10 Core Values of a Lasting Relationship

Building a successful relationship takes dedication. There are untold life situations that can spring up, and test the strength and unity of your partnership. Having compatible core values will provide you with the necessary strength and camaraderie to be able to navigate through those stumbling blocks together.

Imagine a passenger getting on a train. Now imagine that the train is headed for San Diego, and the passenger wants to go to Sacramento. The passenger is going to be quite disappointed when he realizes that he’s arrived in San Diego, and not at his destination of choice. Both the train and the passenger need to be headed in the same direction for successful travel.

The same holds true for relationships. Similar core beliefs are fundamental for you and your partner in order to feel safe, protected, connected, and comfortable, to name but a few.((Bustle: What Should You Look For In A Partner? Here’s How To Figure Out Your Core Values In Relationships, According To Experts))

So what are relationship values? They are the guiding principles that dictate your behavior; your personal perspective, not only about yourself, but about others and the world. Core values are the underpinnings of how you live your life.

Be sure your relationship values have substance when discussing them with your partner. Here’re 10 important core values for a successful relationship:

1. Trust

This core value stands above all others. It is the foundation of your relationship. Without trust you basically have nothing. According to an article in Strategic Psychology,((Strategic Psychology: Importance of Trust in a Relationship))

“Trust is integral to happy and fulfilling relationships in both our personal and professional lives. We require trust to develop over time to build successful and meaningful partnerships.”

You and your partner need to trust each other with all you have. You need to feel confident that they will have your back, that you’ll have theirs, and that if there are children involved, their welfare comes above all else.

Your beloved and you can have a triumphant relationship. How? Trusting that each of you will always do the best for the greater good of the relationship. If you truly trust your partner, and they you, you are on your way to conquering any hurdle that stands in the way.

If you are working on building trust in a relationship, see this article for advice.

2. Loyalty

This core value is extremely important and goes hand in hand with trust. Being loyal and having a loyal partner assures that both of you are on the same team. According to Relationship Advice: How to Define Loyalty in a Relationship,((The Couples Expert: Relationship Advice: How to Define Loyalty in a Relationship))

Loyalty is dedication; knowing that you’re devoted solely to each other. That all of the choices and decisions you make have been considered with your partner and the impact on your relationship in mind. Your commitment never wavers and your bond is unbreakable.”

If both you and your honey are reliable and true to each other above everyone else, you’re on the right path. If not, it could be a warpath. I once treated a couple in which one of the partners was missing the loyalty “chip.”

He was loyal, but not to his wife. His family came first and foremost. This did not bode well with his wife, obviously. His parents had to have the last say in their big decisions, and when they directed negative comments at his wife, he did not step up to defend her.

He remained silent and allowed her to take their verbal beating. This is not being loyal to your partner. Loyalty is a key core value for the health and survival of your relationship.

If you are loyal to each other, your love will thrive in the best possible way. And isn’t that the goal of every successful relationship?

Learn more tips about building loyalty in this article: How to Build Loyalty in Your Relationship

3. Religion

This core value is paramount, especially if you are going to raise children together. Religion has a strong place in many people’s lives.

Despite possible difficulties, you might still decide that your partner’s different faith isn’t significant. In her article, Why Religious Compatibility Matters in Relationships, Kelsey Dallas, states,((Kelsey Dallas: Why religious compatibility matters in relationships))

“Religious differences don’t always spell doom for relationships, but they can lead to arguments and tensions. Religiously mixed couples should be proactive about addressing the role faith will play in their family life, according to experts on religion and romance.”

It may be true that religious differences might not end the relationship, but consider the effects on your children if you happen to have them? How will you raise them? Will you let them make up their own minds when they’re old enough? Or are you going to say, “The children must be raised Christian/Muslim. And that’s final!?”

Even if the couple comes to a similar conclusion, there is also the issue of extended family. If they are intricately involved in their religion—the one you were raised in—they may expect that their grandchildren should be as well, and apply undue pressure to make it happen.

If it’s important to you, make sure you discuss this core value, and that you’re both on the same page. And if you are, you’re adding another building block to your already solid partnership.

4. Family

Your dream growing up may have been to get married, have children, and extended family nearby. That’s always been a core value for you. But what happens if your partner wants no children, and plans to move to Africa to study elephants? You’re not going to get too far. Family is a highly critical value, and one that both of you need to share.

I knew a couple who initially decided they didn’t want to have children. It all went smoothly until the wife decided she wanted to have children, after all. Unfortunately, her husband hadn’t had a change of heart.

A choice had to be made. Did she leave her husband of 12 years to try and meet another guy, fall in love, then have children? Or did she stay with the man she loved, and give up the idea of having a family? She chose the latter, but with painful consequences.

Decide early on what your values are on family. Do you want to live near your extended family? How often do you want to visit? Do you want to have a family of your own? If so, how many? This core value, if not shared, could mean the end of your relationship.

In his article, Family Values: What are family values and why are they important, Bryan Zitzman, Ph.D, LMFT, writes,((Bryan Zitzman, Ph.D, LMFT: Family Values: What are family values and why are they important))

“Ultimately, your family values will be specific to you and your family unit. They represent the ways you want to live your family life, and they may have been passed down through multiple generations throughout the decades. Knowing what a family–both the nuclear family and extended family–values can help solidify bonds among family members. Family values help kids and young men and women make good choices because they have a set of beliefs to help guide them.”

When you both hold this core value near and dear to your hearts, it can be very rewarding, bringing you closer together, and expanding the great thing you already have.

5. Communication

Without a doubt, this core value is crucial to the development and well-being of your relationship. In an article by Saminu Abass, 3 Benefits of Effective Communication, he states,

“Living together as husband and wife (or any romantic partnership) can only work when there is an effective back and forth of information between the couple.”

Communicating with each other will bring you closer; allow you to get to know each other as deeply as you can. If you like to keep things to yourself, believing that no one needs to know your business, not even your partner, and your partner loves to talk about every feeling, then the relationship will more than likely fail.

Maybe you’re the type of person who likes to process situations before talking about them, and your partner wants to talk about them immediately. That’s OK. As long as you both want to keep the lines of communication open, it can still work. You and your honey can decide on a time to talk about the issue/s, and resolve them. The problem arises when there is no talking at all.

Remember to also communicate the good stuff. Communicating with each other is a way to invest in your relationship. Any time you are sharing a piece of yourself and your life, your relationship will benefit, and you’ll be rewarded with increased intimacy.

6. Lifestyle

You like to go hiking every weekend and your mate loves to stay home binging New Amsterdam. Lifestyles are important to every relationship.((Keay Nigel: Love Q&A #1: “Lifestyle differences make me want to break up with my boyfriend”)) If you both like to do different things all the time, spending no more than a few minutes a week together, then your relationship is less likely to prosper.

I’m not saying that you have to be glued at the hip, but it’s a good idea to spend fun, quality time with each other. If you’re an outdoorsman, and your partner is a homebody, or you love to go out partying every weekend, and your partner sits in the corner counting the minutes until they can go home, then again, that could create a stumbling block.

As a couple, it’s important you do things together; that for the most part, you enjoy participating in the same activities. But even if you like chasing tornadoes, and your spouse likes taking walks in the park, your relationship can still function totally fine. Just make sure that most of your other core values are on point.

7. Honesty

This core value is critical to every relationship. In an article by Trudy Adams, TBH: 5 Reasons Why Honesty is Important, she writes,((Trudy Adams: TBH: 5 Reasons Why Honesty is Important))

“Without honesty there is no foundation for a lasting or enjoyable relationship in any context, whether that be with a family member, friend or romantic interest. Honesty is a voice for love that builds trust. Without it, even ‘I love you’ becomes a lie in itself and there’s no real security in the relationship.”

The value of honesty is priceless. When you and your partner are honest with each other; when you both believe that honesty is the only way to carry on your relationship, you are saying that your union is decidedly important to you.

If you and your partner are both genuine with each other, you are elevating your alliance to the highest place. There is no guessing game for either of you; you both know where you stand, and that is the best way to grow together.

Honesty can sometimes feel awkward, especially if what you have to say is difficult, but in the long run, it’s better than concealment, which can cause irreparable damage.

If both you and your partner share this beautiful core value, your chances are good that your relationship will thrive in the best way possible.

8. Self-discipline

You may wonder what self-discipline is doing on this list. Let me explain. Let’s suppose you get up every morning at 5:00 a.m. to work out. You are disciplined about your eating habits, maintain a clean home, and delay gratification for future benefits.

You regard self-discipline as a strong virtue. But what if your partner hits the snooze button every morning? What if he doesn’t get out of bed until 9:00 a.m. and then runs out the door with a bag of chips for breakfast? How would you feel? In a case like this, resentment could easily fester.

It’s important to share similar core values in this arena to avoid constant arguments

If you, as the self-disciplined partner, don’t care about your partner’s habits, then it could work, but there’s a strong possibility that if you’re highly self-disciplined, you will expect the same from you mate.

9. Self-improvement

When I was working on my Master’s Degree, we were told that many marriages resulted in divorce during this phase of the program. It was then explained to us that if one partner is on the path of learning and self-improvement, and the other partner remains stagnant, the gap between the couple could widen.

If you are on a continual quest to become the best version of yourself, and your mate doesn’t care to go beyond the knowledge he/she acquired in high school, consider this a cause for alarm.

Whenever you learn something new, it’s natural to want to share it. And who better than with your partner? If they’re not interested, it could lead to disappointment and frustration on your part.

Learn and grow together, and you’ll be on your way to a successful relationship.

For more on the role of self-improvement in relationships, I suggest a blog post by Mel Robbins, You’re Growing but the People in Your Life Are Not. Here’s What You Can Do. She provides some valuable ideas on how to manage self-improvement and growth with your partner.

10. Finances

In order for your relationship to flourish, you must have similar thoughts and goals about how you manage your finances. If one of your core values is saving money for a rainy day, and your partner’s is to throw it away like it grows on trees, then this is going to create havoc in the most fundamental parts of your partnership.

According to Dave Ramsey, financial infidelity endangers the future of your relationship.((Dave Ramsey: The Truth About Financial Infidelity)) If you or your partner are making big financial decisions without consulting the other, then this shows a total disregard for the economy of the relationship, and the relationship itself.

Your core values on finances need to be the same, or frustration is going to plague the saver and the spender. In her article, Keeping Money Secrets From Each other: Financial Infidelity on the Rise, Yoki Noguchi states,((Yoki Noguchi: Keeping Money Secrets From Each other: Financial Infidelity on the Rise))

“Marital infidelity is well-known, but financial infidelity might actually be more common. The few academic studies have estimated that as many as 41% of American adults admit to hiding accounts, debts or spending habits from their spouse or partner.”

If you don’t share the same core values on finances, it will more than likely lead to lying on the part of the partner responsible for the financial infidelity. The lying will lead to broken trust and feelings of betrayal. This is significantly difficult to repair.

Make sure that you and your honey have the same core values regarding money. This will fabricate a more solid relationship, and a future where both of you, working together, will determine your financial future, and all that that includes.

Final Thoughts

Core values are deeply held beliefs. Those beliefs dictate how you behave in your life, and with others. Having a significant other who holds those same beliefs is a wonderful complement to the relationship, and the stuff that strong unions are built upon.

Having said that, your core values may change over the course of your life. You may have one set of values when you’re twenty, and then experience situations that alter those values when you’re in your thirties, forties, and beyond. Still, whatever changes occur need to be in sync with your partner’s for your relationship’s success.

If you appreciated learning about core values, be sure to post this article and share some of your relationship’s core values.

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20 Easy Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss

I’m sure you’ve heard of a million different smoothie recipes for weight loss, right? Let’s be honest…they are quick, easy, flavorful, filling, and so delicious! On top of that, you can easily adjust smoothies to meet your macros. Plus, they can make incredible low-calorie subs for some of those sweets you might be craving. 

Maybe you’re wondering, are smoothies good for weight loss?

Yes and no. Smoothies can be great meal replacements and a way to sneak in extra protein! However, they also can lead to lots of unwanted calories if used incorrectly.

You’ve probably heard it said before: Don’t drink your calories. In a lot of cases, that can be true. It’s not necessarily that smoothies or liquid calories are bad, but it can be hard to justify a smoothie as being a meal, even if it has the calories of one. For that simple reason, some people trying to lose weight might use smoothies more as a snack than a meal, and with that could come unwanted weight gain.

That being said, smoothies are generally healthy and can be amazing at curbing cravings! On top of that, the macro profile (portion of carbs, fats, and proteins) can be spot on as well. Sometimes it actually makes more sense to reach for a copy-cat smoothie version of your favorite dessert (made out of whole ingredients that will keep you satisfied) instead of reaching for a dessert that will spike your blood sugar.

Because of these differences, we need to make a distinction between smoothies that are used as a meal vs ones that can be snuck in as a snack:

Meal Smoothies

These should have a mix of fiber, protein, carbs, and fat. These types of smoothies should generally be used as a meal substitute. An 8 ounce smoothie of just fruit isn’t enough to satisfy most people for long. However, this blend of macro-nutrients will ensure your body feels satiated until your next meal.

Why is that? Fiber, protein, and fat tend to be slower to digest, so your body gets a steady trickle of nutrients that will last a longer time. In contrast, pure fruit is easily digested and will quickly boost your blood sugar only to drop it soon after.

Snack Smoothies

These are lower calorie and nutrient dense. In contrast to meal smoothies, these light and fresh smoothies can give you a quick boost of energy. These smoothies are an amazing way to sneak in extra greens and super-foods. However, they aren’t likely to keep you feeling full for long.

Use snack smoothies between meals or when you need a pick-me-up. But be mindful! Too much snacking of any kind throughout the day could still lead to too many calories.

Now that you know the difference between snack and meal smoothies, dig in to my top 20 smoothie recipes! With options ranging from decadent desserts to light and fresh pick me ups, you’ll find everything you need below! It’s time to satisfy your cravings the healthy way!

1. Snickerdoodle Smoothie

Snickerdoodle Smoothie @spabettie

Is there anything better than that sweet and unique tang of a snickerdoodle cookie? I grew up with this cookie as an infamous family dessert (we even named our rabbits after this favorite treat). However, if you’re looking to bring back that taste without the calories, all hope is not lost! This snickerdoodle smoothie registers at under 400 calories and rings in 14 grams of protein. If your looking to lower calories and sugar, there are also modifications to use stevia or monk fruit as a sweetener instead!

Check out the recipe here!

2. The Best Green Smoothie

Okay, let’s be real. We all want to add a little more green into our lives. However, sometimes it can be hard to gag down. Change all of that with this 5-star smoothie recipe. Not only is this smoothie incredibly delicious, but it’s also packed with nutrients. Chug those greens the easy way!

Check out the recipe here!

3. Detox Smoothie

See the source image

This smoothie is fresh, light, and green, giving your body the nutrient boost it needs. In addition to that, it packs a bonus boost of cilantro, which is said to aid in reducing heavy metal toxicity.

Check out the recipe here!

4. Detox Smoothie #2

Detox Smoothie

This incredible smoothie recipe not only gives you the ingredients, but also a step-by-step guide to designing your own fantastic smoothie recipes! Once you get a taste of this, you will never want to go back!

Check out the recipe here!

5. Easy Weight Loss Smoothie

Easy Weight Loss Smoothie: Zucchini, Kale, Buckwheat, Baobab, Carrots, Green Grapes

If you aren’t a fan of bananas, then this one is for you! Instead, this smoothie uses zucchini as a thickening agent and buckwheat to keep you full and satisfied all day long! And for you celiacs out there…yes, buckwheat is gluten free!

Check out the recipe here!

6. Creamy Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

See the source image

Part of the struggle with trying to lose weight and create healthier habits is the struggle of having to give up some of your favorite foods, like chocolate. Say no more. This chocolate mint smoothie is the perfect blend of protein and chocolate to satisfy your cravings for good! Why avoid what you love when you can indulge the healthy way?

Check out the recipe here!

7. Creamy Cacao Avocado Smoothie

See the source image

Speaking of chocolate, give this smoothie a go! The blend of avocado and chocolate will keep you feeling satisfied and healthy all day long. Not to mention, the creaminess of this one will blow your mind.

Check out the recipe here!

8. Copy-Cat Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino

This easy, healthy homemade Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino recipe is low calorie, vegan, and so delicious! Even better than the original and perfect for coffee frappuccino lovers. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Have you ever gone to a coffee shop and felt the agonizing sting of realizing you can’t order anything but a black coffee? I feel your pain. Personally, I am a huge frappuccino girl, and life without my blends sounds agonizing. Is it a smoothie? Technically no. But this recipe could easily double as one! It’s lower in calories, healthier, and still delicious. Feel free to add some collagen for an added protein boost!

Check out the recipe here!

9. Frozen Fruit Smoothie

A glass of frozen fruit smoothie in crushed ice, garnished with berries and mint.

Sometimes, you don’t need to venture far past the basics to find your ideal smoothie. With a base of apple juice and yogurt, this smoothie provides the best blend of sweetness and creaminess!

Check out the recipe here!

10. Strawberry Keto Smoothie

Strawberry Avocado Keto Smoothie Recipe with Almond Milk - The best strawberry avocado smoothie recipe needs just 4 INGREDIENTS! You're going to love this paleo keto smoothie with almond milk. And, it's ready in a just a few minutes.

Yes! You can still have smoothies while on a keto diet. As it just so happens, berries are very low-carb! In addition to that, this smoothie uses avocado to add an extra boost of creaminess and healthy fats. This one is sure to keep you burning fat all day long!

Check out the recipe here!

11. Real Fruit Smoothie

Real Fruit Smoothie

Stick to the basics to get a maximum boost of nutrients! This smoothie gets straight to the point by using the best fruit medleys to blend you the ultimate weight loss drink.

Check out the recipe here!

12. Citrus Energy-Boosting Smoothie

pre workout smoothie

Feeling tired and run down? Instead of running to the coffee pot when you first wake up, try running to the blender instead! This amazing smoothie mix is an incredible way to give your body a nutrient boost while giving you the energy you need to get through the day.

Check out the recipe here!

13. Skinny Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie

Skinny Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie -- only 3 ingredients in this healthy recipe & it tastes like dessert!

This vegan recipe will have you drooling for more! It’s vegan, low calorie, and delicious! What makes it different than any regular strawberry smoothie? The secret is in a butter extract that gives it a rich pastry flavor while keeping it low in calories. If you feel like leaving your chair to blend this one up right away, you are in good company.

Check out the recipe here!

14. Banana Split Smoothie

Glass of our amazing Vegan Banana Split Smoothie with Coconut Whipped Cream and a cherry on top

This rich and decadent smoothie will have you feeling like you’re indulging at an old fashioned ice cream parlor. This recipe is absolutely delicious and will have our cravings flying out the window. It stays deliciously smooth and creamy with the banana base and dates for an extra touch of creaminess.

Fair warning: this smoothie does have a slightly higher natural sugar content. However, it is much lower than going crazy and diving into a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. Of course, if you feel like having a lighter version of this same drink, you can always sub a little banana and dates for zucchini and stevia.

Check out the recipe here!

15. Skinny Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie

(Skinny!) Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie | gimmesomeoven.com #vegan #glutenfree

And here we have it! Yet another healthy smoothie version of your favorite dessert! If you’re getting sick of eating oatmeal in the mornings, try using it in a shake instead! Because of the high fiber in oatmeal, it helps keep you feeling full and satiated longer while giving the smoothie a fun new texture.

Check out the recipe here!

16. Pineapple Kale Smoothie

Good for you kale smoothie in a glass made with ingredients like bananas, pineapple, and honey which have tons of health benefits

If you’re looking to sneak some extra greens into your day (and let’s be honest, aren’t we all!) this pineapple kale smoothie is for you! Not only are the ingredients incredibly nutrient dense, but they’re also light and fresh. Pineapple is known for helping digestion because of an enzyme it contains called bromelain. Just for that reason, this smoothie can keep you feeling light and energized after you sip!

Check out the recipe here!

17. Healthy Shamrock Shake

Tall milkshake glass with Shamrock Shake Mint Smoothie

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy a good shamrock shake! Also, it turns out you don’t have to be unhealthy for it either! This shamrock shake is made of entirely healthy ingredients and even sports Greek yogurt for an extra protein boost. Have a bowl of yogurt or a shamrock shake? It’s your choice, but I know which one I would go for! And the ingredients turn out to be almost exactly identical at the end of the day.

Check out the recipe here!

18. Cinnamon Roll Smoothie

straw with creamy Banana cinnamon roll smoothie sticking to it

Once again sporting Greek yogurt for a good protein boost, this smoothie could make an amazing low-calorie meal replacement. It contains yogurt, oats, chia seeds, and fruit, offering a great blend of fiber, protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Not only does it taste fantastic, but it could very well curb cravings while remaining relatively low-calorie and satiating.

Check out the recipe here!

19. Golden Glow Turmeric Smoothie

Golden Glow Pineapple Turmeric Smoothie! Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, easy to make!

The sound of having turmeric in your smoothie might make some of you cringe, but it is definitely worth trying. For one, pineapple has such a strong flavor in and of itself that the turmeric’s taste is almost completely masked. Secondly, turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory that everyone should try adding it to their diet. You might be surprised to find out that it is actually pretty tasty as well!

Check out the recipe here!

20. Copy-Cat Disneyland Dole Whip Smoothie

Homemade, Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Plant-based, Dessert, cruelty-free, Dole Whip, Disneyland Dole Whip, Disneyland, Disney, Pineapple, Sorbet, Soft Serve, Gemma Stafford, Bigger Bolder Baking, Recipe, How to make Dole Whip

 

If you really want to take a taste of magic home, try out this fantastic recipe! Made with only two ingredients, you will get that creamy indulgent taste you love without the sugar or extra calories. Curb those cravings the right way!

Check out the recipe here!

Bonus Smoothie Additions

For an extra weight loss boost, try these fun additions!

Greens

Sneak in greens wherever you can! Smoothies tend to be very flavorful, so you usually won’t even notice a few added greens in there. However, the nutrients will keep you feeling extra energetic throughout the day!

Protein

Add in a small scoop of protein powder to almost any smoothie. Especially if you are looking for a meal replacement, the simple addition of protein powder will ensure you’re staying full throughout the day!

Frozen Zucchini

Did you hear me right? Yes you did! Zucchini is actually a great thickening agent in smoothies. Translation: Less sugar and more fiber! Since zucchini is so low in calories and almost flavorless, you can use it in smoothies for a rich and creamy texture while keeping things low-calorie. Plus, the extra fiber will have you feeling like you had a full meal for way less calories.

Sweetener Subs

Most smoothies use extra honey, syrups, or fruit for their sweeteners. However, that can add up very quickly to unwanted calories. Instead, try subbing low calorie sweeteners like monk fruit or stevia once in a while to cut down on the high sugar count. That being said, avoid artificial sweeteners like Splenda. They won’t do you any good.

Sub Desserts

Try making healthy smoothie renditions of your favorite desserts. We’re only human, and it can be hard to stick to a healthy diet sometimes. Instead of giving something up, find a sub for your favorite meals! In this case, getting that amazing flavor you are craving in the form of a low-calorie smoothie could be just the thing for you!

More Healthy Recipes

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Overcome Fear and Anxiety with These 4 Mindset Shifts

It’s your first day on the job. You’re at a meeting of 40+ colleagues.

“Listen up every one, here’s our newest team member!”

All eyes turn to you.

“Why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us all an interesting fact about you?”

Instant panic.

Adrenaline levels? 11/10.

All words gone, replaced by sub-Saharan dry mouth.

Blushing, trembling or total amnesia…Sound familiar?

You’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the majority.

This is just one of the many common types of anxiety we can experience. Whether it’s social gatherings you’ve talked yourself out of, holding back at work in fear of judgement, or catastrophizing situations before they happen, anxiety can manifest itself in different ways for all of us.

If this is a daily battle for you — an exhausting and defeating inner battle that’s preventing you from truly living authentically and being in the moment — then you should be applauded. You’re already ahead of the pack because you’ve made that conscious decision to find out what anxiety is and how to overcome it.

Rest assured, you’re going to find out.

What You Need to Know About Anxiety

Did you know that nearly 300 million people((Our World in Data: Number with a mental or neurodevelopmental disorder by type, World, 2017)) suffer from anxiety in some form? These feelings of worry, nervousness, or unease that arise in reaction to (or in anticipation of) something painful or uncertain are, sadly, “normal” feelings to experience.

It may be normal because many people experience it, but it’s not something you were born with (although there are some genetic tendencies that can mean you’re more prone to it). It’s actually something your brain has learned how to do.

Have you ever seen an anxious or self-conscious baby? Coming out of the womb worrying if they sound weird or look funny? So you see, anxiety is something that we’ve learned to do. It’s “normal” because a lot of us have learned it.

How? Glad you asked…

The Subconscious Mind: A Friend or Foe?

To understand how anxiety can be “learned,” it’s crucial to understand that anxiety isn’t something that happens on a conscious level. It begins in the subconscious mind. It’s the reason you can’t just switch the anxiety off (as much as you want to!) because it’s not a conscious process.

The distinction between the conscious and subconscious was effectively illustrated by Sigmund Freud’s((Project Gutenberg: A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis)) iceberg analogy. He likened the tip of the iceberg – the bit that sits above the water – to the conscious mind. It’s the bit we can “see,” and it’s the smaller of the two. It’s the least informed and it helps you talk, think, move, and act in daily interactions.

For example, if you’re hungry or if you trip and hurt yourself, your conscious mind sends the signal to get food or find painkillers.

Then there’s the rest of the iceberg, the part that’s submerged underwater – seemingly invisible – and crucial to the structure as a whole. This, Freud said, represents the subconscious mind. It holds your memories, feelings, and habits and controls your emotions. It can learn things like how to create anxious feelings because it’s malleable, meaning it can change and be influenced by our life experiences. Scientists call this phenomenon neuroplasticity((Frontiers in Psychology: Consciousness, brain, neuroplasticity)).

“The idea that the brain can change its own structure and function through thought and activity is, I believe, the most important alteration in our view of the brain since we first sketched out its basic anatomy and the workings of its basic component, the neuron.”((Norman Doige, M.D.: The Brain that Changes Itself))

From the time you were born to the age you are now, your mind has been changing and forming new neurological patterns. Whether they are good or bad depends on what you’ve been through. Panic attacks, depression, and suicide are all things that happen when your subconscious has taken on some pretty destructive thought patterns, telling you that you’re not good enough, you don’t deserve to be here, or you can never be “fixed.”

This is because, as human beings, our subconscious minds((Marisa Peer: Marisa Peer’s Rules of the Mind)) are programmed to lead us away from pain and toward pleasure. It’s human instinct, and it likes what’s familiar to it. Moments of impact in our life cause us to make new patterns or break old ones, but ultimately the longer you do or think something, the more it just feels natural and begins to happen automatically.

How Did I Learn Anxiety?

When it comes to anxiety, your subconscious mind learned to cause feelings of worry, unease, and stress when a specific trigger was pulled. It’s different for all of us, but if your trigger is public speaking, for example, your automatic reaction after being told about it could be a knotted stomach, dread, and images of you failing or looking nervous. And those images are played over and over again.

Take a moment and think back to a time in your life — your first ever memory of feeling anxious, scared, or judged in some way. You might struggle to think of this consciously if it’s a particularly painful memory. That’s something the conscious mind has the power to do (not the subconscious). It can prevent the immediate recall of painful memories so that you don’t have to feel that pain again.

However, sometimes we need to address them, but it’s more effective to do so in a trance-like state during mediation or hypnosis, so you can really remove those conscious limitations…because your subconscious remembers everything. It remembers being bullied at school. It remembers when you struggled to make friends. It remembers that traumatic car accident. Whatever it might be, your subconscious filed that memory along with the pain associated with it, and it’ll do anything it can to stop you from feeling that pain again.

How does it do that? It makes you feel anxious, of course! The more anxious you feel, the more likely you’ll refrain from facing that pain again. Anxiety is actually trying to help you, but if you’re still reading, then chances are anxiety is not doing anything good for you now.

It’s preventing you from living a happy and free life where you can make friends easily, or get up and speak confidently, or feel relaxed in everyday situations, etc. Knowing all you know now, you’re well on the road to overcoming fear and anxiety. The next step is putting it all in action.

Mindset Shifts to Overcome Anxiety

First, to learn how to overcome fear and anxiety, you need to reflect on some situations that might have led your subconscious mind to form this understanding – everyone’s different, and your brain has created this reaction for you solely because of something it heard, saw, or felt in the past.

If you really struggle with this part, therapists (particularly hypnotherapists who specialize in communicating with the subconscious mind), can lend a hand here. Then, in order to change the pattern, you need to change it at a subconscious level – by shifting your mindset – and there are few ways you can do this.

1. Hypnosis

One of the most effective ways to reprogram your subconscious mind is through hypnosis. It’s a trance-like state, similar to meditation, where you can dialogue with your subconscious mind and give it positive suggestions.

During hypnosis, your brain waves shift from beta to alpha, meaning your subconscious mind is open and willing to listen to new thoughts and ideas. Hypnosis is not scary, and it’s not mind-control. It’s a direct way to talk to the subconscious, and it’s something you can do with a certified hypnotherapist or RTT therapist, or you can simply find the hundreds of free downloadable resources on the internet that can help you shift your mindset.

2. Creative Visualization

Start meditating. Ultimately, the more you practice calming yourself down, the better you’ll be at it. Visualize yourself in the state in which you’d like to be. See yourself living calmly, happily and confidently – see it in great detail. Spend some time every day doing this with a good soundtrack and you’ll see that your thoughts and your mindset will begin to change.

3. Change Your Language

Stop identifying with anxiety and fear. If you’ve ever said, “my anxiety,” “I’m an anxious person,” or “it’s just the way I am,” then you’re owning it. Anxiety and fear are NOT who you are – it’s just something you do, and that’s ok. Soon it’ll be something you used to do (i.e. say “I feel anxious sometimes” instead of “I’m an anxious person” or “I have anxiety”).

4. Self-Talk

Did you know that your mind will believe to be true anything you continually say to it? If you tell yourself every day that you’re bad at public speaking or you always get anxious at work, then guess what? That’s exactly what’s going to happen.

Whether you write it down or say it aloud every day, list out the attributes of the person you want to be and tell yourself every day, for as long as it takes, that you’re that person. You’ll see just how effective this is.

When you identify the cause of anxiety and fear, it’s important to say thank you. Speak to the anxiety:

I understand why you came into my life, but I know now that I attached the wrong meaning to [event], and I no longer need to believe that I’m [not good enough/different/a bad communicator]. Today I’m deciding that I don’t need it anymore. Anxiety no longer serves me.”

Final Thoughts

These are genuine, proven methods that not only reduce anxiety but will help you overcome it for good. Your brain is malleable, and it can change. You just need to tell it how you want it and be gentle with yourself. You’re only human!

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The Lifehack Show: Yoga to Combat Stress and Improve Your Life with Nicole Lovald

In this episode of The Lifehack Show our guest is Nicole Lovald, former corporate addict turned yogi, life coach, and self-care advocate. She is the author of the book Om Sweet Om: A Corporate Junkie’s Search for Enlightenment .

Nicole has a background in counseling veterans, at-risk children, and victims of trauma as she has always been passionate about helping people overcome adversity and change their limiting beliefs into a more progress based mindset.

Here she shares her insights on how yoga can act as the ultimate form of stress relief and help you change your life.

Listen to the episode here:

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10 Tips to Improve Your Learning Curve

Improving your learning curve is mandatory in order to avoid getting stuck in a vicious cycle. You may already be experiencing this cycle. Daily, you fail to manage your time efficiently because you’re not a pro at the tasks you do. To become such, you need to put in the time.

It is just the same as when employers ask for work experience to hire you, but you need to get hired to get work experience.

If you don’t want to be stuck in this sinking swamp, you’re in the right place!

Let’s first find out what the learning curve theory is. Then, you will get to know the top 10 tips to boost your learning curve so that you can eventually find a way out of this stress.

What Is the Learning Curve Theory?

The learning curve is basically a graphical representation of the time taken to do a task. As per this curve, the more times a person does a job, the less time it takes to do it successfully.

For example, if you’re strumming a guitar for the first time, you’ll probably take up a solid few minutes to figure out the finger placement for each chord. Once you get the hand of the task by repeating it multiple times, you can do the same job within seconds!

The theory itself is more mathematical. It involves a formula, overtime observations, and a fair few measurements to create an accurate learning curve.((APA PsycNET: The Learning Curve Equation))

However, for the implementation of this theory in your daily life, you don’t really have to do all the calculations. All that you need to be clear on is the idea of the learning curve so that you can use the science behind it for your improvement.

The learning curve can be applied in all parts of life. Whether it is a toddler who is getting familiar with phonics or an adult who is learning a completely new language, this theory can be used everywhere.

All in all, the main concept is that the repetition of any task or information will accustom the brain to perform quicker in that regard. The mind gets used to the process, it begins to become habitual in the method, and it ends up saving a lot of time.((Informs PubsOnline: Behind the Learning Curve: A Sketch of the Learning Process))

How to Improve Your Learning Curve

There are a few tricks you can use to speed up the improvement of your learning curve. Using these tips will help you master whichever skills you want to!

1. Start With Your Strengths

When you’re starting out with a new process, it is best to go ahead with tasks that you are already well-aware of. This will help you get the hang of the process before you move on to tougher tasks. Starting with your strengths will also keep your motivation high.

If you’re not sure what your personal strengths are, this article may help.

Let’s say you’re already working on mastering pottery. Keep practicing the same skill instead of starting out with something completely new. Otherwise, you’ll lose whatever skill you have in pottery, and the new skill will take up more learning time, too.

2. Don’t Expect Miracles

In the process of lifting up your learning curve, you will have to put in a lot of time. It is not a magic trick that will make you a pro within a few days.

You can use tips to speed up your learning process, but at the same time, be prepared to dedicate ample time to the process.

3. Repeat and Redo

The learning curve theory is all about repeating the job at hand to reduce the amount of time it takes.

Hence, the ultimate goal is to fit in as many repetitions as possible. It gets boring and redundant, but without redoing the same thing over and over, your learning curve will not get any better.

4. Use the Right Techniques

Everyone has a different way of learning. But guess what is also true? The generalized learning techniques have come into existence after a lot of trial and error.

You may be tempted to try out new methods of learning for yourself. But in the process of improving your learning curve, time is of immense importance. This is why you should stick to the tried and true techniques of learning whatever task you’re working on.

You’ll have to do some research to find out what the right techniques for your chosen skill are. This article may help you get started.

5. Take It One Step at a Time

The learning curve varies for different tasks and skills. Therefore, only tackle one learning curve at a time.

For example, f you’re working on a musical skill, stick to it until you master it. Then move forward to something new. You will only make things more time-consuming and tough if you attempt to tackle multiple skills and tasks simultaneously.

Approaching various tasks at the same time will not be effective at all. Instead, it will do the complete opposite and further slow you down.

Also, within one skill, divide the learning into chunks. Do not try to take on all the possible information at once.

6. Evaluate Yourself

Imagine doing all the hard work but not noticing any progress in the end. To keep this devastating misfortune from happening, keep evaluating yourself regularly. It can be done weekly or bi-weekly as per the nature of what you’re practicing.

Your personal evaluations should be honest. One way to measure your progress is to time yourself. It will be a foolproof representation of your advancement.

If you’re not improving at a steady pace, you probably need to change your learning techniques. The fault may be in your schedule. You could be either over-pressurizing yourself or not working hard enough.

7. Get External Evaluation

Some things cannot be evaluated on your own, and sometimes personal evaluations are just not enough. A second opinion is never a bad option.

You can record your progress and show it to someone else for feedback. Or, you can do the task in front of an expert.

For example:

If you’re improving your writing skills, you can time yourself and write a piece to later send to a professional writer for evaluation.

Similarly, you can build a piece of furniture in front of a carpenter to get an opinion on your technique.

The external evaluation will be the most useful if the feedback comes from an expert from the relevant industry. However, if that’s not possible, you can always find some use from a layman’s opinion, too.

8. Stay Focused

The entire technique of using the learning curve is dependent on your brain. If the brain isn’t focused, all your efforts will be useless.

To stay focused, you will have to work extremely hard. The hard work of a few days will help you out for the rest of your life. Alongside that, you cannot afford to waste time. Focus on the skills that will help you out in practical life.

All these factors combined will lead to positive results. You can set out time in your schedule for mental exercises to strengthen your focus. Another thing to do is to practice your skill in isolation so that there are minimal distractions. Breaks are yet another vital part of maintaining your focus throughout the process.

9. Stay Determined

You know how charcoal has to go through indescribable pressure to become a diamond? Well, you’ll have to go through something similar, too. As said previously, it is not a magic trick. You will have to put in a lot of effort.

You can only be successful if you stay determined. If you head in intending to quit as things get difficult to manage, you’ll never reach your goal.

10. Offer Assistance

Once you feel like you’ve become a master, it’s time to further strengthen your learning.

The best way to do it by teaching others. You will not only repeat all the concepts yourself, but it will also help you improve on any minor flaws that were left in your technique.

Final Thoughts

With all these tips in your mind, your learning curve will only go up. The best way to utilize this strength is to boost your professional life with this method.

You can start by working on the skills that will help you become the master at your job. Once you become the fastest, most suitable person for the job, you will automatically excel.

There will be no competition, no matter how saturated the market is. You can increase your value and demand by using the learning curve theory to your advantage.

All that’s left to do now is smartly use these tips and tricks. You will achieve guaranteed success in every part of your life with the help of the learning curve!

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Can You Really Fix a Toxic Relationship (And How)?

When you get into a relationship – whether it’s romantic or platonic – you think that it will bring you happiness. Not many people go into relationships thinking that it is going to make them unhappy, right?

Unfortunately, there are many relationships in the world that are very unhealthy. In fact, you can call them downright toxic.

Think of the word “toxic.” It means poisonous. It means detrimental to your health. Hazardous. Potentially deadly.

Usually we use that word to describe things other than people that could potentially kill us – rat poison, hard drugs, too much alcohol or smoking, unhealthy eating, carbon monoxide, etc. You get the point.

However, people and relationships can be just as dangerous to your well-being as any of the above mentioned substances. The problem is that it’s not as easy to identify the toxicity when it comes to a person.

So, let’s begin by talking about how to recognize the signs of a toxic relationship.

11 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

Some people grew up in toxic families. Maybe there was verbal, emotional, and/or physical abuse. Whether it’s between parents or between the parent(s) and children, it’s still an unhealthy and toxic environment to grow up in.((TIME: How To Tell If You’re In a Toxic Relationship — And What To Do About It))

If someone is from a family such as this, perhaps they will not even recognize if and when they are in a toxic relationship.

If you’re not sure why you continuously enter toxic relationships, this article could help you figure it out.

Here are some signs of a toxic relationship:

1. One Gives, the Other Takes

One-sided relationships are never healthy. Many times, you will have a narcissist/people-pleaser dynamic in a toxic relationship (especially if it’s a romantic one).

One person gives and gives and gives, hoping to make the narcissist happy, but it never works. They just take and take and take, and then the relationship is much too lopsided and unhealthy.

2. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is another common characteristic of a toxic relationship. If you’re not familiar with the term, it is when someone manipulates another person to a point where that person questions their sanity.

For example, perhaps the last time you saw your significant other, you both agreed to go to the zoo on Sunday. However, when you bring it up later to confirm your plans, the person says, “I never said I wanted to go to the zoo. I don’t even like the zoo.” It leaves the other person wondering about themselves. When this is a habit in a relationship, it can turn toxic.

3. Lack of Personal Responsibility

If one or both people are constantly blaming the other person for anything and everything, then that is definitely a sign of a toxic relationship.

As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” Both people are responsible for their own behaviors, and the other can’t “make” you do anything. Therefore, playing a victim of the other person’s behaviors is not productive, and it just leads to an unhealthy relationship.

4. Lack of Trust

In a toxic relationship, there will not be much trust. It could be that neither trusts the other, or it could be one-sided. Either way, the lack of trust acts like a poison in the relationship.

Trust should be the foundation that any relationship is built upon. Without it, it’s like trying to build a house on quicksand. It will never work!

5. A Feeling of Walking on Eggshells

Maybe it feels like you never know if the other person is going to explode. There might be tempers raging, and because of that, you feel like you have to tip-toe around the person so that they don’t get angry.

6. Disrespect

Disrespect comes in many forms. It could be verbal, such as, “You’re stupid! You’re an idiot! You will never amount to anything in life!” Or, it could be emotional: “I never loved you! No one loves you! You are unlovable!” Or, it could be physical.

Any time a hand is laid on another person in anger, or unloving words are spoken, that is disrespectful and ultimately unacceptable in a healthy relationship.

7. Lack of Effective Communication

Neither person knows how to communicate effectively. This comes in many forms. It could be a total withdrawal, which results in a lack of communication. Or, it could be in the form of yelling, screaming, and name-calling (which is technically communication, but horribly ineffective).

8. Avoidance

Many times, we only think of toxic relationships as being argumentative, abusive, or intense on some other level. However, they can also be stagnant and avoidant. If one or both people withdraw from the relationship and don’t connect with the other person, that can turn toxic as well – especially if it goes on long-term.

9. Controlling Behavior

Perhaps one person doesn’t want the other one to go out with their friends, see their family, or do anything else without them present. Maybe they need to track their every move on an app so they know where they are. They could even control what they wear or what they eat. Any kind of controlling behavior such as this is a key ingredient for a toxic relationship.

10. Constant Criticism

One or both people are constantly criticizing anything and everything about the other person. It could be their looks, intelligence, motivation, job, weight, education – you name it. If criticism is flying around all the time, then you know you are in a toxic relationship.

11. Low Self-Esteem and Self-Worth

All of the above-mentioned characteristics of a toxic relationship inevitably lead to low self-esteem and self-worth. When you are constantly being criticized, controlled, disrespected, blamed, and sucked dry of your efforts, then anyone would end up feeling badly about themselves. Relationships should make you feel good about yourself, not bad.

Can a Toxic Relationship Turn Healthy?

Many people in a toxic relationship want to make it better. The most common reason for this is because they claim to love the other person. But think about it. Why do you love another person who does so much damage to you and your relationship?

Love should feel good, not bad. Therefore, while it is possible to turn a toxic relationship healthy, it is not easy, and, unfortunately, it’s not very common either. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.((MPRA: Human networks and toxic relationships))

How to Fix a Toxic Relationship

Fixing a toxic relationship is very difficult, but here are a few things you can do to start down that path.

1. Cut off Contact for a While

Sometimes it’s best to just get out of the relationship for a while and take a break. Get some perspective and think about it for a while before you try to fix it.

2. Identify the Problems

You can’t change what you don’t recognize. Therefore, if you don’t know what the problems are, then you can’t fix it. Take some time to talk with your significant other about the problems facing the relationship. If they don’t want to participate, try writing down what you see as the problems and share them when they are ready.

3. Engage in Self-Reflection

Both people need to be mature enough to look deep in themselves and see what kind of positive changes they need to make. Without the desire or motivation to change, the relationship isn’t going to improve.

4. Seek Professional Help

Many times, people cannot do the inner work and self-reflection on their own. Therefore, getting professional help from a therapist can help each individual work on their problems while also helping the relationship improve through couple’s therapy.

5. Stop Blaming

In toxic relationships, people always place blame on the other person, but that will only continue the toxic cycles. Through the inner work and therapy, you need to take personal responsibility for your actions. Again, both people need to do this.

6. Use “I-Language”

“I-Language” is a language of responsibility. It explains to the other person how you feel without blaming them. It helps decrease defensiveness in the relationship. Instead of beginning a sentence with “You always…” try starting it with something like “I get upset when you…”.

7. Change Your Behavior

Once you both have identified what you need to change within yourself and in the relationship, then you need to make changes. Without the changes, you will go right back to where you were before. You can even use specific written goals and check in once a week to see how well you’re doing with the changes you plan to make as a couple.

8. Maintain the Changes in the Future

Many people are good at changing for a short amount of time, but after a while, they will go back to their old habits. In order to really change the relationship and make it healthy, the changes need to become permanent.

Bottom Line

Toxic relationships create emotional stress, which in turn affects all parts of your life – including your physical body. No one should be subjected to this kind of relationship.

If you find yourself in an unhealthy relationship, you have three choices:

  1. Stay in it and put up with the toxic environment. (NOT RECOMMENDED)
  2. Get out of the relationship and don’t have any contact with the person ever again. (This might be the only option for most people.)
  3. Take the steps to heal the relationship and take it from toxic to healthy.

The third option is not impossible, but it does take a lot of work. In the long run, hopefully you will both come out as better and happier human beings.

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You Are Not Your Thoughts: 10 Ways to Get Rid of Unhealthy Thoughts

When we were young, older people told us how the world works, and as young dewy-eyed youths, we believed them. As children, we were very curious. We wanted to learn so much that we instantly accept anything we learn as a fact.

As we grow up, we eventually learn to identify and distinguish facts from opinions. If someone says that Jelly beans taste bad, we know that it’s just an opinion and not a fact because it is based on personal preference.

But when it comes to ourselves, we can’t seem to separate the two. Why is that?

Where do these intrusive, unhealthy thoughts come from?

In this article, you will learn why you are not your thoughts, and what you can do to get rid of unhealthy thoughts.

Human Biology and Fear

We are social animals, and this means two things:

  1. We have a biological drive to seek validation from others, so we try to please others for survival.((PsychCentral: What Drives Our Need For Approval?))
  2. We are biologically programmed to look for danger, so we focus on the negatives to help our survival.((VeryWellMind: What Is the Negativity Bias?))

These two things are the sources of our unhealthy thoughts, which are further exacerbated by the unrealistic standards set by society.

We need to be liked to feel safe. To not be liked is to face rejection and therefore, imminent death without the protection of our tribe.

In the modern-day, what this biological fear translates to is not being perfect in the eyes of the pack. For others to like us, we have to conform to an ideal because when we don’t, we feel vulnerable.

In order to deal with this fear of vulnerability, we build ourselves up mentally and protect ourselves by bullying ourselves so we don’t feel weak.

Why Does This Get Out of Control?

Sometimes our thoughts are so backed up by our insecurities, that they create lies we believe. We all know that they are just thoughts and aren’t facts. They are normally routed in the form of “I am not good enough”, and they are rooted in fear.

Fear is the root of self-hate.

We are always afraid of being rejected, and it drives most of our unhealthy thoughts.

You are not your thoughts, and you are not your fears. They are like newspaper articles or the opinions of someone else: they are not who you really are. They are just a construction of the world you live in.

10 Ways to Get Rid of Your Unhealthy Thoughts:

1. Dissociation

I want you to picture your negative thoughts not as truth but as opinions.

Here is the difference:

  • Truth: that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.
  • Opinion: a view or judgment formed about something that is not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

Your negative thoughts about yourself are not facts; they are just your opinion of yourself that is based on other people’s opinions.

For example, let’s take the case of failure.

Internal thought: I am a failure because I didn’t get this job interview.

This is not a fact The fact is that you did not get an interview, but your opinion is that you are a failure. You just applied your opinion to a fact.

Once you take away your opinion, you are just left with a fact that you did not get a job interview. You can then do something about this, such as applying for other jobs, following up on other applications or using the feedback to improve yourself.

We love to take anything and use it to punish ourselves by subjecting them to our opinions. Take away your opinions, just look at the facts and then, work with what you have from there.

Society made us think this way by setting unrealistic standards. It is not entirely your fault that you think like this. But it is your responsibility to move forward. It is up to you to deal with these thoughts and let go of your unhealthy beliefs.

2. Meditation

Meditation is a great way to sit with your thoughts and feelings. We were always taught to hide our feelings and be strong, but this only leads to mental health issues. Instead, we should learn meditation.

It is not just sitting down and closing your eyes and thinking of nothing. But it is more about giving your mind a break so it can relax and breathe for a moment.

Meditation is one of the best things you can do due to its numerous benefits. Read this article to know more about the benefits of meditation: How Meditation Can Help to Improve Your Productivity.

3. Emotional Clearing

Emotional clearing is about being with your feelings, and feeling them fully and letting them go. Your thoughts are rooted in your emotions. Sit with them; negotiate with them.

What is an opinion? What is a fact? What is helpful? What is not? Why are you feeling this way?

A simple way to process this is to go through all of your negative emotions and clear them systematically.

Start with fear: identify all your fears, feel them and reassure yourself that you are safe. Then move on and deal with guilt, shame, loss, denial, and loneliness.

If you are attempting to clear your feelings, remember that anger is just a front, a bodyguard for another feeling. So, when you are looking into your anger, try to focus on why you are sad, and you will find the peace that you are looking for.

4. Mental Correction

When you are faced with an unhealthy thought, correct yourself. Let go of the unhealthy parts of your thoughts because they do not serve you well.

Instead, replace it with a more positive statement:

I am not *insert unhealthy thought*, I am *insert positive thought*.

For example:

I am not good enough because I did not get this job interview.

I did not get this job interview, and this is okay. I am still safe, and it just means that it was not meant for me. It is not a critique of my self-worth, and I am still worthy.

5. Journaling

Journaling is a great way to process through all of your negative thoughts. Write down what your thoughts then deconstruct them.

Why do you feel that way? Is it truth or just an opinion from your preexisting belief system? How can you turn it into something positive?

Unhealthy thoughts go away when you face them and change them. Your best bet is to take their power away and reclaim it. It may be difficult to start the habit of journaling if you are not yet used to doing it. But the benefits of journaling makes it very worthwhile. To know more about how journaling can help you, you can check out this article: 10 Ways Journaling Can Improve Your Life.

6. Practicing Gratitude

If you are struggling with unhealthy thoughts, practicing gratitude is one way to cure this problem. You can easily practice gratitude. You just have to sit down and think of all the things you are grateful for. You can express them, write them down or post them on social media.

Practicing gratitude is the secret to happiness because by practicing gratitude, you switch your mindset from negative to positive. This will change your feeling from lacking and not being good enough to abundance and fulfillment. If you are having negative thoughts about another person, practice gratitude and view towards that person will change.

7. Understanding That You Are Enough

You need to understand that nobody is perfect, so you do not have to be perfect. You are good enough as you are, and there is nothing wrong with that.

There is always space to grow, learn, and change, but comparing yourself to someone else will only bring you unhappiness. Succumbing to your expectations of yourself and berating yourself for failing, will bring you nothing but dissatisfaction.

You are good enough, and not everyone will see that but that does not matter. All that matters is that you know that you are good enough. Once you encourage this mindset, your life will change.

Every adversity you will face will change because your self-worth would not on the line anymore. You are enough as you are, and it is only someone else’s opinion that you are not but never a fact.

8. Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmation can be very powerful, though sometimes not right away. But when you need them, they can change your perspective.

Pick an affirmation. This can be a saying, an expression or a quote that you relate to. Choose one that makes you feel strong, powerful, and positive. Write it down, and say it out loud while focusing on that feeling.

9. Identifying Triggers

External influences can trigger negative thoughts. To prevent them from happening again, identify the triggers. Start recording what you were doing when the unhealthy thoughts occur.

Identify triggers so you can either avoid them or create a healthy way to deal with them. Once you know what’s throwing your thoughts off, you will be able to do something about it.

This also goes the other way. You can prevent negative thoughts by thinking of positive ones. Also knowing your “joy triggers” will help you avoid negativity. Read this article to learn more about finding your joy triggers: Wanna Be Happier? Know Your Joy Triggers.

10. Self-Care Routine

A good way to keep your mental health in a good place is to have a good self-care routine. First thing is to make sure that you exercise regularly so your brain chemistry works with you. When you exercise, your body releases Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin, and Oxytocin.

  • Endorphins mask physical pain and promote feelings of happiness.
  • Dopamine boosts our mood and makes us feel great. It contributes to the feeling of accomplishment and elation from completing a task, achieving a goal, or winning a game.
  • Serotonin boosts our confidence and makes us feel awesome. It also elicits a sense of pride, status, and gratitude.
  • Oxytocin invokes feelings of love and loyalty. This chemical drives us to be around people we like and trust.

Making sure you eat healthier. Eat less sugar, caffeine, and alcohol is a great way to get rid of negative thoughts.

Take care of your mental health by taking a break to feel your feelings and drawing your limits and boundaries. Creating a good healthy routine in your life with rest and recovery is the best way to help relieve the internal negative self-talk.

Final Thoughts

The most important thing is that you do no beat yourself up for having bad thoughts. They are normal, not only because of our biology but because of the society we live in. If you find yourself berating yourself for having unhealthy thoughts, practice all the steps in this article.

Lastly, take a deep breath and repeat to yourself:

This is normal. I am not perfect, and that is okay.

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