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To counter your anxiety or depression, take one small action at a time, and reward yourself for taking these actions.


To counter your anxiety or depression, take one small action at a time, and reward yourself for taking these actions.

To counter your anxiety or depression, take one small action at a time, and reward yourself for taking these actions.

To counter your anxiety or depression, take one small action at a time, and reward yourself for taking these actions.

When you’re anxious or depressed, you may freeze-up and find it difficult to do your work or even your basic tasks. Instead, you think about your worries or painful memories. When you’re unable to do anything to help yourself progress, your worries or sadness increases because now you have added stress for all the things you haven’t been able to keep up with. As a result, your anxiety or depression compounds, pulling you deeper and deeper into darkness.

People expecting your work, may take it out on you, not knowing the struggles you’re dealing with: death of a loved one, major illness, financial troubles, separation from your lover, failure of a project, etc. When such people put you down or attack you, you fall faster and faster into what seems like infinite darkness.

By taking one small action at a time, you start putting the brakes on your free fall into darkness and begin to boost your energy to counter the negative forces so you can move upwards. By taking small actionable steps, you’ll distract yourself from that internal dialogue of self denigration. With each small action you accomplish, you’ll feel a burst of dopamine, a happy chemical in your brain that gives you pleasure for your accomplishments. Your self-worth returns. You begin to dispel your distorted thoughts. Now, you’re rising upwards, away from the black hole of anxiety and depression.

When I say, “Do a small action,” I mean break down a task into smaller bite-size actions, scheduling a half-hour for each action in your calendar. Over the course of your day, these bite-size actions add up, and by the end of the day, you’ll see a bunch of stuff you accomplished on your calendar. Use your calendar as a tool to ignite your booster engines that will push your momentum upwards. Personally, I enjoy using my Google calendar, which syncs with my laptop and smartphone. It’s an excellent tool for my productivity practices and reigniting my progress when anxiety and sadness freezes me.

My friends, if you’re going through anxiety or depression, I feel you. I hope this article or some of my other ones can be of help. Sending positive energy to you.

With Warmest Aloha,
Jon

Enter the +positive masters+ universe at www.positivemasters.com for mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with inspirational mantras and designs to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness, or anger that you may be facing. ❤️

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Don’t jump to negative conclusions.


Don't jump to negative conclusions.

Don’t jump to negative conclusions.

Cognitive Distortions – Part 5

Don’t jump to negative conclusions.

Sometimes you mind read people when you’re not a mind reader. For example, you may jump to a conclusion that a person doesn’t like you when in fact that person finds you interesting.

Neither are you a fortune teller. For instance, you may jump to a conclusion that no one will like reading your book before you even attempt at writing it. How can you predict that? You may have a masterpiece that people love.

Enter the +positive masters+ universe at www.positivemasters.com for mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with inspirational mantras and designs to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness, or anger that you may be facing. ❤️

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Every day, when I wake up from my sleep, I tell myself, “I’m so happy to have another day in this world!”


Every day, when I wake up from my sleep, I tell myself, "I'm so happy to have another day in this world!"

Every day, when I wake up from my sleep, I tell myself, “I’m so happy to have another day in this world!”

Every day, when I wake up from my sleep, I tell myself, “I’m so happy to have another day in this world!”

Gratitude is my favorite practice. If you can master it, you’ll see yourself being much happier.

———-

Enter the +positive masters+ universe at www.positivemasters.com for mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with inspirational mantras and designs to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness or anger that you may be facing. ❤️ The hoodie in the picture above is available for purchase at https://positivemasters.com/collections/hoodies-sweaters/products/angry-explosion-logo-dark-unisex-hoodies.

 

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I changed my mind regarding watching television shows and playing video games.


I changed my mind regarding watching television shows and playing video games.

I changed my mind regarding watching television shows and playing video games.

I changed my mind regarding watching television shows and playing video games. If they bring joy into your life and help you to alleviate your stress and anxiety, go ahead and consume them in moderation to get that boost of energy that you need to keep working on your dream life.

I hardly ever play video games and rarely watch television programs. I don’t have any video games on my computer, nor do I have a game console at home. About five years ago, I deleted any video game from my smart phone.

This all changed this past Saturday January 25, 2020 when my 9-year-old second cousin E showed me how much he loves the video game “The Battle Cats” by Ponos Corporation (Known as “Battle Nekos,” as named by the founders in Japan), available for smart phones and tablets. He showed me how to play it. The characters are so darn cute, and the battles are fun, like a journey. There’s also funny descriptions for the scenes and characters and motivational comments that are applicable to your life. Playing it was like a tasty medicine that makes you high with pleasure. During the time I played the game, it took my mind off of the darkness that has been clouding my mind and soul: the deaths of those I love, dealing with difficult people and issues, facing prison time for my driving under the influence, opposition against my business projects and career, financial challenges, and other things bothering me. In moderate doses, “The Battle Cats” has recharged my energy to get myself back in the game of business and personal growth. I’m going all-out again after my latest bout with darkness when this past Christmas ended and my sister Mia and her family left Hawaii to return back to California.

The Battle Cats, a video game by Ponos Corporation for your smart phone and tablet.

The Battle Cats, a video game by Ponos Corporation for your smart phone and tablet.

As far as watching television, I avoid the news because of its negativity, but I recently began watching more fictional stories and documentaries that has sparked ideas for my fictional and nonfictional writing and motivated me to keep moving forward on my business projects, personal development, and my dreams for a life of creativity and more time with my loved ones.

So there it is, I changed my life policy on avoiding television shows and video games. In moderation, it can actually be a tool to recharge yourself so you can continue to play your real-life game in your career and personal growth.

———-

Enter the +positive masters+ universe at www.positivemasters.com for mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with inspirational mantras and designs to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness or anger that you may be facing. ❤️

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If you can fully embrace the unpredictability of your death, you will truly live in the present and appreciate every moment before you now.


None of us can predict when and how we will die. If you can fully embrace the unpredictability of your death, you will truly live in the present and appreciate every moment before you now.

None of us can predict when and how we will die. If you can fully embrace the unpredictability of your death, you will truly live in the present and appreciate every moment before you now.

None of us can predict when and how we will die. If you can fully embrace the unpredictability of your death, you will truly live in the present and appreciate every moment before you now.
– +positive masters+, Jon Riki Karamatsu, 1/20/2020 –

On Thursday, January 17, 2020, my mom called my cell phone. Her voice was filled with elation and joy, “Mia got the job at Stanford University!” My younger sister Mia is a trauma care doctor, a partner of a group of medical doctors at California Pacific Medical Center at San Francisco, California.

“Oh man, I’m so happy! I’m so happy for her! This is awesome!” My voiced cracked with joyful laughter.

My mom continued, “Earlier, I heard dad cheer, ‘Wohoo!’ probably when Mia told him the good news!” My dad was talking with Mia on the phone before my mom. For those of you who know my dad, this type of celebratory action by him is extremely unusual. He’s normally stoic and logical, fitting for a former electrical engineer who helped build and fix nuclear submarines and warships at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Mia fulfilled a dream of my mom’s mom, my grandma Ellen Sakai. When my two sisters and I were little, she told us that we should become doctors. She emphasized how important doctors were. Grandma also told many of her other grandchildren this.

One Summer, while I attended Summer classes at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, majoring in political science, I was living with her and grandpa Tadao Sakai at their small home on Citron Street, in the heart of McCully, Honolulu, Hawaii. Grandma and I had another one of those talks about whether or not I would become a medical doctor.

“Grandma, I plan to go to law school.”

“Ah, lawyers are dime-a-dozen,” she answered.

“I’m not going to be a regular lawyer, I’m going to be President of the United States.”

I smiled as my grandma laughed away. “No one knows you,” she said while continuing to laugh, “You have to be like Jon Yoshimura (a Honolulu politician who became the Chairman of the Honolulu City Council and had a segment on the local news station called “Ask a Lawyer” where viewers got their legal questions answered.). Why don’t you become a doctor?”

Years later, when Mia participated in the white coat ceremony at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Grandma Sakai’s face was filled with pride and joy. So was the expression on my grandma Bessie Karamatsu’s face, my dad’s mom. There was immense pride among all of us, my dad, mom, baby sister Lara, and I. To serve others as a medical professional is a great calling. Every single one of us needs a doctor. We all get sick. We all will die. It’s our doctor who will help us when we face every illness and disease, and ultimately, our death. It’s not just the skills and knowledge that our doctor continuously develops, but the empathic and caring words that he/she says to us that will help comfort our suffering.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Just as my sister Mia was embarking on an exciting new path of medical care practice, public speaking, and research and development to create new healthcare services and products at Stanford University, I picked up the book “When Breath Becomes Air,” an incredible memoir by Paul Kalanithi, who at the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Paul’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life?”

As I read “When Breath Becomes Air,” I felt a deep sadness on how Paul Kalanithi’s potential was cut short from cancer, which mixed with the happiness I felt for my sister Mia who will be heading to Stanford University, starting this Summer to expand her medical career as a practitioner and researcher. The connection, Stanford University, made Paul’s story and my sister’s story very real, on top of them being the same age. You see, Paul did amazing work for Stanford University before he died. In addition to his work in the operating room as a neurosurgeon, he was a neuroscientist in a lab at Stanford University, where he worked on neural prosthetic technology that would allow paralyzed people to mentally control a computer cursor or robot arm. I kept thinking on how Mia and many other doctors will continue on their trajectory, something Paul would have loved to do.

I read this book in two sittings. His journey opened my eyes. I was in awe of the work neurosurgeons and neuroscientists do. It wrenched my heart as he struggled with his emotions and logic when faced with extremely difficult situations that brain trauma patients and loved ones of the patients face such as deciding whether to keep a patient alive knowing that the patient could risk losing knowledge of one’s self and everyone and everything around him/her. Without this function, a person loses his/her purpose. The innocence and excitement felt by Paul and his fellow medical classmates were replaced by fatigue, stress, and death after they ventured into their different residency programs at hospitals and medical centers across the country.

Paul’s writing brought me into his world as if I was with him through his every struggle. I loved it when things seemed to be getting better for him and his wife. I chuckled at his humor. When he cried, I cried. I had to pause from my reading numerous times as tears streamed down my cheeks. In fact, I cried as I wrote this article in a Starbucks coffee shop in Waikele, Hawaii packed with people. That’s how impactful Paul’s book has been on me. He wrote it as he was dying, racing against precious seconds. I felt every word of his as if he was talking to me.

In the past, I’ve written numerous times about death and how embracing it can motivate us to be appreciative of everything we have and make the most of our life. However, unless I face my own dying moments, I won’t fully understand what it’s like to be dying, whether it’s quick and instant or slow and gradual. Likewise, none of you will know until it’s your time. Well, Paul, through his writing shows us exactly what he was feeling as he moved towards his death. His experience became my experience. I could see myself in his life and by doing so, I felt myself experiencing death surrounding me. I will forever keep Paul’s book close to me, opening it every time I stress about challenges for my businesses or clients, financial hardship, public ridicule for my failures, and facing prison time for my driving under the influence case, all of which look so small in comparison to dying.

I’ve lost a lot of loved ones over my lifetime. Last year was especially hard with the passing of my aunty JoAnn Matsumoto (My mom’s cousin and a former elementary school teacher), family friend Eric Kanemoto (My soccer coach, Cub Scout Master, Intermediate School teacher for metal shop, and my dad’s close friend. He and my dad coached my soccer teams, led the cub scouting program I was in, volunteered in the parent and teacher association for my Pearl City High School, and worked together on many other projects. They enjoyed talking with each other and the simple pleasures of life), and uncle Glenn Karamatsu (My dad’s younger brother and co-founder of a civil engineering firm in Hawaii). Reading “When Breath Becomes Air” has helped me cope with the deaths of my loved ones.

I love life. I’m extremely grateful to have an opportunity to try many things while I’m alive. I’m super appreciative of my dad, mom, sisters, nieces, nephew, relatives, and friends. And I’m thankful to be able to speak to you. As I move closer towards my death, I hope I’ll be strong, vulnerable, joyful, sad, and loving. After all, I went through it with Paul and felt his breath become air.

Love your life and make the most of it.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, wearing his white coat.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, wearing his white coat.

——-

I dedicate this article to Paul Kalanithi’s wife Lucy, daughter Cady, mom, dad, siblings, family, and friends.

Paul and Lucy Kalanithi at their wedding.

Paul and Lucy Kalanithi at their wedding.

Dr. Paul Kalinithi, Lucy Kalanithi, and their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.

Dr. Paul and Lucy Kalanithi with their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, Lucy Kalanithi, and their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, Lucy Kalanithi, and their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.

 

I also dedicate this article to my dad, mom, sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephew, extended family, and friends.

To read Paul Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air,” click here: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.

Enter the +positive masters+ universe at www.positivemasters.com for mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with inspirational mantras and designs to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness or anger that you may be facing. ❤️

 

 

 

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When something bad happens to you, don’t conclude that it will happen to you over and over again.


When something bad happens to you, don't conclude that it will happen to you over and over again. This is what mental health professionals call "overgeneralization."⁠

When something bad happens to you, don’t conclude that it will happen to you over and over again. This is what mental health professionals call “overgeneralization.”⁠

Cognitive Distortions – Part 2⁠

When something bad happens to you, don’t conclude that it will happen to you over and over again. This is what mental health professionals call “overgeneralization.”⁠

For example, you break up with someone and you believe that no one will ever love you. Or you find a dent on the door of your car, and you tell yourself, “I’m always getting dinks on my car” when you’ve only had two dents on your car in twelve years of driving almost every day.⁠

Enter the +positive masters+ universe at www.positivemasters.com for mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with inspirational mantras and designs to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness, or anger that you may be facing. ❤️⁠

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Make it a point to spend time with your loved ones.


Make it a point to spend time with your loved ones. Don’t let your career or personal interests dominate your life. Set a certain day of the week or month to meet with them. If you don’t hear from your loved ones, make the effort to contact them. The moment before you now is precious. This time next year will not be the same. Even when you are extremely busy, you can still dedicate some time to talk to your loved ones on the phone or on the Internet. Your future self will be grateful for all the memories you create with them.

For instance, every Sunday afternoon, I get-together with my mom, dad, younger sister, bother-in-law, and baby nephew at my parents’ house where we usually do an online video call with my younger sister, brother-in-law, and three young nieces, all living in the Bay Area, California. Afterwards, we either eat dinner at my parent’s place or go to a restaurant to dine. Also, every year my entire immediate family enjoys meeting up in California, Hawaii, or another location. Often times, we meet up several times a year to enjoy one another’s company. This is the most important part of my life, being with my family.

Moreover, I dedicate time to be with my close friends. We talk story, dine, or go out somewhere relaxing. Likewise, have some fun with your friends. Participate in activities together. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea as you laugh and converse. Maybe travel somewhere fun together. These wonderful times with your friends will also be a part of you that you will always be grateful for.

Happy holidays and have an awesome 2020! Go and make some great memories with your family and friends!

With Warmest Aloha,

Jon

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