8 Powerful Methods for Eliminating Negative Self-Talk

8 Powerful Methods for Eliminating Negative Self-Talk

We all have an inner voice, which keeps us motivated towards our goals and helps us in knowing ourselves better.

Though our life inherently is filled with obstacles that are outside our control, there are; still a few things which we can control. Not anyone wants to make things more complicated and inflict pain than life inherently brings.



A few self-analyses are a good thing, it helps to understand our progress and spurs us to be a better person. But there is a huge difference between thinking “I want to make it better” & “I'm nothing more than trash”. Sometimes self-criticism backfires, and it does invisible untold damage and causes stress.

Here in this article, we are sharing what you must need about negative self-talk and its effects and ways to halt negative thoughts and excessive self-talk.

As before moving for the cure, it is necessary to understand the disease, let's first understand what Negative Self-Talk is?

Negative self-talk can come in any form to develop our fear fantasies. We spend so much time thinking about negativity and telling ourselves negative things such as “I am not good”, I don't deserve anything better” I am not talented enough, not smart etcetera-etcetera, without even knowing that it affects us in a very powerful way.

Once, Bruce Lee- the world-famous martial artist has said:

“Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that give you strange confidence.” – Bruce Lee

So do not let your mind habitual of this kind of thoughts. Our mind and body do not know what they should grab, and what should be filtered out.

Too many negative thoughts influence our blood pressure, muscle tension, temperature, breathing, heart rate, even our overall personality and limit our ability to believe in yourself.

What are the Consequences of Negative Self-Talk?

There is nothing to damage us from inside as negative thinking can do. As per a study self-blaming over negative though are linked to an increased risk of mental health problems.

Continuously having this kind of thoughts make you discouraged and diminished motivation as well as increase more prominent feelings of helplessness. People with such kinds of thoughts tend to be more stressed and unmotivated. Other negative self-talk consequences can include:

  • Not less than Perfect is accepted – People with negative thoughts start believing in perfection and cannot accept anything lesser than this.
  • Limited thinking capability – It is a known fact that the more you believe and think something, the more you become like that.
  • Depression – As per some researches, this type of thought leads to depression. The more you think you can't, the more you lead to an increasing feeling of grief.
  • Become weaker – Mentally and Physically: Negative talk not only disturbs you mentally but also the muscles in your body become weaker.

Studies also show that negative people are generally less satisfied with their life.

In contrast, positive thinking and self-talk help you relax and keep you happy, motivated, alert and centered.

So, What Is a Way to Minimize Negative Self-Talk?

For a few of us, switching our negative thoughts with a positive one is easier, where some people have a habit to see the bad in everything. However, nothing is impossible, and daily practice and some proven methods can help you to reduce the negative self-talk.

8 Powerful Methods for Eliminating Negative Self-Talk

Read the below and pick two or three, which seems like the most effective ones.

  1. Try the Power of Possible Thinking – Though turning everything around into positive is challenging, researchers have found that when you're dispirited and out and force yourself to say positive things to yourself, you end up feeling worse. Here a technique of possible thinking helps neutral the worst thoughts and feelings and let you understand the situation calmly. However, accepting the current situation is also important. As an example, if you fail in the exam, admit it you didn't read properly and tell yourself next time you are going to do better. It will help you to clear your goal and keep you motivated.
  2. Get Your Critic – Be a critic for yourself and know when you need to stop thinking. Whenever you say anything bad about yourself, think that you might not have said the same thing about your best friend or anyone. So, why say to self?
  3. Catastrophic Predicting – We often do this, didn't we? Fear thinking about something worse, like the worst situation, and convince yourself of its inevitability. Even if we know that this situation is the worst-case scenario and may never happen or rarely ever happens, we let this dominate our thoughts. However, no one knows what the future holds, so why should worry that hasn't happened yet, and may never will? Take this kind of thought off and enjoy the current moment of your life and focus on it.
  4. Breathe – As per a survey, one of the biggest reasons people beat themselves up with guilt is overwhelming. If at any point in time they get failed, they cannot handle the situation and go into depression. However, in any such scenario, you should sit, relax, calm yourself down, and take a deep breath. Though it's not easy to admit doubts that you are afraid of, putting yourself in negative thoughts is also not going to help right? Instead of this, analyze yourself, acknowledge your mistakes, and try to rectify them positively with a positive attitude.
  5. Don't run behind Perfectionism – Trying to be perfect is completely okay. But trying to be perfect every time is a concern. Especially if you are at the beginning stage, you may face major failure and have self-doubt, but all things are completely fine. Have you heard the phrase- no one is perfect? So, embrace them and take flaws and failure as a part of learning and life. Move forward with a good positive, though, and you will feel lighter and happier.
  6. Say it – Whenever you find yourself surrounded by negativity, say positive words loudly. Do not let your thinking be captured by these useless negative words. You can also speak with your trusted friend about your talks. And often these things lead to a good laugh and divert you at something better by reminding you how unreasonable and unrealistic they sound.
  7. Be surrounded with good positive people and thoughts – Make yourself surrounded with things that give you energy and motivate you. Also, you can watch motivational videos, successful people's life stories, how they overcame their fear and succeeded in their life or you can find several good positive books to read. It will help you to raise you up and will improve your mood and your mindset. Your mind and thoughts are yours; do not let them control you; instead, you need to control them.\
  8. Make a positive routine – Although it is going to be difficult as your negative self-talks are going to pull you back, you need to be determined and have to confront them. Take some time for yourself, and do whatever you like to do. It can be anything, such as sketching, exercising, writing, talking with your loved ones, or any other thing. Write down one positive something about yourself daily and read that loudly. It will help you to remind yourself of the progress you've made every day.

Stop taking negative self-talk RIGHT NOW!!!

  • Start observing, are you too much with negative people?
  • Are you starting to doubt yourself?
  • Do you always assume yourself as a loser?
  • Are you constantly tearing yourself down?

If any answer is YES, then it is wake-up time for you. Relax, remind yourself of happy moments, and take a deep breath. Now it is a time to fill your thoughts with positivity and happiness.

Everything will seem easier when you take a positive step forward. So be ready to NAG, and WIN.


Author Bio

Rose Bradford is a motivational speaker and a career coach from the United States. She also writes daily blogs for Edumagnate (a leading paper help providing company in the USA).


 

Tried and True Connection between Exercise and Mental Health

Tried and True Connection between Exercise and Mental Health

“Exercise is good for you” is a phrase that we hear often.

But do you ever wonder how broad the meaning of this phrase actually is?

We have categorized physical exercise as a way to shed those extra pounds or gain some muscle. I used to think the same, until one fine day, my doctor suggested me to work out to alleviate my anxiety issues.

I was silly not to ask him about why he suggested that. instead, I walked out of his office, thinking, “do I look fat to him?”

I stood on the digital weighing scale. It denied the fact that I have put on any extra kilos. I stood in front of the full-length mirror and examined myself turning around. Nope, no ugly flaps visible anywhere.

It was then when I finally decided to search for other benefits of exercise and its impact on mental health. From several pieces of research and expert advice to stories of people who claimed that it worked, I found plenty of evidence supporting the contribution of exercise towards mental peace.

Working out just doesn’t make you physically stronger, but mentally too!

The Healthy-Happy Life Connection Connection between Exercise and Mental Health

Read on to know how physical workout brings you mood stability and positively impact your mental capabilities.

1. Physical exercise is a way to releases stress

A while back, I read a motivating anonymous quote about stress, which was,

“One year from now, everything that you are stressed about won't even matter.”

Although it's true, the moments when stress overpowers us, everything seems bleak. It literally strips you off from your mental and physical abilities.

Stress Relief

Minimizing the harmful effects of stress is possible if you do exercise regularly. The first obvious benefit of it will be that your mind will be diverted away from stressful thoughts.

Through their randomized controlled trial, researchers from Spain found out that perceived stress can be reduced after five weeks of practicing both mindful meditation and physical exercise as recovery strategies. They added that physical activity had better results than mindful meditation.

Yoga, a form of physical exercise that focuses on body stretching and breathing, has been known to reduce stress. It lowers down the levels of Cortisol, the stress hormone.

Regular exercise will also regulate your adrenaline levels, another hormone that plays a crucial role in sending impulses to organs for a response.

2. Induces sleep

Insomnia is the leading cause of deterioration of mental health. It is linked with symptoms of anxiety and depression, on which exercise can pose a strong impact.

Why sleep is important

If you want a sound and restful sleep, start working out regularly. Health experts suggest a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise session every day to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and improve sleep quality.

Be careful not to work out too close to bedtime, as that may hamper your sleep. Try to go for a jog or exercise early in the morning.

3. Eases symptoms of depression and anxiety

It's tough to pick yourself up and have enough motivation to exercise if you have depression. However, being able to do that will alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety quite efficiently.

It will help if you start with less intense physical activity like gardening or walking whenever you notice anxiety symptoms are kicking in. Once you start seeing improvement in your symptoms, you can go for moderate-intensity workouts. Experts recommend 30 minutes of exercise for up to 5 days a week to cure symptoms of depression.

Reduces depression

The key is to be regular and focus on positivity for better and long-lasting outcomes.

4. Reduces fatigue

Poor diet, irregular sleep patterns, and our never-ending relationship with our devices pose a harmful impact on our mental health. Without doing any strenuous work, we tend to feel fatigued.

The ‘feel-good' hormones Endorphins are released when you start doing exercise. Endorphin release gives your energy a significant boost that can help subside tiredness.

Consequently, you will feel more energized, alert, and motivated.

In 2008, a study was conducted on sedentary young adults who started doing moderate to low intensity exercise. Favorable outcomes were achieved after a period of 6 weeks, where participants reported relief in fatigue symptoms and high energy levels.

5. Provides an outlet for frustration and irritation

I grew up watching action movies where the protagonist often unleashes his anger on the poor punching bag. It turns out; it actually makes sense.

The physical work you do while doing exercise gives you an outlet for your intense feelings like anger, frustration, and irritability. These feelings pose severe effects on our physical and mental health and force us to make impulsive decisions that may backfire later.

Try venting them out with physical activity like running or punching a pillow to curb these kinds of feelings. You can also use your negative emotions productively by grabbing a mop and cleaning your house the next time you feel frustrated over anything.

6. Instills feelings of joy by endorphin release

As stated above, exercise releases endorphins, which mitigate negative feelings. When you engage in physical activity, your brain's oxygen supply is increased, and endorphins are released. As a result, your serotonin levels are elevated, and the mood is regulated.

Along with endorphins and serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which help improve our mood.

But do we have to do long workouts daily to achieve that?

Research suggests that as less as 15 minutes of physical activity every day or several times a week can increase your positive vibes. It means that you can enjoy feelings of joy even if you take a 15-minute walk around your area in your comfortable tank top and PJ shorts! Personally, for me, going outdoors, socializing a bit, and looking at nature is enough to feel happiness and contentment.

The takeaway?

Short but regular physical activity is way more useful to boost mental health than prolonged strenuous exercise done occasionally.

7. Suggested by health practitioners to manage several mental health issues

As exercise prevents cognitive decline, it is highly recommended by doctors to treat and manage several mental illnesses. In conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, and depression, negative thoughts are uncontrollable.

Hence, the feel-good and motivational impact of exercise is useful to provide the much-needed positivity to patients suffering from these conditions. It also curbs the feelings of social withdrawal and low self-esteem.

Exercise increases the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF. It is a protein that helps grow new brain cells and enhances the life of existing ones. Exercise programs tailored to patients suffering from mental illnesses can have a tremendous impact on their recovery.

Summing up

Apart from losing fat, treating cardiovascular diseases, and controlling diabetes, exercise will also effectively contribute to your mental health and peace.

The impact of physical exercise on our bodies is tremendous. Not only physical but mental well-being can be achieved if we indulge in regular exercise.

Depending on your ability and interest, you can choose a sport like a football, badminton, swimming, cycling, or running as an alternative to working out.

Playing a sport will give you even higher motivation.

Prioritizing mental health is extremely important to improve our quality of life and be a productive and positive member of society. Therefore, start being physically active to work on your mental health from today.


 

The Science of Procrastination: What Causes It and How to Beat It

The Science of Procrastination: What Causes It and How to Beat It

When the English writer, Edward Young, coined the phrase, “Procrastination is the thief of time,” he was on to something. It feels like he meant it for me and all the other people in the world that procrastinate.

Now don't get me wrong, I believe I am quite organized and manage time and tasks well, but even I have fallen victim to the thief of time.

While it's okay to drag your proverbial feet on getting tasks completed, a problem can arise for those who do so habitually. That habit is called chronic procrastinating and, believe it or not, there is a science of procrastination that tries to explain it.

Also, not everyone who procrastinates is a procrastinator. It must be a trait. It must be chronic.

According to Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago and author of “Still Procrastinating: The No Regret Guide to Getting It Done,” an estimated 20% of U.S. adults are chronic procrastinators.

The question is, are you a chronic procrastinator, and if so, how can you overcome it?

What Is Procrastination?

There is no shortage of definitions for the word “procrastination”. However, there is a mutual consensus that to procrastinate means to voluntarily delay important tasks regardless of the consequence. It's an act of not acting.
UMPC HealthBeat describes procrastination as avoiding work or important tasks by focusing on activities that appear to be more satisfying.

Experts also attribute this human vice to laziness, wasting time, lack of self-control, the poor concept of time, self-deception, and an inability to control one's emotions. Interestingly, many procrastinators are aware of what they're doing and the potential consequences, yet they struggle to change their habits.

What Causes Procrastination?

The science of procrastination seems to suggest that there are biological and psychological reasons why people put their priorities on the back burner.

Biological Causes

The biological explanation surrounds the function of the limbic system and prefrontal cortex in the brain. The limbic system is a set of brain structures that contain the pleasure and reward center, while the prefrontal cortex helps regulate thinking, planning, and decision making.

According to scientific researchers, the limbic system is stronger than the prefrontal cortex, therefore it often dominates leading you to engage in activities that make you feel good. Of course, the prefrontal cortex and its logics about staying on task lose the battle a lot of times.

But if the natural wiring of the brain is a cause, then how much control do we really have over prioritizing tasks and getting them done ahead of time?

Saying that procrastination is cerebral also trumps the idea that those who wander off to more pleasurable activities are deliberately looking for distractions.

Psychological Causes

In terms of the psychological perspective, Eric Jaffe, author of the article “Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination”, suggests the root cause is a lack of emotional regulation and not an issue of time-management.

Jaffe referred to the work of Timothy Psychl Ph.D., of the Department of Psychology at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) who said “Emotional regulation, to me, is the real story around procrastination, because to the extent that I can deal with my emotions, I can stay on task.”

Tying procrastination to lack of emotional regulation may explain why a person does not learn to be early the next time around despite having faced the consequences of habitually regarding important duties as a low priority.

Meanwhile, a study on Self-Regulation and Academic Procrastination published by the Journal of Social Psychology found that the students in the study procrastinated for reasons such as fear of failure, anxiety, self-esteem issues, and depression. These students had a motivational problem, not a problem with laziness or poor time-management skills.

Another possible reason why we put off doing certain things perpetually is that our brain becomes addicted to pleasurable activities and avoiding tasks that may seem overwhelming, difficult, or unpleasant. The “addiction” happens because the pleasurable tasks stimulate dopamine production in the brain and provide the satisfaction we don't get from the job at hand.

Nevertheless, I think that some people drag their feet on finishing a task that they like. They don't want it to end, so they'll let it sit and marinate until it's time to let it go.

Other Reasons for Procrastination

Pamela D. Garcy, Ph.D., also cited the following contributing factors of procrastination:

  • A lack of self-compassion
  • Internal bias against a specific task
  • Believing you cannot perform well on the job
  • Learned behavior from parents or role models
  • The task is or seems uncomfortable
  • Believing it won’t take much time to get the “chore” done
  • Feeling physically or psychologically uncomfortable

Types of Procrastinators

If you think you're a procrastinator, you may fall into the 5 groups of procrastinator identified by psychologist, and author of Awaken Your Strongest Self, Neil Fiore. They are as follows:

  1. The Perfectionist: This procrastinator has a fear of making mistakes or being judged, so they spend too much time focusing on the details of one aspect of the project. Failing to manage their time well, they end up rushing to finish the project at the last minute. Interestingly, the results may still leave much to be desired.
  2. The Overwhelmed: Having too much to do, real or perceived, paralyze the process of getting anything done. These procrastinators feel there is so much to do that they don't know where to start. So, they ignore the duty at hand, trading it in for doing something else or nothing at all.
  3. The Dread-Filled: This type puts off their to-do's because they appear so unpleasant or boring, they dread getting to them.
  4. The Imposter: An imposter procrastinator is one who is afraid of being discovered as inferior or unqualified. Consequently, they engage in task aversion to avoid risk.
  5. The Lucky One: They are the ones who believe they perform at their best when there is just enough time left to complete the assignment. The risk-taking followed by the sense of accomplishment feels more like a reward for procrastinating.

So, there are people who get things done right away and those that wait until the eleventh hour to finish the task. Typically, the “delayers” are now rushing helter-skelter, adrenaline pumping, heart racing to get a project submitted by the deadline. These are likely the ones who miss deadlines, although there is an exceptional group of chronic procrastinators that perform well under pressure.

Chronic procrastinators are often excited by the euphoria of the delay and, in some cases, it tends to bring out the best in them when they are rushing to the finish line. Many of them may tell you that they get a whole lot more done in less time by waiting until the last moment. For these individuals, it's like delayed gratification and certainly not wasting time.

Interestingly, I also came across literature that suggests procrastination is something you can embrace. For example:

  • Organized procrastinators get more done
  • Procrastinators make better decisions
  • Procrastination brings out creativity
  • Unnecessary tasks are pushed aside when you procrastinate

This seems to suggest that what matters is that the to-do list gets done, not when it is done.

Stanford philosopher, John Perry, and author of the book, The Art of Procrastination, submits that people can adjust their to-do lists to continuously accomplish something of value. Of course, his idea supporting procrastination was met with rebuttals by other experts on the subject.

Notwithstanding, the habit of letting work or assignments wait can be risky, particularly in your professional or academic life where missed deadlines are met with penalties and being tardy is frowned upon. Your personal relationship can also suffer, you may experience higher levels of stress or anxiety, or sabotage your potentials for success.

How to Overcome Procrastination

Do you find that tough tasks become more important as the deadline approaches, while pleasurable tasks appear more important earlier on?
For example, choosing to study for an exam the day before while you spend the entire week hanging out with friends. Even if procrastination seems to work in your favor, it may still impair your true potentials, chances for success, and even your quality of life.

You can change this perpetual habit of switching your priorities. You'll likely experience less physical and emotional stress and have more time to accomplish other goals.

Here are five tips you may find helpful:

  1. Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a brain training technique that helps you to accept what is before you. It can teach you how to recognize when you're intentionally putting off things that must get done. It helps you process your feelings about performing a certain task and allows you to act regardless of your current thoughts and emotions. By doing this you're also practicing self-control and emotion regulation, as you're able to push aside distracting thoughts and feelings.
  2. Awareness: As mindfulness helps bring awareness of the problem, try to figure out what's the cause. Are you indecisive, anxious, fear failure, struggle with perfectionism, find the task unpleasant, or feel overwhelmed? Once you determine the why, you can take steps, such as planning or scheduling, to stay ahead of your work.
  3. Scheduling: Planning out the time to start and finish tasks is another way to help you overcome the habit of delaying. This approach helps you to prioritize your to-do's, manage your time effectively, and allows you to tackle priorities head-on according to their level of urgency.
  4. Self-compassion: Be kind to yourself and believe in your ability to complete a project. Accept that no one can perform with perfection all the time. Tell yourself it's okay to have high standards, but you shouldn't allow them to cripple your progress.
  5. Block out environmental distractions: Increase productivity by removing distractions such as from your cellphone or email frequently pinging in the background. Ditch the social media and online activities that appear more pleasurable than work. Set your phone on “Do Not Disturb” and tell yourself, “This is my ‘block out”’ period,” and hold yourself accountable for staying on task.

Time Lost Is Never Regained. The Time to Do It Is Now.

Chronic procrastination can be self-defeating in some way or the other. However, many people are not aware the problem exists.

Those who are conscious of it may not know why they stall on their to-do list. Understandably, the brain and the emotions are involved, but once you become aware, you're empowered to take steps to counteract brain functions and feelings that encourage delaying important responsibilities.

Through self-awareness, practicing mindfulness, holding yourself accountable, and other self-regulation techniques, you may eventually beat procrastination.


About the Author

Joonas Jokiniemi has a background in IT Consulting and Cognitive Neuroscience. He is also a barbecue enthusiast and runs his own website related to grilling and smoking.


 

Why Everyone Needs Counseling for a Healthy Lifestyle: How BetterHelp Can Assist

Why Everyone Needs Counseling for a Healthy Lifestyle: How BetterHelp Can Assist

Counseling often gets a bad rap.

Most think that those who attend counseling have something wrong with them; however, counseling can be beneficial for even the most successful and stable people for many reasons.

Yes, counseling can be utilized by those who are under a great deal of stress, are going through a divorce, have a mental health condition, and many reasons that generally have a stigma attached to them.

But counseling can also be used as a tool to better yourself; it can help you to talk about decisions with an unbiased individual and help you to present yourself in the best light possible.

Why Should I See a Counselor if I Do Not Have Any Problems?

Everyone, whether they want to admit it or not, has some problems. While there are people who live a generally balanced and stable life, these folks can still benefit from the advice on managing challenging situations from time to time.

Ignoring your struggles can be a bad habit; if you fail to admit that you are struggling in a somewhat innocuous situation, then when you have a big problem, you may not be willing to seek help. All of this denial can be a slippery slope.

Instead of being closed-minded to counseling, consider how your life can improve by talking out situations with someone who has no stake in your personal life.

Would it be helpful to talk about how to manage a situation at work better? Approach a delicate situation with your spouse? Tell your significant other that you want to take a promotion that would require a move, and you do not want them to go with you?

Everyone has challenging issues in life, and talking to a counselor can help you to understand what you want to happen as an outcome and what you may end up facing. Then you can discuss how you will manage these subsequent situations so that you come out not feeling bad or that you are making a wrong decision.

Is it Alright That I Have Never Seen a Counselor?

Yes. Whether you have been in counseling for years, or you have never taken advantage of counseling, it does not make you a good or bad person. Those who have attended counseling are often able to manage challenging situations better. This is not to say that those who have not participated in counseling are not capable of dealing with adverse conditions.

Either way, counseling can be a good thing for everyone who partakes.

What If I Have Been in Counseling for Years and Do Not Seem to Be Getting Any Better?

Some people have been in counseling for years to treat a mental health condition, such as a mood disorder or PTSD. While you may feel that counseling can still benefit you, but you are not getting anywhere new with your therapist, it is perfectly okay to seek advice from a new counselor.

While psychology is a science-based practice, not everyone practices the same way. Some therapists are more compassionate, where others are more brass and bold. Some may tell you what they think you want to hear where others do not sugar coat things.

If you feel as though you are in a rut with your counselor, look around and see if there is someone else that can be a better fit for your needs. Chances are there is always someone who can help you just a little bit better than the treatment you are currently taking part in or the therapist you are seeing.

Just be mindful that not all therapists are covered by all insurance companies. While many large practices take most insurance, smaller practices or those who own their own practice may only accept a handful of insurance plans.

My Family Tells Me I Need Counseling But I Think I Am Fine

If you have been told that you could benefit from counseling, do not take it as a bad thing. Everyone can benefit from counseling. Those who refuse to see a therapist are often in denial or have deeply seeded issues that they do not want others to know about or want to discuss.

If you are adamant that you do not need counseling, you need to ask yourself why.

  • Do you have a past that you do not want to discuss?
  • Did you have a rough childhood that you left behind and want to keep it buried?
  • Do you think that your life if perfect and cannot get any better?

Regardless of why you think that you do not feel you need to see a therapist, think about how your life can improve if you did. You may find yourself ready to schedule an appointment.

At the end of the day, everyone needs counseling for a healthy lifestyle. Whether you think that you could benefit from it directly or indirectly, you should most definitely give it a try. If you are not sure where to start, check out BetterHelp counseling. They are a web-based counseling service that can connect you with the right therapists. You can also find more information on Twitter.


Author Bio:

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

Why Men Need More Vulnerability in Life and Love

Why Men Need More Vulnerability in Life and Love

It is a known cliche that men, in general, are considered ‘go-getters, explorers, thinkers, and more often than not, lovers of problem solving.'

But are you a responsible man who takes care of yourself and your surroundings? Are you leaving the right footprints for others to follow? Are you happy with yourself?

To get an answer to all the questions related to your life, it is essential to do some work at the inner or core level. Which is what you will learn as you read further.

The inner work for men begins with the most important keyword “Acceptance” which is the key quality that always leads men towards self-victory.

The acceptance that there exist several dualities in this world. The fact that it is not the men who are the driving force in this universe. The acceptance that the world is a mixture of different gender identities, including male, female, transgender, gender-neutral, non-binary, agender, pangender, genderqueer, two-spirit, third gender, and all, none or a combination of these.

The acceptance that men are not only the symbol of strength, there also exists a vulnerable being inside everyone, the men are strong as well as fearful at the same time. Most of the men spend their life catering the strongest being inside them whereas not taking much care about the fearful side of them.

Let’s begin with a short story of an orphan child who grew up in an orphanage in the city thinking life is all about the joy and happiness that he shared with his other friends and caretakers. He stayed there until he finished his studies and was now time to move out of the orphanage and make a life of his own. During his stay in the orphanage, he never really understood the feeling of unacceptance because he was in an environment where everyone accepted him because he had no one in his life.

Soon after leaving the orphanage, he understood that the second phase of life begins at 23, where you must face a lot of rejections. It is then he started understanding the real meaning of unacceptance. The societal pressures took him apart and his ideologies were shattered. Soon after some years, he got diagnosed with a rare disease, but this time there wasn’t anyone to take care of him.

While battling this rare condition, he met a wonderful girl who soon becomes his loving partner at the age of 33. She started pulling back the sense of acceptance in his life and took care of him in the difficult times. This new happiness started changing his life and he could feel the difference in his health condition, he got his charm back and decided to begin with a new life and started looking for a professional life to get settled down with his loving partner.

As he was gradually developing sense and meaning in life, he lost his loving partner unexpectedly and life pushed him back to grief and sorrow but this time the struggle was different. His loving partner already taught him the value of acceptance in life. He soon started accepting whatever life throws at him and that gave him the strength to withstand almost anything. He still carries many wounds but only to realize that the inner spirit is infinite.

What Inner Work You Can Do to Strengthen the Infinite Spirit?

The ever-demanding modern society forces us all the time to look within us. Self-respect is the only tool in this era to keep your positivity intact. More than the strength it requires you to have the right attitude to find the true sense of meaning and purpose of life. It is important to take care of personal responsibility and never shy away from seeking support or help whenever you need so. Below discussed are the various inner works that you can practice in life.

1) Be More Expressive

Popular author Terrence Real revealed in his book ‘I Don’t Want to Talk About It’ that men stay aback or hesitate when it comes to expressing themselves and that is a societal issue.

Right from childhood, boys are the ones who are noticed less, spoken to less, pampered less when compared to the girl child. This stays with them as they grow up and become an adult. This behavior creates a tendency in the men not to discuss their issues with others and tackle everything of their own. Solving everything in your head develops a tendency to just look at “who you think you are” rather than focusing on “who you are in reality”.

To meet the real you, you will have to speak up about your issues and seek other’s help in solving your problems and get an opinion about yourself. This makes you more involved with others and you can have a broader look at life. But make sure you have the right person in life to look up to.

The following is an except from Terrence Real's book

They have learned not to expect their father to attend to them or to be expressive about much of anything. They have come to expect him to be psychologically unavailable.

They have also learned that he is not accountable in his emotional absence, that Mother does not have the power either to engage him or to confront him. In other words, Father’s neglect and Mother’s ineffectiveness at countering it teaches the boys that, in this family at least, men’s participation is not a responsibility but rather a voluntary and discretionary act. Third, they learn that Mother, and perhaps women in general, need not be taken too seriously.

Finally, they learn that not just Mother but the values she manifests in the family—connection, expressivity—are to be devalued and ignored. The subtext message is, “engage in ‘feminine’ values and activities and risk a similar devaluation yourself.” The paradox for the boys is that the only way to connect with their father is to echo his disconnection. Conversely, being too much like Mother threatens further disengagement or perhaps, even active reprisal. At this moment, and thousands of other ordinary moments, these boys are learning to accept psychological neglect, to discount nurture, and to turn the vice of such abandonment into a manly virtue.

Terrence Real, I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression

2) Eliminate the Wrong Belief

Since your childhood you are told to be a certain way, act a certain way. A lot of these belief sticks with your life and you grow up the same way thinking you must be too conscious about everything. The takes away your freedom of being the real you and act more the way the society has taught you.

There are certain values and principles that you must eliminate from your life. One such false belief that you grow up listening to is “stay away from strangers”. This may protect you when you are a kid but growing up with this belief can be too dangerous for you. This will make you more protective and self-defensive making you stay away from any sort of risk in your life.

False belief will always force you to think a certain way and not accept anything that doesn’t align with your personal belief. Just because you have believed in certain aspects doesn’t mean it is right all the time. You tend to only attract the people who think your way. Never create an inner world that is set based only on your beliefs. This creates a state of isolation from the outer world and you tend to think that other people are not to be trusted.

The way you interact with others has a huge impact on your behavior. Carl Jung, a famous psychoanalyst from Switzerland explains the importance of putting your ego aside and never allow it to come your way. Seeing the world through your own belief creates a sense of ego in your head, even in a relationship you tend to make the other person behave the way you want them to. 80% of the relationships end because of this same ego which is developed from the same root of the belief.

3) Select the Right Role Model

Every man looks up to another man in his life and tries to behave or imitate the same way. Even you also fall in that same category, then it is time to re-think. It is more likely that a man will learn more from his role model than from books or through academics.

Most of the men choose an influential person as their role model, that could be an athlete, movie actor, a popular pop star. You may behave the same way these influential people behave. But do you know how they are in real life?

You might only know about how the athlete plays the game and behave on the ground. You don’t have any access to the personal life of that person. The athlete may be aggressive on the field but maybe too calm off the field. This approach will also make you aggressive in your daily life as you believe it is the right way to be. The charismatic and larger than life of a movie actor makes you believe that life is so happening, but you are leading such a monotonous and repetitive life. Be conscious when you enact someone in life.

4) Practicing Self Parenting

Parenting is essential because it is believed that every man has a young child within him. Imagine you being a parent and taking care of your child’s daily life. You will ask the child about how he is doing, how he spent his day, how things are progressing in his school, and many others. Likewise, ask yourself the below questions:

  • Ask yourself how are you doing in life?
  • Ask if your life is heading in the right direction?
  • Do you take time out for yourself?
  • Are you, your best friend?

It is important for you as a man to think about yourself at times. Taking care of yourself is one of the most underrated things nowadays. Self-parenting is effective to analyze your life and learn what you can do to help yourself. Ask questions about your daily life, work, relationship. Look at the fear that limits your life and take action to conquer that fear.

To create a new life, you must be aware of the current life that you are leading. When you ask questions to yourself, listen to the tone of your voice, the depth in your answers. Start treating yourself as the friend who always takes good care of you, simultaneously, treat yourself as the elder brother who always guides you holding your hands, and shares valuable experiences of life.

5) The Act of Balancing Your Life

All of us have multiple life within this same life. You have a life at home, at your gym, at your work, with your friends, with your family, are you able to create a nice balance between all these lives? Are you able to forget the pressure at work while you are at the gym? If not, then it is time to work on yourself.

Bring into action the three P’s of life: Propose Produce Prevent.

  1. Propose yourself a structure of the whole day right in the morning.
  2. Produce a list of tasks that you want to achieve in a day.
  3. Prevent yourself from anything that keeps you away from performing the tasks.

Once you focus on these three P’s, you will find it extremely easy to make the transition from one aspect of your life to another. Take time to relax between each session of your day and life. A quick jump from one to another is also harmful and makes you exhausted at the end of the day.

Why Are All These Things Important?

This is a stunning question and there is a stunning answer to this.

With the help of science and technology, we as humans have all the means to control the outer world. But do we have anything that can change our characters to implement the science to make this world a better place? All of us are heading in the same primitive manner of simply surviving. It is important, that you now focus on the world that is deeper than the entire universe, the world that exists within you.

Improve the quality of the thoughts and feeling you develop within.

The conclusion of your life is the combination of all the experiences that you have had individually as well as from your surroundings. Our life seems to be working for us but, it is not. It is our duty to end the internal conflicts and for that inner work is the best possible way. The most interesting thing is to engage, challenge, and satisfy yourself. In the end, you will thank yourself for taking care of yourself and looking deeply and seriously within you.

9 Signs Your Anxiety Is Getting Worse

9 Signs Your Anxiety Is Getting Worse

Anxiety is defined as a reaction to stressful, potentially dangerous, or unfamiliar situations. We all suffer a degree of anxiety at one point or another. In fact, experts opine that humans need a level of anxiety to remain alert and focused.

However, the problem comes when the condition degenerates into a disorder. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most prevalent mental disorder in the United States, affecting at least 40 million adults.

Forms of Anxiety Disorders

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the following are the five anxiety disorders and their signature symptoms.

  • Generalized anxiety disorder – Persistent feelings of anxiety and tension
  • Social Anxiety Disorder – Feelings of anxiety in public places
  • Panic Disorder – Sudden feelings of unreasonable fear
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder – Obsessive and ritualistic patterns of behavior
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder – Commonly occurs following traumatic events

9 Signs That Your Anxiety Is Getting Worse

There are numerous signs that your anxiety needs immediate medical intervention. Fortunately, there are equally plenty of ways to address your anxiety disorder. Cannabis is one of the natural remedies. Much on that later.

However, it’s important to mention that for cannabis products to treat your anxiety condition, you must ensure you source it from a trusted marijuana dispensary. While you’re at it, inquire from the dispensary how their cannabis products were sourced.

Generally, the best cannabis products are obtained by CO2 extraction, as opposed to other methods like the use of hydrocarbons. Also, ask the seller to show proof of third-party lab test results on their products.

Here are the nine signs that your anxiety is getting worse:

#1. Excessive Worrying

It’s natural to be worried about an impending event. However, when your worries are disproportionately more substantial than the events that trigger them, then you’re likely suffering from an anxiety disorder. Excessive worrying is usually a symptom of panic disorder or social anxiety disorder.

#2. Irrational Fears

While some people can suffer generalized anxiety, others battle specific irrational fears. These fears are known as phobias and form the basis of panic disorders.

Examples of phobias include:

  • Acrophobia – Fear of heights.
  • Cynophobia – Fear of dogs.
  • Arachnophobia – Fear of spiders
  • Ophidiophobia – Fear of snakes
  • Mysophobia – Fear of germs

#3. Intense Agitation

When you’re anxious, your sympathetic nervous system functions beyond its optimal capacity as your brain prepares your body to respond appropriately to the danger. That triggers a cascade of reactions, including an elevated pulse, sweaty palms, dry mouth, and trembling hands. The cumulative effect of these reactions is intense agitation.

#4. Restlessness

Also known as irritability, restlessness is an anxiety symptom that mostly affects children and teens. A restless person is always on edge and ready to respond to ‘The danger’ that might not be there in the first place. Restlessness also causes a disproportionate response to stimuli. For instance, you can tell that you’re restless if you use maximum force to flick a housefly from your face.

#5. Muscular Tension

When you’re anxious, your body shunts blood supply from your digestive system to your muscles, ostensibly to prepare you to run or fight. As a result, your muscles become tense through responses like balling your fists and clenching your jaws. These reactions should be good news if the threat turns out to be real. However, the sudden blood flow to your muscles causes constant muscle tension, which might eventually lead to cramps.

#6. Chronic Constipation

As we’ve already indicated, anxiety redirects blood flow from your digestive system to your muscles. Powering your muscles at the expense of your digestive tract might leave you with gastrointestinal complications like chronic constipation. If you follow a healthy diet and have no underlying medical condition but still experience this, then anxiety might be the cause.

#7. Stage Fright

Most people experience butterflies in their stomach before addressing a crowd. However, if your fear of being in the spotlight is too strong to handle, you’re likely suffering from a social anxiety disorder known as stage fright. People with stage fright usually develop excessive sweating and body tremors at the mere thought of addressing a gathering. In the worst-case scenario, their minds may suddenly go blank even if they had prepared adequately for the address well ahead of time.

#8. Self-consciousness

Anxious people may occasionally grapple with self-awareness. Self-awareness mostly occurs when a person is in the spotlight. However, it may also be triggered by everyday situations. Usually, the person may blush, tremble, sweat, or experience nausea even when interacting with their friends or family.

#9. Insomnia

Insomnia is almost always a sure indicator of anxiety. It’s mostly a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. Insomnia may manifest itself in three various ways, including:

  1. Having a longer sleep latency
  2. Waking up too early, followed by an inability to go back to sleep
  3. Frequent sleep interruptions

Is There A Cure for Anxiety?

Anxiety can be treated or managed by making certain lifestyle adjustments. Some of these include.

  • Quitting alcohol and smoking
  • Eating a healthy diet, which contains probiotics and fermented foods
  • Working out and exercising more often
  • Limiting caffeine intake

In addition to lifestyle changes, you can also treat anxiety by using natural anxiolytic herbs. Examples of these herbs include:

Research shows cannabis as the most effective natural remedy against anxiety. Extracts from the plant, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), relieve anxiety by interacting with the body’s cell-signaling system known as the endocannabinoid system. Studies conducted on the anxiolytic properties of cannabis have shown its effectiveness against social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Anxiety is part and parcel of everyday life.

However, it has a way of degenerating into unmanageable levels if left untreated.

Always be aware of any of these nine signs to know whether your anxiety condition is getting out of hand. When it comes to treatment, the convention is to insist on natural anti-anxiety herbs like cannabis.

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