It’s Easier When You’re Productive

How do you spend your time? Recently, I have been feeling a bit low, my circumstances are changing and my carriage on the LifeCoaster is taking a nose dive and a few loopty loops. It’s hard, and not as fun as the ones at Alton Towers, UK or Universal Studios,USA. I am trying to maintain a positive attitude because I know that I know that I am putting in the necessary steps to better my situation and that all things work together for good but there have been days and times where I let myself be controlled by my emotions. Not that I spent a lot of time a lot of time feeling sorry for myself but I became quite subdued and lost a lot of motivation.

© Chris Philpot
Because of my lack of motivation I didn’t really want to do anything so I spent a lot of time watching TV shows.  I watched shows of series that I normally watch but then it went further and I began to search for shows that I don’t normally watch, not even taking time to start from a beginning of a season, just any episode would do. I wasn’t really interested in what I was watching I just “couldn’t” do anything else. On reflection of my week during a phone call with a close friend I realised that I had wasted so much time doing nothing. I came to the conclusion that television is a waste of time.

I watch television for enjoyment, I do, and I enjoy it. A drama here, a thriller there, a little comedy… you know how it goes but when that’s the only thing I’m filling my time with all I’m doing is wasting it. So I honestly feel that watching too many shows is a waste of time. I spent my week doing nothing and trying to think as little as possible, why? I don’t know but what I do know is that I wasted too much time not doing anything, waiting hours on end gorming at my laptop screen.  I wasted so much time not thinking that by the end of the week I didn’t even know what my post was gonna be on. When I look back that was not the only thing that I could have filled my time with.

Instead I could have done something more productive or inspiring, anything but wasting my own time. I could have done some coursework; some revision meditation; I could have gone for run or even read the book that started two weeks ago. None of those things were done last week (except two lunch time runs) and had I done them I would probably have felt better a little quicker. I’m not beating myself up about it though, it happens and I’m thankful that I have another week to try again.

How do you spend your time? What do you do in excess that becomes a waste of time? TV, gaming, social media…What could you do to spend your time better? What do you want to achieve life? It will probably require hard work and dedication. How can you fill your time with things will help you accomplish those things? It’s not just about accomplishing things; it’s about making yourself feel better, too, and lifting yourself out of the funk that life likes to produce… It’s easier when you’re productive.

© blog.trello.com

What They Don’t Tell You

There’s so much information regarding anxiety out there. With awareness being raised on mental illness and the struggles that people go through it’s great and I’m happy that the profile is being raised and people are more open and free to speak about what they’re going through or have been through. However, I do feel that there is such a thing as over saturation. I watched a YouTube video this week about the symptoms of anxiety and I feel that they over did it a little bit. There’s so much information about anxiety being distributed but there are things being left out. So, here are just a few things that I feel they left out.

Not every nervous habit or personal idiocyncracy can be explained away to anxiety, even if you have it. Today it seems as if everything has to be explained; there has to be a reason; always “why” and the answer can never be “just because”. And for someone who believes in the unexplainable it’s infuriating. That’s not to say that some behaviour can be and is indicative of anxiety these but for some it’s just nerves or nervous energy. Anxiousness is something that human beings feel and so it shouldn’t be explained away at all times because it is NORMAL.

© Gemma Correll

I also feel like there is little emphasis on the role that hormones play when it comes to anxiety. At different times in life your hormones levels will rise and fall. One of those hormones is cortisol. Cortisol is also known as adrenaline and adrenaline is a contributing factor to anxiety. So during times when your cortisol levels are high your anxiety can intensify this is why it’s important to know your body. And I know you can’t physically watch your hormone levels rise and fall but your body will tell you in other ways: You may feel more on edge than normal or your symptoms may intensify. When you notice these things begin to happen what you do next is very important.

Adrenaline is fuel for a response to what we perceive to be a danger, this is known as a fight or flight response. Remember in my post last week about taking ownership of your emotions? Here is a situation where this comes into play:

Stop and think.

What is causing your anxiety? Why? How does it make you feel? Once you know focus on that emotion, use words of affirmation and truth to apply logic to the situation. By taking ownership of how you are feeling you should be able to deal with your anxiety a little better. This would be your fight response. Your flight response would be letting your anxiety and your emotions consume that you become a huge ball of qseftybdk (?! yes, exactly).

They don’t tell you that trying to get a handle on your symptoms is not an easy task and sometimes your flight response will over power your fight but there’s always tomorrow to try again.

Anxiety is real. You can fight it.

Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

When I was little there was a song that said “Be careful little mouth what you say”. The song spoke about eyes and ears too but for purposes of this post and the point I’m trying to make we’re focusing on the mouth.

I think that the theory that the brain and the mouth are not always connected is true. It must be, otherwise people wouldn’t tell you to think before you speak. What you say has a powerful effect on people and yourself.

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
Proverbs 13.3

This has been supported by so many different psychological studies. In having this knowledge you would think that we, as humans, would learn how to make the science work in our favour but no, we still manage to thread negativity into conversations in our heads and with other people.

It’s a misnomer that words such a Loser, Idiot, Tramp, Chav, Fool and so on, will have a negative effect on people but outside if those nouns it’s important that the same effect. This includes declaring that someone will “amount to nothing” and “go nowhere” but it goes further than that and I’d go as far as to say that assumptions can be just as dangerous.

Assumptions in themselves are not a bad thing. As humans we often make assumptions, jumping to conclusions without having enough information to reinforce our statements. However, when you direct these assumptions towards people they can become hurtful. Assumptions can be made on various things character, personality, values, status in life and so much more. That’s why I feel directing these incorrect statements towards people can be dangerous.

It’s impossible to know how someone is feeling; what stage they’re in in life or what they are thinking and the fact of the matter is that those things can change frequently. This means that people can be in fluctuating states of vulnerability, so, imagine assumptions falling on the wrong ears at the wrong time.

In the past week or so I’ve had two assumptions made about me. Both of them were assumptions about my attitude to life and work and they were so far off that after reflecting on them they started to hurt a bit. They even managed to anger those that are close to me. However, whilst they made me feel low initially I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m trying not to let others dictate how I feel, what I think and how I behave about my life. My thoughts and feeling are my own and it’s down to me how I deal with them and that goes for you too.

That being said, just because people should own their feelings doesn’t that you should provide a challenge or an obstacle for people whilst they’re in the process of it, which is all the time. So, think before you speak and be careful little mouth what you say.

The Age of Social Media

Before I started this blog I took break from social media. I haven’t had my twitter for a few years and I deleted my my Snapchat months ago but I deactivated my Facebook and deleted the Instagram app from my phone.

As someone who doesn’t use social media like everyone else I view it in a different way to others.

In the age of social media I often find myself questioning people’s motives and efforts. We live in a time where social currency exists in the form of likes and followers. In order to maximise these numbers an ideal has been created in terms of what is required to increase ones online popularity. This attitude leads me to question “Why are you doing it and Who are you doing it for?” I struggle to see the genuineness in people’s posts and actions, for me this spills over into the real world as people as I don’t think that the online world and the real world are the same. For example, someone wished me happy birthday on Facebook and when I saw them a week or so later in the street it was like they didn’t even know me. Did they want me to have a happy birthday or was wishing me one just the done thing to do on social media.

I believe that there is a danger in social media and the culture that it has created. It creates a shallowness within people and there is so much over sharing now it’s unreal. The over sharing of personal information; the over sharing of one particular theme or post. It’s as if people don’t think at all whilst thinking to much at the exact same time when uploading a post.

Why must people know about the ins and outs of your relationship? Or every step you make in your career? Are you proud? Or does it look good and will get you a load of likes? Moreover are you openly secretive to give the illusion that you’re not an over sharer but you got you man or woman on lock? These are just a few of the questions that come to mind for me as I’m scrolling down social media and it applies to things like holidays too. I’m all for sharing the good times and I appreciate that some enjoy doing that however I feel like motive, sense and empathy are being lost in the online world. Just because you share something; send a generic picture or forward chain mail to someone doesn’t mean you care. I felt like social media had taken care away from me.

© BELCHATOW POLAND – MAY 02 2013

It’s so easy to get caught in the the hype of social media. The constant stories that are being thrown at us: Terrorism, politics, natural disasters, pop culture..it’s like this big massive cloud of oppression and sometimes people fail to differentiate between real news and fake news. It’s suffocating.

I also believe that your social media is a reflection of yourself in more ways than one, the way you write your updates and the content of your updates is very important. Personally, it goes beyond that, as someone who identifies as a Christian (the faith not the religion) it is important to me to represent positively where I can and where others fail. It goes outside of that as everyone should be aspiring to be the best they can be and promote positive actions and behaviour. Your various pages and channels shouldn’t be used to impress others or compare your life to someone else’s. Similarly it shouldn’t used to promote negative behaviours and attitudes. Police your social media presence, search yourself and ask yourself the question is this who I am and is this what I want to promote?

It’s all very confusing for me and as you can see I am struggling to put it into coherent prose. Having said all that and thinking what I think; feeling what I feel, I find myself back on social media but using it in a way that I never have before:

  • I only read articles from reliable sources; I find myself fact checking more and I take everything with a pinch of salt.
  • I choose to remain ignorant to some situations, information overload will drive you crazy
  • I limit my usage, I try not to spend countless hours doing nothing online
  • I try to avoid getting caught up in the ‘Like Hype’ -the numbers don’t matter
  • I don’t compare my whole life to a snapshot of a small portion of someone else’s
  • I police my own social media
  • And I now use it for edification and cathartic purposes!

Reflect on your social media usage, do you notice anything? Let me know in the comments!