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Mindfulness

7 Ways to Clear Your Mind of Negative Thoughts

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clear your mind of negative thoughts

Negative thoughts are the biggest obstacle in personal growth and self-actualization.

They also create a lot of trouble in our day to day life. Also, unfortunately, for many of us, they might seem completely involuntary.

Here are some ways in which you can stop these negative thoughts from occurring.

1. Write down positive affirmations

Within the next 30 days, you could be a more positive and upbeat person if you wrote down 10 of your desired affirmations on a piece of paper every day. Writing down how your desired life should look like, in a concise and specific manner, gradually rewires your brain and your life starts to change with each passing day.

However, if you don’t find the time and space to do the writing, you can definitely reap the same benefits by listening to audio tapes of positive affirmations. So, create a 30-day schedule and get rid of your nagging negative thoughts forever.

2. Practicing self-acceptance

A lot of negative thinking is caused by resisting and suppressing the truth about how we actually are in real life. A lot of people live their lives wishing and hoping that they looked better and in a way that is more acceptable by society. Obviously, this creates conflict in their minds, and they start to have a negative thought about themselves.

Self-acceptance can change all that. To be perfectly honest, just knowing who you are and not caring what other people think of you is more than enough to get rid of the self-generated negative thoughts.

3. Journaling

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.”


-Oscar Wilde

Recent research shows that journaling every day can help reduce stress, bring clarity of thought, and also help people understand themselves better. Unlike what most people think, journaling is an ancient practice; it dates back to the 10th century, Japan. Back in the day, successful people used to maintain a personal diary to keep track of their thoughts and actions.

It’s important to keep track of when and how the negative thoughts come to your mind. Jotting down the triggers can help you become more aware of yourself and make it easy for you to catch yourself when a negative thought pops up in your head.

4. Mindfulness meditation

clear your mind of negative thoughts

Mindfulness is not just a meditation technique, it is a way of life. Being mindful means to keep your mind so clear that it becomes full of emptiness and space. For instance, instead of letting our minds wander and think about repetitive things, we can exercise our power to observe ourselves and be in the driving seat of our lives.

There is no denying the fact that the root of most of our negative thoughts is stress. Don’t let negative thoughts keep you from getting ahead.

Recent research shows that even a single mindfulness meditation session can help reduce anxiety and stress. For instance, the subjects of a study showed reduced anxiety and stress after one hour of the meditation session. In conclusion, their stress was astoundingly lowered when examined after a week of meditating one hour a day.

5. Read poetry to process negative thoughts

A poem may seem like a collection of awesome sounding words and nothing else. But it can be more than that. For a logical person, everything must make sense, and every activity should yield a certain outcome. By being this way, they are being too hard on themselves.

Poetry teaches us to break away from our conditioned mind and delve into the unknown. Popular American spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra urges people to read poems to become more empathetic, happy and free from negative thinking.

In the war-torn area of Afghanistan called Spin Boldak, American troops started a monthly poetry reading session to relieve stress and accumulated feelings. At first, some of the soldiers were skeptical about it, but as the word spread about this unusual social gathering, more soldiers started participating in it.

6. Get away from toxic people

Have you ever stayed awake at night thinking about how your life would look like if you got a chance to start all over again? Many of us get into relationships without even asking ourselves whether that person is worth our time or not. This happens a lot when we are young. In that period, all we care about is having fun and socializing with as many people as possible.

If you find yourself doing things that are clearly hurtful to you or you feel exhausted at the end of the day, there is a chance that you are in a toxic relationship with someone. So, evaluate the people in your life and stay away from the toxic ones.

7. Take a walk in the nature

clear your mind of negative thoughts

Taking a brisk walk is an old fashioned way of dealing with sudden stress and panic attacks. Moreover, walking doesn’t take up a lot of energy.

But how does walking help clear negative thoughts?

When you decide to go for a quick walk, you are making a decision to change your current mental state. It shifts your attention from your mind to your body, especially, if you take a stroll in a park or any place surrounding nature.

To wrap things up, a quick way to get rid of negative thoughts is to write down all your thoughts on a piece of paper or record it on a sound recorder. As a result of that, you quickly become conscious of your thinking patterns, and you start to look at yourself objectively.

Moreover, negative thoughts are a result of our bad experience in the past and to let them lead our life would be a huge mistake. By making the best out of the tools and techniques mentioned in this article, you can successfully eliminate them and live a fully empowered life.

References-

1. The Health Benefits of Journaling – Psych Central.” Accessed March 23, 2019. https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/.
2. “Even a single mindfulness meditation session can reduce … – EurekAlert!.” Accessed March 23, 2019. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/eb2-eas041218.php.
3. “Reading Poetry Can Instantly Boost Your Happiness, Says Deepak ….” Accessed March 23, 2019. https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/deepak-chopra-reading-poetry-happiness/.
4. “Soldiers relieve stress through poetry | Article | The United … – Army.mil.” Accessed March 23, 2019. https://www.army.mil/article/49327/soldiers_relieve_stress_through_poetry.

Mindfulness

5 Tips to Increase Your Focus

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5 Tips to Increase Your Focus

Low attention span or difficulty in focusing is becoming a common problem for many. With so many entertainment options readily available, it has become easy to be distracted and to procrastinate. Our work takes the hit and that, in turn, makes us feel bad. Instead of dismissing your lack of focus as something you have to deal with, learn to increase it.

Like our body, our mind needs exercise too. The areas we consider to be weak can be built up if we put our mind to it. Just because our focus isn’t as strong as we would like it to be, doesn’t mean you have to accept the fact and do nothing about it. Try to better it. There are things, practices, and exercises that if done regularly, can help you increase your focus.

1. Meditate

5 Tips to Increase Your Focus

If you didn’t know, meditation has different types that focus on different areas. Mindfulness meditation can help you boost your attention span significantly. Not only that, meditation in itself can help you relax, and become calm and collected. Now, that your mind has relaxed and is free of a thought jumble, it becomes easier to focus on things that actually matter.

Meditation for just 10 to 20 minutes a day will help you increase your focus and attention span. Start your mornings by focusing on your breathing for a few minutes, followed by your meditation ritual. You can also do some light breathing exercise just before doing something that requires focus to clear your mind.

2. Include practicing mindfulness in your day

5 Tips to Increase Your Focus

While mindfulness meditation helps you become more aware and helps increase your focus. Practicing mindfulness throughout your day will help you fight distractions and focus on the tasks at hand. Mindfulness simply is being very attentive to every aspect of the task you are doing, and also noticing every small detail about your task.

It can seem like it isn’t easy, but it is. What I do is that I imagine I am writing about whatever I am doing – not informative writing but descriptive. So, suppose I am eating my lunch, I will pay attention to the cutlery, the color of my food, the smell, the taste, the texture of each ingredient. I will focus on chewing and swallowing, on the feeling it gives rise to.

What we usually do is that we focus on distractions while eating, and our primary task somehow becomes secondary. Our focus shifts towards our phones or the shows we are watching. This is what happens with many of our tasks.

3.  Don’t listen to music while working

5 Tips to Increase Your Focus

Many of us have the habit of listening to music while working on something. While it helps people most of the times and can be a good thing, it does the opposite for people with poor focus. If you know the song, then you are most probably going to sing along, and that stops you from giving your all to the task at hand.

Let’s say you are doing something that is going to be using the same parts of your brain, then will doing those things together make sense? No, right? When you are doing something that uses motor functions like your household chores, then listening to music is fine, but not while reading if you don’t have a high focus level.

4. Build your willpower

Willpower will allow you to ignore distractions like playing songs or using your phone and will help you to stay focused on the task at hand. Consciously saying no to yourself whenever you feel like doing something else is very important and a skill that you should definitely develop if you want to increase your focus level.

Your attention span will be served well with intentionally trying to focus and also having strong willpower isn’t only good for building your focus but also for being productive. At the end of the day, what you do or do not do boils down to your willpower, saying no to distractions depends entirely on your willpower.

5. Increase your focus gradually

5 Tips to Increase Your Focus

Like any habit, you need to start slow. Like when starting exercise, you are advised to start slow because your body might not be able to take it, the same goes for anything mental. The best way to stay focused is for you to start using the Pomodoro technique. This lets you start working in bouts so that you can start with a short amount of focusing time.

You traditionally work for 25 minutes and then take a five minutes break. After you have repeated this four times, you can take a longer break. Because you know that you have to work for only 25 minutes, it becomes easier to focus. This is a great way to start out.

Takeaway

All it boils down to is will power and persistence. If you are really dedicated to increasing your focus, then you will find it easier to do things to help. I would say, convincing yourself is the hardest part, so start out by taking small steps. Don’t decide to start being completely focused for the whole day, that isn’t going to happen. Use these tips to slowly but gradually increase your focus.

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Mindfulness

9 Signs It’s Time To Change Your Mindset

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9 Signs It’s Time To Change Your Mindset

Changing your mindset about money and relationships can be life-enriching and have a massive impact on your life. It can open up virtually limitless opportunities for you in a short period of time. There are clear signs that you can look for to know whether you are going in the right direction in life or not.

Here are 9 signs that let you know that it’s time to change your mindset.

1. You are in denial

Tough circumstances can sometimes take their toll and can make you delusional. People who are in a difficult place in life simple deny that they are unhappy. They pretend as if nothing is wrong and everything is going the way they want it to go. They are in denial. Denial is a primitive defense mechanism that has existed since prehistoric times. You know it’s time to change your mindset when you find yourself denying reality.

2. You feel no gratitude

Being grateful is the quality of being thankful for what you currently have. Having a job, no shortage of food, living in one of the best countries in the world, etc are some of the good things we are blessed to be born with. You should change your mindset if you don’t notice these good things and are too caught up in your own life. Here’s a tip to develop gratitude: Write down five things you already have that you cannot live without.

3. Your relationships are a mess

9 Signs It’s Time To Change Your Mindset

Relationships have always been key to the survival and growth of human beings as a species. They provide you physical and emotional intimacy. This keeps you sane and functional. If your relationships are a mess, you should take a step back and test the situation. Are you at fault? If yes then think about how you can change and adapt to make your relationships better.  

4. You see yourself as a victim

If you find yourself blaming other people or situations and are feeling dreadful all the time, then you may have a victim mindset. Don’t get me wrong. I am not denying that bad things don’t happen to you. But it’s your response to them is what makes you a victim or a victor. Great people like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Gandhi had to go through discrimination and atrocities in their life. But they dealt with it with courage and conviction.

5. You are clinging to old friends

There is nothing wrong with staying in touch with your old friends. In fact, old friendships should always be cherished and celebrated. But the problem arises when you cling on the people you know and find it difficult to make new friends. This is because you have gotten too comfortable with what you have and are not willing to risk losing them. You can change your mindset by introducing yourself to 5 new people each week.

6. You feel guilty

Guilt is one of the most disruptive feelings that can turn into poison and destroy your entire life. People usually use it as a weapon against others to get what they want. It is extremely unhealthy to be around a person who is making you feel guilty all the time. Evaluate your social circle and see if there are such people in your group. If you are feeling guilty, you can change your mindset by not blaming yourself for every wrong thing that happens.

7. You are only seeing the dark side

Seeing only the downsides or the negative aspects in a particular thing or a situation is a learned behavior. Most people acquire it early in their childhood from their parents. It’s a symptom of being a part of a dysfunctional family. But everything you learn can be unlearned. You need to become aware of how your negativity is affecting your life. To get motivated and stay motivated in life, you must focus on the positives.

8. You are not learning new things

9 Signs It’s Time To Change Your Mindset

The day you stop learning new things, you stop growing as a person. Learning and experiencing new things makes us feel alive and awake. No matter how old you are, it is necessary for the development of your brain. Try learning musical instruments, a new sport, board games, new skills at work, etc.

9. Your life is not moving in the direction you want it to go

This is one of the most common dilemmas faced by millennials. They may have everything they want but they still feel unsatisfied with their life. If this sounds like you, you can change your mindset by knowing what you want from life. Don’t just achieve things because it will make others happy. Being better than others might momentarily make you feel good but that feeling is not long lasting.

In conclusion

So, if you think you exhibit one of these signs, you can begin by acknowledging and accepting that there is work to be done. You can seek help from a friend or a therapist to get to the root of the issue and solve it permanently. Most often, talking about your problems itself will lead you to the right solution.

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Mindfulness

5 Ways To Change Your Perspective During a Crisis

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5 Ways To Change Your Perspective During a Crisis

Is your life a constant uphill battle? Do you struggle to achieve your goals? Or maybe you are in a temporary crisis situation that you know will pass soon? Whatever it may be, you can change your circumstance by changing your perspective about everything in life.

Here are the 5 ways to change your perspective during a crisis.

1. Go on a solo backpacking journey

5 Ways To Change Your Perspective During a Crisis

Going on a year-long backpacking trip is one of the best ways to change your perspective about life. Thousands of millennials from countries like the United States, Denmark and Norway have used solo travel as a way to grow and become more mature in a short period of time.

Travelling can make you forget your worries and give you a new perspective on life. As you meet people from different countries and cultures, you will learn how they deal with and overcome their personal problems. Every culture has something interesting to teach. So, book a ticket to Thailand or Cambodia and begin the process of healing today.

2. Get new friends

Almost all successful people I know have a steady flow of new friends and people in their life. Old relationships, no matter how special they are, become stale and toxic as time passes by. By temporarily or permanently distancing yourself from your old friends, you can learn and grow in different directions.

Don’t get me wrong, they might have your best interest in their mind but you will not only realize the things that you are missing out until you expand your social circle. Meeting new and interesting people will help you change your perspective about everything. There is no definitive guide on how to meet new people and make friends, but you can start by going to events and meetups related to the things that interest you.

3. Read books that will shatter your old beliefs

5 Ways To Change Your Perspective During a Crisis

Lack of passion and social awareness are two main reasons why some people continue to stay narrow-minded throughout their life. Imagine how your life would look like if you had no hobbies and friends? How would you feel? If you have found yourself in this situation, you can begin with reading books like “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins.

Reading this book will change your perspective about yourself. It will make you realize how worthy you are of success and happiness. Tony has been teaching personal development since he was a teenager. He worked with and learned from the self-help industry giant Jim Rohn. The principles and concepts from this book will make a massive difference in your life.

4. Spend at least 1-hour every day in nature

5 Ways To Change Your Perspective During a Crisis

Everyone knows that walking and trekking in nature has a lot of physical benefits. But it can also powerfully impact the way you think and perceive the world. An average American spends his days working all day in an office. This makes him feel suppressed so he watches television at night to blow off the stress. This lifestyle is detrimental.

Begin by taking a brisk walk every morning in a park. If you are lucky enough to stay in an area surrounded by nature, you can just head out into the woods. This activity releases four primary chemicals in the brain called dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. The release of these happiness hormones will calm your mind and make you think more rationally.

5. Shift your focus on health and nutrition

Focusing on health and nutrition will not only change your perspective but also keep you motivated and happy throughout the day. Of course, you are going to have your bad days too but they will be infrequent. Health and nutrition included things like regular exercise, eating good food, going to bed early, maintain good hygiene, etc.

Summing it up

Being in a life crisis does not mean the end of the world for you. Everyone goes through adversities in life. In fact, your problems and the way you solve them determine the quality of your life. Negative thinking, victimizing yourself and self-loathing are some of the ways a loser tries to justify his/her failure. Becoming aware of these habits will change your perspective on everything in life.

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