Managing Stress: Good for Your Health

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How to make stress your friend | Kelly McGonigal

Please check out our extensive self-help library in the member's area. Lots more content there. Free trial!

We can help! Please check out our extensive self-help library in the member's area. You can also register for your free stress management report here. We'd also like to recommend our range of stress-busting products.  Jill is also available for 1-to-1 online therapy if you'd prefer to speak to a very experienced therapist face to face.

How to Use the Power of Visualization to Achieve your Dreams

How to Use the Power of Visualization to Achieve your Dreams

This chapter is a continuation of the previous ones. It contains more tips that will enable you to leverage the power of visualization to achieve your dreams. However, unlike the last one, it is more systematic.

(This is an excerpt from The Power of Visualization. The complete PDF is available in the member's area).

Choose a SMART Goal

Setting goals is the foundation of visualization. If you don’t have things you want to accomplish, then there’s no reason to create imageries for anything. So, you need to start by deciding what you want to achieve. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. When your goals don’t have these characteristics, you are just emotional.

Specific means that the goal is clearly spelled out and not vague, while measurable means that there are benchmarks and milestones that indicate the achievement of the target. Achievable means that the goal is realistic, while relevant means that the target is connected to meaningfulness. Finally, time-bound means that you intend to achieve the goal within a specific period.

Envision it in Detail

After choosing your target, the next step involves creating imaginations around the goal. Imagine yourself performing and achieving the goal. If your dream is to become a medical doctor, imagine yourself treating people and helping them to recover from pains and diseases. In the same way, if your target is to learn how to play the piano, imagine yourself dazzling a crowd with your skills.

However, don’t just be fixated at the end. Begin by thinking about the process of achieving your target. For example, think about the training process and how you’ll choose to endure all the difficulties that might come during the period. Determine not to quit regardless of the challenges that come your way while envisioning the process.

Employ all your Senses

All your senses have to be involved during visualization. You will engage your sense of smell, sight, sound, taste, and feel. What will you be wearing on your graduation day? How will it feel on your body? What kind of food will be available on that day? Your mind has to capture all these details and engage your senses to make them as real as possible.

When your thoughts have been able to capture the details and translate them to your senses, you will keep working hard to ensure that it comes to pass. You’ll want to get to the finishing because you want to have an actual experience of your imagination. Therefore, you will buckle down and get to work because you have dreams to achieve.

Be a Storyteller

You can aid your imagery by writing a story of your success. Emily Cook employs this approach. Investigators have discovered that people who write out their goals have a higher chance to achieve them than individuals who don’t. You don’t have to write it down in a book. Instead, you can record it as audio. Then play it to yourself at different times. Playing it to yourself multiple times will help you to encode the words in your brain, helping you to form images of it easily.

Scientists have found that various parts of your brain are activated when you synthesize an experience by using multiple senses. The resultant effect of this activation is a powerful visualization and more productivity. So, you will be boosting your chances of creating images that will spur you to success when you write and record your expectations and read or listen to them repeatedly.

Be Flexible

It’s always good to have multiple roadmaps in life to avoid being stranded. You cannot afford to be rigid because things don’t always happen exactly as you want them. So, while thinking about a particular target and how you can achieve it, you should also think of similar alternatives in case things didn’t turn out the way you planned them.

For example, if you’re trying to learn the piano, you can see learning the guitar as another alternative in case you find the going too tough. Indeed, this isn’t an option you should plan to exercise. However, it will come in handy in case you had to seek a different option. There’s no point sticking with something if the best you can be at it is an average performer.

Identify Inner Obstacles

After writing down your goal and creating imaginations of it, it’s crucial that you identify the likely challenges that can frustrate your effort. You need to start from the internal factors such as your confidence, self-esteem, and motivation. Whether you realize it or not, you have control over these things. No one can shatter your confidence or reduce your self-esteem if you don’t allow them. In the same way, no one can make you lose the motivation and desire to achieve your dreams if you don’t empower them to that extent in your life.

There will always be people who will discourage you regardless of what you want to achieve. You should think about the likely criticisms that can be levied against your targets beforehand. Provide reasonable and logical responses to those allegations before anyone comes up with them. You should be your own greatest critic to ensure that you will be able to stand against the scorching words of destructive critics.

Identify External Obstacles

You don’t have only internal issues to contend with whenever you are trying to accomplish a target. There are also external factors that can derail your ambition. Funding can be a critical factor that can make it impossible for you to achieve some things. You should plan for it as you think about how you will reach your destination.

You can always ask people you know who can give you tips regarding how you can get money to finance your dreams. You might be surprised to find out that there are opportunities such as grants that can make things easier. Don’t be a lone-ranger because it makes you susceptible to being stranded.

Implement Intentions

Whenever you’re trying to achieve a goal, there will always be doubts rising in your heart. It only shows that you are a human being. However, you shouldn’t let anything stop you. The last phase of visualization is the implementation of your intentions. Start with the simple things first.

You might need to talk to an experienced person first before you get started. You need to be careful when trying to talk to people because some conversations with some people can drain out all your energy and motivation. It’s always better to speak to people who are either doing what you want to do or have succeeded in it.

(This is an excerpt from The Power of Visualization. The complete PDF is available in the member's area).

Have you ever noticed that everyone talks about what stress can do to your health?

Have you ever noticed that everyone talks about what stress can do to your health?

Most people have no clue what stress can do for them. It can be good for you if you know how to use it to benefit from it.

You’re asking how is this true? Knowing the principles in a guide to thriving on stress can help you to make some changes. These principles start with understanding stress. Learning what stress is and how it can affect your health when you let it get out of control can help you make better choices.

Why is stress bad for you? Stress is bad for you in many ways. Stress can cause heart trouble, high blood pressure, as well as many other kinds of troubles when it comes to your health. Yet when you turn it around and learn to put stress in your corner, you have the start of a guide to thriving on stress.

What things do people do if they are stressed out? Some people will eat until they cannot move because they cannot manage stress. Still, some people will starve before eating as a well to deal with stress.

Well, if you are trying to lose weight, I guess. Nevertheless, when your body loses nutrients you re only causing you harm.

Instead of letting stress beat you down, go do some exercises. This will help you to get on the road to thriving on stress and turning it into your friend. This will help you to relieve your stress, if you do it long enough you will start to feel better about yourself.

Some of us may just want to crawl up by the fireplace and read a good book. Reading is not very bad either reading is good for you.

How do I learn to benefit from having stress? In order to get all that you can out of stress you have to learn to train your brain to do the opposite of what it wants to do. If your mind is telling you to eat, you have to train yourself to walk away from the food.

It is really all in your head not in your hands. Training your brain to do something different takes time. Retraining the mind cannot take place overnight. You will have to have a lot of willpower as well. It is not going to be easy but you can do it if you put your mind to it.

How will I benefit from stress? You can benefit from anything you want; it is just going to take some time to do it. If you are feeling better about yourself, you have learned to deal with your stress. Dealing with your stress is almost as hard as you make it.

You will have to learn to train your brain to do what you want it to do instead of it control you and your brain which is not good for you or any part of your body. There is a lot of self-mediation that you can do to help you to learn to do this.

If you want to learn some of these things, you can go to your local library and get some information. However, it will be easier if you just learn to control your stress.

We can help! Please check out our extensive self-help library in the member's area. We'd also like to recommend our range of stress-busting products.

Jill is also available for 1-to-1 online therapy if you'd prefer to speak to a very experienced therapist face to face.

Affirmations To Help With Your Depression Today

Affirmations To Help With Your Depression Today

We can help! Please check out our extensive self-help library in the member's area. We'd also like to recommend our range of stress-busting products.

Jill is also available for 1-to-1 online therapy if you'd prefer to speak to a very experienced therapist face to face.

What Are Your Behavioral Defects?

What Are Your Behavioral Defects?

What Are Your Behavioral Defects?

We all have faults and flaws, but have you thought about the possibility of yours lying in your behavior? Behavioral defects are more common than you might think. In this article, we’re going to explore the common signs of several behavioral defects so you can figure out how to identify them in yourself.

It’s important to keep in mind that self-diagnosing behavioral defects and behavioral disorders are two different things with a very fine line between them. Be very careful to not self-diagnose yourself. If you think something is more serious than can be fixed with simple behavioral adjustment, seek the help of a trained and licensed professional.

 

 

Oversensitivity

Oversensitivity is a very common behavioral defect. If you find that you get extremely worked up over the littlest thing, you might have a problem with oversensitivity. If every little disruption seems like the end of the world, you’re likely dealing with oversensitivity.

 

How to identify it

● Overreactions to simple problems

● Feels like you have a catastrophe regularly (daily/weekly)

● It doesn’t take much of anything to make you cry

● You’re always mad at someone

● Everyone (or the universe) is out to get you

 

What to do about it

● Try to calm yourself down

● Remind yourself of the smallness of the problem

● Think of solutions

● Keep in mind that it’s not a big deal and it’ll all be ok

● When you feel this happening, honestly question if you’re overreacting

 

Anger

We all experience anger sometimes, but it becomes pretty clear when anger is your behavioral defect. If you find yourself reaching impossible levels of anger at the slightest thing, you clearly have an anger problem. If you tend to react to violently or lash out as a response to most of your emotions, you likely have an anger problem.

 

How to identify it

● Most problems or emotions sent you spiraling into anger - it’s one of the only ways you know to express emotions

● Everything makes you angry

● You respond to things going wrong by lashing out violently or destroying things

What to do about it

● Keep yourself calm

● Try new calming hobbies and activities like crocheting, coloring, or yoga

● Seek professional help - anger management, therapy, etc.

 

 

Too Distant

Sometimes a person’s behavioral defect will be their lack of emotional response, rather than an exaggerated emotional response. If you find yourself distancing yourself from emotions, running away from problems rather than dealing with them, or refusing to get close to anyone, your behavioral defect might be keeping yourself distant.

 

How to identify it

● You refuse to experience emotions

● You run away from problems and/or emotional situations

● You keep yourself from getting close to others

● You don’t allow yourself to feel or experience feelings

 

What to do about it

● Push yourself to stick around and deal with problems and/or emotional situations

● Practice experiencing your emotions and identifying what you’re feeling

● Open up and allow people in - remember, it’s okay to be vulnerable.

 

Are you worried you may have a behavioral defect? The ones we’ve listed above are the three most common, but there are many others you may be dealing with. If you’re concerned about these defects or a potential behavioral disorder, we highly recommend seeing your doctor or making an appointment with a therapist or counselor.

We can’t warn you off self-diagnosing psychological conditions enough. When you read the descriptions of these conditions, your brain jumps to the most generic of symptoms that most everyone could say they experience and gets convinced you have whatever it is. You need a diagnosis from a professional to be sure and get the right treatment that will actually be effective.

 

We can help! Please check out our extensive self-help library in the member's area. We'd also like to recommend our range of stress-busting products.

Jill is also available for 1-to-1 online therapy if you'd prefer to speak to a very experienced therapist face to face.

Assessing Your Need For Personal Development

Assessing Your Need For Personal Development

Assessing Your Need For Personal Development

Personal development is a crucial part of life; it’s what gets you from being that awkward teen full of mistakes to the wise adult you are today. But how do you know where you stand in your personal development? How do assess whether you need to work on it harder or keep on the path you’re already on?

In this article, we’re going to explore personal development and help you identify if you need to work on it.

Do you make decisions for yourself?

One of the first ways to tell if you need to revisit your personal development or not is by analyzing how you make decisions. Do you make them for yourself or do you rely heavily on the thoughts and opinions of others?

There’s a difference between getting the advice and input of others on decisions you made and relying on others to make the decision for you. The first is a reasonable course of action for anyone making a big or heavy decision. The second, however, is a sign that you’re not going well on your path to personal development.

 

Do you like yourself?

While the goal of personal development is to make you a better person, the motivation has to be rooted in you. It’s your idea of “better,” the person you want yourself to be, and what you want out of your life. If you don’t like yourself, you’re not on the right track with your personal development.

If you answered no to this question, ask yourself these follow-up questions to help you identify where you went wrong and what you need to adjust and correct:

 

● What specifically about yourself do you not like?

● What small action each day would help change that?

● What goal can you set for yourself that, once achieved, would help you like yourself more?

● Why do you think it is that you don’t like yourself?

● What major change would need to take place for you to like yourself?

From here, you can develop a plan and course of action to help rectify this problem and get you on the right track to personal development.

 

What accomplishments toward personal development have you made so far?

While you don’t want to focus exclusively on your goals, you do need to measure your progress in some way to make sure you know if you’re on the right track or not. Spend some time reflecting on your personal development thus far.

 

What goals have you set for yourself? Have you accomplished them? What goals do you still have for yourself? Are you close to achieving any of them? Determining the answers to these questions will help you to assess if you need to work to improve your personal development or not.

 

Why should you assess your need for personal development?

As we said before, personal development is a crucial part of life. It’s what helps to make you the best person you possibly can be. Taking the time to assess your need for personal development helps keep you on track and gets you to the good person you want to be. It helps you take stock of your behavior, actions, and decisions and make sure that you’re being the person you want to be.

Personal development is an important part of life, but it doesn’t just happen. It’s something you actively have to work at to improve and keep track of your progress so you can keep up what’s working and cut out what’s not. As you assess your personal development, consider how you can work to improve your personal development and achieve your desired results.

 

We can help! Please check out our extensive self-help library in the member's area. We'd also like to recommend our range of stress-busting products.

Jill is also available for 1-to-1 online therapy if you'd prefer to speak to a very experienced therapist face to face.

Using Guided Meditation to Reprogram Your Mind

Using Guided Meditation to Reprogram Your Mind

 

 

Using Guided Meditation To Reprogram Your Mind

If you are stuck in a cycle of negative thinking, it can feel impossible to overcome it. Stress, worry, and anxiety can have massive impacts on mental health by disrupting thought patterns and interfering with our lives.

If you are looking for a method to reprogram your negative thinking, guided meditation is an excellent tool to help reverse your habits. Through guided meditation, people can seek inner peace and gain better control over their negative thinking for relaxation, stress relief, and peace of mind. As a bonus, guided meditation is a great way for beginners to explore meditation as it involves leadership from a teacher to perform.

 

Begin any guided meditation session by setting your intentions.

Before you even turn on your guided meditation app or walk into your teacher’s meditation studio, determine what you want to achieve from your guided meditation session before it begins.

When you enter your session with a clear picture of what you want, you’ll be able to focus on it as the instructor leads you into a state of relaxation. You don’t need to have a big, complicated goal for the session–you can keep it as simple as “I want to steady my breathing” or “I want to feel a little more calm than I do now.” Baby steps turn into the foundation for reprogramming your mind toward more positive, relaxed thinking.

Use your guided meditation time to really get in touch with your emotions.

Emotions are complicated. Often, when we think we feel one way about a situation, we end up actually having multiple emotions swirling together to make one confusing mix of feelings. This can really mess with our minds. Instead of taking a moment to really process and understand emotions, we allow them to overcome us, which often leads to negative thinking cycles. Or, as Psychology Today points out, some people do the exact opposite and repress their emotions rather than experiencing them. Either method can lead to serious upset and damage to our minds.

During your guided meditation, as you begin to relax your body and open your mind, sit with your emotions, and break them down into specific parts. Often, big emotions such as anger or sadness are often accompanied by others, such as grief, jealousy, or frustration. When you can identify separate emotions and truly get in tune with your mind and body, you can begin to accept and learn to work with how they affect your mind.

 

Use guided meditation to help you determine what you really want for yourself.

When you think about what we want for yourself in the future, you might have a hard time really visualizing what you truly desire for yourself. Whether you have a negative self-image or a hard time determining which pathway you want to take, getting your mind to focus on yourself can be a challenge.

Group Meditation

Depending on the situation you are facing in your personal life, you may want to consider group guided meditation. This is very similar to the guided meditation mentioned above, in which a guide walks you through the meditation process, however group guided meditation is generally completed in a room with other people around. This may seem a bit weird at first, but you will find that some of these people are going through similar situations that you are in your own life.

And having a social group surrounding you as you meditate can help you feel supported and loved—which may be especially important if you are dealing with something like the loss of a loved one.

 

Final Thoughts

Guided meditation can help you reach a comfortable balance between your mind and body to allow yourself that opportunity to explore potential pathways in a safe environment. Guided meditation is often used in tandem with other practices, such as visualization.

By using guided meditation to relax your thoughts and your body, you can open a great space for your mind to explore different pathways you envision yourself taking. In reality, trying to imagine yourself accomplishing a huge goal can seem fuzzy and impossible to imagine, but during guided meditation, the fog is lifted. Your mind is free to wander down different pathways to allow yourself a chance to see yourself as the person you really want to become.

 


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The Secret To Cardio Training That Could Double Your Results… In Less Time!

The Secret To Cardio Training That Could Double Your Results… In Less Time!

Traditional long form cardio is getting bashed all over the place nowadays.

It's not my favorite form of exercise either, nor do I think it's the best option for fat loss and overall health and fitness.

At least not if that's all you’re doing.

But cardio can definitely be effective and have its own place as part of a well-designed fitness program.

Cardio should be one component of your program, not the only component.

Then the question that gets asked a lot is, "if I'm training for fat loss, when should I do my cardio, before or after my weight training session?"

Great question! You're on a roll! Oh, wait! That's just the same question asked again!

So, weights then cardio, or cardio then weights?

 

The answer is… Weights then CARDIO!

So why resistance training first?

For starters, if you do cardio first, your weight training performance (and results) will suffer.

Here's a dirty little secret cardio bunnies and makers of "aerobics" dvds don't want you to know.

Intense, high quality weight training is MORE effective for taking fat off and keeping it off than cardio!

Hit the weights while you're fresh, then move to your cardio. Yes, of course, you can do a few minutes of a general warm up if you need it.

Glycogen Depletion

By hitting the weights first, you'll also deplete your glycogen stores, leaving your body primed and pumped to dip into its stores of excess body fat to fuel the cardio portion of your workout.

The flip side of that is that fat is not an efficient fuel for weight training. Glycogen is the preferred source of fuel for short, intense muscle contractions.

By hitting the weights first, you've allowed your body to have the preferred muscle fuel available and primed it to burn fat as soon as you start your cardio. NICE!

If you want to be efficient and MAXIMIZE your results, it's strength training first, then cardio!

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The Word YES Can Change Your Reality

The Word YES Can Change Your Reality
If you want to live a fulfilling life, you should be willing to keep growing. You need to have a desire to change that is stronger than your desire to remain comfortable in your present state, for you to be able to escape an ordinary or undesirable lifestyle. However, that stronger desire to change must be accompanied by the change of one’s mindset. You cannot escape an unfavorable situation with the same mindset you got into it with.
The strength of our mind is one of the things we do not talk about much and is underrated. A person who is mentally strong but physically weak is in a better position to achieve greater things than someone who is physically strong but lacks mentally. Your reality depends on your perceptions and your routine changes with your feelings and mindset. Therefore, you will need to cultivate the mindset of a winner and feed your brain positivity to be able to change your reality. You need to fight every seed of doubt planted in you and not allow it the right conditions for growth. Thus, it is important to block anything that keeps pulling you back.
Learn to say ‘yes’ and enjoy the results of a positive mindset. Leave no room for ‘maybe’ and ‘no’ unless you are using them to affirm your ‘yes’. What does that mean? The truth that you cannot go far if you say yes to everything is undeniable. You should be able to draw boundaries and only say ‘yes’ to requests and opportunities that support your dreams. Of course, as you say ‘yes’ to creating relationships with others – networking – there are higher chances of you getting closer to achieving your dreams through sharing experiences and knowledge. But, if you do not learn to say ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ you might find yourself spending more time trying to help out others and doing them favors at the expense of your own dreams.
Here is how the word ‘yes’ can change your reality;
Yes, I can do it – this is one of the most important things you can ever say to yourself. While the opposite is a definite path to failure, telling yourself that you do have the power to perform a task or reach a goal will challenge you to act and also find ways to ensuring that you make it. If you do not say yes to opportunities, what then ensues is sitting on your hands which does not yield any results. As you get used to challenging yourself, you soon become unstoppable and beautiful things start happening in your life.
Yes, that is my past and present but it will soon be just history – understanding where you are coming from and where you are as well as acknowledging the role it has played in who you are is one of the most important steps towards changing your reality. If you do not see a problem with where you have been and where you are, you will not see the reason to change and will not know what needs to be done to change your situation.
Yes, I would love to help but not now – let people know that as much as you are willing to help, there are pressing issues on your schedule that need completion and you will come to their aid if you manage to get extra time. Do not be a pushover. First, say yes to your dreams and fit in other people's programs where you have time to spare or the program is worth sacrificing for.
Yes there are risks involved but it’s worth a try – some of the things we need to do to change our reality involve risks. In fact, so much of what we do involves risk because we are nearly never sure how things will turn out. This is something you need to understand and be willing to go through in order to grow. Saying yes to risks or challenges pushes us out of our comfort zones and exposes us to bigger things.
Yes, I am not perfect – more often, our realities are only consequences of our own actions. This includes laziness, wasting opportunities, and other forms of lacking discipline. To change your reality in this regard, you need to understand that just like everyone else you are not perfect and you are work in progress. Knowing that you are not perfect and, willingness to change and grow can open up your mind to new things. You also get to understand that what is happening in your life is not always other people's fault but yours. This leads to self-introspection which can further help you uncover the weaknesses that have been pulling you back.
Yes, I need help – you cannot do it all by yourself. Admit it when you need help and ask for it. You learn and progress faster that way. Others have walked the path before you or are still going through it. You can help them as they help you, which makes the journey easier.
Yes, my dreams are valid – if you sat down and carefully considered the path you want to take and ensured it properly aligns with your purpose, let no one discourage you from it. Your life will not make sense to everyone and it does not need to. Be confident of who you are as well as your dreams so that you are not easily pulled back or swayed to the side.