Posted in life, psychology

What are the benefits of having Good friends

Do you know that there are benefits of having good friends?

Having supportive people around you, includes family, partners, colleagues. These good friends can have a major impact in your life, health and overall well-being according to Mayo clinic.

Benefits of Friendship

  • Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
  • Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
  • Improve your self confidence and self worth
  • Help you cope traumas such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or death of a loved one
  • Encourage you to have healthy lifestyle or habit
  • Promote personal development

Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent isolation and loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too.

Mayo clinic

People with strong social connections have reduced risk of many health problems. Studies found that older adults who have good friends and social support are likely to live longer.

Among all the benefits of having meaningful relationships, Emotional support is significant. They listen to your problems, can validate your feelings, and can help distract you when you’re sad or upset.

In one of the lessons I had, Professor Jonah Berger of Wharton University said, ” people are 36% more likely to quit smoking if a friend quits.”

Your friends can support your choices and even promote the right ones. They can cheer you on, motivate you like gym buddies or yoga partners.


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Sense of belongingness comes in third on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Caring about others makes life more meaningful. Your self worth increases, knowing you have a support system can help you feel more secure in your own life.

On the other hand, unhealthy or toxic friendships can cause stress and bring you down. Choose your companions and avoid toxic people; gossiper, unkind or rude, manipulative, selfish, etc.

Pexels.com

Bottom line, good friends are important in your life. Strong friendships will continue to strengthen you, make you healthier and help you have a brighter outlook.

Posted in life

Small Businesses Vs. Corporations

It’s not easy running a small business, I know this from experience. A Small Business owner myself, this post aims to motivate and inspire dreamers. Standing proud for thriving through the hurdles of Covid-19 pandemic and super typhoon Odette.

There are numerous challenges to overcome even before you can open the store. Application of permits, approval and paperworks that felt like forever.


Pexels.com

Yes, it is almost impossible to compete against massive corporations. With current economic situations and opening of tourism slightly favoring big companies. They have the resources, manpower, budget, warehouse, etc.



Though it seems like we don’t stand a chance, there are also advantages of small businesses according to Forbes.com

  • Custom Approach

Small businesses can offer a more personalized and customized service. That something large companies cannot do. It would be a waste of time (for them) to cater to individuals instead of dealing with consumers as a whole.

Being one of the pioneers in cake customization business, I remember famous bakeshops used to offer basic birthday cakes, clients are asked to choose from cake designs that are – basic and generic.

  • Flexibility and Less Bureaucracy

Big companies have complex internal structures, they follow a heirarchy. Approval and response processes can take a lot of time in a large organization. While small businesses can be flexible in dealing with customers. Adding a personal touch to everything, treating each other as family.

  • Creativity

Just like with flexibility, they have an edge in creativity. Having decision-making in their hands, creativity can flourish. There’s more ‘relaxed’ room to design, create and improve. No added pressure from meeting monthly quotas, etc.

  • Level of Care

Small businesses provide an individual level of care and involvement. For them service is on a personal level. Not from a corporate standpoint. Everyone is treated like a family. They have the ability to provide a one-on-one, personalized experience that clients value the most.




  • Adaptability

Business is all about people and small businesses have the advantage of knowing each and every client really well. The ability to be flexible and adapt to day-to-day needs of customers, invention of new products and services, and so on.

  • Passion with Purpose

Small businesses are well appreciated in social media like Instagram. They are trailblazers, supporting and igniting people using their passion with a purpose. There’s no shortage of passion as they continue to stay motivated by fueling their shops with personal connections to customers.

  • Speed and Agility

Aprroval and decision-making processes are faster in a small business. When a client needs help right a way, they can respond in small but special ways when big corporations are too busy.

  • One-on-One Magic

That advantage to connect one-on-one with customers is what small businesses have. I ventured into franchising from a large convenient store chain and noticed the complex nature of their structure. An ordeal when trying to sort out things with them, I didn’t feel we were connected and that our intentions are for the business alone.

Learning from experience and seeing through it all, small businesses can maximize these advantages competing against astronomical companies. Having the right and loyal people communicating to clients gives your store a personal touch.

Posted in faith, life, motivational, prayer

How to be content with your life

For those who’ve been following me in IG, one chronic side effect of my treatment or symptom management is depression. It can also be brought by endometriosis (and adenomyosis) either way am 😦

We’ve all had this feeling before – sadness, dark cloud above your head, low days, lonelines… I cannot describe this state in the most positive way possible, an overall feeling of doom, zero inspiration and motivation.

Truth is no one could completely grasp one’s feelings and emotional well being. Help starts with you. It takes massive effort yes, but it’s worth the try…

Please remember that – your current state is not forever, this (too) shall pass.

How to be content with your life?

  1. Change your perspective – the easiest way to be content with your life is adjusting your perspective. Instead of being stuck with the past or obsessing over the future, focus on Living in the Present.
  2. Be Grateful for what you have – though our life may be miserable today but try thinking of the things you have and how lucky you are compare to other people. This also includes – to stop comparing yourself with others. As the old saying goes – “the grass is greener on the other side” – the things we don’t have seem better than the things we have. This is the biggest obstacle in achieving happiness. Because there will always be someone who is happier, healthier, richer than you. But why look? If it’s only going to make you more miserable and unhappy.
  3. Appreciate the little things – Every detail in your life counts. We may take for granted this little things because we are too focused on the negative. Daily reflection, write a journal, a walk outside for some fresh air. Making a habit of reflecting will help you think rationally when a problem arises and will keep you from being blind-sided by problems that are lurking in your life.

One thing that really helps me is – FAITH. I can’t imagine myself being in the center of these all without Jesus. To be able to believe in something greater than us is the most effective coping mechanism for people who are suffering.

Yes it’s okay not to feel okay, if you need to cry then do it…

David Spiegel, MD, the medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, reminds us that “Happiness is not the absence of sadness.”

Let me share these beautiful songs… Allow Jesus to be with you, to cry with you and feel with you…


Happy are the people who are sad now,

God will come near to help them.

Matthew 5:4 Easy


I will be still and

know You are God.


Posted in psychology

The influence of people around you

Yes people come and go in our life and they also influence us in one way or another. My constant prayer as a parent is for my child to meet friends who will be of “good” influence to her. I grew up in a traditional manner, raised by strict grandmother and parents, choosing good friends is important.

A motto that marked indelibly in my heart is this saying;

Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.


– anonymous

There are many versions of this quote but they all mean the same thing. In Social Psychology, this influence is being recognized and scientifically proven. Your closest associates (sometimes called – reference group) can determine much of your success in life. Our friends influence us subtly yet powerfully, and that can either be good or bad.


Research shows we do not have as much control over our thoughts and behavior as we think. We take cues from our environment, especially other people, on how to act.

– Psychology Today

Another powerful quote by Jim Rohn – “You are the average of the 5 people you hang around with.” The first quotation stayed with me since highschool. And recently, studying Psychology out of interest helps me gain more insight in relationships and human behavior.

You can’t choose your family, but you have the power to decide who to be close with. You also have the power to avoid certain people – toxic ones, for they will definitely shape who you are.

From my notes in Managing Emotions (Social Emotional Learning SEL) by Yale University – Humans are social creatures, we are influencing each other’s feelings whether we realize it or not.


Surrounding yourself with good people is not a strategy, it is a necessity. Having family and friends who motivate and help you become better (or best) version of yourself is a blessing.

Posted in life, motivational

What it means to be loyal

If there’s one substantial quality to have in our relationships – with our loved ones, our family, friends, partners, colleagues, etc. – it could be loyalty. All relationships even between sellers and customers are based on our ability to be loyal.


Loyalty, in general use, is a devotion and faithfulness to a nation, cause, philosophycountry, group, or person. Philosophers disagree on what can be an object of loyalty, as some argue that loyalty is strictly interpersonal and only another human being can be the object of loyalty.

– Wikipedia

We may have different perceptions of loyalty but there are common characteristics that indicate loyalty. It is the most valued virtue in all relationships and encompasses the following traits.

Character Traits of Loyalty

  • a loyal person fulfills promises
  • a loyal person is supportive
  • a loyal person stands by you and for you
  • a loyal person values honesty
  • a loyal person is empathic
  • a loyal person is reliable
  • a loyal person is committed and dedicated


We all want the warmth and security that a loyal relationship brings. We like to be with people who are more likely to be faithful to us. And it is one of the basic necessity according to Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs – Belongingness and Love Needs.

But remember not to expect other people the exact values we possess. We are all unique and different in personality traits, character, priorities, etc. One can cheat or be faithful to someone forever.

Loyalty is a value that is necessary for a lasting and meaningful relationships.

Posted in life, psychology

What is Gaslighting

In my previous post, we talked about manipulation and sampled the character of Jin Mu from Alchemy of Souls. Fact check, we meet a gaslighter in real life sometimes unaware of it, and so before falling to their trap let me show you ways to spot a gaslighter.

Gaslighting is a colloquialism, loosely defined as making someone question their own reality. The term derives from the title of the 1944 film – Gaslight. The term may also be used to describe a person (a “gaslighter”) who presents a false narrative to another group or person, thereby leading them to doubt their perceptions and become misled, disoriented or distressed.

Wikipedia

Gaslighting is a favorite tool of a toxic person. It is a form of abuse and psychological control. A gaslighter will start with small lies, eventually misinformation increases overtime. Anyone can be a victim of a gaslighting and the most effective gaslighter is the hardest to detect.

Gaslighting can appear in various ways. Here are examples or techniques they use (from Medical News Today);

  • Countering: This is when someone questions a person’s memory or recall. They may say, “Are you sure about that? You have a bad memory,” or “I think you are just forgetful.”
  • Withholding: Pretending they do not understand the conversation, or refusing to listen, to make a person doubt themselves. For example, they might say, “Now you are just confusing me,” or “I do not know what you are talking about.”
  • Trivializing: This occurs when a person belittles or disregards how someone else feels. They may accuse them of being “too sensitive” or overreacting in response to valid and reasonable concerns.
  • Denial: Refusing to take responsibility for their actions. They may do this by pretending to forget what happened, saying they did not do it, or blaming their behavior on someone else.
  • Diverting: With this technique, a person changes the focus of a discussion by questioning the other person’s credibility. A great tactic and often use by personalities to divert the attention from them.
  • Stereotyping: A person may intentionally use negative stereotypes about someone’s gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, or age to gaslight them. For example, they may say that no one will believe a woman if she reports abuse.

From the examples listed, you maybe able to detect a gaslighter. As a disclaimer, this behavior becomes toxic based on intentions. And we may accidentally use the phrases sampled above without really intending to gaslight someone. It’s all in the intention or motives of a person.

It is different from Manipulation though. Manipulation is a key part of gaslighting, it’s a common tactic. Can be used in marketing strategies, politics, institutions, etc. But gaslighter, they are very rare and much more toxic.


Gaslighting can be psychologically devastating. According to Psychology Today, it violates trust, upends a person’s view that people are generally good, and can make them suspicious of everyone who is close to them. Falling victim to a gaslighter also erodes a person’s trust in themselves and may make a victim never want to be part of a relationship again.

There are ways to protect yourself from this form of abuse. First to simply gather evidence, write journals, take photos, etc. and use them as your proof. You may also talk to someone trustworthy and if needed, leave that toxic relationship.

Posted in motivational

Signs of high EQ

As part of my note taking in Emotional and Social Intelligence ESI (UC Davis) – a course I’m currently taking online. Here are the signs of a person, employee or co-worker with high EQ (emotional quotient) or EI (emotional intelligence).

But first we define Emotional Intelligence or EQ as the capacity to be aware of control and express your emotions as well as navigate interpersonal relationships with both good judgement and empathy.

EQ/EI affects every aspect in your life and has been proven to be in the top 10 most important workplace skills needed for success according to World Economic Forum (2020).

Professor Laurie Cozart, UC Davis
– UC Davis

More bullet points to remember;

  • EQ is not as a soft skill
  • people with high EQ make more and perform better
  • high EQ is synonymous to high satisfaction
Professor Laurie Cozart – UC Davis
UC Davis

Posted in Catholic faith, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, prayer

Prayer for home to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Sharing this prayer I’ve learned from Redemptorist church when I was young while joining Nanay (grandma) to her Wednesday devotions. Been praying this ever since.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help

we salute thee as the chosen queen of our home

we beseech thee by thy tender motherly love

to preserve its inmates from destructive fires and earthquakes,

from thieves, accidents and calamities

and above all from sudden and unprovided death,

O Mother of Perpetual Help

be ever the queen of our home,

Amen.

Posted in life, motivational

Life 101: How to not to be toxic

Studying Psychology shows you a myriad of complicated terms, endless name of disorders, personality types, etc. But let’s be practical here, everywhere you go there’s always a “toxic” person. They’re impossible to avoid, can give you negative feelings and worse affect your mental health.

But do you know that Toxic behavior is something that can manifest in us all?

We all have bad days but it is important to be aware of our actions and how they affect the people around us. “Self-awareness” – according to my professor and the author of best selling book Permission to feelMarc Brackett, is the start of becoming an Emotional Scientist.


First, let us learn how to identify a toxic individual.


Being toxic is never fun to be around, you drive people away and usually encounter conflicts and misunderstandings. Keep in mind that these behaviors don’t happen overnight, it is developed through the years and has underlying causes or triggers like childhood trauma. They are actually unconscious and developed over time as their defense mechanism. Not an excuse though, that’s why we begin by realizing if our behavior is already hurting other people.

Ways not to be toxic.

1. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones

  • it all starts with your mind, your thoughts drive and guide how you behave.
  • In my psychology course by Yale Center of Emotional Intelligence, we are provided with “thought strategies”.
  • Professor Marc Brackett said that our brain is hay wired to think negatively right away, it is our automatic way of thinking. This is not good for the body as it activates our limbic system.
  • Thinking positively takes time and lot of effort.

2. Be actively Grateful

  • When we practice gratitude, our feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction increase, and the feeling of burn-out decreases.
  • Toxic people are unhappy because they tend to look at the past and for them everything in their life is not good enough.
  • Take a few minutes everyday to be actively grateful. This could be anything from your pet, sunshine or good weather, family, or the roof above your head.
  • If you really want not to be toxic, know that acknowledging the good things in your life lets you focus on them and everything else seems brighter and happier.

3. Think before you react

  • build the habit of pausing before reacting.
  • toxic people are highly reactive, they tend to lash out on people around them.
  • this is the best time to practice being a better listener, so instead of reacting try to listen first.
  • being an active listener shows that you care.

4. Let your ego go

  • a toxic person is desperate to maintain a certain image to the point of attacking others, or being defensive and becoming a habitual liar.
  • they believe they’re entitled and people are beneath them.
  • accept that nobody’s perfect and that you’re not always correct.
  • kindness is free and without your ego this is easy.

5. Show accountability

  • this is related to ego, apologizing is like admitting defeat to a toxic person.
  • admitting you’ve made a mistake and taking responsibility makes it feel you’ve failed.
  • if you’re not able to be accountable for your own wrongdoing — if you dig in, and have to maintain your image — this is a big potential problem. For one, it’s a sign of narcissism.
  • it will be a struggle to maintain a real relationship to someone who can never ever accept fault. It makes other people uncomfortable, denies their emotions or needs, and leaves them feeling wronged too.

6. Avoid gossip

  • here comes “marites” or the gossiper
  • it becomes highly toxic when the objective of the story is to destroy other people and talk about their misfortunes.
  • don’t be too quick to judge others and then spread rumor about them.
  • try to know people first, listen, be kind and considerate.

7. Build others up, not test them

  • we all want to be with someone who celebrates with us. They are happy when you’ve achieved something instead of belittling.
  • this is related to gossiping, if we try to pinpoint the mistakes of other people.
  • real strength is when you uplift and motivate others instead of pulling them down.

8. Seek help

  • if you’re unsure about your own behaviour in certain aspects of life, that’s completely fine. It’ll probably best to act on it right away.
  • whether it’s consulting friends, family, a professional (like a therapist), there are ways to learn more about ourselves and help us improve these areas in our life.
  • toxic behavior doesn’t happen accidentally. It’s likely caused by something in your mind like unresolved issues and past trauma.
  • connecting with others is also a way of healing. Strong social ties are linked with happiness, longevity and health.

Reaching this point means you care about yourself as a person and open to growth and maturity. Don’t worry, being toxic is not forever, it’s not permanent.

“when you let go of who you are, you become who you might be.”

– RUMI

Posted in kdrama

world of politics in Chief of Staff

My husband watches back to back this drama and D&P. I watch this one with him out of curiosity. Though a little late as this was released last 2019. With casts – Lee Jung Jae, Shin Min ah (my fave), Lee Elijah and so forth and available in Netflix and other streaming sites.

Talks about corruption, abuse, death, etc. I like the characters of Lee Jung Jae as Jang Tae Jun (main role), Assemblyman Lee who fights tirelessly for justice, Kang Sun Yeong (played by Shin Min Ah). This series is intense and has exciting twists, portraying a society with real issues, depicting how world of politics really work.

Being married to a civil servant, I can see my husband in the roles of some characters who remain steadfast and principled through and through.

Anyways… if you want drama with realistic plot then you got it here.