A Break Worth Taking

So I felt I needed a little break from social media to refuel myself mentally, so I took one. I am not sure what exactly I was expecting from this experience but I started writing down my thoughts. I wanted to share those here:

My weekly phone activity dropped dramatically.

At first I struggled with “what am I missing” anxiety. But then felt calm and peace.

I spent more time pondering important things.

I realized the need and importance for people to show they care by reaching out.

I was able to gain a better understanding of why I use social media.

I learned that life goes on.

I felt more in control of my day to day actions.

I discovered that social media can be important as long as boundaries are set.

I realized how polarizing social media can be and for some reason people who enjoy confrontation can let things go.

I enjoy playing Sudoku.

I felt less continuous towards others.

I appreciate all the things my wife and boys do each day whether it’s work, school, playing, helping or just chilling.

I missed dancing and making others happy.

You might be asking, “so what was your big take away from this?” Well here it is:

Technology has an incredible influence on our lives. There is so much good that comes from it but there is also lots of bad. We have a choice who we listen too, who we surround ourselves, how we treat others, how we react towards others and many other things. I realized that every person has influence on others, some we know about and many others we don’t. The pictures we share, the post we make, the comments we add, the reaction buttons we click all have influence. And all of this because of technology.

I have had reconfirmed to me that I will continue to be authentic, myself and open. I may not always feel the happiest but if I can help some else feel happy, I am at peace.

So I learned I may be able to live without social media but I also know it has created many incredible blessings because of the people. I feel connected to so many amazing people and I love that.

One last thing that I am excited about is the knowledge that taking a break strengthens me and gives me some much needed mental health fuel. Thus, I plan to take breaks in the future.

I look forward to reengaging on social media to connect with people. That’s what it’s all about.

Building Strength in the Emotional Gym

Emotional strength does not come without challenge, trials, defeat and failure. Our ability to find the value during these difficult times will bring us great emotional strength which is needed in order to find peace and happiness. img_3402.png

Have you ever seen someone go into a gym and walk around and around and around looking at all the equipment then leave. They never use any of the equipment. Whatever their intentions may have been, the site of the equipment and the knowledge that it is going to take hard work caused them to make the decision to not use them. At some point there comes the realization that they are not getting into shape or stronger because they are not using the equipment. The only way to gain, build and develop physical strength is to use the equipment in gyms. As we do this our body will go through a physical transformation.

The same can be said with our emotional well being. As we are faced with tough times in our life we must not try to hide, run away or avoid these situations. We must do all we can to make it through these experiences so we can build our emotional strength.

One of the best ways to do this is to ask, what can I learn from what I am going through? This will open up your heart and mind to be better prepared to be taught. There is a great humility that comes with asking this type of question. When we are humble, we are more prepared to learn. Allow humility to be one of your greatest workout companions and you will find incredible strength which will provide you with the ability to not just help yourself but others as well.

Do you value yourself? Do you value the challenges, trials, defeats and failures that come into your life? Remember that our values define us. As we develop our ability to build emotional strength when we are faced with hard times, we will develop our values. You can do this. You are not alone. You are a hero.

You (we) got this.

What are you going to do this week when you find yourself in the emotional gym?

Positivity IS the KEY

Positive-is-Key

We have all heard the saying that we attract like-minded people or we surround ourselves with those like us. We have the freedom to choose who we surround ourselves with. I find it interesting when teenagers start going down the wrong path and their first response is often about how others do it. I am not even talking about peer pressure here, I am talking about full on accountability of their own decisions.

With the precious freedom to be able to decide what we do and who we surround ourselves with, we should want to connect with those people who will influence us in a positive way. Those that want to see and help us succeed. In return, we should want to be this type of person to others.

We are all looking for positivity in our life. We may define this in different ways which is a great thing but the truth is we are all searching. Too often, teenagers are looking to social media and popularity for happiness and influence but they often find themselves falling into a tornado of anxiety, depression, loneliness and sadness. Social media can be used in a great ways and it’s all about awareness. What I love is that when we find these influential people, we want to spend more time with them, we want to create a stronger connection. We see and feel the positivity they bring into our lives. It is this connection that can really start to move us towards our goals and dreams.

I have tried hard to have people in my life who can uplift me, teach me, mentor me, bring positive influences when I need them most. As I have done so, I noticed that the connections I make lead to others who have a similar vision and passion. It becomes evident that the circle of influence is strong and real. We must take it seriously but also know that it is a living circle. We can add and take away from it. We have the freedom to do so.

Teenagers often feel like many of their freedoms are not there but they are. They come as trust is established, good decisions are made and the right people in their lives. The truth is, it’s all about consistency. You can’t expect all of this overnight, it is truly a process. One of the important things to mention here is how all of this is impacted by the use of social media. It is not very hard to quickly get a clear picture of how a teenager is living their life by viewing their social media. Remember that your digital footprint stays with you forever so be very aware of how you are using social media.

Write a list of the people closest to you in your life right now. List some of the reasons they are so important to you, what have you learned from them, what would you like to learn from them? Take a look at who you are following/engaging with on your different social media apps, how are they and their actions influencing you. Take an assessment.

Allow yourself today to find others that can bring positivity into your life. You deserve it. You need connections and positive ones are the type that will get you to where you want and can be.

If you value yourself and your life, take control of who is influencing your life and be sure they bring positivity which will lead to happiness.

Make it Happen!