Building Self-Confidence…not always easy


Dance of the Tulips oil on canvas


If you've been following me for any amount of time you may have noticed that I lack confidence and suffer from social anxiety. I've struggled with this all my life and it's definitely a handicap when trying to achieve my goals. 

I can remember the first set back I encountered at the early age of seven. I was given the opportunity to test for AT, academically talented, now called GATE. I was so excited to be among this elite group of peers, but when it came time to take the test, alone in a room with the proctor, I froze. The questions coming from her mouth were jumbled and my head was spinning. I couldn't focus let alone get the words out. Being put on the spot has always been a challenge, to say the least. I remember standing in front of my 6th grade class in a spelling B, just me and another classmate left. Do you think I wanted to be there? No! I was terrified and remember thinking, 'time to misspell a word and get myself out of this!'. How many times I've failed in order to get out of the spotlight. I can't be alone. Am I? 







This month is Mental Illness Awareness Month. It's something that not only I've been affected by personally, but I have many close friends and family members who suffer from various mental afflictions. There's nothing wrong with talking about it and you shouldn't be ashamed. I believe much of it is caused by nutritional deficiencies and should be treated accordingly. I found out about 2 years ago that I have Celiac, an inability to process gluten. Because I had been undiagnosed for so long, possibly my whole life, I was deficient in essential vitamins which contribute to well being and healthy brain function. I'm sure I have a genetic disposition for anxiety and such, but fully believe that lack of proper nutrition for so long, has played a big role. I also have Hashimoto's.

I've researched the effects of these deficiencies,extensively and found that many brain related problems can be attributed to them(such as- anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and some other really scary things). Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 complex, zinc, selenium, and more are needed for healthy brain function. I was having major anxiety and panic attacks but have almost completely gotten rid of them from following my Dr. orders along with adding some other supplements I found through further research. I'm not a doctor, and I'm not saying that it will work for everyone, but it is working for me. I have never taken any medication for anything other than antibiotics, I've done it all with my diet and supplements. I eat a clean Paleo diet, which is not processed foods, and all organic and non-GMO's. Grass fed beef is important although I don't eat a lot of red meat, only because it's hard for me to digest. I was having a lot of other issues caused my my auto-immune issues (Celiac and Hashimotos) and borderline arenal fatigue), like rashes, dizziness, extreme fatigue, allergies to almost all foods, and many other things. Right now, I can say I feel better than I have for years and am almost without symptoms (besides my undiagnosed sjorgren's) I may have other things going on, but I feel good! One other great benefit that I just realized yesterday is, that I no longer have seasonal pollen allergies! Every year since I was 21, come springtime, I've had major allergies for a few weeks; sneezing, headache, dripping nose, drowsy feeling…no more! 

I know I still have pretty bad social anxiety sometimes, but at least I know my brain is getting what it needs now. There's a lot more to it than I've written here because it's so complex, but this is just the very basics of what I've learned. 

Ann Tran wrote a great article about building self-confidence that has some great tips on living a healthy life and developing good habits for building your self esteem. It's based on Allan Loy McGinnis' 12 points about building your self-confidence; a must read. 

So if you're still reading this…(I know, I've gone on a little too long, and said a little too much) maybe there's another person out there who feels the same way as me. Maybe they won't feel so alone knowing they are not alone. 



Jen

Update: 
Flash forward to May 13,2020...It's hard to believe I wrote this post in May of 2014. Something made me look at it again...not sure what it was. Re-reading this is both difficult and encouraging at the same time. Mental health is more important than ever now in dealing with our current pandemic situation. How are you staying healthy? I've gained about 5 pounds but am still eating gluten free...no longer paleo though and I feel it some days. I have not had a panic attack since 2013, although I've felt some serious anxiety recently, keeping me up at night. I had no choice to eat gluten free because of Celiac but I still feel very strongly about how a "clean diet" not only benefits your physical health but mental health, as well. I will add to this the importance of daily exercise and meditation. I walk every day but have not made a habit of sinful meditation yet. I know how much I need it but have been stubborn. Do you have some tips? I'd love to hear them! Stay well everyone! 


PS...The tulip painting is no longer available but here's a link to my latest




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