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Smiling through the Storm

By Dr. Jean Eljay

During the day at various times, you might ask yourself this simple question, “am I being good to myself”? Whether you practice mindfulness or positive mindset, when the answer comes back “no”, you are no longer in balance and harmony. Staying within harmony and balance is all about you, only about you. It is never about anyone else!

Stop Complaining and Refocus.

One easy way to be good to yourself is to reward yourself for everything that you do. Little tasks should have little rewards; big ones get bigger rewards. Often, we forget to be good to ourselves. However, we readily accept that responsibility for others. You can bet that you are good to them. How easy it is to lose oneself in this world by:

  • Distraction

  • Repression

  • Suppression

It is very easy to focus outside oneself and distract ourselves. If you think that is selfish, I call it “functionally selfish”. A jarring term that no one seems to like (but I do). When flying in an airplane and the oxygen masks come tumbling down, what do they tell you? Put the mask on yourself before you help anyone else. The underlying theme is when you are suffocating, you cannot help anyone else.

Harmony and Balance.

Many people treat themselves badly when they are anxious. Bad news brings more worries and concerns. Just watch the evening news! Do we really need to know how many car accidents there are, fires, murders, bombs dropped? Now within a pandemic and with Covid-19, focusing on negativity only pushes you into uncertainty and confusion. Then we worry about it, adding more fuel to the fire. These negative thoughts guide us into the world of unstoppable worries, concerns and a bigger heaping of anxiety. Knowing what we are feeling helps in solving emotions that may be stealing your joy and happiness.

One brain hack that I use is to redefine anxieties as “threatening LIES from the future that you make-up”. This knowing takes the exaggerated force out of anxiety. Use this insight by repeating the definition the next time you are feeling anxious. Perhaps, another way to help control anxiety is to picture plunging a pin into an overly inflated, anxiety balloon.

Remember Being in the NOW or Living in the Present Moment? Anxiety does not Live Here.

Have you learned to spend time on yourself? I know you are too busy, but how much time do you spend on everyone else? Are you not worth 5-minutes a day? In a brief, calm moment, focus on your feelings and your thoughts about them. By cycling through many days, a pattern will emerge that shows you the major triggers. These are your private triggers that start your unpleasant feeling of anxiety.

Your Mind is too Precious to Waste.

When we are in the throws of high anxiety, we forget the norms of childhood. We snap at people. We are angry and fearful (hard for some to admit, guys), churlish, and unkind. Who do we take it out on? Usually those closest to us: our loved ones, family, and friends (never good). Once or twice, we may target our boss (also never good). Even a well-grounded individual, needs help to rediscover harmony and balance! Other times when we are lost and joyless, a guide can be helpful in reestablishing a joyful and happy life.

Our next article will be on Sleep and Problem Sleep; How Does It Matter?

Any questions or comments, please contact Dr. Jean at 484.574.1144 or Email at

Office Location: 800 West Main Street Suite #201 Freehold, NJ 07728



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