Where my anxiety comes from?

Nowadays is way too common to feel anxious during the day, and most of the times we don’t know why and where this anxiety comes from, we simply don’t notice our triggers but what we do notice is our anxiety.

It’s common not to recognize that our thoughts are a significant trigger, often we have stressful dialogs or create catastrophic narratives in our minds. For example revisiting a recent conversation that caused stress, or remembering any bad behavior from others with you or uncomfortable situations at work. Or creating catastrophic narratives like having your house burning down or worried that something bad might happen to your loved ones, then imagining how you’d react to it or creating the worst case scenarios for personal or professional areas of your life.

In our digital culture and environment, we seem surrounded and always connected to screen, devices and other people’s lives and opinions, hopping from tab to tab, app to app, website to website, almost automatically without giving thought to the process. While we might not notice that during this process we’re still responding emotionally to what we’re consuming, for example, sensationalist news headlines, flawless Instagram images, emails and others,all of which can inherently trigger your anxiety. However, this can’t be noticed since we are to naturally hyper focused on this activity / behavior.

How to minimize inherent anxiety triggers?

Document Every Trigger – Take an outside perspective, ask yourself about what just happened immediately before you feel anxiety, pinpoint your thoughts, physical feelings and what you did, for example, drank a lot of coffee, thought about your to-do list, a memory from the past or a e-mail that you just read. Taking notes about it can open a clear way to reach for a solution.

Slow Down Breathing – Slowing down your breath will increase oxygen in your brain and also slow down your heart rate. Breath through your nose and count from 4 to 6 seconds, holding your in-breath from 1 to 2 seconds, then slowly breathing out through your mount from 4 to 6 seconds.

Turn On Your Senses – Find five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste. This will shift your focus away from the anxiety and will help you to connect to the present moment using your five senses.

Muscle Relaxation – Scan your body for muscle tension and then try to “unclenching” them. Relax your jaw, open your mouth sightly and make sure that your tongue is positioned at the bottom of your mouth.

Face Your Fears – Avoidance only amplifies and strengthens anxiety, facing your fears, a skill know as “exposure” can effectively reduce anxiety.

Consume Good Content – Just like eating healthy, we must do the right choices when it comes to consume content on social media or any digital channel. Stop watching or reading bad news, following vain and worthless social media profiles. Try to find what will add value, knowledge and happiness to your life.

Stay Off-Line – We stay connected almost 24 hours a day, it’s important to set a moment in your day to turn everything off and have a conversation with your own thoughts without any kind of interruption from mobile notifications. That way you’re going to clean your mind from anxiety that come from the digital environment.

Anxiety may comes from no where, just like an object falling from sky and smacking on your head, but when you dive deeper, you realize there is a reason, a feeling or a behavior that will work as trigger for it. Identifying the root of the issue will make easier to find new ways to resolve it.

Post based on: When Your Anxiety Doesn’t Have a Trigger

Art: “Glenn”, 1984 – Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Turning Mondays Into a Better Day

It’s pretty common to feel bad about coming back to our responsibilities after a weekend or even a long period of a lot of fun. When getting closer to to it, specially by the end of the day, the mind begins to be fulfilled with bad thoughts wishing there was no tomorrow.

The thoughts and the wishes are real, we all love having fun, taking long afternoon naps and eating all kinds of delicious food but the reality is waiting for us, filled with responsibilities and annoying tasks, so there are no choices or even an escape, so we must embrace it and get it done!

But how can we get it done if the days like these seems to be endless, we lack of concentration and just don’t know how to start or what things needs focus on.

From my experience I’ve listed 5 actions that can turn mondays into a better day:

1 – Treat yourself in the best way as possible

Remember that we can always find happiness in the little things, how about choosing nice meals during the day, i’m not talking about having a huge amount of sugar o fat, but going to a nice place to eat and choose the food that will improve your health.

If you are the type of person that enjoys company, invite that best friend to be with you, but if you are the type that stays quiet during mondays don’t feel guilty to avoid people and have lunch with yourself.

Don’t forget about the way you look, choose your favorite clothes, wear that make-up and fragrance that you love, i bet that when you pass in front of a mirror you will be happier with yourself.

2 – Wake Up Early and do something

Recently I’ve posted Why and How to Wake Up Early

Waking up early and do something, specially going to the gym or doing any type of aerobic exercise will boost your endorphin levels and your confidence. I bet that within 15 minutes of exercise you will start to feel better and refreshed to start the day.

3 – Set your routine previously

Don’t set your to-dos by the time you start the day or you might waste time on tasks like checking that long boring email box. Set your routine in the previous week or day, preferentially on fridays so you can detach from your problems and fully enjoy the weekend. If you are heading to a vacation or holidays why not setting up the day you come back to work?

Setting up a to-do routine will avoid you from forgetting important things or procrastination. Remember to Prioritize and Execute!

4 – Avoid or don’t pay attention to toxic people

Avoid the complainers, those will only add negativity or bad thinking to your day. When meeting a complainer that will surely say, “oh i hate mondays”, “the holidays are over, I wish I could be back” or even say that you look bad and tired. Remember there is nothing you can do about it, just focus on your objective and give a generic answer.

Sometimes will be hard to avoid them, so don’t pay attention to them and return to your path of getting monday done in the best way as possible.

5 – Set your main objective

If you have an objective you will not have barriers in your way. Set your main objective, that one that will be used as a driver to complete your tasks, this way you will always find a way for a solution and to be motivated.

Having an objective will make you Chose What is Right for you. Objectives can be related to family, professional goals, mindfulness, health and others, they just need to be your driver when facing a challenge or difficult or annoying task.

Mondays are the first day of the week, the first chance to get things right, everybody knows that it’s difficult to handle it, so why sharing bad thoughts about it since you can’t change it? You only have control of your actions and how to make the best way through it.

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Sleeping less than 6 hours affects your testosterone levels

Living in this world of fast pace changes where sleeping less is an opportunity to be more productive, we can put ourselves in trouble without really knowing the cause of it.

We can find a lot of people that are proud of sleeping less than 5 hours or even doing its fragmentation, claiming that their genetics were built that way and they don’t even feel the need for more of it.

Sleep fragmentation and obstructive sleep apnea are associated with reduced testosterone levels, this affects directly the morning testosterone levels since is prediction is based on total sleep time.

Testosterone is critical in sexual behavior and reproduction, but also has important beneficial effects on muscle mass and strength, adiposity, bone density, and vigor and well-being.

In this study, young healthy volunteered men slept 8 hours at week 1 (11pm to 7am) at home, then spent 11 days in the laboratory for 3 nights of 10 hour bedtimes (10pm to 8am) followed by 8 nights of 5 hour bedtimes (12:30am to 5:30am).

One of the effects noticed was that during walking hours, common to both conditions (8am – 10pm), testosterone levels were lower after sleep restriction while cortisol levels were similar under both conditions.

In this experience, daytime testosterone levels were decreased by 10% to 15% in just one week of sleep restriction. This way of living is very common for the majority of urban population and we can see the symptoms and signs of androgen deficiency including low energy, reduced libido, poor concentration and increased sleepiness, all of which may be produced by sleep deprivation.

Even if is required for us to be extremely productive in our daily basis, sleeping is still a mandatory activity, if we don’t consider that, we can put ourselves into a path full of symptoms and further on diseases without knowing even its cause, and start to medicate ourselves with something that could be prevented by just sleeping.

Post based on: Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy MenFREE

Art: “A Lua” – Tarsila do Amaral

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