We’re honored to have Jeff Fermin of Officevibe contribute our first post of the series. Though we want to believe that success comes overnight and every company gets a million dollars after the first pitch to a VC, investor or firm, it’s never the case. Fortunately, entrepreneurs are creatives, they see the world different and they want to change the world. It may sound poetic, and even heroic, but what people fail to realize is the dark side of entrepreneurship and how it affects the mind. There is a massive amount of failures, setbacks and negativity that goes with creating something new. I am speaking from what I’ve seen on the news and heard from other entrepreneurs, but more importantly something that I’ve learned from experience.
What’s even worse is that they are not taking the proper steps to avoid or recover from mental health issues that might be affecting their relations with others. Now more than ever, leaders in the tech community are bringing awareness to the mental health problems developed from entrepreneurship. A couple years ago my co-founder and I met up and discussed the possibility of working with one another to start a company. We went through startup incubators, met great people, and kept working hard to get out there. Unfortunately, life doesn’t move as fast as some of the films that we watch or articles we read. I was transparent with him and I let him know how I felt, which to this day was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I often think about all the other entrepreneurs out there that are scared to admit that they’re “vulnerable” humans. Taking the precautions to make sure you avoid anxiety will help you succeed and do its part in giving you a clear mind. The extra stress from being overworked can cause a lot of unhealthy habits that will damage your wellbeing. I’ve had plenty of conversation with Dale (CEO of Pacifica) and he’s told me about the company’s goals and vision, and I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure that this lovely application gets out there to the masses. As a person who beat stress, anxiety, and dealt with suicidal thoughts, I wish I would’ve had a tool to tell me that I would benefit from getting help. The home screen has been redesigned to display daily quotes that correspond to the daily activity. By default, the mood history now shows a simplified view of your mood over time (a smiley).
This post was written by Kate Carmichael LPC and was originally posted here at ATX Counseling for Teens.
Centering thought of the day:  By choosing positive, loving thoughts, I create a life full of joy. Pacifica is a free app designed to assist with lessening the physical causes of stress and anxiety through mindfulness.
In a fast-paced world of conflicting values, I really like how Pacifica highlights that change happens over time.
No matter what manner of office ninja you are, daily stress and anxiety come with the territory. Being mindful of your stress and working to understand what causes it can be the first step towards better stress management. The app is comprised of five main activities: Mood, Relax, Thoughts, Experiments, and Health. The mood tracking activity allows you to rate your daily moods and recognize patterns over time. The relax feature allows you to choose from three relaxation activities: positive visualization, muscle relaxation, and deep breathing. The thoughts activity allows you to record your daily musing and helps you work through and process patterns of thought and behavior. The health activity features seven categories to rate yourself on everyday: sleep, exercise, eating, water, caffeine, alcohol, and outdoors.
As an office ninja you may not be able to control what gets thrown at you throughout the day, but you can, over time, learn to control how it affects you. It sounds counter-intuitive, but as someone who has dealt with anxiety, I’ve found this statement to be true. Question your thoughts: Learn to judge your thoughts critically instead of accepting them as facts.
Jeffrey and I connected immediately when we started talking about the experiences we had both shared in working to get a company off the ground.

The more setbacks, the more an individual can lose their “cool” and develop mental health issues.
I’ve always been the type to do my own thing and make my own path, so I agreed without any hesitation. We eventually teamed up with a larger company to build an employee engagement tool that will make people happier at work.
When you’re young, you can’t help but to think that your company is going to be the next Facebook, Whatsapp, Google, etc.
I had seen movies like the Social Network and Pursuit of Happiness and thought that was going to be us. Success doesn’t happen by just standing around and thinking “that’s going to be me.” Also, there’s a lot more stressful moments than any article or movie portrays.
The strange thing is that my platform preaches being happy at work, however, there were so many setbacks and challenges that I wasn’t. My therapist actually induced an anxiety attack, and I became aware that all the problems were all self-inflicted. They want to believe that they’re flawless and that they never fail, but that’s not the case, nor has it ever been. If you have hit rock-bottom before and escaped, you know just how difficult it can be to get out of that hole.
For most entrepreneurs, they’re so obsessed with their product that they do their best to perfect every little aspect of their product every day.
Entrepreneurs feel as if they are indebted to their product, so whenever they can, they’ll take shortcuts to not work that hard on themselves and get to their idea. Being a data-driven individual, I would have loved seeing something that quantifies my stress. If you have a device that supports HealthKit integration, this should make it a bit more seamless to populate data in Pacifica.
It is so easy with the current highly evolved technologies widely available as well as living in a Western society to become engulfed in screen-time. It utilizes five categories rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation and key wellness factors.
Relax – When you feel stressed, Pacifica offers three relaxation exercises: deep belly breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and positive visualization. Thoughts – When you feel overwhelmed and your mind is racing, this app can assist with bringing negative thought patterns into the forefront to develop more positive perspectives over time. Experiments – If you’re feeling up for a challenge, this section provides ways to explore your health and get some forward-motion traction. Health – A section to track your daily wellness factors like hours of sleep, time spent outdoors, minutes exercising and caffeine intake.
Depending on how much consciousness we have towards our health factors, we can expedite real change and balance in a lasting way.
These words have helped me deal with anxious situations many times, so I hope you find them helpful too.
In fact, being able to handle all the things that your role demands of you is what makes you rock.
And since this is 2015, there is, naturally, an app for that! Pacifica features a variety of tools to help you manage daily stress and anxiety. Each activity allows you to reflect on your daily moods and thoughts over time, as well as challenge yourself to face your anxieties head on and push through them.
The app will send you notifications at various points throughout the day asking how you’re feeling. You can also select from a variety of relaxing soundscapes to accompany your activity of choice.
Choose one of your goals, identify a small step towards this goal, and then rate how difficult you think it might be to achieve it.
Over time you can use this feature to identify correlations between these health factors and your levels of stress and anxiety. It’s natural to avoid anxiety or to deny its existence all together, but recovery comes in accepting it. Your thoughts, more than anything, affect how you feel and ultimately your perspective of the world.
I have attempted suicide for the first time this year due to a online friend of mine dying, i felt hopless and so i overdosed on pills. We’re expected to hold our heads up or to turn the other cheek because anything other than complete confidence is seen as weakness. It takes a lot of courage to tell this story and we couldn’t be more thankful to Jeff for sharing his here.

The outlier, the deviant, the trailblazer, the one that doesn’t want to do what everyone else does. I remember thinking that we were going to be making rounds in Silicon Valley and be like rockstars out there in a short time.
It took me about seven months before I had another breakdown and I spoke to my family and told them everything. Consumers, investors, family members, and others will always tell you that what you are working on isn’t good enough.
That tunnel vision is hard to get rid of, but they have to realize that there’s more to life than a startup or getting the next person to fall in love with a product. So keep both in check and make sure that you’re keeping tabs on improving your mind and body.
We listened to every single comment and tried to prioritize what we could to get this out in a reasonable amount of time.
We’ve responded to your feedback and are hard at work translating Pacifica to as many languages as we are able to, beginning with French and Spanish. For me personally, it allows me to better see how my lack of sleep and how much caffeine I’m drinking seem to always cause a dip in my mood. This way, you can complete the activity without looking at the screen. We also added eight visualization meditations that can be used in situations where you might not be able to record your own voice.
Once in a lunar eclipsed moon, I find an app or a piece of technology that helps to connect back with the self versus focusing energy outside of the body.
You can track improvements and take note of triggers over time like water intake or number of hours of sleep.
It allows you to be a detective for your own emotional and physical wellbeing on a non-judging and gentle path.
The app is based around Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and works to help you understand your issues and change patterns of behavior over time. Along with rating your mood you can add a note explaining why you are feeling a certain way. This feature is amazing for those times during the day when you feel your anxiety ramp up, or at night when you find it difficult to turn off your brain and fall asleep. Whether or not you get a chance to complete the experiments, simply writing them down and reflecting on the triggers that cause you anxiety throughout the day is useful.
Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, relaxation, and wellness, I’ve been able to address my anxiety head-on this past year. Though the adrenaline rush is uncomfortable, these feelings aren’t harmful and can’t actually last very long. The day after I wrote my “resignation letter” my investor brought me in to talk, not about business, but about how I was feeling. I did another couple of months of remote working and I came back to my office’s headquarters with a clear, well-functioning mind. Entrepreneurs will always hear that “someone else does that!” or “why don’t you trying doing something else?”  Oh, and my personal favorite, “have you heard about [insert name], they’re doing so well, why don’t you trying doing that?”  Stress and anxiety is the price to pay for entrepreneurship. As someone who suffers from (sometimes comical amounts of) chronic worry, I can say that managing it has been hard for me.
While I’m not sure it can ever be completely “cured”, a holistic approach can certainly help manage and reduce it. They overestimate the likelihood of something bad happening, exaggerate the consequences, and underestimate their ability to cope.
But if we were to poll every entrepreneur in the world, I’m sure that nearly all of them agree, it’s worth it.
Now, thanks to creatives at Pacifica, there is a well-designed app that provides a tool to manage stress and anxiety. The main idea is to acquire tools to calm yourself whenever anxiety strikes, so you can more easily cope.
I even turned into one of those “crazy” people that wake up extra early to workout before work.
Think about this: If you’ve had an anxiety attack, you’ve likely already experienced the worst your body can feel. But you can face your fears a little each day, and eventually, work toward your bigger goals.
It’s not about being free of anxiety in these early moments, but enduring despite the anxious feelings.

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