CBD-Oil to treat anxiety?

Have you heard about CBD-Oil? Do you think it’s something potheads take to get high or did you know it could be used for entirely different purposes? I decided to try it out on my mission to beat anxiety, keep reading to find out more.


A few weeks ago I was prescribed antidepressants for my anxiety. I had experienced a horrible panic attack and I felt like I could no longer take the internal pain and stress I was suffering from. I have never been suicidal and I can’t say I was at this point either but I felt so scared of my own mind that I literally thought couldn’t take it anymore. It was a horrifying feeling. I contacted my doctors’ clinic, begging for an emergency appointment. The next day I was sitting in my doctor’s office, telling her about my exhausted mind and we agreed that I would start a treatment of cognitive behavior therapy in combination with antidepressants. The doctor actually suggested I started therapy first, before getting on the medications but I was so desperate for something to ease my mind that I insisted on starting medication right away. I still had to hold my horses though, because they first needed to do some tests to make sure everything was physically fine with me. After a few days, she called me, saying all my tests showed everything was fine and she had prescribed me the pills. First thing I did after picking them up, was opening gigantic bible of possible side effects. Partly because I’m a tad hypochondriac but possibly also because I subconsciously wanted a reason not to take them. I knew there were side effects to antidepressants but I had no idea how many and how severe they could be. The irony of getting a pill prescribed for anxiety, reading about the side effect of those pills, only to get even more anxiety just made every cell in my body scream at me not to take them. It was like a loud, red siren inside me went off, signaling not to put that into my body.

The past 6 months I’ve carried a relaxant pill with me everywhere I go, in case of emergency. They’re really strong and actually classified as narcotics, which comes with a risk of addiction. Therefore I should only take them when I absolutely need to, but lately, I have felt like I had to take one a bit too often and that’s obviously not good at all. Aside from the fact that it’s so clearly not good to be popping narcotics every other day, those pills don’t do a shit to help with my anxiety long term. they’re concealing the scary feelings and making me relaxed at the moment but 12 hours later when they wear off my mind is back in chaos.

I’m a very hippie person and I have a core belief that many things can and should be treated holistically. I know that we can never actually heal our wounds only by concealing them. We need to treat the root cause of the problem in order to get rid of the symptoms. I’m sure that therapy will help a lot with that but since my mind has become rather damaged by these rigid patterns of anxiety, I need something to help me ease my thoughts so that my brain can create new neural pathways without getting tossed back into the anxious pathways. This was why I felt like I had to take antidepressants. I knew that I needed to stop only putting out fires and get a long-term solution to help my brain heal itself and I thought maybe antidepressants is the only solution.

As I was contemplating whether to go against my intuition and take the damn pills or not, I came across James Aspeys Instagram story, where he talked about the amazing benefits of CBD-oil and how effective it can be to treat anxiety and depression. I had heard about CBD-oil easing the symptoms of Parkinson’s and epilepsy before but I had no idea it could have any effect on anxiety and panic attacks so I hadn’t researched it at all. I turned to my dear old frienemie Google to see what others had to say about CBD-oils effects on anxiety and I found many praising reviews from people who’s had amazing results from it. I did get a bit cautious though because I had no interest in getting high and I thought all CBD-oils contain at least some THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol: The main psychoactive substance in Cannabis, which makes you high). After further research, I found out that there are also CBD-oils which have had the THC removed, although it seemed to be common that many of them could still contain traces and it felt too sketchy to order on Amazon and not be sure what I would actually get.  Lastly, I came across a Swedish brand called Hemply Balance which sells CBD products created from high-quality produce and that are guaranteed 100% free from THC (meaning it’s completely legal and doesn’t get you high).

I decided that before I even consider putting anti-depressants in my body, I will try every natural method on the planet, so I decided to try out CBD-oil for myself and see how it works for me. I got their best selling product, which is a water-soluble CBD-oil with 7,5 % CBD (Here). I also got the capsules with 7,5mg CBD (Here)  and a skin salve (Here) Mostly because I got curious to see what CBD could also do for the skin.

I wanna add that this is not a sponsored post, I simply want to try these products and felt like Simply Balance seemed to be a trustworthy and safe company to buy from because they’re very transparent on their website and very helpful and easy to reach when you have any questions. I will give my 100% honest opinion about these products and see if they are able to help me feel happier and calmer.

The product I will start using for my anxiety is the oil and I will keep you updated here on the blog and on my Instagram and share my experience so stay tuned!

The water-soluble CBD-Oil is supposed to be easily absorbed by the body and you can mix it with whatever liquid you like so It doesn’t taste like licking an ashtray like many of the CBD-Oils you drop under your tongue does. (Also, somebody get this girl a manicure, geeez…)

I’m not sure what CBD is supposed to do for the skin, but I’m curious to try. Maybe it can save those dry cuticles you just had the pleasure of witnessing. It also contains a bunch of natural oils and butters that I know are beneficial for the skin.

Lots of love,

Lisa Belinda

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Autumn love

There is something about fall and particularly this pre-fall we just entered, that makes me feel so happy and inspired. The summer humidity is replaced by a fresh, cooler air and it makes me feel high on life. To me, this time of year is way more like a “New Year” than the actual New Year. I wanna star up new projects, make changes and explore new places.

There is also a certain melancholy about this time of year. It’s both beautiful and sad at the same time. It’s so clear that something is ending and it brings a certain sadness but at the same time, I am so ready for the new season to begin. My whole body is craving some change. Now, as we are slowly approaching September I can feel my motivation peaking and my thoughts becoming clearer.

Welcome autumn!

 

Want more inspiration? Be sure to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram.

Lots of love,

Lisa Belinda

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“There are those who are humble and those who are about to be” -Debra Silverman

When I first started this blog, about two years ago. I was living a very holistic life and I was writing mostly about beauty and wellness. During this time I was using almost only natural and organic products and constantly educating myself on the different benefits of natural skincare ingredients vs. the dangers of many conventional skincare ingredients. I was always reading books and articles and watching youtube videos, learning about health, nutrition, and wellness. It was not only a huge passion of mine but also my baby blanket, that helped me cope with stress and anxiety. I have understood long ago that our mind and body are not two completely separated things. They are connected and you can’t have a healthy mind with an unhealthy body and vice versa.

I slipped out of the holistic mindset for a while as my life got turned upside down about a year ago. At this point, I also shut down the blog temporarily and went under the radar from the life I had had. This was when Bogdan and I had just split up and I spent the following 8 months living a very destructive and toxic lifestyle. I was partying a lot, drinking a lot, being horribly irresponsible and basically doing anything and everything I could to drown my sorrows. I was constantly trying to distract myself and to not feel because I knew that if I stopped to think or slowed down my speed, even for a second or allowed my self to feel the pain I was carrying, it would have killed me.

This made me very distant to the person that I actually was and that I am. The girl I was before the breakup was slipping further and further away until I could barely see her anymore. During this time “wellness” was the last thing I cared about. I started using beauty products that I knew was toxic, I didn’t think twice about whether something was cruelty-free or not, I didn’t eat enough,  I drank way too much alcohol, way too often and I even smoked every once in a while. I had always hated cigarette-smoke and I still thought it tasted horrible. It made me cough and I knew it was bad for me but I did it anyway. I  fact that was the only reason I did it. I was chasing dangers. The rush I used to get from love was replaced by the rush I got from adrenaline. I didn’t care about anything anymore.

At the end of this period, inevitably life caught up with me. I remember having meltdowns and panic attacks that would last for days because I was no longer able to distract myself. My body got tired of living life the way I had and as soon as I slowed down my pace, even a little bit, my emotions came back and hit me in the face, full force. As though that wasn’t enough I also became aware of what a horrible person I had turned into during this time. I suddenly became aware of how much I had hurt the people who loved me. But maybe the most devastating realization was how much I had hurt myself. This still haunts me and I can look at pictures of myself as a child thinking “how could you do this to her?”

When I left Copenhagen I was far from “recovered”. My robot facade had peeled off a bit but instead of having an instant wakeup call and snap back to reality, I was living in a weird gray zone. This is where I became horribly unhappy. My baggage had caught up with me but I had no idea how to deal with it. I withdrew from my friends and I was feeling so lonely. Whevener anyone reached out to me I pushed them away. My mind was yet not clear and I was only feeling angry with my surroundings. I felt angry with the city for ruining me. I felt angry with my friends and the people around me for dragging me into that toxicity. Truth is, I was only running away. I have always loved Copenhagen and that city has taken care of me when I’ve been alone. That city carries some of my most beautiful memories. That city is where I met the love of my life for the first time. I’m done blaming other people or places for my own mistakes. In the end, I make my own decisions regardless of the people around me or the places I’m in.

During this whole time, the one person that I could still always rely on was Bogdan. Even though we had broken up, he was still there for me. He was the one I called when I wanted to escape this manic life that I had. He was still the only one I could be myself with 100%. He was the only one that could make me forget all the pain for a brief moment. He was the only one that could still make me laugh until my stomach hurt. He was the only one I could spend Sundays in bed with, watching Netflix all day without feeling any pressure of being someone I actually wasn’t. He was the one that dropped everything and came across the whole city to pick me up and bring me home when I was having a panic meltdown. And in the end, he was the one who still loved me no matter the amount of pain I had caused him. I was damaged cargo. I was an abandoned little bird with broken wings and legs that could barely carry me. He took me in and pieced me back together bit by bit. He was just as hurt as I was, if not more, and I was the one who had caused him pain. Yet he was the one taking care of me as though I was the victim. I am so grateful our love was able to survive this period. Despite all the damage that’s been made, we stand strong together once again and I thank the universe for him every day.

With this post, I wish to close the door to this painful time of my life. I will do all I can to not beat myself up over the past because I know it won’t change anything. What I can do, is to live in the “now” because that is really all we have.  What I can do, is to make sure I’m being authentic and honest with myself. What I can do, is to make sure I’m always humble and kind.  What I can do, is to make sure I never push my feelings away no matter how painful they are to feel. Because if there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that those feelings will catch up with you sooner or later.

As for this blog, I will still keep posting honest stories and share my struggles and learnings. I will also incorporate way more health and wellness posts. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the connection between mental, and physical wellness is unavoidable. On my way to recovery and finding my way back to my old happy self, all aspects of health have been crucial.  With meditation, exercise, and the right nutrition I can finally say I’m feeling like myself again. I still struggle with my mind because that has been an ongoing battle since long ago but I have found my way back to me. The girl that I thought was lost, has come back, and the baggage she now carries may be heavy and uncomfortable but it has brought wisdom and made her more humble than ever.

 

Lots of love,

Lisa Belinda

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Quiet your inner critic

My inner critic: “You’re not strong enough. Your vulnerability and your anxiety make you weak. You’re not successful enough. You’re almost 24, you should have come way further than this by now. All the mistakes you’ve made has ruined you and now you’re damaged forever. Oh, and you really should go to the gym more often. You’ll never be happy unless you get rid of that cellulite and that little pizza baby. It’s a fucking miracle how anyone can love you, you don’t deserve it”.

My inner best friend: “Sweetie, don’t listen to that bitch. Your vulnerability is what makes you special. Your struggle is actually your strength, it’s what makes you compassionate and understanding towards others. Success should not be measured in money on the bank or materialistic things and even if it did, you are just as successful as you need to be right now. You have come such a long way, you have accomplished amazing things already. All your mistakes have taught you so much and shaped you into the amazing human that you are now. Oh, and about going to the gym… You should only ever work out to feel good mentally and physically, never by the demand of that dumb criticising bitch telling you to lose weight. You’re beautiful just as you are”.

I got the inspiration for this post after I had listened to the latest episode, “The inner critic”, of Yogagirls podcast. I highly recommend everyone to give it a listen because it addresses something we are all struggling with.  We all have an inner critic, telling us that we aren’t good enough, for whatever reason. It’s very hard to get rid of this horrible criticising voice but the only way to do so is to let your inner best friend speak louder. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend. Compliment yourself the way you would compliment your best friend. Empower yourself the way you would empower your best friend.

Lots of love,

Lisa Belinda

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“You have freedom when you’re easy in your harness” -Robert Frost

One of my biggest struggles in life and the most profound reason for my anxiety is my immense need for freedom. A need for freedom isn’t actually negative but it inevitably comes with a fear of the opposite. A fear of not feeling free. I can’t cope with feeling caged or cornered, both literally and by other peoples opinions and expectations of me. To start with, I am extremely claustrophobic and never ever take an elevator alone. Even taking an elevator with someone I feel safe with is hard and I rarely do so without hyperventilating all the way. I believe the concrete fear of being caged, such as being in a small space and the more abstract fear of being caged, such as feeling pressured and stressed by responsibility and others expectations, are extremely intricately connected.

If I was an animal I would without a doubt want to be a bird so that I could fly anywhere I wanted. I’ve always felt most at home next to the sea or in the countryside with open fields around me. If I spend too much time in a crowded city without even a coastline, I start feeling slightly panicky after a few days. There is just something within me that needs to feel ensured that I’m free and nothing or nobody will deprive me of my freedom or my open spaces. Where this slightly compulsive need for freedom comes from, I don’t really know. I probably need several hours of therapy to find out and that’s something I would actually want to do at one point. But for now I just wanted to share my experience and what this behavior and these feelings have taught me.

I’ve had so many moments in my life where I’ve just escaped. I’ve gotten this feeling of being stuck, like there is so much on my shoulders and there are people depending on me. When I say people depending on me I don’t mean emotionally because that has never been an issue for me, I mean they’re depending on me in the way that they want or need something from me. During these moments I’ve become so stressed out and so unhappy and it’s created an urge to just quit and run away, cut the chains that I feel are holding me captive and just escape. This is obviously not a sustainable way of living and it’s created a lot of problems for me. I’ve come to realize that running away is sometimes more damaging than staying. Because it initially means that you are looking elsewhere for something that you already have within you. Because although peace and freedom are easier to feel when you’re on a white sand beach on a tropical island, overlooking the turquoise ocean, its actually found within (I’m a little hippie, just bear with me plz).

A quote that has really stuck with me is “you have freedom when you’re easy in your harness”. Being alive, being put on this earth kind of comes with a harness whether we like it or not. It’s simply not possible to live a happy life without any commitments or without having people depending on you. I’ve had moments in my life where I’ve been unemployed with literally no commitments and that sure as hell didn’t make me happier. The opposite actually. Humans are wired to feel needed and important in order to be happy and if you completely take that away, you’re left feeling really empty and alone. What’s important is to find a balance. It’s also cultural that you get to escape for a bit sometimes and just breathe, without anyone pulling your strings. But the goal should be to have a balance of freedom and commitment and most importantly not allow commitment to take away your freedom. I believe it’s a state of mind to feel free even if you have people depending on you and appreciate how important you are instead of letting your mind get stuck in a downward spiral of self-pity. When you find this state of mind, you are flowing through life with ease and you barely notice your harness, but when you constantly resist it and fight to get loose, that’s when you feel the tension. That’s when anxiety creeps up and you feel your harness tighten around your chest.

I’m no guru speaking here, I obviously struggle more than anyone with this but I will really work on finding a balance in my life. I will do my best to teach my brain to not victimize myself but instead see the beauty of having responsibility. I like to imagine my harness made of very thin silk threads. I can still go wherever I want, I can still do whatever I want. The harness is not actually holding me back. It’s just a reminder of how important I am and that I do have a responsibility in this world whatever it may be. The harness is, in fact, pushing me forward.

xx

Lisa Belinda

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Army of bones

(Pictures from zara.com)

I was casually scrolling through zara.com, putting stuff in my basket and asking myself why I don’t write a blog post instead of wasting my time with such worthless activities.  Like an answer from the universe, my visit at zara.com reminded me about a very important topic that I have been postponing writing about for some time now. Not because I haven’t wanted to write about it but because It’s a topic that is so emotionally charged and sometimes very provoking. It is also a topic that is very close to my heart and that I, together with most women, have a personal history with. I’m talking body image and anxiety regarding our own bodies.

What struck me at Zara’s website wasn’t the fashion, it was the insanely skinny models. Not model. Models, as in plural. ALL of the models were really, really skinny. This is a very sensitive subject to many and it seems impossible to address this without stepping on anybody’s toes. To be clear, I am not ever gonna say that one body type or size is better than another and just like it should be totally acceptable to have a fat body it should be totally acceptable to have a skinny body (and everything in between). There are women who are naturally very skinny. However, there are not very many women who are naturally THAT skinny. I’m talking borderline anorexic. Some women can definitely be that skinny naturally and that is just as beautiful as any other body type but I know for a fact that many models, in general, don’t have a natural and healthy relationship to food because of the pressure and ideal the model industry puts on them. So the odds that some (or all) of the models that Zara uses are actually sick, are pretty high. And an eating disorder should not ever be promoted, regardless of how skinny the model is. So there was our first issue.

The second issue is that Zara didn’t have a variety of models in different sizes whereas some of them were very skinny. No, ALL of them were very skinny. That makes this a very provoking statement on their behalf. They have purposely chosen to have only very skinny models for their website. That means they think the clothes look better on a skinny girl and therefore believe they sell better when being promoted on a very skinny body. What a disgusting message to send out to the world, and particularly to all the young girls shopping at Zara who are not yet able to see through this unhealthy, brainwashing propaganda. The people at Zara who are responsible for these choices are obviously not unaware of the major issue we have in this world with eating disorders and unhealthy body images among young girls and women. Still, they chose to stick they heads in the sand and use only very skinny models. And before any smartass tells me “but the fitting samples that fashion companies use for the pictures only come in very small sizes”,  I’d like to compare that statement to a baker saying “Ohh, My customers are requesting buns with vanilla but I only make buns with cinnamon”. Ehm… Well, make a fucking bun with vanilla then. Make fucking samples of your clothes in a larger size. Have a variety of models to promote your clothes. Make more sizes and body types feel included. Stop promoting eating disorders. Make such a small simple change and be a contribution to a better fashion industry.

Zara is just one amongst too many companies promoting an unhealthy ideal for women.  On a positive note, there are also many fashion companies who have been smart enough to follow the fresh wave of body positivity that is currently growing and just the past year we have seen a lot bigger variety of bodies being represented in the fashion industry. Let’s hope Zara and the rest of the late bloomers will realize what a responsibility they have as such large companies and get onboard the train towards a brighter, happier future for young girls and women all over the world.

Lots of love,

Lisa Belinda

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Through a filter of pink sparkly fairydust

      

I look so genuinely happy in these pictures that I’m almost able to fool even myself. I’m actually laughing for real because the photographer a.k.a.  my brother, was really funny. However, just because someone is able to laugh at a funny joke for a picture doesn’t mean said person isn’t having a shitty, fucking hell of a day. Just because a picture looks spontaneous and effortless doesn’t mean it hasn’t been planned into the tiniest little detail. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with planning and staging photos. When you work with social media you have to plan and stage your photos and kudos to all the hard working influencers who put their heart and soul into their jobs, creating amazing, inspiring content. But it’s important to let it be just that: Inspiring. It’s important to bear in mind that most of the content you see on social media is not as effortless as it looks. Sometimes it is but far from often. It’s important to remember that the girls you call “goals” have just as many issues and insecurities as everyone else. I used to follow so many influencers on Instagram that I considered “inspiring” but I’ve come to realize that they were only making me feel bad about myself for not having what they have, for not looking like they do, for not being as successful as they are. That is not inspiration, my friends, that is self-destructive.

I’ve unfollowed most of those accounts and now I only follow people I find actually inspiring. They can be beautiful, create amazing content, eat on the fanciest restaurants, travel to the most exotic places and buy the most expensive of bags as long as they don’t withhold the fact that they are human beings with issues and insecurities of their own. I’m 23 and it took me this long to get skin thick enough to differ bullshit from reality but many young girls out there are not able to make that analyze, I sure as hell wasn’t when I was younger. I’m happy to see that so many influencers have chosen to keep it real and be more authentic on their social media platforms but until Instagram includes “Be real or go home” in their user policy, we will have to take matters in our own hands. Do yourself a favor and unfollow anyone who makes you feel even slightly bad about yourself. Don’t hate on them because that is an effective downward spiral straight to hell that will only make the social media climate worse. Just simply let go of what doesn’t serve you. Inhale the empowerment, exhale the bullshit. Etc. etc…

xx

Lisa Belinda

 

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LET. IT. GO.

      

(Pictures from Pinterest)

The past weeks I have really made an effort to slow down. By slowing down I mean internally. Slowing down that rushing soul that’s so eager to get forward and so scared of getting stuck. I have spent my whole teens and adult life trying to control my thoughts and master my own mind and it’s resulted in more stress and more anxiety than I ever thought possible. The frustration that comes from failing to master something that can’t be tamed is more devastating than the initial anxiety.

Us humans get so stuck in our egos, in our own rigid tracks that we built for ourselves. We feel like we are looking everywhere and doing everything to find the answers to our troubles but we never leave those rusty old tracks. We could leave them whenever we wish to but we are so mentally chained to them that it takes a massive wake-up call to ever realize we are stuck. That’s exactly what I got when I spoke to my new therapist a couple of weeks ago. As I wrote in my previous post, I was going on and on about my frustration over trying everything but nothing working. My therapist stopped me and said: “You need to stop thinking. Not control your brain or change your thoughts. You need to learn to not think at all”. It was like a slap in the face. With a chair. That statement threw me off my rigid track with full force, leaving me battered and confused in the ditch. From there, I could see my issues from a whole new perspective.

I’m a firm believer that everything that life throws at us has a meaning and is suppose to bring us a teaching. Still, I’ve had a hard time understanding how this living fucking hell that is anxiety could possibly be teaching me anything. It’s only ever brought me pain. But from this new perspective that my therapist blessed me with, I could, for the first time ever, see the teaching. The more I struggle and fight against my anxiety the worse it becomes and the worse it becomes the more I fight back. What if this is life’s way of teaching me to surrender. TO JUST. FUCKING. LET. GO. As I’m letting this realization sink in, I can feel my shoulders dropping and I’m able to take the biggest breath of air I’ve taken in a long, long time. As Alan Watts said: “Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone”.

xx

Lisa Belinda

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“Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity” -T.S. Eliot

The past months I’ve been feeling really bad and my anxiety has completely taken over my life at times. I hit absolute rock bottom about a month ago when I had so much anxiety for days on end that it felt like I couldn’t cope with existing because I was being held hostage in a body that wouldn’t let me relax. I ended up having such a bad panic attack that my boyfriend took me to the hospital because I thought I was dying. The doctors did some tests and gave me a small dose of a relaxant drug. I have full understanding for people who become addicted to those, holy fucking moly what a nice feeling it was to suddenly become calmness herself after days of being constantly on edge. Lightning could have struck right beside me and I’d just sit there and smile like an idiot. The doctors told me that everything was physically fine but that I needed to get professional help with my anxiety. That was a true wake up call and I realised I needed to take action and see a therapist again. I was feeling stressed out living in a big city like Copenhagen so I moved back to my family in Sweden, indefinitely while figuring my shit out.

It’s been a couple of weeks of calling and waiting and calling some more and waiting and waiting and waiting until I finally got an appointment to see a therapist for an evaluation. To be honest I didn’t have the highest of expectations because I’m used to not being taken seriously. Everyone should know by now that mental illness is often invisible to the public eye. Someone can look, act and speak as though she has everything together but that doesn’t fucking mean she does. She can be battling an absolute war inside and just because you can’t see her pain doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Sadly there are a lot of ”professionals” who don’t seem to understand this either and it is absolutely absurd that you have to exaggerate your condition to even get an appointment. So naturally, there was a defiant little teenager inside me thinking ”here we go again” and ”what could this woman possibly tell me that I don’t already know”. I can be a bit quick to make assumptions and I was kind of expecting not to resonate with the therapist I was going to meet. Little did I know she was about to absolutely BLOW MY MIND.

I was telling her how frustrated I am because I’m not always able to handle my anxiety. I have all the facts, I know all the CBT techniques for calming anxiety but I’m still not able to control my mind when it happens. I try to think differently and be more positive, yet I’m still here asking for help because nothing seems to work. She looked at me as though she was possessing knowledge and answers that could potentially save my life. Then she said: ” You think think too much. You need to stop trying to control your thoughts, stop trying to think differently. What you need to learn is to not think at all”. I wasn’t prepared for that statement. Not think at all? Letting go of control? Surrender? Hello new perspective. Reading those words as I’m writing them down, it makes so much sense but for some reason, I needed someone to tell me this in order to even consider the option of just letting go.

She told me I need to practice mindfulness so that I can rewire my brain and teach it to zen out. Apparently, it takes about 8 weeks of daily practice to rewire the brain, meaning for the brain to make new neural pathways. My issue is not that I need to get tools and techniques to handle anxiety because I already have the tools, they’re just not always working for me because my brain has been in a stressed-out state for such a long period of time that those anxiety patterns are too deeply rooted. So in order to get rid of those patterns, I need to practice mindfulness and meditation every single day, at least 10 minutes a day for 8 weeks. Then I need to keep it up regularly in order to stay zen but the first 8 weeks of meditation are crucial in order for the brain to create new neural pathways.
This makes so much sense. I always get so frustrated because I have such a hard time to zen out, breathing deeply and calming my thoughts when anxiety strikes. But it’s so naive to expect I can be a meditation master in the midst of internal chaos when I hardly ever practice. That’s like getting frustrated because you’re not able to ride a one-wheeled bike on a rope over a river of lava while someone is trying to shoot you, when you don’t even know how to ride a bike. How can we expect to be able to meditate under challenging circumstances when we never practice it in a calm state? It’s absolutely absurd and I can’t believe I didn’t even think of it this way before. Because just like riding a bike, meditation takes practice and nobody is going to master it on the first try, or even the 5th probably but if you keep practicing day after day after day, eventually you will learn. And once you’ve learned it you’ll have much greater chance of using it when it feels like you’re balancing a one-wheeled bike on a rope above lava, while someone is shooting at you (because that’s basically what a panic attack feels like, for those lucky fuckers out there who don’t know).

She asked a lot of questions and from my answers she could see that I am a very creative person or highly creative, as she called it. She told me she had done research about the link between creativity and anxiety and that there are 3 types of people; Low creative, mid-creative and highly creative. She said that your level of creativity is something you are born with and you can’t change that. It’s just the way you are wired and that’s something you have to accept. Basically the higher level of creativity you have, the more anxiety you have because there can’t be creativity without anxiety. It’s the anxiety that drives the creativity. Since I am a highly creative person that also means I have higher levels of anxiety and that’s something I need to accept. I’m never gonna completely get rid of my anxiety but I need to learn how to keep it in check and let it fuel me instead of taking over me. If you are highly creative you need to create. Period. Just like you need to eat and sleep you NEED to create. The creativity is an outlet for the anxiety.
I imagine my brain like a box and inside it is anxiety like a little ball and right above it is this sparkly dust of amazing thoughts and ideas that is creativity. The anxiety is pushing on the creativity because it needs to get out and when you let it out by drawing or painting or designing, the box burst open and the sparkly dust is flowing. This also let the ball of anxiety out so that it’s no longer within you, making your life a living hell. Once your creative session is over the box closes again and new sparkly dust is being formed in there, but also a little ball of anxiety. Both the dust and the ball keeps getting bigger and bigger the longer you let it stay in there. As they both grow, the anxiety ball is weighing you down creating tension in your body and making you feel fragile and worried. So letting your creativity out is crucial in order to release the body from anxiety. It’s always gonna be there to push your creativity forward but you can make sure it never gets bigger by regularly expressing your creativity in any way you prefer.

I left the therapist feeling like a fresh newborn baby with a clear mind and all possibilities ahead of me. As though I had just come out of the womb and pushed out through a vagina. I guess you could also say I felt reborn but I prefer being graphic. So what happens now? I have a second appointment scheduled with my therapist in a few weeks and until then I will do my meditation homework and not neglect my need to be creative. I hope this post inspired any of you. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Lots of love,

Lisa Belinda

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Crushing taboos

I’m so used to writing long posts where I pour my heart out, sharing all my struggles and latest epiphanies with you. I really love expressing myself through words like that this blog is an opportunity for me to inspire people to open up about their thoughts and struggles. I want to live in a world where there is no shame or taboo regarding mental illness and where it is as natural to talk about and to treat as physical illnesses are. The past years we have really come a long way with this issue and there are so many cool people and influencers using their power and following to drive this forward and spreading awareness. It’s not easy, opening up about your own struggles with mental illness and it takes a lot of work and courage to do so on social media but the more people who do, the sooner we will break the taboo (didn’t mean to rhyme I swear, but also felt really content with myself when I noticed it).

It makes me genuinely pissed off to think about the celebrities and influencers with a huge following who use their power for absolutely nothing. I’m not gonna name any names here but if I had 108 million followers on Instagram I would do more than launch a cosmetic brand and go to galas. Don’t get me wrong, I would do all those fun stuff too but I would also realize the responsibility that comes with that massive following. I’m not saying everyone needs to share their own struggles and be personal on their social media platforms. I’m just saying they should acknowledge the fact that there are issues in this world and what they put out there has a major impact on their followers. They need to inspire to realness instead of floating around La-la-land with an inflated ego while casually spreading sick body ideals.

As for my own social media platforms, I’m not here to lecture or even educate anyone about mental illness, I’m simply here to share my experiences and talk about it without shame while casually living my life and creation inspiring content. I don’t just blog about mental illness and it’s not the main category of this blog but my mental health has had a lot of space in my life and naturally that is something I write a lot about. This is my creative space and I create content that is relevant to me and since I have been struggling with mental illness on and off for the past 10 years, that is a cause that is really close to my heart. The most important thing for me is to be authentic and honest and if that helps people I am beyond happy. The other day, I got such a sweet message from a guy who had read one of my latest posts; “You were going that way anyway“. What I wrote had resonated with him and I had been able to put words on the feelings he was experiencing. This made me so happy to hear because that is exactly what I want. I want to be able to make people feel better just by relating to what I write. Mental illness has a way of making you feel like the loneliest freak in the world and there is nothing more comforting than to be able to relate to others who are going through the same shit.

Thanks so much to all of you who are reading my blog on a regular basis, it means a lot to me. I would be so happy if you would comment to let me know what you think of my posts. So far it seems like only my mom and spammers have found the comment section and they’re getting lonely there…( I accidentally removed the comment icon at the bottom of the post but if you click on the heading of the post and scroll down it’s all there).

PS. Can we all just take a minute and appreciate the magical lighting in these pictures?

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Jeans: Crocker (old) // Shoes: Superga HERE // Bomber jacket: Old (Similar HERE and HERE)

xx

Lisa Belinda

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