Have you ever thought about the idea that maybe Super Mario Bros. was actually a game based on the Universe? I know it sounds crazy but hear me out and get nostalgic with me for a second.
Let's compare Super Mario Bros to the Universe:
1. Mario was on a quest to achieve greatness (after all behind every great man is a greater woman aka Princess Toadstool)
2. Along the way, Mario has question marks lighting his path and if he's brave enough to launch into the unknown, he gets a reward in the form of coins
3. If he's really lucky, his reward is a mushroom which makes him grow bigger (ever thought about whether the mushroom just put him on a trip where he thought he was bigger thus tricking his mind into believing he could do anything?)
Mario wins the game if he gets to Princess Toadstool in time and is able to save her from Bowser.
Now let's bring the story of Mario back to our daily lives. We're all on a path trying to achieve our own version of success. If we're focused enough on the goal, we'll be able to uncover our own little question marks along the way. If we're brave enough to jump for those question marks, we get a reward that makes us confident enough to keep going and jump for more question marks. If we're lucky, sometimes the reward we receive is an opening to the exact door we've been trying to break down for years (our secret mushroom). This gives us the confidence to believe we can do anything and everything we put our minds too. The 'mushroom' makes us stand a little taller, puff our chests out and run full speed into the next question mark of life. Slowly, we jump at question mark after question mark, visualizing the princess at the end of our path and knowing we are only going to get bigger and better along the way.
Finally, we're there. We rescue Princess Toadstool and take a look back at our lives, all of those blessings were always there for us to receive them, we just needed to trust in ourselves and in the universe's question marks.
I always thought that anxiety (the daily kind not the diagnosed kind) was reflected in feelings of not being able to perform everyday actions. I associated anxiety with analysis-paralysis, the idea that you're so anxious that you can't bring yourself to do anything. Then I started to notice, than most people around me had some level of anxiety - with no idea.
Listening to an insightful podcast episode, Unlocking us by my favourite Brene Brown, articulated my thoughts into a science. The idea that many people have a form of over-functioning anxiety. An anxious over-functioner feels the need to jump in and control a situation when there may be nothing that needs control. This happens when emotion, usually triggered by a form of stress, takes over logic and the anxious over-functioner feels that if he/she solves a problem immediately, they'll be back in control and the problem will go away.
This is the opposite reaction to an anxious under-functioner. An anxious under-functioner goes into the well-known state of analysis-paralysis. They''ll analyze the situation to pieces, each thought making them more anxious until they're so worked up about it that they're actually drained of all energy and unmotivated to do anything.
Neither, of course, are productive. But both reactions are our innate human instinct of survival. When anxiety takes over, for both the over-functioner and under-functioner, our brain is telling our body that there is a threat and we need to either fight or take flight.
This is where breathing comes in. Since, more often than not, there's no threat and a few slow, deep breaths will bring our brains back to a rational thought process where it realizes that it's not in danger. Once we do this, we're giving our brains enough space to allow for rational thought to take over. This slowing down allows us to think through the 'threat' in front of us and tackle it logically, one step at a time. So no matter what side of the coin you're on, you're not alone and it's totally natural. Try taking a step back in those moments and breathe. The jumbled thoughts in your mind will start to come together orderly and seamlessly - allowing calm to takeover. You got this.
It’s that time of year when many of us start to feel the impending doom of going back to work. As we close off a festive holiday season and start trying to get our minds into productive work mode again, it’s natural to feel a little anxious. In fact, there’s actually a trending term for this exact feeling. It’s called the ‘Sunday Scaries’ and it’s that much more real after we’ve all just had a leisurely week or two weeks off for the holidays.
How many times have you walked into a party and taken a deep breath, bracing yourself before talking to anyone? It’s normal to get nervous before talking to people. According to psychologist, Rick Hanson, in his book, “Hardwiring Happiness: The new brain science of contentment, calm and confidence,” he indicates that humans share ancestry with creatures, like bats, whose self-fulfillment is founded on the carrot and stick philosophy. The carrot was their reward for doing well while the stick was punishment for acting poorly. These creatures thrived by avoiding the stick instead of pursuing the carrot. According to Dr. Hanson, over time, humans have transformed this into a desire to avoid negative environments instead of actively pursuing positive ones.
Who doesn't struggle with self-esteem?
Each one of us has some sort of confidence conflict. Maybe you left the house today feeling great and then someone said something that made you second guess yourself. And in a matter of seconds your self-esteem hit rock bottom. Even when you don't show it, our self-esteem can have a dramatic effect on how we view ourselves and ultimately, in the way we interact with people.
Having a baby is the most beautiful experience. As women, we spend nine months growing a human being in our bodies. We’re careful to nourish them and intuitively listen to their needs while they nestle into their new home in our wombs. Then the time comes, and our bundle of joy arrives. We’re new moms! Life is beautiful, our baby is beautiful and we couldn’t be happier…right?
But what if we’re not?
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