5 Clues You are Stressing Out

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It’s easy to say, “Don’t stress” but if we don’t understand how to put this into practice in our everyday life, this is a command that is not so easy to obey. That’s why I’ve been exercising practical ways not to stress so much (because there’s no such thing as not stressing…stressing is natural…we just overdo it).

Sometimes we don’t know we are stressing. This is not good because what you don’t recognize, you can’t change. No worries though, I got you covered.

Here are 5 Clues you’re stressing out:

Overthinking / Overanalyzing

One clue that you are stressed about something is if you can’t stop thinking about it. When you are going over a situation in your head repeatedly. You micromanage every possible scenario on how something can go wrong. You give it so much energy that you even have mental conversations with yourself on what could happen, what did happen, how it happened and even new ways it could have happened. You go to bed thinking about it and wake up thinking about it.

If this is you, you are stressing out and I am going to need you to chill.

Looking for Faults

If you find yourself looking for the flaw in things, you have a problem. Unlike being faced with a situation, you’re looking for one. Every single action is met with your own private investigation. The slightest issue is background checked for “possible” mistakes and mishaps. You even start to bring up old stuff, calculating how that situation and this one is connected.

If you’re constantly critiquing yourself or something/someone else, looking for problems that don’t nor have probably ever existed, you are stressing out and I am going to need you to just chill.

Whining / Complaining

What we think about will eventually come out of our mouths. If you find yourself complaining about every single itty bitty thing, you are stressed. You know that tone. When the inflation in your voice rises and the sentence begins with “but” or “why come” a whine is coming on. If all you focus on is problems you won’t see solutions. If you must complain all the time, you’re stressing yourself out and I am going to need you to chill.

Trying to Guess What People Are Thinking / Saying

This one is a lot more subtle than the others and is the cousin to overanalyzing. If you are having mental conversations about what you think other people are thinking and what they are saying, you are stressing. If you’re trying to find motive where it doesn’t exist, you are stressed because you’re worried about what others think and their reactions so you make up stuff. This is dangerous. Eventually, you will have convinced yourself you “know” what that person is thinking and start to interact with them based on the fictitious person in your head as if that’s who the person really is. You’ll start to look at everything they do based on the version of them in your head.

If you’re imagining what people must think or what they must be saying, you’re stressing and could push people away if your illusions ever reach the surface. Never assume you know what people are thinking. That’s what communication is for.

And oh yes, I am going to need you to chill.

Denial

It’s sometimes hard to see things about ourselves without someone pointing them out to us. This is when we need the help of family, friends, and people who truly care. You know, the ones who tell us exactly how it is… straight, no chaser. So, if someone says you’re stressed and your first response is to deny it or come up with excuses, that’s a big fat red flag that you probably are stressed out…

…and we’re going to need you to chill.

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No Whining Wednesday – Expect What You Cannot See

It’s been a minute since we’ve had a No Whining Wednesday, where we do not complain, whine or criticize for a 24 hour period.

If this is your first NWW be sure to CLICK HERE to learn more about this segment. For the rest of you, welcome back!

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

We hold onto hope with shaking hands and weak hearts. It is something we fall back on in times of desperation and fear. We cry out loud for it, searching for solutions to our problems when there’s nothing left to do but wait. When things are out of our hands and we are no longer in control then, and only then, do we hope because there’s nothing left to do.

It is time for an upgrade.

Expect What You Cannot See

Hope by definition is the substance of what is expected, the proof of what we cannot see. To strengthen expectation is to begin to expect things to happen that is not yet foreseeable. To build in hope is to start to look at life, not through the lens of what is not here, but what is yet to come.

It may seem impossible that you will be relieved of Child Support or that you will get out of prison in time to see your children grow up, that you will find the love of your life or that you will be healed from that disease. It may seem impossible that you can love again after being broken or recover from a traumatic experience. It’s difficult to look at these kinds of situations, many of which we have no control, and expect things to turn out OK. It’s difficult because everything physical says that it will not. Your appeal was denied, your Child Support Payments increased, the doctor says there is no cure and your emotions won’t simmer from heartache.

All the assistance, research, history, and the data is working against you.

But, then, there is hope…

When you can expect things to turn out differently despite all the physical proof that it won’t, this is hope.

When you start to expect what you cannot see. This is hope.

Hope is expecting something to happen that you cannot see is possible but you still expect it. It is, as the saying goes, taking the first step even though you cannot see the whole staircase. You know it leads to a place. You can’t see where it is or what’s up there but you know something’s there. It is when you are willing to be uncomfortable for a time because you expect that things will (despite the “evidence” that it won’t) get better.

To upgrade the hope in your life, you must begin to expect what you cannot see.

When you change your perspective, the way you see things and the way you think about them, your entire life will begin to change.

BREATHE

Temporary Cover for BREATHE.

Dear Author,

Writing is just as psychological and spiritual as it is physical. The level of mental clarity necessary to write books is not something that any writer can ignore. From reaching out to people for special appearances, book signings, and speaking engagements, it goes without saying that taking on this enormous responsibility will require the strength of an individual who has worked, not only on his craft but also his mind. Someone who has come to the page with a mindset that he or she will accomplish greatness. Someone who has not only decided on a profession but has mentally prepared for it as well.

At the time that I write this I’ve been publishing books for ten years and within the last three years, I have had the pleasure of working closely with writers in a way that I never have in my career. This intimacy is made possible through writers and the publishing of their most personal thoughts through the platform that is the blog. As I sit back and I observe I have come to understand that doubt and fear is a major contributor and enemy of the writer. It creeps into the mind, seeps into the soul and gnaws the bone. It gets down so deep inside the author that it bleeds through the pen and taints the words. Next thing you know every time you look up that writer is not a writer anymore. That writer is a shadow of his former self, wallowing in self-pity and doubt. That writer has allowed fear to creep in and to steal his gift.

Writing is not a cake walk. It is hard work and often mentally challenging. While writing itself is exciting, the process of pre-writing, writing and then re-writing, publishing and marketing and promoting, can take its toll. Not to mention the barrage of “Thou shall write like this” advice and the author’s own personal life. Who knows what kind of stress the writer battles during production and what kind of sacrifice it took for you to hold that book in your hands. Authors are people too and like any other person, we have lives outside the page and outside the blog, trials and tribulations to endure that can make finishing a book mentally taxing. Writers under this kind of mental strain must somewhere underneath the clutter of depression and self-loathing, find the motivation and the confidence he or she needs to approach the page again. He or she must root themselves in the present moment and find the strength to endure. That writer, he or she, must learn to BREATHE.


“BREATHE: Letters of Writespiration to Keep You Inspired, Motivated, and Writing” is the first book in a series of books that is my next project. A string of letters from me to you, the writer. It does not yet have a release date. I am also not having any fancy launches for this. After The Nora White Story, I am focusing on seriously finishing and producing my memoir which can take some time. These books will be small projects of mine in-between my larger projects such as novels and the memoir.


If you’d like to know more and to read some of the letters before the first book is released (which won’t be for some time), be sure you’re subscribed to my email list. I am doing some redecorating, such as an all-white background for a neater look. I am also sharing Chapter Four of my memoir in the next issue (Chapters 1-3 will be available to download to new list members or veteran members who missed it.) Also, if I have not gotten around to promoting your book, it will be in the next issue as well. Your patience is always appreciated.

The 10-Day Negative Thought Fast

Wow, this is great! What a way to end No Whining Wednesday (today was a good day.) I definitely want to try this.

All About Writing and more

Would you like a simple way to really change your life? Instead of merely getting by, you’ll find that your life can truly be exceptional when you focus on positive solutions rather than the constraints of your challenges.

This 10-Day Negative Thought Fast, originated by Emmett Fox, one of the most popular self-help authors and speakers of the early 20th century, is an adventure you’ll reap many benefits from.

Here are the rules:

1. If you break any of the other rules, you must start the 10 days over from the beginning. To get the full effect, you must complete 10 consecutive days. Giving up negative thoughts is a little like giving up a drug; you’ve got to stop using them completely, otherwise you haven’t truly quit.

2. You cannot focus on a negative thought or remain in a negative emotional state for more than five minutes. Ideally, the time…

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Update: How Did You Do?

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So, how was No Whining Wednesday? You can be honest. I will.

Before I do, for those new to NWW, see last weeks post HERE to understand what it is, what it’s about and how to participate. Tomorrow is our second week of the newest feature to The PBS Blog and I’m going to try to do better because I was a mess last week. I failed miserably.

AND, I didn’t even have any quarters.

You know what, I don’t even want to talk about it.

OK, OK, I will. But only because I like you. What had happend was…

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I woke up that morning to a situation that brought me to tears. Not just tears but TEARS. I was balling. Here I was balled up on the floor praying away the anguish on the first day, but that’s not all.

Eventually, I decided to be a big girl about it and clean myself up because I remembered that it was No Whining Wednesday and I wasn’t supposed to be whining, let alone crying. I decided I would make pancakes before I got to work. Usually I’d just grab a cup of coffee or maybe some fruit so I was treating myself. So I thought.

This is Tuesday so I’ll get all my complaining out the way now. I hate…OK, hate is such a strong word… I dislike very much the taste of pancakes using oil. I like to use butter instead. For the twenty-nine years I’ve been on this Earth, my pancakes have always done well using butter. Except last Wednesday. They started to stick. I changed pans, thinking it was because I wasn’t using the cast iron skillet. It started to stick again and not just a little bit but like crazy. So, I started again using oil. It started to stick again. I should mention my sister in law is visiting. My plan was to make us a nice breakfast this morning (since I admittedly let her feign for herself the first night.)

My sister-in-law, awakened by the noises coming from the kitchen, walks in.

“Don’t worry, I’ll still eat them. I don’t really know how to make pancakes myself.”

“But I do! I do know how to make pancakes! Uhhgg.”

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After giving the pan (the butter and the oil) a piece of my mind I remembered this was No Whining Wednesday (something I started) and that I was definitely not winning.

At the end of it all the pans started to behave themselves and my pancakes and turkey bacon came out lovely.

The rest of the day smoothed itself out and all of my locs are still here. By the end of the day Wednesday all was well. I think I even had enough time left in the day to watch a chick flick (which turned out to be whack but I didn’t complain. I’d already done enough of that.) As I think back on it now it didn’t turn out so bad (maybe I just needed to write it out?) but I definitely had a rocky start.

So, how about you? I know you did better than me.

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15 Reasons why Reading a Book is a Life-Changing Experience

Neat. Post Quote: “The brain is an organ like any other and just as exercise strengthens the heart, reading strengthens the brain.”

Nicholas C. Rossis

ReadingDistractify.com recently published a list of reasons why reading a book is a life-changing experience. Here are my favorite ones!

1 . Reading a novel increases brain function for days.
Research from Emory University has found that reading a book can increase connectivity in the brain which makes neurological changes that act like muscle memory. Books not only put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense, but also in a biological sense.

2 . Reading can help prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Increased brain function is also useful for other things — various studies have shown that adults who engage in hobbies that stimulate the brain, such as reading, are less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease. The brain is an organ like any other and just as exercise strengthens the heart, reading strengthens the brain.

3 . Reading reduces stress.
Do you take a walk or listen to music…

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5 Reasons We Doubt (And Why We Shouldn’t)

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  1. Belief – We have no faith. Period. We invest more in our problems than we do in possibilities. We spend more time thinking about the bad stuff before the good stuff which ultimately leads to stress. In addition, our unbelief tends to lead us to wait until we get what we want before having joy. Why do you have to wait until you get the job to appreciate the job? Why wait until you are acknowledged for a skill to nurture or appreciate the skill? We wait when we should rejoice on the way. Rejoice during the journey, not just afterward.
  1. Fear – Fear is the biggest reason for doubting because there is no fear in faith. Our fears vary. Could be the fear of rejection from others or a fear of failure. In any event, it is not something that we so easily notice or that we even care to admit to but it’s there. At the root of not doing our best is the fear of something. I remember when I was a little girl and I got into this fight. I hurt this person so badly that I didn’t want to fight anymore. I literally restrained myself from it. I didn’t take up for myself sometimes. I let people pick on me, and push me around.

My secret wasn’t that I was afraid to fight. My secret was that I was afraid of my own strength. I didn’t want to hurt anyone and I was afraid that I’d do just that. Sometimes our fears are not because we know that we will fail (although that too), but that we will succeed and what that will mean for our future, for with great authority comes greater responsibility. What will it mean for us to be who we were ordained to be? For many of us, the answer’s a frightening one. But look at it this way: You cannot turn a light on and off simultaneously. You have to either have the light turned on or turned off because light and dark cannot coexist. Likewise, fear and faith cannot coexist. You will either be fearless or you’ll always be afraid. Afraid of what others will say. Afraid of what others will think, and afraid of how your light will make others feel. That’s a terrible way to live.

  1. Disagreements – Also known as criticisms, one major cause of doubts comes from disagreements among others. Who remembers the Ach Conformity Experiment? A series of studies performed in the 1950s that demonstrated the power of conformity in groups. These are also known as the “Asch Paradigm”. In one such experiment, there were five men who were to perform a very basic task: Match the line on the left with the line on the right. It was something your three-year-old can do. Four of the men were agents, people in on the program. They matched the line on the left with the incorrect line on the right. The subject knew they were all wrong but because they were the majority he chose the same wrong answer.

Even though he knew everyone’s answer was wrong, because they were all on accord and he wasn’t he doubted himself and chose the wrong answer. Remember, let no one make a prey of you through philosophy and empty deceit. But as it happens, as soon as the majority shake their heads and say to themselves, “How foolish of us”, that’s it. One minute you’re confident and hopeful and as soon as the slightest wind of a disagreement comes along we are done. Boom. Over. Joy depleted. Spirits crushed. Dreams deferred. However, remember this if you remember nothing else: Beware when all men speak well of you. Every great person who has ever stood for something was mocked, laughed at, teased, and assumed to be foolish by his or her contemporaries.

  1. No Support – Usually from feeling isolated, almost just as bad as disagreements among others is no support at all. This can leave a big gaping hole of doubt in our minds. The feeling is so great that it can lead to sadness and depression. This causes a doubt that can be very dangerous as we can miss our purpose putting off what we were built to do because a lack of support gave the perception that it was not for us at all. The truth is that it just wasn’t the right time. Why wasn’t it the right time? Well, that depends but it could be that you were not in a place to do it. Could be that you were not mature enough to carry it through. There is always a reason for why things happen in our lives and if we stop trying to change what we have no control over we won’t be as stressed. As Einstein once said, “I am thankful to all those who said NO. Because of them, I did it myself.”
  1. Mistakes – A big cause of doubt is failing. Mistakes leave huge stains on our spirit and sometimes cause us to give up altogether. It also ceases us from trying again or thinking we had it in the first place. The truth is that sometimes you have to be torn down to be built back up. Remember that it is not being knocked down that makes the difference but staying down. I believe the man who has fallen seven times and stood up eight is a greater man in the end than he who has never fallen.