New Year, New You – Focusing on myself one breath at a time in 2016

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 
So we’re approaching the end of January, and it’s gone so fast! With that, how are you getting on with your resolutions? I’m keeping on top of mine quite well, although healthy eating went out the window one morning when I decided to indulge in a packet of Mini Eggs for breakfast with the only valid reasoning of their limited supply on the supermarket shelves… 
Today Pouria is sharing his resolutions with us which I hope will provide some more inspiration on how to be more aware of our mind and social awareness in 2016! Let me know about your inspiration in the comments!
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Spending less time on social media and more on myself
I spend most of my day browsing Facebook status updates, posts, tweets and images. I follow friends, celebrities, influencers and every now and again random people on social media. I research them every day; I know them better than I know myself. That is not ok!
Fear of judgment and stigma prevented me from expressing myself and reaching out
I had a lot of ups and downs this year: personal, family and work. One pattern became obvious to me: I was scared of people judging me so I kept everything to myself. I never express things fully to my parents for obvious reasons! and I didn’t feel that close to my friends to share what was bothering me because they had judged me in the past. I opened up to my girl friend once and later on she used it against me! don’t see myself doing that again. 
In 2016, I would like to get closer to my friends and to also make new friends. I also like to share without the fear, even if they end up judging me. 

I now use Paralign to journal my thoughts, express myself, feel supported and support others.

I will meditate more

2015 I was pretty mindful but I could definitely be more. There were times where what happened on the outside, influenced my inner peace and clarity. I often dwelled on the past and things that were outside of my control made me anxious and sad. in 2016, I would like to learn more from this and let it happen less and less. in 2016, I will spend more time on my inner peace and harmony. I will try to listen more to my body and I will try to practice how to be more present. I will set aside 30 minute meditation time before going to bed and after waking up. Before going to bed to observe my day and assess what I learned. After waking up so I can start my day with a clear mind.
I tend to think just focusing on the breath can give us so much power; It is a simple phenomena yet it is so significant.
I will give back more
In 2015 I did a few volunteer work, donated money here and there and stood up for different causes. But I think I did that to mostly show off. I wasn’t authentic and I didn’t try hard to change some else’s life for the better.
In 2016, I would really like to dedicate good amount of my time to help others. Help high school students wanting to go to college. Helping lower income families make better decisions and helping unprivileged people live happier.
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Pouria has spent 8 years in health care, starting his career at UCSF and VA medical center helping advance predictions of Alzheimer’s, parkinson and epilepsy diseases through MRI and imaging technologies.  He built Paralign (http://paralign.me) based on his own journey and how he started to improve his life one thought at a time. He usually writes about powers of the mind and holistic approaches towards health.

#LoveMe Challenge – Day 14

Prompts

Share a fear You overcame

The biggest fear I am learning to overcome is my fear of open space. This is a fear that occurred literally overnight and at some points I couldn’t even walk to work I felt so anxious. It has been difficult to face my fear. The most difficult aspect being that I could not understand my fear. How going to the park for example, a once normal thing to do, can be the equivalent of going on the most terrifying rollercoaster or seeing the biggest spider (for those who have a fear of those things!) I found it really difficult and daunting and when faced with a situation like that now if it is a large, open expanse of space I think I would still prefer to go round it rather than through it. I am however, slowly but surely overcoming this fear and feel like I take a little step further each day. With my new position at work I have to visit new places on an almost daily basis and many of these times I do not know what scenario I may be faced with; large school halls for example are one thing that I have found challenging. I also have a fear of escalators and especially dislike going up high escalators on the underground which can make travelling extremely frustrating! I feel like I have to plan every journey in advance to avoid particular stations which can be annoying sometimes, especially as it was a fear that I literally developed overnight. I am slowly but surely learning to overcome it by travelling on the tube with friends when I can and using escalators in other environments. I do feel however, with each challenge comes another step onto conquering my fears and I am exceptionally proud of myself for that.

Top Tips for overcoming your fear

  • Face your fear – It sounds like the complete opposite of what you want to do and it will feel a little uncomfortable. After a while though you will get used to the environment and find your anxiety easing.
  • Get some support – Take a friend or family along with you. They can help to distract you from your fear or discuss it with you to try and ease your anxiety.
  • Remember to breathe – Take deep breaths – in through your nose and out through your mouth. Concentrate on regulating your breathing.
  • Concentrate on something else – If I feel anxious in an open space I usually concentrate on something like a work task or upcoming blog post. I also try and think of something calming such as a recent holiday. I also try and tell myself that the anxiety won’t last and it will be over soon.
  • Speak to your doctor – Do not be afraid to ask for help, whatever your fear may be or however silly you may think your fear is (Anyone can fear the most normal of things – take my example of escalators!) CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is particularly effective. Ask for further information from your GP.

Have you overcome any fears? I would love to hear your top tips!

Becky at Pretty & Petit