An update on everything…

Hello,

It has been a while again since posting on here.

I am much more consistent on my YouTube channel.

Here’s an update on some things.

I have been feeling rather burned out and flat, and I have been quite busy. I recently completed a 10-week introduction to writing fiction course. I have been playing Badminton weekly for around the same duration. I have been working 5 days a week, until this past week. I asked my girlfriend to Marry me 2 days ago (she said Yes).

I really want to be the best person I can be, so I have been doing a lot of thinking (as tends to be the case, given I am an INFJ personality type).

I keep f*cking up my sleep and going to bed far too late, given the state of my health and lack of energy. Instead of going to bed at around 11:30 – 00:00 (currently), I need to get settled down by around 10pm. It really need not be so complicated, but I make it so. That really is the first thing that needs to change if I want to feel better (and less like The Walking Dead).

I am due to go back to an employer to help out for a further couple of months, as another employee has handed their notice in. This will be my second return since originally leaving in January. This gives me a bit of time, but I do worry that I will always remain stuck like this. I have noticed that for INFJs (and HSPs), this is common – they struggle to hold down a job, because their minds desire so much more than an ordinary life. Another I have spoken to has had over 15 jobs in 10 years. I’m not too far off that…

I have been looking into the Myers-Briggs and Enneagram things a lot. I’m not sure which personality test is more accurate, but both are eerily good at describing me (I’m a Type 4w5 if you understand this stuff).

I have also recently ordered some Water Kefir grains, which were recommended to me by a friend who recovered from long-term chronic fatigue issues. Water Kefir is a fermented drink that should hopefully increase my ‘good bacteria’ as my digestion could be much better than it is. If this does help, I will be sure to talk about it down the line. Digestion is obviously very important in health and releasing toxins. It can feel impossible to be content and happy when your body isn’t in good shape.

I have been meaning to write the rest of my book (which will be called ‘My Highly Sensitive World’) but I have honestly not felt motivated or inspired to do so in some time.

Once I get my sleep pattern on track, and can live with the uncertainty of my future, I imagine my creative side will be re-awakened.

I am going to read some books myself, so I can get back into reading things that aren’t just self-help books on Anxiety/Depression/Myers-Briggs.

A few on my list are:

  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (I suppose this is a bit self-helpy)
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
  • Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Phantom Toolbooth by Norton Juster
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

A few that I have recently enjoyed are:

  • The Introvert’s Way by Sophia Dembling
  • The Enneagram: Pathways to Happiness by Veronica Croft
  • Life’s Golden Ticket by Brendon Burchard

I hope you are doing okay.

If you haven’t seen my YouTube videos in a while, here is one I recently filmed outside:

~ Stefan

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Turn NEGATIVE Energy Into POSITIVE Action! (With Video)

Hello again.

Coming at you with another video today, in which I discuss negative emotions (such as Anger and Frustration) and suggest ways of making them positive.

As always, thank you for your participation in this Blog and my YouTube channel.

Have a great day,

~ Stefan

13 Reasons Why – Netflix Series Review

Hi guys and gals! I hope you are well.

I just had a really delicious Vegan meal at Ask Italian (Some doughballs, Vegan Pizza and a Chocolate torte with raspberry sorbet… Mmmm!) My head is a little bit light from drinking a Tropical Mojito.

I have a schedule for my YouTube videos now (which I will do my best to stick to) … So stay tuned on Wednesday, Friday & Sunday at 5PM, as that is when the videos will go live.

In this video, I talk about a wonderfully acclaimed series that just hit Netflix.

It’s relation to this blog is in its ties to Mental Health (mainly Depression). As an INFJ, I feel like the show was made for me.

If you haven’t already seen the show, you should do so. And then you can watch my thoughts here:

*Book Update* – Win a Free Copy!

HSD

Hello to you!

If you have been following this Blog for a little while, you will know that I am writing a book on being a Highly Sensitive DUDE. Things may have sidetracked me for a while, but I am getting back to it.

I expect this will be released within the next 3-4 months, while I finish writing it, getting a cover sorted and edit everything nicely.

The book will essentially be a diary containing some examples of how this trait has affected my life, but will also aim to offer insights into how we can make the most of this way of being, rather than seeing it as a curse or block to experience a ‘normal’ life.

Once the book is finished, I will make it available to everyone through Amazon.

If you would like a FREE copy of the book, before anybody else has access to it, this is what you need to do:

  • ‘Like’ my page on Facebook: HERE
  • Review my page on Facebook (this is based on the Blog Posts and YouTube Videos)

That’s it! Simple.

For those who commit to the above, I will choose a few of you (depending on how many take part) and you will be sent the book for free (as a PDF). If successful, I will message you to get a hold of your email address.

That’s all for now folks.

I hope you are well,

~ Stefan.

 

The Bullet Journal

Hi Readers,

I just wanted to write briefly, to advise of a new video I have uploaded. If you are like me and can easily forget upcoming plans – or need a bit of structure in order to feel organised – you will benefit greatly from the idea of ‘The Bullet Journal’.

Basically, it is a quick reference diary where you can find plans at a glance. You can use the diary for songwriting, poetry, drawing – ANYTHING.

Watch the video for some ideas.

~ Stefan

Feeling Angry.

Anger is one of the worst emotions out there … Or is it?

There is a powerful energy in Anger. When I have felt deeply angry – when I have put up with too much for too long and have kept everything inside – the anger screams as it is finally released.

In those moments, I could lift the Big Show… Maybe not, because he’s 500 pounds, but Pure Anger is fucking explosive. It’s like a Volcano going off.

And I have a problem with Anger.

Because I’m a nice guy, and that isn’t really a value in this dog-eat-dog World. I try to be nice to people, but some people just don’t deserve it and some people are just assholes. It is exhausting to keep acting easy-going and nice when things piss you off and leave you emotionally drained. The amount of times I fake-laugh when I’m miserable inside… That shit has to stop. It takes so much energy to keep up an act like that.

It’s no secret that the World is a mad place. Working most of our lives IS stressful and trying to follow your dreams IS difficult, especially when there are Millions of people competing for the same things.

I get incredibly frustrated on a weekly basis. It is hard when you visualise the life you want (and deserve) but are so far from that picture.

I get very annoyed when I see some of the dicks making it Big on YouTube. For example, someone like KSI (with 15 Million Subscribers) just annoys me. Yet, he doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to do. He doesn’t have to prostitute his soul for money. He can do whatever the fuck he wants. And while I am not very fond on the guy (and many others on YouTube), I massively envy that freedom. Imagine waking up and not having to drag yourself somewhere you hate… What a fucking nice idea that is.

Going back to the topic of Anger though – it is a tool to be utilized. Sure, it’s probably a reminder that your life is a mess and you may not know how to change things. It is there for a reason. But while it is there, use it wisely.

I was listening to a podcast earlier, and this guy was saying that using Anger to be a miserable dick, who shouts at people and creates hostility, is like wanking into a tissue and throwing it in the bin.

Not the nicest of visuals, but he had a point. Anger = Power. You can use it to destroy, or you can use it of a force of positivity. I guess it’s the difference between Hitler and Gandhi. And maybe you don’t want to be either of them. But if you are repeatedly getting angry (or rageful), you need to do something – DO ANYTHING.

If a job is causing the anger, and it has happened before for you, maybe you’re in the completely wrong job for your personality.

If it’s being caused by a certain person, maybe they aren’t good for you.

If it’s a bit of everything, your life needs a serious make-over.

I got about 3 or 4 hours’ sleep last night. Today was a really shitty day. This week was a really shitty week. My general adulthood has been shitty, too. So it’s time to do something about it. Anger comes from a feeling of no control, so reclaim a hold of your life. You can choose a lot. And maybe all the options come with some big negatives. But choose the one that makes sense the most. Does doing nothing make fucking sense to you?

If you don’t have the answers, find someone who does. If you don’t know where to turn next, just do anything but stay still.

That anger can be a good thing if used well.

From another perspective, we are animals. Anger would be useful for our survival. I often want to punch people when I’m angry, but luckily I have more foresight than that. Getting into a fight is never the solution. But hey, it’s a natural reaction to those stress hormones. Sitting in an office, under high pressure, is going to create a hectic mindset. It is an abnormal situation. Combined with a lack of sleep and other subsequent problems (like arguing with a spouse because something else is making you into a total shit) and of course you’re going to want to let some of that shit out.

I’m still trying to find a way to deal with my own anger issues. Maybe this post will make you feel less alone. The take-away from this is to be inquisitive towards your emotions. Why are they there? What is their purpose? What are they reflecting about your life?

If you do not express yourself, which seems to be what our backwards society suggests (i.e. Don’t be sad), then it’ll come out one way or another. If you are arguing with the few people you actually care about, it’s time to get angry towards the fuckers who are bringing you down.

Peace out – Go do some cool shit.

How To Save More Money!

I have touched on Minimalism in the past, but it’s something that will stay with me for the rest of my life – a lesson worth learning.

Based on the Myers-Briggs personality test, my personality type – INFJ – is one of the least likely to be financially successful. While I don’t think it’s a good idea to throw yourself into a category and believe you are destined to only achieve so much, it’s probably quite accurate.

Those of us who make creativity a priority are unlikely to strive for much in the Corporate World of business and making money from our passions is not always easy, or possible, despite what all those self-help guru’s suggest. Many of us work just because. Many HSPs really struggle to hold down a job, always searching for the perfect fit.

I have certainly found working to be quite strenuous and uninspiring thus far in my life. Minimalism is excellent in this regard, because it helps you to take a step back and to question whether you really need something, and whether it will really add any value to your life.

Let’s face it – If you struggle to make money, and don’t enjoy doing what has to be done to make that money, then money is especially valuable to you and should only be spent on things that create joy and excitement.

Without wanting to repeat myself like a broken record, I used to spend most of my income on material items. I built up a large collection of DVDs, Blu-rays, Books & Video Games. I have come to learn (the hard way) that you cannot buy happiness. Happiness really is a feeling generated within. You may have noticed that on some days, playing a video game or watching a TV show make you feel really content and peaceful. You aren’t worrying about achieving loads of goals, and you don’t want to be anywhere else. These feelings may be rare, but they go to show us that things are not the answer.

In fact, things often just get in the way of our happiness and leave us feeling like we never have time to do anything important. If you have lots of subscriptions, like Netflix, Kindle Unlimited, WWE Network, Xbox Live – whatever, and you are also are a member of a gym … maybe it’s time to step back and ask yourself, ‘Do I need all of these outgoings? Am I getting value out of my spendings?’

So many people join a gym with enthusiasm and desire, going 4-5 times a week. Then life gets hectic and they struggle to make an appearance even once a week.

The richest people in the World can still feel very insecure and unhappy. While it’s nice to get away from a job you detest, extra money and extra stuff is unlikely to make you any happier … It’s like with food. When you have eaten and are no longer hungry, it loses it’s appeal. If you were a Millionaire, you would probably get very bored and only then would you realise a brand new car is not the answer …

I made a short YouTube video talking about this in more depth, so if you want some inspiration for saving your money (and using it more wisely), be sure to check that out here:

Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read this Blog.

I will see you in the next one.

~ Stefan.

Treating Agoraphobia

Welcome back to the Blog!

Another common disorder, which is essentially just Anxiety expressing itself in another form, is Agoraphobia.

I have definitely suffered from this, and continue to. I am determined to reclaim my life and normality. In relation to this blog, I do believe that HSPs (Highly Sensitive Persons) are far more likely to struggle with different forms of anxiety.

Having done some research on Agoraphobia, I understand that the best treatment is exposure therapy combined with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). With this disorder, people fear the Outside World and often panic in unfamiliar surroundings, or in situations where anticipation can build (like standing around in a queue at the Supermarket). While it may appear to be situation-based, these fears are linked to the perception of the sufferer.

Someone may consider that 10+ miles away from home is uncomfortable, or else will perceive that big cities are the cause of their problems.

Of course, in reality, there is nothing to fear. The situations are not the real cause.

While there may be some genuine – yet small – risks in leaving our homes, we cannot possible live the rest of our lives governed by this phobia. Of course, there is a slight chance you could die while driving to work. Maybe someone is going to decide to steal from you. Hell, if you watch the news for long enough, it can make you paranoid that the chances are even likely that someone will try to kill you – for no apparent reason.

The biggest issue with Agoraphobia is overthinking and procrastinating. Once someone has developed the fear, they will continue to dread leaving their home (or ‘safe-zone’). The chances of overcoming this problem while feeding the anxiety (i.e. by listening to it and avoiding situations) are close to zero.

Of course, there is always hope with these mental distortions. Once you become aware that your mind is creating these false fears, you can choose not to listen to the negative thoughts. The biggest fear is in not being able to escape a situation. But, once again, there is nothing to escape from. You are the problem.

I say this from a place of understanding and empathy – not judgement.

This is a big challenge for me, although I know some people struggle far more intensely than myself. What I can tell you, from experience, is that it will get worse if you don’t take action. If you continue to avoid situations that make you uncomfortable, your life will hardly be worth existing for. Life is outside, not in our houses (which are really just a few walls placed together). You really need to accept that this fear is an internal issue, created by thoughts and feelings.

Come with me, and dare to venture into the unknown. Know that the fear you experience is not grounded in reality. Other people, who are in the same environments, are able to carry on as usual. I strongly believe that we can recover, and our brains (more specifically, our amygdala’s) will adapt once we stop feeding ourselves lies about how terrifying everything is.

I made a video talking about my struggles with Agoraphobia, so be sure to check that out below. I make videos about mental health, healthy living and Veganism. I also throw in the occasional music video. If you’d like to see more, be sure to subscribe.

For now, I wish you well in your recovery from this very lonely and isolated experience.

We can do this.

~ Stefan.

How to Overcome Social Anxiety

What is the root cause of social anxiety and self-doubt?

Without a doubt, it’s a lack of self-esteem and unwillingness to accept yourself as you are – flaws and all.

In order to be confident around people, you have to OWN your personality, the way you look and what makes you … you. If you are an introvert, or on the shy end of the spectrum, that is okay. But in your mind, you make it not okay. You isolate yourself and feel awkward around others, because you strongly fear their judgement.

What I have learned, after years of struggling with this stuff, is that:

  1. Most people don’t judge you nearly as harshly as you would imagine
  2. You create the reactions you get by the vibe you put out – they are probably looking at you weirdly because you are looking at them weirdly!
  3. It doesn’t matter if people like you. If you are not causing harm to others, then you are a decent human being, and you need to lay off yourself.

I made a YouTube video to emphasize these points, so be sure to check that out right here:

I actually set up a separate channel for High Sensitivity, but given that my existing channel already has a subscriber-base, you are more likely to see me creating content there – so be sure to Subscribe if you want to see more!

I’ll catch you in the next post 🙂

~ Stefan

Cluttered Home, Cluttered Mind …

Among the many days of dark depression and crazy self-destructive thoughts, I have learned a thing or two about this thing called Life through my struggles.

I have realised – sooner than many (and some will never learn) – that happiness does not rely upon external measures, although the outer World can certainly affect the way one feels.

For instance, imagine winning the lottery or being taken hostage by some men wearing masks. Both would obviously make it difficult to remain unchanged. Both are also unlikely to ever occur to you.

During my depression, I accumulated a lot of things. It was never my goal to do this … It just kind of happened. I wasn’t very sociable and didn’t piss away my income on booze at the weekends, like many late-teens/20-somethings do. I probably should have saved the money … I would be thanking myself now.

At one point, in 2011, I did have about £6000 in my bank account. But with how I was feeling, I decided to stop working a dull job and sat around doing not-all-that-much for 5 months until it ran out and I had to take the first job that came about. I was 21 at the time and so didn’t feel any real sense of urgency to sort everything out.

Anyway … you’re probably aware of what minimalism is.

It’s a very typical thing for someone like me to gravitate towards. Did I mention I am Vegan and practice mindfulness? How fucking original am I?

I am a certain breed – beyond the highly sensitive person. I am one of those people who just doesn’t ‘get’ life. I don’t get why people want to work their asses off in jobs they despise, in order to buy a shiny car – for what? A way to impress people and feel desired? That seems pretty shallow to me. And you will still get stuck in traffic.

Maybe I had to become a hoarder to realise material things only get in the way – of self-expression, growth and creativity. Too many material things, at least.

I stopped my ‘must-buy-another-item’ addiction a couple of years ago, or longer. But much of the stuff remains, largely covered in dust and worth close to nothing.

I have had a few clear outs during the last year or so, but there’s still a lot of clutter and it’ll be a bitch to move.

So, what kind of things was I buying?

Books, DVD’s, Blu-ray’s, Video games, Clothes … nothing too weird … a couple of butt plugs (joking! I only needed one). At one point, I spent £5000 on Invisalign, which straightens your teeth. My teeth are much better looking for it, but I could probably have saved £30,000 by now if I had learned to manage my finances better. Corr, that’d be nice.

I wish I could bring myself to get rid of everything. Part of me knows it’d be very helpful for my mind. It’s hard to come home and feel the burden of all those things – staring at me with judgement. ‘I’ve been sat here for 5 years and I’m still in a wrapper. You paid £35 for me and now I am worth pennies – lol’.

The most important thing is to break the cycle. I rarely buy clothes now, because there is no need. Most days I have to wear a shirt and trousers, so why bother owning so many t-shirts and pairs of jeans? And with Netflix, who the fuck needs to buy DVDs? I still love going to the cinema, but why buy something you will only watch once or twice?

In honesty, I am happiest when I’m just outside in nature with my dog or watching Netflix with my girlfriend, or reading a book. Seeing that none of those really cost a great deal, and with my surplus of supply, I have everything I need to enjoy myself …

That’s when going to work gets in the way.

Spending most of your waking hours in an office that you hate is no way to live. So … now, having learned how happiness works … I am careful with what my money goes towards. I have been saving money for the last year and could afford to be off work for half a year if I quit tomorrow. I don’t want a repeat of 2011, though. My long term approach is to reduce the distractions in my life and come home to an almost empty house. Without having to hide books under my bed, or stuff my cupboards with clothes.

If you can relate, maybe you should think about doing the same.

I would much rather spend my money on things that are freeing. Clutter will keep you tied down in one place, never feeling like you have time to get to everything. I want to explore, and reduce hours spent doing boring things like sitting at a desk answering phone calls and staring at a screen.

The thought of being able to live simply really appeals to me. Everyone is so stressed out because there is always something else to do. It’d be nice to step back to a time when people rode bike’s instead of just driving everything. Or played board-games instead of phone-apps. Or talked to each-other at a restaurant, instead of talking to people on Facebook.

A great quote I once came across was, ‘The Man who chases two rabbits catches none’ (Ancient Chinese Proverb). First of all, leave the rabbits alone. Secondly, the quote goes to show if you are striving to do so many things – you will only ever remain mediocre in each. You could be an amazing actor, singer, artist – whatever you want – if only you put in the time and committed to ONE THING. Maybe you need some degree of natural talent, but, more than anything, you need the staying power of practice.

Here’s a great video I watched yesterday about a guy who quit an $80K per year job to work part-time at a grocery store:

Thanks for reading and sorry I’ve not posted in a few weeks.

~ Alex.