Things you didn’t know about your brain

Mental health. It’s a tricky thing. We can’t see it, we can’t really define it, but when it’s there, it’s there. It’s a constant battle between yourself and yourself, and when not acknowledged you slowly let these feelings contain you. What is mental health? How does it start and how does our brain work when it starts to anchor in a sneaky thought?

What are emotions and feelings?

Emotions and feelings are both responses to circumstances. How we respond to different situations is completely individual and can be based on a variety of things such as our personality, past traumas, anxiety, or habitual thought patterns. This is why feelings are such a tricky thing because nobody will experience the exact same emotional response to the same situation. Why is this important to know? Because when you understand why and what triggers your feelings, it’s easier for you to stop yourself in your track and go like “ok queen (or king), this is why you’re feeling this way”.


Thoughts becomes habits.

I’m the shit. I’m the absolute bombshell of the world. People should feel blessed to be breathing the same air as me. Those are the words I want you to burst out to yourself every morning. And when you feel in doubt, I want you to repeat them even louder! Our thoughts are sneaky, and they are shapeable. A bit too easy to shape, to be honest. Once you start a thought pattern it stays to grow and all of a sudden you’ve created new connections in your brain to either the positive or the negative.

It’s hard to tell someone with negative thoughts and poor mental health to “think positive”. “Fake it until you make it”. Honestly, if you’re not begging for a slap across the face it might be the worst thing you can say to a person in a bad mental state. So how can you break free from current negative thought patterns?

Recognize them. You feel out of shape, maybe both mentally and physically. You’re isolating yourself or slipping back into bad habits. The first step is always to recognize this. And become okay with the fact that you’re not on your a game right now.

2-minute window. A thought lives in your brain rent-free for around 2 minutes. What you decide to do with this thought after that is up to you. You can either let it sit there and consume you or you can switch it to a setting completely different. Even if you don’t believe it as you start thinking it, keep it for another 2 minutes and let that thought let loose in your brain instead.

Journal to trick your subconscious brain.

I preach journaling from the bottom of my heart. It’s extremely underrated and everyone should be doing it like two years ago already. I’m not talking about writing a 6-page essay about your day every night, but take 5 minutes every morning and write down how you are feeling and what you want from the day ahead. While you’re at it, add in some positive affirmations as well! Something simple as this subconsciously sets your brain up for a successful day. If you wanted your day to be filled with laughter, you’re more likely to actually bust out a few laughs during that day.


Identify your triggers.

Our brain is smart. It remembers situations that caused anxious feelings and will hold on to them with all its power. Why? Basic survival. If dogs trigger your anxiety the brain will continue to feel this just so you should stay alert in case you know, you die. Triggers can come from anywhere and be literally anything. It’s not an easy thing to identify these, especially if you’ve been living with them for a long time. It all comes down to awareness. As soon as you can identify your trigger it’s easier for you to start the work to rewire your brain’s emotional response. As mentioned before, our brain is very flexible and shapeable – in fancier terms known as brain plasticity. Knowing this you have the power to shape your brain into new habits, new thoughts, and a new state of being. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s doable.

Why does the brain hold onto negative thoughts?

It’s easier to be anxious than to walk on happy-go-lucky clouds every day. We remember negative situations better than positive ones. Why is it so hard to just be happy? As I briefly mentioned before, it’s all about survival. Humans have evolved through a lot of stressful environments where our survival literally depended on how well we adapted to these environments. Because of this, we needed to know what killed our mates, and this has shaped our brain to hold on to anxiety, just as a survival mechanism. Today we don’t need this as much since we’re not as likely to be eaten by a bear. Instead, we attach anxiety to other habits such as work, social gatherings, past traumas, you name it. It sucks, I know. But, this can also be a comforting thing to know. When anxiety strikes it’s just your brain trying to keep you alive.


It’s okay to not be okay.

Mental health is no joke and if you’re seriously feeling very down and have been for a while, please talk to a professional. Today it’s more common than we think that people are walking around with anxiety and depression every day. The perfect filtered social media and the pressure to be so damn great all the time is not making our current environment an easy place for our brains. Turning to help is not a sign of weakness, actually the opposite. We need to normalize even the “smallest” mental issues as serious. Go talk to someone. Start talking about mental health amongst your friend group, and if they think you’re lame for doing this – tell them to fuck off. In a polite, friendly manner of course.

How to overcome anxiety

Anxiety can hit even the best of us. In a warm fuzzy, almost perfect moment a sneaky feeling can come creeping in under our skin and take us into a dark whole. In this post I will give you the best advice on how to overcome your anxiety. Anxiety comes in all shapes and in a range of different levels. It can be a milder stress or go so far to blow up in a panic attack.

I’ve had my fair share of anxiety battles. It usually starts with a small worry, that grows deeper and puts its root into different areas of your life until you’re so consumed by it that all your thoughts are going in a downward spiral and you question your entire existence and self worth.

To get rid of anxiety we are told to take a deep breath. Don’t think about it, fill your mind with gratitude and tell yourself that you’re enough and that you’re ok. This is bullshit.  I mean it’s effective, but it’s not the only solution. By covering up our real feelings with sugarcoated sweet talk we are just pushing our problems deeper which in turn, will make them grow larger. The only way to overcome anxiety, as with anything else, is to actually face it.

Don’t run. Welcome it with open arms. Give it a hug, invite it over for a cup of tea and cookies. Become its best friend- We need to feel our anxiety and understand what we are feeling. Become familiar with the feeling of being uncomfortable and scared, and then build a relationship with it. It’s scary, I know. But one thing we need to understand about anxiety is that it will never go away. It might not be what you want to hear but no, anxiety will never just disappear. The only thing that will change is your relationship towards it and how you react to it. Become aware of it, accept it, and build up the strength to not let it effect you as hard.



Journaling is a great way to get to the root of problems. To sit and write down exactly everything that comes to mind can bring out answers to your own problems. By writing we have the ability to reflect and look at things from a different angle. The writing process itself lets us zoom out and see the bigger picture. Writing in your notes on your phone doesn’t count. You need to take it old school. Buy yourself a cute notebook and a fancy, feel good pen. There’s actually a big difference in pens in my opinion. Some pens feel better against the paper. Am I right or do I just have some kind of weird pen and pencil fetish? Whenever you’re going through something stressful or you feel your anxiety creeping in, pull up your journal and write the shit out of your soul.



Meditation is a hot topic, and for battling anxiety it’s piping hot. The thought of sitting in silence with only your own thoughts, can at first be a “hell to the no no” for anyone suffering from anxiety. Trapped in your own mind is the last thing you want! But just as journaling, meditation makes us look at our thought and problems from a different perspective. We strengthen our mind and become more resistant towards the negative anxiety spiral. If you, just like me struggle to meditate by yourself I can advice you to try some of the meditation apps that’s out there like Headspace and Calm. Guided mediation free of cost.

Learn your triggers

Figure out when your anxiety tends to kick in. Is it at work? Around certain people? Around food? When you’re going to bed? As soon as that lingering feeling starts creeping in your mind, catch it in its track! Step back and tell yourself “hold up!”. Become aware of the situation your in. This environment is for some reason bringing you anxious feelings, and this is the time where you should try to figure out why.Perfect timing to pull up that journal of yours if you’ve got it hanging around. Become aware of your anxiety patterns. Once you’re able to identify when and why, it’s easier to manage your anxiety and prepare your mind to face it in a different way.



Exercise is probably the best medicine against anxiety. The release of dopamine works as a magical pill for our brain and gives us a happy go lucky kick in the butt! Skip the pills and medicine and go for a run. This will do way better for your anxiety and your health in general.

Eat nourishing food

Proper (pronounce this in a British accent) nutrition is key. Your brain and gut connection is vital for managing your anxiety (read more about the gut and brain connection in my blog post here). Our brain is our most complex organ and the right food will fuel it to thrive instead of break down. Make sure you get your fruits and vegetables everyday, drink water, eat healthy fats and complex carbs and grains. Limit your intake or stay away from sugar and highly processed foods and alcohol to the best of your ability. These foods will actually have the opposite effect in your brain and can cause even more anxiety.

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Prioritize your snooze my friends! Ironically enough, we sleep on sleep. We tend to prioritize other things with the belief that it’s not such a big deal to miss out on a few hour here and there. Sleep is super important for our brain health. During our sleep we recover and learn to function as optimal as possible the next day. The lack of sleep will not give you proper recovery which will lead to fatigue, trouble staying focused, and feeling down. Feeling tired can in turn lead to not wanting to do as much and feeling lazy, meaning skipping exercise and treating yourself to unhealthy food. It’s a bad cycle. Prioritize sleep!


One of the most simple things we can do is to practice gratitude. To be grateful for the things that you have and your current circumstances makes it easier to see a brighter future and take healthy actions. A person who is constantly complaining about everything in their life will also stay i a place of negativity. The energy you give will be the energy that you receive. Being grateful will make you more capable to receive more things to be grateful for. Abundance of gratitude, that’s some cool shit right there. Make it a habit to say thank you for the cozy bed you have to sleep in, for the food you can eat, make sure to tell the people you love how happy you are that they exist in your life. There’s actually a lot of pretty awesome things going on in our life which can be blinded by stupid thoughts and anxiety. Sometimes we need to stop for a second and smell the flowers. Be like Eeyore. He’s the one smelling flowers, right? Or is it Ferdinand?


The biggest take away is that anxiety will be a part of your life, but you have the ability to overcome it and not get effected by it. Our minds are stronger than we think, and with consistent training and awareness we can overcome anything. We’ll smack down anxiety straight in the gut together!