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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.

Health

5 Things that Can Make Your Anxiety Worse

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5 Things that Can Make Your Anxiety Worse

Anxiety has become so common among people that common cold doesn’t seem that common anymore. Feelings of worry, nervousness, or unease about things are very easy to be found. Human emotions have become more suppressed with the want of succeeding in life, we have lost touch with our true selves. 

We have become obsessed with uncertain outcomes that give us a feeling of anxiety. The strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen that is not even in our control is what takes over our rational thinking most of the times. We aren’t helping it with our habits either.

Our lifestyles have become so cumbersome that things that worsen our anxieties have become more acceptable. We don’t even realize what some of the innocent-seeming habits we possess can be the cause of our anxiety. Let’s discuss some of those today.

1. Irregular Sleep

5 Things that Can Make Your Anxiety Worse

Everyone is after busy lives these days, having no time to rest has become the new hip. People brag about how little sleep they get. It is sort of becoming a competition where we top the other person by telling them how little sleep we are getting. Having no sleep pattern messes up our body, this is something that we will eventually realize.

Working hard is misconstructed as late nights and early mornings, meaning no rest whatsoever. Another reason that people have difficulty falling asleep is spending time on social media with fear of missing out (FOMO) lingering over our shoulders – this has been seen to be a reason for anxiety in many people.

“The minute anyone’s getting anxious I say, ‘You must eat and you must sleep.’ They’re the two vital elements for a healthy life.”

-Francesca Annis

Worrying about our work, life, and whatnot already makes it difficult to fall asleep for people with anxiety, now, add to that spending hours scrolling through various apps that cause more anxiety – the result is irregular sleep. 

Irregular sleep doesn’t only impact our physical health negatively, but our mental and emotional health is affected as well – anxiety being one of them.

2. Stress and Conflict

5 Things that Can Make Your Anxiety Worse

Stress has become a great part of everyone’s life. There are a lot of things that have started taking over people’s will to spend time for themselves, even when free there is something to think about. Personal and professional are not the only worries for people now, economical, political, environmental, etc. all take precedence because of people becoming more aware.

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”

-Bruce Lee

It is a good thing, obviously, but we don’t know how to stop or when to stop. Knowing the line when we take our thinking to the level of it becoming harmful to us is becoming more difficult. Not only that people have been becoming less patient because of always being in a rush to be somewhere, but this has also disrupted communication among people.

Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said – conflicts are rising –  important things are often lost and actual thoughts forgotten. The fear of saying something other than what you want to, of offending someone, of uncountable other things – stops people from even trying to put their ideas across.

“Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”

-Ronald Reagan

On the other hand, the ease of putting your thoughts out there easily through social media has also made people speak (or type) without thinking. Lack of communication can cause a lot of problems not only in your personal life but your professional life as well – so many people have lost jobs because of one wrong tweet they sent out without thinking. All of these things, make your anxiety worse.

Be mindful of what you put out and be mindful of what you let yourself invest your energy in.

3. Watching and/or Reading a Lot of Negative News and/or Stories

5 Things that Can Make Your Anxiety Worse

All of us have our fair share of problems. This makes starting our day with optimism difficult. Clearing our mind of negativity or negative thoughts is something everyone is seeking right now. You need a positive attitude to take on your day with vigour.

News usually doesn’t bring you happy things. Reading or watching News first thing in the morning isn’t a good idea because it somehow will set the tone for the day. There’s not much you can do about a lot of sad things that will be shown. You need to learn to not let it affect your day.

Some people fall into the rabbit-hole of reading or watching one sad story after another – may it be in the form of novels, articles, videos, audiobooks, etc. – this can often lead to us not feeling good about a lot of things. Anxiety reaches the roof as you go on reading. After you close the book or whatever it is that is bringing you the negativity, you can feel your anxiety levels rising.

“Quit sharing bad news and gossip you aren’t a garbage truck.”

-Grant Cardone

If you are someone who doesn’t know when to stop when reading or watching what is wrong with the world or people or horrific situations, you might want to look for ways to not let yourself continue with the habit. It is detrimental to your mental health – it increases your anxiety which also happens because you become more paranoid.

4. Too Much Social Media

5 Things that Can Make Your Anxiety Worse

There is such a thing as “too much social media.” We have become so used to checking our phones every few minutes that if we don’t have our phones we immediately start feeling FOMO (Fear of missing out) which leads to anxiety. Following other people who flaunt their wealth will often make people feel dissatisfied from their own life.

“Social media is addictive precisely because it gives us something which the real world lacks: it gives us immediacy, direction, and value as an individual.”

-David Amerland

People with insecurities can easily get their insecurities triggered which again leads to anxiety. This is why social media detox is becoming a thing. Social media detox allows people to gain perspective on their relationship with social networks. It also gives them a chance to deal with the anxiety caused by social media addiction.

5. Saying Yes to Too Many Things

5 Things that Can Make Your Anxiety Worse

You will often see “saying yes to things” in people’s goals list. The other extreme is a problem as well. Some people do not know how to say “no” which leads to them taking on more than they can deal with – overfilling their plates, biting more than they can chew – you can call it whatever you want, but it makes people more anxious.

Learning to say “no” is a skill all of us need to learn. Not saying “yes” might make us lose opportunities, but not saying “no” becomes detrimental to our health. Saying “yes” to everything also brings things we don’t want. Add saying “no” to negativity in your list so that you can learn to put yourself first.

“Learning to “just say no” to emotional reactions isn’t repression. Saying no means not engaging the frustration, anger, judgment, or blame. Without engagement, you won’t have anything to repress.”

-Doc Childre

When you understand that you are who you should be putting first, it becomes easier to accept or deny things. You don’t end up taking a lot more than you can do, and that helps you not be overwhelmed by things you need to do, which leads to our work not being associated with the feeling of anxiety.

Final Thoughts

5 Things that Can Make Your Anxiety Worse

We need to make lifestyle changes to make our life more meaningful and less stressful. You have to focus on things that bring more positivity in your life and help you achieve a state of mental peace. Habits that you form should help you become a better person, they shouldn’t be the cause of problems.

Learn to identify what causes you anxiety or even increases it a bit, and find a solution to either get it out of your life or at least find a way to deal with it better.

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Habits

Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity

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Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity

“Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.”

-Voltaire

Perfection takes time. Time is something that most of us scared to invest. You either invest your time or you elude it trying to save it. From the time we start understanding words and achievements, we are inspired to chase perfection. By the time you realize that there is no such thing as ‘perfection’ in this world, you have already wasted a lot of your learning years chasing it.

While looking for a perfect job, a perfect career, a perfect relationship, a perfect moment – we often forget to cherish the things we have or be thankful the opportunities we have been given – we end up losing what we have.

“When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.”

-George Fisher

We keep on running after an adjective that is very hard to put onto things. Perfection is going to have a different meaning for different people. Something that isn’t perfect for you is going to be perfect for someone else.

The pursuit of perfection in every aspect of your life can be very exhausting, you will be going through every stage with a looming dread of not being perfect. Even when you have done a great job, you won’t be satisfied because it does not meet your idea of perfection. 

In an attempt to achieve perfection, we have laden ourselves with copious amounts of pressure for every big or little thing we do. It sort of takes out the fun from things when you are constantly striving to make it exceptionally perfect.

“Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.”

-Antoine De Saint-Exupry

We often chase perfection so that we can stand tall in front of society. The opinions of other people affect a lot of people and that is usually the driving force. We want to prove ourselves to others – it can be someone who said we can’t do this or it can be someone we want to be proud of ourselves. What we don’t realize is that everyone is struggling to do their bit. Everyone is under the pressure of being perfect, the irony being, none of us are.
Low self-esteem and self-doubt is usually the cause of us trying to be ‘perfect’ at everything, we do this to improve our self-esteem. Self-doubt also stems from constantly comparing ourselves with others. Many people suffer from imposter syndrome. We don’t understand how that can be detrimental to the work we do. Not feeling good enough, feeling like a fraud, feeling like you don’t deserve anything can really suck the life out of you. These are the mental roadblocks that stop you from doing your best while keeping you constantly worried about chasing a state that is not that tangible – ‘perfection.’

Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity

In the years you spend chasing it, there will come a moment of clarity that will help you realize that the pursuit is futile. When you realize that you no longer have to run after being perfect – when you understand that being good enough is actually enough – that is when you feel contentment in life.

Being content is the first step of feeling satisfied with your life and with your efforts. It is a liberating feeling to finally be happy with yourself after years of beating yourself up.

“To accomplish the perfect perfection, a little imperfection helps.”

-Dejan Stojanovic

There are a lot of advantages to not chasing perfection. You start feeling more happiness and gratitude in the light of appreciating the things around you and yourself. This results in you developing an optimistic approach toward life. When you are chasing perfection, it is somehow lost. You start finding faults in all your achievements, stopping yourself from being happy about them. This leads to negativity clouding your thoughts and as a result, you start pouring the same negativity in your life.

When you let go of the notion of perfection, you allow yourself to relax and be proud of your achievements. This action triggers positive emotions within you, helping you become optimistic toward the next stage of your life. This then leads to you feeling more confident. Being confident about your abilities also stops you from running after perfection and makes you realize the worth in what you do.

Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity

Striving for perfection is a good thing because then it will make you work harder to get better day by day. With time, every skill gets better. Chasing perfection, on the other hand, is dangerous to the learning process. You need to learn the difference so that you don’t end up harming yourself in the long run.

Instead of chasing perfection, remember to strive for improvement and excellence. When you focus on becoming better than you were yesterday, you automatically open doors for yourself. You surround yourself with positivity – inside and out – making it a much-needed fuel to keep working toward your goal.

Always believe in what you can achieve no matter how imperfect you feel. There are going to be days when you don’t feel good enough. Everyone feels like that once in a while – trust me we all feel the same as humans. 

Final Thoughts

When you let go of that perfection ideology, you free yourself from your own expectations tying you down. You start feeling content with your life and with the pace you are going. That is what will help you sail by, that is what will hold you aboard.

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Mindfulness

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

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5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection
5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection
5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection
5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

Perfection has somehow become a term we use to measure our expertise in something. Rather than focusing on learning as well as we can and as much as we can, we tend to focus on achieving perfection.

While striving for perfection isn’t wrong, because that means we expect the best from ourselves, chasing perfection surely is futile.

Because perfection isn’t exactly a measurable term, we can’t be sure if we have achieved the state of perfection. What you can call perfection when you learn something is knowing all the ins and outs of the subject matter, even then there will always be something new to learn.

“Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.”

-Voltaire

Perfection takes time. Time is something that most of us scared to invest. You either invest your time or you elude it trying to save it. From the time we start understanding words and achievements, we are inspired to chase perfection. By the time you realize that there is no such thing as ‘perfection’ in this world, you have already wasted a lot of your learning years chasing it.

While looking for a perfect job, a perfect career, a perfect relationship, a perfect moment – we often forget to cherish the things we have or be thankful the opportunities we have been given – we end up losing what we have.

“Perfection cannot be defined or seen; it can only be found in your heart.”

-Kelly Millar

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

Everyone has their own definition of things. Because everyone has a different perception of things, different priorities, different dreams – there is no one thing that can sound perfect to everyone – that is what makes ‘perfection’ a very relative term. What sounds perfect to one person, might not even be worth considering for someone else.

If you don’t realize that perfection is nothing but another societal norm we have been working to achieve that isn’t realistic, you will be chasing a dream nonstop with no end to it whatsoever. It is like rolling off the hill, you will only keep tumbling downwards until you reach rock bottom.

Chasing perfection also leads you to a state of analysis paralysis rendering you to inaction. Whenever there is a huge change to be made or a big risk to be taken, we tend to overthink a lot. Yes, research is important. Yes, giving enough thought to your decision is essential. The problem arises when we try to get our solution to the state of perfection. Under the pretence of working on perfecting your course of action, you somehow get stuck and are often too late to be taking any action. 

You can only think about so much, you can only do so many things to ensure everything goes smoothly, you can only think about so many risks that you can counter – unless you actually get down in the water you are not going to learn how to swim is basically my point. You aren’t going to be a national level swimmer when you start and that shouldn’t be your goal either. Your goal should be getting better than you were yesterday.

Let’s talk about the impact you will have on the way you work and the way you approach things once you stop chasing perfection.

“It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance toward it, though we know it can never be reached.”

-Samuel Johnson

1. You Feel More Happiness and Gratitude

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

When you are in the pursuit of perfection, you often feel powerless because nothing brings satisfaction. No matter what you achieve, no matter what perks you get, no matter the heights you reach – you will always be chasing more instead of taking a moment to be thankful for what you have and be happy of the things you have managed to achieve.

Instead of being grateful for the feat you have pulled right now and giving yourself credit, you will start planning what more you do to do it better the next time. While striving to be the best isn’t wrong, not being appreciative of what you have managed to do is. When you do not give yourself credit, you start losing confidence in yourself.

When you don’t appreciate your efforts, there is no feeling of happiness or contentment to come by. You jump to your next course of action in the next heartbeat without giving yourself time to relax and cope. 

“I think what is interesting in life is all the cracks and all the flaws and all the moments that are not perfect.”

-Clemence Poesy

But, when you stop chasing perfection, you give yourself a chance to feel happy about yourself, your work, and your efforts. Gratitude is a feeling that helps you stay humble. When you are humble, you are pleasant to work around and you don’t let your pride or ego ruin your hard work.

2. You Get an Optimistic Outlook on Life

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

When you let yourself bask in the positive feelings surrounding you, you create a positive bubble for your thoughts. When you are happy, your thoughts are happy. When you feel gratitude, you appreciate the things you have and the opportunities you have been given. Being thankful allows you to have an optimistic outlook on life.

When you are chasing perfection, it is somehow lost. You start finding faults in all your achievements, stopping yourself from being happy about them. This leads to negativity clouding your thoughts and as a result, you start pouring the same negativity in your life.

Letting go of negativity is one of the important steps that help in unleashing your full potential. The more negative you are, the more your mind festers in the feeling, and the more it reflects in the way you carry yourself and your work. 

When you let go of the notion of perfection, you allow yourself to relax and be proud of your achievements. This action triggers positive emotions within you, helping you become optimistic toward the next stage of your life.

3. You Start Feeling More Confident

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

Now, that you have are happy, feel thankful for what you have, and have a positive mindset – it is natural to start feeling confidence seep into your every step. A happy mind will help you achieve a lot more than you could have ever imagined.

When chasing perfection, you never stop to look at your achievements as achievements, instead, you jump to the next stage of doing it better, getting it to perfection. This never gives you the time to analyze what you have done and derive confidence in yourself from the results.

Acknowledging your achievements is as important as learning from your failures. When you don’t give yourself time to feel good about the things you have managed to do and focus on only what you could have done better, it will eat away your self-confidence and that will take you a step back rather than a step forward.

Giving up on the notion of ‘perfection’ lets you develop confidence in yourself and your work. So, after a little wait, when you do go for betterment, you will know that you can do it and that will help you move faster toward your goal.

“If you chase perfection, you often catch excellence.”

-William Fowble

4. You Strive to Achieve More

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

When you chasing perfection, you most likely are aiming too high. When you are told to take a moment to praise your own achievements, it is not only to help your pride. It also helps you learn what worked and what needs more work. When you are content enough with your current accomplishment is when you can look at it objectively to understand how to be better.

Because this thing you did gave you a positive feeling and boosted your confidence, you are more likely to feel motivated to achieve more. Setting the benchmark too high because you are hell-bent on achieving perfection makes the very thing unachievable or at the very most you feel unsatisfied even if you do end up achieving it.

You have to know your skills and your limitations when you set goals for yourself so that you can give yourself ample room to put your best foot forward. When you have realistic expectations and see real results, it pushes you to achieve more as a result.

5. You Feel Content

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

When you are striving to reach the stage of perfection, you let that idea hold you in its clutches. Your idea of perfection can stop you from admiring something wonderful that is present right in front of you. Chasing what is out of your reach can lead you to reach what is in your hand.

“We adore perfection because we can’t have it; it would disgust us if we had it. Perfect is inhuman because human is imperfect.”

-Fernando Pessoa

When you let go of that perfection ideology, you free yourself from your own expectations tying you down. You start feeling content with your life and with the pace you are going. Being content with what you have, frees you from feeling pity and sympathy for yourself, giving you a boost to go ahead with all your focus. You learn to use your resources to the fullest and make the most of your circumstances.

Final Thoughts

“Perfection’ is man’s ultimate illusion. It simply doesn’t exist in the universe…. If you are a perfectionist, you are guaranteed to be a loser in whatever you do.”

-David D. Burns

Instead of chasing perfect, strive for improvement and excellence. When you focus on becoming better than you were yesterday, you automatically open doors for yourself. You surround yourself with positivity – inside and out – making it a much-needed fuel to keep working toward your goal.

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