Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fear Facing and Video Editing

Well its been awhile since I made any posts here in my blog but I felt like it was a good idea to come back and start again...I say start because the way in which I posted last time around is not the same way I plan to post this time around. I've changed, the way I think has changed as well as what I do has changed also so thus what I post and how I post will also change.

This year, as a whole year resolution, I decided to face my fears. I decided to do this as a way to grow as I have so many ambitions and so many great ideas that I want to put out in the world but it is going to take alot of inner strength, skill set and abilities in order to make that happen and being able to confront and overcome my fear is a big part of that. So I started off small, I spent time walking without distracting myself with music while I was out and about, I put myself in situations where I was meeting new people and I did these things on a fairly consistent basis. After awhile I felt more comfortable trying new things and challenging myself even more. I got involved in regular karaoke, I tried songs that I didn't know if I could sing and I made alot of mistakes and had many moments where my singing sounded awful in between parts that sounded good...I survived, I felt more comfortable within myself but I also felt more comfortable with mistakes too. I then started to go after even more challenging fears...I actually went nude at the nude beach and I started to put myself in front of the video camera and both of those things caused me to feel very uncomfortable, I got short of breath, I imagined the worst, I felt this really heavy sensation in my chest accompanied by a strong feeling of heat and the urge to run, but I didn't and I got through it and I felt even more confident in myself. My next feat will be to start improv classes in October (Improv is one of the things near the very top of my list of fears) as well as assertiveness class in January (Conflict is also near the very top of my list).

So speaking of facing fears, there are times when my facing of them is not planned....situations sometimes happen outside of my control and I don't have a choice but to be in that situation. Recently a friend and I had a conflict with the landlord (or rather he had it with us) and I don't remember the last time someone got that upset....I'm not going to get into the details of the conflict itself because it is irrelevant to my point but what I noticed when this was happening and the landlord was screaming at us was, I was really calm, cool and collected. It didn't seem to make sense based on the majority of my past experiences with conflict, I wasn't taking it personally, I didn't feel like I had to get even...I just saw it as him screaming and us trying to reason with him and get him to stop screaming. As unpleasant as the situation felt, it was also a rewarding experience in that I was able to see how far I have come with everything I've done to grow and evolve up to this point. I feel like I would be better at handling conflicts now than past me would have even if the other person continued to be upset about it and I feel more comfortable with people getting upset (and thats important because its apart of life and its going to happen so the best thing I can do is to accept it and be comfortable with the idea) This is huge for me!

As for the Video....I've made 2 videos so far that have been posted online and am currently working on my 3rd one which will be about getting my camera. I've gotten most of the filming stuff done, I just need to refilm one clip and add one clip. I also need to learn how to do a couple effects, then edit the whole thing and post it for people to see it. I feel really good about the video and i'm sure you guys will like it. I'm also hoping with more and more time in front and behind the camera, I can become quicker with making and getting videos up online and I'm really hoping that I can become more expressive while on camera as I'm not completely satisfied with that at the moment. I'm sure it'll work out, anyways, until next time!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The new project

So we've recently finished "The Challenge" on stresscenter.com which was a project in which a group of us went through the program together and shared each other's experiences. It was ok and we did achieve many things and did grow and improve however it was very limited and we lost alot of that potential half way through. We did get to the end of the program, barely and i think we waited about 3 weeks after and decided to go at it again.

I learned alot about being a leader and leading a group of people through the program and decided to use this knowledge to make another attempt. Mcshope (one of the members of the original group) decided to take charge and create another run through of the program. She and I are working together to make this work and there many diffrences now than before.

One thing that happened during the challenge is at the beginning we were all reved up and were looking towards where we wanted to go and it was all exciting and fun but then we lost that spark and started to focus on what we didn't want. We were focusing on how we were still struggling and how things were unsatisfying and we talked more about problems as opposed to solutions and it just became stressful to even go to the forums where we were doing the challenge.

This time we have planned to keep the main project about fun things, excitement, joy and inspiration. We have decided to focus on where we want to go and what we want and to do it in a really fun way. By this I mean a place where we can go in order to share the positive things each other has experienced and found in life and online. Things like positive and inspiring music, videos, stories, pictures, ideas and to serve the purpose of creating more positivity, more joy, more excitement, more fun, more love, more compassion, more inspiration, more encouragement and to do this for a period of 4 months! And to incorporate the Attack anxiety and depression into this in order to help break the barriers that keep us from feeling those awesome feelings.

I feel really good about this project and I hope it helps out many many many people!


Mike

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Are the skills you use to cope with stress really effective or do they cause more stress overall then they relieve?

Today's funny video;
Nintendo Wii Rejected Game Concepts

Video complimentary video to the post;
Healthy Coping skills
(This is pretty short and it is originally ment for people overcoming alcoholism but keep in the mind the same information can pertain to anybody as the person in the video has stated)

So I been working with my cognitive behavioral therapy program for anxiety and depression for the last well probabbly 15 weeks now and its been an up and down rollercoaster for me. I have been doing the program on and off for 6 years now and i'm work on my 7th and in the lesson i'm in now its about resisting change. There are so many reasons why we resist change...maybe people won't like us anymore if we change, what-if more demands are put on us and we can't handle them? What-if the change doesn't last? What-if I fail? And many others. One thing in the program they talk about is that there is something called secondary gains, we actually get something out of staying stuck. Perhaps we get attention from staying stuck or we don't have to make any decisions or take responsibility for things for instance. Maybe we can get out of doing things we really don't want to do. This can be a subconscious thing and we might not even realize these things and what this can do is actually sabottage the efforts me make to overcoming the condition. See even though the anxiety and depression can cause alot of suffering, its familiar and change is not familiar and that can bring on alot of anxiety itself which could keep us stuck.

Anyways so I was working on motivating myself to use the new coping skills I got from the program instead of the old coping skills. One thing that tends to happen is we filter things out and tell ourselves its not that bad. This is something I noticed within myself as I was changing my motivation and my behavior with the coping skills. My old coping skills were; Run away from problems, Distract myself with videogames and music, stay up really late at night, constantly do 1 task for hours and hours on end. So I mustered up the courage and looked at all the areas of my life it was affecting, how it has already affected me in the past and how it will affect me in the future and I must say it was really painful! But to feel some pain now to avoid pain in the future is a great deal! These coping skills weren't even effective either. How do you know if your coping skills for stress are effective or not?

Well ask yourself these questions;
How do I feel when I am using my coping skills? Do I feel more relaxed?
Will my coping skills have positive long term effects or negative long term effects?
Do my coping skills help keep me from worry or do they make me worry more?
How does my coping skills affect my health?
Do my coping skills support me in achieving my goals or hinder me?
Overall am I more calm or more irritable?
Do I feel better about myself when I use my coping skills?
Is my mind filled with thoughts of things I need to take care of when i'm trying to do something fun?

Personally my old coping skills have made me feel like crap, they made me feel very worthless and ashamed. They make me afraid to go after my goals and I have gotten physically sick alot. When I have to get something done I get overwhelmed and feel very anxious and stressed and then I become very drainned and I can't focus very well. I get bewildered, panicky, dizzy and short of breath. My old coping skills are not effective and cause me more suffering and stress then they take it away.

The main skills I learned from the program I am planning to use instead are;
Calming myself down when I get stressed with slow breathing and self-talk techniques
Practicing Meditation, either guided or non-guided
Going to sleep at a consistent basis or when i'm tired
Facing problems
Exercising

There are more questions I asked in order to change my habits and if your intrested I have posted it in another location just ask me for the link.



Mike

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What has to happen in order for you to feel like you have worth?

Ok from now on I'm going to section my blog. There will be a part with something funny, a part with something that corresponds to my blog (ie music video, motivational speaker...etc) and then my blog.

Today's Funny Video;
NHL Woos Fans By Increasing Scoring With Bigger Nets, 3-Point Line

My friend actually sent me this video and it was really profound and actually lead me to the topic of this post. The power of Vulnerability
In this video the speaker talks about vulnerability as well as the diffrence between people who believe they are worthy of love and connection vs the people who don't. After alot of research this lady realized there is only one diffrence...check it out!

I watched the video and kept it in mind but didn't post anything at the time but then after a situation happened that questioned my belief about helping others I knew I had to post. See there was this one guy whom I could see that he was struggling with things and with the knowledge I've learned doing cognitive behavioral therapy I could see some of the cognitive distortions and errors and wanted to help the guy out. I tried asking questions in order to get him to figure it out on his own but that only backfired and he took offense. This same technique works on the forums for the cognitive behavioral therapy program that I post in so why didn't it work for this guy? Well from the guy's response I realized that the people on the forums are out there looking to change their lives and their behaviors and such and the guy who got offended was not looking to do so. He told me something along the lines of how he doesn't want me to save him or to change him and I realized that I do try to do that and I base my worth on helping others. Its a huge trap! If I don't get through to another and help them then I get to feel worthless and I lose self-esteem. Worth shouldn't be tied to anything, worth shouldn't be something you always have to work on but thats exactly what I've been doing for most of my life. I felt I had to help people in order to be worthy of love, connection and happiness and so I would spend alot of time not feeling worthy of those things and then I wouldn't experience those feelings even if someone express them to me or I really was worthy of them. Its like I had to help fix other people before I could feel good. This interfered with my relationships, it has interfered with how I view the treatments I give to patients, it has interfered whenever I saw someone suffer or thought of a problem that causes people alot of suffering.

So what determines worth? Well you could ask 1000 people and potentially get 1000 diffrent responses. Some people link up worth with success, approval of others, love of others or something else. The only problem with each of these things is that if you don't achieve which ever one you link your sense of worth with, you get to feel worthless instead! With success as well you could even succeed at something and feel somewhat worthy but not really fully enjoy the success because you're already focused on the next thing you need to accomplish and then you're constantly having to succeed in order to feel loved. Do you ever feel this way yourself?

There was one book called "Feeling good" by David D Burns that had some really positive beliefs you could use. He talked about 4 diffrent ones and I can't remember all of them however there was 1 that kind of stuck in my mind. It was that "we are all born with worth and its permenant. It cannot be lost nor gained and we all have the same ammount of worth" I like that one alot and how much easier would life be if you didn't feel worthless or you didn't have to continually work on being worthwhile or valueable? So how can you make something like that stick? Well for me I just ask myself a series of questions about how my old belief about worth affects my energy level, my relationships, my determination/courageousness, my health (both mental and physical), my ability to feel love, my productivity at work, my peace of mind and several other things and then I would choose a new belief like the one above and use that as the replacement (because you need to replace an old habit with a new one in order for this to work) and use the same questions and go into alot of detail and actually visualize and feel the answers. Another thing would be to look at how both beliefs can affect the future as well, that seems to workout well.

There may be concern that changing these beliefs might destroy your motivation but thats not true. You're still going to feel good about yourself when you make accomplishments, when you receive love and when you get approval from others. Its just that you won't have to depend on only those things to create those feelings, they only add to it and i'm sure you don't hate feeling good do you?


Mike

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All I need to make it work is within me now!

The topic of this post is actually something that Tony Robbins (Big Motivational guy) suggests to tell yourself as part of your exercise routine. The way it starts off is you do breathing exercises (4 inhales and then 4 exhales) for several minutes then think about everything and everybody in your life you are greatful for for another several minutes then imagine your goals as if you already accomplished them and then after to say incantations like the one in the topic and "everyday and every way I feel stronger and stronger"

I've started to use this while doing other activities as I noticed that alot of the things I say to myself in my head are very discouraging and demotivating. What I have found is that the activties I don't like, I don't like them because of this very thinking! The thinking itself reduces access to the brains resources in order to do these things well and in order to enjoy them as well. Worry and thoughts of I can't are self fulfilling and it makes us focus on everything that we didn't do. It makes it very diffcult to see what we've accomplished and thus we might feel like crap even if what we did was successful.

I have found saying "all I need to make it work is within me now", has made me do well in what i'm doing, its made it more enjoyable (even tasks that are less then desireable) and I think possibility thoughts and I feel good about myself as a person as opposed to the discouraging thoughts which make me feel like crap, inferior and worthless.

There have been many times in hip-hop class where I was struggling and then I kept telling myself "I can't" and got really frustrated and then felt bad about who I was. Fun activities shouldn't take away your feelings of worthiness. Since I started to use the new statement I feel good no matter how well I do as long as I'm doing. I mean I feel really amazing after hip-hop now that i'm not spending that time fighting myself, its such a huge relief.

 This next part I actually posted in a thread on www.stresscenter.com and it got some good response so I'll post it here too.

Think back to a time when you really really enjoyed yourself while doing a particular activity (maybe your favorate hobby). Think about a time when you really felt those deep positive feelings now ask yourself...what was it that I was telling myself?
Was I saying I can't do it, or was I encouraging myself?
WAs I looking at the things I have to do or was I looking at the benefits?
What would happen if I started to believe that I coudln't do it?
Would it steal me away from the excitement or create more?
Would I be as effective or less effective? Would I be more inclined to do the task again in the future or less inclined?
Would it make me feel more hopeful or less hopeful?

Now lets take something you particularly don't like and add the same elements that made you enjoy your favorate hobby.
If you told yourself the same things while doing the unfavorable chore then;
Would you potentially create more positive feelings or less?
Would it be easier to handle or less?
Would it be more draining or less draining?
Could you potentially do a better job and thus get a better outcome or a worse job and worse outcome?
What would it do to your life if you actually thought the same feelings you do with your favorate hobby, with your chores?
How would it affect your overall mood?
How would it affect your relationships?
How would it affect your energy level?
How would it affect you financially? Would you have a higher opportunity for more clients or promotion?
How would it affect your possibility of being hired at a job?
How would it affect your appearance?
How would it affect your stress level?


Ok so now I have an activity I'd like you to do. Well only the people who want to overcome the anxiety and depression and not have it control their every waking moment.

Pick 2 activities you like and 2 activities you don't like (but make them simple activities)
Now do the fun activities with those positive and encouraging thoughts and see how you feel. Try doing them with negative defeating thoughts. Now do the same with the ones you don't like and post your experiences here on the forums. Post if you felt more positive or less but be aware of the black or white thinking. Use percentages. Did you end up feeling 20% more positive or 20% more negative. I'm really intrested to see how people respond. Don't worry about believing the thoughts at a gut level. Just say them to yourself as if you were reading them.

Mike