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 "Everyone is building his consciousness all of the time. Hour by hour, moment by moment, he is building failure or success, happiness or suffering into his life by the thoughts that he thinks & the beliefs that he accepts in the hidden studio of the mind." Emmet Fox (Make Your Life Worthwhile)

Here is where we start to separate " the men from the boys." Those who entertain negative thoughts and those who have given little more than lip service to a positive outlook on life are starting to show their heart's desire. Now is the time we make our world a better place by living what we have developed in the studio of our minds.

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Dealing with Panic Attacks

What is a panic attack? The fast onset of emotions, such as anxiety or intense fear, is what you will experience. These attacks can be debilitating.  Panic attacks can also produce physical ailments, too. Shaking and have trouble concentrating are two of the symptoms that may accompany a panic attack. Uncontrollably crying may be part of your attack.  4351234085?profile=RESIZE_710x

Panic attacks can cause nausea and dizziness, pressing chest pain. Many people who suffer from them report feeling as if they’re going to die. These attacks can be extremely frightening to the person suffering from them as well as to the people who witness them. 

If panic attacks are something you struggle with, there are things that you can do. In this article, we will give you tips that can help you cope with a panic attack. You aren’t out of control. It only feels like you are.

No matter what is happening in your life, getting control of your breathing is the first step. Take deep, steady breaths. Breathing in slowly and letting the air out can help you calm both your racing mind and heart. While you’re doing the breathing, count slowly till your diaphragm is totally expanded. Add 2 to the count and exhale to that count. Repeat till you regain the feeling of control.

While a panic attack can feel like it lasts forever, you might find that the worst of it passes in just a few minutes when you use breath control. Remember that the fear that’s associated with a panic attack feels real, but it isn’t.

You might feel that you’re not where you are. If your panic attacks are a result of trauma, you might think that you’re back in time and place to where the trauma occurred.

You might believe that impending doom is about to happen, but it’s not. Ground yourself in reality as you’re going through the attack. Tell yourself where you are, that you’re safe that the attack won’t last forever.

An excellent way to ground yourself, in reality, is to make a connection physically with your present moment. This might be something like feeling the arms of the chair or petting your dog.

Touching something else helps you redirect your attention. This is also true of sight. Look at something while you’re in a panic attack. Pay attention to how it is constructed and the colors of it. This is known as a redirect, and it helps calm panic attacks.

Some people find it beneficial to use exercise as a means of practicing self-care during panic attacks. Go for a walk or spend time throwing a ball back and forth with a dog. Doing something physical can be a way of redirecting, as well. There are plenty of studies that show exercising is beneficial to our mental health.

It is important not to do this alone. Having an understanding friend or support group is very beneficial. For some people, there is a need for intervention. When the fear is overwhelming, and it’s impacting their ability to function, seeing a therapist can help.  Self-care for panic attacks is critical before, during, and after they occur.

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Mind Health 101

The focus on mental health in recent years has grown, and for a good reason. We are coming to understand that we previously overlooked that caring for our minds is as vital and as necessary as caring for our bodies.

Just as our bodies suffer and decline without proper care, our minds also do. Thus, we need to know about and utilize tools that will help us foster a healthy environment for our minds so that we can function optimally.4331696030?profile=RESIZE_710x


Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus to increase awareness, reducing stress, promoting relaxation, and enhancing personal and spiritual growth. Through guided activities such as deep breathing or visualization, one can become more grounded in the present, more self-aware, and better able to cope with stress in their lives.

A study published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging looked at the brains of 16 people who had never previously meditated and then reexamined their minds after the completion of an 8-week meditation program whereby participants spent 27 minutes on average each day practicing mindful meditation (Ahuja, 2017).

When researchers examined the brains of the participants after the 8-week mediation program period, they found that in the hippocampus, there was an increased grey-matter density. The hippocampus is linked to learning, memory, self-awareness, compassion, and introspection.

Additionally, the size of the amygdala was reduced, which is significant because that is the portion of the mind that regulates stress and anxiety (Ahuja, 2017). These results demonstrate that meditation can be a powerful mental health tool to fight anxiety and stress and help people cope better with their surroundings.

Minimize Stress

Stress can be detrimental to our mental health. Research had linked stress to mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), among others. Stress also causes a physical response in our bodies, characterized by an increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and tense muscles.

When this stress response is triggered long-term, this can prove to be problematic. In many instances, this prolonged stress response negatively impacts the heart, immune system, metabolic functions, hormones, emotions, and mental capacity.

Additionally, memory loss and the destruction of brain cells can both be side effects of prolonged exposure to stress (Transforming Mental Health, 2016). Thus, active measures must be taken to help cope with daily stress. Techniques such as breathing and journaling can help to deal with negative stressors and minimize the impacts stress has on the mind and body.

Limit Social Media

While social media certainly has its benefits, it also has its downfalls. Some research has looked into social media, and its impact on users and research has found its effects to be increasingly more negative on mental health than we may have thought. In one study from researchers at the University of Houston, surveys of college students found links between depressive symptoms and time spent on Facebook.

More specifically, more time spent on Facebook led to more comparison, which in turn led to more depressive feelings, particularly for males (Pappas, 2012). Another study presented at the annual conference of the British Sociological Association in 2015 found that people with mental health conditions reported that while social media did give them feelings of being part of a community, it also exacerbated their anxiety and paranoia (Pappas, 2016).

These findings demonstrate the need to find balance when it comes to social media use. By setting healthy boundaries and limits for ourselves, we can decrease the chances of experience negative mental health impacts like anxiety and depression. Plus, we get to enjoy the positives social media offers such as connectivity and community without the anguish of negative mental health effects.


The mind and the body are linked in many ways, so it is natural that physical activity, which is good for the body, would also be healthy for the mind. A 2014 review included in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found a link between increased physical activity and reduced depressive symptoms in people who have a mental illness.

The same study also found a reduction in the symptoms experienced by those diagnosed with schizophrenia (Rosenbaum et al., 2014). A study published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica in 2014 noted that the addition of a physical exercise program to the treatment plan of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder reduced the symptoms of those patients.

The patients also saw improvements in their sleep patterns (Rosenbaum, 2014). These studies and others like it demonstrate the valuable link between caring for our bodies and minds. When we engage in physical wellness, the brain benefits greatly.

The mind is a vital organ.  It must be taken care of like the rest of the body. We have much more control over our mental health, then we think, and we must start making it a priority if we want to facilitate and maintain mental health. When our minds are at their best we can be at our best, and that is a win-win for everyone.

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We, as a society in America, work. From the moments we open our eyes till the time we go to sleep, most of our waking hours are consumed by some activity associated with work. Some of us work two, three, and sometimes, for the very few, four or more jobs. We do this because that is what we are told to do, based on an idea of the American Dream.

For some, just a look at a Normal Rockwell painting can bring up a preconditioned idea of what life in America is supposed to be like. With such a predisposition for work, we center everything around the job or the career. Schedules are built as such that work dominates every aspect of our lives.

We are either getting ready for work, at work or winding down from work. With all of this work, as Americans, we rarely get much personal downtime. This means our brains are not getting the rest that they need to reset and prolong cognitive ability.4328339677?profile=RESIZE_710x

What are the Benefits of Downtime?

Having downtime allows our brain to process all the information that it receives in a single day. As soon as we wake until the time we sleep, and even if we are asleep, we are inundated with a variety of external stimuli.

 Facebook, Instagram, CNN, FOX News, Streaming media, red-light cameras, all of it floods us with a constant stream of stimuli, making, somedays, our brains overactive.

Racing thoughts are a byproduct of this and cause us to lay in bed at night until we can sort out all of the variables. Just a few of the benefits from downtime are increases in productivity, creative ability, and motivation.

An Increase in Productivity will bring about amazing changes in your work life, as well as your personal life. Spending time to do the things that you enjoy away from work will allow you to focus on the work that you have to do. An added benefit is that as your productivity at work increases, so does the goodwill that you may have with your company. Downtime can help you get that raise that you are looking for.

The increased creative ability allows you to create the things that you hold dear. If you are an artist, an increase in creativity will allow you to produce better works, which in turn will make you productive, as you have seen the value in the works.

Downtime also will lead to an increase in motivation. The increase in motivation will allow you to feel better about yourself and will also bring about a positive psychic change that will filter through to all areas of your life.

What Can We Do about it?

Here are a few things that will make sure that you have the downtime that you need.


Time-blocking is nothing short of making sure that everything has a time and place. If work lasts from 8 to 5, at 5:01, you should be on your way home. No exceptions. If the weekly cup of coffee with your best friend is scheduled from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM at 10:01 AM you need to be on to your next block.


Meditation is nothing short of clearing your mind so that you can begin to focus on the task at hand. When life gets too hectic, take 5 minutes to re-center yourself and find that state of equilibrium with the world around you.


Exercise has been shown to increase certain chemicals in your brain that lead to healing and feelings of joy. It is also a great stress reliever.

Quiet Time

The most important thing is the time when stimuli are none. A quiet room, sitting in your favorite chair, with a book, journal, or art project. Quiet time isn’t “do nothing” time. It is a time for relaxation,  reflection, and meditation. Take advantage of your quiet time.

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Recently, there have been many discoveries in neuroscience proving that brain function can stay strong with old age and can be significantly improved. By focusing on various healthy activities, you can make an effort to change the way your brain functions and have long-lasting memory as you age.        

Although memory loss is commonly associated with old age and seen as unavoidable, decades of research have proved this wrong. With small efforts in your daily routine, you can prevent and reverse these age-related changes. Below are examples of ways to keep your memory skills sharp and continuously improving regardless of your age.4322580003?profile=RESIZE_710x


Exercising regularly does not only benefit one’s physical health. Exercising has been proven to improve the brain’s function and activity, allowing the mind to be more reliable and healthier. Scientists have found that cardiovascular exercise is linked with more cell growth in the hippocampus, which is a component of the brain associated with learning and memory.            

According to research presented in Health magazine, physical activity mitigates the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other mental illnesses associated with aging. Getting 30 minutes of exercise per day increases the amount of oxygen sent to the brain and enhances healthy brain chemicals.              

By delaying memory impairment and keeping the brain strong, physical activity can significantly improve brain function and keep one’s memory sharp. Lowering the risk of memory-related diseases is essential to one’s quality of life.

Stimulate the Brain

By continually challenging the mind and constantly making an effort to learn new things, your mind will be in a healthy and sharp state. Advanced education allows you to form a habit of staying mentally active.

According to research presented in a Harvard article, challenging the brain maintains the strength of brain cells and allows them to communicate with one another. When your brain cells can transmit messages to one another, they are consistently exercising and staying powerful.           

There are numerous ways to stimulate the brain that are enjoyable and fun. Doing puzzles with family, signing up for educational classes on topics that interest you, or learning to play an instrument are just a few examples of ways that you can stimulate the brain without it feeling like a chore.

Avoid Alcohol and Drugs             

As we age, drinking and using drugs has much more substantial impacts on one’s health, and the brain is much more sensitive. The alcohol stays in your system for longer due to slowed metabolism and is associated with various severe health conditions.       

A study published by the American Journal of Psychiatry proved that drinking problems at younger ages are directly associated with memory impairment. The participants who admitted to heavy drinking in their past were twice as likely to suffer from memory issues and mental diseases.     

Keeping the mind sharp by avoiding alcohol and drugs is essential to a healthy memory throughout old age.

Stay Organized 

Even throughout retirement, keeping planners, calendars, and lists is crucial to staying productive and maintaining memory skills. By writing tasks and reminders down, you are much more likely to remember them in the future and will have confidence in your memory.               

By focusing on information, you want to remember and writing things down to stay organized; your memory will be sharpened and remain stable. You will no longer feel frustrated and defeated and will be confident in your productivity.


There are so many different tasks you can incorporate into your daily life to keep your memory strong and your mind sharp. Making an effort to learn new things through reading and other activities that stimulate the mind, your brain will continuously feel challenged, and your brain cells will be working hard to communicate with one another.

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Nobody wants to waste away, even in old age. We’ve all seen the older adult who can’t remember yesterday and always yells for you to speak up. While we love these senior citizens, we may not want to become them. And we don’t have to! An important fact is that while we cannot control IF we age, we do have control over HOW we age.

The good news is that many people enjoy a healthy and enjoyable life well into their golden years. New advancements in medicine and psychology further aid this process of being the best you for your whole life. Here are four ways to age better by developing your mind.4299604264?profile=RESIZE_710x

Never Stop Learning

A higher level of education is associated with better mental functioning in old age, according to A reason for this may be that higher education gets you into the habit of being mentally active. When practiced as a lifelong habit, even if you have no formal education and never stop learning, your brain stays sharp.

Even if your job is not mentally demanding, you could take up a new hobby and read more. A brain that is challenged is less likely to fall to dementia or memory loss. You are also more likely to enjoy a fuller life as you keep rising to life’s challenge.

Exercise Your Senses

When memory is associated with more than one of your senses, such as smell, you are more likely to remember it. Have you ever walked into a place with a familiar smell and been almost sent back in time? This is the power of your senses, working together with your brain.

The more senses you engage, the more likely you are to remember something. It is also a better work out for your brain to use more of it at once. It’s a myth that we only use ten percent of our minds, but we are only using certain parts of it at a time. Using more of it at once will keep our brain healthy long after our hair grays.

Refuse to Age

If you don’t think the mind has any power over the body, consider the placebo effect. People given a sugar pill sometimes experience a change in their physical health simply because they believe they received treatment. The reasons why this happens are unknown, but the fact is that it happens.

Similarly, older people do worse on memory and tasks when exposed to negative myths about aging. If you allow yourself to believe that it’s all downhill from here, or that you don’t have to try anymore, you might get a negative placebo effect. The opposite, however, is also true!

If you believe that you can be a healthy, valuable member of society at any age, you are more likely to make that dream into reality. So, go for it! Refuse to age.


Practice makes perfect, but the practice also makes you. You are what you do regularly. Repeating out loud what you’re trying to learn is an effective way to increase your memory even into old age. This philosophy branches further into healthy lifestyle habits like exercising, eating right, and the other tips on this list. Stay on top of them, and don’t give up!

You don’t need to fear old age. If you implement the proper lifestyle choices, you will empower your mind and body to keep performing well. You can spend quality time with your grandchildren and even learn a whole new hobby or two. You can travel the world and be the envy of all the youngsters.

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Most of us know that the brain has an impact on our learning, but did you realize that our learning affects our brains? When we learn, our minds grow, both figuratively and literally, for the better.

Before we can become passionate about pursuing life-long learning, it may be beneficial to understand how the brain is positively impacted by learning. If we understand the significance of learning, we’ll then become more intentional about pursuing and incorporating it.4289613204?profile=RESIZE_710x


When we learn the actual structure of the brain changes. When you learn something new and continuously review and practice it, the brain changes the structure of its cells and increases the number of synapses between the cells (neurons). These changes in brain structure prove to be beneficial in areas such as memory, processing, and brain plasticity (Amen, n.d.). Learning essentially helps the brain change so that it can receive and store more information.

Protect Against Mental Decline

Learning offers many protective benefits for the brain. Research suggests that engaging in activities such as reading, playing brain games, learning a new language, learning to play an instrument, and other activities like these work to decrease the risk of getting dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and slow cognitive decline associated with aging.

A 2014 study from the University of Edinburgh pointed to a correlation between the slowing of mental decline linked to aging and the learning of new foreign languages (Bak et al., 2014).

There’s also research that points to the fact that people who continue to pursue either formal or informal learning whereby the mind continues to be stimulated then see lower rates and slower rates of mental aging (Oz, n.d.).

Enhanced Processing Speed

As mentioned above, learning changes the neurons in the brain and increases the number of synapses between these neurons, which allows them to receive and send information faster.

This means that the brain becomes able to receive more information and assess that information more effectively and efficiently. This lets us tap into the brain’s innate plasticity so new skills can be obtained, and further information can be successfully analyzed. Ultimately, this keeps the mind sharp and alert, even as aging occurs.

Improved Memory

There is a lot of research that supports the idea that learning has a significant impact on memory. When we learn, our mind gets more robust and our memories last longer. Studies show that reading, a form of learning, works to improve our overall memory in addition to enhancing our comprehension and increasing our vocabulary (Beers, 2017).

Neuroscientist Dr. Denise Park from the University of Texas at Dallas studied nearly 200 older adults to look at the impact learning had on their memory. Participants were assigned various activities and were tasked with spending 15 hours per week for three months learning the new skill. Memory tests were then given and compared to several control groups.

The results, which were published in the journal Psychological Science, showed that those who learned the new skill saw drastic improvements in memory, which were sustained even a year later, as participants were tested again at that benchmark (Silverman, 2014).

Greater Efficiency

When we learn, the cells in our brains that send out and take in information related to the task grow more efficient. Over time, with continued review and practice, it takes less effort for the cells in the brain to signal other cells. And with even more analysis and training, a person can also get to a place where it takes little or no mental effort to recall information or perform a task.

This can be seen with experienced athletes and musicians who can often perform complicated drills or play intricate music pieces without exerting mental energy (Learning rewires the brain, 2019). They’ve studied and learned the task so frequently that the brain has become more efficient at processing the task, so it essentially becomes second nature.

It is apparent to see how beneficial learning can be for the health of our brains. We not only get smarter, but we get better and tend to remember more over a prolonged period of time when we pursue learning. Thus, we should aim to make learning, whether formal or informal, a consistent part of our lives so that we can be our best selves at all times.

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Your mind is one of your most valuable assets. It has the final say in the workings of your body and your daily habits. That being said, the mind can make or break itself.

Some habits can damage your mind. These practices will have you forgetting little things, zoning out, and unable to focus. If you find yourself engaging in even one of these habits, beware. Your mind may not age well with you!4280469962?profile=RESIZE_710x

Not Getting Enough Sleep

When was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed? Some people can’t even remember what that feels like. If you can’t either, it’s time for a change. Sleep is a critical time for your mind. During the night, your brain does maintenance tasks and files things away into your long-term memory.

Some people struggle with sleep because they don’t have a nighttime routine. You need to pick a time that works for you and shut down all the screens. Blue light interferes with sleep. Read a book and make some sleepy time tea, maybe put on some relaxing music.

Know that it always takes a little while to fall asleep, so don’t stress. When you have trouble getting to sleep at a good time, keep trying. You need consistency to program your biological clock to fall asleep at a time that works for you.

Spending too Much Time Alone

According to, what matters is a real sense of connection to others. People who have that with even just a few close friends are happier and more productive. They’re also less likely to suffer from brain decline and Alzheimer’s.

So, if you don’t get out enough, pick up the phone and reconnect with a friend or family member. Schedule some dance lessons. There are no wrong answers; just get yourself out there!

Sitting Around Eating Chips

If you think this is a no-brainer, imagine how many people’s plans tonight involve doing this exact thing. It’s a double whammy of bad; inactivity and junk food both hurt your mind. Think of food as your fuel. If you give your mind lousy fuel, it’s going to clog up.

Exercise is excellent for your body and mind. It lowers your blood pressure, increases oxygen flow to your brain, and releases endorphins, which make you feel good. Look into an exercise routine that works for you and your personal needs. You’ll be glad you did.

Not Getting Enough Light      

Science tells us that the sun gives you vitamin D. Your mind well tell you the sun simply makes it happy. People who stay in the dark too often may not realize the damage they are doing to their brains. Especially if you suffer from depression, consider getting more natural light during the day.

You can go out for a walk during lunch, open windows more often, or get active. Find ways to sneak the sun into your day, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen for prolonged exposure! Find a high SPF and apply 15 minutes before going out into the sun.


Are you out here smoking in 2020? The science is in. It’s really bad for you. The small amount of focus a cigarette might give you just isn’t worth it.        

It should be unsurprising that, over time, cigarettes have proven to be bad for your mind. They make your memory worse, and, according to, cigarettes make you twice as likely to get dementia in old age. So, quit! Suck on Life Savors and use the patch if you need to. Even your wallet will thank you.

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If you can’t seem to focus, you probably suffer many frustrations. You may be forgetful, clumsy, and unable to turn in work on time. If made into a lifestyle, these quirks could do a number on your professional and even social life. The good news is that there are things you can do to increase focus and concentration.

Get Up and Go

Starting your day with a workout is a great way to kick start improved focus for the day. You don’t need to pump iron for three hours, though. Just get your heart rate up for twenty minutes. Exercise will also wake you up, and you may find that you don’t need to rely so much on that morning coffee anymore.

If you don’t like the treadmill, you are far from alone. Go for a bike ride, swim, or challenge a friend to a game of racquetball. These low impact physical activities are great cardio. You can even pair a nice sunrise bike ride with listening to a book or podcast—what a way to start the day.

Meditation and Yoga

A lack of focus is a lack of mindfulness. If you practice being mindful, you will become more focused. Learning to quiet your mind and focus on your breath or a lit candle for a few minutes at a time will relax you and make you more present. You will get better the more you do it.

Yoga is similar to meditation in that it is a practice of mindfulness, but it is also a practice of stretching the body. Yoga will increase your focus because it forces you to focus on your body and posture. Not only will you be flexing your focus muscles, but you will learn how to bend and hold your body in new and healthier ways.4276944647?profile=RESIZE_710x

Get Outside

In a study published online in the Journal of Attention Disorders, researchers at the University of Illinois led children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) through three different environments: a city park and two other less “green” urban settings. They measured an increase in attention after a 20-minute walk in the park.

It’s unknown why but spending time outside increases your focus. It also gives your brain more vitamin D, which helps it function better. So, get out there! But don’t forget to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure.

Eat Fat!

The human brain is made up of a lot of fat. However, there is good fat and bad fat. Good fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Examples of foods containing these fats are nuts, avocados, eggs, and coconut oil. Bad fats are industrial made trans fats. These are found in most candies and dessert foods.

Jam Out

You may remember the fad in which mothers played Mozart to their developing child. Music can increase focus and concentration, but the fact is that it doesn’t have to be pretentious. Electronic music can also do the trick as well as ambient sounds. The music just has to be free of distracting vocals.

So next time you’re feeling distracted at the office put on some headphones and jam out to some music for increased concentration.

Don’t Multitask

You might be better at multitasking than others, sure. However, the fact remains that if you’re focused on many tasks at once, your real focus is on none of them. If you’re skeptical, think about your computer and how it runs slower, the more tasks you give it. If you do one download at a time, rather than many downloads all at once, your computer will finish the tasks quicker.

It’s the same with your work. You will be more present and efficient with it if you focus on doing one task at a time.

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 You might be surprised to learn that the biggest obstacle to your freedom is right between your ears. A negative mindset is the biggest block to freedom.

There are so many parts of your life you cannot control, from the need to earn a living to finding true love. But you can control your mindset, your thoughts, and how you act in the world. So how can you overcome your psychological blocks and open your mind to achieve greater freedom?4269796737?profile=RESIZE_710x

  1. Change the record

Everyone has a constant inner monologue; what psychologists call self-talk. And most of the time, yours is probably set to negative. Any messages you get in childhood about being wrong, hopeless, or selfish or stupid all get absorbed in your malleable child’s brain and resurface in adulthood as your Inner Critic.

The good news is that you can reprogram your Inner Critic and turn it into an Inner Coach.

Make a list of all the negative things your Inner Critic says. Be alert for phrases that start ‘you always or ‘you never.’ Watch out for ‘shoulds, ’ too. Then take each negative message and turn into a positive one.

Change your self-talk broken record to a new track full of encouragement and positivity.

  1. Change your expectations

Studies have shown that the most significant contributors to success or failure are your expectations. Happy people expect things to go well, and mistakes or problems do not crush them. They see them only as temporary setbacks. Conversely, if the expectation is to fail, any issue will confirm the expectations, and you won’t try again.

Expecting things to work out is not wishful thinking; it is choosing to be positive no matter what the circumstances.

  1. Change your focus

Modern society trains us to be dissatisfied with what we have now and continuously strive for bigger, better, and shinier. The only part that needs to change is being dissatisfied with your current standard of living. You need to be happy with your current conditions. You can choose to step outside of this and be grateful for what you have right now.

Developing a habit of gratitude frees you from this pressure and affects the structure of your brain. Studies show that the more you feel grateful, the more resilient you become in the face of life’s ups and downs. You feel happier with what you have and more open to receiving. Even better, you rewire the neural pathways in your brain so that your mindset defaults to positivity. You start to see the good things before you notice the bad. Over time, you perceive life as positive, and your expectations change. You free yourself from the burden of negativity!

“Three Steps To Personal Freedom – MintMotivation.

My book will help you identify and change the voice of your inner critic. Follow the link below to purchase my book.

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Working From Home Has Pitfalls

Working from home has many advantages. In many ways, it can be the ultimate freedom; you get to set your hours, working when, where, and how you want. However, there are also several potential pitfalls you need to be aware of and watch out for, or you'll risk turning your home-based job into an unproductive nightmare.4218955786?profile=RESIZE_710x

Failing to keep business and private life separate

This is one of the most common issues for people who work from home, especially those who are self-employed. When the home office is "right there," it can be hard to stay away even if you should be off work for the day. Before you know it, you'll have spent another few hours of your precious weekend at work. This is the fast track to burning out, and something you must learn to avoid if you want to be successful working from home.

Not planning your work

This mostly applies to people who are self-employed and may not have a boss telling them what to do every day. When you're working on your projects, planning is an absolute must. If the first thing you ask yourself when you start your day is "Ok, what am I going to do today?", then you're setting yourself up for failure. It's much better to plan out the next day before you go off work in the evening, so you're ready to get started first thing in the morning.

Working at irregular times

When you're free to set your hours, it doesn't mean that you should only work "whenever you feel like it." Chances are after a few months that you'll rarely feel like it at all, especially when there are so many fun distractions around the house. That's why it's better to try to stick to working the same hours every day. Even if it might resemble a "real job" a bit too much for your liking. You can always take breaks during the day if you need to recharge, but try to at least go into your office around the same time if you want productivity levels to stay high.

Not getting out of the house regularly

When you work from home, there is usually very little motivation to go outside. You've got everything you need at home anyway, right? That's true, but after a whole week, you'll most likely be feeling isolated and lonely, and that's perfectly normal. That's why taking time for little things like grabbing lunch with a friend is important- something as simple as that can boost your energy and make your working week easier and less tedious.

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Don’t Forget to Declutter Your Mind

One of the things you notice when you start decluttering is how so much of the clutter in your house reflects the confusion in your mind. If you’re hanging onto clothes that don’t fit, or the ugly vase your mother gave you for Christmas or the exercise bike you might get around to using, you don’t just have a problem with too much stuff. You have a problem letting go. Chances are you’re also hanging onto a whole bunch of bad feelings, ill-founded assumptions, old grievances, and future worries.4196978493?profile=RESIZE_710x

If it feels good to declutter your house, it feels even better to declutter your mind. Here are some useful expert tips to make some space in your mind.

  1. Use some meditation techniques

You don’t have to do the full sitting on a cushion in a darkened room thing to benefit from meditation techniques. If you’re feeling overwound, some simple breathing techniques can help you calm down and focus. For a few minutes, focus only on your breathing and nothing else. If your mind wanders or gets back into the worrying groove, you must put that aside and come back to focus on your breath.

  1. Write it down

It can help to write down anything that’s on your mind. Once all those worries are down on paper, you can prioritize them and work out a plan to deal with them. You can also assess them to identify what’s essential and what isn’t. When you can see what’s essential, you can focus your energy and free up some of that mental space!

  1. Stay in the present

Brooding over the past and worrying about the future take up a lot of space in your mind and achieve precisely nothing. Let go of regret over past mistakes or resentment of past slights and move on. Keep your focus on what you can influence right here, right now.

  1. Do one thing at a time

Multitasking is not only overrated (it’s very inefficient), it also leads to higher anxiety, and you never do any one thing properly. Focus on doing things methodically and thoroughly. As you finish one task, move onto the next.

  1. Control all the incoming data

We talk about being available 24/7 and the 24-hour news cycle, but there is only one person who can control that. You can choose to switch off your computer, smartphone, and tv and control the amount of data your brain is trying to process.

Decluttering your mind will pay off in all sorts of ways you hadn’t imagined. You will be more productive, less stressed, and more motivated.

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There are plenty of distractions in the modern world. They take away your focus and your energy and can stop you from having the life you want. If you're not hitting your goals, maybe it's time to look at your main distractions and do something about them. 4196851261?profile=RESIZE_710x

Here are the most common distractions that are likely stopping you from living your best life.

  1. Social media

It should not surprise you that the biggest distraction for most people is social media and the hours it eats out of the day. Take a quick look at your Instagram feed or Facebook, and before you know it, you're mindlessly scrolling through what looks like other people's perfect lives.

Take the time to decide how much of your life you want to spend watching what other people are doing. Set some boundaries about when and how long you will spend on social media. Take a look at your "friends" and see if they're people you want to know. 

  1. Smartphone

Smartphones are great tools, but they can quickly become a huge distraction. Look around and see how many people are walking down the street with their eyes glued to their phones. Think about how long you go without checking your phone. Try leaving your phone in your purse or your pocket when you go out for a meal. Leave it at home when you take the dog for a walk.

Another tip is to cull some of the apps on your phone. Work out what you need and delete the rest. And remember, mobile games are one of the biggest time-sucks. Think about how you want to use your time and be strategic about how you use your phone.

  1. Online watching

How much time do you waste watching meaningless YouTube videos or binge-watching box sets? These might feel like simple, relaxing things to do, but if you're not careful, they can drain as much time as social media. 

Keep focused on how you want your life to be and make decisions about how much recreational TV you want to watch.

  1. Negative people

Giving your time away to negative people can be damaging to your success. You can probably name the people at the office or in your life who drain you of energy and who take up a lot of time with their complaining, attention-seeking, and neediness. 

Inventory, the people around you, are they undermining your chances of meeting your goals? If so, you need to set some healthy boundaries and get out of their orbit. Look for positive, high energy people who will support you and cheer you on.

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As COVID-19 slowly makes its way into major cities and small suburbs across the nation, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to remain calm and not panic.

We have been told by authorities to say in our homes in order to prevent spread, but that does not mean that we should go crazy inside and solely focus our attention on what is happening with the world outside. Try to limit how much news you watch, especially some of the overhyped reporting that only propagates fear and anxiety. First and foremost, get updates and facts from reliable sources, and then focus your attention elsewhere.

You can avoid contact with other people and wash your hands more carefully, but your ability to remain calm comes from within. That means you’ll have to take the necessary steps in reducing your stress and anxiety and promoting calmness while the virus runs its course.

We’re going to go over three of the best ways that you can stay calm and centered in times of COVID-19 panic!4185698924?profile=RESIZE_710x

Meditation & Mindfulness

So, you’re anxious and stressed as a result of the rapid spread of Coronavirus. If you’ve never attempted meditation or any mindfulness techniques in the past, this is the perfect time to try them out and get some practice under your belt.

According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation can play a huge role in helping you to maintain your mental and emotional health, even benefiting aspects of your physical health. Here’s what meditation can do for you.

  • Greater outlook on life (positivity)
  • Increased feelings of calmness
  • Greater self-awareness
  • Reduced levels of anxiety and stress.
  • Improved focus

The best part is: There are plenty of different types of meditation.

If you’re unable to focus for long periods of time, you might want to try out guided meditations or visualization techniques. When you’re looking to stay more active while you’re quarantined, you can give yoga or Pilates a go!

Finding a Creative Outlet

You may be stuck in the house for the next few weeks, but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to going stir crazy. In fact, that’ll probably only increase your feelings of panic during such trying times!

Start now and try out some new (or old) creative hobbies is now. When you’re focused on building or creating something new, you’re reducing the amount of focus on the negativity surrounding you. That means creativity is a solid way of helping you to relax.

A creative outlet can be almost anything. A few things you might want to try out (if you have the supplies in your home).

  • Painting, coloring, or drawing
  • Singing or playing musical instruments
  • Taking photos or videos of things you enjoy
  • Building something with things lying around the house
  • Writing
  • Puzzles
  • Reading something and then writing an essay about it (yes, remember English 101 class?). This is a great way to take your mind off the world’s troubles.

Basically, the goal here is to find an activity or task that requires an intense amount of focus and makes you happy. You won’t even notice that you spent the last hour drawing your favorite cartoon character.

Giving Back & Helping Others

It’s completely natural to be fearful of the unknown but giving back to others can help you to tackle this fear once and for all. When you’re giving back to the community or helping those in need, you’ll be working to spread compassion and happiness rather than fear and anxiety.

With so many people sick or self-quarantined, most people aren’t permitted to leave the home. However, these individuals do still have needs that they now can’t meet on their own.

As long as you’re keeping your distance and not exposing anyone to the virus, you can deliver food and groceries or do things like their yard work. It’ll give you good feelings while also helping those who need it! So, call your neighbors, family, and friends to let them know you are available.

Final Thoughts

You can’t do anything yourself when it comes to curing COVID-19, there are things you can do that can reduce your panic and invoke an overwhelming sense of calmness.

By taking advantage of mindfulness, looking for a creative outlet, and even giving back to those who need it, you’ll be able to stay calm and centered, even now!

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You have goals of a new career, purchase your own home, and improve your health. Or perhaps you have smaller goals, such as learning a new language or traveling more often. However, you always find excuses about how the time is not right or the perfect opportunity is not here.

Most people have good ideas and the talent to achieve their goals. They fail because they quit or most often never even start. They get caught up in ruminating over what they might do and never take action.4185468241?profile=RESIZE_710x

If this sounds like you, it's time to make a change. Follow these three steps to stop thinking and start doing!

Set Your Priorities Straight

Start by defining your priorities. What do you want to achieve the most? Set short-term and long-term goals, such as getting a promotion, acquiring new clients, or buying a home. Give yourself due dates for each of these goals. Even if you don't meet the deadline, it should be just enough to get you started.

Eliminate any distractions that are wasting your time and focus on your end goal - to acquire new leads and boost your revenue.

Stop Overanalyzing and Go for It

Do you spend hours or days thinking and planning? Do you always focus on the worst-case scenario? Are you constantly trying to read between the lines? These signs indicate that you tend to overanalyze everything.

Like it or not, your thoughts are not reality. Just because you're thinking of the worst-case scenario, it doesn't mean it will happen. Don't believe everything you feel or think. Sometimes, you need to go with the flow and take some action. Overanalyzing situations, events, or actions rarely leads to a productive outcome.

Focus on the Positive

Psychologists advise there is a good reason for staying positive. A negative attitude fuels fear and anxiety, keeping you from reaching your goals. Your natural tendency is to think of what could go wrong instead of keeping an open mind. 

Keeping a positive attitude is good for your health too. It boosts your motivation and inner drive, helps you stay strong when times get tough and gives you a fresh perspective on the world around you.

Try meditation, positive affirmation, yoga, or whatever it takes to ward off negative thoughts. Focus on the good in your life and stay positive. Negativity leads nowhere; it's neither productive nor helpful.

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Tips To Stay Positive

Most of us can agree that positive thinking is important. It tends to make us feel better, be more productive and reduces stress.

The problem is, our lives aren't always rosy. Crises happen - be it on a personal level or something more widespread.

That reality is a part of everyone's life, and it makes keeping your spirits up tough4158416881?profile=RESIZE_710x

If you are struggling to stay positive and hopeful when going through tough times, try following these nine tips:

  1. Don't Put Your Head in the Sand

No matter what you are dealing with, ignoring it is rarely the answer. While ignoring problems might feel good in the short-term, it will sap your long-term positivity. Plus, many of the other tips listed here require you to acknowledge your circumstances first.

  1. This Too Shall Pass

When you are in the midst of a crisis, it is nearly impossible to keep things in perspective. That said, you need to recognize that your circumstances are temporary. Things might seem dire at the moment, but try your best to remember that "this too shall pass."

  1. Make a Plan

The simplest thing you can do to maintain positivity during tough times is to make a plan on how to deal with it. When you focus on the solution rather than the problem, you will naturally feel more positive. You will feel like you are rising to the challenge.

  1. Think About the Things You are Grateful For

Even during great personal turmoil, you still have things you are grateful for. When things get tough, it is vital to remember that there is good in the world, and more importantly, in your life. When you are struggling, take some time to list the things in your life you are grateful for.

  1. Reach Out for Support

Support in and support out! Reach out to loved ones and offer your support. Reach out if you need assistance too. When things are dire, it is always reaffirming when people pull together and help each other.

  1. Take a Break

Sometimes our circumstances are so dire that we are forced to think about our problems constantly. It is OK to take a break. You can take a break from the news, social media, or other people. It might not be easy but taking a break from external stimuli can help keep you positive.

  1. Journal Your Feelings

Journaling is a powerful tool in so many ways. By simply giving you a place to express your fears and concerns, a journal helps you maintain positivity outside of its pages. Experience how good it feels to vent to a friend. Well, consider your journal as your best friend.

  1. Focus on Things You Can Control

When your world seems to be is spinning out of control, you may feel helpless. One way to address this and stay more positive is to focus on the things you can control. Instead of fretting about things out of your control, focus on making sure you do your best job on the things you can control. 

  1. Embrace Distractions

Distractions are usually the worst. We are often trying to learn how to avoid or deal with them. They aren't that bad when you are struggling to stay positive in tough times, though. No matter how silly they seem, you should embrace distractions that bring you joy in tumultuous times.

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100 Things You Are Grateful For


This exercise may seem simple, but I can almost guarantee you will struggle with it. And honestly, that is partly the point.

The process is simple; just think of 100 things you are grateful for (or would be grateful to have someday).

This act will open your mind to the staggering amount of things there are to be grateful for. It will also help you invite abundance into your life because you will be listing things you might not have yet but want for yourself in the future.

You may be surprised at some of the things you list; things you never thought about being grateful for, or something you never realized you actually wanted. 

Don’t freak out about finishing this list all in one go (you probably won’t be able to). Just get through as much as possible in one sitting, and keep coming back to it as you think of more items.

Print out this post to use it as a workbook.







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Most people don’t like obstacles. That makes a certain sort of sense. After all, when you’ve got a goal that you’re trying to accomplish, the last thing you want or need is something standing in your way.  Obstacles seem to make us stand still; they keep us from getting where we want to go. They cause us to lose whatever momentum we’ve built up. In worst-case scenarios, they become the roadblocks standing in the way of allowing us ever to get there at all.

It’s no wonder obstacles look so daunting. You might as well pack up now and go home. Right?


What if obstacles weren’t as bad as you thought? What if the one thing you’re facing right now might hold the solution to the very problem you’re trying to solve? Consider this for a moment: What if what you’re looking at is not so much an obstacle, as an opportunity? That it’s your emotions holding you back, making you think an obstacle is a stopping point, instead of a new beginning?

It’s time to rethink obstacles.

Read on to find nine simple steps that will help you keep your emotions in check as you reach out and embrace obstacles. It’s time to see the opportunities you never imagined were there and to travel new roads you’ve never been down before. 4100059346?profile=RESIZE_710x

  1. Take a Minute

Whatever you’re doing when you hit the obstacle, quit it. When you stop, you give yourself time to consider the options without all the emotions flaring up. You guard yourself against acting impulsively in a way you might come to regret later on. 

To do this, start by taking a deep breath or two. Define the emotions you’re feeling, then wait for them to calm. Knowing whether you’re sad, or angry, or frustrated will help you to find that calm place faster, as you would address each emotion differently. For example, ask yourself what you’re angry at if you are indeed angry. If you’re sad, accept the sorrow as being a natural part of the disappointment of meeting something that keeps you from your goal.

As challenging as it might be, don’t try to rush through the feeling or push it down. The best way to use this setback as fodder for out-of-the-box thinking is to embrace the emotion, no matter what it is. Own it and feel it in your body. Once you feel it’s settled, you’re ready to move on. This process may take an hour, a day, or a week, depending on how major the project and how substantial the complication.

  1. Accept Where You Are

Realize obstacles happen. The more you fight them, the worse they’re going to seem. Like standing in quicksand, the sooner you come to accept the situation, the better it’s going to go for you. It’s the struggle that pulls you down. So, take a minute to tell yourself this is a natural and healthy part of the process. Remember, the emotions you’re feeling are legitimate and real. It’s where you are, right now, at this moment. But the feeling won’t last forever.

  1. Flip the Switch

After acknowledging the emotions of the moment, choose to let them go. It’s time to switch over to the logical side of your brain, where you store wisdom and experiences. That’s where you’re able to process what just happened and consider your options.

Next, take a step back and look at the obstacle from an outside point of view. That means looking at it as if you were a stranger standing on the outside of your life looking in. What would they see right now? Question your assumptions to find a unique solution.

  1. Get Creative

Here’s where a little flexibility is going to go a long way. Start examining the alternatives. Be as creative as possible and don’t discount anything offhand for being ‘too silly.’ Sometimes it’s those silly ideas that are going to get you thinking along a different path entirely. Sure, it’s normal to feel some disappointment at this point. Chances are you had your path all planned out. But when you consider all the new possibilities, it’s easy to get excited about trying something new. Use this energy to fuel you toward the next step.

  1. Embrace the Lesson

Every obstacle holds something from which you can learn. Ask yourself what you gained in facing the roadblock. How are you looking at the world differently? What can you share with those around you about your experience? When you cannot only ask these questions but also answer them, you’re discovering the meaning in the encounter. You haven’t wasted your experience, and even roadblocks can hold a purpose.

  1. Break Things Down

Frequently our problem with obstacles starts with trying to take on too much at once. In moving forward, re-examine the goal you were trying to accomplish. Break down your goal into smaller steps. By focusing on these smaller goals, you’ll find it easier to move ahead. Also, you won’t be quite so overwhelmed by the big picture.

  1. Admit You’re Only Human

Everyone makes mistakes. By permitting yourself to fail, you’ll accept obstacles that sometimes occur due to human error. In some ways, these feel like the worst sorts of obstacles because it’s easy to get caught up in a negative thinking spiral when this happens. You might even start questioning your abilities and wind up wanting to give up on your goal altogether.

Here’s where it becomes crucial to keep things in perspective. By acknowledging you are only human after all, you’re able to admit when you are wrong and to move on. What’s more, you’ll be better able to accept when you make mistakes again in the future, because after all, you will. We all do.

  1. Reconsider the Goal

In the end, it might be the obstacle was connected to what you were trying to accomplish in the first place. It might be the goal either wasn’t well thought out or isn’t what you needed to do in the first place. It might be time to consider the original premise all over again. Is this obstacle trying to tell you something?

Sometimes the obstacle comes because you’d made a shift in what you were trying to do. Have you somehow changed your goal midstream? It might be you need to rethink your plan of attack entirely. When this happens, your obstacle has instead become an opportunity to move in a direction that suits your purposes better.

  1. Don’t Forget to Celebrate!

It might seem odd to be thinking about celebrations when talking about obstacles but consider this: When you celebrate your accomplishments, you embrace the journey you’ve been on, barriers and all. Even if you’ve stalled out completely, you can celebrate the progress you made and the work you put into the project. These are all worth getting excited about, and the emotions here are worth embracing.

Then when the party is over, ask yourself where you want to go from here. Make choosing a new goal part of the celebration. That’s also something to get excited over.

Bonus tip: Ask for Help

As a note, you should never have to do hard things alone. When you’re facing an obstacle, it’s okay to ask for help. Mentors and support systems are integral to the process of working your way through difficulties. The benefit of a mentor is clear: they’ve very likely been in this position before, and have the wisdom and insight to lead you through to the next stage of development. 

Support systems are made up of those friends, co-workers, and relatives who can act as the bulwark to shore you up when you feel like you’re falling flat on your face. This group should only ever be made up of people who support you wholeheartedly. That’s not to say they’re all cheerleaders or ‘yes-men.’ A sound support system is willing to speak up when they see you heading in what they perceive to be the wrong direction. They’re also there to encourage you and to remind you why you’re working toward this goal in the first place.

Finally, don’t discount professional help where it’s needed. If you find you’re having trouble separating your emotions from the process, you might need a little bit of help in working things through. There’s nothing wrong with seeking advice from a counselor or medical professional if you find you’re overwhelmed and unable to proceed.

In the end, by embracing the obstacles you meet in trying to attain your goals, you’re likewise embracing a new way of thinking. You’re adjusting your mindset to one of success instead of failure. You’re accepting there are different ways to do things, and that the things standing in your way are more often new opportunities than a true stopping point. You’re looking at life in a way that allows you to go places you never thought possible before.

The key here is in control. Your emotions shouldn’t be what’s holding your back. Of course, it’s okay to feel what you do when you meet with an obstacle. The key is in not staying there when it’s time to move forward again because you will move forward again if you keep trying.

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The benefit of listening to someone closely is you come away with a greater understanding of that person. When you give someone your attention, they tell a lot about themselves. To know a person on a deeper level and understand what motivates them actively listen when they are speaking. This will also tell you about their dreams and goals in life.  

While most of us hear the words that are spoken, not all people have the ability to listen as attentively as others. This is why the skill of active listening is a desirable trait that will help you develop good relationships.

When you start to listen to a person you gain more insights such as:

  • Understanding what they expect of themselves and you
  • Build better relationships with family, friends and your coworkers
  • You will be able to resolve issues more quickly
  • Have a better understanding of what people are trying to tell you
  • You will know how to respond properly
  • You will become a trusted and respected person

The moment you present yourself as someone who is not listening, your trust  you truly hearing what another person is saying. You will need to overcome barriers in order to become good at listening.  The most common ones include things like:

  • Prejudice
  • Language and accent barriers
  • Noise levels
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Worry
  • Poor attention span
  • Hearing issues

Some barriers are going to prevent even the best listener to fully understand the issue. A great example of this is trying to listen to someone who is not speaking their native language. They may use the correct words, but the biggest handicap is their accent. No matter how hard you try to understand the words you can not.  

There are things you can do if you are having a hard time understanding someone? A good active listener will often try to do the following things to improve their comprehension of the situation.

  • Move-in a little closer
  • Keep eye contact
  • Nodding shows you understand what is being said
  • Ask appropriate questions
  • Try to clarify the issue in your own words
  • Have them write out the word you do not understand

This will show the person that you are doing your best to understand them. This will go a long way to put the person speaking at ease. Quite often they are feeling stressed out, nervous and anxious. By helping them to put their feelings behind them, they can often explain the situation better.

Employing a few of these suggestions will greatly improve your listening skills. Just be aware that there are problems that can prevent you from fully understanding people sometimes.

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Being kinder is not about making sacrifices or denying your own needs. Treating people kindly is not an imposition or another task on your checklist.

It’s the outward manifestation of living positively. Kindness is all about mindset, and you can train your brain to make kindness almost automatic. Ever notice that being kind to someone makes you feel good too? It’s because altruism promotes a chemical reaction in your brain, releasing serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. These chemicals make you feel good but also work to reinforce positive social behavior. By laying down new neural pathways, you set yourself up for living a positive, kinder life.

Here are some scientifically proven tips for engineering kindness into your brain.

  1. Choose to be kind

In choosing to be kind, you are consciously resetting your mindset to treat people with compassion and empathy. Notice the effect of your kindness on others. When you smile, people’s natural reaction is to smile back. You set up a kindness loop that keeps on paying itself forward!

When you choose to be kind, regardless of how you are feeling, it will turn even a miserable day into a brighter one. Acts of kindness sends the message to your brain that all is well, and before you know it you’ll be feeling more cheerful.

  1. Do more random acts of kindness

Studies have shown that carrying out five random acts of kindness every week is the single most effective way of increasing your happiness. Anything from buying a complete stranger a cup of coffee, to letting another driver into the traffic, or mowing your neighbor’s lawn will make you and the other guy feel good.

  1. Be kind to yourself.

Self-kindness starts with noticing your self-talk. Are you encouraging or judging? Do you start from a position of ‘yes you can’ or ‘you’ll never do it’? Pay attention to that voice in your head, and change the script to kindness.

Build little acts of self-care into your day. Reward successes, big and small. Take time to do the things that make you feel good. Make sure you get enough sleep, stay hydrated and have a nutritious diet.

  1. Practice gratitude

Make it a daily practice to count your blessings. Research has shown you will be happier when you notice the good things in your life and practice gratitude. The outcome is so marked that it changes your brain structure! Brain scans have shown the effect of mindfulness and gratitude.  The part of the brain that reacts to stress shrinks, while the regions associated with self-awareness and compassion grow.

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7 Day Mental Diet

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