Two small scratches. WOOPDY FRIGGEN DOO.. right?

At that point I could have stopped washing the dishes because my dinky little scratches caused me minor discomfort. But instead. I acknowledged that (1) my dinky little scratches would not kill me or cause me dire pain, and (2) I could be working 12 hour shifts on an assembly line in a developing country causing me to have 5000x more beat-up hands.

Be grateful for what you have - obstacles are gifts.

So after approximately half a millisecond of focusing on the stinging on my hands, I decided not to be ridiculous and fixed my problem by washing the damn dishes.

The fact of the matter is my scratches stung, but that problem was so incredibly minuscule it would have been utterly comical, ignorant, and ungrateful for me complain about it.

So maybe you are someone who’s only ever experienced scratch-type problems in your life. If that is the case, you should consider yourself lucky and empathize with those whose problems are worse than yours.

But at the same time, you suffered scratches and you’re allowed to take a moment and say “this sucks”. You have to acknowledge the scratch and then decide if it is worth bandaging-up or leaving as is.

And if you’re someone who’s mostly experienced factory labourer in a developing country-type problems, I hope you can do your best to find solutions. I, as well as others, empathize with you. But remember that those who’ve only experienced scratches have no clue what your pain is like; so try to make them understand your pain before you squash their pain as living “an easy life”.

So if you think you have it rough, maybe you do. I hope you can find a solution. But if you think you’ve had it the worst, I can’t be sure … And unfortunately neither can you. But I still have your back, and I still hope you can find a solution.

Whether your problems are scratches or deep cuts, you are responsible for finding solutions. And at the end of the day, the decision to take responsibility may be the hardest for all of us, no matter our pain.

As always, I hope you have a productive day and Happy Monday ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Selfcare Tips

For Those of us Who are “Overly Emotional” or “Extra Sensitive” … It’s a Gift

Heart ache. Disgust. Envy. … Are those familiar to you?

Passion. Hope. Joy. … Do you recognize them?

They are emotions – both varied and yet commonly felt among us. Some of us feel emotions neutrally, while others feel certain emotions more often. And some of us feel emotions so intensely that we begin to question our own sanity. … I fall into the latter category. Let’s call it the “extra sensitive” or “overly emotional” category.

Emotions - both varied yet commonly felt among us

For most of my life I felt that belonging to this “overly emotional” category made me weird or crazy. I tried to suppress my weirdness and craziness so I never talked about how I truly felt. The more I grew up, the more intensely I felt negative emotions and as a result, my positive emotions appeared much less. Somewhere between ages 8 and 10, I started to regard myself as an extra sad human being; I concluded I was more sad more often than any other person I knew. I figured being overly emotional was a disadvantage in my life, which ultimately led me to believe I was better off not being alive.

Don't let the sadness win

So what changed, you ask?

My perspective – After years of believing the same thing, I decided to assess myself from a different angle. I figured there must be at least 1 up-side to being overly emotional, so finally at age 24 I sought to find it.

I imagined emotions as little hollow spheres, where 1 sphere = 1 potential to experience emotion. Let’s say the average person has 20 emotion spheres. When someone has an experience in life, I pictured the spheres fill-up with a certain coloured liquid, where each colour = a different emotion. So if something makes you angry, your spheres fill up with the colour red. Or if something makes you happy, your spheres fill up with the colour yellow.

Get it so far?

Then I figured, when God was creating me before my birth, he tripped and accidentally dropped a whole load of emotion spheres into my body. So instead of the normal 20 spheres, I have like 70.

Let’s roll with that.

I figured that unlike other people I knew, I had the ability to feel f***ing everything. And because of that, I eventually realized I have a huge advantage over other people:

I can empathize and support people when nobody else knows they are hurting.

I can commit to being there for my friends both spiritually and emotionally.

I have a pretty good intuition that I now know to follow.

I can offer advice or say things that make people feel better about themselves.

And with that, I learned that all my actions have consequences.

It is February 17, 2019 as I write this and I finally realize I am not an extra sad person. Because when I am happy, I am happy as sh**, and when I am motivated, I am motivated as hell. Maybe I’m just a really intense person. Maybe I just have a lot more “feeling spheres” in my body … . All I know for sure, is that being overly emotional is not a bad thing. I just have to work harder than most at not letting the sadness win.

Be happy and love your life

If you use your emotions to your advantage, you’ll begin to regard them as strengths rather than weaknesses. You can use these strengths to do things in life that other people cannot do or even require training to do well.

You don’t have to be an extra sad person, but you will have to work extra hard to not let the sadness win.

For all of us who feel “overly emotional” or “extra sensitive”, I think we are lucky. I think we have an advantage. I learned to be happy and love my life, and I KNOW you can believe that about your life too. If you think you’re overly emotional or extra sensitive, please know you can live an amazing life, and please know you are not alone.

As always, Happy Monday,

From the girl who thought she was alone ✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.