"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." -F. Foch

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UCLA's Undergraduate Research Week, May 2019

Hi there! I’ve never been great at introductions but here it goes…

I go by Rose Mejia but my real name is Rosalva. Rosalva Mejia Jauregui. Most people get intimidated by the Spanish “r” so I like saving them the effort. I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, or “the hood” as most people call it. My childhood was filled with overwhelming amounts of fear, anxiety, and trauma. Aside from living in a neighborhood where gang violence was common and someone dying on my block was the norm, I also experienced sexual abuse behind closed…

No matter how much his body wanted to give in, no matter how intense the pain was, he wanted to live.

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Photo by Kinnese Wang on Unsplash

For years now I have had a strong focus on understanding psychological resilience and the multiple factors that compose resiliency. But if there’s one entity that I’d have to argue being the most important and impactful, it is mindset.

Our mindset is an all defining factor that moderates the effect that the external world has on us. Our mindset determines how we approach a problem and the way we interpret challenges. Our mindset will either make us or break…

Despite what phase we are in within our lives, the questions we ask ourselves will ultimately direct where we’re headed and what we focus on.

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Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

In life we’ll often be faced with challenges that will push our limits and redefine how we see ourselves. Sometimes our transformation is a positive one, leading to ultimate growth, resiliency, and antifragility. But there are times where the pressure is too much and we may find ourselves swamped in a pool of resentment, anger, and fear.

It is the only way I’ve found to maintain faith that our suffering is not in vain.

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Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

Each and every one of us is blessed with a gift. However, our gift is often wrapped in the inconveniences of pain and suffering, tucked under a forest of wounds and emotional baggage. It’s taken my life time to fully understand this concept and accept it with an open heart. Let me explain…

Well I’m here to tell you that there is no “one way” to become fit and healthy.

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Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

I know, I know. When it comes to fitness and nutrition, there seems to be an endless list of do’s and don’ts. The worst part? There’s no real “holy bible” on this. You’ll find new research explaining the next big thing that everyone has been doing “wrong.” You have people promoting the “right” diet or workout routine that everyone is missing out on. Well I’m here to tell you that there is no “one way” to become fit and healthy.

Wonders happen when you cease becoming rigid with what life should look like and instead try to see what it has to offer.

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Photo by Rosalind Chang on Unsplash

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ( DSM-5), anxiety and depression are the leading mental health disorders in the world (2017). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in June 2020 after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, about 40.9% of respondents to a U.S national survey reported having “at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition,” with about 30.9% of those cases being due to depression and anxiety

You learn that every breath is a source of power.

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Photo by Aditya Ali on Unsplash

I must ask…how do you move? How do you hold up your body as you stand? As you walk? How about when you push and pull weights and objects? Where’s your mind when you move? Is it fully present with the microshifts of your muscles? In prompt as you exhale and inhale? What is the dance between your mind and body when you move? It is synchronized or out of tuned?

In the fitness community, the “no pain no gain” mantra has gained a grand audience. As fitness enthusiasts look…

In being more clear of what love should actually look like, we may feel better equipped in evaluating if a relationship is right for us.

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Photo by Khamkéo Vilaysing on Unsplash

Love is a very complicated topic. There’s no doubt about it. Especially considering that it encapsulates a large array of our interpersonal relationships and not simply that with our significant other. And what complicates it even more is that our relationships can have different stages that may reflect the strength of the social tie we have with that person. In one of these stages, we may be doubtful about how we feel about the other…

I needed to be bigger than the trauma in order to move forward.

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Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

From a child up until my late adolescent years, I had always been pretty shy. My low self-esteem was a large contributor to my shyness because I didn’t see myself as important or valuable. I often felt ashamed talking to someone new and had a strong preference for keeping to myself.

In high school, almost everyone had considered me “the shyest person they had ever met.” Apart of me felt limited by my fear of speaking up. But the rest of me felt comfortable staying within my safe zone.

You’ll be implementing habits and routines that will help improve other aspects of your health, beyond serotonin.

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Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter famously known for regulating our mood, unfortunately does not receive as much rep as it deserves. About 90% of serotonin found in our bodies is synthesized within our gut. It is then transmitted through the gut-brain axis to the brain where it works its magic. Serotonin is responsible for keeping you in a neutralized or uplifted mood and increases overall well-being. However, if serotonin levels are too low in the brain, it may lead to one or more mental health…

Rose Mejia

Striving to be a holistic psychologist & writer.

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