Finding Balance; The Compartmentalisation Conundrum

Life is balance. Everything you see as life, everything that you see as yourself is beautiful only when it is in balance.


Recently, I have been learning a whole lot about finding and maintaining balance in life. Balance between career and/or school, personal goals, faith, relationships, emotions, unexpected rollercoasters, highs and lows, failures and disappointments, successes and triumphs…the list goes on.

I have also learned a few things along the away about effectively compartmentalising (this word is a mouthful huh?) various aspects of life. Compartmentalising (do not bite your mind’s tongue, lol) in the sense that you learn to put different aspects of your life in their separate place and are able to give a good amount of attention to one aspect even when another aspect may be negatively affected (this can be so so tough in practice).

Life really is all about balance. There is tremendous amount of beauty in balance and being able to effectively devote different amounts of time and energy to separate aspects of life so that when one aspect may be lacking, other aspects still have the chance to thrive. Where there is an upset in balance, this may result to a decrease in productivity and creativity generally.

If tend to be quite an emotional person or perhaps you feel things very deeply like me, chances are, sometimes you have issues with finding and maintaining balance in life. This could be because each aspect of your life may drain you emotionally, mentally and physically. Some days you find that you are too overwhelmed with everything going on around you that how you function in important aspects of your life may be negatively affected. Your productivity and creativity dwindles and you find yourself getting less and less motivated or giving your barest minimum at work or at your goals because you are emotionally drained.

Say you are dealing with a hard break up, the loss of someone close to you, a betrayal in a friendship, family drama, relationship drama, depression or any other mental health issue or you are just trying to get yourself out of a toxic situation. It may just be a nasty mood swing you may be in. You find that- and let us be frank here- if you are negatively affected by any of these scenarios, you may not be in the mood to be productive, creative, chase those dreams, smash those goals. In fact, getting out of bed in the morning could be the hardest part of your day. The reality is that sometimes, this happens to the best of us…no matter how put together “that person” looks to you.

It is however important to remember that finding and maintaining a healthy balance in life is not only essential for your happiness, but for your productivity and creativity. The good news is you have all it takes to find and maintain the much needed balance.

Emotional balance is facilitated by practicing emotional regulation and distress tolerance. Emotional regulation relates to identifying the emotions that are being felt in the moment, and observing them without being overwhelmed by them. Emotional regulation skills include self-soothing activities that help to reduce emotional intensity and provide a calming effect, such as: meditation, intentional breathing, yoga, listening to music you enjoy, progressive muscle relaxation, taking a walk or a hike, reading something pleasurable or spiritual, singing a favorite song, exercising, visualizing a comforting/relaxing image, journaling, etc


So, how can you find and maintain that much- needed balance and learn how to also effectively compartmentalise aspects of life so other parts can thrive while one part may not be doing well?:

Become aware of Self: It is not surprising that alot of people are becoming more self aware in learning to handle and deal with life internally and in relation to other people. By becoming more aware of yourself, you are aware of your emotions, responses and reactions to certain situations. You are purposely conscious of your character, personality and feelings. You then have the ability to effectively manage these feelings and emotions in different circumstances so you do not get overwhelmed.

One way of digging deep in becoming more aware of Self, as I have learned, is to practice the “why” technique. By doing this, you ask yourself a series of questions until you get to the root of why you feel the way you do, especially when it negatively affects your productivity. So if you are in a foul mood, you ask yourself “why am I in a foul mood?” and if your answer is “I don’t know” then you ask yourself “why don’t I know?” and on and on until you hit seeming roadblocks or the root of the issue.

Identify the emotions and Put it in words: By doing this, whenever new feelings pop up that threaten to throw you off balance, you focus on what you exactly feel and how it affects your body. It could be helpful to close your eyes and try to figure out which body part you feel tension.

After you have identified the emotions or feelings that could be triggering an imbalance, be ready to admit and say to yourself or a trusted person “I’m anxious.”, or “I’m feeling sad.” This helps you to take a step back from your automatic reaction and respond more consciously. An important thing to remember is when you feel a certain way, it is okay to not know how you feel or why you feel the way you do at a certain time. Take some time off and revisit your feelings in some hours and get answers.

Practice gratitude: This is another way to find and maintain a healthy balance in life. Find at least one thing that you are thankful forThis could be difficult especially if you are experiencing sadness, anxiety or going through a tough time generally that is affecting all other aspects of your life negatively. However, try to find at least one thing, even if it seems small, to be thankful for. This will ultimately help you become aware of the fact that life is not just composed of bad and unfortunate events and it encourages you to look at the bright side.

A bad day, month or year does not necessarily mean a bad life. 


By doing this, you remind yourself consciously that certain aspects of your life do not affect other aspects negatively. A bad day at home or with your emotions should not necessarily transcend to a bad day at work where you snap at your colleagues or deliver low quality work and vice versa. A break up should not necessarily transcend into a total change of your character for the worse or you giving up on your goals and personal development as a whole. This is easier said than done but with constant practice and reminders, it can be achieved.

Respond, not react:

Learn to respond to situations instead of reacting. By doing this, you take some time to process the emotions and how you feel by practicing tips #1 and #2 above. You then figure out the best and appropriate way to respond to a certain situation. This helps to reduce any feeling of overwhelming-ness, as it were, or taking decisions based on emotions.

Follow Through:

If you say you will do it, do it! No matter what! No matter how you are feeling! If you say you are going to take that course, get to it. If you are going to work on your personal development, get to it. If you want to get that summer body (this does not apply to me as “calories are not counted in heaven”), get to it! If you find that you sad and anxious for whatever reason and it is threatening to cause an imbalance- I know this may sound weird or funny- but allocate time to feel that way, like 6-7pm. After that, follow through! I am learning the true meaning of “time waits for no one”, so if you want to spend two months wallowing in a pity party instead of getting to what you have committed to do, then time would not wait for you. So if you have committed, follow through!

Remove yourself from the situation: This is absolutely worth a shot in trying to find and maintain a balance in life, although not so easy. When you feel intense emotion you try to press the pause button, go and splash some water on your face and think about protecting emotional distance as much as you can. This could be helpful in that makes you more objective in your thinking and making decisions.

Acknowledge the not-so-great moments: While it is important to stay positive and focused to achieve a healthy balance in life, it is very important to acknowledge the not so great moments. Life is full of ups and downs and it would be unrealistic to expect yourself to be positive in each passing moment. Sometimes, life is full of it and we get swayed by negative emotions, but admitting it is the first step to being able to do anything about it and have that positive balance.

"The truth is that sometimes, life sucks and the healthiest thing you can do is admit it. Denying negative emotions leads to experiencing deeper and more prolonged negative emotions and to emotional dysfunction. Constant positivity is a form of avoidance, not a valid solution to life's problems-problems which, by the way, if you're choosing the right values and metrics, should be invigorating you and motivating you."

Spend time alone: Last but not the least, and this does not have to be said in too many words, spend some time alone. Get to know yourself, your likes, dislikes, your emotions, what triggers you, what makes you feel imbalance. Spending time alone boosts immense levels of productivity and creativity as you are not constantly drowned in the noise of others.

Afraid of spending time with just you? Then you need to look into you and confront that fear.

“You are the only person who will be with you your entire lifetime. Build an intimacy with you.”

I hope these tips are super helpful! They have been and are still helpful to me currently in my journey. If you have any other tips to find and maintain a healthy balance in life, please with me in the comments below! You can also subscribe to my journey by simply inputing your email address below and hitting the subscribe button!

Thanks for reading!

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5 Reasons You Need To Take a Social Media Break

“What social media really becomes after years of use is a constant stream of information both verbal and visual that at first drenches the mind, quenching its thirst for knowledge, and subduing its curiosity slowly but surly transforms into a torrent that renders the brain heavy and the mind restless.”

~Aysha Taryam

Social Media.

The one thing it seems we cannot live without.

Remember when there was no social media? We actually got on just fine. However, in recent times, it seems like everyone, or almost everyone is hooked. Hooked to Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook…and if you are not necessarily hooked, you know at least one person who updates his/her stories constantly across these platforms…like all of these platforms, simultaneously (and not for business purposes, might I add).

And while it is pretty easy to say “Oh at least I do not upload stories on all platforms, I just go there to watch for entertainment” or “Please I am on social media just for information” or “I don’t even post that much on any platform” or “Oh please, it’s just social media, it’s really not that deep” I promise you, it is that deep. I also promise you that you would be utterly amazed at how much time you happen to spend on social media, just scrolling, scrolling, watching, taking and soaking in whatever information is thrown at you through your screen. You might think it is just a couple of hours a day? You would be amazed that it is much more than that.

If you use an iPhone, do yourself a favour when you are done with this blogpost and check your Screen Time usage. You can check that by going to “Settings” and tapping “Screen Time”. You are told the amount of time you spend on each of your social media apps daily, how many times a day you pick up your phone and what apps you open as soon as you pick up your phone. Life changing stuff when you do not see the Bible app among the top 10 apps. 😭

As a lover of social and psychological experiments, I recently conducted an experiment on myself by taking a break from social media. I did this after researching extensively on effective ways a social media addict like myself could do this because I was just tired.

Boyyy, were the results absolutely amazing and mind blowing! I am more than happy to share what I discovered and the benefits I got from this because it is too exciting and real not to.

As a background, I took a break from social media for roughly two weeks. At first it was unintentional and I just wanted to curb my somewhat phone addiction, but then I subsequently became intentional about it and aimed to attempt to get rid of social media addiction or at least, have some measure of control over it.

I realized that even at work, I would mindlessly and subconsciously reach for my phone every five minutes to ten minutes (not kidding) even where I did not receive a notification, just to touch the phone and scroll around aimlessly. Sometimes, I would even imagine i received a notification just to justify reaching for my phone. My productivity and creativity levels as well as my already short attention span were greatly stifled and at some point, I found that i was merely existing on auto pilot to a very large extent.

So, I said to myself “plis, this needs to stop or at least be reduced before it controls me totally”. And the interesting this is, most of us reading this are yet to fully grasp that social media tends to control us like a full blown addiction. The negative effects of the overuse of social media on our brain cannot be over emphasized enough. Excessive social media use has been closely linked to severe cases of depression, anxiety and suicide, but some of us are still on the “It’s not that deep” boat.

“We have begun to live in a world, where we eat content, drink content and breathe content, without giving a single thought to its composition and what kind of impact it has upon our lives.”

~ Abhijit Naskar

I can confidently assert that probably about 70 percent of us (or even more) reading this right now suffer from some sort of social media addiction or the other, if we would choose to be honest with ourselves.

Before I share 5 reasons why you need to take a social media break and the amazing benefits derived from such, here are some signs that-and if you’re pretty honest with yourself, you might just fall into any or all of these categories-you need a social media break ASAP!

Signs you may be addicted to social media

  • You cannot hang out with friends (or in severe cases, even attend a business meeting) without reaching for your phone to scroll through your social media feed or upload a story about how much “fun” you are having;
  • You cannot hold a conversation with someone for at least one to two hours without reaching for your phone to check your social media;
  • You spend more time on social media than time spent on human interaction;
  • You check your social media first thing in the morning when you wake up and last thing at night before you go to bed (and every other available time in between when you are free);
  • You take photos of almost everything to upload on your social media;
  • You get anxious when you have not checked your phone or social media in one or two hours;
  • You feel like you are “missing out” when you have not checked your phone or social media in a couple of hours;
  • You spend more than 2 hours a day on social media;
  • You go to social media when you are feeling down about life, burned out or simply frustrated;
  • You immediately reach for your phone when you have a notification because the anxiety of not knowing what it could be would “kill you”; and
  • You subconsciously make unhealthy comparisons when you look at highlights of other people’s lives and feel anxious, pressured or generally depressed at how wack your life seems to be going.

Whew! 😰

So when I realized that I exhibit most- if not all- of the signs above, I was like “Okay, we have to put breaks on this, really”.

And so, I took a break.

I will be the first to say that it is not the easiest thing in the world and like any other form of addiction, once you attempt putting an end to it, you face some form of “withdrawal” because your body has to get used to the reduction of the production of dopamine or whatever “feel good” chemical your brain has been producing when you get a lot of likes or comments on a good photo or when you are scrolling through your feed and living vicariously through the photos and videos you see.

Why: Reasons you should take a social media break

Taking occasional social media breaks present amazing advantages and benefits. I speak from my experience when I say that in the short while I took a social media break, I saw an amazing transformation from the inside out. Here are 5 reasons (which I totally experienced) why you should take a social media break (at least, once in a while):

  • Leaves you feeling refreshed/stronger: This is a major reason why anyone needs to take a social media break. For me, I know coming back from the break left me feeling refreshed and stronger physically, mentally and emotionally to take on tasks. There’s this refreshed feeling that your brain feels having been withdrawn from so much useless information it has been continuously subjected to for an extended period of time. You feel light and ready to take on the world.
  • Increased productivity/creativity and more goal oriented: If your social media is not used principally for business, chances are, if you are so consumed with watching other people’s lives and scrolling endlessly through social media feed, you may not have so much time to focus on yourself or your goals. You may have dreams and goals you want to see achieved but what time do you have to plan or execute if you are constantly on social media? By taking a break, I found that I was : more productive and creative than I had been in a long while. I was a lot more focused at work and took shorter times to achieve tasks because I was not constantly distracted by notifications of my social media. Also, I personally found that I was alot more creative in coming up with content for my blog and ideas for some business plans. Basically, my brain had space to think and thrive. You will find that your productivity and creativity levels would greatly increase if you took a step back.
  • Restored personal/professional relationships: Most of us have friends, family or people around us who constantly complain that we are always on the phone and we laugh it off. It’s really not that funny. When we learn to take a step back and curb how much time we spend on social media, we are able to restore personal and professional relationships. We are able to have meaningful and impactful conversations either face to face or on the phone. We are able to drop our phones and find out how our family or loved ones are doing. We are able to spend time with people and genuinely encourage them to make them feel better about whatever situation they may be in. If you find that you are only communicating with friends or loved ones through social media, then you may just have to take a step back and find proper means of communication with them. It makes all the difference.
  • Less anxiety, negativity and depression: Yup, I promise you. just take a break from social media for a day and see what it does to you. You would feel so much more relaxed. Why? Let me break it down for you. The world of social media, as we already know, presents just highlights of people’s lives. Basically, you do not get to see the behind the scenes of these photos and videos. You only see the best; when people are happy and look their absolute best. So we know this, right? Why then do we get anxious, jealous and depressed when we see these things about other people’s lives? Because on one hand, our conscious mind knows that these things are not all to life, and on the other hand, our subconscious mind plays tricks on us that makes us believe these highlights. And there is a constant battle within our minds in knowing what information to reject or accept.

We then compare these highlights to the total aspects of our lives and feel like we are not doing enough, or are not as good looking or life is not going great for us. We get sad when we see people travelling the world and seemingly looking happy (I know someone on instagram who always, always seems happy. Like she never has a bad looking photo. Ever) So imagine if you’re there constantly comparing yourself to someone who seemingly has a perfect life?

Lol, social media is really fickle. No one is broke, ugly, washed up or having a hard day at the office on social media. No one is dealing with family issues, depressed or tired and frustrated with the way things are going in life. No one is confused or seeking to find their purpose or life’s answers or what their calling may be. Everyone seems to have it all figured out. Everyone but you.

Taking a break from it all helps you put things into perspective and reminds you that there is actually real life outside of social media and most of what we see may not really be what is.

  • You live more in the moment: Funny enough, this is one of the greatest benefits to me of taking social media breaks. I am actually learning to put my phone in my bag on the car ride to work. I am learning not scroll away mindlessly in the elevator ride to my office. I am learning not to scroll through my phone while walking. By taking a break, you get to experience life. Most times, we are too busy watching life rather than living life.

We also get carried away wanting to take photos or videos of the amazing times we are having (to show people who may not even really care!) that we actually forget to enjoy those moments in peace! Taking a social media break encourages you to live in the moment, take in the fresh air, look around and observe your surroundings, be more sociable with humans and have better human interaction. Some of us can be so buried in our phones that if we were to be transported half way across the world without our knowledge, we would not notice. Take that break and live life!

How: Suggestions to take a step back

So if you want to experience the above benefits of taking a social media break and want to go on one ASAP, here are some ways you can achieve this (While you may not be comfortable with some of my methods, they might just be worth the try if you are looking to manage or get rid of your social media addiction altogether):

  • Identify: The first thing I did was get real with myself. Like, I had to be totally honest with myself at where I am at with this social media thing. I looked at those signs above and I was completely honest that this thing had some sort of control over me and I was ready to take a break. When I decided to be intentional about it, I had to identify why I wanted to go on the break, for how long and what I hoped to achieve.
  • Turn off Notifications: The next step was to turn off my notifications. The effect of this on my sanity literally deserves a blog post of its own…and I will publish that post. I turned off notifications for all my social media apps and so my phone stopped buzzing ceaselessly (for those of you that might not know, I manage four instagram accounts…so imagine the constant buzzing). By doing this, I was then unaware of when I received a message. At first, it was quite nerve racking, not wanting to miss any message that might be “soooo important” but I slowly realized that, really, no one would die if you did not respond immediately…and if it is sooooo important, they would call.

“One of the key factors people are getting addicted to social media is because they are often distracted by notifications. In fact, notifications can act as a reminder to the users to check their phones or computers. Therefore, the most effective way to solve this is to turn off the notifications. If social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter cannot notify you on any updates, there is a higher chance that you will not check on them. It is a great first step in getting rid of social media addiction. Plus, if you always get distracted by notifications, you cannot concentrate well on your tasks at hand. It can cause negative feelings like stress and anger.”

  • Move apps around: Funny, you might be surprised to know that your brain subconsciously knows where each app on your phone is. My brain knew that if I press the home button and swiped left twice, my instagram icon would be there at the middle right section of my screen. So I hid my instagram and twitter apps in a folder on another page of my screen that my brain is not used to so that whenever I opened my phone mindlessly and swiped twice to the left, I would not find my instagram app. By the time I remembered it had been moved and to where precisely, the desire to open the app would have waned. So whenever you’re getting used to where these apps are located, you move the apps.
  • Phone-free zones: So the idea behind this is that you create a phone free zone in your house or room where you do not take your phone to. It could be your bedroom or a bed side table or a reading table. What I did with this one was that I tried to keep my phone not close to my bed. Failed severally, I might add (rolling eyes), but it was worth the try.
  • Down-time: This helped me big time and continues to help me daily. I scheduled times when my apps shut themselves off, like from 7pm to 10pm and if I have to open them, then I can put a 15 minute limit. Lol, let me not lie. Half the time the reminder comes up, I extend it for 15 minutes till its 10 years, but after a while it gets exhausting so I dump the phone…and pick it back up. Yeah, it’s a struggle. But this has helped me control
  • Substitute activities: It is interesting how much time is spent on social media. You can take up new activities to substitute your use of social media such as reading, walking, jogging, even listening to music, hanging out with friends, watching a movie and the list goes on and on.
  • Schedule posts: So for those who have businesses on social media or who make money off social media, or if you are a blogger/business owner and you rely on the traffic from social media to push your product, but desperately need a break, this is a good suggestion. I did not do this during my break because I just wanted a break from it all, blog inclusive. You can research apps that help people schedule their posts such as Hootsuite and the likes, so your posts are up and going even when you are offline.
  • Delete apps: In the event that you find yourself in dire need of a break from social media and the above options seem to fail, by all means, delete the apps. Do not log out, just delete them. This would help when you reach for your phone subconsciously because, well, you cannot log into what is not there in the first place.

While it is undeniable that social media possesses great advantages and continues to provide numerous opportunities for individuals and businesses alike, it is important to ensure that your use of social media, as with anything else in life, is done with utmost moderation.

Social media can be a great way to connect with people, but we need to remember that it is meant to be controlled by us and not the other way around.

If you would not be taking a social media break anytime soon, I challenge you to at least spend a little more time for the rest of this week, cultivating relationships offline. Call a loved one and, write a letter to yourself, do something fun alone or with friends that does not involve the use of your phone, take a walk, sing out loud to yourself…anything.

“Pay attention to humans, not your phone.”

I hope this was super helpful to you because it helped me immensely. Let me know what you think in the comment section!

P.S, If you would like to read more about social media addiction to know if you suffer from it and what you can do to curb it and cure it totally, check out this link

Be kind to yourself!

Taking Thoughts Captive

I think a lot.

Like, if there was an olympic sport for overthinking, the organisers would have to create a new type of medal for me, because Gold would not be appreciative enough of my abilities when I come first. Lol. In fact, When I win whatever medal they give me, I would be the flag hoisted up high (because that podium no fit do me) while a personalized national anthem would be played for me (and I would flap dramatically in the wind like a flag) because the olympic officials would marvel at how good I am at overthinking…honestly, I marvel at my imagination sometimes too.

SO while I have found that my overthinking could be a blessing in a way, in the sense that my crazy imagination can run wild and keep me company on days where I do not particularly crave human company (on such days, I laugh out loud at some of the things I think, so much that I am sure my neighbours think I am crazy) and also serves as a filter through which I can pass ideas, plans and decisions, I have found that it could be a huge problem because, well, no one wants their thoughts to run too fast that they cannot control them or keep them up at night. Plus, no one wants to remain stagnant because they are constantly over-analyzing, overthinking and not taking any action.

Overthinking and Over-analyzing

If you are like me and you suffer from overthinkingporosis, then you know that while sometimes, you could take pride in your ability to analyse situations to the point where you take the right decisions, you could also be subject to analysis paralysis where you find yourself analysing situations, decisions and plans to the point where you are stagnant and cannot make a move.

For me, I am learning to have a find a healthy balance with my thoughts and in analysing situations so that I do not find myself in a rut where I can neither go forward or backward. I am therefore attempting to take risks, take decisions, try new things out to see how they go first instead of overthinking and analysing.

“Do not let perfect be the enemy of good. Do not let good be the enemy of done.”


The thing with overthinking is that when you think alot, you are automatically more subject to an infestation of negative thoughts in your mind than the average thinker. These Automated Negative Thoughts (or ANTs as they are often called) always have a way of silently creeping up and invading your mind to the point where all that you think and are consumed by are negative thoughts.

“ANTs are cynical, gloomy, and complaining thoughts that just seem to keep coming all by themselves.
ANTs can cause people to be depressed and fatalistic, which have a profound impact on their lives. “I know I won’t pass that test on Tuesday.” This kind of thinking makes for a self-fulfilling prophecy: if they’ve already convinced themselves they won’t pass, they won’t study very hard and they won’t pass the test.

This type of thinking severely limits a person’s ability to enjoy his or her life because how one thinks on a moment-to-moment basis plays a large role in how one feels and how one conducts one’s affairs. If you are depressed all the time, you don’t expect good things to happen so you don’t try very hard to make them happen. The internal distress from melancholy thinking can make you behave in ways that alienate others, thus causing you to isolate yourself further.

On the other hand, positive thoughts and a positive attitude will help you radiate a sense of well being, making it easier for others to connect with you. Positive thoughts will also help you be more effective in your life. So, as you can see, what goes on in your mind all day long can determine whether your behavior is self-defeating or self-promoting.”

~Daniel G. Amen, MD

To get rid of these ANTs when they creep up, the first step is to identify that they are negative thoughts and that they are false. Once you have done that, you can then replace them with positive ones, the truth. The danger, however, is where you find yourself believing these negative thoughts as the truth. But, they are not true!

Some of the most common “species” of ANTs are:

  1. “Always” thinking: thinking in words like always, never, no one, every one, every time, everything. You get something wrong one time and then you go “I always fail” or “I always get it wrong” or “No one loves me” or “Everyone hates me”.
  2. Focusing on the negative: only seeing the bad in a situation.
  3. Thinking with your feelings: believing negative feelings without ever questioning them.
  4. Guilt beatings: thinking in words like “should, must, ought or have to.”
  5. Labeling: attaching a negative label to yourself or to someone else like “stupid”, “dumb” and “failure”
  6. Personalization: innocuous events are taken to have personal meaning.
  7. Mind reading (RED ANT): believing that you know what another person is thinking, even though they haven’t told you.
  8. Fortune telling (RED ANT): predicting the worst possible outcome to a situation.
  9. Blame (RED ANT): blaming someone else for your own problems

The RED ANTS ( as the name implies) are like those ants that, when they bite, go so deep you feel it in your soul, that you begin to question your purpose in life while trying not to cry like a baby. But, these are all negative thoughts that can ruin you from the inside out if you allow yourself to continuously dwell on them.

BUT…you can regulate these thoughts. You can replace them with positive thoughts and you can get rid of them altogether! Trust me, I will be the first to admit that this is not the easiest thing in the world. In fact, it’s hard. In fact, it’s super hard, especially if you are like me and sometimes, your thoughts run too fast and before you know it, you’re already entrenched in negative thoughts. BUT it is possible to take these thoughts captive.

“You can train your thoughts to be positive and hopeful or you can just allow them to be negative and upset you. Once you learn about your thoughts, you can chose to think good thoughts and feel good or you can choose to think bad thoughts and feel lousy. That’s right, it’s up to you! You can learn how to change your thoughts and you can learn to change the way you feel.

Briefly, some ways I currently am learning to take my thoughts captive, especially negative thoughts that try to creep up are:

Repetition/Affirmations: This means consciously repeating positive words to yourself to replace the negative thoughts even though you do not feel like saying them or even if at that particular moment, you do not believe it. I have tried it and it works. Even when I am moody, I tell myself “I am happy. I am loved. I am special” I keep repeating same. In crisis situations, I go “I am calm, I am calm” and over time, you find that it sticks and.. this has been proven by science, your brain releases chemicals that make you believe these words and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

So when a negative thought pops up, I try (and I have been tryyyinnnngggg…it is tough, but I made a decision to at least, try) to counter it with a positive one. I set it up against the truth; against God’s truth. And sometimes, I ask myself “this thing I am saying about myself, is it true?” “Is this what God thinks about me?” “Does God really see me as a failure, or as dumb, or as stupid?”

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5 New International Version (NIV)

When faced with seemingly difficult tasks, I remind myself of previous tasks that I have overcome. I tell myself “I can do it” , “I can do it” even though I am shaking on the inside from fear or my heart is beating wildly. I tell myself “I can do all things”. Granted, sometimes, it is easier said than done, but hey, how would you know unless you tried? You say it over and over again until you believe it.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”

~Phil 4:13

One way to learn how to change your thoughts is to notice them when they are negative and talk back to them. If you can correct negative thoughts, you take away their power over you. When you just think a negative thought without challenging it, your mind believes it and your body reacts to it.”

~Daniel G. Amen, MD

Practicing gratitude: By doing this, you remind your self daily and with each moment of all your blessings; things you have that you take for granted, yet people would give anything to have. You remind yourself of the ways that God has come through for you in tough situations. You practice gratitude and you list out the things you are thankful for and you find that you feel better about what lies ahead.

Go easy on yourself : I talk about this a lot on my Instagram because I know that I am quite hard on myself. No, full disclosure, I can be really really hard on myself. I have been told by some very few people close to me and I am now consciously making an effort to go easy on myself and give myself some credit.

If you are your own worst critic, remember to relax and go easy on yourself. You did not come this far by accident, so you must be doing something right. And if you’re reading this thinking “But I haven’t even come far and have nothing going good for me right now” then re-read the point above.

Only the living can complain about how bad things are going.

Just go for it

If you are currently plagued with analysis paralysis and/or overthinking a decision you are about to take and have stalled for the longest moment, hesitate no longer! Just go for it! you can do it! You know those negative thoughts you are currently having about failure right now? The negative what-ifs? They would most likely not come to pass. BUT HOW WOULD YOU KNOW UNLESS YOU GO FOR IT?

I do not know who needed to read this today, but remember that once you start replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts, you will start having positive results. If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.

Change your thoughts, change your world.

“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.”― Marcus Aurelius

Protecting your Peace Bubble


“Learn to walk away from people and situations that threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, values, morals or self-worth.”

Hi everyone! I hope we had a great week this past week and were able to learn one or two things. If you didn’t then please be encouraged, you’re alive today and can make a new start toward next week, God-willing. You can think back on how the week went and note down one or two things that did not go as planned or mistakes that were made and choose to use them as learning opportunities ahead of next week.

Randomly, but not so randomly speaking, I think one of the most important things that I learned about life and happiness this past week was in the deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade who took their lives by suicide (google is your best friend). I mean these were hugely successful people who brought joy and light to the world and quite alot of people have given their testimonials on them, but apparently they were still unhappy with all the money, power and fame. Just shows that these demons that we constantly battle are no respecter of wealth or influence…And sometimes, we assume that people are happy because they appear happy and seem like they’ve got their lives figured out…sometimes we might look at these people and think “oh what can I offer this person that he/she does not already have?” But there’s alot you can offer them. Perhaps if we paid more attention to what their lips are not saying and what their eyes are desperately trying to tell us then we might be able to help or encourage someone. A word or two of encouragement to another person or a smile can really go a long way in that person’s world unknown to us.

As you read this blog right now, quite a number of people around you may be fed up with life, going through chronic depression and just about thinking of giving up, asking themselves if there’s anything left to live for. It might even be you reading feeling this way. Please, please, please don’t give up. The world needs you. It can get better and it will get better. Also, try to speak to someone and if there’s no one you can send an email in the blog profile.

So this morning, think of someone you can reach out to and encourage, perhaps drop an encouraging text message or call up a loved one or friend and see how they’re doing….let them know you care. It’s not enough to assume that “they know”. When you go out today, do something nice for a stranger, hold a door open, or just have a nice smile on your face. You don’t know how far a kind word or two can go…or even just a smile. Just thought to put that out there.

On the title of the blog today, this is one major thing I’ve been learning a lot from..about protecting my peace bubble. I’ve been learning a few things from the books I’m reading and from certain experiences I’ve had through out the past few months. Our emotions are so tricky that they seem like mere emotions which are just a part of us, but believe me, they are so so powerful that if not controlled, can destroy you. A single act in anger or depression can end your life. Literally.

We all have metaphoric peace bubbles which we find ourselves where we’re most at peace, sometimes even happy but just in a state where we are at peace, unbothered by what may be happening outside of us. Sometimes, things may be going awry, but at the end of the day we have that inner most peace. Honestly, I’m learning that peace of the human mind is one of the greatest gifts God has given to mankind and it will interest you to know that it is not tied to the amount of money you have.

I know that most of us can relate when I say I’m alright with just God and me but having to relate with other humans could be dicey or being in situations that require that you relate with other humans; either in friendships, relationships, with family, work, school or even strangers! And sometimes, you find yourself in situations where your peace bubble and peace of mind could be threatened…but what can we do to protect this precious gift?

In protecting my peace bubble, I’m learning not to take things personal, to see the innocence in people’s behaviour and to stay away from any form of negativity. In not taking things personal, I’ve realized that so much emotional energy is expended when you take other peoples opinions personally and to heart. It’s their opinion of you, of the world, of a celebrity, of the state of the country, of whatever…their opinion does not define you (as my colleague at work would say) and you don’t have to accept it or argue it out with them till you’re sweating so much, you burn 600 calories. Even if someone makes a comment about your weight, height, appearance or clothes, you can choose either to let it get to you in a negative way or you can decide not to take it personally. You can just…chill. As human beings sometimes we try to enforce our opinions on other people, not caring what their views are.

In seeing the innocence in peoples behaviour and staying away from any form of negativity, I’m learning especially when it comes to strangers that it’s okay to let things go and not call out every stranger that probably insults me, is rude to me, acts mean to me or tell them why I’m right. If someone cuts you off while you’re driving let him go. If someone yells at you, don’t yell back, just smile. They might think you’re crazy but you would have protected your peace bubble and remained in a calm place. You would not have given them so much power as to determine your mood and put you in a place of anger and bitterness. I’m also learning to pull myself from any negative thoughts or comments that may come into my head or come to me so that I’m constantly at peace and only thinking of positive things.

Remember, the moments we allow our peace bubbles get poked and punctured by people, foreign sharp objects and different circumstances are moments that we can never get back. All that would be remembered of that moment was how we lost our cool and got upset, or how we were saddened by a random comment made by a stranger on the street.

Protect your peace bubble daily.

Have a great day!
Picture source: the quiet revolution


Don’t Eat the Marshmallow!!

The Marshmallow Experiment

So i recently came across something very very interesting with such a deep lesson that I thought to share! But first, watch this short three minute video above. LOL!
I’ll give a little background here…

So between the late 1960s and early 70s, a psychologist Walter Mischel who was then a professor at Stanford University, conducted a series of tests and experiments on young children; preschoolers to be precise to study and demonstrate the significance of delayed gratification in an individual as well as the importance of self control.

The experiment as seen in the video went as follows: each preschooler was taken into a an empty room with a chair and table upon which a plate of a single marshmallow was placed on it…let’s pause here for a moment…

I found out two interesting things. LOL. One, its not spelled “Marshmellow” even though most people spell it that way or it is sort of pronounced that way. Two, for those of us that are not aware of what a marshmallow is, I’ve put a picture here below:
It’s sort of a squishy soft candy that children (and loads of adults apparently) love to chew on.
Anyway, back to the experiments, so a researcher would then make an offer to the child: he/she could either eat the one marshmallow right away or if he/she was willing and patient enough to wait while the researcher stepped out for a few minutes, he/she could have two marshmallows when the researcher returned. Then the researcher would leave the room for what seemed to be hours on end to the children, but in reality, 15-20 mins max. Some children ate the candy almost immediately while others were deeply confused on whether to wait or eat that one right way, while some were able to wait and they got two marshmallows at the end. (Did you see the kid who thought no one was watching sneak a piece like nothing happened???!! *crying*…. that’s some of us by the way)
Interestingly enough, many years later(about 30-35 years later), the psychologist, Mischel and his research team tracked down the preschoolers (who are much older by now) and studied their lifestyles and it was found that the children who had waited for the second marshmallow generally fared better in life and were more successful. For example, studies showed that a child’s ability to delay eating the first treat would most likely result to the child performing better academically, earning more money, and be healthier and happier. The child would also most likely be able to avoid a number of negative outcomes, including jail time, obesity, and drug use.
Although some of these studies were criticised, we can relate to them in our everyday lives from an certain angle and I’ll explain how.
When it comes to us achieving our goals or concentrating on HVAs…I talked about this in my last post (you can read that here), sometimes we find that we instantly want to gratify our desires; for junk food that we find ourselves craving, to watch TV for hours on end, to engage in meaningless conversations that are in no way connected to our goals or the lifestyles we are trying to maintain and so on.
But I’ve found that if we can delay or even put off some of these acts when we know what the rewards would be much later and not put so much focus primarily on these LVAs, we would most likely fare better and do well in different aspects of life. A big example is if you’re trying to watch what you eat and live a healthier lifestyle or lose some weight, I’ve found that you must learn to “delay” the temptation of instantly gratifying “cravings” for junk food and focus on healthy foods constantly keeping in mind the reward of what would come later if you eat well and exercise (or gym well for those who want to have 10-packs). In fact, you can even delay the snack until your cheat day.
Another one is if you have a goal of reading a book; perhaps reading a book a month or taking an online course and the only spare time you have is when you’re done from work or in the evenings, you’ll most likely fare better and have greater success if you concentrated more on the HVAs that would lead you in the direction of achieving that goal rather than gratifying the pleasure of sitting in front to the TV and becoming a couch potato.
Also, if you’re trying to develop a better relationship with God through prayer and bible study, you would most likely fare better at that and see developments if you’re more self-controlled and disciplined and are able to delay the gratification of pleasures that can distract you from creating and spending those times with God. I’ve found that you can pray and sleep at the same time…just for those of us that lay in bed the extra 30 mins saying we’re praying while we keep falling asleep.
Remember, not every desire needs to be gratified at that very moment. In fact, most of it can be delayed especially when there is a reward waiting ahead. One way we can help achieve this I’ve found is by not concentrating so much on the desire or pleasure by magnifying it to the point where we feel like if we don’t have it at that moment, we would die. You would not die if you don’t have an ice cream for a month. Yup. I’m learning that one. And you most certainly would not die if you don’t watch TV for five hours in a day.
So as you go along today and the rest of the week, consciously identity those desires/pleasures/things that tend to “pop up” that are not directly in line with your goals and make you want to steer off track because you feel they must be gratified immediately and continue to practice self control and self-discipline in different aspects of your life. Perhaps you can get someone to hold you accountable.
And when next you’re tempted to instantly gratify those pleasures remember, DON’T EAT THE MARSHMALLOW!
Video source:
Picture source:

The Law of Creative Abandonment

“Efficiency is doing things right and effectiveness is doing the right things.” 

– Peter Drucker
Simply put, the Law of Creative Abandonment implies that you spend more of your time on High Value Activities (HVAs) that are directly connected to the major goals in your life. In that sense, you make up your mind to let go of or abandon Low Value Activities (LVAs) that are time consuming and do not yield any results or that do not bring you closer to your goal. You are thus creatively abandoning those tasks that possess little or no value with regards to your goals.
Question: What LVAs are you willing to sacrifice for a HVA that will help you connect more to your goals?
Our LVAs differ from person to person and the truth about it is that we often spend more of our time on tasks that do not have any positive effects on “increasing our return on equity or energy invested.” Think about it for a moment; you come home from work on a Monday like at about 6 0’clock (some people are lucky to be home by 5 or even 4), tired and just in the mood to relax and watch some TV (a channel which may or may not be of high value to you or your goals). You balance in front of the TV from 6pm to about 10pm watching movies and/or series while browsing through your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp feeds. At 10pm, you slowly drift off to sleep.
On Tuesday, the same happens and this continues all through the week, five days and even the weekends too.
Most of us are guilty of continually engaging in these LVAs which have slowly crept their way up to become habits in our lives. It is almost automatic for us to always be on social media the whole day or respond to seemingly important messages. We have therefore  slowly ignored and neglected the relevant HVAs which can help us achieve our goals. Mind you, being on social media the whole day is not particularly bad…if you’re making money out of it or you can see the returns from the hours spent on Instagram (and a steady release of serotonin in the brain which can occur from the feeling you get when you get a good number of likes on a picture, does not qualify as a good return…just putting that out there).
Loads of people say that they would love to read a book that would develop their knowledge base or even take a course that would take them one step closer to their goals. But their major reason why they cannot do this is “There’s just no time!”. However, if a record of their time spent was released, it would be discovered that less time or none was spent on any personal development whatsoever and more time (for leisure) was spent on LVAs. That is not to say that we do not regularly take time off to rest and relax; the point is to decide to focus more on the HVAs than the LVAs.
Get a pen and paper, ask yourself these questions and write down the answers:
1. What three HVAs can I focus on generally that will help achieve your goals faster?
2. What LVAs constantly occupy my time without any positive effects on increasing your return on equity or energy invested?
3. What is one major thing I need to work on to be more committed to performing more HVAs?
At the end of the day, if we want better results at the things we do and we want to actually achieve those goals that we have set out in an effective and efficient way, but we cannot have do that if we continue to waste valuable time on LVAs. And just in case you thought time would be polite to wait for you, remember that the fourth month of 2018 is almost over!
Decide today to spend more time on the HVAs that you have identified above and it helps if you have an accountability partner, mentor or like-minded friend who can encourage you to stay focused on those activities. You can also plan on doing at least one HVA per day and creatively abandon those LVAs.
Have a great Saturday!