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STOP OVERTHINKING:

HOW TO STOP OVERTHINKING AND STOP


PROCRASTINATION. CONTROL YOUR
THOUGHTS AND STOP WORRYING,
ELIMINATE NEGATIVE THINKING. MAKE A
BETTER DECISION NOW AND DECLUTTER
YOUR MIND.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION.........................................................................................................................................................5

CHAPTER 1: CAUSES OF MENTAL CLUTTER..................................................................................................7

WHAT IS MENTAL CLUTTER?....................................................................................................................................7


WHAT CAUSES MENTAL CLUTTER.............................................................................................................................7
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF MENTAL CLUTTER........................................................................................................8

CHAPTER 2: CHALLENGING YOUR THOUGHTS...........................................................................................12

STEP BACK AND ASSESS THE SITUATION.................................................................................................................13


WRITE THEM ALL DOWN.........................................................................................................................................14
WHAT IS A THOUGHT JOURNAL/DIARY?...................................................................................................................14
BENEFITS OF A THOUGHT DIARY..............................................................................................................................15
MAKE A HABIT OF WRITING A THOUGHT JOURNAL..................................................................................................16
GET A HOBBY...........................................................................................................................................................16

CHAPTER 3: PRACTICING MINDFULNESS......................................................................................................18

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?............................................................................................................................................18
WHAT IS MEDITATION?...............................................................................................................................................21

CHAPTER 4: NEGATIVE THINKING..................................................................................................................24

WHAT CAUSES NEGATIVE THINKING?.......................................................................................................................24


HOW TO DEAL WITH AND ELIMINATE NEGATIVE THINKING...................................................................................25

CHAPTER 5: COPING WITH WORRYING.........................................................................................................28

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO QUIT WORRYING?................................................................................................................28


NEGATIVE BELIEFS ABOUT WORRYING...................................................................................................................29
POSITIVE BELIEFS ABOUT WORRYING.....................................................................................................................29
TIP 1: CHOOSE A SHORT PERIOD EACH DAY TO WORRY........................................................................................29
TIP 2: CHALLENGE ANXIOUS THOUGHTS.................................................................................................................30
TIP 3: DIFFERENTIATE THE SOLVABLE WORRIES FROM THE UNSOLVABLE WORRIES............................................31
TIP 4: INTERRUPT THE WORRY CYCLE.....................................................................................................................33
TIP 5: TALK ABOUT YOUR WORRIES.........................................................................................................................33
TIP 6: PRACTICE MINDFULNESS...............................................................................................................................34
Create a suitable place.......................................................................................................................................34
Wear comfortable clothes...................................................................................................................................34
Eliminate distractions.........................................................................................................................................35
Choose a meditation posture..............................................................................................................................35
Start with short meditation sessions...................................................................................................................35
Turn off your thoughts........................................................................................................................................35
Practice regularly...............................................................................................................................................35

CHAPTER 6: HOW TO REMOVE NEGATIVE INFLUENCES.........................................................................36

HOW TO HANDLE NEGATIVE INFLUENCES...............................................................................................................37


Spend less time with negative individuals...........................................................................................................38
Build Boundaries Between You and the Source of Your Negative Influence......................................................38
Display a Positive Attitude With a Negative Person..........................................................................................39
Stop Negative Talk/ Thought About Yourself......................................................................................................39
Turn Negative Talk To Positive Ones.................................................................................................................40
Be Yourself..........................................................................................................................................................40
Determine Your Attitude.....................................................................................................................................41
Reduce Negative Habits......................................................................................................................................41
Have a Positive Lifestyle.....................................................................................................................................42
Take Note Of Your Unhealthy Habits.................................................................................................................42

CHAPTER 7: POSITIVE THINKING.....................................................................................................................44

WHAT IS POSITIVE THINKING?.................................................................................................................................44


HOW TO BE A POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON PEOPLE AROUND YOU.............................................................................46
5 WAYS TO GET MOTIVATED IN LIFE......................................................................................................................46

CHAPTER 8: GRATITUDE.....................................................................................................................................50

CHAPTER 9: HOW TO STOP OVERTHINKING................................................................................................55

Learn to be Aware...............................................................................................................................................55
Get a Second Opinion.........................................................................................................................................56
Stay Positive........................................................................................................................................................57
Identify Distractions............................................................................................................................................57
Stop Being a Perfectionist...................................................................................................................................57
Set Deadlines......................................................................................................................................................57
Surround Yourself with the Right People............................................................................................................57
Do Your Best.......................................................................................................................................................58
Create a To-Do List............................................................................................................................................58
Cut Yourself Some Slack.....................................................................................................................................58

CHAPTER 10: SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE AND LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT......................................60

List Down the Important Things.........................................................................................................................60


Evaluate Your Time Usage.................................................................................................................................60
Learn to Say No..................................................................................................................................................60
Cut Down Your Media Consumption..................................................................................................................61
Declutter Your Physical Space...........................................................................................................................61
Spend Time Doing What You Love.....................................................................................................................61
Get Rid of Toxic People......................................................................................................................................61
Plan Your Meals Wisely......................................................................................................................................62
Address Your Debts.............................................................................................................................................62

CHAPTER 11: CONFIDENCE BOOSTERS..........................................................................................................63

LEARN HOW TO ALTER YOUR LIFE WITH TO SELF ESTEEM...................................................................................64


BUILDING OF TEEN SELF ESTEEM STARTS AT BIRTH..............................................................................................66

CHAPTER 12: MAINTAIN FOCUS & MEASURE RESULTS..........................................................................68

CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................................................................75
Introduction
 

How many times in the past have you heard a coworker, a boss, or a loved one say the words,
“stop overthinking it”? Maybe the question has been directed at you in the past, and you’ve
responded with something like, “I’m not sure what you mean,” or “I don’t know if you’re
thinking through it enough.”

Many times, communication is one of the main factors in the misunderstandings that occur
between people in relationships. We say one thing, but it is understood in a different way. This
complication is made worse when we fall into the habit of overthinking, which is simply taking
in and processing way more information than is necessary to complete a given task or figure out
a problem. When we pull from a much larger pool of information than is necessary for what we
are trying to do, whether it’s something as simple as picking out the appropriate tie or deciding
whether to break up with that new boyfriend, we are guilty of overthinking and often make the
task much harder on ourselves than it needs to be.

All those thoughts swirling around in your brain make even the simplest tasks difficult because it
becomes nearly impossible to avoid distraction. Overthinking can lead to an emotionally
damaging mindset, where you begin to think negatively about yourself, your loved ones, or even
about the world. Too much negativity and worry in your mind will shut out any hope of positive
thinking or finding the path toward becoming a more positive, productive person.

I am excited to take this journey with you, and I know that you are about to discover many things
about yourself as a person. The simple fact that you’ve sought out help from this book is an
important first step forward. Many people continue through their entire lives living with the
chaos going on inside their minds while they try to seek out a pleasant existence. But we’re
going much further than this. We’re going to shed that old chaotic mindset and find the path to
clarity.

 
The title of this book refers to finding a path through the noise inside your mind, but we’re not
just going to walk casually by and leave the chaos where it is. Many people are very skilled at
something called “compartmentalization.” This is where, in order to deal with many sources of
stress, worry, and overthinking, people will carefully store different thought processes in
different parts of their brains and train themselves to ignore one thing while they concentrate on
another. Many men and women experience this after a trauma. In order to escape the grief, they
will concentrate on something that is productive, like their jobs, and not think about the pain that
must be worked through.

Compartmentalization is an avoidance of the problem, and though it can be helpful in traumatic


experiences, it is essential to address what is going on in our minds if we are to move past it. So,
if you’re ready, let’s get started!
Chapter 1: Causes Of Mental Clutter

What Is Mental Clutter?


What comes into your mind when you hear of mental clutter? Do you visualize a physical clutter
that you know of? Mental clutter simply means mental overload, mental stress or mental fatigue.
This is anything that gives you anxiety, depression, frustration, sense of overwhelm, and anger.
This clutter comes in the form of:

 Regrets for past failures and regret for not doing some things that you should
have done
 Too many bills to pay and increasing debts as well as unfinished projects
 Worries and insecurities
 Inner critic
 Feeling bad for failing to achieve something
These thoughts hinder us from focusing and working to improve ourselves. They divert our
thoughts to the past instead of focusing on now and tomorrow. Mental clutter occupies our
mental space, messes with our minds, eliminates our mental clarity and it is bad for our mental
health.

What Causes Mental Clutter


1. Worry
When we encounter challenges in our daily activities, our brains naturally go to a state of worry.
Although it is a natural reaction, we can always control it because it will not solve any of our
problems. Instead, worrying will worsen the situation. Worrying will take away your peace of
mind and it will stress you. Worrying is a waste of energy.

The best thing you can do is to stop worrying. Find something to do that will divert your
thoughts to something better like going for a walk, dancing, cooking or anything that interests
you. You can also write down those things that are robbing you of your peace of mind and write
how you are going to solve them.

2. Regret
Gee whiz! "I wish I worked hard in school my life could be better!" Such remarks are common
when having a conversation with friends or family members. We all have those things we wish
we had done or not done in our lives! Sometimes our minds can focus on those things but we
should not allow it. Focusing your minds on regrets will rob you of your happiness and cause
you mental fatigue and stress. You cannot change the past so put your energy into creating a
better vision for your life.

3. Fear
Fear is an enemy of progress! You should not allow fear to hinder you from taking chances and
chasing after your dreams and enjoying life. Do you dream of owning a business but you are
afraid that it might not take off if you start? Start it anyway and silence the fear that you have.

4. Guilt and shame


We should take responsibility for our wrongdoings and learn some lessons from it. Never allow
yourself to be a prisoner of guilt and shame because it will cause you to have resentment self-
hate, and even kill your self-esteem. The best way to get rid of guilt and shame is to
acknowledge your mistake, forgive yourself and move on. This will empower you, motivate you
to become a better person, make you value yourself. You should never repeat the same mistake.

5. The inner critic


How do you perceive yourself? Do you frequently have negative self-talk dominating your
mind? Negative self-talk will limit our mental growth and lower our self-confidence. Remember
your brain will believe what you tell it. If you constantly tell yourself that you cannot do it, your
brain will act according to that belief.

You need to learn to refuse negative self-talk and replace it with positive talk. If the inner critic
is telling you that you cannot do it then do it and you will silence that inner critic that is
hindering your progress in life. Talk to yourself positively every day and you will see changes
and your self-confidence and esteem will improve making you feel good about yourself.

The Negative Effects of Mental Clutter


1. Clutter is not good for your health
Research has shown that mental clutter can harm your health and physical wellbeing. This is
because of the following reasons:

 It increases your stress levels


When you have an endless list of unfinished projects, unpaid bills, and debts, it can lead to stress.
Mental clutter will stress the brain and it will release a stress hormone cortisol. This can lead to
some undesirable health conditions like chronic stress, high blood pressure, slow digestion, poor
sleeping habits, and depression that can cause mental illness.
Stress will exhaust your mental energy leaving you feeling tired and overwhelmed. It will also
make you lose focus and concentration on important things and it promotes negative self-talk.

 It interferes with your eating habits


Mental clutter can make you lose appetite or crave for more unhealthy food because of the rise of
stress levels. Research has shown that people with mental clutter eat twice as many cookies,
sweets, and snacks than those people who do not suffer from mental clutter. That means when
you have a mental clutter you will not prioritize a healthy diet but you will crave junk food,
which is unhealthy and it can make you fat.

2. It steals your productivity


Mental clutter promotes stress and anxiety that will suck your energy making you feel lazy,
unproductive, and useless. Clutter will distract your focus because so many things are fighting
for your attention and this can affect your productivity. Having an endless "to-do" list can be
hard to handle and it can make you feel like you are losing your mind. This feeling of never
completing projects will ground your mind and it will create negative self-talk that can hinder
your progress.

When your mind is full of clutter, you may find that you do not remember where you put certain
files then you spend so much time looking for those work files. These can delay your work, you
may fail to meet deadlines, and this may make you feel like giving up.

3. Less efficient thinking


Mental clutter will prevent you from processing important information. It can also lead to
temporary memory loss. Mental clutter will take away your focus leaving you confused with
endless "to-do" tasks. Such overwhelming feelings will render you helpless and you may find
that even doing a small task is difficult. It can also affect your parenting styles negatively
because you will project your anger and frustration on the children and that is not good for their
mental growth.

4. It interferes with your relationships


Mental clutter will consume your energy and you will not have the energy to give your loved
ones. You can't give full attention to the people you love when your mind is full of clutter
because mental clutter is distracting since there is so much stuff fighting for your attention in
your mind. The inability to give the people you love your attention and energy will make them
suffer.
Clutter will give you stress and mental fatigue and you will feel overwhelmed from the pile-up of
things that needs your attention as a result, you will project some frustration onto your loved
ones. Although you will be doing this unknowingly it will affect your relationships negatively
because you will be moody and resentful most of the time. You might end up treating them
harshly and they may develop a negative attitude towards you.

Mental clutter may isolate you from other people. Since you will be feeling stressed out and
mentally tired, you may not want to interact with other people because their presence will irritate
you. If you have children, your mental clutter will not allow you to have a good time with them
and this will affect them psychologically because they will feel like you do not value them. Such
children may suffer from unhappiness, anxiety, and they may have difficulties in socializing with
their peers.

5. It will rob you of your peace of mind


Your mind can never relax if you are suffering from mental clutter. It will always be wandering!
This will leave you with stress, frustration, discontent, and these feelings can be overwhelming
to your mind. Find something that can help you decongest your mind and relax. You can listen to
soothing music, meditate or take a walk in the park, anything that will relieve your mental
clutter.

6. It can lead to procrastination


Since mental clutter will drain your energy, you will end up postponing some tasks because of
mental fatigue and stress. The best way to stop procrastination is by clearing your mind of
unnecessary thoughts so that it can focus on doing important things that can make you a better
person.

7. It will keep you in the past


When your mind is full of clutter, you will not be able to receive new ideas because there is not
any room left for them. Your life will only be revolving around the clutter in your mind that are
normally worries from past events and uncertainty of the future. Whining about your past
situations will derail you from achieving a better tomorrow. So let go of your past and have a
clear plan of how you can achieve your aspirations and goals in life.

8. It affects your emotions


There is no way you can be happy with mental clutter. It will bring you feelings of anger,
sadness, discontent and it will be hard for you to have positive feelings like being happy,
confident or proud. The mental clutter will spike your stress hormones giving you dull feelings
every day!

9. Encourages bad money management


Mental clutter can cause you to have surprise bills because you may have forgotten to pay them.
The clutter in your mind may make you forget to pay bills on time and this can cause you to pay
some penalty fee. It can also cause you to have bad credits. You may also find yourself buying
stuff that you already have but you cannot remember. Mental clutter can also make you forget to
keep count of how much money you use per week or month and this will make you a poor
financial manager.

10. It will derail your career and prevent you from getting promoted
When you lose focus and concentration in your work, you become less productive and this is not
healthy for your career. Most managers demand performance in the workplace and you cannot
keep up with that if you have mental clutter. If you want to be successful in your career, you
need to clear your mind and focus on doing your best in everything you do.
Chapter 2: Challenging Your Thoughts
 

To stop overthinking, you need to first retrain your brain. Fortunately, there are many exercises
and activities that you can use to reshape the way you think.

Now that you know a little about overthinking, and you also know when you are on the verge of
dropping into that deep whirlpool of infinite negative emotions, you can start getting rid of it
entirely, and you can start by challenging your thoughts before they run out of control.

Before You Begin

Here are some of the things that you need to know before you start challenging your negative
thoughts so you will not get too surprised and overwhelmed with everything that is happening.

1. You need to know that challenging your thoughts might feel unnatural,
sometimes even forced at first. But with a bit of practice, it will start to feel
natural and believable.

2. To build up your confidence for thought challenging, you should practice them
on thoughts that are not as upsetting and provides a bit more flexibility. It is
also a good idea to practice this technique when you are still feeling a bit neutral
and not too overwhelmed by your thoughts. Trying to practice thought
challenging after a particularly rough and problematic day would be asking too
much from yourself.

3. The first couple of times you try thought challenging it would be best if you jot
down your responses. Often, when beginners try doing it in their heads, they
end up with their thoughts going around in circles, which makes their thoughts
all the more intense, and might cause them to spiral into overthinking.

4. Another benefit of taking down notes is that if a similar thought pops up in the
future, you can refer to your notes and find out how you reacted to it.

5. You can practice with a family member or a friend whom you know will not
judge you. Practicing with another person might help you by shedding light on
the blind spots of your thinking, or they can offer you different viewpoints that
you might find useful.
6. When you are first practicing thought challenging, you should focus on a single
thought instead of a series of them this early in the game. For instance, instead
of thinking “It’s pretty obvious that my bosses thought I messed up the project”
you should break down your thoughts into smaller, simpler sentences, and then
challenge these thoughts one by one. You will only be confusing yourself if you
start challenging a pile of thoughts at the same time.

7. Do something that will distract yourself once you finish working through a
couple of thought challenging questions. This will give you some time for your
mind to settle down.

Now that you know what you should expect, here are some of the most popular thought
challenging exercise that you can try now.

Step Back and Assess the Situation


Here’s a scenario that you might have experienced: you feel as if your boss is constantly and
intentionally ignoring you. You think that the reason why your boss did not greet you this
morning is because you somehow messed up something and that he is contemplating on firing
you very soon. Usually, this kind of thoughts will cause your mind to overthink and cause you to
lose sleep, thus causing you to not be as efficient at work, which therefore leads to you getting
fired; in short, overthinking problems turns them into self-fulfilling prophecies.

On the other hand, if you just step back and analyze your thoughts before your overactive brain
blows it way out of proportion, you can control it better. In the case mentioned above, remind
yourself that your boss rarely greets anyone at all, and whatever screw up you might have made
during the past couple of days is not grounds for your termination. Next, think about what you
could do in order to not get fired, like increasing your productivity, or maybe learn a new skill
that can help you do your job better.

In just a couple of minutes, you have derailed your train of negative thought before it even gets a
chance to gain momentum.
Write Them All Down

Another way to challenge your negative thoughts before they trigger you to overthink is to write
them all down on a piece of paper. When you write down the things that are bothering you, it
gives them a somewhat tangible form, which actually helps you reanalyze them in a more
rational manner. If you want to take this to the next level, you can start making a thought journal.

What is a thought journal/diary?

A thought diary is different from the traditional form of journaling, it has a structure that you
have to follow to make analyzing your thoughts much easier. For instance, in a thought diary,
you do not start an entry with a “Dear Diary” or any form of it, the entries look more like a
ledger if anything.

You make a thought diary by making a couple of columns on the page and then you title them as
follows:

Antecedent – These are the things that triggered you during the day.

Beliefs – These are your thoughts about the things that you listed in the first column.

Consequences – These are the things that happened because of your thoughts.

This is why a thought journal is called an ABC journal.

Here is an example on how you write an entry in your thought journal. You suddenly start
worrying because you have an upcoming bill that you have to pay, this is your consequence. On
the second column, you write that you were worried because you might not be able to make your
due date. On the trigger section, you could write that you were watching the evening news when
you suddenly remembered that you needed to pay.
After some time of writing in your thoughts journal, you might start noticing that the triggers are
usually not related to the thoughts that made you worry. Thoughts just occur, and the triggers
that caused them to surface might be related to them at all; thoughts are fickle in that way.

In the consequences column, you then might write down something like, “I took an aspirin to get
rid of the headache that I felt was coming.”

Every Sunday evening you could review your entries and then think of the things that you could
have done better. For instance, for the entry above, instead of taking an aspirin, you could have
just walked around the park to clear your mind, or at the very least you could have eaten an apple
or something just so your headache will not get any worse. Or you could call your utility
company and inform them that you might be a little late on the payment, but you will be paying,
and ask if it is possible for them to waive the late fees. Your thought diary will help you make
sense of your muddled thoughts by laying them out on paper for you to easily analyze. This tool
can help you understand your less-than-ideal coping skills and why you end up making choices
that lead to consequences that are not really best for you. With the help of a thought journal you
can change your future consequences by restating and reanalyzing your past thoughts and
making the necessary adjustments

Benefits of a thought diary

Writing in a thought journal/diary helps you identify the things that trigger you into
overthinking. When you write down your thoughts, you will easily see if they are actually
legitimate concerns, or if they are just irrational. Thought journals help you recall how you
behaved during the time you were triggered into overthinking, and in time you will start to notice
the patterns in the way you think.

When you recognize your existing thought patterns, it will be possible for you to change not only
your behavior, but also your thoughts. When you notice evil thoughts start to creep in, you can
practice mindfulness (more on this later) and just observe and acknowledge them so they will go
away. You actually do not need to behave according to your thoughts, you can actually ignore
them and just continue living your own life. It is much better to write down “I ignored the
thought of...” instead of “I went to the pub and drank a few pints to make myself forget”, and if
you notice that you are doing basically the same thing almost every day then your thought diary
is actually working.

Make a habit of writing a thought journal

It is highly advisable that you make a habit out of writing down your thoughts using the format
mentioned above. You can use a small notebook, a stack of papers, anything that you can write
on and keep confidential. No one else aside from you and your therapist (if you are seeing one)
must know about the existence of this journal; no one else should have access to your inner
thoughts.

If you do not want to use the traditional method, you can also use your smartphone or laptop to
create a secret document. Gradually over time, you will start noticing when you are starting to
spiral into overthinking and then stop yourself from going any further.

Negative emotions, like those that shatter your confidence to pieces, can usually lead to clinical
depression, makes you feel irrationally lonely, hopeless, and they will break you apart from the
inside. Writing helps you get rid of your self-destructive thoughts. It is an art that can help you
share your innermost feelings and your deepest thoughts.

Writing down your feelings onto paper is a way for you to freely express your views and
opinions on the things that happened during the day, and what effect they had on your life. You
are not just writing words on paper, you are effectively eliminating all these negative thoughts
from your mind, and with them goes all that negativity that came with them.

Get a Hobby
Have you always wanted to learn to play the piano, the guitar, ukulele, or any other kind of
musical instrument, why not try learning today? Do you want to get good at drawing,
calligraphy, or painting? Attend classes or watch online video tutorials. You can also play your
favorite video games for an hour or so. Having a hobby not only gives you a creative outlet, they
also provide you with a way to create something with your hands, it also allows you to think
individually, and most importantly, hobbies provide you with an escape from your negative
thoughts.

Whenever you feel as if your thoughts are starting to overwhelming you, whip out your hobby
kit, and immerse yourself in the activity. Lose yourself in the skills, coordination, concentration,
and repetition that your hobby requires you to do. Focus your mind on the comfort or challenge
brought about by your chosen hobby, and allow it to chase away all of the worries that used to
trigger your overthinking.
Chapter 3: Practicing Mindfulness
 

There is a lot to gain from taking a breath of fresh air outside in a park or reading a book rather
than inundating your mind with pointless and depressing social media and news feeds. You’ve
addressed the negative influences in your life, from magazines to friends, and you’re starting to
feel like a new person ready to realize your dreams. I also hope you’ve learned something about
your chosen occupation or career path and, though this is probably the hardest area to make
changes, I hope that you’ve either reaffirmed your joy and satisfaction with your current job
situation or have taken steps towards finding a new path that is specific to your skills and what
makes you happy.

The skill I’d like to introduce in this chapter is all about mindfulness. There are three forms of
mindfulness I would like to discuss, though they are all closely related and are a part of each
other. Mostly, I want to mention all three because they are often interchangeable, and if you do
not recognize one, I’m sure you will have heard of another. They are mindfulness, meditation,
and positive thinking.

Now, it’s true that you may think positive thinking is not the same as mindfulness and
meditation, but in a lot of ways, I do consider positive thinking to be a form of meditation and I
will explain in a bit. First, let’s define mindfulness a little more clearly.

What is mindfulness?
 

When I say the word “mindfulness,” many people often think automatically of the phrase
“paying attention.” If this is what you thought of, you’re not wrong! Paying attention to what
you’re doing, your environment, and how you’re feeling is an important part of practicing
mindfulness. But it does go deeper than just paying attention, and for most, it is more difficult
than it sounds.

 
 

Mindfulness is a practice of being present, not just for a minute or two, but throughout the day,
every day, over the course of your life. The goal is to maintain mindfulness all the time, though
we all accept that we are not computers or robots and there will be times when we lose focus or
our minds fill up with other emotions and feelings that take us away in reaction to life events. A
parallel can be drawn with a religious mindset. In the Christian mindset, followers accept that
they are human and will make mistakes, while at the same time doing their best each day to
maintain a sinless, righteous, and faithful existence. Just because we know we will make
mistakes; doesn’t mean we don’t try. And this is why the long-term effects emotionally,
spiritually, physically, and emotionally are well worth our efforts. So, let’s look at what
mindfulness has to offer us and then we’ll learn how you can integrate the practice into your own
life.

Think about how you feel after you successfully banish a needless or hurtful thought and replace
it with a new, positive one. It makes you feel good, right? And it also gives you a sense of
clarity, like a big mess has just been cleaned up from the floor of your mind. The same thing
happens when we learn to practice mindfulness. Only with mindfulness, there is a bonus.

 
Practicing mindfulness consistently leads to a feeling of potential, of hope, and of looking
forward with a fresh pair of eyes. You are moving forward with a clear mind and you are taking
stock of each second that passes you by. So, when I talk about a feeling of potential and looking
forward, I’m not talking about looking forward to the next day or weekend or month. I’m talking
about moving forward, step by step, minute by minute, feeling and seeing everything around you
and feeling each moment as it passes. There is a feeling of happiness and satisfaction that
follows because you are getting rid of the thoughts that have no use for you in this moment. And
your mind is thanking you.

Your heart and soul are thanking you. There is so much to sense and be grateful for here and
now. Mindfulness is all about bringing in your perspective to these close quarters, small-scale
way of thinking, and in the process, the whole world opens up to you.

So, how do you start practicing mindfulness? Well, the biggest task here is going to be honing
the skill of focus. But there’s good news. If you’ve been able to practice the interruption
technique and replace your negative thoughts and emotions with positive ones, then you’ve
already done a lot to cultivate this skill. Focus comes from the mental effort of sharpening your
thinking and scaling it down to a single task without letting your mind wander all over the place
to things that are not helping you perform that task. You don’t want to fall into the trap of trying
so hard that this exercise becomes a chore and a source of worry for you. Everyone who is new
and first being introduced to mindfulness is going to move forward and improve at a different
pace because we are unique human beings. And that’s perfectly ok. As with everything else in
this book, the key is to take small steps at a time.

A good exercise in practicing mindfulness is simply to go outside and experience nature. Go to


an area of a park that is generally quiet and take a seat at a bench or a picnic table. Take a few
deep breaths and quiet your mind. Give yourself a minute or two to accomplish this. While you
begin focusing your mind, listen to the sounds going on around you, the dogs barking, or the
wind blowing through the trees. Feel the breeze on your face or the heat from the sun beating
down on you. Feel your body in space. Make sure you are sitting in a comfortable position. Close
your eyes as you begin. Then, as you start to appreciate and focus only on what’s around you,
slowly open your eyes. Look around and take in what you see without forming thoughts around
them. Again, this may not come naturally, but gradually with practice. Appreciate the beauty
around you, whatever it is you see. If you don’t have a nice park to go to, you can do the same
exercise in your own backyard or neighborhood. Listen to the birds or the kids playing down the
street. Try to focus only on sensations without forming thoughts about them or letting your mind
wander. As you make time to practice mindfulness just for a few minutes each day, you will start
to notice that it is getting easier the more you practice.

What is meditation?
 

A discussion on mindfulness follows naturally into a discussion of meditation because they are
closely related. To me, they are part of each other while indicating different practices.

Meditation, for many people, translates to practicing mindfulness throughout each and every day.
To others, meditation means a dedicated space of time each day or week that is used for formal
meditation practice from a specific school of thought or philosophy. For example, Zen
Buddhism. I will mention a few different styles of meditation but will be discussing Zen in
particular because it is the form with which I am most familiar.

The same exercises you’ve practiced in nature can be applied to a practice of meditation. Since
most people associate meditation with the image of sitting in a quiet room with your eyes closed,
let’s look at how you can start practicing meditation in your own home by following a few
simple steps.

Depending on your physical ability, find a comfortable position where you can sit with your back
relatively straight. Your arms should be relaxed at your sides, and your neck should not be
strained. A simple Google search will go through the more formal sitting structure if you are
interested in this, but for right now, we will take a casual approach to the physical technique and
focus more on what’s going on inside your mind.

 
 

When we discussed mindfulness, we talked about sensing the world around you and
concentrating only on what is happening to you in the moment. Meditation is similar, except that,
in the discipline of Zen meditation, the goal is not to restrict one’s thoughts, but instead to resist
sticking to individual thoughts as they enter and exit your mind. The core emphasis is still to
focus on the present, but the philosophy of Zen is to not restrict the mind but to instead free the
mind and let it remain fluid while returning consistently to the present experience.

To illustrate this, have you ever caught yourself or a friend has caught you zoning out, staring
blankly in front of you, while your mind drifts and starts to have a dialogue with itself regarding
something you said yesterday or something embarrassing you might have done years ago? The
thought process has taken you completely out of the present, and now you are lost in a replay of
moments that have already happened, things that cannot be changed. But still, you dwell on those
moments as mistakes and worry about what people think about you, while in reality, they
probably don’t even remember those insignificant events. Sound familiar? We all do it. The
ultimate goal in meditation is to avoid those sticky thoughts that try their best to take us out of
the present and into the past or the future—spaces that either cannot be changed or that we
cannot predict. The brain likes to know things and form patterns in an effort to predict and make
sense of our lives. But we can get wrapped up in this to the point that we miss life as it is
happening in the present.

Zen is all about acknowledging the wandering nature of the mind but also accepting the core
principle of impermanence—everything changes, even the thoughts in your mind. Dwelling on a
single thought or feeling or emotion is useless and irrelevant in an impermanent world and will
only hold you at a standstill.

Just “pay attention.” Look around, feel yourself in space, listen, appreciate. That’s really all you
need to focus on to get started. As with all of these positive habits, you will soon form a new
addiction to the positivity that mindfulness offers. After this point, meditation will follow
naturally.

As I mentioned, meditation can take many forms and you should not feel like there is one right
way to meditate. Many practice mindfulness and meditation through movement to music called
dance meditation. Other people, including Zen Buddhist monks, practice “walking meditation.”
Movement often helps regulate and soothe the mind as we introduce patterns of movement that
flow just like the free-flowing of our thoughts. Whatever your style and preference, just
remember why you’re practicing in the first place, and there is no “doing it wrong.”

 
Chapter 4: Negative Thinking

What causes negative thinking?

Have you ever wondered, “Why am I so negative?” Or perhaps a loved one has told you, “You
need to look on the bright side more often.” Where does negative thinking stem from? Why do
some people look at life as a glass half full while others see it as half empty? Is it nature or
nurture?

It’s become a commonly accepted idea that we are born with our own natural happiness set
point. This is the level of happiness that we experience regardless of what is happening in our
lives; whether everything is going well or we are experiencing challenges, our happiness set
point remains generally the same. In fact, it’s been shown that even when people experience a
significant positive event like winning the lottery or a significant negative event like a serious
medical diagnosis, their happiness set point returns to its baseline after about a year (Bloom,
2017). If people have happiness set points, it stands to reason that we also have our own
individual levels of positivity and negativity. So, it may be the case that some people are just
more predisposed to negative thinking than others. This is the nature side of the coin.

Our early childhood experiences also impact our personalities, mindsets, and worldviews. If you
were raised in a household where negative thinking was prevalent, you likely learned some of the
same behaviors. Perhaps you had an overly critical parent, causing you to compare and judge
yourself harshly later in life. A parent who frequently expressed pessimistic thoughts may have
taught you that the world is harsh or that the cards are stacked against you. More traumatic
childhood experiences, such as neglect or abandonment, can lead to negative thinking patterns as
well. Someone who suffered early trauma may engage in worst case scenario thinking, finding it
hard to trust other people or take their word. Clearly, nurture plays as large a part as nature in
determining whether you will be plagued by negative thinking.

A pattern of negative thinking can also be caused by stressful life events beyond childhood. The
end of a relationship, the loss of a job, or a health scare can all spark negative thoughts which if
not addressed can soon spiral out of control into habitual pessimistic thinking. Negative thinking
functions like a feedback loop: the more we focus our attention on what’s going wrong in our
lives or in the world, the worse we feel. And the worse we feel, the harder it will be to have a
positive attitude. It becomes a vicious cycle and those grooves of negativity in our mental track
just get deeper and deeper.

For some people, negative thinking can even develop into an addiction. People for whom
negativity becomes an addiction derive a sort of pleasure from the habit. As mentioned earlier,
pessimistic thoughts can be used as a way to validate a person’s worldview. Similarly, negative
thoughts can be used to cement a person’s identity (“I’m always a victim”) or to try to make
sense of or control the world around them (“People are just bad, that’s all there is to it.”) (Colier,
2019).

So much for how the habit of negative thinking can develop. Where do the specific negative
thoughts themselves come from? If you begin to pay attention to the content of your negative
thoughts, you’ll notice that they fall into one of two camps: anxiety or fear about the future or
guilt or anger about the past. We all experience these feelings from time to time, but habitual
negative thinkers dwell on the past or the future and find it hard or even impossible to let their
thoughts go and focus on the present.

For many people, negative thinking crops up in specific situations or with specific people. You
may experience negative thinking in the form of social anxiety. Perhaps you worry that people
won’t like you or are talking about you behind your back in social settings; you might also find
yourself constantly comparing yourself to others or judging them harshly. Some people are
plagued by negative thinking in their work environments; they might complain constantly about
their boss, their coworkers, or their customers, or demand perfection from themselves and others.
Negativity can crop up at home as well. Perhaps you find yourself constantly criticizing your
family members; you might also be consumed with worry about the health and well-being of
your family or feel like you need to “do it all” yourself and thus make yourself a martyr. Your
negativity could center on your body image and looks, your finances, or politics and the general
state of the world.

How to Deal with and Eliminate Negative Thinking


The problem with negativity is you’re not the only one affected by it. Everyone around you is
too. It affects your family, your relationships, your colleagues, your friends, and anyone you
interact with frequently. Those who cultivate a negative lifestyle are always guaranteed to
experience more stress and illnesses because their bodies are affected by it. They are bound to
experience fewer opportunities in life too. Even when opportunities do come knocking, they
rarely get answered. Negativity produces all sorts of excuses and not enough action. 

 
It’s going to take a great deal of effort to overcome negativity. Positive and negative thoughts are
two forces that exist within us all. They’ll constantly be battling for your attention, and if you
want to become someone who’s positive, you’re going to have to find the willpower you need to
channel your energy towards positivity. The stronger force will be the one that wins out at the
end of the day. 

Getting rid of negativity is a challenge, and you need to be mentally prepared for that right from
the start. Beginning this process with the assumption that is going to be easy enough or that
results are going to happen overnight is only setting yourself up for disappointment. Patience is a
necessity that you carry out the following steps to eliminate negativity from your life:

 
 Creating Some Distance - Start creating distance between anything negative that
exists in your life right now. Like breaking up from a bad relationship, you must
begin separating yourself bit by bit by trimming out any element in your life
that is not doing you any favors. Stay away from negative people and influences
so they don’t have a chance to fester in your mind. There’s no exception to this
rule, not even people. Toxic individuals are now the people you need to stay
away from. If they happen to be family members you can’t exactly cut ties with,
choose to spend as little time as possible in their presence. Anyone who is
contributing to your negativity is someone you must distance yourself from. 
 

 Watch Your Feelings - During the moments where you’ve got no choice but to be
around toxic family members, watch your feelings when you’re around them. As
soon as you notice that your mood is swinging towards the negative side, excuse
yourself and walk away before your emotion starts to get out of control. You
don’t have to feel bad about it either. Chances are you’re not the only one in
your family who feels this way. 
 

 Don’t Feel Guilty - This is your life and you owe it to yourself to put your
happiness first. You don’t need to feel bad or guilty about choosing to remove
the toxic people from your life. No one should have the power to stop you from
being happy. Doing what is best for you can be the best thing you end up doing.
Leave the guilt at the door; there’s nothing wrong with wanting to put your best
interest first.
 
 Avoid Arguing - You’ll never win an argument with negative people. The only
guaranteed outcome is you’re going to end up even more miserable than when
you started. Another reason why you need to work on eliminating the toxic
people from your life is that you’ll get drawn into their unnecessary drama.
Minimize the time you spend with them and if they try to draw you into their
arguments, walk away.  
 

 Positive Replacement - Positive thoughts and negative thoughts are like yin and
yang. For every negative thought that your mind can churn out, there’s a
positive counter to it. All you need to do now is replace those negative thoughts
with positive ones. 
 

 Thought Pattern Recognition - There’s a pattern that indicates when you’re


starting to fall into a negative pattern of thought. The indicator is when your
beliefs start to become black and white with no grey area or middle ground.
Other indicators include when you start catastrophizing, overgeneralizing or
making predictions about the future, none of which are optimistic. 
 

 Put A Stop to Complaining - It’s not going to get you anywhere. Complaining
doesn’t change the situation, it doesn’t fix it and it doesn’t offer any long-term
solution. The more you complain, the worse you feel. It’s not productive and this
is one toxic element you need to commit to stopping. 
 

 Avoid Gossiping - Another bad habit that breeds negativity is gossip. It’s toxic
behavior, and the things that are said could cause some serious damage. Toxic
individuals thrive on this activity because misery loves company. 
 

 Stop Assumptions - Trying to assume or read someone else’s mind is only


feeding into the fears and anxieties that exist in your mind. When you assume
without looking at the facts, you’re feeding into your sense of panic. When you
panic, emotions get out of control and this rarely means you’re focusing on the
positive. Never assume, but instead try to look at the facts in front of you. 
 
Chapter 5: Coping with Worrying
 
Worry is the interest you pay in advance for the loan you may never take out.
Do you always have to deal constantly with worries and anxiety? Here are some useful tips to
help ease your anxiety and calm your troubled mind.        
How much is too much?
It is very normal to experience worries, anxiety and doubts in daily life. It is our reaction to it
which makes the greatest difference in our lives. It's very natural to get worked up about a first
date, an upcoming interview, or an unpaid bill. Becoming frequently worried becomes
overwhelming when it is uncontrollable and persistent. If every day you become worked up by
picture all of the negative things that might happen to you, you are letting anxious thoughts
interfere with your life and well-being.    

Negative thoughts, incessant worrying, and constantly expecting poor outcomes will have a
negative effect on your physical and emotional well-being. It gradually weakens you
emotionally, taking your strength and leaving you restless and nervous, with headaches,
insomnia, muscle tension and stomach problems. 

The effect of this on your personal life, your concentration at school and work cannot be
overemphasized. For some people, it's easier to take out their frustration on your loved ones and
people closest to them, take alcohol or drugs or try to distract themselves by tuning out from
everything.

Chronic anxiety and worry is a sign of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), a disorder that
causes restlessness, nervousness and tension, together with a feeling of unease which can take
over your life.    

If you feel burdened by tension and worries, you can take a few steps to take your mind off
anxious thoughts. Over time, worrying constantly becomes a problem. It becomes a mental habit
when prolonged and is very difficult to break. Train your brain to be calm and think only positive
thoughts, and change your outlook on life to a more relaxed and confident perspective.       

Why is it so hard to quit worrying?      


Worrying constantly does nothing but affect your life negatively. It keeps you up at bedtime and
makes you edgy and tense in the daytime. You may detest the feeling of being nervous and
confused, but it's very difficult to stop worrying. Beliefs about worrying, either positive or
negative, fuel this nervousness further and may cause additional anxious thoughts in chronic
worriers.            

Negative Beliefs About Worrying


Most people believe that getting worried constantly is very harmful to your health and can drive
you nuts. You may be worried about losing control over your thoughts and worries, fearing that
they'll consume you and never stop. Negative beliefs about worrying may further fuel your
anxiety, but positive beliefs about worrying can do as much harm. 

     

Positive Beliefs About Worrying


You may believe, either consciously or unconsciously, that you can prevent bad things from
happening to you, prepare for the worst and foster solutions. Probably, you keep convincing
yourself that by worrying about a particular thing for a long time, you'll be able to figure it out
eventually. 

If you're convinced that getting worried is the most responsible thing to do in such a situation
and the only way to avoid overlooking anything, it's even more difficult to break the habit. When
you come to the realization that worrying is not the solution but the problem itself, you will be
capable of gaining control of your mind.       

How to Quit Worrying

Tip 1: Choose a Short Period Each Day to Worry  


It can be quite difficult to be productive when your thoughts are consumed by worry and anxiety,
distracting your attention from school, work, or your family. In this case, the strategy of putting
off worrying can actually do a lot of good.  Instead of getting rid of these thoughts, grant yourself
permission to have these thoughts later on in your day.     

Dedicate a period for worry each day. Set up a time and place to think of things that bother you.
It should be at the same time every day (for example, 6 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. in the bedroom).
Choosing a timeframe that won't affect your bedtime and or create additional anxiety in your life.
During this period, you can worry about whatever you want. The rest of the day should be
classified as worry-free. 

Put down your worries in writing. When you find yourself thinking anxious or worrying
thoughts, simply note them briefly and continue with your daily activities. Always remind
yourself that there's time for you to think about it later; there is no need to get worked up about
them now. 

Take a look at your worry list during your scheduled worry period. If your thoughts still bother
you, let yourself think about those things, but only for your specified worry period. You'll notice
that, as you examine your worries in this manner, it's easier to establish a more balanced outlook
to worrying. If, at this point, your worries don't seem as important as they used to, simply reduce
the length of your worry period and enjoy your day to the fullest.     

Tip 2: Challenge Anxious Thoughts


The way that you look at the world may be altered a bit if you are a chronic worrier and thinker.
It changes everything, and you may tend to feel threatened. For instance, you picture only a
worst-case scenario, and you assume the worst or handle your anxious thoughts as if they were
facts. 

As a result, you may not feel secure enough to tackle daily challenges head- on; you may assume
that you'll lose it at the slightest sign of trouble. Such thoughts, also known as cognitive
distortions, include: “All-or-nothing” thinking, having a black-and-white perspective, concluding
that “If it isn't perfect, then I'm a complete failure”, or “I wasn't hired for this job; I'll never get
any job again”. You may make a generalization from just one negative experience and expect it
to be true forever. Life doesn't work that way.        

You may notice only the things that went wrong in your day, instead of things that went well,
resulting in thoughts such as: “I didn't get the last test question; I'm stupid, and I can’t do
anything right.”. You may attribute positive events to sheer luck, rather than your own ability to
create positive outcomes.       

You may take your assumptions for facts. You may make yourself a mind- reader or fortune
teller with thoughts like: “I just know something bad will happen” or “I know she secretly hates
me”. This creates bad energy. Without faith, your mind may automatically jump to worst-case
scenarios, such as: “The plane is experiencing turbulence; it's going to crash”. You may take
your thoughts for reality: “I feel so stupid; I'm the laughingstock now.”            
You may make a list of your dos and don'ts and beat yourself up when you default on any of the
rules, with thoughts such as, “I shouldn't have gone there. Now I look like such a fool”. You may
label yourself based on your shortcomings and mistakes, with thoughts such as, “I can't do
anything right; I should be a loner”. You may take responsibility for things that are beyond your
control, thinking: “It’s my fault my son died. I shouldn't have left him alone by the pool.”    
Challenging These Thoughts
Try this out. Challenge these negative thoughts during your worry period, and ask yourself these
questions:         

 What evidence proves that these thoughts are valid or not?  

 Is there a better way to look at this situation? A better and more positive
way?     

 What are the chances of my fears becoming a reality? What are the
probabilities? What are some likely outcomes in this situation?  

 Are these thoughts helpful? How do they affect me? Do they help me or hurt
me?        

 What's my advice to a friend who has been in a similar situation?      

Tip 3: Differentiate the Solvable Worries from the Unsolvable Worries


Studies have shown that you experience less anxiety when you worry. While you think about the
problem in your head, you're distracted from your emotions for a while and feel like you're
actually solving a problem; in reality, getting worried and problem-solving are two different
things altogether.  

By problem-solving, you are examining a situation, thinking of solid ways to deal with it, and
putting these plans into action. On the other hand, worrying seldom leads to any solutions. The
more time that you spend thinking of worst-case scenarios, the less prepared that you are to
handle them if they actually happen. That's the simple truth.        
Is your worry solvable?
There are different types of worries; some have solutions, while others don't. Solvable worries
are those that you can act to resolve instantly. For instance, when you're preoccupied with your
debts, you can call a friend or relative to settle your debts, with the option to repay them later. 
This type of worry can also be described as productive worry. On the other hand, those worries
that do not have a corresponding action can be characterized as unsolvable problems; for
instance, thoughts like: What if I get leukemia someday? What if my family gets involved in an
accident?

In a situation where you can take action about the thing getting you worried, begin to look for
solutions. Compile a list of all the ways you feel that you can solve your worry. Don't get caught
in searching for the one perfect answer to the problem. 

Concentrate on those things within your reach that can be changed instead of brooding over
situations that are out of reach. After deciding upon the solution that will solve your problem,
develop an action plan. Immediately you set out to address your fear; you will be less worried. 

On the other hand, when the worry is not something you can solve, make peace with yourself by
being at ease with the uncertainty. For people who worry excessively, many of their fears tend to
be along these lines. People tend to worry when they are trying to anticipate the future, and this
is done to feel more in control and prevent potential problems. 

However, the bitter truth is that worrying doesn't solve anything; life is occasionally
unpredictable. So why not enjoy your life now instead of being engrossed in unpleasant things
that have not taken place? 

Most people long for inner peace: the feeling that everything is, and will be, all right. But
sometimes, we worry, develop fears, and ponder the same things over and over without finding a
way out.

The tragic thing is that, of course, we know rationally that the upcoming test is not a life-and-
death situation. Our child is probably not lying in the ditch just because he/she does not call at
the agreed-upon time. Our dull headache is probably harmless and not the symptom of a brain
tumor.

But when our anxiety rises, we think in circles or worry about failing, and we lose that realistic
perspective. We are like under a "black cloud". Then we can only imagine all that has happened
or is going to happen. We only see what is going wrong in our lives, family, company, and in the
world. These thoughts are, in fact, only thoughts — but we lose our perspective. 

Do you imagine disastrous, unpredictable things might occur? What is the possibility that these
things will actually happen? Even when the probability that bad things will happen is low, do
you still worry over the little chance that something terrible will occur?
Tune into your emotions and thoughts and observe them. You can overcome your worries by
observing your feelings and thoughts while staying rooted in the present moment. Find out from
your loved ones how they combat their uncertainty about things. Can you follow their strategies
to overcome your worries?

Tip 4: Interrupt the Worry Cycle


Answer the following questions:

 What am I worried about?

 What possible solutions exist?

 Which solution should I choose?

 How and when do I implement the solution?

Just writing down your worries can provide you with some relief. If you then also write down
different solutions, you will see your fears in a different light. You will adopt the observer
perspective and will be able to think more logically about what you can do.

Meditate. Meditation helps to alleviate daily worries by shifting our attention. We focus only on
the here and now and can leave the concerns of the past or future behind. Similarly, meditation
can also help us observe ourselves and understand our negative thought patterns. We only need
to find a comfortable, quiet place and focus carefully on our breathing. Various studies have
shown that meditating not only helps to ease worries but can also reduce stress and anxiety.

Practice progressive muscle relaxation. Sports and exercise also promote relaxation and sleep.
They also help to distract us from our everyday worries and promote our self-esteem and well-
being. This confidence will make it easier for us to address our worries head-on. Also,
researchers claim that exercise can reduce not only anxiety but also improve our emotional well-
being and energy. Many scientists believe that physical activity can significantly reduce
depression.

Tip 5: Talk about your worries.


One way to worry less is to talk to our closest friends about what is bothering us. When we are
worried, friends can help us to alleviate our fears and see things from a different perspective.
They can help us to look at the problem from the outside. Then, we can often find a solution or
come to realize that it's not as bad a problem as we feared. When they listen without judgment or
criticism and pay attention to what we say, their empathy can help us to feel calmer and more
relaxed.

Having someone listen to us with empathy is essential to make us feel better. Even professional
help is very beneficial, in some cases, if you cannot find a way out yourself. 

Tip 6: Practice Mindfulness


Most people think of mindfulness as sitting quietly with their eyes closed, breathing deeply in a
meditative state. However, meditation is just one example of mindfulness. Mindfulness is an
exercise that does not isolate you from your current environment but makes you more aware of
the situation where you find yourself; it is the practice of unbiased awareness.

Mindfulness is the experience of being in the present. You accept things as they are, without
judging whether they are positive or negative or how they should be. If you are mindful, with all
of your five senses, you are open to the world as it is, without distraction and reflection on the
past or fears about the future. Being mindful means experiencing the present with a beginner's
spirit, as if you were experiencing it for the first time.

Acknowledge and observe your worries. Instead of trying to get over your fears, watch your
thoughts like a stranger without passing judgment. Stay focused on the present moment. Avoid
getting lost in your thoughts and concentrate on the feelings and thoughts that cross through your
mind. And, in the event that you get lost in your thoughts, bring your attention back to your
current environment.

Repeat daily. Ensure you continuously practice mindfulness to be at ease with yourself.

How to Practice Basic Mindfulness Meditation

Create a suitable place.


It is ideal if you have a designated area for mediation. After some time, your mind switches to
relaxation mode whenever you enter that area. A suitable meditation place should be nicely
furnished. If you do not want to set up a permanent location, it is sufficient to use a specific mat
or pillow every time you meditate. Meditating in a particular spot will often do you a lot of good.
 

Wear comfortable clothes.


Nothing is more annoying than a pinching waistband or too-tight collar during meditation. Such
small disturbing factors detract from the calming power of meditation and are really unpleasant.
Therefore, make sure you wear comfortable clothing that does not restrict you. It should also
match the temperature so that you will not feel cold even if you stay motionless for a while.

Eliminate distractions.
During your exercise, you should not be disturbed. Therefore, tell your family members that you
would prefer to be left alone for the moment or choose a time when you are alone in the house.
Turn off your cell phone or put it in another room where you cannot hear it. Ideally, you also
turn off the doorbell. Then you can start your meditation exercise undisturbed.

Choose a meditation posture.


The typical meditation posture is a variation of the cross-legged position. It does not have to be
that way; you can, for example, sit on a chair or kneel on the floor with a meditation cushion. 

Even when lying down, meditation is quite possible, but there is a risk that you may fall asleep
quickly, which is, of course, not the point of meditation. When sitting or kneeling, make sure that
your back is as straight and upright as possible.

Start with short meditation sessions.


Hours of meditation are hardly feasible at the beginning and usually very unpleasant for
inexperienced meditators. Such a long duration is unnecessary. Units of five or ten minutes are
enough to start with.

Turn off your thoughts.


Almost all meditations are about calming your thoughts. What sounds so simple can be very
difficult. In the beginning, you will probably catch yourself becoming distracted by your
thoughts. This is completely normal. You mustn't get angry; you will just become more
distracted. Put the thought away lovingly, and return to your exercise. Gradually, it will become
easier for you.
Practice regularly.
As with many other things, meditation requires regular exercise. The more you meditate, the
easier it will be for you, and the more deeply relaxed that you will become. It would be ideal to
practice daily; however, two to three training sessions per week is also great.
Chapter 6: How to Remove Negative Influences
 

When lots of people hear about the phrase negative influence, they assume it has to do with
drugs, alcohol, or other social vices. However, the phrase negative influence is more than social
vices. Negative influence implies those bad influences that push you into making bad decisions.
For example, you can be influenced into thinking bad about yourself. This will lead to low self-
esteem. You can also be affected to think a negative thought about your life or your job. This
could lead to suicide if not curtailed fast. Negative influence doesn’t stop at having negative
thoughts or suggestions; it can lead to negative habits as well.

Getting rid of removing negative influence can be a daunting challenge. Your task removing
negative influence can be made more difficult if people with negative habits surround you. 

Furthermore, these individuals will remind you of your negative habits and forced to indulge in
them even when you are trying to remove them. However, all hope is not lost. All you need is
commitment and perseverance, and you will be able to remove negative influence, turn things
around and begin to leave your life with more positivity.

The first step to take if you want to remove negative influence is to change the people you spend
time with. The next thing is to make adjustments to the way you spend your time. These changes
will help you find peace and joy in your life.

The next thing we shall discuss in this chapter is the various steps you need to take to remove the
negative influence of your life.

What you must know is that the greatest negative influence you haveis associating with negative
people. They are pessimists and will use this pessimism to demoralize you. They waste your time
on unimportant tasks and criticize you to the core, if you don’t are not in line with them.
Negative people destroys you gradually till you are completely damaged. By being damaged,
you result in alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, etc. When they notice you have become worthless, they
abandon you.
 

The very first step you should take in removing negative people is by identifying them. Where
do you see negative people? Are they in your school, work place, etc. Recognizing a problem is
the first step to solving it. As an individual who wants to get rid of negative influence, you need
to identify the negative people around you. This may include negative people you associate with
in the office, school if you are a student, or at home if you are not living alone.

To help you identify these individuals, look at the role of your friends in your life. Do you have
friends at work or home who make you late for work, squander your time on frivolous activities?
They can also make you feel bad about your achievements and growth. These are negative
influences, and if you have such friends, it is time to make new ones.

As a student, if you have friends in school who regularly give you negative vibes by making
negative comments about feeling alone or make you feel sad with their comments such 'your not
unique.' 'you're not intelligent.' If you want to remove negative influence in your life, you need to
stay away from these people. Make new friends who will make you feel good about yourself.

The next place you should look at to identify negative influence is in your home, assuming you
don't stay alone. It possible to have family members or roommates who influence you negatively.
To recognize their role at home, look out for family members who make you question who you
are and your identity. Look out for statements like ' you are so dumb, when are you going to
grow up' people who make such statements about you or to you at home are a negative influence
on your life. This is because they make you feel resentful towards your life. They create doubt in
your mind about who you really are. They also destroy your self-esteem gradually until you
begin to feel worthless.
 

How to Handle Negative Influences


 

Having identified those who bring negative influence into your life, the next logical question you
should ask yourself is "how do I handle these individuals that influence me negatively?".
 

We have highlighted some steps below to help you handle negative influences.

Spend less time with negative individuals


 

As soon as you successfully identify negative people in your life, you should take steps to avoid
them. It doesn’t matter where the negative person is. Put some distance between you and them.
This will give time to think about yourself and rediscover yourself without them being around to
distract you.

You can distance yourself from negative people by reducing the amount of time you spend on
the phone with them if they are a bit far from you. You can also avoid having a one- on -one
conversation with them. Have positive friends around you when you want to talk to them so they
can see what positive thinking is all about.

When you want to go out shopping or maybe dinner, rather than being alone with your cynical
friend, invite other friends to join you guys. This will stop you from being left alone with your
cynical friend.

You are in control of your time. No one else is. Don’t allow a negative person to dictate how you
spend your time. They are energy drainers. A time that is wasted is a time that can’t be
recovered. So, spend your time wisely. They will never contribute anything meaningful to your
life, other than push you to join them in whining away your precious time. Spending one hour
with a negative person will make you lose three hours of your time. Hours that could have been
put into some positive use. Don’t allow negative people to waste your time. When you allow
them into your life, you are doomed. Instead of listening to whatever they have to say, distract
yourself with some fun activities. Listen to music, take a stroll, or better still, just excuse
yourself.
 
Build Boundaries Between You and the Source of Your Negative Influence
 
To remove negative influence on your life, set boundaries between you and the source of the
negative influence. Building boundaries will make you feel safe and in control around a negative
influence. While setting up boundaries may be useful in handling certain individuals, you may
discover that some will try to infringe on these boundaries. Try to maintain your limits as much
as possible even when you feel it has been encroach upon. Building boundaries to keep out
negative influence is essential, especially when your negative influence is the type you can't cut
off completely. An example is your boss, your parents, or siblings. Setting up boundaries will
limit their effect on your life and help you cope with their presence without any form of conflict
and live with them out of necessity.

To avoid being contagious, keep anything that could influence you negatively and that includes
negative people. It’s critical that you keep them at arm’s length. When in a group hangout, learn
to be concise and talk less. Being wordy with details will only exploit you and you could end up
talking about the things you aren’t meant to talk about.
 
Display a Positive Attitude With a Negative Person
 

Negative people can't be avoided completely, and we have said that already in this chapter.
However, to handle or diffuse their negativity, you should show them a positive response when
they show their negative attitude. Recover your positive attitude by balancing out their negative
displays with your positive one.

For example, when your negative friend says that no one cares about you, say that your friends
or family love you very much. If they make a bad comment about something or someone,
counter their statement by saying how vital the thing is or how generous the individual they tried
to put down is. Canceling they negative words with your positive response will nullify their
negative influence on you and address their negativity openly and proactively.
 
Stop Negative Talk/ Thought About Yourself
 

Negative self-talk is as damaging as negative habits. You can engage in negative talk but only
focusing on the bad things happening in your life rather than the good ones. Negative talk can
also apply to the way you think about yourself. For example, a night of hangout may be canceled
by your pals. Rather than letting it go, you begin to tell yourself that it was canceled because of
you. You use words like 'no one likes me that is why they don’t want to hang out with me'.
Another example can be something like this. After having a very productive day at work, you
come home rather than being happy about your day; you begin to tell yourself how much work
you couldn't get done.

Furthermore, negative talk means that you have a narrow-minded view of the world around you.
When things are not working out for you and every turn, so there is no possible positive outcome
in sight, which means that you have a feeling of imminent disaster coming your way.

If you engage in this type of talk about yourself, it is time you put an end to it, or you won’t
remove negative influence from your family and life.
 
Turn Negative Talk To Positive Ones
 

If you want to remove negative influence, you need to turn negative talk about yourself to
positive ones. The power of the mind is crucial to the way you see yourself. Negative thoughts
lead to negative speech, and negative talk leads to negative influence. You can change all that
but having positive thoughts about yourself and, in turn, have a positive talk about yourself.

Start by evaluating any negative thought that comes into your mind. After evaluation, give a
positive response to that particular negative thought. Make use of positive responses like ' I can
do better than I did yesterday.' Make use of the ' can and will' phrase to dispel any negative
thought that comes to your mind. Remember, you are what you think of yourself. Change must
come from within before it can manifest outwards. Start your day every day with a positive
affirmation of yourself. With consistency in your part, you will remove negative influence in no
time from every area of your life.

Be Yourself
 
Its easy to impress someone or look good for someone, but it’s not always wise. The simple fact
is you can’t always satisfy everyone. Instead of making yourself look good for others, why not
focus on making yourself happy? Don’t to impress anyone, let alone a negative person. Be
yourself and spend quality time trying to figure out the things that make you happy.Spend time
with people that will accept who you are and what you stand for. Don’t pursue the wrong thing.

Determine Your Attitude


 

A person associating with a negative person does so at his/her own peril. They are toxic and
introduce toxicity into your life. You don’t have the will power to make your own decisions
because you are surrounded by pessimists.

Don’t allow negative people to dictate how you should respond or how your mood should be.
You are yourself and in control of whatever that’s happening to you. Choose how you want to
behave. Choose how you want to be. Decide how you run your life because it’s yours and no one
else’s.

Negative people can bring out the worst in you. It’s quite normal. What’s more important is how
you let this negativity control you. Do not let your emotions get the better part of you. Determine
your state of reaction. If you find yourself in negative situations, learn to control your emotions.
 
Reduce Negative Habits
 

You can't get rid of or remove negative influence if you don't remove negative habits first. These
negative habits, like smoking, heavy drinking, and regular partying, could make you feel good
momentarily, but they have a lasting negative impact on your dreams and aspirations. They
generally leave you with a wicked hangover and a negative feeling in the morning. This negative
feeling in the morning will cause time mismanagement. Time mismanagement means that you
won’t have enough time during the day to pursue your dreams and engage in those activities that
will facilitate your career development.

 
Stopping all your negative habits will be a good way to handle negative influences in your life.
Still, from experience, I know it will be difficult to stop all bad habits suddenly, so I suggest
cutting back on your negative habits. This will go a long way to removing negative influence in
your life. For example, rather than go out every night after work to the bar for a couple of drinks
that usually lead to one too many, cut it back to once or twice a week.

Some people give the excuse of being stressed as the reason they drink every night. You can
handle your stress by engaging in healthy activities like evening runs around your neighborhood.
If you’re not fond of running, you can get a bicycle and cycle around your neighborhood as well.
You will feel less stressed after engaging in any of these activities. You might as well have
friends over once or twice a week and cook for them. Social interaction is one good way to get
rid of stress.
 
Have a Positive Lifestyle
 

You can get rid of negative influence by leaving a positive lifestyle. You can start by having
healthy meals. Healthy meals should include a large portion of self made meals and less junk. A
balanced diet of protein, vegetables, and fruits, as well as milk, should be part of your meals.
Remember to drink adequate water as well to stay hydrated. Cut down or soda or possibly avoid
it completely as well as other sugary drinks.

The next part of your positive lifestyle should be to get sufficient sleep. This is one thing most
people don’t pay much attention to but, a sufficient amount of sleep every day plays a role in
your mood and how you feel about yourself. When you get a sufficient amount of sleep, you
won’t get exhausted before the day even begin and you will be in a good mood. In the current
economy, it is easy for you to neglect sleep but it is essential you sleep at a fixed time to ensure
you don’t deviate from it. Set up your bedroom to ensure you get as much sleep as possible. If
you maintain your sleep schedule, you will find yourself more relaxed and in a better positive
frame of mind.

Furthermore, the recommended time for adequate sleep is nine hours, ensure you get up that
number in a day.

 
Take Note Of Your Unhealthy Habits
 

It is normal for an individual to have some unhealthy habits so you shouldn’t feel that you are the
only one with them. However, knowing what you're bad habits are and looking for ways to
eliminate them will assist you to remove negative influence.

To effectively take note of these bad or negative habits, think about habits that make you feel
depressed and sad about yourself. Those habits that leave you with the feeling that your life
sucks and drains your energy making it difficult for you to focus on doing things that will aid
your development and influence your life positively.

The obvious examples of these habits are heavy doses of alcohol consumption, substance abuse,
heavy partying and unhealthy eating habits. The less obvious ones are unhealthy relationships
that leave you with senses of depression and sadness. Another example of this type of habit is
self-esteem hate and loathing, low self-esteem. It's highly recommended that you document these
bad or negative habits so you can know how to handle them.

 
Chapter 7: Positive Thinking

What is Positive Thinking?

It takes a lot to think positive. That is because our brains are wired to think negatively than
positively. 80% of about 60,000  thoughts that ruminate in the mind are negative thoughts.
However, nothing good comes out of thinking negative. No matter how the brain is wired, you
can unwire it to think positively often. Negative thoughts are dangerous, evil and something that
you must get rid of by any means possible. A cluttered mind will yield into negative thinking, so
the first step to declutter your mind is by thinking positive.

For you to start thinking positive, you need to cultivate a positive mindset. The power to create
and destroy starts from the mindset. The mindset is the framework of the mind and houses the
pattern at which you think. Adopting the right mindset will act as a shield against any negative
thinking and baggage that may devour the mind. By adopting a positive mindset, you are
shutting away anything that is detrimental to your success and progress. The truth is a cluttered
mind thinks of nothing positive or progressive. He/she is in a loop of his/her thoughts. That is,
such a person is going round in circles. When you have a negative mindset, your shutting the
doors of opportunities, ideas at your face. At the end, you have nothing. Free up that mind of
yours by thinking positive.

One of the simple, yet effective way to think positive is by affirming positively. Words are
powerful. When you constantly look yourself in the mirror and say a word or two positively,
chances are that you are ready to overcome the challenges and obstacles that you may encounter
that day. Any negative thoughts or anything that will keep your mind occupied unnecessarily is
laid aside because you have affirmed that you are going to do this and that you are not going to
let that happen to you. Thinking positive, affirming positive is one of the ways to control your
thoughts and shun anything that will clutter your mind.

Negative thinking can’t be entirely stopped, no matter how you try. It’s part of the human
psychology to think negative at times, but the goal is to think more often, positively. To think
more positively, you need to reduce the way you think negative. One part of the equation
balances the other. You can’t be thinking negatively and positively at an equal level. The
increase in one leads to the decrease in one.

Another way to think positive and shun a cluttered mind is by engaging in workouts. If you are
not the busy type or the morning to evening work type, you can dedicate 20-45 minutes of your
time and head to the gym. It will clear your mind, brighten your morning and imbibe some good
thinking into your mind. If you can’t head to the gym, you can do a simple morning jogging. It
will put away any chance of you having to think negative or having a cluttered mind for good. It
will refocus your mind and channel your energy into achieving your goals.

Another way to think positive is by surrounding yourself with positive company. Sure, you know
that people are greatly influenced by the company they keep. Your company can either keep you
happy or gloomy. They can influence you positively or negatively. If you are in a company of
bad or unserious people, your head will be filled with irrelevant, disturbing things. You will be
reminded of things you don’t want to. You will be coerced to do things that you are not willing,
in the name of suggestions. Your mind will be so cluttered that you can become depressed,
stressed or even develop one form of illness to the other. If you need to change your circle of
friends to avoid having a cluttered mind, do it. They will act as a deterrence to your goals,
ambition and progress.

Another effective way to declutter your mind is by adopting the pause and breathe technique.
This simply means that when your head is on the verge of exploding from numerous thoughts,
take a minute, pause and take a deep breath. Repeat process twice or thrice. You will experience
some kind of relief within yourself. You will see that you have become better, more goal
oriented and focused.

You can equally distract yourself when you see that your thinking has been cluttered. Think of
yourself doing something crazy, that you can’t imagine doing. Better still, you can call a loved
one, relative or have a close friend invited over for dinner or a drink. Doing any of these
distractions will declutter your mind and subdue any thoughts that does not contribute to the
good of your wellbeing.

Remember, imbibe a positive mindset in order to think positive.


How to Be a Positive Influence On People Around You
 
Lots of people have one or two people in their life who have a negative outlook on life. You may
want to help them remove the negative influence in their lives and influence them positively but
you don't know-how.

The best way to help such an individual is to show them how positive your life is through the
attitude you display. Try to be the best you can be by living a happy, joyful and active life. Don't
try to coarse or tech them how to live their life because you will make them resentful towards
you.

In summary, removing negative influence requires a conscious effort in your part because no one
can change you when you don't want to change. Consistency with what you want to do is also
crucial.

Furthermore, if you have tried most of the things suggested here and you still find yourself
having negative thoughts about yourself, try meditation. Meditation will help you gradually get
rid of negative thoughts that enter your mind. It will help you focus on the present rather than in
the past where your negative thoughts usually take you to.

5 Ways to Get Motivated in Life


You might think that any subject related to “positive thinking” might be covered mostly by
psychologists or life coaches. You might have never thought that the medical community might
actually start looking into the topic. But they did, and the results are pretty surprising. According
to Mayo Clinic (Mayo Clinic Staff, n.d.), positive thinking provides you with many benefits
including:

        Lower rates of depression


        Longer life
        Lower stress levels
        Improved cardiovascular health
        Improved coping skills during times of stress
Of course, a lot of people might say, “How is cardiovascular health involved in all of this?”

Your cardiovascular health depends on a lot of factors. It depends on your diet, the hours of sleep
you get, the degree of stress you face, and more. Negative thoughts fuel negative emotions,
which in turn causes stress to arise easily in your brain. For example, you are in bad traffic and
your thinking is already in a negative state. You are already adding stress to your brain because
your thoughts keep conjuring ideas and memories that trigger stress. Because of that, you might
not be able to deal with the traffic well. This means more stress. Which in turn means that you
exacerbate your negative emotions. And eventually, you have a cycle.

When your body is under a lot of stress, it increases cholesterol and blood pressure levels. That
in turn affects your heart.

Positive thinking is not just essential for good mental health, but contributes to good physical
health as well.

How exactly can we create a positive mindset? Let us examine some of the ways.

1. Start Your Day with Affirmations

The tone you adopt in the morning can dictate how the rest of the day might proceed. Why not
set a positive tone for yourself? In fact, have you ever had an experience where you woke up in a
state of panic, wondering if you forgot to complete an important task or if you are late for
something, only to realize that nothing has happened and it was just your nerves? Or have you
woken up once in such a state of stress that you could not even finish the coffee you made for
yourself? All of these situations have occurred because when you start your day poorly, the
emotions trickle over to the next day. Eventually, you are living in a constant state of stress and
negativity. Affirmations are simple phrases that help you focus on positive emotions. Every time
you wake up, start the day with phrases like:

        Today, I shall face my day with courage and positivity.


        Today might be challenging, but so is any day of the week. I shall not let these
challenges change my perspective of the world and create negativity.
        I am an incredible person and despite today’s events, I will not look down on
myself.
        Today is going to be a good day.
        I’m going to be awesome and nothing is going to convince me otherwise!
You can always create your own positive affirmations depending on the situation.

2. Think About the Good Things, No Matter How Small They Are

Don’t wait for a big moment to occur in your life. Look at every small event as another positive
contribution. Here is the reality of life: no matter how much you want to avoid obstacles, you are
going to encounter them every day. Each obstacle is something that has the potential to add to a
whole pile of negative things. Eventually, you will feel that your life has too much negativity in
it. What you are experiencing is small things that have accumulated to become something
intimidating.

The same rule applies with the positive things in your life as well. Keep collecting them, no
matter how little they seem. Eventually, the number of positive things will add up to become a
dominating presence in your life.

3. Crank Up Your Humor

Don’t let the dark situations get you down. Teach yourself to see the humor in things. Remind
yourself that the situation you are in is going to get better eventually. After all, life goes on.
Regardless of what happens to whom, life is a continuous ticking clock. So, make a joke out of
the things that have happened to you and move on.

4. Failures Are Lessons

Success finds those people who are not brooding over their failures, but are finding ways to
move past them. But the only way that can happen is if they choose to learn from their failures.

You too should approach your failures with tact and wisdom. Let your failures teach you a
lesson; do not let them define your life. Bill Gates is defined by the success of Microsoft because
he let that be the focus of his attention. If he had let his failures define him, then he would be in a
different position rather than on the Forbes list of billionaires.
5. Watch Out for Negative Self-Talk

It’s not unusual for people to berate themselves when they commit an error. How many times
have you thought “I shouldn’t have done it. I was going to fail anyway” when you tried
something and didn’t succeed at it? Or you might have thought one of these critical thoughts:

       Why do I even bother with such things anyway?


        What am I doing? I should have just stuck to what I know.
        If only I hadn’t tried something new, this wouldn’t have happened.
Every time you create a negative statement about yourself, you are forcing your brain to think in
a particular manner. And we don’t need to go into the details of how your subconscious is going
to latch on to those negative thoughts and run with them.

So, what should you do if you are faced with negative self-evaluations? You turn them into
positive ones.

Let’s say that you tried to do something and it failed. Rather than thinking:
●       I shouldn’t have tried. This is what happens when you don’t stick to what you do.
Think of it this way:
●       So that’s what happens if I do it this way! Interesting! I’ll remember this and make
sure I don’t do it this way in the future. Or even if I do, I will plan better. Let’s look at my
other options.
Notice the difference? In the second response, you acknowledge that a mistake has been made.
But you see it in a positive light. You allow it to teach you rather than defeat you. Make sure that
you are not denying the fact that you have made a mistake. Denial has its consequences.

What is so bad about denial, you ask?

A lot.

One of the things that denial prevents you from doing is seeking help. We are not all perfect.
Sometimes, we need help in our endeavors. That does not mean that we are weak or unskilled. It
just means that we might need an extra pair of hands (or more) to help us with our project.

Denial also prevents us from acknowledging problems. If you feel that there are no problems,
even when there are, then you won’t learn to grow or deal with them. Eventually, those problems
worsen and affect your life immensely at a later time.
There are two things you can do with a problem.

You can choose to face it and learn to handle it. Or you can choose to ignore it, and watch it
dismantle things in your life.

Among the two options, the ideal choice is obvious.


Chapter 8: Gratitude

I have heard many people ask the following questions:

"What is an attitude of gratitude?"

"Can an attitude of gratitude change my life?"

"What are the benefits of having an attitude of gratitude?"

How often in life do you catch yourself complaining? Or how often do you find yourself seeing
the negative things in life more than the positive? Or, to put it plainly, do you have more bad hair
days than good ones?

Hmm. If you answered yes to that last question, it's okay, friend. But you know what? Maybe
you're missing out on something very essential in your life, something that when applied and
developed it can drastically change your life.

Yes, I assure you, it will change the way you think and your perspective on life; it will give you
more enthusiasm and happiness in life.

Here is the secret: An attitude of gratitude.

Yes, this simple thought adjustment can dramatically change your life.

Let's start by answering the question, "What is an attitude of gratitude?"

For me, it is simply seeing beauty and being thankful for everything in your life right now.

It's about being grateful for everything, even the little things, right now.

It may be for the food you have in your refrigerator, the computer you use to connect to the
Internet, or even the shampoo and soap you use in the shower.

An attitude of gratitude sees even the smallest thing, the smallest act, the smallest service, and is
always thankful for all of it.

"Thank you’s" can be used everywhere. A quick "thank you" to the person who serves you in a
restaurant, or saying "thank you" to the bus driver who drives you to work, can really make a big
impact not just on your day, but also on the day of those whom you have thanked so genuinely.

That's an attitude of gratitude.


And in this chapter, I'm going to walk you through the benefits of having an attitude of gratitude
in your life.
Here are the 3 Benefits of Having an Attitude of Gratitude in Your Life:
1. Gratitude Can Make You Happy Instantly
Yes, "instantly." Do you want a proof?

Okay, let's do an experiment. Go get a pen and a piece of paper; list 10 things that you are
grateful for right now. You can write anything, and I do mean anything, which you can think
about.

Go, now! Stop reading! I'll wait.

Well, did you do it? What did you feel? Or should I say, "How do you feel now?" Do you feel
happy now? See! I told you so!

Maybe you couldn't stop writing after the 10th thing. Maybe you surpassed that and wrote 12,
15, or more than 20 things on your gratitude list. That's okay; notice the wonderful effect of an
attitude of gratitude in your life.

Isn't that a great feeling? What if you did this every day? What if you did this 365 days of the
year? You can imagine the cumulative effect that this will have in your life. You'll be happier,
calmer, and feel a deeper sense of purpose. You will be more positive than ever before.

That's the power of gratitude.


As William Arthur Ward puts it, "Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings,
turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings."

So, friend, always be grateful for everything you have. The more you say "thank you," the
happier you will be.

2. Gratitude Can Make You Healthier


It's true, an attitude of gratitude can make you healthier. Many studies have proven this to be a
fact.

Here's the proof: There was one study conducted by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. (University of
California), and Mike McCullough (University of Miami), wherein participants were divided
into three groups.

Each group was given a different task. The first group was assigned to keep a journal of those
things that they were grateful for in the past week.
The second group was assigned to keep the exact opposite type of journal from the first group. In
other words, they were to specifically note the hassles they had in the past week.

The third group was assigned to keep a journal on what affected them in the past week whether it
was positive or negative.

Care to guess what the results were?

After 10 weeks of journaling, members of the group that kept the gratitude journals were feeling
a lot better about their lives as a whole and were 25% happier than those who kept a journal
focusing on the hassles in their lives.

The study also confirmed that those in the gratitude group reported fewer health complaints, and
exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.

That is amazing, isn't it? That's how powerful gratitude is – but it doesn't end there!

A later study by Emmons used those same participants, but this time, instead of completing their
gratitude journal every week, they were assigned to keep their gratitude journals daily.

What was the final outcome of this experiment?

Those participants in the gratitude group became more sympathetic toward others.

They are now kinder, offer others emotional support, and help others with personal problems.

Not only can we reap these benefits of gratitude in our lives, but many studies have also shown
that being grateful can improve our sleep habits by allowing us more rest each night, which
makes us feel more refreshed each morning.

Also, those who keep gratitude journals every day feel more satisfaction with life as a whole,
more positive and optimistic about the coming week, and more connected with others in a whole
new way.

So, keep a gratitude journal daily. The best time to do this is in the morning so that your thoughts
will be moving in the direction of positivity and gratefulness each day.

Always remember, friend, "When you start the day right, your whole day will be bright." Start
your day with gratitude, and you will see the positive effects for the rest of your day.

3. Gratitude Attracts the Things You Want and Desire


Yes, once again we see the law of attraction.
Have you ever noticed how the law of attraction manifests itself in your life? Have you ever
used this law before? Are you aware that you are already using it in your life?

Allow me to answer for you: Yes. The law of attraction manifests itself depending on the
thoughts you are sending into the universe, those vibrations which you send, either
positive or negative.

The result? It's also either positive or negative.

Did you know that when you're thankful and grateful for everything you have, you are
sending positive vibrations to the universe, and you are telling it that you are prepared to
receive more into your life?

The law of attraction manifests itself in me a lot of times. It is those times which I'm really
thankful for everything God has given me, even the smallest things. That's why God has
blessed me so much in my life.

One technique I've been using is the power of prayer which we talked about in the previous
chapter.

Every morning, I spend time with God; I read my Bible, pray, and worship Him. It is during
that time I praise God and thank Him for all the things He has done for me, and I thank Him
for all the desires of my heart which I know He will give me.

And it seems like miracles continually come to me every single day. I am amazed by all the
great things God has done for me. I know it is because I've chosen to have an attitude of
gratitude, because I am thankful for everything I have – that is why God has blessed me so
much.

Yet, I know, some of you are asking, "Andrian, what's the connection between the law of
attraction and being thankful and praising God?"

I will tell you: The law of attraction can be found in the Bible.

In Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV), it says, "As [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he."
Meaning, whatever you think about, you will attract, and you will become.

If you think about all the good things in your life, you will attract good things.

At the same time, if you think about all the blessings you now have, and if you will be
thankful for them, you will attract more of them.

That's the law of attraction, and that's the law of God, as well, according to the Bible.

Allow me to share here the things which I personally do to attract blessings into my life:
a. Pray – Always pray for everything you want. If it's God's will, He will grant it.
But you need to be patient because God's timing is always perfect.
b. Praise – Praising God and thanking Him in advance for all the desires of your
heart will attract more of those positive blessings which you want in your life,
just like a magnet. Always praise and thank God in advance.
c. Positive Self-Talk – Wherever you are, you are always talking to yourself through your thoughts. So
remember to always say things which boost your confidence, motivate you, and energize you, like
"You are beautiful/handsome." "You are awesome." "Great job, you’ve nailed it!"

d. Be with Positive People – I always encourage everyone to be around positive


people; those who help you, nurture you, guide you, and support you. Stay close
to positive people. You can find them in church, or in a club related to your
hobbies or passion, or in an online community that is designed to encourage
and motivate you.

Always remember, friend, to be grateful for everything you have, and always be positive. You'll
notice that you attract more of what you want when you keep your mind focused on an attitude
of gratitude.

Those are the top three benefits of an attitude of gratitude. Here's a quick recap of those benefits:

1. Gratitude can make you happy instantly


2. Gratitude can make you healthier
3. Gratitude attracts the things which you want and desire

There you go, friend. We've just answered the questions, "What is an attitude of gratitude?" and
"What are the benefits of gratitude in our lives?"

I know I've given you a lot to think over regarding these insights about the benefits of gratitude.

Friend, before I end this chapter, I would like to share with you two outstanding quotes from
Philip Yancey and John Milton:
"What I see in the Bible, especially in the book of Psalms, which is a book of gratitude for
the created world, is a recognition that all good things on Earth are God's, every good gift is
from above. They are good if we recognize where they came from and if we treat them the
way the Designer intended them to be treated." (Philip Yancey)

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those


transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world."
(John Milton)

Friend, always have an attitude of gratitude and life will reveal new and amazing blessings for
you.
Chapter 9: How to Stop Overthinking
A cluttered mind has no space for anything new. Often, when you feel that your mind is in a state
of overdrive, it prevents you from enjoying the opportunities that life has to offer. Overthinking
will put you in a constant loop since you feel like you can’t stop yourself from ruminating over a
certain issue. The worst thing about this is that there is minimal action you can take to solve the
challenge that you are experiencing. As a result, overthinking only damages you as it holds you
back from living your life to the fullest. This chapter looks at practical tips that you can
incorporate into your life to help you stop overthinking.

Learn to be Aware
Just like any other problem that you might be going through, the best way of solving it is by
understanding the causes of the problem in the first place. With regard to overthinking, the first
step towards dealing with it is by recognizing that you are overthinking. It is important that you
live consciously by knowing what is happening in your mind. Any time you feel overwhelmed
and stressed, you should take a moment to analyze the situation that you are going through. Your
awareness should denote to you that these thoughts roaming in your mind are not helpful.
Enhancing your level of self-awareness will help you stop yourself from thinking too much.

The following pointers should help you to boost your self-awareness.

Meditate

Today, millions of people value the importance of meditation. Usually, meditation stresses on the
aspect of focusing on a certain mantra or your breathing. Meditating regularly increases your
self-awareness since you connect with your inner-self in ways that you haven’t done before.
Meditation will help you connect with your inner self. Accordingly, practicing self-talk keeps
you motivated on the goals that you have set for yourself.

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Another effective way of increasing your self-awareness is by knowing your strengths and
coping with your weaknesses. Undeniably, as humans we are not perfect. The strengths and
weaknesses that we have affect how we work towards our goals. In this regard, most people will
only focus on doing the things that they are good at while doing their best to ignore their
weaknesses. Knowing yourself better ensures that you don’t waste your time and energy doing
activities that will only make you feel negatively about yourself.

Know Your Emotional Triggers


In addition, it is essential that you know the emotional triggers that frequently influence your
reactions. By knowing these triggers, you can catch yourself before overreacting. Moreover, your
self-awareness can be helpful here as it guarantees that your emotions do not overwhelm you.
Instead of reacting without thinking twice, you can stop to mull over a particular scenario and act
accordingly.

Practice Self-Discipline

Every day, your life will revolve around things that you wish to accomplish. Achieving set goals
can be a very positive experience. However, this doesn’t come easily. You have to be willing to
pay the price. This means that you should learn how to effectively control yourself and focus on
what’s more important. This is what self-discipline is all about. You should be ready to do
anything that brings you closer to your goals.

Try New Experiences

There is a lot that you can gain from life when you learn to value the importance of new
experiences. Think about it this way - the more you know, the more you find different ways of
approaching life and solving the problems you are facing. Don’t limit yourself by going through
life with the same perceptions and doing the same things over and over again. Frankly, this will
make every aspect of your life boring. So, go out and have fun. Try new things and challenges.

Motivate Yourself

We all need motivation at some point in life. When you are motivated to do something, your
mind has the energy it needs to see through a particular challenge. Therefore, motivation
warrants that you embrace positivity in spite of the problems that you might be going through.
Indeed, this also has an impact on your self-awareness since you are surer about yourself and
your abilities.

Get a Second Opinion


Earlier on, we had pointed out the fact that overthinking can be caused by overcommitting
yourself. Maybe this is something that you are accustomed to. We all know how it feels when
you manage to successfully complete a project on your own. However, at times it is important to
recognize that you can’t do everything alone. As you might have heard, “two heads are better
than one.” Save yourself from the nightmare of weighing your options on something over and
over again. Just ask someone else for a second opinion. You will be surprised that you can easily
solve a problem that once appeared too difficult for you. Therapy works in the same manner
since you get an opportunity to talk over your thoughts with an expert.
Stay Positive
When you are constantly worried that something could go wrong, your mind will race through
varying thoughts trying to figure out the best possible solution to solve your situation. Instead of
paying too much attention to the negative, change your thoughts and reflect on all the good
things that can happen to you. Savor these moments and help your mind adjust to the fact that
you can also be happy. Develop a habit of encouraging your thoughts to stay positive.

Identify Distractions
There is a common phrase that goes “what you resist persists.” In line with the habit of
overthinking, trying to prevent yourself from thinking about something only makes you think too
much about it. As a result, the best way of stopping this is by doing something more engaging.
Go for a walk with friends. Learn to play a new musical instrument. The point here is that you
should make an effort to distract your mind.

Stop Being a Perfectionist


Evidently, there is a good feeling that comes with knowing that you have done something
perfectly. Nevertheless, it is quite demanding to do things perfectly all the time. In your everyday
life, you should leave room for mistakes. This ascertains that you will not be frustrated when
something goes wrong. Focus on learning from your mistakes. Ultimately, you will notice that
you start paying less attention to doing things perfectly. This creates room for more opportunities
since you will be willing to try anything, whether you succeed or not.

Set Deadlines
Spending too much time thinking about a decision can lead to overthinking. Some decisions do
not require you to think too much about them. They are simple choices that you can make within
a short period. Therefore, it makes sense to set deadlines that you will make a specific decision
before the end of the day. Depending on the importance of the decision, you should set ample
time to ensure you end up making sound decisions.

Surround Yourself with the Right People


At times, it is difficult to think positively if the people you surround yourself with frequently
have negative thoughts. If you spend most of your time with people who are always worrying,
then you can be sure that you will also find yourself worrying. On the contrary, if you surround
yourself with people who always think positively, you will also be influenced to have this
perception about your dreams and aspirations. Therefore, you can help stop overthinking by
choosing to spend time with productive and positive people. They will help free your mind from
worrying about what the future holds for you. With their positive energy, you will appreciate the
importance of living in the present.
Do Your Best
When facing new challenges in life, it is a common thing to see most people worry about what
they can and cannot do. Unfortunately, this worrying attitude prevents people from handling
challenging situations effectively. When faced with difficult situations, it is imperative to focus
on giving it your best without thinking too much as to whether you got it right or not. You never
know, there are certain situations when the outcome is not as important as you thought.

Create a To-Do List


We can attest to the fact that there are instances when the mind tends to blow things out of
proportion. Have you ever heard your inner voice try and convince you that you cannot complete
a certain project within a specified period of time? Frankly, this happens many times where the
mind jumps to the conclusion that you have more things to do than you actually do. The funny
thing is that the mind will even go to the extent of giving you reasons why you cannot complete
the project. To prevent this from happening, you should learn how to work using a to-do list. A
to-do list keeps things organized. It guarantees that you can handle one task at a time without
making it seem too burdensome for your mind to tackle.

Cut Yourself Some Slack


The desire to succeed might be too ingrained in you that you cannot think of anything else that is
not related to what you want. This leads to a scenario where you are too hard on yourself. You
will find it difficult to forgive yourself for the little mistakes that you make along the way.
Unfortunately, this leads to overthinking.

The truth is that you can’t always expect that things will go your way. We are human beings and
therefore, we are prone to making mistakes. Successful people understand the importance of
making mistakes. It gives them an opportunity to identify their weaknesses and work on them
before reaching their goals. Imagine if people only succeeded without making mistakes.
Mistakes should be perceived as a stepping stone towards success. As such, always remember
that being too hard on yourself is damaging.

On a final note on how to stop overthinking, you should bear in mind that anyone can be a victim
of overthinking. We all yearn for the best in life. Therefore, it is okay to overthink things from
time to time. However, this becomes a problem when it develops into a habit and you feel as
though you cannot do anything about it. Your self-awareness, for example, will come handy each
time you slip into a state of overthinking. Additionally, looking for positive distractions can
encourage your mind to think about other things instead of sinking into your thoughts. More
importantly, you should always remember to seek a second opinion from those around you.
There is a good reason why we have friends and social circles. They should be there to help you
offload thoughts and emotions that seem to weigh you down. Talk to your loved ones and if there
is no one to talk to, you can always engage in self-talk.
Chapter 10: Simplify Your Life and Live in the Present Moment

There are different ways of defining a simple life. What a simple life is to you can mean a totally
different thing to another person. However, the best way of defining a simple life is by
understanding that it centers around the idea of getting rid of what you deem unessential in your
life. In other words, it means spending most of your time doing what you value the most. A
simple life means avoiding wasting your valuable time on things that are not important. As such,
you value creating time for people and experiences that add meaning to your life. With regard to
clutter, it means freeing your mind from potential distractions that could prevent you from
thinking straight and enjoying life.

Living a simple life is not as simple as it sounds. It’s something that calls for patience simply
because it’s a journey and not a destination. The easiest way to understand how to live a simple
life is by identifying the things that are important to you and eliminating everything else.
However, to ensure that you understand this in detail, the following are practical tips to bear in
mind when looking to simplify your life.

List Down the Important Things


Start by identifying what you value most in your life. Make a list of these things. Whilst doing
this, it is imperative that you limit this list to 4 or 5 items. The importance of limiting your list to
a few things is that it creates room for important things in your life that may arise later. As a
result, attending to them first will create a more fulfilling feeling than just approaching life
randomly.

Evaluate Your Time Usage


It is also crucial that you evaluate how you spend your time. Monitor how you use your time
from the time you wake up to the end of the day. Create a list of the things that you often
prioritize and those that usually distract you. By doing this frequently, you will identify things
that only consume time and that are not important to you. In other words, you can redesign your
day and work productively towards achieving your daily goals.

Learn to Say No
A fundamental habit that you ought to develop as you try to simplify your life is to learn to say
no. Indeed, it is never easy to say no to your friends and colleagues at work. Unfortunately, this
creates a situation where your to-do list will always be packed. What you should understand is
that other people will be completing their tasks because you are helping them do what needs to
be done on their to-do lists. On your end, you will have a lot pending. This is because you chose
to accept extra tasks without putting yourself first. Therefore, it’s never a bad thing to say no
when you are doing it for the right reasons.

Cut Down Your Media Consumption


With the advancement in technology, you can access information at the touch of a button. From a
positive perspective, this makes it easy for us to communicate with our loved ones and our
friends. Social media has changed the way people and businesses communicate. People should
come to the realization that too much media consumption can harm us. It pollutes our minds by
changing the perceptions that we already have about life. We end up developing new ways of
living our lives based on the perceptions that we have recently developed. Unfortunately, this is
how we complicate our lives.

Declutter Your Physical Space


Simplifying your life also demands that you declutter the physical space around you. It is easy to
work in a tidy space compared to a room filled with clutter. Clutter prevents you from thinking
straight. As such, before getting rid of clutter in your mind as earlier recommended, start by
decluttering the space around you. Get rid of things in your house that don’t add value to you.
Usually, we hold on to things without realizing that they are only taking away space for more
important things. From your bedroom to your kitchen, you should work on decluttering your
space. Ideally, the physical space that you create will also have a positive impact on how you
think and make decisions.

Spend Time Doing What You Love


Once you eliminate unimportant things in your life, you will have more time to focus on other
important things. Therefore, use this time wisely by doing what you love. Remember the list of
important things that you created? Use this extra time to work on these things. Eventually, you
will live a simple, yet fulfilling life.

Get Rid of Toxic People


It will be daunting to live a simple life when you’re surrounded by toxic people. These are
people who never seem to add value to your life in any way. The worst thing is that they drain
energy from you as they always think negatively. Also, they are the people that push you around
to help them without stopping to help you. Sure, some of these individuals are your best friends
because there is a lot that you have been through with them. However, a keen eye on your
relationship with them will reveal the fact that there is nothing you benefit from being friends
with them. So, the best thing you can and should do is to eliminate them from your life. This
might sound harsh. But, the reality is that you will be doing yourself a favor by opening doors for
more fruitful relationships.

Plan Your Meals Wisely


Living a simple life also means that you should plan what you eat. Eating is part of your daily
routine. This is something that you do throughout the day as long as you feel hungry.
Accordingly, planning for your meals shouldn’t be neglected. Make it a priority on your to-do
list. Don’t waste your time every day trying to figure out what you will be having for lunch or
dinner. Just plan it. The good news is that doing this increases the likelihood of eating healthy
foods that contribute to a productive lifestyle.

Address Your Debts


Oftentimes, people choose to ignore the debts that they have with the hopes that it will help them
stop worrying. This doesn’t help since you will only procrastinate the decision to pay your debts.
Come up with a plan of how you will pay off your debts. Financially, it will help you make
better decisions and open doors for business opportunities.

A simple life doesn’t have to be something that is beyond your reach. It’s all about identifying
the things that are of great importance to you and prioritizing them. This creates time for you to
enjoy with family and friends. So, live a simple life by keeping in mind the tips discussed in this
chapter.
Chapter 11: Confidence Boosters
 

Positive self-esteem

Positive self-esteem refers to a general similarity between you and others. You are more
confident about yourself, you believe in your own abilities, and you can be a happier, more
successful person. Once you know about confidence boosters and how they increase self-esteem,
it's a simple job to apply them to your life. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally
increases endurance and helps you to cope with challenges every day. Doing fun things helps
you to lead a happier life. The people you associate with and build relationships with have a
drastic impact on your own worth. Are you friends the people who keep putting you down, or are
they the kind of people who praise you if you are successful? You have to stick around people
who want you to be content to have high self-esteem and be satisfied.

Protective self-esteem

people with protective self-esteem have positive opinions about themselves but are vulnerable to
criticism and delicate. When questioned by an official, they would blame or apologize others
rather than recognize their responsibility. We don't know how to answer in a non-defensive way
unlike people with positive self-esteem. These types of people constantly need to be strengthened
in order to increase their trust. I always feel the need to bring others down to feel good.

Low self-esteem

Low self-esteem is something many young people are dealing with. It can be a result of
numerous factors, such as genetics, physical appearance, violence, abuse and social status. Those
who have low self-esteem are unable to integrate confidence boosters in their lives if their peers
have positive self-esteem. When suggestions or compliments are given, they frequently take it
personally and become self-critical and nervous. We often have unsatisfactory relationships and
are unable to achieve our goals. Depression is also a low self-esteem trait. In some cases, it even
gets so high that they don't know how to deal with life anymore; they tend to hurt themselves and
often contemplate suicide in some cases.

Self-confidence is a part of all of us. It is a product of our experiences, our ties, our goals and our
actions. Although living with low self-esteem can seem like a daunting, relentless struggle, it can
improve. The first move is to think about confidence boosters. The real task is to apply them.
This sticks with you and influences the course of your life until you change your mindset and
attitude.

Learn How to Alter Your Life With to Self Esteem


 

Here's a fundamental fact that I think you already know:' good self-esteem is the key to success.'
Regardless of whether it is friendships, jobs, social life, economy, you're still going to need good
self-esteem. So how can we develop self-appreciation?

Let's look at it as an issue. 1–defining the problem, 2 –considering it, 3–seeing the solutions,4–
implementing a solution. Simple! Easy! (I know it's not that easy, but let's do it.) 1. Defining the
issue–generally, self-esteem means contrasting oneself to others. We all classify people, respect
and look at some people, neglect or talk to others, deliberately or subconsciously, (horrible but
real), everything is how we feel about ourselves about other people-we give ourselves a mental
sign of our position in society.  You think that we are worthless, everyone's better than us, and
we're never going to get anywhere, you think, what's that point?'

It is because you have a misunderstanding about yourself, and this is the heart of the problem.
Why is this a misconception? You are too self-critical because you have put the poor quality on
yourself when contrasting yourself with others.

2. Think of it–let's use a metaphor first. Low self-esteem is like you have put something in a
shop window with a wrong price card. Let's say that the items in the shop were you and your
colleagues at work. You are all doing the same thing, you are all being compensated in the same
ways, but the shop manager has placed $100 price tag on them and $1 on you, you're all doing
the same thing because he clearly made a mistake..... and imagine who is the boss responsible for
putting the wrong price ticket in a store-you're the one who handles your life. You can, therefore,
correct this by increasing the price, i.e., by raising and creating your love for yourself.

 
Second, self-esteem is not something in your blood; you often see brothers and sisters, which
have very contrasting personalities. The good news is that it can be learned how to build up or
gain self-esteem. Interesting fact, did you know that around 60 per cent of us have low self-
esteem according to surveys? You certainly aren't alone, though. It, I believe, is because we are
not encouraged to deal with life, criticize and reverse, etc. from an early age or in the school a
non-criticism seems to me-everybody succeeds mindset, but it does not teach you how to build
up your self-esteem.

3. Look at the remedies-You need some self-analysis to get a real objective view of yourself to
see how to develop self-esteem. We all have strengths and weaknesses, write them down, once
we understand them, we can build on them. What are you best at? What are you bad at? What do
you like? What do you like to do? What do you want to be reasonable about? What are you
doing wrong? What do you not like to do?

Next, describe what you care about. Don't think your boss or the opposite sex's congratulations
are very significant, it can feel good, but it won't last. Concentrate on bigger things. We want to
know and surpass our potential and achieve things-think in this direction.

Now everybody is different, but you must understand that you will need to improve to develop
your self-esteem. There will be nothing more if you don't. Here's a broad list, look at it, if you
want to add, select the right ones, be frank, look at the strengths and weaknesses of yourself, and
see how they relate.

Self-respect-stop beating yourself, eradicate any criticism of yourself.

Attitude–bad things happen, be optimistic, concentrate not on the issue but on the solution. Treat
failure as a lesson and not as a reversal.

Relationships-mixes of positive people rather than negative ones.

Human knowledge-Take patience, compassion, polity, and good manners. Respect and listen to
and understand other people's needs.

Take a look at your social customs.


Switch embrace-don't be afraid or cynical.

Share, work, and connect 4. 4. Focus on improving the above abilities, focus on them. Beset in
perspective–this is the most important thing.

Visualize your career success, socially or in relationships, but have the right values.
Visualization is a powerful tool often used by sports professionals and helps you develop self-
esteem.

You will consider when you learn how to build your self-esteem, to be more effective in
working, socially, and in relationships. It's like a downward spiral, which leads to unhappiness
and hinders you from doing anything–don't give up, be determined.

Building of Teen Self Esteem Starts at Birth


 

When does self-appreciation start? We often believe that self-esteem in our children starts when
they reach their two years, not realizing that it starts at birth. It is developed from the very
beginning with the influence of parental attitudes and behaviours and then continues into all
development in children.

First of all, they build their self-esteem by meeting their basic needs, including the need for love,
comfort, and closeness. How their parents or caregivers treat children sets the stage for the
development of self-esteem. Young babies and children who feel unloved find it harder to
develop a sense of self-worth and then take them into later childhood and into their adolescence.

Supporting parental behaviour, including encouraging and praising accomplishments and


internalizing the parent's attitudes toward success and failure, are the most critical factors in early
childhood self-esteem. Stress in your home, like parents arguing a lot or having friends with
whom to play and interact, can negatively impact the self-esteem and self-worth of a child at a
very young age.

When kids have high self-esteem, they can deal with conflict, pressure from peers, and make
friends easier. In this stage, children learn self-confidence by developing their senses of
confidence, independence, and initiative with parents and siblings and then interacting with
friends and relatives.
Self-esteem comes from various sources for children at different developmental stages. During
our youth, our self-esteem is instilled in us. It is essential to be aware whether the current
situation in the home is critical; since parents and family members blame themselves tend to rob
the child of their feelings of self-worth gradually.

Self-esteem is defined as being inwardly pleasant. This is how you perceive yourself and your
self-worth. When it reflects within your child, it is what you think and feels about yourself and
how well you think that you do things, it is ultimately essential, and it is on this basis that your
self-esteem builds.

As kids grow up and mature and their observations move within their homes and into school, and
with their peers, how they determine their self-esteem becomes more critical in these areas.
Schools also have an enormous impact on self-esteem by fostering competitive attitudes and
diversity and recognizing academic, sports, and arts achievements. Social acceptance by a peer
group of children is essential at this stage in developing and maintaining self-esteem.

The emotional and physical change in adolescence, especially in early teens, presents a child's
self-esteem with new challenges. The time when teens undergo significant changes in life, self-
esteem may be very fragile, they face physical and hormonal changes. This is the moment when
young people want and need a supportive family.

Adjusting in your environment is increasingly important to your self-esteem, and relationships


with the opposite or sometimes same gender, in later adolescence, can become a significant
source of confidence or insecurity. Body image is a critical element of teenagers ' self-esteem,
and how their peers see them is of great concern. For both boys and girls, body images are
essential, and teens who like their look and accept themselves the way they are, have high self-
confidence.

Parents can encourage self-esteem by expressing their affection and support for the child and
help the child to start as previously stated in the early years, rather than imposing unreachably
high standards, set realistic goals for achievement. Young people who learn to set goals in their
lives have higher self-esteem than people who do not. In this time and even before, visualization
can be taught to children and adolescents. This is an excellent tool to create and develop self-
esteem for all people, and visualization videos are a great tool.

Teens could also be encouraged to watch the words they use to describe themselves, for
example, if they always say they're stupid, or that they can't succeed, then, make it a habit of
saying positive things and use this positive attitude to give you full self-esteem. The use of
affirmations is also an excellent way, to begin with, the affirmation language, which can also be
used in vision map videos.

Make sure and tell your teen that nobody is flawless in the eyes of everyone else, so you can only
brace yourself for disappointment and failure by striving to become perfect. Spend more time
focusing on the things you appreciate and less on those you don't like. Teach them to trust
themselves fully, and others will also trust and believe in them.
Chapter 12: Maintain Focus & Measure Results

~ To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest
accomplishment. ~

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Adjusting your plan


Now you should be on a role. Handling the unexpected is easier because you've got control of
your time. You have learned to write down the loops when they startup. You have the exercises
to break the loops down to get to the issue that is really bothering you, which may or may not be
obvious.

Whether or not you are a parent, sharing your life and space with someone, or living alone, I
strongly suggest keeping the three-week check-up meeting. Even if it's just you and the dogs.

Six Week Review


Look at your fix list and edit to match your current situation.

• Have you noticed new loops?

• If so, are the topics new or along the same line as the old worries?

• How much have you accomplished from the fix list?

• Are you feeling less stress overall?

• If you have family, have you been able to share any of your coping strategies with them?

Twelve Week Review

• Is your fix list clearing?


• Is it time to review your core values?

• Do you see signs that maybe counseling would be a good step for certain issues?

• Have you been able to let go of any toxic relationships?

• Have you noticed any self-sabotage going on?

• Take a look at the background survey you did when you first started working on this
book. It may be time to redo your core values to work in some of the projects or ideas on that
survey that you weren't ready to handle at the time.

Dealing with triggers


At the end of the last chapter, we talked about looking for triggers in the journaling process and
highlighting each trigger that pops up. Review that journal and add them to your trigger list.
Are you seeing repeats or new triggers? Are you getting better at spotting triggers in your
everyday routine so that you can avoid them before you get set off?

Remember that emotional triggers are a result of past negative experiences. When you come
across a similar situation to the experience you had in the past, you can stir up strong emotions
without realizing why. The mind has an automatic response to the trigger which could cause an
emotional outburst, a feeling of "freezing up," or panic. Get to your journal as soon as possible
and note the situation, trigger, and reaction. This will help you be prepared next time you realize
you are stepping into what might be a volatile situation for you.

Another good reason for avoiding alcohol or other drugs. When you are under the influence you
don't have much control over your actions or emotions. This may lead you to experience the
emotional pain of being triggered.

You can control this, leave off the stimulants.

Give yourself a break. When you feel the anxiety, let the person you are with whether it be work,
family, or friend that you need some air, or to give you a minute and you'll get back to you on
that. Depending on how you handle the response, no one needs to know you are having a panic
attack or some other reaction. It's okay to back away so that you don't lose your temper or build
the situation into a larger problem.

Take your time learning to deal with the problem. If a barking dog sets you off, ask a friend if
you can meet them at the park and just watch them play with their dog. When you get
comfortable with watching the next step might be to pet the dog. You may never get up to a
game of slobber ball, but you can at least get to a place where you are comfortable when a dog
barks.

And don't forget your positive affirmations when you are breaking down anxieties and triggers.
You want to reward yourself for being brave and facing the problem. Because as you know,
many people are never able to get started. You have taken many strides just by starting this
book!

"I can face my fears and get through a tough situation without shutting down!”

When handling unavoidable triggers the best thing to do is face them head-on. You have an
unexpected bill (one of our mom's issues). Call the company and let them know you need a
payment plan. Planned to cook, but something unexpected happened - it's okay to have a fast-
food night once in a while. What emotion are you feeling, fear? Do something very safe.
Loneliness? Call a trusted friend or relative and tell them you are feeling a bit down. It's okay to
share what you are feeling with others.

Keep items around you that trigger positive feelings. A ticket stub from that fantastic concert.
Pictures from your last vacation. An animal to care for and love. Soothing or uplifting music.

There are also ways to work out some of the negative emotions in a positive way. Get out the
loppers and prune the trees. Tear up your recycle paper of bills and other mail by hand. Grab a
ball and dribble as hard as you can outside on the walk. Take deep breaths in for three counts
and exhale for six counts. This will slow your pulse and lower blood pressure.

Have Plan of Distraction ready when unexpected triggers set you off and you can handle almost
anything life can throw your way.
Tipping Points
As you being to work changes into your daily routine, you will uncover new strengths and
weakness. They may not be obvious at first, so you need to be mindful of your triggers and pay
attention.

One example would be a friend who had spent quite a few years caring for an elderly parent with
end-stage Alzheimer's. She was exhausted, had neglected friends, exercise, love interest, in
short, she had to build her life up again. She was shocked at the state she was in, not having had
a regular exercise routine for those years. Unintentionally isolating herself from fun and
companionship had taken its toll.

So, she decided to take up a dance class for exercise. It was a struggle at first. She didn't like
looking at herself in the mirror. Had troubles accepting out-of-shape body (and ten years older)
that she saw in the mirror. But time and determination helped her reach her goals. Within a year
she had shaped up, lost weight, and was dancing with a local folk troupe. The costumes were
beautiful and made her feel like a princess (something that was kind of frowned on in her
family).

She found she enjoyed getting in front of an audience and performing with the other dancers,
even venturing so far as to do a solo. But of course, there was a cost. Due to an injury received
many years ago she was directionally challenged and had to work extra hard to learn the
routines.

The extra concentration and practice it took to learn the dance steps was kind of a double-edged
sword. On the one hand, she found it really helped her mental thought process, a great way to
rehab her brain injury (which never stops you are always in recovery). On the other hand, it
required almost all of her free time to keep up with the changing routines.

This wasn't a problem until she started restructuring a different aspect of her life. For about two
years she worked on Health & Diet, Recreation & Exercise, and Personal Time. Having had
success in these areas, it was time to move on and work on Physical Environment and Income.
She was interested in adding a new source of income to her current job. Really she wanted to
change career paths altogether but didn't have the luxury of setting her old job aside and
concentrating on a new path. She also had changes she wanted to make to her home, as it was in
need of some repairs and updating.

When she started an online course for her new career she found it very difficult to do both the
course work and the dance practice. After struggling with it for a month or so she realized she
was falling into some old routines that were not constructive. She had to stop and reassess how
she was going to spend her time to accomplish her goals. It took a while to realize that the time
and effort she put into learning the dance steps was the same time and effort needed for the new
course work.

Instead of falling into a spiral of disappointment and losing her grip on every piece of ground she
had gained, she took time to prioritize her wants with her needs. She could step back from the
performing and still practice and exercise while she was using the extra time and energy to learn
the new skills. This way she didn't feel like a slacker and she was able to add a new goal.

This is an example of a positive resolution to the All-or-Nothing urge that often hits over-
thinkers. Instead of "Well if I can't do all the activities in the dance, I'll just drop it" she opted
for a solution that allows her wiggle room.

When you are feeling stressed and disappointed because you can't do everything your heart
desires, take a step back and see where you can make compromises with yourself. You will gain
much more ground and confidence in your own abilities to cope.
~ The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change.
The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed.
And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it.
Throw yourself. ~

- C. JoyBell C.

Moving to the next level


At six months how much of your fix list is clear and how have your core value numbers
changed?

If the answer is nothing because schedules got changed. The new habits with the dishes and
laundry didn't stick. It was too hot, too wet to walk or I used the time at work. Then you should
seriously think about scheduling some counseling because something is still causing you to avoid
dealing with your basic issues. Take all of the work you have done with this book and review
the outcomes with your physician and ask him to recommend someone to help you sort out what
is holding you back.

Remember, no one can do the work for you. They can only point the way or give you the tools
to make things easier.

Emotional scars from trauma can linger long after the traumatic event. Be kind to yourself at this
six-month mark. By now you must have some favorite de-stress techniques, such as a bubble
bath or time in the garden. Recognize what was preventing you from moving on with your life,
such as fear of change or self-doubt, and look at how you have overcome those fears and doubts.
Prepare in advance for stressful days such as major holidays with parties, or alone time when you
can't be with friends and family.

Do you have more time now to discover your passion, take up a new hobby or sign up for
classes? Or is it full of other activities that have popped up because of your hard work?
Remember that each day you are working on becoming the best you that you can be.
New Construction Zone!

Building new relationships, either friendships or dating relationships, can be especially tough for
trauma survivors. But you have your coping strategies to help you rebuild a sense of trust and
allow you to form new attachments, slowly and carefully. You know the signs to look for if a
friendship starts to become one-sided or draining. You know how to vet people before investing
your time and heart 100%. No more emotional vampires for you. Alternately, you know how to
keep from draining the friends and family you already have supporting you.

You have stopped blaming yourself for everything that didn't go exactly as planned. Instead of
being stuck in a cycle of worry and mean-mouth loops, you take a step back and reflect on what
is at the root of your problem. You know how to smash negative thoughts with solid
affirmations. Or take a timeout when someone overwhelms you with their negative energy.

A change such as you have made symbolizes the loss of a relationship namely your old self. It's
normal to experience the five stages of grief -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and
acceptance. And you now know that you should allow yourself to feel your emotions instead of
ignoring them. If you find yourself wanting to suppress any of the feelings, lean on your support
tools for healthy expressions, such as journaling, writing letters to yourself, crying, and
reviewing your old journals so you can see how far you have come. When you feel frustrated or
stuck be kind to yourself, these feelings will pass. We all move at our own pass and you will see
that sometimes things don't happen as quickly as you might like. Be patiently persistent and you
will move along.

~ Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones,
not the birthdays, the graduation, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real
milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs
that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these. ~

- Susan B. Anthony
Conclusion
 

There are other techniques that can help in addressing obsessive overthinking. If you do it in the
right way, the result is achievable. So, here they are. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 

The signs of obsessive thinking or overthinking can be serious and might need proper treatment,
so you can deal with the condition until you know how to cope with the main culprit of the issue.
Treatments which are able to boost the level of serotonin in your brain can be administered. CBT
or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also suggested for those experiencing from overthinking
disorder. 

Teaching how you cope with your overthinking issue is the only way to address this condition.
Anxiety caused by any sort of abuse during early days can haunt your adulthood. These awful
and terrible problems need to be solved. You have to confront the problems which have been
hidden and masked in yourself, for years together. Bad memories or old wounds happened not
physically, but emotionally and spiritually need to be reopened and addressed. Getting you to
vomit out the deadly and venomous ideas and freeing the anger harbored all through these years,
are the initial steps to the process of healing. 

Showing overthinkers how they aren't condemned beings, but exceptional divine individuals will
help them feel loved and accepted. This helps them to move from a world of shame and
intimidation to mental freedom and confidence. These individuals have to be educated on how to
appreciate and love themselves, and not for being very sensitive human beings. 

Overthinking can be addressed without taking any form of medications. Overthinkers need
genuine love and care and must be shown how vital it is to cope with problems of the past,
regardless of how terrible and dreadful they are. 

Calm Your Mind 

Calming your mind is one of the best ways to deal with overthinking. Here are some of the ways
on how to calm your mind. 

Music 
We all love listening to our favorite music. There are many genres of music available out there.
There are a ballad, love songs, metal, and many others. But are you aware that certain types of
music can help calm our mind? This type of music is ideal for people who overthink everything. 

Stress relief music a profound effect on our bodies and minds. Listening to calming music is able
to calm mental stress and physical tension. What is more, soothing music can also lower blood
pressure level and slow breathing and heartbeat? The accompanying tranquil and hassle-free
state is extremely advantageous to wellbeing and health. 

It's not a hidden secret that music influences our state of mind and feelings. The fact that music
has a powerful effect on us is normally ignored. We are likely not to think of it. We just know it
does. 

Exactly how does soothing music bring about calming in our mind? The answer may be
surprising. 

Slows Breathing and Heart Rate

Once you listen to a kind of music you're fond of, your temper changes immediately. When
listening to that song, do you find yourself hungrily saying, Oh, I really love this song"! What
happens when you hear a slow, peaceful song which is soothing to you? You calm down, tension
slides from your mind and body quiets.  This takes place due to the fact that soothing music
slows breathing and heart rate. As long as the beat of the music is steady and slow, your
breathing and heart rate will relax into the pleasing piece. 

Affects Brain Waves

In a tranquil condition, brain wave frequency is alpha. Listening to soothing music really
influences how our brain functions this through by altering brain wave frequency. During times
of constant worry, brain waves are theta or beta, that is a higher frequency. Actually, the brain
moves toward the frequency it is experiencing. Once you listen to soothing music, most
particularly if it is tangled with binaural alpha tones, constant worry will ease, and tension will
be released. 

Lower Stress Hormones 

Soothing and calming music is used by practitioners and doctors today. Studies have discovered
that when patients listen to their preferred music during the healing process, they have lowered
cortisol in their bloodstreams. This is because music relaxes our body and calms our mind. A lot
of dentists make use of music to ease the pain and stress of their patients. Acupuncturists,
massage therapists, hypnotists, and reiki practitioners use music to help relaxation and healing of
their patients. When cortisol lowered through relaxation, healing is improved and optimized. 

Types of Relaxing Music 

What types of music that can me relax, you may ask? Some classical music out there may not be
so relaxing and calming. How you define relaxing?" I guess this is a personal choice which you
have to make. Like in meditation, you need to go to a self-discovery to enlightenment. Also,
music is a personal choice. But, those who find relief in listening to music recommend some nice
pieces to listen to. This includes Maria" by Bach/Gounod, and this is a very peaceful track if you
want to loosen up and calm down. Another good piece of music worth listening if you want to
feel relax is Rachmaninoff's prelude op23 no 5 in G minor by Rachmaninoff. The dynamics and
colors of this song are really soothing. 

It is relatively amazing the effect of music in our emotions, mood as well as brain functions. The
beauty of soothing music is that it's an easy way to unwind and relax our mind. You can listen to
soothing music while walking, jogging, and before going to sleep in order to stop overthinking.
It's a remarkable tool for easing stress as well as promoting healing.