Is Social Media Destroying Your Self-Esteem?

Social media has such a significant influence on society, and the vast majority of posts involve adveritsements. I can’t remember a time when there was such an emphasis on things as there is now. Not that I’ve been around that long, but it seems as though material objects matter more now than they ever have before. There are many factors that can potentially be responsible for this phenomenon, however, it seems as though the Instagram and Facebook feeds may be the culprit.

From the fashion bloggers, to the travel bloggers, or anyone who is paid to advertise a product or location, you find yourself somehow sucked into the “wow I wish I had that” mindset. This newfound desire for things has created such a significant emphasis on having more, wanting more, needing more. From the fancy designer handbag, to the newest fancy iPhone, to the fancy hotel vacation—YOU NEED TO HAVE IT.

Not only is social media keeping us from appreciating the amazing things we do have, but it’s also creating a sense of inferiority. I am not enough. Not rich enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough…

This is absolutely invalid. You are everything. You don’t need things to be happy. You don’t need to go into debt in order to buy the lavish items being advertised on your feed.

Here is why It’s important to keep media at face-value:

1. Work, work, work

Bloggers get paid to look good. They get paid to write a review on a new product. They get paid to tell you what’s cool. Does that mean whatever they’re advertising is necessarily the new cool thing? Maybe, maybe not. Also, they usually get the item for free, whereas most normal people don’t have that luxury.

2. It’s a team effort

From photographers, to videographers, to make-up artists, chefs, or personal trainers, to a writing team, it’s not a one (wo)man show. Everyday people leading normal lives cannot be expected to have the same appearance or lifestyle because between work, family and friends, laundry, making dinner, walking your dog, and sleep, it’s impossible to live a life such as those displayed on social media.

3. Why can’t life always be this breezy?

Life isn’t always about rainbows, unicorns, and Bentleys. Life is hard. Based on the images presented to us via social media, we are expected to believe that life is perfect. Perfect relationships. Perfect bodies. Perfect homes. But that’s exactly what it is, a belief. Our imperfections make us who we are, and they should be valued.

4. The exhaustion factor

Between everything going on in life and working crazy hours, I have no desire to be fully made-up every single morning. Sometimes I like throwing my hair up in a bun and wearing my most oversized, comfy sweater. Once my smile is on, I have all I need.

If feeling comfortable in your own skin isn’t considered beautiful, I don’t know what is.

5. The comparison

Please, please, please do not compare yourself to any of the people portrayed on your Instagram feed. These are images of people who are hired to look/act/do things a certain way. It is not realistic. Again, take it at face-value—that’s all it is.

6. That money, money, money

Seriously, don’t go broke for buying items you don’t need because social media tells you it’s supposed to be cool. What’s actually cool is not spending a fortune on random objects and owing a big bank somewhere a lot of money. You’re already a badass without all the extra stuff…

7. You are enough.

Don’t ever allow anyone to make you feel that you or the things you have are not enough. You are perfect just the way you are. You are beautiful. You are talented. You are intelligent. You are the perfect version of yourself.

social media | self esteem | online | you are enough | unplug | self love

Feel like you’re missing out on your life because of social media? Read up on why it’s important to unplug

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xx,

Paula

FOMO: Why You Need to Unplug

FOMO is real. Seeing all of the photos and videos of friends traveling and going on fun adventures makes you want to do that too, right? You want to be at that big party. You want to be at Coachella. You want to be part of all the fun—it’s near impossible to unplug.

So you spend a lot of time looking down at your device feeling left out and uneasy about what you’re missing. Even if you’re out doing your own thing, your focus is on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook—you just can’t seem to unplug.

What if the real fear is that you’re actually missing out on right now. By taking time away from your friends and your own life to look into the lives of others, you are missing out on time that you’ll never get back. Moments that you’ll never get back. Missing out on making the memories that you’ll never forget.

Yeah, it’s cool to look at photos of others and seeing what they’re up to, but taking time away from your life to stay plugged in is not healthy. It’s important to remember that photos are only a partial, and potentially skewed, representation of what’s actually happening. So why live “vicariously” through others, when you can reap joy from your own life?

Have you ever considered what it would be like for you to put your device down and focus on the activity in which you are engaging? To really live your life? What are the benefits of unplugging…?

Here are the possible benefits when you unplug:

1. Live in the moment

BE PRESENT. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, be there. Mind, body, and soul, be there. Drop your device, unplug, and enjoy yourself. When you’re present, you’ll notice people and things you never did before, which can be a blessing.

2. Be social

Focus on those sitting across from you at dinner, or those around you at an event. Make eye contact, smile, ask questions, laugh. There’s nothing more exciting than getting to know someone new, or further establishing an existing relationship. Network and get to know others—you may be surprised by what you learn.

3. Enjoy the simple things

Look up. Look around. What do you see? When you’re not staring down at your screen, you are exposed to the beauty that surrounds you. Unplugging is super important for your overall wellness. Awareness can be a very powerful tool, especially when it supports your efforts to appreciate the little joys in life…

4. Go with the flow

Sometimes the things that we least expect end up being the most valuable—go with the flow and see what life hands you. This idea goes hand-in-hand with living in the moment. Constantly having plans isn’t always the best thing…

5. Fly solo

Spending time alone, without your device, allows time for self-reflection, relaxation, and the possibility of new experiences. Maybe you’ll meet someone new, or explore a new place—flying solo can be exciting.

6. Feel less pressure

When you’re not stalking others or posting photos of everywhere you go, everything you do, and everything you eat, you provide yourself with space. Depending on how often you choose to post, there’s a sense of pressure to keep up with those in your social circle, or interact with your audience. When you decrease the amount of time spent staring at your phone, you may feel less pressure to do things for the sole reason of posting.

Don’t live so you can post, post so you can remember how you lived.

7. Appreciation

When you’re not focused on what others are doing, you have the ability to appreciate your experiences and the life that you live. You will be more fulfilled, and will have acquired the key component to happiness…

8. Quit comparing

Living in your moments, rather than those of others, will help emit the fear of missing out. Having realistic expectations is also crucial. Live within your means, and don’t compare yourself to others. The majority of people in the world are not fancy bloggers, models, or millionaires—they are regular people like you and me. Always remember that you are blessed with wonderful friends, family, and experiences.

Bottom line, quit comparing yourself to others because it’s just not healthy.

9. Be yourself

Being online can require a bit of a façade sometimes. When you’re not attached to your phone, you get to live a real life where you can be yourself. Being present and feeling alive doesn’t require a façade, it doesn’t require a device, it just requires you.

Be you, love you, and live your life to the fullest—without your phone! Just unplug…

unplug | fomo | social media | be present | communication

Feeling like you need to take better care of yourself? Check out these tips on how to give your body some TLC.

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xx,

Paula

How to Say Goodbye to an Unhealthy Relationship

Being in an unhealthy relationship can break your spirit, but so can saying goodbye…

You’ve found yourself in a relationship that makes you unhappy. In a relationship that is no longer fulfilling. In a relationship that is unhealthy for you. Are you ready to abandon ship?

Sure, but how?

Living through the cycles of an unhealthy relationship is very familiar to me. Deciding to quit the person you love, or think you love, is a struggle that I wish on no one.  Not only are you internally battling yourself, but making your way out will most likely cause a scuffle.

The decision to leave the relationship, in and of itself, is tough. You start to look back at all the great times you’ve had together and wonder how you’ll survive without your beau by your side. You count all the months and years you’ve spent building a life together, and don’t want it all to go to waste. You reflect on all of the adventures you’ve had together, and just can’t imagine exploring the world with anyone else.

I know, I’ve been there. It’s hard to believe that you can wake up and not see your partners face. To hear a funny joke and realize that they’re not by your side giggling too. How can you live a day without the love of your life?

Guess what? Life goes on, and so will you.

Fear is not a valid reason to stay in an unhealthy relationship that makes you miserable and causes distress. Yes, you invested a lot of time. Yes, it will be hard to let go. Yes, you will heal and eventually find that life is better without this person.

You will be doing yourself a colossal disservice by staying in a relationship that is making you unhappy because you’re scared of the unknown. You deserve the best that life has to offer, and it’s up to you to advocate for your happiness and wellness…

10 Ways to Prep Yourself for Saying Goodbye to an Unhealthy Relationship:

1. Weigh the pros and cons

Make a list of all the good and bad things about your relationship. What aspects of your relationship are positive and give you happy feels? What aspects make you feel angry, sad, resentful, etc.? Are there things about your partner that drive you absolutely crazy? Or things that make you smile so hard your face feels like it’s going to fall off? If the bad things outweigh the good, you’ll need to reconsider where you stand…

2. Consider how often you’re happy

Once upon a time I thought that it was acceptable to be in a relationship where happiness was a distant concept. Now that I’m in a relationship where I feel happy at least 90% of the time, I know that happiness really isn’t an inaccessible notion. If you’re with the right person, in the right kind of relationship, you should be happy more often than not.

So, think about it: how often are you happy in your relationship?

3. Make final attempts

Know that you did everything you could to make it work. Improving communication, making changes and compromises, taking a break, going to counseling, etc. If after you’ve done literally everything to make it work, and it’s not—then it’s just not working. No regrets.

4. Don’t blame yourself

Relationships are a two-way street, and even though you may have done everything in your power, there’s a chance it still won’t work out. If someone really wants to be in a relationship, they will also do whatever it takes—you are not the only one to blame for the failure of your relationship. Remember—It takes two to tango.

5. Create a plan

Whether it’s looking for a new place to live, figuring out who gets custody of the dog, or deciding how to call it quits—have a plan.  Make sure that all of your bases are covered, especially if you two have any financial/legal ties.

6. Reach out to your support network

When in certain relationships, we become isolated or spend less time with friends and family. Reach out to the people you love. Rekindle those friendships and get together. If you feel comfortable doing so, let them know what you’ve been going through.

Break-ups are never easy, and you will need a tremendous amount of support during this transition. Know who to call, and who to count on. Be sure that you are well supported, because you’re going to need all the TLC you can get…

7. Know that you deserve better

Again, I know making a move as significant as this one is terrifying. You’re so doubtful, and fearful, and unsure of what the future will offer, but know that you deserve better than what you’re going through right now. Love is supposed to be a beautiful thing—and not just temporarily. Remind yourself that you deserve to be happy, even if that means finding happiness on your own first.

8. Take a trip to Muscle Beach

Always remember how strong and resilient you are. Regardless of the circumstances, you’ve made it this far. You’ve made it through a tremendous amount of hardship and struggle in life. You have what it takes to get through this—don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

9. You will survive

Initially, things are going to suck. But know that you will be okay. You will survive this, and it will only make you stronger—so cliché, I know. Most importantly, don’t believe your partner when they say you’re nothing without them. You are everything you’ll ever need, plus some.

10. Embrace life & love yourself

Along with knowing that you deserve better, give yourself permission to experience joy again. Do the things that you once loved, and find new things that bring you pleasure. Be free of criticism and hurt, and live life in a way that is fulfilling. Love yourself.

If you don’t love yourself, no one else will be able to love you the way you deserve to be love.

unhealthy | relationships | saying goodbye | break-ups

Not sure how to cope with the actual break-up? Check out these tips on how to move forward….

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xx,

Paula

How to Best Cope With a Break-Up

Going through a break-up can be rough…

You and your beau just ended things. You’re still trying to fathom what the hell just happened. Is it really over?? What? Seriously, what just happened?

All of the moments shared, the nights of laughter and cuddles, all of the fun and adventure…turns out it wasn’t enough. None of it makes any sense. How can you live a life where your beau isn’t by your side?

We’ve all been there, and have made it through that unthinkable mess. No matter how many times you go through heart break, it never gets easier. If anything, it gets harder. As we get older, we tend to have more meaningful relationships, too. With this, we invest more, we have future plans, and it feels nearly impossible to walk away.

A very good friend of mine was sharing with me how difficult it’s been to try and move forward after her break-up. She and her fiancé broke it off, and it’s been devastating. She and the person that committed to spending their lives together just bailed. We’re not talking about cancelling a dinner and a movie date here, we’re talking about walking away from forever.

Whoa. That’s heavy.  

So how do you make it through a break-up? Other than watching Dirty Dancing, and scream-singing at the top of your lungs to your favorite Dashboard Confessional songs, there are plenty of things you can do.

Check out my guide to best cope with a break-up:

1.Prohibit contact

I truly believe in a no contact policy. This was something I did with my last break-up, and it made things so much easier. Cut the ex out of your life, cold turkey. It can be difficult, but it’s well worth it. If you absolutely need to, replace the ex’s number with your best friends’. Any desire to make contact will be fulfilled by connecting with someone else that you love.

NO. CONTACT. POLICY.

2. Say goodbye to social media

Whatever social media platforms you two are friended on, DELETE THE EX ON ALL OF THEM. Seriously, you just have to. In order to move on, you cannot know what your ex is up to, where your ex is, or who your ex is now dating. Pressing that unfriend button will provide you with the space you need to start letting go—it will allow you to move forward. It really is the first step…

It doesn’t hurt to delete all of the ex’s family and friends too. Yes, there may be some mutual friends you still really like, and that’s fine. However, you might want to consider limiting what shows up on your feed for the first few months…

3. No cyber stalking

Seriously, no stalking. It is detrimental to your healing, and seeing things you don’t want to see will be very hurtful. Like, so unbelievably hurtful. Don’t do it.

4. Get out there

Whether it’s seeing your family more often, arranging dinner dates with your girlfriends, or joining a kickball league, get out there. Being social will help you remember that there is life outside of your failed relationship. It will also remind you of how much fun you can have.

5. New experiences

Go on adventures. Whether solo, with friends you’re re-connecting with, or new friends, just get out there and enjoy yourself. Life has so much to offer! When in a relationship for so long, trying new things that are outside of your comfort zone aren’t typically the norm. The newer the experience, the better.

6. Appreciate being single

Having the time to be single and flying solo is pretty rare, so enjoy it. Take it all in, utilize that time productively, and rediscover yourself. There’s nothing greater than focusing on your growth, your happiness, and your goals. Do you.

7. Find yourself

Ok, so listen up—this one is really important…

Take time to find yourself. While in relationships, we sometimes lose sight of who we are. Discover who you are as a whole, and not just as a half. What do you like to do? What makes you feel good? What’s on your bucket list? Do you want to travel? Cook? Fly a plane? Whatever it may be, get out there and do it. Push your limits, and figure out who you are and what you want…

8. Everything happens for a reason

We may not ever understand why certain things happen. What I know for sure is that everything happens for a reason. Life sometimes throws curveballs, and it’s usually because there’s something better on the other side. Go with the flow, and let life take you where you are meant to be.

9. Let it out

Whether talking to friends, seeing a therapist, or journaling, let it out. Part of healing is expressing your emotions. Whether through art, physical activity, writing, or talking, it’s all a form of expression. If you hold it all in, you’ll hinder yourself from truly moving forward. Not processing your feelings and working through the pain of a break-up can also negatively affect your future relationships. We all have the ability to cope in a positive and healthy way, and this really is a crucial step…

10. Love and forgiveness

While doing all of these listed above, don’t forget to love and forgive yourself. Often times, we blame ourselves for certain things. Remember, this break-up is not your fault. Sometimes two people aren’t meant to be together, and that’s okay.

Always, always, always, love yourself…

11. Take care of yourself

Above all else, take care of yourself. Be healthy—mind, body, and soul. Know that you have the ability to accomplish anything. You are enough, and you don’t need another half to feel whole. Remember, you are the priority.

Feel like some self-TLC will help you feel better? Check out some tips on how to better care of your body here!

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xx,

Paula

Get Healthy: How to Best Care for your Body

Having a healthy body is so important. There are so many campaigns running right now with a Love Your Body theme, and I adore them. I think these campaigns are providing many women and men with the courage and ability to feel comfortable in their own skin, regardless of shape, size, color, or ability.

Our bodies are a beautiful thing, and we should always be grateful for them. Yes, loving the way your body looks is crucial, but loving the way your body works is important too. The way in which our bodies function, move, and thrive is miraculous.

Think about it: our bodies are so complex, and can accomplish so much. From digesting food, to fighting off colds, to being able to chew and swallow, to running, jumping, stretching, and engaging in all the activities we love. They are just spectacular.

Due to working in the medical field, I have grown to appreciate my body more and more each day. I feel that as a young, spry person, I have taken my health and wellness for granted. Luckily, I have pulled away from this ideology and now truly value both the simple and complex things that my body can do.

It can be difficult to appreciate the “simple” things our body does like breathing, mobilizing limbs, or having our hearts beat into our chests, because those things seem so normal. Isn’t crazy to think that our lungs remember to breathe all on their own. It’s an automatic function, and it’s part of this beautiful system that keep us alive.

This system, however, is very intricate, and it can fall apart in an instant…

Having to watch patients struggle with the essentials of staying alive, such as breathing, has helped me see how important it is to take care of my body. I want to be healthy, I want to be strong, I want to appreciate my body each and every day. And I definitely want to dance the funky-chicken at my 97th birthday celebration.

I want to live. I want to thrive. And I want to experience all the joys of life while at my best health.

Here are the ways in which you can best care for your body:

1. Stop taking your health for granted 

As mentioned above, we take these “simple” functions for granted, but they keep us up and running. Every single part of your body has a purpose, and you should value and cherish that no matter what. Love your body for what it looks like, and for what it can do.

2. Eat well

Although this doesn’t mean that you always need to eat all organic, grass-fed food (although that would be ideal), energize your body with healthy food that has adequate nutrients. Eat fresh food. Cook at home so you know what ingredients are going into your body. Have a fridge packed full of veggies, fruits, yogurt, nuts, etc. Nourish your body, and it will work even harder for you.

3. Limit sugars and processed foods

This includes soda. Yes, I love that delicious bubbly too, but it’s really not the greatest thing for your body. Sugars are empty calories and have little to no health benefits.

Processed foods also contain lots of sodium, and typically have a ton of preservatives. Man-made chemicals are exactly that, man-made. Try to consume foods that are produced by the earth.

4. Exercise

Whether it’s every day or once a week, exercise. Allow your body to feel good and strong. Exercise is also great for your mental wellness, as it increases serotonin levels in the brain and can elevate your mood. Make sure to do something you enjoy. Running on a treadmill at the gym is not fun for me, so I go for a run outside instead. Again, whatever it may be, have fun!

5. Limit substance use

Hey, a cocktail or glass of wine now and then is totally fine. But remember that too much of anything isn’t healthy, especially alcohol or other drugs. While you may enjoy using recreationally, make sure that using doesn’t start to affect your health and/or ability to function and participate in daily tasks. If you happen to find that this is the case, for you or a friend, there are plenty of ways to get help.

6. Love your body

If you mentally love your body, you will have more reasons to care for your body. Each and every single person has been blessed with the body they were given. Yes, it’s a blessing. Love yourself, love your healthy body, and be comfortable in the skin that you’re in. The happier you are within yourself, the better care you can take of yourself.

YOU. ARE. PERFECT. JUST. THE. WAY. YOU. ARE.

7. Respect your body

Try not to put yourself down in front of others, or even when you’re alone. Remember that your body is a gift, and it provides you with a safe home. Both body and mind should be connected, so if you struggle with self-esteem, try to say three positive things about yourself each morning. Positive affirmations will help you mentally connect to your body, and also help you accept your body. Aim for a well-rounded love of your body and mind. You are worth it.

Ever have a health scare? Check out some tips on how to cope here.

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xx,

Paula

Minimalism: How to Cleanse Your Space

Ever feel overwhelmed in your space? Ever consider cleansing your life of unnecessary objects? Ever wonder what a life of minimalism would feel like? I definitely do.

I live in Los Angeles where housing costs are seriously a joke, so as you can imagine, my space is quite small. My home is a studio apartment, and always feel like the walls are closing in on me. Why, you might ask? Because closet space is limited, I have the tendency to buy a lot of things I don’t need, and finally, I haven’t been proactive in cleansing my space of things that are no longer useful.

When I was nearing my 30th birthday a few weeks ago, I realized that I just couldn’t live in a space that was literally consuming me. It felt like the things I owned were taking over, and I didn’t have any space to move around. How could the things I own now own me?

So I started to wonder, why do I need all these things? What would life be like if I only had the bare essentials? Would a physical cleanse help? Could a life of minimalism be what I needed?

This is how Project Closet Cleanse came about.

This was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my adult life. The overall process is still in the works, but starting on my walk-in closet literally changed three things: my perspective on my home, seeing how many things I actually have, and realizing how many things I don’t need anymore. 

Throughout the process, I utilized concepts taught by Marie Kondo. I took the time to go through each and every item, hold it in my hands and ask myself, as Marie recommends, “does this bring me joy?” I found this very helpful, and it assisted me in moving through the motions. Focusing on that philosophy of minimalism was definitely a key component…

Before starting Project Closet Cleanse, I was terrified. The results, however, provided me with so much relief. We had done so much work! Overall, it felt so great to know that I have options in the way in which I can utilize my space. I had enough room to be able to add or change things. My space was cleansed of everything negative, and it was now organized. This was the gift of all gifts, and I was so grateful.

With the positive impact of this significant change, both on my mental and physical wellness, I am now working on other parts of the apartment. I cannot wait to continue cleansing my life of things that are unwanted and unnecessary. And maybe decorate a bit!

Are you interested in cleansing your life?

Check out my method for Project Closet Cleanse:

1. Dedicate time

Dedicating a time will allow you to stick to making this change. Whether it’s 30 minutes each day, or a whole weekend, set time aside. It will make all of the difference, and you (hopefully) won’t have any distractions.

2. Have a plan

Before you start to throw things all over the place, make sure that you have a plan in place. Consider starting with a particular section, or a particular room. Regardless of where you begin your cleansing journey, plan out how you are going to attack your space. Start with one room, or even a section of that room.  Bottom line, don’t overwhelm yourself!

3. Disposal

As you’re separating all of your things, you need to decide what you plan to do with the items you are going to cleanse your space of. Will you utilize boxes, bags, or bins? Be sure to have them ready so you know how to separate your things. Will you donate? Recycle? Sell to a second-hand shop? Swap with friends? Whatever it is, think about it beforehand!

4. Does it bring you joy?

Touch it. Hold it. Does it make you feel happy and put a smile on your face? Does it remind you of a moment in time that was so great your heart was going to burst? If you answered “no,” that’s a problem. If any negative feelings exist, let it go. Negative associations can mean that this piece is no longer meant for you.

No one has room for negativity—literally and figuratively.

5. Is it useful?

It’s simple: if you will utilize this item, keep it. If not, get rid of it. Bye, Felicia.

6. Will it somehow contribute to your life?

If an item no longer contributes to your life, it’s time to say goodbye. Remember, it’s important to focus on the bare essentials during this space cleanse. Less is truly more!

7. Does it add value to your life?

Whether it is an everyday item or a special item, does it add value to your life? Is it of significance to you?

8. Donate, donate, donate

Just because an item (in good condition) is no longer valuable to you doesn’t mean that it won’t benefit someone else. If you plan to donate, do some research beforehand. Is there a particular group or charity you hope to support? Reach out and see what items they accept and what their process is. Many of these agencies also pick-up items, which can be very helpful in the cleansing process.

Also, most donations are tax deductible!

9. Reorganization is key

The primary aspect of a project such as this is to feel free in your space. That includes decreasing clutter and being organized. Time is also of the essence, so being able to find your things is really important. Maintaining shape, condition, etc. is helpful in making your items last, too. Be sure to spend time reorganizing your space so that it best fits your needs and can appropriately house your things.

10. Space isn’t Everything…

Remember, even a small space can feel large enough when the right plan is in place…

Happy cleansing! 

xx,

Paula

Nine Ways to Quit Negative Thinking

We all do it. It’s ok. I’m guilty of it too. Negative thinking is one of those things that happens, sometimes more often than not. It can be because you’re hard on yourself, because others are hard on you, or because life has previously handed you some super sour lemons. Regardless of the reason, negative thoughts can be all consuming

Again, having some negative thoughts is normal; you’re only human. Nothing is perfect all the time. However, this negativity can quickly become a habit, and change the way in which you perceive the world around you. How can you appreciate anything if everything around you is so terrible?

Negative thinking can cause a great deal of dissatisfaction, even if things are going pretty well, generally speaking. Nothing is good enough. You’re not good enough. Everything is shit. Life is shit. Everyone is horrible. Why is this happening?

Well, it’s happening because once you go down that road of negativity, you find yourself in a downward spiral. It’s moving quickly, and you’re not quite sure when it started, how it started, or how to get out of it. You are angry, and your outlook on life is one that is, for lack of a better word, unhealthy. It’s time to make a change…

Here’s your step-by-step guide to working through negative thinking:

1. Stop and breathe

When you find a negative thought coming on, stop, take a deep breath, and try to breakdown what makes this a bad thing. Once you’re able to identify what’s causing the thought, it will allow you to understand why you feel the way you do.

2. Challenge the negativity

Challenge that negative thought with a positive one. Once you’ve mastered step one listed above, you can take that negative thought and replace it with a positive one—if this is difficult at first, try replacing it with a neutral thought.

3. Look around

There are so many wonderful things in your life, and it’s important to identify a few positive things each day. Whether it’s how cute your dog is, to how amazing your SO is, or as simple as the plant on your kitchen counter that continues to bloom, take in the things that make life beautiful.

4. Know that you are enough

Positive affirmations are really important. Once you feel good about yourself, everything else will start to feel good too. As you’re getting ready for your day, say three positive things about yourself in the mirror. Do this each day for a few weeks, and you should begin to notice a change.

5. Do what you love

Bring joy into your life. The happier you are, the better life will feel. Do more of the things you love, with the people you love. Enjoy yourself.

6. Smile and welcome the unknown

Put your beautiful smile on, and be confident in the amazing things you bring to the world. Walk around with an open heart, and welcome what the world is offering you. Sometimes it’s the unexpected events that truly impact our lives for the better.

7. Acceptance

Accepting the things we cannot control, although easier said than done, will allow room for personal growth and the ability to appreciate things for what they are. Try to find the silver lining in every situation. It’s true that every bad comes with good, and vice versa.

8. Get your cleanse on

Misery loves company. If you want to make a positive change in your life, sometimes that means cleansing your life of all negative things…including people. Surround yourself with those who are positive, those who bring good to your life, and those who bring out the best in you…

9. Appreciate more

Appreciate the things life has provided you. Once you learn to let go of the negative thinking and focus on the positive things in your life, you will feel more fulfilled. With so much good, you will be less likely to focus on the negative things.

Focus on the good, challenge the negative, and remember all of the things you have been blessed with. Life is beautiful…

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xx,

Paula

The Fear of Loss and How To Cope

Love and loss. Have you ever loved someone so much that you can’t imagine life without them? So much that living in a world where they no longer existed just wouldn’t make sense? I have. It’s one of the most terrifying thoughts, but even worse, one of the most horrible things to experience. So, the question is, how would one cope with the fear of losing someone they love? Let’s talk about it…

When I was seven, my family and I unexpectedly lost my mother. Not only that, but I almost lost my life too. While growing up, I was always close to others, but never allowed myself to get too close. As I entered adulthood, I realized that this needed to change, and I had to learn to cope with the fear of letting someone in, loving them, and then potentially losing them out of nowhere.

Obviously, this was all driven by trauma and anxiety. Nonetheless, it didn’t make those feelings any less real. And I’ve come to find that as soon as I stop worrying, and feel safe, something happens. So basically, my fear also kicks in when I’m happy and not constantly feeling worried. How is that a way to live, you might ask? Yeah, I ask that too…

Just this last week my boyfriend had gone in for a very simple procedure, however, he did it across the country. Per usual, I was feeling worried, but very hopeful that the procedure would be successful.

I woke up to a text that all had gone well, and my babe sounded like his cheerful, normal self. I felt so much better, and was able to finally breathe. Then, I wake up the following morning to a text that he had fainted and was now in the ER. Literally, my world felt like it flipped upside down.

I was able to remain calm and ask for all the facts, but working in the medical field allowed my mind to wander to all of the worst case scenarios. Is this really happening? How serious is this? What if something happens to him? OMG, could I lose him?

I literally couldn’t bear the thought of losing him. The fear kicked in. I was in fight or flight.

Flight was not an option because I’m not that kind of person. So, fight it was.

Regardless of how much fight I had in me, I felt helpless. The fact that I was so far away was literally killing me. But worst of all was knowing that sometimes bad things happen and there’s nothing we can do about it.

So again, that fear of losing someone important kicks in, and it’s stronger than ever. What’s next?

So rather than drive myself crazy with fear, I focused on these ten things:

Some things are just out of your control

This is just the way life works. We can’t predict everything, and we can’t prepare for everything. No matter what you are capable of, certain things happening is inevitable.

Worry only about the things you need to worry about

You’ll literally drive yourself crazy worrying about every possibility. Yes, there are things to worry about—finances, possibly losing your job, when the next earthquake is coming—I know it’s easier said than done, but you have to let go and say goodbye to those worried thoughts.

Live

Because you don’t know what’s coming, live. Live and love as though it were your last day on earth. Enjoy your experiences and the time you spend with your loved ones, even if they’re not always the most pleasant. Know that the time you spent with each person is valued and special.

Say I love you

Tell the people you love that you love them. Often.

Stay positive

Make sure to end a conversation or interaction on a positive note—if something were to happen to that person, would you regret ending things the way you did?

Talk it out

Share your thoughts and tell the people you love how much they mean to you. Share the things you love most about them. Tell them how much joy they bring to your life.

No regrets

Live life to the fullest—I know, so cliché. Make sure to live in a way that will allow you to be proud of how you treated others and yourself. Again, if your life ended tomorrow, would you have any regrets?

Make amends

Loss isn’t just about losing people that are actively involved in your life; it can be the loss of someone you haven’t spoken to in years. Make amends. Don’t let important relationships end on bad terms. If not on a positive note, neutrality can be a good option.

Let go of the anger

People make mistakes, and it’s okay to be upset and angry. But after a while, you need to let it go. Not only for the sake of salvaging the relationship, but also because holding on to anger is not the healthiest thing. Let go, forgive, and move forward. 

Don’t worry until you have to

 Yeah, just don’t do it…

If you enjoyed this piece, check my article on how the secret to happiness is letting go!

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xx,

Paula

How to Handle a Health Scare

Needing to handle a health scare can be terribly frightening…

Our bodies are a gift. A gift that is a blessing, and allows us to think, and move, and do all the things that bring joy to our lives. It’s a super hottie gift. And also a gift that we may take for granted sometimes…

I recently experienced some symptoms that were concerning, and actually super scary. A full-blown health scare. Because I work in healthcare, I immediately thought of the worst case scenario. I wondered how bad it could be, and I tried to figure things out. Obviously, the first thing I had to do was go see a doctor. Not my favorite thing to do, like not at all lol. This, in and of itself, is terrifying because physicians are trained to tell you if something is a problem or not. The worst part is when the doctor gets that look on his/her face and says that they’ll need to do further testing. That usually means that something is wrong…

Luckily, nothing concerning was found, and I am so so so grateful for that. However, having gone through this provided me with an alternative perspective. One, as a health care professional, and two as a person with family and friends who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness.

Because I practically live in a hospital, death is now an everyday thing. Illness has become the norm.

My own personal experience helped remind me of how frightening it must be for patients to come in for a health scare examination, come in for a procedure, or come in for their chemo treatments. Because this is now my norm, going through this allowed me to have more empathy for what my patients, friends, and family members might be feeling. The fear, the angst, the anxiety, or even just the thought that something might be seriously wrong with their body.

I also came to find that if you’re the person being screened for a potential diagnosis, having a positive outlook isn’t necessarily the answer. I’ve always believed in the saying “expect the worst but hope for the best,” and that’s what I did.

Throughout this process, the people in my life who were aware of what was happening continued to reassure me that nothing was wrong, and that everything’s going to be ok. Which before you have the final results could be totally true, but what if it’s not?

Because I knew how bad the news could potentially be, I was hopeful rather than positive. I was hoping that nothing would be wrong, but I wasn’t expecting for nothing to be wrong. I took the time to consider potential outcomes for each possible scenario, and try to prepare myself. If the prognosis was poor, how would I process the bad news? If I needed treatment, would I pursue that? And if I needed help, who would be available to help me?

Again, because I work in healthcare I knew that these thoughts could potentially become a reality

I feel lucky to have had such amazing support while all this was happening, and I am grateful that I am healthy. Health is wealth. Having a functioning, strong, well body is so important, and really, all that you need.

Take care of your body, love your body, and cherish all the things that it can do. It could all be taken away with the blink of an eye…

Most importantly, love your bodyIt is beautiful, and it is perfect just the way it is. We spend so much time criticizing our bodies when we should really be appreciating them.

Enjoy your body. Appreciate your body. Love your body. 

xx,

Paula

To learn more about me and what I do for work, click here!

The Secret to Happiness in Life is Just Learning to Let Things Go

Happiness is one of those things that should be a universal right. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be one of the most difficult things to attain. I had this piece published via Elite Daily this morning, and I wanted to share it with you guys.

This piece talks a bit about what it feels like to be a in place where things aren’t going as planned, and you kind of feel stuck. Also, it describes the process in which one can finally reach acceptance. It also  explores why learning to let go is a really important concept.

We have the option to go left or right at the fork in the road. Ultimately, why not take the one, that even if longer and outside of your comfort zone, will have a better outcome?

Check it out here, and please feel free to comment and share your thoughts! 

I hope that this piece can provide some help in a moment of hardship!

xx,

Paula

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