Hello, my beautifuls! If you know anything about me from the past episodes, it’s that I have depression and anxiety. I will be glad to say that my depression is not as severe as it used to be. There were weeks where every day felt like a constant reminder of how crappy I was feeling about myself. I’d wake up unmotivated, walk through the day like a zombie, and then end the day feeling like I really didn’t want to do that all over again. Those days are long gone, but it doesn’t mean that I still don’t get triggered.

I want to clear up a misconception that a lot of people have, especially my clients. Depression and anxiety never truly go away. We just learn to cope with it better when it comes around again. As humans, we will always get triggered by things that make us feel uncomfortable. Whether it’s a situation out of our control, a place of uncertainty, or regrettable mistakes, it’s absolutely normal to feel uneasy, depressed, and anxious.

If you’ve been following my Instagram. You’ll see that I’ve had emotional days. I know I said earlier that I haven’t been severely depressed lately, and it’s true. I’ve spent the last three years of my life learning to become self-aware. I recognize when I start to feel depressive, and I react healthily to it.

There’s a client of mine who tells me that it’s hard to let go of their negative thoughts. To which I say, absolutely. It took me three years to get where I am today. It didn’t happen overnight. It took days of practice and even still, I struggle. And to put it into perspective for everyone, I started therapy three years ago and I just started feeling more in control at the beginning of this year, so only six months ago was I still suffering through a deep depression. And even then, it was gradual with ups and downs.

My point is the best thing you can do for yourself is letting go of the concept that once you reach happiness, you’ll never be sad again. Because the thing is, life is hard, and it will always tend to kick you when you least expect it. Sometimes, we will let our guard down, get comfortable, and then get shaken by drama, triggers, and whatever ugly the world wants to present. With the realistic concept that happiness isn’t the fix it all, we also have to accept that sadness isn’t forever as well.

How do we accept sadness and move on from it? How do we address it when it comes back again? Well, let’s talk about that.

So you’re probably familiar with what is called the stages of grief. There’s denial, this when you can’t seem to accept what you’re feeling. You tell yourself that it’s not you, it’s them. You tell yourself that tomorrow will make it better, and you don’t have to do anything. Then there is anger. Now suddenly, you start to direct your frustration towards things that may not have even been the issue, or you start feeling resentment. For example, when my husband quit his job, I started directing my anger at him. He was the cause of all my pain and frustration. When in actuality, I was mad at myself and feeling out of control. And then there’s bargaining, where you try to irrationally reason why things happened. So people will say, “If only I had done this, then that wouldn’t have happened”, or “What if I had said this instead?”. Then there is depression, this is when you begin to isolate yourself. Whether it’s physically or mentally, a lot of deep emotions are swirling through right now. I feel like this is where a lot of us get stuck at. And not only that, but we continue to replay all the stages of grief, except one, and that’s acceptance. We may at some point hit this point but can easily fall back into the cycle of grief if we don’t continue to solidify the positive outcomes.

I know this because I’ve gone through it. When I was going through depression and suicidal ideation, I believe I was stuck between depression, anger, denial, and bargaining. Every day was a constant loop of negative scenarios that played out in my mind. I would at certain points agree that I was depressed, and then immediately would turn into denial. I believe I did this because I really didn’t want to accept that there was something wrong with me. I wanted to blame my problems on everyone else. If everyone else had done their parts, then I wouldn’t be in the situation now. I realize that it was a very selfish concept that I had held onto for a long time.

But how did I exactly break out of this loop? Small steps.

I can never highlight and advocate enough on how important it is to talk to someone. I suggest someone who has gone through depression before. Someone who you feel you can trust and has validated you before. Or find a therapist. I know that the number one reason why people don’t is because of cost. It does break my heart to know that people can’t even afford to see a therapist. When it should be something as common as a physical check-up. With that being said though, there are many outlets for you to find a therapist. There are apps now that allow you to reach out to a therapist virtually. Unfortunately, these are not covered by insurance. However, they do offer sliding scales and are much more affordable. There are also hotlines. They don’t necessarily provide you with long term treatment care, but at least, it would help to vent it out and help you process through what is going on. Most often, people on the other line are licensed therapists or volunteers who are trained in mental health coping skills. There are also mental health life coaches. They cannot diagnose you, however, they do provide a safe space for you to work through your emotions and figure out the next healthy steps. Some life coaches are either licensed therapists themselves or in school to become one. The thing is you just have to do something, and I know that the most effective method is to let someone else provide their perspective so that you’re not stuck in your own narrative.

Second thing to do is feel it. If you feel crappy, embrace it in a healthy way. We all don’t like people who wallow and are negative all the time. However, it’s okay to say I’m feeling sad today. I’m feeling disappointed. This method is allowing yourself to accept that you don’t feel good and know that it’s okay not to feel happy. The method works best if you journal. This way you visually see what thoughts are playing through your mind. In most cases, you’ll realize that you had been playing a false narrative this whole time, and you just needed the time to realize it.

Third thing you can do is to rest. I had some emotional days that have occurred recently, and I knew that if I tried to hard to ignore them, then I’d eventually wear myself down. So in combination with talking to someone and feel my emotions, I gave myself time and a break from the normal. I took longer breaks. I watched more uplifting movies. I napped. I played games on my phone.

And then when I started feeling like I was being too restful, that’s when I knew that I was ready to go back into whatever I needed to get done. Most often people can’t get out of the resting mode, however, as long as you keep expressing and feeling your emotions, the more you’ll be able to let them go and move on.

The most important and last step is gratitude. I believe that without this part, we can never solidify all the hard work that we’ve done. Being thankful and loving ourselves is probably one of the hardest things we could ever try to do. Especially, if we’ve lived our lives feeling unloved and invalidated. Being grateful for myself was the last thing I learned to do.

First, I told myself that I should be grateful for my husband because, despite all my negative feelings, he wasn’t a bad husband. So I focused on praising him the best I could. Then I told myself to be grateful for my friends and the other people around me. I focused on the people who brought me happiness and joy. I focused on the good things they’ve done for me and affirmed that they did this out of the goodness of their hearts and not because they felt obligated to. And then it was time to focus on me. Every morning when I looked in the mirror, I stopped pointing out what I didn’t like about my face. I pointed out what I liked about my face. I stopped wearing makeup on a daily basis. I forced myself to become comfortable with the image I saw looking back at me. I told her kind things. I forgave her for her hurtful words, and I reminded her that she has made it so far. Then I began saying these good things verbally to the people around me. I wasn’t going to be afraid of being proud of myself. Whenever someone complimented me, I told myself that I deserved it and I earned it. And then when I felt sad or unworthy, I would remember to listen to my positive affirming side because she was me and I do love myself.

I practice all this day after day. I never stopped being grateful for my husband, my family, my friends, and myself. I began being more grateful for a lot more things. I’m grateful for my education. I’m grateful for the opportunities that have come and gone. I’m grateful for my job. I’m grateful for my clients and my life coaching practice. I can truly say that I am grateful for life and all it brings. I have never felt more ready to tackle challenging hills knowing that even if I fail, I succeeded in learning something new.

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Take a deep breath with me. How are you today? The world has been imbalanced. There has been chaos around us as we struggle with the chaos within us. This break that I took, which was longer than I expected, was a well-deserved and needed break.

Ever since I’ve been on this self-empowerment journey, I noticed that my head has spinning in all directions. I’m back in school, I’m working on my podcast, I’m working on being a certified life coach, I’m trying to build a business, I’m working on maintaining my marriage and my relationships with my family and friends, and I’m working on myself. From the outside, people probably see me being the ultimate life achiever and doing everything and being awesome at it!

I mean, I’m going to allow myself to be proud for all of the things. Because I need to, and I should. I worked really hard and I should thank myself for all the hard work that I have been putting into all these efforts and I am thankful for everyone who has supported me along the way. But it’s been hard. It really takes a toll on my physical and mental well-being, so I took a break.

I allowed myself to be lazy. Which goes against all my parents have ever stood for, and what I ultimately started to adopt as my own. However, because I recognized the unhealthy habits of just working and working with no break, I allowed myself the time, the freedom, and the flexibility to come back to this podcast until I was ready.

Now, I’m ready.

I’m going to spend this episode focusing on something that I think I’ve been trying to do for the past year, and that is on my Why. Why do I do this podcast?

In my very first podcast, I wanted this podcast to be a self-journal. A place where I could be free to express myself and let go of all my internal turmoil without being conscious of whoever may be listening. I did this for myself, and I did this in hopes that maybe someone out there had a similar story.

And it did reach their ears. This was before I even started to mentor anyone. And then I did. I didn’t really understand why at first. It just felt nice to be able to help someone through their struggles and offer advice or to just listen. But the more I did it, the more I felt compelled to. Suddenly, it became a fury inside of me where I just wanted to help everybody! You have an issue!? Let’s solve it!

And it was like that for a while. I just wanted to extend that helping hand to anyone who would be willing to. It wasn’t until I had my first real client who was a stranger. I had mentors who were strangers, but my dynamic with them was a bit different. This client was introduced to me by my life coaching program. They’re offering free services, and members of the program could sign up and offer free coaching sessions. So, I did, and the first and really the only person who reached out to me was this one client. I’m not going to go into detail who she is or what her problem was, because you know, privacy. But what I will tell you that our first session together solidified why I wanted to do what I wanted to do.

She and I are both Asian. We’re both from very strict and traditional backgrounds. We were the youngest of our family. We both felt unheard and stuck often in our lives. If I wrote down who my ideal client was, she was it. We resonated in so many ways that it empowered me to keep going with life coach. Oddly enough, it was at a time where I really started to question myself and my capabilities to be a coach or even a good person, honestly.

At the end of our first session, she thanked me for being so understanding and how much better she felt, and if I could, I wished I could have shown her how much her response meant to me. Because it made me realize that my message may not be for everyone, but for some person out there, it may be all that they needed to keeping moving on.

I had a class recently too by my coaching program, and it was on branding. The homework was to discover our Why’s. And with what I already knew about myself and what I desired, I started adding everything together.

My why isn’t just to help people. It is, but it’s more than that.

I do what I do because I believe that life is in our control. It is how we choose to see it. Just because life isn’t perfect or what we had expected it to be, doesn’t mean that we lose hope. We often dwell on the things we can’t be and forget the things that we are or have potential to be. I used to feel that I wasn’t smart enough, however that was just a false belief. I had just accepted my failures and labeled them as truths. My only one true failure was not believing in myself, and even then, am I still a failure? No. It means that I still have room to grow. Instead of feeling down or frustrated at my failures, I have to tell myself it’s okay, because whatever is going on, it’s trying to teach me something. What can I learn from my failures? Who can I be from this? What is this trying to tell me? I have the answers in me already, I just needed to believe them. And sometimes, I need someone to remind me that I am the person that I want to be. Sometimes, our friends can’t soothe our pain. Sometimes, our parents make it harder. Sometimes, we don’t even know what we’re feeling. That is why, I do what I do. That is why I chose to get certified and learn from experienced coaches. So that I can be with you through your journey into finding balance and self-love. Whether it’s through this podcast or my coaching, I hope to be able to reach out to you and extend some relief that you are not alone, and I do this for you.

With this message, I hope that you can find the courage to start your own self-journey into empowerment. We can do the research and listen to people’s podcast, but sometimes, we don’t know how to use those tools or when to use them. Empowerment is the ability to address your wounds, accept your failures, and learn to control what you can. Through a process of continuous self-healing, you start to build an immune system that becomes stronger and wiser. Before you are strong, you must learn to be weak.

#podcasttranscript #thisismywhy #strengthisweakness #mentalhealth #empowerment #lifecoach

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Updated: May 4, 2020

It's been quite the roller coaster hasn't it, my beautiful people? As we sit in our homes and wonder what the next day or weeks have in store for us, we just have to twiddle our thumbs and truly hope for the best.

Today's post, my first ever blog first, will be a downer. In all honesty and genuineness, I have been struggling with my anxiety and depression. This was a fear that I had prior to my official start date to working from home. What I've come to realize is, I live off the connection and communication of other people.

Even though I have my husband, our types of communication differ from the conversations I have with my peers and coworkers. Also, he's so logical, so sometimes I struggle to feel the validation from him (we're working on it). However, as a coping mechanism, I have to remind myself that we're both very different people who fell in love with each other. That means despite what I wish he'd be like, I don't truly wish for him to be that person. It's really just for my own convenience. "If he just said this, then I'd feel better". "If he just did this, then I wouldn't be mad". "He did this, but it could have been done better".

My therapist reminded me once that if I had married a person who was just like me, I'd probably annoyed. LOL. She's absolutely right! I already get annoyed with myself plenty enough.

Anyways, my point here is that being stuck at home with the same people every day can be a bit exhausting, no matter how much you love their cute face. Therefore, I am thankful that my full-time job is essential (we work with the elderly and disabled), and that we've been required to come into the office once a week (we're taking turns who comes in each day - between one or two people per day). This way, I can still get that face to face interaction. On the days that I don't go in, I make sure to text my friends. Although, I think I need to start calling people. I never liked talking on the phone, but now I may need to.

Another bother that has been bothering me is....my progress with my podcast and website. If only you could see the internal turmoil of "not feeling good enough", "I'm not doing anything", and "everyone's is doing more than me". Nevermind, you really don't need that visual. On days like these...like today...I really wish I could just turn off the negative thoughts. I don't need them. They drag me down and make me unproductive and unfulfilled.

So, how am I coping with it today? I'm writing about it. I started my blog. If these thoughts are swimming around in my head, then let's do what I do best to either get rid of them or lessen their power, and that's writing them down. I used to write a ton when I was younger (helps explain why I wasn't so anxious then), and I need to do it more again. So what I have done is whenever I have negative thoughts or bad feelings, I write them down on a piece of paper. I read what I've written down and acknowledged those emotions: "What happened?", "What made me feel this way?", and "What am I going to do about it now?". Once I embrace all that is real and hurtful, in my head or out loud, I will say "I accept these feelings. They are real and valid. It's okay. You're okay. Everything is okay." THEN! The most fun part is I destroy that note. I either rip it to shreds (which is way more fun) or crumple it up, and throw it away! Good riddance! The physical visualization of throwing away a negative thought helps calm and soothe me. It's like punching a pillow. I can never physically touch my negative thoughts, but if I shift that focus onto something more tangible, then it allows me to release them and visually get rid of them. There's a science to this, I'm sure...Hehehe

I'm not going to do that with this post, well at least not the usual physical way that I do. However, I will tell you that I'm feeling way much better already. Typing this out and being aware of myself is really the best way for me to make the rest of my day better. I AM NOT LETTING NEGATIVITY RULE MY DAY!

So how are you feeling today!? I hope you're doing well. If not, try the mechanisms I've written about today. If you have your own technique, share it with me. I might benefit from it too! Also if you know what your personality type is comment below! I love learning about personalities!

Until then! Remember that you are in control of your life and your destiny, you are beautiful/handsome, smart, and capable of all things good! Love you! Bye! #selfawareness #loveyourself #INFP #copingskills

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