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How to Train Your Brain to Stop Worrying

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How to Train Your Brain to Stop Worrying

Our brain is designed to react to things quickly. Strangely enough, most reactions come without us even having to ‘think’ about it. This is a useful little tool most of the time. But, when your brain’s initial reaction to most things becomes fear or worry, it can create larger problems for your everyday life.

Worrying occasionally is not unhealthy. We all find something to worry about from time to time. But, when that worry takes over situations that don’t warrant it, you might start to recognize that it’s a problem. Perhaps you feel paralyzed by an upcoming dental appointment, or a meeting with your boss, or even going out to dinner with friends.

If worrying has ever taken over your thoughts and started to affect your life and relationships, it may be time to ‘re-train’ your brain. There are simple but effective steps you can take to stop worrying so much. These tips on training your brain can be used to really think about the upcoming situations that you’re worried about, and how you can handle them better.

Make Meditation a Habit

Meditation might sound cliché when it comes to calming down your thoughts, but it’s literally been around for thousands of years for a reason: It works! Meditation has been proven by research to improve cognitive health, lower anxiety, and allows you to feel more focused throughout the day.

If you have never meditated before, you may have some incorrect preconceived notions about it. Meditation doesn’t take hours a day. You don’t need to make certain noises or dress in a certain way. You only need a few minutes a day in a quiet space to take your thoughts captive, and remove stress from your mind. Worrisome thoughts may still come. It’s the job of your meditative state to let them go by and not dwell on them for too long.

Train Your Body

One of the best ways to train your brain to stop worrying is to train your body. Exercise has many benefits, one of them being that it can help to reduce stress. But it can also reassure your body’s ‘fight or flight’ responses. Our body often responds to stress before our mind does. If your body feels less anxiety in a certain situation, your mind will interpret it as nothing to worry about.

One of the best ways to combat physical stress is to get more physically fit. Any form of exercise can be beneficial, you don’t need to go to the gym for hours each day for it to have a positive impact. A 5-10 minute walk in the middle of the day can help your body to combat stressful symptoms. This is achieved by sending signals to your mind that everything is going to be okay.

Accept Your Worry

Sometimes, we can worry so much, that we end up stressing out over how much we are worrying! It’s an endless cycle that can wreak havoc on both your mind and body. If you are a worrisome person by nature, one tool you can use to overcome it is to simply accept it. Accept the worries as they come into your mind for what they are.

The important aspect of this tip, though? Once you accept it, you have to be able to move on. You can accept that a certain upcoming situation might cause stress. It might be something you are not looking forward to, and it could even be something that scares you. But, once you have talked yourself through that acceptance, you have to let it go. Sometimes, telling yourself it’s okay to be worried is the best thing you can do, and can actually help you to feel calmer when the actual situation arises.

Empty Your Worries onto Paper

It might seem silly to write all of your worries down, since that puts them all out in front of you. But, think of this action more like an emptying of the mind. When you write down your worries over a certain situation, you are pinning them to the paper and giving your mind a break. If you are not using a daily journal, I highly recommend that you start.

Studies have shown that this tactic is great for people who get nervous before taking tests, for example. When your stressful thoughts are out in the open, you can look back at them. They become tangible, but they also may become less intimidating when they are just words on a piece of paper. Transfer your worries from your mind to a written list or journal, and you will feel more confident in overcoming them.

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Give Yourself a Break

It is impossible to be perfect all of the time. Unfortunately, that’s what many of us strive to be on a daily basis. Many of us know that we will fail sometimes, but some people have a harder time accepting this than others. It seems like every day we are told we have to do something new for better health, or better relationships, or more success. If you fall short of those ‘expert’ tips, you might start worrying that you are doing something majorly wrong with your life.

The key here is to cut yourself some slack. Your goal should be to live your best life, not the perfect life. This mindset should be at the forefront of every area of your life, including your health, relationships, workplace, and more. When we are able to take some of the pressures off ourselves that society unfortunately puts there, it makes it a lot easier to stop worrying so much about the things we’ll never be able to live up to.

Stop Worrying and Find Freedom

It might be impossible to get rid of worrisome thoughts altogether. You may just be more conscious of stressful situations than others. The solution is to be able to control those worries. You can’t let those thoughts take over your life, or it could damage your overall health and well being.

By using some of the suggestions in this article, you can be more mindful of your thoughts, and fight back against damaging worries every day. It is unlikely that you’ll stop stressing about everything overnight. But, with conscious effort and tips like the ones listed here, you can keep your worries in check, and live a more fulfilling life in the absence of fear.

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6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough

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6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough

Have you ever had moments where you feel completely inadequate? Maybe a specific situation comes up and you think there is no way that you would ever be good enough to do what is needed. Or, maybe you feel that way all the time and you can’t seem to get past it.

Thinking that you are not good enough and having low self-esteem tend to go hand-in-hand, but they are slightly different.

Thankfully, you can work on both of them by changing your thinking habits and banishing some of that negative self-talk from your mindset. Whether you think you are not good enough in certain situations or you have a hard time believing that you are good enough for almost anything, it doesn’t have to be that way forever.

Let’s look at a few things you should always keep in mind when those thoughts come in, and how you can start to convince yourself of your true worth.

1. You Are Not Alone

Thinking that you are not good enough can cause a lonely existence. You might not want to put your burdens on others, so you don’t talk about it. You might also think that everyone else is perfectly happy with who they are, and are confident in everything that they do.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is, you never know what other people are fully thinking/feeling. What you can count on, though, is that there are so many others who feel just like you, and are constantly wondering if they are “enough”. Knowing that you are not alone can help you to work through your feelings without feeling so isolated.

2. You Have Your Own Skills

A common reason why people tend to think they are not good enough is because they don’t have a specific talent or skill that someone else has. But you probably have something that person doesn’t, too.

Everyone has their own abilities and things that make them unique. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, keep your mind on your talents and what makes you special.

“If you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you!” – T. Harv Eker

3. You Can’t Be Perfect

Perfection is a fruitless thing to chase. Many people who question their self-worth do so because they are perfectionists.

But, if you set such a high standard for yourself, you will always be disappointed. Perfection doesn’t exist, and while you can strive to be your best, it is important to understand human error and limits. That doesn’t mean the things you do are some how “less” than great. But, striving for perfection is something that can make you feel inadequate.

4. You Are Worthy of Loving Yourself

Love tends to be the answer for so many things, including any pain or turmoil that you might be going through. Thinking that you are not good enough is an easy way to cause yourself sadness and pain. Those thoughts can quickly snowball and you might start to think about more negative things about yourself.

Instead of fueling those negative thoughts, choose love. Love is like a permanent band-aid for the pain that you are going through. It is a great way to comfort yourself, provide reassurance, and get a clearer picture of who you really are and all of the wonderful things that you can offer the world. By choosing self-love, you can start to see yourself in a more positive light, and push those negative thoughts away.

“We must fall in love with ourselves. I don’t like myself. I’m crazy about myself.” – Mae West

5. Mistakes Can Be a Good Thing

Do you ever find yourself feeling especially inadequate when you “fail”? While that is not uncommon, that word should really be removed from your vocabulary.

Everyone “fails” at times, because again, perfection is not attainable. When you start to consider anything less than perfection to be a failure, it is easy to beat yourself up and think that you will never amount to the things that you truly want.

But, when you start to view your failures and mistakes as good things and stepping stones, you can completely shift your perspective and realize that not only are you good enough, but you are also resilient and strong. Some of the biggest “failures” in history went on to be the most successful people because they learned from their mistakes. They looked at the things that went wrong and considered how they could change them.

It is important to use your mistakes as a way to learn and grow. When you are able to do that, you will find a greater sense of fulfillment when things finally come together and you get it “right”.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordon

6. Gratitude Goes a Long Way

It might not always feel easy to accept and be grateful for who you are. But, it is incredibly important. Instead of thinking about the things you don’t have or areas where you are not “good enough”, choose to actively think about and pursue the positive. Focus on what you are grateful for. The more that you do that, the easier it will be to banish those thoughts of doubt and insecurity. I like to start every day by using my journal and begin by writing down three things that I am grateful for.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie

Once you really start to think about it, you will find that you have more to be grateful for than you may have initially realized, and that way of thinking can help you to establish healthier, more positive thoughts about yourself that will last a lifetime.

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50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

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50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

What are existential questions?

Existential questions are usually deep, philosophical questions that question just that — our very existence.

They can be great conversation starters and they can also sometimes make for a passionate discussion. The following existential questions can be a great way to get to know someone better and perhaps even learn new things about yourself.

The word existential comes from the Latin word “existentia”, which means to exist. Existential questions challenge our way of thinking, our beliefs and our perspective.

Is there a right or wrong answer to an existential question? Perhaps not, as each question usually just asks more questions.

I have put together the following list of thought provoking existential questions so that you can perhaps start an internal conversation with yourself or start an interesting debate with your friends.

50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

 

1. Are there limits to human creativity?

2. What makes something beautiful?

3. How do we know if we’re doing the right thing?

4. Who am I?

5. What is one thing that every human should get to experience in their life?

6. Do you believe in a power greater than humanity?

7. Are we given enough time?

8. Is privacy a right?

9. What is the best way for a person to attain happiness?

10. Are we alone in the universe?

11. What is love?

12. How would you define genius?

13. What do you think your purpose is?

14. If babies are considered innocent, when do people cease to be innocent?

15. Is it better to expand your knowledge or to deepen it?

16. Why do you think we are here?

17. How important is ‘play’ in living a healthy and fulfilling life?

18. Do you have a right to be happy, or should you earn it?

19. What happens when I die?

20. What worries me the most about the future?

21. What is a person? Is it the mind, or the body?

22. Would the world be a better place if all leaders were women? If you answered yes, why?

23. What activity have I done that has made me feel the most alive?

24. Does truth exist without evidence?

25. If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would I give?

26. Does a person have a soul? If so, where is it?

27. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?

28. Is it more important to love or be loved?

29. What would make the world a better place?

30. How should we measure our lives? In years? In moments? In accomplishments? Something else?

31. What is the difference between living and simply existing?

32. If you died today, would you be satisfied with the life you’ve lived?

33. What advice would you tell your younger self?

34. Which is worse: failing or never trying?

35. Is a minimum wage a good idea? What about a maximum wage?

36. What is the most important goal every person should have?

37. Can anything ever really be considered ‘true’ or is everything subjective?

38. Is the world a better place with humans in it?

39. If extra-terrestrial life was discovered, how do you think humanity would react?

40. Is happiness just a mixture of chemicals circulating through our bodies?

41. Where do you think we go when we die?

42. Have I done anything lately worth remembering?

43. Can you ever have full control over your own life?

44. How do you know that you are not dreaming right now?

45. Is one lifetime enough?

46. What matters most in my life?

47. Is a person ever truly evil? If so, are they born that way?

48. What is the meaning of life?

49. Is humanity going in the right or wrong direction?

50. What does it mean to live a good life?

I hope that you enjoyed these thought provoking existential questions. I hope that they perhaps made you think about your beliefs, yourself and the world around you (the bigger picture). If you discuss these questions with a friend, remember, there is probably no right and wrong answers, usually just a matter of opinion.

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30 Life Lessons That I Would Tell My Younger Self

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30 Life Lessons That I Would Tell My Younger Self

I clearly remember when I was 18, then 25 and in then what seems like a flash, I have recently celebrated by 50th birthday. While some people might dread the thoughts of hitting such a milestone. (more…)

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