How Can You Avoid Christmas Depression and Anxiety

By |2018-12-18T14:39:50+02:00December 18th, 2018|Anxiety, Depression, Video|

Hey fearless babes and welcome to another episode of Meaningful Life with Silvia!

The holiday season is behind the door. Many of us bake, shop gifts, clean the house, create decorations. There is so much to do around Christmas and so little time. So today’s question is How can I avoid Christmas depression and anxiety?

Here are my tips:

1. Plan Ahead But Don’t Overschedule

Make feeling good and being at ease this year at Christmas your number one priority.

2. Don’t Binge on Food and Alcohol

There is so much to eat and drink during Christmas so missing out some opportunities to eat and drink is very beneficial and gives your body a little break.

3. Don’t Get Involved In the Family Drama

Take a deep breath and surrender. Let it go. You can’t change another person. Especially not during Christmas. So why not forget it and enjoy yourself instead?

4. Get Out (Especially During Sunlight)

Going out and breathing will calm you down, replenish your oxygen supplies, help your digestion and get you some vitamin D (if you are lucky enough to have some sunlight). It is very important to go outside during Christmas.

5. Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy.

This Christmas you are not going to feel depressed or anxious because you simply decide not to. Forget about everything you have to do and simply enjoy only those things you love doing.

More info in the video.

WATCH THE VIDEO:

 

Now I have a question for you:

What would make your Christmas delightful and enjoyable?

Thanks for watching! I really hope it helps. If you enjoyed it then please like it, share it, give it a thumbs up, comment or subscribe. If you would like to work with me come on over createmeaningfullife.com and write me on the contact page. Or simply, write me at Facebook  or Instagram: @meaningfullifewithsilvia.

Don’t forget that you can live a meaningful and unique life on your terms, you just need to conquer your fears.

How to Beat Anxiety Without Medications

By |2018-11-01T16:10:04+02:00November 1st, 2018|Anxiety|

Anxiety can be really hard to beat. I know it myself. I can’t say that I am absolutely cured now but it used to be much worse.
I remember days when I was anxious to leave the apartment.

When I wanted to go shopping I felt restless. It looked like such a hard thing to do. I had to leave the apartment and face possible threats:

  • talking to a neighbor in the hallway
  • talking to people on the elevator (I used to speculate what are the times during the day with the least amount of people on the elevator)
  • saying hi to the receptionist
  • leaving the building and face the strangers on the streets (which I was particularly scared of after one day a girl stopped me on the street telling me she loves my jacket and asking me where did I get it from)
  • entering the grocery store with the possibility of meeting many people at the entrance of the grocery store (I also used to thing when are the times of the day with the least people in the grocery store)
  • facing the possibility of people asking me if I know where some stuff is while I am shopping
  • not being able to avoid the conversation at the cashier (even if I was able to avoid all of the previous conversations) and needing to say “that’s all”, “by card” “debit” “no, I don’t want any cash back”

Uff. One visit to the grocery store and so many threats. So many reasons to be anxious. Apart from like two exceptions within a year I always waited for my husband to come back home and go shopping with me. Just that I don’t have to face the situations alone.

Now, I’m like: Was this really me? It feels like it wasn’t. I’m not scared to go grocery shopping at all. I even joke with people. I start conversations. Am I living a double life?

I don’t think so. It is just what our brain can do to us if we let it. If we don’t watch out fear of a few things we can easily become fearful of everything.

But, how can we avoid it?

How can we protect ourselves?

How can we beat the disturbing anxiety?

1. Workout

First and foremost, workout. Without exercise, there’s no good mood. Without a good mood, there is anxiety.
Oh Gosh, every time I write this I think to myself: I should exercise more often. The truth is I am not perfect, but I realize how important exercise is to physical and mental wellness.
Don’t overdo it, but the general rule is the more you exercise the better you feel.

2. Meditate

I have already written about the benefits of meditation. Meditation rewires your brain in a magic way. But it’s not your go-to problem-solving method. It works long term. Don’t meditate when you feel anxious. Meditate when you feel OK to build that mental strength you can use when you need it.

3. Breathe

Simple exercises with breath can instantly calm you and put you at ease.
3-9-5 exercise – inhale for 3 seconds, exhale for 9 seconds and hold your breath for 5 seconds. Do this 5-20 times and you will feel much better and calmer.

Another way to calm down is to just be present and watch your breath (this works especially if you are already used to meditate). Don’t think, do or focus on anything else just your breath. Feel the coolness of the air on the top of your nose as you inhale and feel the warmth of the air as you exhale. There’s nothing important in the world just you and your breath.

4. Shout

If the first three methods don’t work there’s time to do something more radical. Get out. Go to the mountains or somewhere where nobody is around and shout as loud as you can. It might seem trivial, but there’s unbelievable power in getting it all out.

5. Magnesium Supplement

If you are often anxious consult your physician on magnesium supplements. If you tend to be anxious you will benefit from magnesium supplements even if you are not particularly magnesium deficient.

6. Get Exposed

This a greatly effective but quite difficult method used very often in psychology. It’s called exposure therapy. Identify whatever you fear and force yourself to do it often enough so that you get used to it and you are not afraid of it anymore. You should even start to enjoy it. For example, if you are anxious when you are supposed to call someone, call 5 people a day every day until you have no problem calling someone and you actually call someone to hear the voice or because it is faster then write a text.

7. Make a Bad Decision

OK, so you feel anxious. Why? Because you are afraid that you will be seen? That you will fail? That it will not work out?
If so, what is the worst thing that can happen?
I bet it won’t be the end of the world.
Think about it this way. You want the worst thing to happen. You really don’t care about the outcome.

You are scared to have a presentation at work? OK, so what is the worst thing that can happen? People will laugh at you?
Get ready to be laughed at. Get ready to laugh with them. In the end, nobody will laugh at you, but if you get ready to go to have that presentation and have some laughs at the same time, you will not feel anxious at all.

8. Get Enough Sleep

Again, I already wrote about sleep being a very important part of being healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. If you don’t sleep enough you can’t function well. That’s a fact.

9. Help Others

The best life coaches in the world will always tell you that there’s not a better way to instantly feel better than helping another being. It doesn’t even have to be a human being. It can be, as well, a dog or a cat. Some lost soul. Give it your time, your energy, your money, your thought, your smile, your food. There is no better way to feel better and change the world to better at the same time. Within seconds.

10. Postpone Worrying

One of the very effective mental exercises is postponing worrying. If you start to feel overwhelmed and you start to worry take a deep breath and decide you will not continue worrying about a particular thing just now, but you will continue in ten minutes. Set a timer.

The point is that you will get detached from that unpleasant thought and feeling and when you come back in 10 minutes you might feel that it is not so bad or you might feel that you don’t want to worry about it anymore.

11. Understand Your Triggers

We are all anxious for different reasons. Know your reasons. Don’t stress out about anxiety. Sit down and think. Why do I feel this way? What is causing it? And what can I do about it? Three powerful question that will get you out of the downward spiral.

12. Know Your Strengths

OK, so there are things you are anxious about. You have your weaknesses. I have mine. And that is just fine. Nobody is perfect. But let me ask you what are your strengths? And how can you use them?

I am anxious about getting in contact with someone new. I don’t know what to say. What is the right thing to say? And I really suck at small talk. I usually don’t know what is going on in politics. I don’t check weather regularly so I don’t know if it’s going to rain today. Yet, I am a good listener. Once I get to know you I am willing to listen up and support. That’s making me a good coach. F*ck if I don’t know whether it will rain.

I learned to be quiet when I meet someone for the first time. I don’t push myself anymore. When I stopped pushing myself into a meaningless small talk I don’t feel anxious anymore. Win-win.

13. Hug and Get Hugged

I know very few better feelings than giving or getting a hug. A hug is definitely in my top 5. The hug can give you just the emotional strength you needed. It comforts you, calms you down, makes you like yourself more. Hug as often as you can. It is scientifically proven how important hugging is.

14. Avoid What Is Not Helping (Who Is Not Helping)

This is a big thing. It is hard to say goodbye to old-time friends or see some family members less often. But you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If you spend time with anxious people you will be anxious no matter what you do. On the other hand, if you are spending time with confident and brave people you will naturally become more confident and brave even if you don’t even try.

Same applies to things and habits. If eating sugar makes you more restless and anxious why the heck do you still eat that dessert after lunch? Be mindful of the things/habits/people that are serving you and those that are not.

15. Be Curious

I have a great coach. When I say I am scared, she always asks me to reframe what I say. I am not scared. I am curious how will it be, how will it go. It is a powerful tool to get you going. Do not stay stuck. What are you curious about?

What makes you anxious?

Thanks for reading. I hope it helped. It is a blessing to have you around.

How Can Your Fear Be Your Biggest Ally

By |2018-09-19T08:03:05+02:00September 18th, 2018|Anxiety|

7 a.m. and the alarm rang. It woke me up from a dream.

In my dream, I was giving a speech to a thousand people. I didn’t really remember the topic. Must have been something with self-development. Even though I don’t remember the content, I remember the feeling of being completely fired up, the energy was flowing from me to my audience. The audience was mesmerized, and I could see on their faces that they had their AHA moments. I was happy.

Happy in a big way, if you know what I mean.

I woke up from the bed and went to make a coffee for myself.

What a stupid dream, I thought to myself. It’s not who I am.

It was three months since I didn’t leave the apartment, a small studio I shared with my husband.
No, to be honest. I did leave it. To go shopping grocery. Yet, I was not able to do it on my own. Three times a week I waited for my husband to come home from work and we went shopping together. Apart from him, I avoided all communication with other people.

I identified with my fear of social connection to a huge extent. I thought I am just not that kind of person who is making friends with everybody. I like to be alone. I need space.

Why I dream about giving speeches? I don’t know it’s just a dream.

Often, and without realizing it, we identify with our fears as something being natural to us. We say: I don’t like talking to new people, it’s just who I am. I don’t like traveling it’s just who I am.

However, when we look at it from a flip side, fear is feeding our self-limiting beliefs.

When working with clients, I can see that the more the person identifies with his fear the bigger the fear is and consequently, the limiting belief grows as well.

Giving in to fear can not only prevent us from living our lives to the fullest, but it can even ruin our lives.
And, if you give in to your fear, how do you know it won’t grow into something bigger? How do you know you won’t pick up other fears?

Fear as an Enemy

Imagine, there are people in the world who are scared to leave their houses (Agoraphobia).
There are people scared of falling asleep (Somniphobia).
There are people scared of having their phones without cover (Nomophobia).
There are people scared of small holes (Trypophobia).
There are people scared of rain (Ombrophobia), color yellow (Xanthophobia), trees (Hylophobia), cheese (Turophobia) or clowns (Coulrophobia).

So many fears and I didn’t even mention spiders (Arachnophobia). 🙂

Those might sound like strange fears to you and you might not suffer from them, but can you say the same about the more common fears?

  • fear of failure
  • fear of success
  • fear of not being loved
  • fear of not being enough
  • fear of being judged
  • fear of not being worthy of success
  • fear of rejection
  • fear of trusting people
  • fear of having a lot of money
  • fear of being not understood
  • fear of other people to hold you back
    …and many other

By now, you might find yourself in some of these fears. However, don’t blame yourself for having them. Yes, they do block you and might prevent your success but it’s not your fault you have them. Some of them reflect your childhood, some of them reflect the society rules, some of them were created on the basis of negative past experience.

We usually don’t call them fears rather limiting beliefs. Yet, they are much more common than the previous ones and most people suffer from more than one or two of these limiting beliefs.

When you give in to your fears it affects your life negatively:

  • you self-sabotage your success
  • you make excuses
  • you think negatively
  • you develop different kinds of habits that are not helping you
  • you procrastinate
  • you hide behind perfectionism
  • you worry too much

So what can we do about our fears?

Fear as an Ally

Think of fear as a tool for your development. There are two kinds of situations when you can be fearful:

A. when you are in danger and in that case you should run away from the danger
B. when you are doing something new, unknown or non-habitual

Let’s talk solely about option B. What does fear do for you in this case? It shows you the edges of your comfort zone. Where your comfort zone ends, your growth begins. However, the typical reaction is to run away in this situation as well. Why? Because the brain is designed to protect us and make us survive. It doesn’t care about the comfort zone. Our society developed faster than the brain. For the brain, it is a danger or not a danger and nothing between.

It is your role to distinguish whether it is a danger or a potential for growth. If you can do that your next step is to embrace that fear.

Welcome it and acknowledge it – Welcome fear, thank you for letting me know this is the edge of my comfort zone.

And do it anyway. It is OK I am fearful. And even though I am fearful I will do it anyway, because it will bring me benefits.

Basically, fear is very helpful in both cases. When in danger, it will trigger you to run away. When at the edge of your comfort zone it will trigger you to grow.

It’s your choice how you will react to the fear. Will you run away or will you grow?

Stop Being a Control Freak! Here Are 7 Ways How

By |2018-08-20T21:10:14+02:00August 21st, 2018|Anxiety|

Are you a control freak sometimes? I definitely am. I work on it, but there are days when it is not easy for me. Like yesterday.

My boyfriend is ultimately the happiest person I know. He wakes up with a smile on his face 20 minutes before he is supposed to go to work. He sits on our terrace and drinks coffee. He enjoys the morning.

Not me. I know he needs to leave by 7:40 to be at work at 8:00. I came to him at 7:30. Don’t you have to get dressed? You will be late. And please, don’t forget to go to the shop before you go home from work and buy coffee. I will come later today.

Will you? How come?

I’m already getting annoyed. I told you yesterday. I’m going to see a friend.

Oh, really? I forgot. And he smiles.

OMG! I leave the terrace to get dressed so that I’m not late.

7:40 I went to talk to him again. Don’t you really need to go? Like, come on. Go to work.

I haven’t finished my coffee yet.

Just please go to work. You are stressing me out.

7:45 he stood up, came to me and started to talk: I have an idea. We should move our furniture on the terrace…

Come on! I interrupted him. Go to work. You will tell me later. I’m already pissed off and the day didn’t even start yet.

OK. OK. I am going.

He got dressed quickly and left the house.

Love you, he shouts.

From the kitchen window, I saw him getting in the car and starting the engine. I felt relieved. He will be only 10 minutes late. That’s not so bad. I hope the traffic is not bad today. But it’s Monday so it might be. I hope it won’t be too bad.

Then I froze. He forgot his lunch in the fridge.

I grabbed the lunch and ran after the car. He saw me and stoped.

Giving me a wide smile: Oops, I forgot. Thank you. You are awesome.

I gave him the lunch, an angry look and I felt like I want to break up right away. Why can’t he leave the house on time? Why can’t he remember to take his lunch with him?

Why can’t he live his life the way I want him to live it?

Yes, I am a control freak sometimes.

Most people would choose unhappiness over uncertainty.

– Tim Ferriss

Being a control freak means you want to eliminate the uncertainty by trying to control everything. The uncertainty scares you. You believe that if you just can have things under control you will be much better off. You perceive the world as an uncertain place so you want to have at least the small things in your life under control.

But if you take one step back. Can you really control things, people, and situations around you? Is this approach sustainable or is it a sure failure?

Let’s dive even deeper. What emotions are related to failure? Sadness? Frustration? Anxiety? All the negative emotions you can imagine.

All together being a control freak means you have one unhappy life.

But what to do about it?

1. Acceptance

Accept what is going on at a particular moment. Accept that there are only a few things in your life you can have under control. Most of them are directly tight to yourself. However, you can’t control other people for example. All you can do is accept what is going on and relax. By trying to control it, you are making it worse, not better.

Another step is to accept yourself. You don’t have to be that perfect human, because being a human in its own essence means being imperfect. Do what you can. Change what you can. And accept the rest.

2. Rest Is a Recovery

Control freaks usually don’t want to sit down and have some rest. Resting means letting thing to their own faith to them. So why rest, right? Yet you need enough rest to function properly. If you struggle to take some time off, look at your rest as your recovery. While having your time off, your muscles, your nervous system, your brain and your digestive system recover to serve you even better when you are fully running and need them.

3. Take One Step at a Time

A control freak is, in other words, an anxious person. Feeling anxiety makes you feel uncertain and that makes you want to control things. Chunking your project into smaller doable task will make you feel and actually have things under the control and calm down.

4. Challenge Your Thinking

Rather than letting overwhelm win over you when something goes wrong try to calm down and change your thinking using these few questions:
Is my thinking helpful?
Is it fear that is controlling me?
What is the way to solve this without feeling overwhelmed and trying to control things?
What is the worst thing that can happen?

5. Control Your Reactions

You can’t control people around you, the situations, problems or the weather. What you can control is your attitude. The way how you respond to the events in your life. You can control whether you freak out or calm down. So don’t look any further and start controlling your reactions.

6. Name What You Feel

If things are out of your control name what you feel. I feel uncertain. I feel frustrated. I feel angry. This will naturally mitigate that particular negative feeling. Why? Because after you name it you know what you feel. It is not uncertain and you are starting to feel the ground beneath your feet.

7. Avoid Doing Things That Support Your Anxiety

If reading emails in the morning makes you feel restless. Make a rule of not reading emails before 10 am. If blood sugar can cause you mood swings don’t eat sweets. In these cases avoiding stuff that’s not helping you is much easier than dealing with the consequences.

I hope this helps. Let me know how you fight being a control freak.

25 Benefits of Meditation and 520% Increase In Your Profits

By |2018-03-16T17:31:40+02:00January 11th, 2018|Anxiety, Depression|

Do you meditate? I meditate more or less regularly for the last three years. Very often I wish if only I started earlier. I would have a chance to appreciate all the benefits of meditation earlier. It would help me during those exams at University, which were driving me crazy. I bet, my relationships at my first office job would be much smoother as well.

If you are deciding whether you should start meditating or not, I suggest to give it a try. Let’s say for a week. If you meditate for 7 days and nothing changes to better in your life, then drop it. Seriously. I suggest this because I’m confident it will help you.

“But when?”, you’re asking me. (more…)

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