We’re Holding On To Things We Don’t Even Know Are Hurting Us

There’s something challenging about looking within. 

And since the only person who will ever truly be able to do it is ourselves, that makes it a pretty big challenge. 

Objectively, I think that everyone has the capability to take a look at what’s brewing underneath their own hood- and there are major health benefits in doing so. 

Being self-aware and taking the time to look at ourselves can help us notice and address things that aren’t helping us anymore; things that could actually be hurting us yet we’re entirely unaware of. I’ve been learning about how the body can store different types of emotional pain in different areas of the body.  This means that how something made you feel can literally translate to physical discomfort or pain building up in your body somewhere. 

When our hand touches a hot stove, or even feels some heat coming off of it, we immediately pull it away, or better yet keep it away from the stove altogether. This is common sense, that s*** is hot, why would we want to burn ourselves. 

The problem with emotional and psychological pain is that there’s a lot of it that we don’t see or have an idea about. And you can’t fix a problem you don’t know you have, right?

The thing with taking a look at what’s happening inside the mind is that it’s no coincidence that we’re oblivious to what’s happening. As already mentioned, we can’t see it ourselves; so unless we actively put an effort to peak at what’s inside us, it’s never going to happen. Nobody on this earth can do it for you.

So why don’t we then, if the onus is really just on us?

The answer is that it can be a pretty daunting, scary, and damn right uncomfortable thing to do. Who we are inside is between one person and one person only. We can’t blame something we don’t like on someone else, a situation, or some other thing. Which, as it turns out, is what our minds really like to do. Whether we like it or not, the conscious and subconscious parts of our mind are constantly justifying and explaining things to ourselves to reduce the amount of distress or tension that we feel. 

There’s a term for this, if you cared about these things. 

It’s called Cognitive Dissonance, and it’s a name for the mental stress we feel when we consciously do or think things that don’t jive with what our subconscious truly feels. 

For example, if you say you can’t stand when someone comes in late but had the time to stop and get themselves some coffee, and then you go ahead and waltz into a meeting 15 minutes past the start time with a pumpkin spice latte in your hand, it’s going to put some pressure on your mental (whether you know it or not). 

When things are going on that we don’t know about, there’s simply nothing we can do about solving them. I’ve found that looking deep inside of myself can be intimidating, because I find things that I like and things that I don’t. Looking at things that I don’t like about myself, for all intents and purposes, is uncomfortable. As it should be. 

Pairing that with an open-mind but more importantly, a willingness to grow can pay dividends in the long run when it comes to mental (which translates to physical) health. 

It takes courage to actively look into things about your personality and emotions and see them for what they are. And part of that is understanding who we are when we take that look. Being critical and just searching for things to criticize can deal significant blows to our psychological ego that we might not be prepared for. 

It’s like a simple form of pure observation: gently looking at everything we’re seeing with an open-mind, jotting down the things we notice. I find it just as important to be observing positive things as much as negative things, maybe even more. Fortifying the characteristics we love about ourselves by affirming them in thought, and being open and inquisitive to the things we find that we don’t like.

Authors that have influenced the way I think about these things talk about questioning these things, becoming curious about them in a non-threatening way. Simply challenging them in this way can start foraging a path for us to begin walking down.  

Pairing it with a strong perspective of a growth mindset can help us realize that growing through it and changing this aspect of ourselves is a very real possibility.

I used to struggle significantly with anger in my youth and as a young adult, and it’s through processes like this where I enabled myself to challenge it and grow. 

It’s not easy, instant, or fun; but its value is undeniable. Uncovering things about yourself might feel uncomfortable, but getting down deeper and exploring why you are the way you are about something can help take the ammo out of the gun that you don’t even know is firing. 

If it sounds like something you’re up to the challenge for, you’re going to have to do some convincing.

But only for one person.

Practice happiness, reduce your stress with a simple guided journal, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced writer.

Order your copy of ‘The Five Minute Mind’ here:


Book Launch Coming Soon

Why Are People Becoming So Against One Another?

Extreme. It sounds pretty sweet when you’re on a snowboard, or you’re jumping out of a plane with nothing but a chute on your back. 
When you’re talking about the increasing rate of people and groups dividing, it’s a whole different story. You’re either on one side of an argument or the other. You’re a liberal or a conservative, you like Pepsi or you drink Coke, you’re against changing things up or you like to mix it up; it seems like the volume level on groups picking sides has been slowly cranking upwards and my ears are starting to hurt. 
Now more than ever, the divide between groups in society seem to be straying further and further from a gentle medium. People are getting extremely extreme about extremism, even using one single word two more times than they should in a sentence.
I digress. 
It seems as though people have these views on certain things that gradually get stronger over time, to the point where some people just can’t help but start defending their own side as if it has truly become part of who they are. 
One of the clearest examples of this is in American politics, and how both sides have groups on the far side that have almost become militant in what they believe, from things about defending an eccentric orange fella to scowling at anyone drinking from a plastic straw. 
An “If you aren’t with us, you’re against us,” type of mentality. 
The problem with all of this is the shift that takes place when we start pitting our beliefs against others. The more people defend it, the more people naturally confirm their biases and ignore new information. Not to mention the emotions that start solidifying a perspective even more. Nobody likes losing, so giving in just disappears as an option- and extremism is born. And as a result of this, you have these polarizing sides that feel the need to voice their opinion and beliefs even stronger, even louder, because they believe that to sway someone who is rock solid in their own ways of thinking they have to come at them even harder to win their opinion over.
Which, as a result, could very well just push someone further into their own corner. There’s this delusion that if someone doesn’t feel their own beliefs powerfully, that they might be wrong. Like how a huge Trump supporter or a massive Biden fan would each seem more legitimate and invested in their knowledge than someone who was reasonably, but only casually, interested in either candidate. 
It just pushes that in-group/out-group effect forward, continuing to evolve into a battle between two sides, forcing someone to declare which side they’re fighting for.
Of course, this goes beyond politics but the given one is just such great example.
It’s everywhere, from some people feeling like almost everything in the world offends them nowadays, to the people who actually are offensive and see nothing wrong with it; looking down on people who don’t share their backwards ways of living even though it simply doesn’t fly in present times. 
The cycle continues on, where the people who get offended feel the need to voice their opinion even louder, while the backwards folks double down even harder in distaste for someones sensitivity. It’s like the grey area in the middle that used to blend everything better together starts to evaporate, leaving more and more people to declare the side they’d rather be on.
I don’t think it goes without saying that continuing down that path is unlikely to make people change their minds in what they believe and one day just serendipitously switch sides. 
I think that modelling our beliefs proportionately and a willingness to accept new information and new opinions is the way to getting this raucous noise to a more appropriate level. Having a belief that’s the equivalent of screaming is not a reasonable way to get someone to understand something. 
Because the reality is, there’s usually truth to both sides and without operating out of a blended area I’d never even hope to be able to accept parts from each. Ideally, I think there’s truth in accepting parts from both sides.

Life doesn’t need to be so overwhelmingly binary, or to be so “one-way-or-the-other“.

There’s a reason Goldilocks didn’t like the piping hot porridge or the freezing cold one. She wanted the one that was just right. And where was that one? Somewhere calmly in the middle.


Practice happiness, reduce your stress with a simple guided journal, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced writer.

Order your copy of ‘The Five Minute Mind’ here:


Book Launch Coming Soon