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

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…

Personal Awareness

We are limited in our capacity to be “perfect.”

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Growing up as a child I didn’t really have my mom around. She would work five to six times a week with eight-hour shifts (or sometimes more) and have a commute time of three or four hours in total each day. I would see her in the morning when she and my dad would drop me off at a babysitter’s around five am and then sometime in the evening after six or seven pm. I remember that my dad and I would often go to the bus stop to wait for her in the evenings. Sometimes we’d wait there for…

Find sovereignty within the loss.

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It’s almost been four months since my father passed. Within these four months, I’ve had to learn how to spend my days alone here at home without him and adapt to longer having to take care of his health and needs. This has required me to let go of the routine I had created for his meals, resting periods, medications, and walks. …

You have more control over how you feel.

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Dr. Daniel G. Amen is a double-certified psychiatrist and New York Times best-selling author. He’s also the founder of Amen Clinics, the Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, and BrainMD. If you follow his work, then you may be aware of the term he coined in the 1990's as Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs).

According to Dr. Amen and many other clinicians and mental health professionals, negative thoughts are a precursor to depression, anxiety, chronic stress, and other mental health disorders. This is because our thoughts create a chemical signal in the brain. …

We’re all capable of developing self-efficacy.

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Background Story

Growing up, I’ve had many friends and acquaintances who struggled with their mental health. The most common mental health problem was depression and depression-related symptoms. Often their symptoms would be so extreme that they would skip school for a few days because they couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. Or they’d arrive at school but wouldn’t eat or engage with anyone for most of the day. They would get stuck in their thoughts, such as ruminating about something that happened at home or anticipating that others were thinking the worst about them. …

I lost who I really was for a false sense of belonging, love, and acceptance.

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I was perhaps twelve years old when I started to question what it means to know oneself. I grew up during a time where advanced technology was becoming more accessible to the common layperson and social media sites like Facebook were emerging as popular. When I first created my Facebook profile, I thought that the profile questions Facebook prompts defined identity.

What is your favorite artist?

What are your favorite books?

What hobbies do you like to do?

And I thought that If I could refine my lists of what I liked, if I could tell Facebook clearly who I…

Without opening the gates to hell, we’ll always suffer.

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If you’re someone who struggles with their mental health, then you already understand how automatic and involuntary the stir of unwanted thoughts, emotions, and behaviors submerge. One moment you may find yourself feeling calm, neutral, present, and then in a matter of seconds your turmoil of uncomfortable symptoms begins; heart racing, rushing thoughts, or impulses to scream and lash out.

Perhaps you have a tick that goes out of control or compulsion you can’t help but submit to. You think, say, and act in a way that brings you shame, disappointment, or embarrassment. And you wish that things were different…

None of us are given the rule book on how to live life.

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For many individuals, the concern for improving our health and those of our loved ones has been correlated with the increase in rates of preventable chronic diseases that are linked to early mortality. Many of these diseases include heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Because these diseases have been proven to be preventable or delated with intervention, taking action in reversing any damage and fortifying our mind and body are evident steps in living better and healthier lives.

Frequent recommendations to improve our health and well-being often include things like eating a balanced diet, getting in some movement, de-stressing and…

I distance myself because I don’t know how to love you guys the way typical siblings do.

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Dear ‘Moloncon’ y ‘Molonquin,’

For most of my life, I’ve been jealous of the relationship that you carry together. How you call each other when you need advice. Or how you are there for each other whenever either one of you feels a little lost in the world. And how you guys always have something to talk about with each other and connect between your shared interests. Especially the way you grew up with each other the way real siblings do, where you shared your space with each other and plotted evil plans against mom and dad.

You guys were always around but yet…

Regardless of your circumstance, there is always some power within us.

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According to Seligman in 1975, the feeling of helplessness is derived from a loss of control or freedom. The loss of control means that no further change can be made in daily life, physical body, decisions, or circumstances.

With this mindset, a person may feel trapped and stuck within their situation, leading to a loss of freedom.

Seligman’s Research on Dogs

Seligman’s aforementioned research has shown that helplessness can be learned. In his famous experiment with dogs receiving electric shocks, the dogs who were taught that there was nothing that they could do to stop the shock, became whimpering puppies.

These puppies laid on…

Rose Mejia

Striving to be a holistic psychologist & writer.

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