Mental Health and Healthy Eating for a PEACE OF MIND

I have to admit that when I have too much sugar in my diet, I feel terrible. When I don’t eat enough carbs, I feel terrible. When my insulin level rises, I can’t think straight and when it is too low, I can’t think straight. I feel grouchy. Whether you are diabetic or not, the body needs balance. A fatty, sugary diet doesn’t help your body or your mind. A diet lacking in nutrition or protein doesn’t help your body, brain, organs or mind.

What we eat doesn’t just affect our physical health: it can also affect our mental health and wellbeing. Eating well – which means having a balanced diet full of vegetables and nutrients – can improve your sense of wellbeing and your mood. -mentalhealth.org/uk

When you stick to a diet of healthy food, you’re setting yourself up for fewer mood fluctuations, an overall happier outlook and an improved ability to focus, Dr. Cora says. Studies have even found that healthy diets can help with symptoms of depression and anxiety. -aetna.com

When I am in a depressive state or dealing with exhaustion, water helps me tremendously. What I take into my physical body helps me tremendously. I am tempted to eat sugary foods and salty foods. More so salty when I am feeling anxious and sweet when I am feeling depressed. These types of foods only bring me a temporary feeling of satisfaction. Below is an explanation from aetna.com

Here’s how it works: Your GI tract is home to billions of bacteria that influence the production of neurotransmitters, chemical substances that constantly carry messages from the gut to the brain. (Dopamine and serotonin are two common examples.)

Eating healthy food promotes the growth of “good” bacteria, which in turn positively affects neurotransmitter production. A steady diet of junk food, on the other hand, can cause inflammation that hampers production. When neurotransmitter production is in good shape, your brain receives these positive messages loud and clear, and your emotions reflect it. But when production goes awry, so might your mood.

Sugar, in particular, is considered a major culprit of inflammation, plus it feeds “bad” bacteria in the GI tract. Ironically, it can also cause a temporary spike in “feel good” neurotransmitters, like dopamine. That isn’t good for you either, says Rachel Brown, co-founder of The Wellness Project, a consultancy that works with corporations to promote good health among employees. The result is a fleeting sugar rush that is followed shortly thereafter by a crash “that’s terrible for your mood,” she says.

When you stick to a diet of healthy food, you’re setting yourself up for fewer mood fluctuations, an overall happier outlook and an improved ability to focus, Dr. Cora says. Studies have even found that healthy diets can help with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Unhealthy diets have been linked to an increased risk of dementia or stroke.

To read more and to be better informed so that you can make better choices, here is the link https://www.aetna.com/health-guide/food-affects-mental-health.html

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Affirmations for Peace of Mind

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

I am enough.

I am surrounded by peace.

Peace within and peace without.

I am safe in my body. I am safe in my home.

I choose calmness.

I release hurt and resentment.

I release stress and anxiety.

Peace and love are all around me.

I welcome miracles into my life.

I welcome joy and happiness into my life.

I welcome solutions into my life.

I set boundaries for peace of mind.

I make healthy choices for my body which helps my peace of mind.

Everything works out for my higher good.

I have a peace that surpasses all understanding.

I bring peace, calmness, and positivity wherever I go.

I attract calm and loving people into my life.

I create a life based on calm and love.

I make choices and decisions based on calm, love, and joy.

I am grateful to Source for showering me with love, peace, calm, and joy.

I am thankful.

I express deep gratitude for all that I have survived as I now thrive into greatness.

I choose to heal so that I may experience peace.

I choose to forgive that I may experience peace.

I am enough. Right here and right now.

I choose peace.

~Nikki

Afraid to Succeed

Me in Paris, France

Monday, I woke up and made a choice to have a productive and successful day. However, there was this nagging feeling I needed to address. It was the feeling of fear of success. I can feel that with the actions I am taking in my life now, there will be huge successes. And for some reason, that makes me afraid. Why?

It’s not because I am afraid of the responsibility of success which is what I saw in my research of “fear of success”. It is because if I do become successful, I am afraid I will not have the ability to maintain it. What if it does good and then it starts not to do well? I am afraid that the money I make will somehow disappear because of “life”. You know expenses. I don’t know what I am doing. I am not confident in my steps. This makes me freeze up and not want to do anything at all.

I searched some affirmations for fear of success. I also added my own. I decided to meditate using affirmations.

  • I step into the into the success of accomplishing my dreams.
  • I am not afraid to succeed.
  • Succeeding is my birthright.
  • To succeed is to be the best version of myself.
  • Fear is an indicator that I am headed in the right direction
  • I am filled with endless solutions for my business, goal, and dreams
  • I am filled with endless ideas
  • There are no limits on my ideas
  • I am capable of solving any issues that may arise
  • There are no limits to my creativity. I am always expanding.
  • I am always evolving my business when necessary to keep up with the current times.
  • I am excited to see the success from my actions
  • I am very capable of securing my future from my success
  • Time is precious and a gift. I am using my time wisely to create the life I want to live
  • I inhale courage…I exhale fear

I pray this helps someone today.

Love, Nikki

A Reminder About Anxiety

Today I am experiencing anxiety. I want to remind you that anxiety is not right or wrong, good or bad. It just IS. It will pass. This is a fact. Your body cannot stay in this heighten state forever. Deep breaths. It will pass.

I am okay.

I am alright.

I don’t need all of the answers right now.

It’s okay not to know. No one knows the future. No one knows everything. No one can plan for everything.

I am alright.

It is alright. I am safe now.

It is okay. I am okay.

Peace. Be still within.

All things are well with my soul.

The Creator will take care of the future. I do my part in the now.

It is alright.

It is okay.

I am alright.

I am okay.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Anxiety Talks Trash

Before the fly decided to take a swim…it didn’t make it.

The other night I had anxiety which led to me being up later than usual. After I took something for anxiety, I listened to a guided meditation and then I drifted off to sleep. I recall right before I drifted off to sleep, I began to silently TALK BACK to anxiety. To the thoughts in my mind. “It’s alright, Nicole. Everything will work out for your good. Anxiety is such a liar. You are so blessed. You actually manifested this home and it was a grueling process but, you made it. You can even dream of another home. You will find love and love will find you. Does it really matter when it shows up? It will show up. Anxiety knows nothing but negativity. Money is not a problem. Books will become best sellers. You can do it. If they can write books back to back you can, too. The right people will read your books. You are loved. God loves you and cares about your wants, desires, needs.”

And somewhere afterwards I feel asleep. The next few days I thought about how anxiety talks a lot of trash. You know like athletes do when they are in a game. You do not want to hear some of the things they say. Growing up with a few athletic siblings, the things you hear courtside is not for the “saints”. Some of the things football players say on the field…

Well, that is how anxiety is. It’s talks TRASH. It gets you riled up and sometimes it gets you to become overwhelmed or afraid. Some of us go into shut down mode and some of us become agitated. But, once it was brought to my attention that anxiety talks trash, I thought about how the other player usually talks trash back. I didn’t want to talk trash so I decided to call it “Talking TRUTH and FACTS” back. I call it talking HOPE.

The next time anxiety begins to talk trash, talk truth, facts, and hope.

It’s a fact I am 40 something and I haven’t found love. It’s also a fact that I can still find love.

I don’t know how it’s going to work out but, God always works it out. Let me tell you about some times it worked out for me…

And so on and so forth. This is just one method I am learning to use when anxiety wants to talk to me. I hope it helps someone else.

~Nikki

Manufacturing Confidence On the Spot

Let’s start at the beginning. I booked this tour/adventure for my family and thought nothing about it until the date drew closer. I begin to become afraid of getting on the water in a tiki boat because I can not swim. I have been on three cruises. I still have some fear and I rationalized that as normal. Ok. No problem. I am still getting on the boat I tell myself.

I get on the boat and immediately, fear rises and changes into anxiety. I am now gripping the bar and I am having second, third, fourth, thousands of thoughts. I feel like I can’t breathe. I tell my fiend. I am scared! He says, “It’s ok. Just breathe. Nothing is going to happen.” I am thinking, “How many people have thought or said that and something happened.” I laid my head on the bar. The Captain wanted to know who all could swim and I was the only one that couldn’t. I looked at my friend and he said, “I am not going to let anything happen to you. I gotcha. Try to relax and enjoy.” The Captain saw my fear and begin to tell me his credentials and then he started to explain the physics of how this type of boat works. With the combination of trust in my friend and the captain, trust in God, the logic of how this boat floats, and comforting words (Oh yeah and downing a glass of pineapple sangria!) I started to relax.

I begin to talk to myself silently, “All is well. IF something happens you will not die. All of these people can swim and they will help you. The coastguard is literally in the water. It’s not your time. This is not how you will go and you know this. God is not going to let anything happen to you. Breathe. Look at the beautiful water all around you. Look at the clear blue skies. Feel the breeze. Soak up the sun and moment of this experience. And have a shot of vodka. :-D! ” Hey, my wine was all gone. After this photo was snapped, I thought about if I should post it. I look so confident but, I didn’t start out that way. I also thought about HOW I LOOKED IN THIS PHOTO. I am not a slim chic. I am who I am and I do love myself and my body. (I worked hard to get there) But most of us, even men, have some body insecurities. I saw the double chin. I saw the big boobs. I saw the mid section. I saw the lack of “junk in the trunk”. All of the things that cross between “WHITE AMERICAN BEAUTY” and “MY CULTURE’S DEFINITION” of beauty. This only lasted a split second because I was like, “The hell away with people. I love me!” Pic posted!

For some confidence is a given and for others we have to work at it. Confidence is built through experience. There are times you get to whip out your confidence on the spot and then there are times it has to be manufactured on the spot. The tools I was searching for in that moment seem to escape me. My fear of drowning swallowed up my confidence. TRUST is what I was searching for. LOGIC is what I was searching for. A PLAN for SAFETY is what I was searching for. When those things were presented to me I had to accept those tools. Then I had to use those tools to dig my way out of anxiety and an impeding anxiety attack. I did just that. It was difficult and it had to be done quickly.

I enjoyed the tour. I partied. I learned a few things about the area. I made memories with family. I did something new. I conquered a fear and silenced anxiety that day. Victory.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Housewarming

It finally happened. I had a housewarming for family and family-friends. And it was GREAT. We had a really good time fellowshipping with one another. Most of my immediate family is vaccinated and if not they have had their first shot.

It took me two weeks to prepare for one day because of physical limitations. Really, I started to prepare three weeks in advance. The last two days were brutal on my body and I had a few days along those weeks that were bad days and many sleep issues at night. However, I persevered. I also had help from my brothers, my daughter, and parents. I am grateful for that.

Today, I begin the process of recovery. It takes about a week and sometimes two weeks to recoup from an event like yesterday. Today, I feel like I have been hit by a ton of bricks. My body is exhausted. I am fatigued. I have a huge amount of pain and soreness. So, I have cancelled all plans for this week. I only have one goal, each day, for the next seven days that require my physical energy. I am also not taking any phone calls or dealing with any negative energy. It’s just not happening this week. No extra tasks for anyone else. This is the epitome of self care for those with autoimmune diseases. We must heed the lessons learned and the good advice given to us by others in order to preserve and improve our health.

Take Care!

~Nikki

Clarity is Coming

Went round for round yesterday with anxiety. I’ll have to admit it was a draw. I struggled all day trying to stabilize and to do things that needed to be done. Here’s something for us spiritual folks, if you have anxiety or depression God, the vast Universe, is intelligent enough to recognize your thorn (challenge) and compassionate enough, wise enough, providing grace and mercy to get you through these episodes. By whatever means. And sometimes it’s just your day to struggle. Clarity came at the end of the day. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t them. It simply (complex-ly) was anxiety. Today is a new day. Let’s work.

My thoughts from yesterday:

When does a breakthrough happen? After the the struggle. So if there is a struggle in the mind today, repeat: A breakthrough is coming.

If you are not clear in your mind, struggling in your mind, anxiety, uncertain: CLARITY IS COMING.

My affirmations:

Clarity is coming.

I will get through this day.

A breakthrough is coming.

God’s grace and mercy are sufficient.

~Nikki

My 2020 Recap

I admit I have had my 2020 bashing fits. Who hasn’t? And in the last post I was inspired to talk about what one has birthed in 2020 to focus on and not so much as what one has buried. Challenging I am sure.

In this post I want to highlight my growth and share my favorite moments of 2020. I choose to remember the life and light of two dear people lives that have transformed from their physical bodies to their spiritual bodies. They changed clothes in a sense from the seen to the unseen. One is engraved in my memory as a childhood brother and the first best friend of my brother. The other is engraved in my mind as the one my brother trusted and bonded with as second best friend, a brother, in the beginning of his law enforcement career. A soul that was his ace and knowing my brother had a good friend he could trust and count on made me happy. I remember life, love, and brotherhood.

My Growth

I grew spiritually. Every morning for about 40 weeks of this year my daughter and I have had breakfast each morning listening to Iyanla Vanzant’s Viral Messages Live on YouTube or Facebook Live. It blessed, uprooted, confirmed, and expanded my soul. I am forever changed into more of who I truly am on this spiritual journey. It also deepened the bond between mother and daughter as we shared breakfast, thoughts, and notes. I watched my daughter have her AH HA moments. I also took a leap of faith and had my first one day conference for women. It took courage because i deviated from the tradition of Christianity, Church, and Denomination and went with the flow in which I was created to go. It was so freeing and terrifying at the same time!

I am growing as a parent. My parenting style is changing and evolving. It has been a challenge and a rocky journey. I often have to deal with my own insecurities that produce anxiety and depression. I battle fiercely to not only keep my head above water but, to be on the boat and navigating the ship (my mind).

I grew as a micro business owner. I attempted to take free online classes. Due to my illness, I now have difficulty learning. What I did retain by writing down, I used when I created a website and marketed my business. I hope to have more funding to promote it and to expand it. I hope to make it a LLC. I took a risk with a virtual vending opportunity. I learned that I do better vending in person but, I did gain some exposure. I also broke slightly over even. I am grateful for that.

I grew mentally (matured) in my way of thinking and dealing with losses or disconnections. Four times this year I thought I had a suitable mate. However, each one disconnected for various reasons and the last one is the one that really got to me. I see it as the Universe, God, telling me that this was NOT the year to make those kinds of connections. It was not the time. The greatest lesson from the last one was to learn to let love go for a greater love. Let what is leaving, leave. Let what has been planted grow and manifest.

I grew healthier by learning how to control my diabetes better. After taking a 3 day diabetes class it changed my entire perspective on managing it. I learned that I can eat just about anything but, it all comes down to carbs and portion control. My A1C went from 13. 8? to 6.2. I still have work to do. However, it was a victory to me!

I sure hope our ride for 2021 is an actual ride versus the train wreck this one has been. However, it has brought to us the BIGGEST lessons and HOPE the majority of us SEE them. I hope we EMBRACE the lessons and APPLY them to our lives from here on out.

~Nikki

We’ve Got This and If Not, That’s Ok, Too!

Sometimes I go to bed feeling defeated. Sometimes I rise with power and sometimes I rise with a press in my spirit. I do not know why some of our lives have more obstacles than others. It’s not because we are special as we have been told (I don’t believe that). It’s not ALL because of the choices we make. But it’s always about the response. I believe it’s simply because this is our lot. This is our path. This is our journey and everyone’s journey is different. That’s it. I got this today with the weight of the world on my shoulders and tears in my eyes. I got this.

~Nikki