What we should all understand about mental health 🎈

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, but the conversation around our collective challenges with mental illness and promoting mental health is one that should go on year-round.

Remember that mental illness doesn’t discriminate – it can affect anyone, no matter their age, race, religion, income, or social status. Mental illness can emerge based on a complex and overlapping set of factors, including our genetic disposition, brain chemistry, personality, outlook, lifestyle, and traumas that occur.

Simply put, mental illness is a legitimate medical condition that changes the way a person thinks, feels, their mood, and ability to relate to others or even function in daily life.

There are many manifestations and indirect consequences to mental illness (and a lack of focus on improving mental health), from the workplace to our relationships and social lives, and even further public health effects. For instance, more than 25% of U.S. adults who suffer from serious mental illness also deal with substance abuse.

So today, I wanted to outline some quick facts and stats about mental health and mental illness that will boost awareness and help us all understand the gravity of the problem.

  • Just about 1 in 5 (19%) of every adult in the U.S. experiences some form of mental illness every year, or approximately 43 million people.
  • And each year, 1 in 20 (5%) of all U.S. adults experience a serious mental illness.
  • The most prevalent mental health issue is some form of anxiety disorder, which affects about 40 million adults in the U.S. every year, or 18.1% of the population.
  • All-too-common conditions like anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering from anxiety ever get help or treatment.
  • Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, with almost 50% of people diagnosed with depression also diagnosed with anxiety disorders.
  • It’s estimated that 5 to 10% of the population suffer from clinical depression at any given time.
  • Young people and teens largely feel the brunt of mental illness and mental health problems. Almost 1 in 10 (9.7%) of all youth in the U.S. suffer from major and severe depression.
  • Identifying mental illness and providing tools and resources to promote mental health is such an important issue with young people. 
  • In fact, 1 in 6 U.S. kids and teens ages 6-17 suffer some sort of mental health disorder each year. Globally, about 1 in 5 (20%) of youth suffer some kind of mental illness or disorder.
  • Awareness and identification of mental health issues among youth is critically important, as 50% of all mental illnesses start by age 14 and 75% by the age of 24.
  • 2020 was definitely one of the most challenging years in memory with the Covid 19 pandemic as well as lock downs and the economic fallout. In fact, from 2019 to the start of 2021, the share of adults reporting symptoms of serious anxiety or depression skyrocketed from 11 percent in 2019 to over 41 percent by the beginning of 2021.
  • Even before the pandemic, serious depression on a regular basis was reported by 4.7% of U.S. adults, and doctors diagnosed depression on 9.3% of all patient intakes, or 11.2% of all emergency room visits.
  • Across the globe, depression is the leading cause of disability. 

Over any 12-month period, the prevalence of mental illnesses among all U.S. adults is as follows:

  • 19% Anxiety disorders
  • 8% Depression
  • 4% Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • 3% Bipolar Disorder
  • 1% Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • 1% Schizophrenia

Treatment for mental health disorders is still woefully lacking in the United States and across most of the world. In fact:

  • 56% of U.S. adults with mental illness receive no care
  • 34% of adults with serious mental illness do not receive care
  • 49% of youth (6-17 years old) with a mental health condition get no treatment

It’s important to be able to identify the warning signs of mental illness, which include:

  • Extreme mood swings or changes.
  • Drastic changes in eating habits and sudden weight loss or gain.
  • Irrational and excessive fear or worry for no valid reason.
  • Problems with focus and concentration. 
  • Withdrawing socially from family, friends, and coworkers. 
  • Excessive feelings of sadness or hopelessness that last more than two weeks.
  • Thoughts of self-harm.
  • Undertaking risky, reckless behavior that can lead to hurting you or others.
  • Excessive use of drugs or alcohol. 

Where can you turn for help?  If you or someone you know or love is struggling with mental health, there are plenty of tools and resources available to you, such as:

  • Talking with a health care professional.
  • Reaching out to family or close friends and share what you’re going through.
  • Reporting any issues to your HR representative at work or boss if need be.
  • Studying up on mental health and illness.
  • Joining a free mental health education class or seminar.
  • Calling the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) hotline at any time at 800-950-NAMI (6264).

I also would like to offer you my well-researched Trigger Management Plan for free, which will help you identity and cope with the things that derail you from living the life you truly want.

You can find it here: https://bigvoicesrise.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/06-BV-Trigger-Worksheets.pdf

Thanks for reading today and remember that mental health IS health!

-Kelly Resendez

The Art of Rewiring Your Brain

Scientists used to think that our brains were hard-wired, born and developed with a physical structure that could never be altered. In decades past, patients with brain damage or traumatic injuries seldom showed improvement, and there was certainly no way to observe the brain’s activity or inner workings.

But dramatic advances in science, healthcare, and research, really just in the last decade, have propelled us to a new understanding of the human mind. We understand more of how it functions, and also what we can do to directly influence its processes.

Far from being hard-wired, your brain is actually malleable, able to change and adapt. This “neuroplasticity” (“neuro” = brain and “plasticity” = changeable) is the key that allows us to literally rewire our brains. Basically, the brain is like a muscle which can be trained and strengthened like any other.

But why would we even want to rewire our brains?

Rewiring your brain helps you:

  • Learn a new language
  • Change careers or start in a new industry
  • Develop new skills
  • Adapt to new environment and deal with change
  • Form a new mindset
  • Break bad habits
  • Lose weight
  • Get in shape
  • Make money
  • Feel happier
  • Gain confidence

Even more important, rewiring our brains allows us a method to treat addiction, depression, mental illness, and traumatic brain injuries. That field has evolved exponentially in just the last few years, bearing great results for doctors, neuroscientists, psychologists, counselors, and their patients.

But today, we’re talking about re-training your brain for practical uses in your life, like setting goals and getting “unstuck” from negative ruts.

What does “rewiring your brain” mean?

The term “rewire” just means to encourage and promote neuroplasticity (not that you have to open up the hood and get in there with a screwdriver or anything!). 

The miraculous aspect of this is the choices we make, activities we pursue, and even our mindset have a significant impact on our neuroplasticity, helping our brains create and strengthen new neuropathways. 

We can do that by setting new goals or engaging in healthy habits. Those establish and promote those new pathways, which soon become entrenched as those positive behaviors become habits.

As your brain’s neurons continue to fire in unison with a new habit, experience, or some form of learning, they’ll eventually form a physical connection. “Fire together, wire together” is the geeky-but-true mantra among neuroscientists!

Triggers, addiction, and negative spirals

Reframing your attitude to get gratification or take pleasure from these new goals and pursuits is a key step in the process. However, while the brain can be rewired to adopt positive new habits and changes, it can also easily slip back into established negative pathways. 

Therefore, it’s crucial we look for the warning signs and avoid those “triggers.”

Stress is a big one. Research shows that acute or chronic stress alters our brain by entrenching habits, good or bad. So, when we’re faced with serious stressors, we’re more likely to revert to the easiest and most established neuropathway, which is falling back on our habits and familiar ways. 

Depression, anxiety, and other emotional strife are more triggers, as the negative thought patterns that ensue can impair or sabotage the brain’s neuroplasticity process.

More triggers that inhibit neuroplasticity:

Emotional triggers: depression, anger, anxiety, exhaustion, loneliness, isolation, stress, and even memories

Social triggers: family, friends, coworkers, cohorts, enablers, and others

Environmental triggers: certain places, sights, sounds, smells, etc. 

Escape triggers: drugs, alcohol, violence, abuse, and others

Practical methods to help rewire your brain

Ok, now let’s get down to 10 things you can actually do yourself to encourage neuroplasticity and rewire your brain for positive changes:

1. Performing specific brain-training exercises

Specific training that revolves around problem-solving or other cognitive tests can strengthen positive neuroplasticity. For instance, a study of London taxi drivers found that their hippocampus (a portion of the brain responsible for mental mapping) actually grow larger because they had to memorize every street and detail of the city!

2. Mindful meditation

Meditation has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to strengthen neurological pathways, opening up a whole host of benefits such as improved clarity, focus, less stress, anxiety, or depression, better sleep, and more.

3. Cognitive behavioral therapy

For those who have brain injuries or serious emotional trauma, cognitive therapy conducted by a professional may be necessary to rewire the brain, but it is effective.

4. Learning a new language

Studying a new, non-native language is proven to improve cognitive function by increasing gray matter, as well as white matter. Those two areas of the brain are associated with increasing memory, attention, emotional intelligence, motor skills, and increasing communication and interconnectivity within the brain.

5. Making music

Playing instruments and making music promotes positive brain function and boosts our ability to learn, memory, focus, concentration, and also has been found to slow cognitive decline in seniors. In fact, research shows that musicians have 130% more gray matter in their brains than the average person!

6. Art and creativity

Artistry and the process of creation create new connections in the brain, as well as strengthening existing neural pathways. Art challenges us to see the world from a different perspective, which helps expand subjective interpretation and overall cognitive function.

7. Traveling

As you can imagine, hitting the road to see new countries, cultures, and have new experiences boosts your cognitive flexibility, which offers the same neurological rewiring as art, music, and other creativity. 

The great thing about travel is that you don’t actually have to get on an airplane and go somewhere to enjoy the brain benefits. Simply planning an epic trip, researching new parts of the world on YouTube, or even exploring your own city can do the same thing.

8. Playing video games?!

Many of us have scolded our kids that they should put down the video games and go outside to play sports or read a book instead. But studies show that video games (in moderation) actually offer cognitive benefits like problem-solving skills, improve memory, spatial navigation, and other gray matter boosters. But maybe you want to keep this one to yourself and not tell them!

9. Exercising

Getting a good workout in, doing yoga, or just taking a brisk walk not only has plenty of physical benefits, but activates your brain, too. Studies show that exercise (especially aerobic exercise, or cardio) helps grow cognition function with improvements to memory, learning capacity, and even reduces stress, anxiety, and the instance of depression.

10. Socializing

It’s not just a cerebral task that can stimulate our gray matter and form new neuro-connections, but the simple act of being with others. In fact, these social connections foster brain health and decrease the symptoms and seriousness of depression, anxiety, and stress. Social connection is a key component in the quality of both brain functions and mental health!

***

Now that you understand the art of rewiring your brain, I hope you use this to become healthier, happier, and change your life any way you wish!

20 Quotes about sales from the best in the biz (that every Realtor and loan officer should read!)

I know that you love what you do, but let’s face it: selling real estate or home loans can be a grind. There are countless hours, never-ending To Do lists, and prospects who sometimes give us the runaround.

Our phones or email are rarely off, and ours is a lot closer to a 24/7/365 vocation than a 9 to 5.

For that reason, the mental game is so important. We have to constantly reinvigorate our attitude, wear a smile like it was an accessory, and get in the trenches to fight for our deals, our clients, and our livelihood!

Therefore, it’s important that we draw inspiration and positivity every day to keep us passionate and focused. It’s also pivotal to continually learn and grow, not only in our own personal development but in the sales skills we need to succeed.

So, here are 20 quotes from some of the best salespeople, sales trainers, coaches, speakers, authors, and titans of business in history!

After reading this, it’s hard NOT to be fired up and re-energized!

  • Jordan Belfort 

“The Wolf of Wall Street”

“Successful people are 100% convinced that they are masters of their own destiny. They’re not creatures of circumstance, they create circumstance. If the circumstances around them suck, they change them.”

 “No matter what happened to you in the past, you are not your past. You are the resources and the capabilities you glean from it. And that is the basis for all change.”

“The only thing standing between you and your [sales] goal is the bullsh*t story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”

  • Napoleon Hill

Iconic self-help author of Think and Grow Rich

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”

Superstar human performance coach in business and sales

“A Top Producer is not something you’ve done or an award you won, it is someone you are and choose to become.”

“The one with the most influence over a customer is simply the one with the greatest understanding of their customer, not the product.”

  • Patricia Fripp

Sales presentation trainer

“To build a long-term successful enterprise, when you don’t close a sale, open a relationship.”

  • Brian Tracey

Real estate sales trainer

“Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her to solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or service.”

“Always have more people to see than you have time to see them. Keep your sales pipeline full by prospecting continuously.”

“Your life can only get better when you do. Do something every day to improve your key skill areas.”

  • Jack Canfield

Motivational speaker, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul

“If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life), you probably aren’t doing enough asking.”

“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”

  • Tom Hopkins

Author of How to Master the Art of Selling Anything

“Begin by always expecting good things to happen.”

  • Jim Rohn

Respected motivational speaker

“You cannot change your destination overnight. But you can change your direction overnight.”

“To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself. First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask?”

  • Zig Zigler

Sales coach and speaker

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

“Statistics show that when customer complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.”

“Timid salesmen have skinny kids.”

  • Dale Carnegie

Self-improvement author and speaker

“Names are the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”

“To be interesting, be interested.”

  • Deb Calvert

President, People First Productivity Solutions

“If it isn’t fun, it isn’t selling!”

  • Alec Baldwin as ‘Blake’ in Glengarry Glen Ross

“Coffee is for closers.”

“A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing.”

  • Stephen Covey

Author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to respond.”

  • Jeff Shore

Sales Keynote Speaker

“We can afford to lose clients, deals and money, but not our reputation.”

  • Doug Macdonald

Veteran sales manager at Mass Mutual

“The goal is not to make a sale; the goal is to make a difference.”

  • Tony Robbins

Most successful motivational guru in the world

“Let fear be a counselor and not a jailer.”

“If we’re to build a business, we not only need raving fan clients, we need a raving fan culture. Culture meaning everybody on your team works to create raving fan experiences. You’ve got to create raving fans if you want to be successful.”

  • Dan Walderschmidt

Business Strategist and corporate sales speaker

“Make one more call…When you are tired, hungry, worn out, burnt out, and ready to go home, make one more call.”

  • W. Clement Stone

Philanthropist and author

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman – not the attitude of the prospect.”

  • Henry Ford

Industrialist and business magnate


“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”

  • Kelly Resendez

Founder of The Foundation to Sustainable Success

“The purpose of building a sustainable, systematic business is so you can concentrate your efforts on the activities that have the highest return – mainly building relationships and reacting creatively to changes in the market.”

“If we define our success by what others think or feel, we are, in essence, setting ourselves up for failure.”

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Which quote was your favorite? Or, do you have a favorite quote about sales, business, or personal development that you’d like to share? 

I’d love to hear from you!

How can you prepare for an amazing 2020?

Here are some tips on preparing your goals and business plan. 

Get Ready for 2020!

Please check out our latest goal and business planning course. It will help you get ready for 2020 so you can crush your goals.

You can use the attached Goal Sheet here.

Are you ready to work on you?

Who you’re being matters!!! Here are some suggestions on adopting the right beliefs so you can create an amazing life and business!

How are you maximizing opportunities with Millennials?

Watch our most recent Realtor Coaching event where we shared facts and opportunities within the Millennial demographic. We remove many myths you may have heard and offer info from NAR’s Generational Trends Report that can be found here.

Do you have an opportunity creation system?

With the market turning, how can building a opportunity creation system that will help you in spite of any downturn?

Is the seasonal downturn out of your control? Or is this the year you crush it?

I recently held a Realtor Coaching event where I shared tips on navigating the seasonal downturn and creating a new level of success for yourself in spite of what the market does! You can create new beliefs and activities that are proven to generate more opportunity. Take a listen and create your seasonal plan today!

How can you use your Big Voice and remain more confident?

So many things outside of our control can derail us. Listen to how you can stay in your Big Voice and speak up for yourself should someone challenge or question you in business.