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7 Ways to Stop Looking for Validation

7 Ways to Stop Looking for Validation

Are you someone whose mood and entire day is ruined if you try to get approval from someone, and don’t get the response you wanted? If so, this is a big red flag that you are living your life trying to get validation from others, instead of from yourself. The only person who should validate you is yourself. You know yourself better, your skills and talents, your amazing traits, and your abilities. It is natural to want approval from others, but when you rely on that for your own happiness, you are only going to be disappointed.

Here are some different ways to stop looking for validation from others, and finally trust your own instincts.

1. Compliment Yourself Often

If you don’t want to get validation from others, that means validating yourself. What better way to do this than compliment yourself? The more you talk kindly to yourself and compliment yourself, both inside and out, the less you will feel you need validation from other people. This takes practice, but soon you will realize ALL you need is your own approval and acceptance.

2. What do You Want Other People to Say About You?

This is a good way to start being kinder to yourself and get out of the practice of looking for approval from others. Start by asking yourself what you hope someone else will say to you or about you. How would they validate you? Specifically, what do you want them to say?

Write it down, ands tart saying that to yourself.

3. Celebrate All Your Victories

Stop telling yourself there is nothing good about you or that you don’t deserve to be happy and kind to yourself. YOU DO. You just need to stop with all the excuses and negative self-talk. There is a LOT to celebrate about yourself, going far beyond your physical appearance. Think about your successes and triumphs, your skills and talents, things you love to do, what an amazing friend you are, how you have helped people.

When you identify your different victories, celebrate them. Celebrate them yourself, celebrate them with others, be proud of them.

4. Build Strength and Stop Looking for Approval

When you start struggling to not look for validation from other people, that is when you know you need to build your strength. We are talking about your inner strength here. Becoming someone who doesn’t care what other people think about you, how you look, what you do, or how you spend your time. This is your life, nobody else’s, so stop living for other people. They have their own lives to worry about.

5. You Know Yourself the Best

Another reason why you shouldn’t worry about validation from others is because you know yourself the best. Sure, people might have their opinions of you, but what do they know? NOTHING. What people see in brief glimpses doesn’t represent you or what you have accomplished, so that opinion is useless.

6. Selfies Should Be Fun

Have fun with your selfies! There is nothing wrong with wanting to make edits to feel more comfortable, as long as you are only doing it for yourself. Stop worrying about the right pose, the most flattering angle, smoothing out every line and wrinkle. You are a human being who is beautiful how you are, and as long as YOU like how you look, screw everyone else.

7. Practice Self-Awareness

Finally, try to have more self-awareness. This means looking past all those little judgments you tend to have of yourself, and be realistic. Celebrate your victories, appreciate yourself, flaws and all, and look beyond the surface. When you are more self-aware, you have a better understanding of how amazing you are, and you won’t need ot be told that by someone else.

How to Keep Other People from Influencing Your Mindset

How to Keep Other People from Influencing Your Mindset

It is hard enough dealing with your own thoughts and feelings, ad controlling your own mindset, but when you allow others to dictate how you feel as well, you are destroying it unnecessarily. People can influence a lot in your life, both good and bad. There is nothing wrong with taking someone’s opinion, asking for help, or even accepting criticism if it is constructive.

The problem is when you allow these opinions from others to completely derail you. When they bring you down, cause stress, make your anxiety worse, and create an inner dialogue of negative self talk.

If you feel like your lack of progress or happiness in your life is because of other people – now is the time to stop letting other people have so much control over you.

Don’t React Right Away

When someone says something negative to you, whether it was a little constructive criticism or a straight up insult, don’t react right away. This is the best way to control how you react and think about what someone else has to say. If you don’t immediately react, you not only prevent yourself from saying something you will later regret, but you can actually help control your own emotions. By not reacting, you aren’t going to let yourself be affected by it. Just let it float right past you and remind yourself it doesn’t matter.

Avoid People Who Provoke Negative Thoughts

There are always going to be certain people who have nothing nice or helpful to say. Why worry about them? Just ignore them and get them out of your life if necessary. No matter how much inner strength you have, there are always going to be people who try to push your buttons and bring you down. These people are unhappy in their own lives, so they take it out on others. Just avoid them – they will never be helpful or supportive to you.

Remember Your Opinion is the Most Important

The only opinion you need to worry about is your own, end of story. Sure, it helps to get a little guidance and support from others, but it should stop there. When it gets to the point where you aren’t asking for advice from others, but they still like to tell you what to do or not to do, bring you down, or give rude criticisms, that is when you should ignore them completely and just worry about how YOU feel about it.

Other People’s Views are Their Own

If you still need a little help with understanding how other people should not influence YOUR mindset, remember that their views and opinions are their own. They really have nothing to do with you or what you are trying to accomplish. You aren’t able to please everyone, and not everyone will like you. That is the beauty of being an individual, a human being. That’s okay! Just be yourself, do your own thing, and worry about your own views.

You are the Only One in Control of Your Emotions

You are the Only One in Control of Your Emotions

Do you often feel out of control, or like you are just a sensitive, emotional person? Do you think the way you think and feel is because of what other people do or just bad luck? If this sounds like you, then YOU are the problem. You have full control over your thoughts, mindset, and even your emotions. Yes, unexpected things in life can happen to derail you and make it a little harder to gain control, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. At the end of the day, the only one who can tell you how to think and feel is YOU.

Keep reading if you want to learn about controlling your emotions and finally take responsibility.

Adjust Your Thinking

Yes – you can absolutely change your thoughts and how you think about things! Stop making excuses and assuming the way you are now, is how you will be forever. IT can be hard to deal with emotional stress sand other events that tend to affect your emotional state, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change things around.

Now is a great time to analyze what is going on in your mindset. Are you overly negative and pessimistic? Do you tend to play the victim a lot? Do you make assumptions, whether or not they could be true? These thought patterns might seem innocent enough, but more often than not, YOU are the reason you feel bad, not other people or even situations that you find yourself in.

You are in Control of How You Respond

Another way to get in control of your emotions is in how you respond to things. This is both internally and externally. Even if you don’t say anything out loud when someone says something to offend or insult you, you are still internalizing it. You are telling yourself it makes you sad or depressed, that it is worsening your anxiety, that people are out to get you.

Start adjusting how you respond to things. Start by not responding right away – whether it means what you say or what you think and feel. Remind yourself that things are often not as they seem, and your own negative thinking could be making it worse. Self-sabotage is the unfortunate result.

Overthinking is Toxic

There are many different ways to feel like you are losing control of your emotions, and overthinking is a big one. The problem with overthinking is that it is subtle, and you feel like you are doing a good thing. You tell yourself that you are just trying to work through something, figure things out, and make sense of your life.

But more often than not, you are just lying to yourself, and instead using overthinking as a way to create excuses for yourself. Overthinking often leads to stress and anxiety, and is yet another method of self-sabotage.

You Aren’t Psychic – Stop Acting Like it

This goes hand-in-hand with overthinking. Stop assuming you know people’s motives and can predict the future. You have NO idea what will happen if you try something new, change jobs, get out of your comfort zone, or end a partnership. You aren’t psychic, and all you are doing is making empty assumptions that are only going to bring you down.

Get Out of Your Own Way and Stop Making Excuses

Get Out of Your Own Way and Stop Making Excuses

When you make excuses for who you are, what you do, and how you spend your time, you are just lying to yourself. These are still excuses, even if you have convinced yourself they are valid reasons. Here are some ways to stop making excuses and finally get out of your own way.

You’re Not Special

This is a really hard truth that takes a lot of work to accept, but you need to understand that you are not special. You have many unique talents and skills, but you are not special in the way that you are some exception. Excuses you tell yourself about how even if it has worked for other people, it couldn’t possibly work for you, is just a way to get out of trying.

How do you know? Are you psychic? Do you think you are so different from everyone else? If you do the work, and you try your hardest, you have done all you can do. There is NO reason you can’t accomplish what other people have accomplished, unless you keep holding yourself back with these lame excuses.

Identify Your Excuses

If you know you make a lot of excuses for why you are not putting in the effort or trying to face your fears, then it is time to identify all the excuses you tell yourself. This can be done in your mind, though it is easier to find clarity by writing it down.

Find a journal or notebook and just write down all the “reasons” you think you can’t do something, why life has not worked out, and where you think your life went wrong. Think of WHY your life is the way it is right now.

Now look at your list – those aren’t reasons. They are not obstacles. They are EXCUSES. Opportunities for you to lie to yourself and allow challenges in your life to keep you from being who you can be.

Your Misfortune is Yours Alone

It is not uncommon to feel like you are just unlucky in life, that things are worse for you than other people, and that those truths are good enough reason for you to make excuses. But guess what? This is total crap. This has nothing to do with “bad luck”. You are not a victim of circumstance, you are instead using situations you have been in as a way to get out of doing what you need to do.

If this is how you want to spend your life, go ahead, but you don’t get to complain about it anymore. Making excuses is a form of self-sabotage and is only causing you to get in your own way and block your own happiness.

Take Responsibility and Get on with Your Life

If you want to get on with your life, stop with the excuses and take responsibility. The majority of things that happen in your life are at least partly your fault, even if it’s a decision you made that caused the “misfortune”. Look at whatever you are complaining about with fresh eyes and understand the part you played in it. This is how you will get out of your own way and move on.

Meditation and Creativity – How One Helps the Other

Meditation and Creativity – How One Helps the Other

Meditation is heralded by many as being a ‘cure all’ – a panacea that can prevent all of your woes and help you to find peace and enlightenment.

They’re not wrong per say. Compared with many other strategies, meditation is certainly one of the most effective when it comes to overcoming anxiety and getting a better perspective on things. But unfortunately, nothing is perfect. That includes meditation.

Meditation is all about getting ‘out of your own head’ and focussing. It’s about being in the moment and not reflecting on problems.

But here’s the thing: reflecting on problems is useful. Even a little bit of stress is useful – it’s called eustress.

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And the biggest potential casualty when it comes to meditation is creativity and the default mode network. The default mode network is the selection of brain areas that light up when you daydream, or think about your own future. People associate this part of the brain with a) being distracted from what’s happening, and b) being negative.

But the truth? The default mode network is also where many of us come up with our very best ideas – including Albert Einstein. Daydreaming about the future is how we learn more about who we are, and what we want to accomplish.

So, the risk is that we throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The good news is that meditation isn’t to blame. The problem is with the way it is sometimes pedalled – by people who claim we should always be in the moment.

The truth is that the brain has many different states and we perform best when we’re able to choose those states and jump between them as needed.

So we need to be ‘in the moment’ when delivering a speech or spending time with friends, but there’s no harm in letting our mind wander when we’re going for a stroll and thinking about writing a great story.

This is where something called ‘productive meditation’ comes in. Suggested by author Cal Newport in his book ‘Deep Work’, this form of meditation means you are focussing on a problem or a creative endavor. Instead of thinking about nothing, you are thinking about something you want to work on.

And in fact, this kind of meditation agrees with what some new research suggests: that we are most creative when we active both the ‘daydreamy’ default mode network and the focussed ‘executive control network’. When you focus on being unfocussed, amazing things happen.

How to Meditate ALL Day for Amazing Results

How to Meditate ALL Day for Amazing Results

When we think of meditation, we tend to think of the most common form of the practice – or at least the one we see most commonly depicted. That is of course, the kind synonymous with the image of a sage guru sitting cross legged, hands perched on their knees, with their minds calm, chanting ‘OM’.

While this is one example of a form of meditation, it is far from the only one. Just as beneficial in fact – if not moreso – is practicing focussing the mind during your daily activities.

Because what meditation is really, is nothing more than focus. Meditation is what happens when you choose to focus your mind on something, rather than letting it bounce from one thing to the next. And the result is that you stop feeling so panicked and forget all those unhelpful thoughts that may have been racing through your mind before.

Many of the activities we engage in daily can already be considered as ‘meditative’. A good example is reading a book, or even watching a good film. Have you ever been to an amazing film at the theatre, then been completely disoriented when you exit? Because you aren’t sure what time it should be, or how long you’ve been in there? That’s because you’ve been so transfixed on what you were doing, that everything else fell aside.

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The same thing happens when you read a good book. Put it this way: you can’t be engaged in an enthralling read and worrying about what tomorrow might bring. These two activities are mutually exclusive.

Now your objective is to bring that same sense of calm focus into other parts of your life.

Take ironing for example. While you might be ironing while you watch TV, you may also find that at times, you iron as you allow your mind to go blank. You focus purely on the activity itself – the ironing – and everything else seems to fall away.

There’s something about the repetitive motion of moving an iron back and forth that can be perfectly meditative. You just have to let it! So calm your mind and choose to think about nothing else. If you can do this, then you will be able to turn ironing into meditation.

From there, the next step is to try becoming meditative while you’re washing the dishes. Then maybe while you’re walking.

Top Types of Meditation

Top Types of Meditation

Did you know there is more than one type of meditation? In fact, there are countless forms of meditation – each of which has different goals and methods.

The question then, is which type of meditation is right for you – and how do you get started with the one you choose? This guide will help you to understand more and decide.

Mindfulness Meditation

We’ll start with this one, only because it has become so popular recently that it’s the type many people may be familiar with.

Mindfulness meditation comes from cognitive behavioural therapy – a psychotherapeutic approach in psychology. The idea here is not to empty your mind of thoughts – as it is in many other forms – but rather to try and detach yourself from those thoughts and not be affected by them. Note which thoughts float by, but don’t try to change them.

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Body Scan Meditation

Closely linked to mindfulness meditation is body scan meditation – this is a form of meditation that involves focussing on each part of your body and progressively relaxing. It’s great for refreshing the brain and chilling after a hard day.

Transcendental Meditation

This is another of the more popular and well known forms of meditation. The goal here is to clear your mind and to do so usually by focussing on a mantra or perhaps an imaginary point in space. Doing this can help you to eventually close down areas of your brain while retaining consciousness.

Loving Kindness Meditation

Loving kindness meditation is a form of meditation that involves focussing your mind on a specific feeling – in this case love and kindness! By doing this, you will feel happier and you will become better at forgiving people. It also feels fantastic in the moment.

Kundalini Yoga Meditation

Kundalini yoga meditation is a form of moving meditation. The idea here is to move gently into different positions while focussing on controlling your breathing and staying calm and focussed. The result can be highly relaxing while also improving your overall health and wellness.

Religious Meditation

Religious practitioners can engage in meditation by focussing deeply on a passage of text from their scripture, or on a prayer.

Zazen

Zazen is a form of meditation associated with Zen Buddhism. It must be taught under the leadership of an instructor and involves a number of specific steps. However, the objective is once again to focus primarily on detaching yourself from your thoughts and letting go of judgement.

How to Start Meditation in 3 Easy Steps

How to Start Meditation in 3 Easy Steps

More and more people are now beginning to appreciate the amazing power of meditation. No longer does the average Joe or Josephine view meditation as being some kind of black magic – it’s now understood as a highly scientific and practical tool that anyone can and should use for better brain health.

But how do you start? It’s still a daunting and somewhat abstract concept. So to help you overcome that notion, here’s how to start meditation in 3 easy steps.

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Find a Quiet Place

Meditation can be done anywhere, but it’s certainly easier when you are free from distractions. And that’s especially true for beginners. So find a quiet spot, and if you want to make this a regular practice, try to make it somewhere that you will be able to come to often.

Now sit down however is comfortable. Don’t lie down though – only because you risk falling asleep if you do!

Set Some Time

The next step is to set yourself some time out. You can do this by setting a timer – which means you won’t need to keep checking your watch, or worry about overshooting and missing some appointment.

If you’re starting out for the first time, then ten minutes is more than enough. But in all honesty, you can even get benefit from just five minutes. This is what many people don’t realize when they make excuses for not starting. We all should be able to find five minutes of quiet in our day. If you cannot, then the issue is more deep routed than perhaps you realized!

Focus

Finally, the next step is to focus. That means focussing on something like breathing or perhaps repeating a word or phrase. You can also try focussing on something in the environment around you. A popular practice for instance is to focus on a single flame.

Then there’s the option to focus on emptying your thoughts, or perhaps to focus on reflecting on those thoughts in a dispassionate manner.

Whatever the case, all you are trying to do is to take conscious control over your attention and to direct it towards something that is non-stressful, and that will help you to recover a little energy and mood. That’s all there is to meditation and it’s really rather simple.

If you’re still struggling, then at this point you may wish to consider using a guided meditation – like something from Headspace. These guided meditations talk you through a script that will help to direct your attention for you.

How to Overcome Social Anxiety With Mindfulness

How to Overcome Social Anxiety With Mindfulness

Social anxiety is something that can be crippling for some people. This prevents us from being able to talk in public, meet new people, or in some cases even go to the shops. It’s also one of the most common forms of anxiety there is.

In fact, almost all of us will experience it to some degree.

But while there’s no simple cure to this complex problem, using mindfulness can certainly make a huge difference.

What is Mindfulness and How Can it Help?

When we think of mindfulness, we might think of mindful meditation. In fact though, this is only one facet of a larger topic.

Really, mindfulness just means being more mindful and aware of your own thoughts. It means being a little ‘self-reflective’.

In the case of a phobia or an anxiety like social anxiety, that effectively means learning to better recognize the stress-inducing thoughts that are causing your anxiety.

An example might be that you think:

“I’m going to stutter, and everyone will laugh.”

Or perhaps:

“What if what I say is stupid?”

The first step is in identifying precisely what it is that you’re afraid of. And from there, you can go about tackling it head-on.

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Cognitive Restructuring

That then, is when the next part comes in: cognitive restructuring. This is the process of understanding your negative thoughts, and so deciding that you’re going to get rid of them.

How do you do this? One way is by disproving them.

So for instance, if you’re afraid that if you stutter everyone will laugh, then you should try testing that theory. This is called ‘hypothesis testing’. Build up the courage to allow yourself to stutter, or just observe the next time it happens naturally. Do people laugh? Or are they kind?

You can also try something called ‘thought challenging’ to just pick apart the statement and see how accurate it’s likely to be.

Are your friends the sort of people to laugh at you?

Do you normally say stupid things?

Of course, this still takes a lot of time and practice. Actually, changing your beliefs is extremely hard. But using these tools it is possible to overcome your fear.

And one last tip: try adding in new beliefs. For example: what does it matter if people laugh at you anyway? Are you that wrapped up in your own ability to speak? If you’re training to get better, then let a few idiots laugh!

5 Way to Feel Calmer Instantly

5 Way to Feel Calmer Instantly

Feeling panicked and overeworked? Stressed out all the time and struggling to focus? You just described pretty much the majority of the population.

Unfortunately, being stressed and burned-out is rapidly becoming the ‘new normal’ in a world where we have too much to do and not enough time to do it in. The good news is that with the ubiquity of this issue, there is also a large array of options when it comes to treating and solving it. Here are five ways you can feel better almost instantly.

Tidy

You can go Marie Kondo on your home, or you can just do a little spring clean. Whichever you choose, you’ll find that having a more organized space can instantly help you to feel better about your current predicament.

If you only have five minutes, then just clear your immediate area. It’s often enough!

Eat

If you’re feeling very anxious, it might well be because you have allowed your blood sugar to drop. Something as simply as eating a meal can help to boost it back up and significantly improve your mood again. Our moods are tied extremely closely to what we eat, due to the link between our blood sugar and the release of cortisol and serotonin (the stress and feel good hormones respectively!).

Go for Walk

Walking helps to engage the ‘default mode network’ – the network of brain regions that spring into action whenever we’re not doing something highly active. The result is that your mind wanders and you feel calm and creative. Fresh air and scenic views will do the rest. A five minute spin around the block is all it takes!

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Meditate

Just five minutes of meditation can be more than enough to help boost your mood and help you to feel better. The aim of meditation is to calm your brain by focussing on something other than the negative thoughts you’re currently experiencing – even if that ‘something else’ happens to be nothing at all!

Just set a timer for five minutes, and make an effort to push all concerns out your brain. It’s that easy!

Exercise

Another way that you can overcome stress and anxiety is to exercise. This stimulates the release of serotonin, not to mention being extremely good for distracting yourself!

Again, five minutes might well be enough. Just take a moment out and do 30 push ups. You’ll get the blood circulating and feel better in no time.

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