A space of awareness, healing and stepping in one's personal development and improvement amidst the chaos and trauma. Mental Health management, psychological wellbeing, growth and success as one defines it.
2021 is ending, some people have achieved the goals they have set for themselves, while others are still facing the same struggles they have been facing previously.
Today growth and development are a challenging topic for me to engage in. Having started the year on a high disc, a clear vision and a clear execution plan, I was not able to hold onto this “plan” and vision I was certain about.
I saw myself returning to the same habits I set myself to outgrow and overcome.
Change does not end as a thought.
This year saw me come to the beginning over and over again. Returned to the beginning even with the belief I held that, through achieving certain things, I’d be at a finish line.
With every phase I lived, I got to experience myself anew. And learn myself all over again.
"One mountain top is the beginning of another"
I look back, and realise I fell in some loops I never knew existed. I have achieved some, and failed at some. And me? oh boy am I not a stranger to myself.
You never know yourself enough to not need introspection. Every phase of one’s life comes with new coping mechanisms, and new habits that may be as bad if one is not intentional with what they engage in. Every new phase of our lives, even when that phase is an achievement, comes with its own shadow.
Contentment does not mean settling. And it is important to note that, comfort, and "the comfort zone", are not one and the same thing.
I am a person who believes in improving and bettering ourselves. What I was not aware of is, my advocacy for self development was used to mask my own negative self image and the fact that I did not like where I was in life, and in fact, was not satisfied with anything I achieved. Yes, i want to be where i am not yet, and I knew I have to keep working to earn that. Did I hate myself? The answer is no, but it can indirectly be a yes if we keep digging for reasons behind this.
My hidden low self-image
In a day, I would manage to be productive, but it would later feel as though all of that is worth nothing. I wanted my productivity to be much more tangible and seen, and I wanted everything that seemed to be anywhere but where I am. I could not acknowledge the adequacy that I was, nor appreciate the bits and parts I had, how much I have improved or the little achievements whatsoever. No matter what I did, there still remained a huge wave of dissatisfaction in me. I pushed hard, read more, planned more, did more, gave myself more yet all of this felt almost useless.
my little achievements during this period
For the first time in my life I am building a healthy relationship with an individual who reciprocates and being with him has been a positive contribution to mylife, and in more ways than I could have ever assumed was possible. On an emotional level it has been liberating, healing and beautiful as much as it has been challenging, and none of us has yet ran away from each other or our relationship. We are still here experiencing each others’ presence at the end of the day, amidst the beautiful harmony with its highs and lows. I am still doing my degree hoping to do my best, I am back to writing. I never stopped although there was a hiatus that was caused by dissatisfaction with my own work, so I am writing and I am in love with myself for this. I have started a farming project and as I can not go further into detail, this is the best I have been and the best i have been able to do in my life, and it should be acknowledged, and celebrated by me.
I can safely say not all positivity stems from positivity. Not everything coated with glimmer is gold. I still say, yes to self-improvement yet we are enough. Overworking yourself but belittling what results from you and your time and effort is toxic.
Colour psychology examines, and is the study of the impact of hues on human behaviour as well as well-being. There certainly is an aesthetic and psychological response to colour, and colour does influence art, fashion, commerce as well as psychological, emotional sensations. The response to colour tends to be dependent on personal experience, and we can’t generalise the meaning of colours with concrete statements such as, ‘red means danger and passion’, because, in most cases even when this may be the case, colours differ in meaning to different individuals. Each may be affected by colour differently, depending on their continuously evolving experiences. However, research has noted broader patterns in the moods that colours evoke. These are based on stereotypes and societal conventions that, although evolving, arouse similar associations for large groups of people.
Research states that each time you encounter colour, your adrenaline, blood pressure and heart rate either increase or decrease. I also am curious as to how true is this? It appears, warm colours increase the blood pressure and cool colours stimulate a decrease, and apparently this is why cool colours are often recommended for relaxing environments such as psychological health facilities.
Tony Buzan, who also suggested the use of colours and mind mapping in studying, talked about colours affecting how the brain grasps information. As this may not work, and be true for everyone, mind mapping has been beneficial for me.
Instances where colour psychology is used
Colour psychology is relevant in every aspect of design. Colour counts in first impressions, and study shows that not only do colours communicate they can too, influence perception. Colour is the first thing we notice in encounters, so whether it’s the branding of a product, or the creation of an environment that should inspire service users, colour psychology is relevant. Now look at some of your favourite brands and wonder if the colours used on the product in any way played a role in you admiring it.
Research also states that, the human brain can be drawn towards, or away from a company, a product or service, purely because of its colour palette. Interesting right?
My experience with colour psychology
When I had just started blogging, and I shared the link with some of my closest friends, there were a number of remarks made about the colours used on the background of our site, colours I have changed overtime for a number of reasons. “The colors you have used are warm and calm, they are not intense or violent”, they said.
As intentional as I was with the use of these colours, I had no clue there was such a thing as color psychology, well that was until a dearest friend, whose real name i do not know mentioned it
Outside of any proven fact, , my use of colors, outside of this blog was to analyse my emotions when they were too overwhelming and well, thought alone was not enough. Yes, sometimes I feel green and researching the possible meanings behind green brought back accurate results 7/10 times. I have too, written poetry objectifying colour. The colours i was attracted to in a day, and a moment, highlighted my mood. One time at a park I told a friend of mine that too many people were wearing maroon that day, asking me to point out those people, and further saying, she on the other hand, was noticing too much yellow. The little that was my experience was, colour just highlighted, and emphasized, rather than influencing my emotions.
I remember an incident that took place in 2019. I had just finished doing my laundry, hanging it in the laundry line. There were a group of friends, at the stairs, in the next building who were pointing at my laundry. When i looked at the clothes i had hanged, they were black and grey, with just a little bit of colour. i was not aware that this was the case, and i was not aware that these were somehow my favourite colours. I did not attach any stories to it and kept it moving, but i knew i had to buy more coloured clothes.
2018 and 2019, in terms of mental health and psychological wellbeing, i was in my worst, too much social media, less friends, and excessive social anxiety. Not just these, I became overly attached to using marijuana and in a way I could have advocated for it. I realise this now when i reflect back, but it’s in these moments when i found the most healing, and everyday after that has been, the most liberating.
Indirect communication through colour
My curious question is, is there a message behind a gothic sense of fashion, or any other fashion. Yes there is a story behind every dress code, even when that message is to say i am carefree, i am rebellious, at other times, like my 2019 period, it was a deeper underlying issue that i was not aware of, but has reflected externally. Directly or indirectly, we are conveying a message each time we dress.
Another story about colour
Pablo Picasso’s blue period, which started after his friend committed suicide in 1901 and lasted until 1904. Read more about Pablo Picasso’s blue period on the link attached.
Instant gratification often feels like we are living and have life by the horns when it is often self destructive.
The need for reward, for enjoyment, for everything to be achieved “instantly” without delay.
Instant gratification sometimes results in detrimental activities because of the need for pleasure without wanting to worry about the consequences. Yes, worry not about tomorrow because it will have troubles of its own (to numb anxiety) but, do we take care of today at the expense of tomorrow?
The lack of patience, and discipline. Unwillingness to sacrifice.
In this era we live in, information of all nature is easily accessible. TV, Radio, the internet: social media, search engines, our own blogs lol. I believe this to be one of the main causes of a clutter. From within without
Take this room for instance, everything was thrown in here without orderly being put in its place. It appears, depression is the main cause.
Not everything we do is good for us, we do not agree with everything we see/hear.
Time to ponder, reflect and detox allow in not only clarity but rejuvenation and grounding
Where do you stand with all that is happening and what you have consumed by far?
I see life as something like looking in a mirror. The quality of what’s reflected back at us only improves when the one that is looking does so. The world feels lighter when the one looking in the mirror lets go, the world feels less likw chaos when you are organized, all in that order.
It all starts with the work the source decided to do. Who is the source? The one looking in the mirror because we are all a manifestation of the greater source that keeps the whole universe in divine order, the one that turns a yummy meal into minerals that strengthen our body a little more.
Anyway back to information, the pile of the supressed experiences and information tend to become our stimuli. We are not grounded amd live as reactionists to what already is.
Another thing with cellphones is 🤔
Social media, just like tv and videogames, they trigger the release of dopamine. A neurotransmitter that plays a role in how we feel pleasure. Apparently the constant release of dopamine is responsible for addictions. Your own brain rewards you for getting lost in your phone.
Humans are social beings. Introverted, a loner? No man is an island. Social media fulfills our social conscience, the sense of belonging. Anti-social people have a community of anti-social people on “Facebook”. Their sense of belonging is fulfilled under the common guise that “society sucks.”
A sense of belonging which fulfills a sense of relevancy. Who wants to feel left out?
Anything can be a danger to us when we do not know how to use it. Water is life, water also drowns. It all begins with the source.
People’s individuality is their greatest assest should they learn to harness it purposefully and in a manner that strengthens them.
What makes character?
The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual?
Here is what I believe to be what marks an individual different from others.
Character may come from the conscious decision of developing traits we want to embody
Developed from the lessons and experiences we are met with daily. Our response to them, or lack thereof.
How we process these past and daily experiences.
The inevitable human change. (Growth, evolution that is evident in all living things.) Because change is inevitable, I believe in failing to accommodate this change when we’ve failed to initiate it, we remain stagnant if not worse.
Life is life, and all it comes with is necessary for life to be complete. Being accommodating of all, accepting of all.
When life happens, how do you interpret it? How do you carry yourself? How do you perceive yourself and those around you? With understanding or with judgement? How do you engage with your surroundings?
What are mental illnesses and personality disorders in relation to the brain?
Mental illnesses are mental health disorders that contribute to abnormal thinking, abnormal excessive moods and emotion thus affecting our behaviour.
Below is the brain structure of an abused brain and a healthy brain, along with a link to some of the causes of mentall illnesses.
Most scientists believe that mental illnesses are caused by problems with communication between neurons.
“Neurons that fire together wire together” Dr Joe Dispenza.
Prolonged activation of stress hormones reduces neural connections in the temporal and frontal lobe of the cerebrum.
Continuous trauma can weaken remaining neural pathways in the cerebrum and strengthen neural pathways to the survival part.
Individuals with mental health disorders may be less capable of coping with adversity, both as children and adults.
Can this be the reason we often are quick to attach current moments to past experiences? Why we think in terms of the past? Is it neurons firing together?
According to Dr Dispenza, repeated thought leads to repeated emotion that gets automated in our system.
When we join together unrelated experiences and view them from the same consciousness developed during suffering, we respond to these experiences in the same manner, through our automatic emotional reactions.
Some suggested tips in maintaining mentalhealth
Visit a professional.
Shadow work. Visit, analyse, work through and make peace with past and current trauma. Make time and space to unlearn what you have acquired during this period. Beautiful experiences should not be measured equal to past horrible experiences.
Develop your brain. Read, learn and feed your brain new things/information.
To take part in new experiences. If old experiences can affect how the brain works, can’t the memory be reprinted with new exciting ones?
Question the validity of your thoughts and reactions.
Consciously remaining present so not to have our actions controlled by what we know of the past.
Self-inquiry. Being in the highest awareness of ourselves
It is our job to create a livable environment for ourselves. In, or outside of chaos.
Here is a list of beautiful reminders to release any heaviness we’re carrying. And so we continue flourishing
– People and situations are not always going to be considerate of us, but we can DECIDE not to suffer under them.
– I believe we often complain, because we have not made peace with the existence of certain things (And truth is, no matter how loud the cry is, these very things do not stop existing)
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
– The biggest impact we can offer the world, which also is the grandest gift to our own selves is a change in perspective. All things align when there’s alignment within.
– We do not have to pin ourselves against everything that happens. This to avoid friction within, and without.
– When you find a problem, be sure to look for its solution.
– Be willing to sacrifice habits, beliefs and ideologies that no longer serve you.
Attachment often comes from the good we remember having received from what our attachment is directed at. Allow things to come when it is their time. Allow things to leave, when they have served their purpose. There is infinite abundance in the universe, should we not allow ourselves to suffer because we have seen the little good we know shatter right in our presence.
New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.
– Dissociation. Understand and respect individuality. Do not be afraid of letting people go. Even the ones that have felt like a home, due to relativity.
– Last but not least, take time to know, and understand yourself. The Self, the spirit, the I AM. The Awareness that remains.
My prayer today
Today, in this very moment I am giving it all up, and all away to the Universe. I shall not carry weight that is unbearable for me. I should only move in my freedom of free will, and that is: what is enough for my individual human capacity to carry.
Self discipline is about obtaining obedience to your own authority. We are to follow a set of rules that regulate and control our own behavior. Here, you are the slave and the master.
Why do we need to be disciplined?
To get rid of old habits, and maintain the building of new ones. This heals behavioral patterns that may be reason we experience repeating cycles we no longer want to relive.
The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
“A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit.”
You are giving yourself the power to stick to your decisions, and follow them through without a change of mind. The pro is in gaining confidence, self esteem and being grounded.
It is easy to keep doing things the way one has always done them. Familiarity is a very comfortable home. But it shall always bring us results we are familiar with, which is totally fine if we are happy with the outcome of our doings and our current state.
How does one discipline themselves?
We need willpower. It takes very strong determination to carry on through doing something difficult.
Resilience, because we will fall back to our known reality. But as the saying goes:
“Fall down seven times, stand up 8”.
A Japanese proverb
– Write down clear goals, and a plan for their execution.
– Set a daily routine and be consistence with adopting and adapting to it.
– Divide your day/week into compartments that fits all aspects of your life (goals, work, school, family friends, hobbies etc)
Emotion should not decide what needs your time and when, as it is unreliable because it changes when events change. It is difficult to commit to decisions made out of impulse
Letting go of old habits does not have to be a conscious decision, although we can focus our awareness on building what’s new, and what’s desired.
It is best we know the weaknesses we succumb to that hinder us from moving forward.
Introspection, reflection and holding ourselves accountable should be our daily food. Disrupt what you believe your identity to be for the individual you want to become.
The universe reflects at us the frequency we put out, it is true that things change when we change.