Category: Resources

The “Strangers” Who Guided Me in Life.

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links to products I may receive a small commission for.

When I was in my early twenties, I went through a big transition in my life where I felt lost, confused and helpless at times. It was not because I was living “in the real world”, as I’ve already been on my own at a young age. I just felt confused, lost, overwhelmed and anxious. You may be going through these very feelings yourself.

But throughout this transition I was guided by people who became my teachers during this time of personal growth. People who had gone through similar situations and survived. I learned so much from these people as they guided me in my journey. The really amazing thing was that I never met or talked with these people. These individuals came to me in the form of books.

Non-fiction books are a way to learn from people who can teach you things that you will never learn otherwise. And fiction books allow you to escape mentally, when you physically can’t.

It is not an accident that the world’s most financially successful people READ. Because your self-education is linked to your satisfaction in life and even income since you can learn skills that could be applied to the workforce.

You don’t have to physically read a book. You can listen to the audiobook version as you drive, clean or workout. There is no excuse to not find time to listen to a book or read one.

During that transition period of my life there were 8 books that guided me and helped me find my own way. Hopefully they can help you as well.

The way of Transition by William Bridges

If you feel lost, personally, professionally or emotionally, this is the book for you. The author takes you from a state of confusion, tragedy or crisis, to viewing it as a time for incredible growth.

The author makes a point that what you’re going through is not a “break down” but a “break through” in order to grow as a person.


The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The author was at the point of suicide after falling into a deep depression. But as he was contemplating killing himself, he thought, “I can no longer live with myself” And something about this sentence got his mind going. “Wait, who is I and who is myself? Are they different people?” And these questions took him on a journey of personal development. Today, he travels the world teaching about the power of our thoughts and how to stop living in illusion by replaying the past or worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet.


Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

99% of us are not taught financial literacy in school. This book started my whole journey into my personal development in my early 20’s. Although this book is about managing money and making it grow, it will force you to question your beliefs about money.

Struggling with money is one of the biggest causes of anxiety and relationship problems. It’s important to learn how money works and how to become financially independent.

Although this is a financial book, it does more than that. It’s about challenging what we are all taught in school and learning for yourself in order to take control of your life.


Conversations with God by Neal Donald Walsh

I heard of this book a few times before I bought it because I thought it had to do with religion. It has nothing to do with religion. Conversations with God is a series of four books, each focusing on a different area of life.

I suggest looking up the author on YouTube to see if it’s something you are open to. Warning: this book could shift the way you view the world.


You can heal your life by Louise Hay

There is more and more research being done looking at the connection between our emotional experiences and diseases. In this book, Louise Hay shares how feelings that are not expressed appropriately or ever dealt with, could turn into different medical diseases.

If you struggle with any medical issues, this book may be of interest to you.


Quarter Life crisis

If you recently graduated from high school or college and feel lost, you are not alone. School has provided a clear path of what we need to do. And adults have told you what to do your whole life. So when you’re all done with school, it can be overwhelming with the many choices you have to make, with little to no guidance.

This book guides you through this big transition period in your life.


The Matrix by Gregg Braden

This book is about different science experiments that have been done that shows that we are all connected by something, an energy or “matrix”. Since we’re all connected, what we do to others, we do to ourselves. For example, if you wish bad on someone, you are actually wishing bad upon yourself.

This book connects science with spirituality in a beautiful way.


The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

This book is based on the traditions of the Toltecs, an ancient, indigenous people of Mexico. The author makes a point that we are conditioned from childhood about our world and then we just keep living in a cycle based on what we are taught by other people, school, society, etc.

Don Miguel Ruiz shows new agreements that you can learn to help you live a more peaceful, fulfilling life. My favorite agreement is to never take anything personal, as what other people say and do has very little to do with you.

“Never let schooling get in the way of your education.” Mark Twain

If you liked this post please share it with your friends. Subscribe below to continue getting great posts.

About the author.

Liza J Alvarado is a professional counselor in private practice. She serves Adolescents, Adults, and spanish-speaking families in the Lehigh Valley, PA area.

Share

10 Books to Improve Your Life

Sometimes in life we’re stuck in bad situations. Maybe you live in a house where you don’t feel comfortable but can’t afford to leave. Or feel stuck in a school or job full of drama. Whatever it is, sometimes you can feel helpless. But that is not true.

We can’t control other people or the circumstances that life gives us. But we can always control how we react to people and things. When you can’t physically escape your circumstances, you can always escape with your mind.

Here are 10 self-improvement books that I’ve read and feel comfortable promoting that they can help improve your life by helping you see things differently. Because as Dr.Wayne Dyer says, “change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change”

Share

Mental Health Resources

Pretty much everyone knows the benefits from therapy. But not everyone has the time or money to be able to get one-on-one help. With today’s technology, there are so many other resources that could help you. And if you are in therapy, some of these resources can complement the help you’re already getting.

http://openpathcollective.org

Open path is a website where you can get online therapy from $30-$50 a session with a licensed therapist.  This is a great resource if you don’t have health insurance.

National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI)- provides education and support to increase awareness and understanding of mental health.

There are many apps you can download. I wrote a blog post on some of my favorite mental health apps. I would suggest typing the mood you’re in in the app store search and download a few to find a few of your own favorites.

ulifeline.org online mental health resource for college students

National Suicide Hotline- text START to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-8255

GLBT National Help Line 1-888-843-4564

GLBT National Help Center for Youth. 1-800-246-7743

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7223

National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673

Psychology Today to find a therapist near you.

Center for Complicated Grief to find a list of resources for when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one.

Center Link is a center to support the LGBT community.

IMAlive lets you chat with supervised peer volunteers when ever you feel so down that picking up the phone to talk is too much. You can chat with someone and know that they will not judge you.

National Center for Victims of Crime provides resources of crime victims,  from bullying, physical abuse, stalking, and even terrorism.

National Eating Disorder Association

OK2Talk is designed for teens and young adults. The site is an online outlet for people to share their own stories. Good to find support and discuss coping with a diagnosis.

Share

Positive Websites.

Did you know that statistically we live in the safest of times? Our health care is better than even just 20 years ago, our cars are safer, and thanks to the internet, we are more easily educated. But why does it feel like the world is getting worse?

The thing that allows us to be connected, also makes us think that the world is a horrible place. With the internet and television, we can know instantly when something bad is happening. And on TV, the bad news is repeated all day long.
We all know our media gives us 90% negative news and 10% good, if that. Yes bad things do happen everyday, but so do good things.

Here are some websites for you to check out when you need some inspiration, motivation or just want to grow and learn. I would suggest that you spend more time on sites like the ones below, and less time watching the news and reading up on negative stories.

Good News Network This is one of my favorite sites. Here you’ll find inspiring, positive news from around the world. They even have cute videos that make you smile and remind you that there are amazing people out there.

DailyGood.org Another site like Good News Network. Daily Good shares all positive news from around the world. They also share positive news in specific areas such as science, tech, and business.

Good is an online magazine focused on sharing positive news and ideas.

TED are talks about “ideas worth spreading”. They have talks on every topic you can think of. TED even has a phone app for you to watch the videos where ever you are.

ZenHabits ranks as one of the best motivational blogs on the web. It’s a simple site that focuses on sharing articles, some with tips, that can help you in your daily life.

The Huffington Post Good News section. The Huffington post tries to balance mainstream news with positive news. They have a section that’s all about good news. I really like the Huffington post because it gives us a balance. There are a lot of sections to the post so check out the site entirely.

The Happiness Project I heard about this site when I listened to the woman who owns it, Gretchen Rubin, on a podcast. She’s an author and wanted to know how we can create good habits and be happier. She did a bunch of experiments on herself to try to make good habits and feel happier, and she shares some of those ideas on the site.

Coursera Do you love to learn new things? Are you always trying to improve your skills? Coursera partners with some of the best colleges and universities to let you take online classes completely FREE. They’re legitimate classes so you’ll have homework and everything. Some are a few weeks long. Some could be longer. They’re free because you don’t get credit towards a degree. Anyone can sign up and take a class. You do get a certificate at the end of every class.

 

These are just a few of the sites I’ve been on but there are so many good resources out there. Try to be more mindful of what you watch and read. If you only see negativity, you’re going to believe that the world is a horrible place. But if you see the good things that are going on in the world, you’ll see that it’s not always a scary place. That there are good people out there.

 

If you liked this post, feel free to share with your friends. And if you want to receive more posts and resources that I share, remember to sign up below.

About the author.

Liza J Alvarado is a professional counselor in private practice. She serves Adolescents, young adults, and Spanish speaking families in the Bethlehem, PA area.

Share

Favorite Mental Health Apps

Let’s be honest. You’re probably on your phone a few minutes after you wake up and check it over 100 times through out the day. You’re even probably on your phone right before falling asleep. This has become normal for us since our phones keep us connected to the world through social media, websites, texting, etc.

So why not use this same device to help you with your mental health? The following are some of the phone apps I recommend to clients. Most of them are for both ios and Android devices, but you’ll have to check when downloading them. These are just a few apps. I recommend you search on the app store “depression”, or “worry”, or whatever mood you are feelings. There are so many apps and even games that can help you cope with those symptoms.

 

Healthy Minds– This is one of my favorite apps to recommend to clients. You put in what mood you’re in, and depending on your mood, it gives you pages of coping skills to try, with the instructions. It even has a section where you can journal about what happened that made you feel the way you are feelings.

Moodtrack– This app is a good way to keep track of your moods and what is affecting them. This is a nice complement to attending therapy because you can go back and report exactly when you had certain moods. It even tracks your mood on a graph so you can see when you’re having certain feelings.

I am– I really like affirmations. Affirmations are a statement or saying you tell yourself that reminds you of your goal, or to stay focused. “This too shall pass” or “I am making changes in my life”, are examples of an affirmation. I am sends you push notifications throughout the day, with positive affirmations. You pick an area you want to work on, like self-esteem, and set up how often you want an affirmation to be sent.

Mindshift– This app helps you shift your thinking when feeling anxious. It also gives you exercises to practice.

Relax app– This is more of a game. It plays soothing music while the screen turns into stars on a black background. It looks like the Universe. Then when you move your fingers on the screen, the stars move and change.  I like to play with it to relax.

CBT-i Coach– This app was made for Veterans but anyone can use it. This app also compliments therapy. It keeps track of your sleep patterns. It also gives you exercises, such as guided meditations, to help you sleep.

TaoMix– This app lets you customize relaxing sounds. You can add sounds of birds, ocean waves, a river stream, or so many other soothing sounds. You customize the sounds you like, then use it as background noise to help you sleep, or while  doing work, or meditating.

Take a Break– Don’t have a whole lot of time to relax? Take a Break gives you short guided meditations to give you a break. In as little of 7 minutes, you can gather yourself and give yourself a break. If you DON’T have 7 minutes, then you REALLY need this!

Breath2Relax– This is another app where you’re guided during breathing exercises. For some people, having a voice guide them helps them focus better than if they tried to do breathing exercises on their own.

Happify– Another one of my favorites. This app focuses on the positives in your life through different activities. It asks you to do a check-in to see how happy you feel. It also gives you fun games that focus on gratitude and optimism. I love the positive videos that are on the app. You can even give encouragement to others in the Happify community.  It is free but you can buy it to unlock more tracks.

 

“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.” -Christian Lous Lange

If you liked this post please share it with your friends. And remember to subscribe below to continue getting great posts like this one.

About Liza J Alvarado, MS, LPC

Liza J Alvarado is a professional counselor in private practice. She serves Adolescents, young adults, and Spanish speaking families in the Bethlehem, PA area.

 

 

 

Share

Why You Haven't Achieved Your Goals Yet: and how to overcome them.

If you’re like most people, who have some things that you would like to achieve. You may have goals, dreams and aspirations. …

The “Strangers” Who Guided Me in Life.

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links to products I may receive a small commission for. When I was in my early twenties, …

DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE

They’re all over the place. The rude stranger. The “friend” who tends to criticize everything you do. The …