Showing posts with label Life: Happiness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life: Happiness. Show all posts

Saturday, May 8, 2021

LIFE: Is Happiness Really A Choice? -Mental Health Awareness

We are going to discuss mental health which is a sensitive topic to many. Since May is mental health awareness month, it is a great time for us to learn more on the topic. There are many subjects under the mental health umbrella that can be spoken about. The topic I want to speak about is happiness. There has always been a division on weather happiness is a true choice. Happiness may be a choice when there is no underlying disorder involved, but even then, it is sometimes difficult to stay on the sunny side. But what do you do when your usual vises for coping and staying in the sunshine do not work? Just being devil’s advocate here! If happiness is easy to obtain, why don’t more people attempt to acquire it? Add a mental health condition to the mix, happiness appears unobtainable.

To better understand if happiness is really a choice, we need to look at the definition of the two key words: Happiness and mental health condition. Merriam-Webster writes, a mental health condition (also known as a mental disorder) is marked primarily by sufficient disorganization of personality, mind, and emotions to seriously impair the normal psychological and often social functioning of the individual. Happiness has many variations to the definition because the state of happiness is personal to everyone. What that means is what makes you happy may not result in happiness for the next individual. The definition of happiness we will use is the positive balance of emotions. Remember, the positive balance of emotions can be imbalanced by a mental health condition.

Not being aware of mental health conditions may make us use our words ineffectively. Although these phrases are innocently used, they can be offensive to someone with a mental health condition. When individuals use these phrases, they believe they are giving individuals a confidence boost. The opposite is occurring with the phases listed below and may cause the individual to become more withdrawn and ashamed. Here are a few of the common phrases:

  1. Just snap out of it!
  2. Why are you so sad all the time?
  3. Try a little harder.
  4. You do not look sad or depressed.
  5. Just shake it off.
  6. "It's all in your head" Schimelpfening, N.
  7. "It's your fault" Schimelpfening, N.
  8.  "You're imagining things" Schimelpfening, N.

Surely, we all heard many of the phrases mentioned and can come up with many more. The negative impact these phrases have on a person with a mental condition can be detrimental and may make them reluctant to come forth for assistance. Honestly, these phrases have a negative connotation in general. We forget words are immensely powerful. The result we want to achieve, is for people who need mental health assistance (or anyone needing assistance) to feel free to reach out. Remember, the fear of being ostracized, looked at differently, or weak should not even be a forethought.

In one of my previous blog post, Monday, October 19, 2020, I wrote about Life: Counseling and Support Groups in Minority Cultures. A discussion was made about the two different types of support systems and why they are beneficial. I would like to state, you do not need a mental health illness to seek support. Early assistance in any life stressors or change can be therapeutic and may assist with a positive balance of emotions. But for this blog I want to provide some free national resources for mental health condition assistance. A few resources are:

  1.  National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  3. Mental Health America. 1-800-985-5990

Now that we have some resources, how do we go about making a conscious change and opening the door of communication? The only way this can be achieved is to continue to educate oneself about mental health and share your knowledge. Find out what resources are available for mental health in your area and provide when needed. Not everyone is comfortable with mental health conditions but being understanding and having patience is a start. Everyone must start somewhere😉.

*As always, thanks for reading! You may subscribe via e-mail on the right, and share comments in the comment section below. I know mental health is a sensitive topic. You may share your comments anonymously😉. We can start change together! Thanks in advance!*

APA References:

Schimelpfening, N (2020, August 7th). The Worst Things to Say to Someone Who Is Depressed. VeryWellMind. Retrieved on 2021, May 7th from

Merriam-Webster. (n.d). Mental Disorder. In dictionary. Retrieved on 2021, May 8th from

Thursday, November 12, 2020

LIFE: Abstinence the Second Time Around

Everyone whispers about abstinence, but no one speaks about it out loud. Let us address this taboo topic. Several weeks ago on "The Sunday View" the topic of abstinence was brought to light (HITS 92.3-Internet Radio). Not only was the topic relevant to my fiance and my current situation, the show had a biblical stand point on the word. Sometimes the words abstinence and celibacy are used interchangeably. For the purpose of the blog we will used the word abstinence. Wikipedia defines abstinence as being a self-enforced restraint from indulging in bodily activities that are widely experienced as giving pleasure. Our focus will be placed on a general view of the word. Many people are not aware there are several types of abstinence. They are as follow: 

  • Food
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Pleasure
  • Sexual
  • Organizations

The type of abstinence most people associate with is sexual. Wikipedia describes sexual abstinence as refraining from some or all aspects of sexual activity for medical, psychological, legal, social, financial, philosophical, moral, or religious reasons. For our relationship, the focus was religion. Now here is where the tricky part comes in. For me practicing abstinence for the second time around is taking patience and some maneuvering. I will not speak for my fiance on this When you know you and your partner are sexually compatible, abstinence is a little harder. Plus we live in the same household. Abstinence was important to him once we got engaged and until we said our vows. Honestly, the reason why was not important to me, all that mattered is that abstinence was important to him. Which made abstinence important to me. In the past, I have practiced abstinence. I was single, and it allowed me to complete some soul searching and discover other areas in life that made me happy. Maybe abstinence will work for you😊! Here are a few tips and tricks to help you with abstaining from sexual pleasure. They are as follow:

  • Remind yourself the reason you are abstaining
  • Avoid situations that will set you up for failure
  • Make sure to have supportive people around you who support your decision
  • Focus on other aspects of your relationship
  • Be honest about your feelings and how abstinence is making you feel
  • Remind yourself abstinence has an end date or expiration

I hate to say this, but abstaining from sexual pleasure allows you to focus on other areas in your life and relationship. We have been able to focus on many other areas of our relationship due to this tactic. Some items in a relationship which needs addressing may gets glossed over when sex is the main focus. Here are some other areas of your relationship you can focus on when practicing abstinence. They are:

  • Learning what your partner enjoys beside sexual pleasure
  • Enjoy more time achieving personal goals and/or couple goals
  • Focus on other forms of connection as a couple mentally and spiritually
  • Still discuss sex. Yes, I said Sex should not become a taboo topic, but still discussed openly. You may realize as a couple how you use sex as a crutch.
  • Learning other areas of compatibility
  • Allow you time to build trust in other areas of your relationship

Although abstinence was one of our premarital focal points, it may not work for everyone. There are a few negative aspects of abstinence. This is why communication is very important. I feel if communication is done effectively, it my decrease the chance of a negative outcome. A few negative aspects are:

  • sexual frustration
  • loss of affection
  • Insecurity
  • Anxiety

The feelings stated above may creep in, if communication is not being completed on a regular basis. Communication is key to keeping a lot of negative feeling at bay. When planning abstinence in a relationship it is important to discuss the rules. Rules should include the level of abstinence you and your partner are willing to practice. I will leave levels of abstinence for another Knowing the rules will ensure everyone is on the same playing field. Also, it does not allow each participant to have unrealistic expectations of the level of abstinence. No matter what type of abstinence you choose, make sure it works for you and your partner. Have fun and enjoy learning more about your partner on a different level. Remember, in this case abstinence does not last forever!

*What are your thoughts about abstinence? Does it work? Have you tried it?. The information provided above is not all inclusive, but a starting point. Please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave a comment in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading and subscribing!*

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Life: Love, Life, & Work Balance!

How many individuals place happiness before their career? How many people think they would never walk down the isle? Many healthcare professionals are career focused, and believe marriage is not an option. Many working females feel they have to choose between work and life, or at least keep them separate in order to achieve work success. Many healthcare professionals work endless overtime hours to ensure other peoples love-ones are healthy. Love and life are placed on the back burner in this career field. The current pandemic makes us realize the importance of the balance between love, life and work. Here are 5 helpful tools to keep love, life, and work balanced. They are as follows:

  1. Figure out what is important to you- In balancing love, live, and work you should pick which one has the highest importance to you. An example would be: An employee who is more focused on a new born and home life. This would fall in the life category.  Doesn't mean the individual devalues work, but extra hours are not allowed at this time. Does this mean this person is a less stellar employee than the next? No, their balance has shifted on what is the most important out of the 3 areas.
  2. Be mindful of what is important to others- Get to know fellow coworkers. I'm not saying be nosy, but figure out what is important to them. Not only can their skills be used in the area of importance, it will decrease the chance you ask them to do something in an area that isn't their focal point. You might be surprised of individuals strength and focus areas (love, life, & work)!
  3. Know your limits- Some people have a happy medium and will be successful in balancing all three areas (love, live, & work). These individuals are rare😃! Know your limits and try not to take on too much responsibility. Make sure you communicate your limits. Lack of communication and too much responsibility will cause failure in all 3 areas. Setting limits does not make you less valuable.
  4. Find happiness in everything you do- Happiness is a state of mind. But it makes balancing appear more achievable. Why not enjoy the process? It is normal to shift importance of categories throughout life. As shifting occur, being stressed and uncomfortable is normal. But you will be an expert in the new category of focus in no time. Just remember to limit your goals to set yourself up for success.
  5. Mark small achievements- I have mentioned this in a prior blog, achieving small goals make you feel you can accomplish bigger ones. An example in this area is shifting from one area of importance to another. The life area was important prior because your children were school age. Now they are in college and your balance focus switches to the work and love areas. Transition can appear unachievable. Reward yourself for the small achievements accomplished in the new areas of focus. Before you know it, you have accomplished a big goal in the new area.

*These are 5 tools you can use to assist in the balance of love, life and work. How do you balance these categories? Please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave a comment in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading and subscribing!*

Saturday, August 1, 2020

LIFE: Prayer in the Work Place

Prayer in the work place. Why was there a stigma prior to Covid-19? Now you can see people praying everywhere: weather its church, work, and/or social media. Prayer gives people a sense of balance, hope, a feeling of a connection, and a belief in a higher power . If prayer has all these qualities, why did there have to be a life altering event to make prayer acceptable in public? No matter your religion, prayer brings many peace and tranquility, and its validity should never be questioned. Never be afraid of the god in you! Here is an easy "work place prayer" to help you start your day.

A Work Place Prayer

Lord we come to you as humble as we know how. 
Wanting to thank you for life, health, safety, and the ability to help others.
Lord allow us to be on one accord, to help us provide the best care to others who cannot help themselves. 
Assist us in always showing each other compassion and grace. 
As we go throughout our workday day, guide the skill(s) you have provided us.
Let our skill(s) be a blessing to others. 
In Jesus name,

* How do you feel about prayer in the work place? Please share a workplace prayer that you find helpful in the comment box below, and subscribe via e-mail on the right column. Thanks in advance for reading and sharing.*

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

LIFE: Friendship/Family Circle of Positivity

Do you have a friendship/family circle of positivity? In order to achieve your goal(s) in life, you need to be around positive people who will push you to be your best. As you evolve and grow, your circle may change based on your needs. For many change is looked at as a negative concept. Although uncomfortable for many, change in the circle is needed in order for growth to occur. Here are 5 attributes to look for in a positive circle. They are as follows:

  1. People who give guidance without demeaning others- These are individuals who can encourage you without making you feel bad about your failures. And weather you realize it or not, their influence goes well beyond the moment (Leslie Becker, Phelps, PHD. Retrieved July 8th, 2020 from
  2. Individuals who supports you- These are people who supports each others goal(s), although their personal goal(s) may be different.
  3. Persons who lends a helping hand- These individuals assist others without needing a reward.
  4. A circle which gives others a sense of belonging- Every individual is unique in their own way. Each person in the circle provides a sense of belonging, even with differences.
  5.  People who tie it all together- "These are people in your circle who have a huge impact on your success. They want to ensure strong unity and professional working relationships to create great things for everyone involved. Success attracts success, and they strive to make everyone around them that much better, while asking them to do the same" (Matt Machacek. Retrieved July 8th, 2020 from I couldn't have said it better!
    My positive circle makes me glow like this! Plus a little ;-)!
* These attributes are not all inclusive, and some people posses more than one attribute. That is what makes every friendship/family circle of positivity unique! What is your favorite attribute of the circle? You are welcomed to add a positive attribute to the list in the comment section below. Thank you for reading! Please subscribe to the e-mail section on your right to receive notification of new post. Thanks in advance:-)!*

Sunday, July 5, 2020

LIFE: Happiness in healthcare! Is it possible?

Are you the healthcare provider who tries to make sure your patient receives the best possible care? You thrive on the satisfaction of knowing you did your best job during that 12 hour shift , which usually turns into 14! You may be wondering, if happiness is even possible in healthcare? Especially during this Covid-19 pandemic. With all the rules in place for safety for Covid-19, other avenues are being explored to apply great healthcare. Here are a few strategies to ensure happy nurses, and happy patients. They are as follow:

Food Appreciation:-)!
Food Appreciation:-)!

  1. Use alternate ways to communicate- There is a plethora of technology that allows alternate ways to communicate with a patient(ex: call light, phone, and IPAD). With Covid-19 being very prevalent, using an alternate form of communication with your patient will make the patient feel valuable. Also, it will assist the healthcare provider in feeling they are giving adequate care.
  2. Set up a regular communication schedule- This can be a very valuable tool. Weather you are setting up personal time to chat with each patient, and/or just completing a regular round. This tool indirectly builds trust between the healthcare provider and patient. The patient views those particular times as being just for them. Also, this strategy applies to healthcare employees. Healthcare workers need regular check-ins with a superior to reinforce a job well done.
  3. Make the patient feel they are the only one that matter- Don't appear hurried as a healthcare provider. This can backfire on you. Have you ever spent 20 minutes with a patient, but the patient feels as if you didn't spend anytime with them due to the fact they felt you were distracted. Weather its 5 or 20 minutes, give the patient your undivided attention. To them 5 minutes feel like a life time, if they are the center of your world. As a healthcare worker, this same one on one attention is needed. Five minutes with a supervisor can make the employee feel superb at their job, and reinforces trust.
  4. Make time for yourself during the shift- I know this is difficult, but it can be done. As a healthcare provider your regrouping time is important! If you set up times for your patients, your 30 min break should be achievable. If you are having difficulties achieving this goal, it is OK to ask for assistance to take a break. You are no good to a patient if your emotional fuel is low. You do not get an "F" for the shift because you need assistance to have a break. Again, you are meeting patients at their lowest, so they need you to be your best as a healthcare provider. Who better to take care of a patient than a fully recharged nurse:-)!

* Of course, these strategies are not all inclusive:-)! Let me know how you achieve happiness in healthcare! Thank you for reading, please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave your comments below (comments may be left anonymously).*