Thursday, 5 May 2022
If you want to get the most out of yourself and your life, then it is crucial that you learn to control your mood. Your mood will affect your ability to focus, your enjoyment of any and all activities and so much more.
But of course, controlling your emotions is easier said than done. This is something we would all like to do no doubt, but if it were that easy then we would all be happy all the time!
There is a secret to doing this though that many people miss. And while it may be impossible to guarantee that you’ll ever have complete control over the way you feel, it can sure make a big difference and help to give you a lot more control.
How Your Body Affects Your Mood
The missing key that so many people overlook is physiology. In other words, your body and your physical state.
What are our emotions for? They’re to drive us toward desirable things and to keep us away from things that could potentially harm us. When we feel scared, this motivates us to seek a safer shelter. When we feel disgusted, this prevents us from wanting to eat gone off food.
At a deeper level though, being hungry also impacts on your emotions and motivates behavior. When you are hungry, you will usually have low blood sugar. This in turn releases cortisol the stress hormone, along with ghrelin. This is why we get hangry! Conversely, when you eat, you produce serotonin which puts you in a good mood. This then converts to melatonin and makes us sleepy.
Being ill causes inflammation through pro-inflammatory cytokines and these suppress activity in the brain, creating brain fog and depression.
Feelings and emotions are different. You feel hungry, you feel tired and you feel ill. But these create emotions such as stress, anger and sadness.
So, what are we getting at here? What is the practical takeaway from all this advice?
The moral is that it isn’t all about your thoughts and your lifestyle. If you’re angry or if you’re sad then it may not be due to you having a bad day – you may just be hungry or ill!
Then there’s the fact that our hormones tend to change on a cycle. Keep all this in mind when you are trying to manage your mood and make sure that you set yourself up with the best possible chance of a happy, positive day!
It is common knowledge that many people live their lives in a constant state of chronic stress. This is a serious problem because it triggers the release of negative hormones and neurotransmitters that play havoc with your health.
But it actually goes deeper than that. Chronic stress means that you are constantly being pushed and thus rather than being able to stop and smell the roses, rather than being able to actually enjoy your life, you end up simply trying to survive it. Not only that, but you remain constantly reactive, constantly reacting to events and thereby unable to actually become proactive and to decide the course of your life and the direction you want to take.
We all have different stressors that do this to us. Some of us are struggling with debt. Some of us are overworked in the office. Some of us have problems in our relationships.
But no matter what the problem, they all affect the body in just the same way that being chased by a lion would. As far as the body is concerned, we are in danger and it needs to produce the right hormones to increase the heartrate, to contract the muscles and to prevent energy from being spent anywhere else – whether that’s on digestion or the immune system.
From a psychological perspective, this means that we are simply burned out and worn out. What many of us don’t realize, is that energy is a finite resource. Many of us think that time is a finite resource but in fact, energy is much more limited. If you spend all about work and if you don’t get home until late at night, then how are you going to choose the direction you want to go? How are you going to write that great novel, workout, find time to develop your career in directions that excite you?
All you are doing is treading water. And burning out all of your energy, your passion and your vitality.
So, what’s the answer?
Well, overly-simple though it might sound, the answer is to make the choice to focus on things that really matter to you and to stop worrying about the things that don’t. Learn to face your fears and to stop being driven by them. Learn to take the risk that’s necessary if you want to try a new career or write a book.
Say ‘enough’ and give yourself that break. Whatever it takes.
I started intermittent fasting last week and so far, it has been fantastic. In a short number of days, I’ve seen my abs pop like never before and strangely, the lack of food seems to afford me a ton of mental clarity that has been making me more productive in my work.
But this was a hard choice. You see a few years ago, my sister talked about starting the 2/5 diet – a form of intermittent fasting – and I absolutely swore against it. I was worried she was messing with her hormones and I told her it was dangerous.
Obviously, I’ve done a completely 180. I had to eat my words. Even as I’m not allowing myself to eat lunch…
But while this might not feel great, it was actually very important that I did this. It was actually after a fair amount of consideration and deliberation but making that decision meant I was able to try something that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and benefit as a result.
Say Goodbye to the Old You
This is something that many of us struggle to do however. All too often, we want to present ourselves as being reliable. We want people to ‘know where they stand’ with us. We want there to be consistency in what we do and say.
And we want to be somehow ‘loyal’ to the version of us from the past.
But the reality is that life demands change. We need to adapt, to evolve and to grow in order to become the best versions of ourselves.
Let’s say you always wanted to be an actor. Let’s say that that was your dream from a young age.
But what if you’re now in your 30s and you don’t feel that way anymore?
Some people would pursue that same old goal just to remain faithful to their old selves and to demonstrate that they are people who stick to their goals and beliefs.
What if you have been strongly right wing your whole life and now you’re feeling a little left wing?
Ultimately, growth requires change. If you’re going to develop your philosophies and yourself, then you need to be willing to change.
And if you limit what you ‘allow’ yourself to want and what you ‘allow’ yourself to believe, then you will end up limiting yourself and putting restrictions on what you can accomplish. Free yourself to change and grow and incredible things can happen!
What makes you happy?
What is your idea of a perfect evening?
For many of us, the answer would be something akin to relaxing on the couch, watching a great TV show and eating something delicious. Maybe you want to stay in with your other half, or maybe you’d like to program a game.
These things are comfortable and they are refreshing. These things help you to feel calm and to rejuvenate from a tough week.
But you know what? Your brain doesn’t like those things. In fact, these are about the worst things you can possibly do as far as your body is concerned!
The reason for that is simple: when you relax and when you chill, you don’t challenge your brain. The result is that it starts to atrophy.
Grow or Shrink
The brain is able to adapt to whatever you throw at it due to a process called brain plasticity. Brain plasticity describes the ability of the brain to grow and change shape: to create new neurons and to become stronger. Herein lies the principle of SAID: specific adaptations to imposed demands. If you practice languages, you get better at language. If you practice balance, your brain gets better at that.
But if you’re not growing, then all that extra neural matter is just wasted energy. The result? Your brain starts to atrophy and starts to burn through that extra matter. The result is that you deteriorate.
Grow or shrink. Move forward or move backward. Being ‘static’ isn’t an option.
The Brain Loves Growth
When you learn a new language or skill, the brain will see this as positive stimulus. It sees this as a chance to get stronger and to ultimately improve your ability to survive. Thus, it produces positive hormones and neurotransmitters like dopamine and brain derived neurotrophic factor. These help you to learn, but they also prevent the atrophy we discussed. They protect the brain against degeneration and they make you smarter.
So, while you might feel like the very best thing you can do for your brain is to relax and to sit down, actually the brain much prefers challenge and learning. Sure, have your evening off, but make sure your life isn’t just a case of alternating between stress at work and doing ‘nothing’ at home. Keep learning, keep going to new places and keep taking on new challenges!
People have a range of different dreams and goals. This is one of the best things about people in fact. We’re all different and we all have different aspirations – different goals to share with one another and different things to talk about.
The unhappiest people? They’re the ones with no goals. No direction. No motivation. A goal gives you a vision, it gives you drive and it makes every day seem like a positive step to an end destination that is truly important to you.
But while goals are intrinsically rewarding, problems do arise when we don’t know how to pursue them. Having a goal that seems completely out of grasp and making no progress whatsoever is disheartening.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the things you can do to help yourself reach your goals faster. Whether you want to write an amazing book, set up a business or do anything else; these are two tips that will apply in every situation and that you might not have heard before.
Tip 1: You Have to Believe
This might sound like cheesy bumper-plate-sticker-advice, but it is very true. At the end of the day, you need to have absolute faith that the plan you have to get your book published or to become famous is actually going to work. Why? Because otherwise you risk putting in all the time and effort for nothing!
Think about it: have you ever struggled to stay motivated to get into work? No! The reason for that is because you know that going to work means getting paid. This is 100% guaranteed.
But you may have struggled to stick to a training program and part of the reason for that is that you know it might not yield results. So whatever plan you come up with, make sure you believe it!
Tip 2: You Have to Take it Slowly
The other problem is wanting results right now and ending up burning yourself out too quickly. Want to write the next best-selling novel? The way to do that is not in one or two sittings! You need to take your time, to work steadily and to be considered in the way you approach this goal. The best option is to plan to write one or two chapters every day. Look up the word ‘Kaizen’ for more on why this works so well!
If you plan on getting in the best shape of your life, then what do you need to do to make that happen?
Answer: it’s all about your mindset. It’s all about the way you approach a goal and go after your training.
Millions of people make the decision to get into great shape every year but 99% of those will fail to get the abs and the biceps they want. You know this to be true: perhaps you’ve been in that number yourself at some point.
What happens next is that those people look for a reason for their failure – for something to blame. Very often, this will mean blaming the training program they were following, or perhaps accusing their genetics. But it’s not about that. It’s about mindset.
How Your Mindset Changes the Game
The reality is that you can have the worst genetics in the world and be following the worst training program, but if you are vigilant and you stick at it then you should still see results. Even if all you are doing is a bunch of press ups every night, then you should still find that you tone up and lose some weight.
The single key factor is that you are sticking with it.
And to do that, you need to get into the right mindset.
The Biggest Mistake People Make
So how do you change your mind precisely? What is this big mistake that so many people make?
One of the biggest problems is that many of us want results too fast. We want to see a change in our physique now and thus we adopt an extreme diet or a training program fit for a Navy Seal.
Of course, all this does is to make us incredibly exhausted and stressed and to prevent us from enjoying our food. It’s unsustainable.
And then what happens is that we give up. Eventually we give up at least because the plan is simply unsustainable. Most of us will quit faster than that though. If you’re eating nothing but plain bread every morning, noon and night then there’s a good chance you’ll give up within a few weeks. If you’re trying to run 10km a day, you might not make it to day two.
Instead, you need to see this as a lifestyle change. If you are on a diet, that means you are likely to come off a diet. So focus on making it fun and sustainable!
Limiting beliefs are firmly held convictions that constrain us is some way. By believing them, we end up diminishing ourselves and impoverishing our lives. They tend to destroy your self-esteem, damaging your belief in your own ability to make the necessary changes in your life that will lead you to happiness and a more fulfilled life. When it comes to the limiting beliefs that destroy your self-esteem, here are the five most common beliefs that you may be holding onto.
1. I Don’t Deserve Anything Good
When you believe that you aren't worthy of anything good in your life, you will subconsciously turn down any reasonable opportunities that come your way or sabotage those opportunities that you've already received. This limiting belief disrupts that balance of giving and receiving.
2. I’m Not Good Looking Enough
When you continue to fail at finding a date, you begin to question your appearance. While appearance does play an essential role in delivering an excellent first impression, it is your charm and attractiveness that matters in the long run. It can be hard to appear confident if you always doubt your physical looks.
3. I Will Only Fail in My Dream
When you trap yourself in a failure mindset, you will never have a chance to achieve success, regardless of what you are doing. The more you fear failure, the harder it will be for you to move on. Instead, you need to learn as much as you can from each mistake and failure you’ve encountered and move on quickly.
4. I Can’t Find Happiness
If you don’t know where to look for it, the quest for happiness in your life can be an eternal journey. While you will always encounter negative emotions, even when you are bursting with confidence, happiness is a skill that you can learn. You just have to start being grateful for all the little things you have in life.
5. I Can Never Turn This Around
When you experience setbacks and challenges in life, you may end up feeling anxious or depressed. When you hit rock bottom, you can’t see anything good happening to you in the future. If you continue to strengthen this belief, it will eventually turn into your reality. If you find yourself in this situation, it is vital to feel hopeful and start taking actions to dig yourself out of this hole.
Don’t continue to allow these five limiting beliefs hold you back from being a confident person and living the life you want.
Self-esteem is terrific but can be an extremely delicate thing. When your self-esteem is high, you feel more resilient and are less vulnerable to anxiety. Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to improve our self-esteem, especially if you’ve experienced setbacks in the past. Here are five simple ways to help improve your self-esteem and deal with life’s unexpected blows.
1. Use Positive Affirmations
The idea behind positive affirmations is that you fill your mind with positive thoughts until you begin to believe them. It is a popular way to build self-esteem because it is simple, and anyone can do it. Unfortunately, if not done in the right way, it can lead to even lower self-esteem. Consider changing the affirmation “I’m going to be successful” to something more manageable like, “I will continue until I succeed.”
2. Identify What You’re Good At
Your self-esteem will grow when you demonstrate real abilities and achievements in areas of your life that matter to you. You need to figure your what your core skills and talents are and find opportunities that will emphasize those skills.
3. Learn to Accept Compliments
When we feel bad about ourselves, it can be hard for anywhere else to drag us out. During these times, we tend to be more resistant to compliments. Rather than shrugging off compliments as lies, you should try to set the goal of tolerating compliments when you receive them. This is important to do, even if it feels uncomfortable because it will be worth it in the long run.
4. Stop Criticizing Yourself
We are more likely to kick ourselves when we are down. When we have low self-esteem, we tend to do even more damage to it by being self-critical. When you start to tell yourself all the things that you are doing wrong and criticizing yourself for who you are, think twice about what you are saying. By taking a few minutes to recognize the self-criticism, you will give yourself the ability to start building yourself up instead.
5. Remind Yourself of Your Real Worth
Reminding yourself of your real worth is the best way to revive low self-esteem when your confidence sustains a blow. If you fail to get a promotion at work, write down everything that makes you a valuable employee, such as being reliable. Write a short paragraph or two about why each quality is essential and why others will appreciate it.
Building your self-esteem isn’t going to be an easy task, and it requires a lot of hard work, but the return you get will be invaluable if you do it correctly.
Not even the most significant leaders can escape periods where they lack self-confidence. Your self-confidence isn't a static quality but rather a mindset that, when the going gets rough, takes some effort to maintain. It is something that must be learned, practiced, and mastered just like all your other skills. When you can master it, your life will change for the better. Here are six ways you can build your self-confidence.
Act the Part
The one thing that can instantly demonstrate self-assuredness, or scream insecurity, is your body language. You always want to present yourself in ways that say that you are ready to master any situation. Looking confident and acting the part will allow you to feel more in control and people will be much more confident with you as well.
Dress the Part
When you look better, you tend to feel better. Choosing clothing that fits well and suits your industry and lifestyle and that makes you feel good will automatically increase your self-esteem. You have to look like the part you want to play.
Great speakers speak confidently, in a steady and rhythmic tone, rather than the flow being interrupted by the “ums” and “ahs.” To build your confidence, adopt an assertive way of speaking that indicates your self-confidence. Avoid high-pitched, nervous chatter and giggles in your speech.
Think and Act Positively
Positive energy will always lead to positive outcomes, so create a mindset that sets your mind to the can-do side of situations. Also, avoid the negative self-talk that can make you feel less confident. Always look for ways to smile, laugh, and surround yourself with positive people.
There is more to being confident than merely dressing and acting the part. You have to take action. Inaction will breed doubt and fear while taking action will breed confidence and courage. When you practice being self-confident, you will soon find that it has become second nature.
The more prepared you are for any given situation, the more confident you’ll feel about your competency and expertise. Being prepared will help you to avoid getting tripped up by life’s unexpected challenges. Learn everything you can about your industry, your goals, and what drives you to success.
These six tips will help you boost your self-confidence. With some patience and perseverance, you are just steps away from becoming a more confident you.
There is nothing as important as how you think and feel about yourself. Building and maintaining high self-esteem is an integral part of life. Not only does high self-esteem allow you to have more internal stability, but it can help make your life become simpler and happier. Here are five powerful tips that you can use today to help you improve and maintain your self-esteem.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
One of the most destructive habits that you can acquire is comparing yourself to others. This is because there will always be someone who has more or is better than you at something. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you. Look at all the things that you have accomplished in your life and how you can improve. This will help to raise your self-esteem as well as motivate you to do more.
In the evenings, spend a few minutes writing down three things that you appreciate about yourself. At the end of the evening, before you go to bed, ask yourself, “What are three things I can appreciate about myself?” Not only will this help to improve your self-esteem, but it can also turn a sour mood around.
Get Rid of Perfectionism
Having a perfectionist mindset can paralyze you from taking action because you have become so scared of not living up to some standard. This can lead to procrastination, resulting in you not getting the desired outcome that you want. This can be one of the quickest ways to kill your self-esteem.
Try Something New
When you step outside of your comfort zone and try something new, you can increase your opinion about yourself. It doesn't have to be anything significant, just something that will help you get out of your rut. Step outside your comfort zone often and don't expect anything, just tell yourself that you'll try something out.
Spend Time with Supportive People
Choose to spend less time with people who are unkind or unsupportive of your dreams and goals. Being around negative people can quickly bring you down and destroy your self-esteem. Instead, spending more time with people who are positive, and uplifting will go a long way toward improving your own self-esteem.
It is important to remember the reasons why you are working to improve your self-esteem. Doing these simple things on a daily basis and keeping these powerful reasons in mind will do wonders for improving your self-esteem.
Nobody is born with a limitless supply of self-confidence. Those who seem to have incredible confidence have worked extremely hard for years to build it. Self-confidence is something that you learn to build up because life tends to deflate it. Along with the outside influences that can affect our self-esteem, we also have to deal with the inner critic that is continually telling us we aren't good enough. Here are five things that you can do to help boost your self-confidence.
Question Your Inner Critic
Some of the harshest comments that we hear come from ourselves, via our inner critic. When your inner critic becomes overactive and inaccurate, you may start to suffer from low self-esteem. To help combat your inner critic, look for evidence to support or deny the things that it is saying to you. Find opportunities to compliment, congratulate, and reward yourself, even for your smallest accomplishments.
Do Something Every Day That Scares You
The best way for you to overcome fear is to face it head-on. Getting out of your comfort zone and facing your fears will help you to gain more confidence. By doing something that scares you every day, you'll start to gain confidence from those experiences and will quickly experience a boost in your self-confidence.
Visualize Yourself as You Want to Be
Visualization is a powerful technique that requires you to see a picture of yourself that you are proud of, in your mind. When struggling with low self-esteem, we often have a poor perception of ourselves that tends to be inaccurate. Practice visualizing a beautiful version of yourself achieving your goals, to help you boost your confidence.
Set Realistic Goals
Setting unrealistic goals that are difficult to achieve will only cause you to become discouraged about your abilities. Start by setting small goals for yourself that you can reach quickly. Once you've achieved some success, you can move on to harder goals.
The trick to making lasting changes it to shift the way you view yourself. We tend to believe what we tell ourselves, so repeating positive affirmations daily will help to boost your self-confidence. To get your mind to accept the positive affirmations quickly, phrase them as a question. Our brains are wired to seek answers to a question, without analyzing if the question is valid.
Every day we are bombarded with numerous elements that can threaten our self-confidence, with these tips you can start to take charge of building yourself up and boosting your self-confidence.
Everyone holds limiting beliefs, and whether you know it or not, the liming beliefs that you hold can actually limit your success and ability to live a full and happy life. Many of these limiting beliefs are formed in childhood and are based on what we've been told about ourselves and the world in general. If you find that there are specific areas in your life in which you aren't getting what you want, it may be because of your limiting beliefs. Here are three strategies to help you overcome your limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering beliefs.
The only way you can begin to overcome your limiting beliefs is to identify them. One way you can determine those beliefs that are holding you back is by journaling. You need to find time every day to sit down and write about your current situation. Then you need to think about how you got to this point in your life. Journaling will help you discover your limiting beliefs, which is the first step to overcoming them.
A great way to overcome your negative beliefs is to observe the behavior of others. This can serve two purposes. First, it can help you uncover the ideas you have about yourself that you may not be aware you have. Noticing specific reactions and behaviors within ourselves can be hard. Secondly, when you watch others who are currently succeeding in an area of life that you're doing poorly in, you can start to uncover the beliefs that they hold that lead them to achieve success in that area of life. You can then begin to adopt these beliefs in your own life.
Be Your Own Mentor
Another technique you can use to overcome your limiting beliefs is to become your own mentor. Pretend that you are sitting across from your future self. Not only are the kind and wise, but they've achieved everything that you wanted in your life. Have a conversation with your future self and tell them about the areas in your life where you're currently having trouble. Ask them to help you uncover your limiting beliefs, discover how you formed your limiting beliefs, how to interpret the situation differently, and help you come up with a new set of beliefs.
The next time that you find yourself being held back because of your limiting beliefs continue to tell yourself that it's only in your head. Use the above strategies to overcome your limiting beliefs and live your best life.
Confidence is a fantastic byproduct that comes from meditation, yet few people ever talk about it. Meditation can have a significant impact on your self-confidence when practiced daily. Real reflection means being able to let go of everything. Along with the many health benefits that you can gain from meditation, it can also stop the negative self-talk that can destroy your self-confidence. Meditation shows you that you don't have to listen to your inner voice, especially when it focuses on the negative. Follow these three steps to start building your confidence through meditation.
Step 1: Learn How to Meditate
When you are first starting out, basic mindfulness meditation will be the best to practice because it is easy to do. Mindfulness meditation revolves focusing on the physical sensations of the present moment. The easiest way to accomplish this is by focusing on your breathing. Here are the steps you need to do to begin practicing.
* Sit down in a chair or on the floor and maintain tall, erect posture.
* Set a five-minute timer on your phone.
* Begin by breathing through your nose.
* Hold your breath to the count of four, then exhale.
Focus on the cold air as it enters your nose with each inhalation. Notice how your belly rises with each breath. As you exhale, feel the warm air as it exits your nose and how your body begins to relax. If your attention starts to wander, refocus on your breathing on the next inhalation.
Step 2: Build a Habit of Meditation
If you want to reap all the benefits of mediation, you have to do it more than once or twice. To keep your mind quiet and confident, you have to create a consistent practice of meditation. The most effective way to create a daily habit of reflection is to make it an essential part of your daily routine. You can do this by committing to practicing first thing in the morning, or right before you go to bed.
Step 3: Use Mindful Breathing
When you follow the first two steps, you'll begin to develop quiet confidence that will stay with you no matter what. However, there are always times when we'll start to feel anxious. When you begin to feel anxious and catch yourself getting lost in negative thoughts, stop what you are doing and focus on your breathing. Relax your body and decide to take action.
Practicing in regular meditation can help you banish negative self-talk and build your confidence up. The key is to learn how to practice simple meditation and turn it into a daily habit.