Most people think that being rich and being wealthy is the same, but it is not. There is a massive difference.

Rich or Wealthy?

What is being rich? It is having lots of money right now. Earning a six-figure income is typically regarded as being rich.

What is being wealthy? It is having lots of money right now and in the future. Wealthy people can live for months, years, or even decades without working. The reason is, they have achieved financial freedom. They’ve developed residual or passive income sources. Whether they’re working or not, they make money or money comes to them.

When your passive income is greater than your cost of living, you’re financially free. If your cost of living isn’t high, you can achieve financial freedom at a fairly low level of wealth. Robert Kiyosaki points out that the rich have lots of money, but the wealthy don’t worry about money.

Wealth can also be much broader. It can include things like your health, fitness, and family. Or, the quality of your relationships and having a sense of inner peace.

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The Difference Between Rich and Wealthy People

Let’s see what the key differences between rich and wealthy people are.

Celebrity Look vs. Modest Look

Rich people have the celebrity look. They have flash cars, Rolex watches, Gucci belts, designer clothes, and expensive jewelry. They can have all that because they’re making a good income right now. However, that income is temporary because they have no wealth. They’re just giving off the appearance of wealth. That appearance could disappear at any moment. They live from a big paycheck to a big paycheck. Or even worse, that celebrity lifestyle is financed by being in debt.

Wealthy people often have a more modest look. They don’t always go for those fancy things. They would instead save 10, 20, or 30 percent of their earnings. By doing that, they will have more in the future. If a financial crisis happens, like a recession, wealthy people will be in a better position. Why? Because they’ve already built up some money reserves. The crisis would not affect them as much – financially, mentally, or emotionally. They know that they’ve got the financial reserves to get through difficult times.

Less Going Out, More Coming In

If you earn $500,000 a year, and you spend $540,000 a year, are you rich? Well, you might look rich, but I would say you’re not. Why? Because it’s not about how much you earn, it’s about how much you keep. On a month-by-month basis, wealthy people might be earning less. But the crucial thing is that they’re saving a lot more.

Wealthy people usually have a lot less money going out than they have coming in. As a result, they don’t need to worry about money. If a short term expense comes up, they can easily afford it. They’re not spending as much as they’re earning, and they’re building up their wealth over time. Also, if something happens in the economy, they can handle it. They don’t need to worry about that.

Money-Making Knowledge

Rich people have money. Sometimes the way they made that money was a bit of luck. They were just in the right place at the right time. Wealthy people know how to make money. Rich people work for money. Wealthy people know how to make money work for them.

Often, the difference between rich and wealthy comes apparent in a recession. Both the rich and the wealthy can lose money. But, the wealthy have the knowledge. They know how to make money. So they bounce back again. There are so many examples of wealthy people that have bounced back from recessions. They knew how to make that money back again.

Is It Sustainable?

How sustainable is their money? Is it easy or hard to lose it? If you think of Bill Gates, he has so much wealth that it would be extremely hard for him to lose it. So a wealthy person has sustainable wealth.

Compare that to a rich person, for example, rich celebrities. They have lots of money now, but there’s no guarantee they’re going to have that money in the future. What if they lose their popularity? What if someone else comes along who’s more liked than they are? Or, more successful than they are?

These celebrities, even if they are successful for a while, often have a fear that they could lose it all in the future. They have that fear of losing, and they’re only rich until the money dries up. That’s often in the back of their minds. Sustainability is a crucial difference between rich and wealthy people.

Active vs. Passive Income

What is an active income? An active income is where you trade your time for money. People working a conventional job are earning an active income. Many self-employed people – like therapists, plumbers, electricians, or personal trainers – earn an active income as well. They’re providing a service, and they get paid for it.

What’s a passive income? With passive income, money is not related to your time and effort. A good source of passive income is earnings from interest on savings. Or, dividends from shares. These are excellent forms of passive income. If you write a book and get royalties from it, that’s a passive income. Or, you can buy a property and have tenants that are paying you rent. You get money from those tenants. It doesn’t matter whether you work or not, you’re getting that rental income.

Quite a lot of people make passive income through an online business. They create products that they sell online. There’s a bit of effort involved in creating the product. But once it’s done, sales come through even when they’re asleep. That’s a key difference. A passive income is a way of making money that isn’t dependent or utterly dependent on your time and effort. It means that you can take a break for a month or two, and that money will still come in.

It’s More Than Money

Rich people tend to focus on money too much. They could be working extremely long hours to make that money. Think about people like stockbrokers, lawyers, and doctors. They are rich, but they could be working 50, 60, maybe even 70 hours a week to sustain their rich lifestyle.

Wealthy people value time. Time is often the most important thing for them.

They also value friendship. That’s very important to them, too. They’re the kind of people that will help you out if needed. There’s a great saying that is “your network is your net worth”. Wealthy people are aware of the value of networks, friends, and family. This is a key difference between rich and wealthy people.

Assets vs. Liabilities

Liabilities cost money to maintain or fix them. Assets don’t. That’s the crucial difference. Examples of assets are stocks and shares or interest on a bank account. A lot of people think that a house is an asset, but it’s not. A house needs maintenance. You could buy a house for $100,000, do it up, and sell it for $200,000. That would seem like a good investment.

But, don’t forget the cost of the work involved. Unexpected costs, like leaks or roof repairs, can happen. You might still make a profit when sold, but it’s still a liability, not an asset until you sell it. You need to put money into it. There’s always a risk that you’ll need to put some money into it in the future. You have to be prepared for that.

Social Media Fascination

Wealthy people are less preoccupied with social media than rich people. I’m sure you’ve experienced this. You’ve seen someone’s new car on Facebook or exotic holiday photos on Instagram. The problem with social media is that it distorts reality. You only see the highlights of someone’s life.

It’s almost like it’s the opposite of the news. The news tells you all the bad stuff that’s going on in the world. Social media shows you all the great stuff that’s happening to other people. This can really distort reality.

What I recommend with social media is that you take it with a pinch of salt. Don’t let what other people are doing on social media distract you from your own financial goals. You can see other people traveling, having beautiful houses, or having kids in private schools. Think if they can really afford that. Are they just living paycheck to paycheck? Or, even worse, borrowing money to achieve that lifestyle?

Nothing Is More Valuable Than Freedom

You now know the difference between rich and wealthy people. Think about what being wealthy means to you. Could it be time with your family and friends? Could it be some time just for you? Perhaps, owning your own home? Maybe, having a cleaner? Or, being able to travel a lot more, and having the time to do it.

I’ll finish off with a few points from the book Simple Path to Wealth by J. L. Collins. Spend less than you earn and invest the difference. Avoid debt at all costs. Money can buy you many things, but nothing is more valuable than your freedom. So ultimately, having money will set you free. When you can live on four percent of your investments per year, you are truly financially independent.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

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Energy, much more than time, is what you need to achieve your goals and dreams. The number of hours in the day is fixed, but the quality and quantity of your energy are not. How would it feel to be able to do far more in the time available? In this article, I’ll introduce you to 4 types of energy and help you learn how to manage and master your energy.

Don’t Run Out of It!

Every thought, emotion, and behavior affect your energy either in a good or a bad way. The lack of it will negatively affect any activity. It could be studying, public speaking, working, exercising, or playing a sport. It is essential to be aware that your energy is finite!

So what can drain your energy? Relationships, certain situations, activities, habits, or obligations. If you want to perform consistently at a high level, it is crucial to use your energy more consciously, so you never run out of it.

Most successful people know how to engage fully whenever they need to. They also know when it’s time for rest and renewal. If you take no rest, your energy will start to deplete. It’s probably the most obvious with physical energy. When you exercise, you eventually get tired. You need to slow down or take a break. The same applies to the other 3 types of energy.

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Get to Know Your 4 Types of Energy

Most people think that there’s only one type of energy – physical. Actually, there are four!

When you experience different highs and lows, it is due to different types of energy. These different energies work together, and one affects the other. If you are aware of this, you’ll know what to do when you feel down. You will know how to master your energy.

Now, let’s learn about the 4 different types of energy.

1. Physical Energy

When we talk about energy, most people think of physical energy. Mastering this type of energy implies healthy living. Are you eating healthy food? Do you exercise? What is the quality of your sleep?

The lack of exercise, proper nutrition, and sleep will negatively affect your physical energy. Fresh air and sunlight will increase it. The one thing that is also important is your breathing. If you breathe deeply, you’ll have more energy.

What are the things that currently rob you of your physical energy? What are the things that are stopping you from living at your physical peak? Very likely, these will include some of the things I’ve just mentioned.

2. Mental Energy

How well can you focus or concentrate, and for how long? It depends on your mental energy, which is vital for studying, learning, or working. When you do a long stint, your focus and concentration will eventually start to wane. You become less productive. Why is that? Because your mental energy is finite as well. That’s a clue that it’s time to take a break.

What Is Robbing You of Your Mental Energy?

Ask yourself, what are the things that you currently do that rob you of your mental energy? What are the specific things that rob you of your time and focus? What is undermining your productivity in any area of your life?

Things that can negatively affect your mental energy and focus might be as simple as an untidy desk! Or notifications on your computer. You can be distracted by other people – friends, family, or work colleagues. Inefficient systems, such as a slow computer or internet, can also affect you.

Master Your Mental Energy

When you get distracted, it can take up to 10 minutes to get back to the level of concentration that you had before! So the vital question is, do you have control over distractions, and what can you do about them? Sometimes they are not entirely under your control, and you can’t change them immediately. But here are a few things that you can do.

Pomodoro Technique

This is a great technique! The way it works is that you focus on one thing for 25 minutes, and then you take a five-minute break. Then you do another 25 minutes, and then you take another five-minute break. You do this for four cycles, and then you take a longer break. There are helpful Pomodoro apps you can get on your phone, or you can use a timer.

Doing one thing at a time

Some people think that we can multitask. But it is much better to focus on one thing to the exclusion of all others. Avoid distractions as much as possible. Turn off notifications on your computer. It definitely helps!

Meditation

Meditation is excellent for improving your focus and concentration. Doing just a little bit of meditation each day can really help improve your mental energy.

3. Emotional Energy

This type of energy is about how happy you are. Your emotional energy gets drained when you’re stuck in the past. Ruminating over and over again about past events is exhausting. Emotional energy also gets depleted when you have arguments with other people, especially prolonged ones. If you keep going over that argument in your mind, that doesn’t help either. Internal conflicts or hard decision making can also deplete your emotional energy.

What Is Robbing You of Your Emotional Energy?

Did you ever feel your body was fully awake, but you were emotionally drained? That was a clue that your emotional energy needed some attention. Ask yourself, what are the things that rob you of your emotional energy? What are the specific people, places, and things that prevent you from being happy and more joyful in life?

Master Your Emotional Energy

Above all, reduce stressful situations if you can. Find the things that continually seem to drain your energy and life force. The following tips might be helpful.

Focus On What You Want & Set Goals

One of the ways to improve and increase your emotional energy is to start thinking about what you want. Set your goals. It will help you change your center of attention. Your brain will have less time to think about past events and will focus on the future instead.

Deal with Unresolved Negative Emotions

Start focusing on any high-maintenance drama-filled relationships. Deal with people that have been upsetting you. Express how you feel! Releasing emotions is beneficial, especially resentment and anger.

A fantastic way to release emotions is the Sedona Method and you can learn how to do this in this article.

Counseling and therapy might be necessary if you’ve got some quite deep-rooted resentments or other emotional issues.

Imagine a Protective Bubble

Another great way is to imagine a protective, emotional bubble around your body. Imagine that nothing from outside can get to you through this protective bubble. Use this bubble to shield yourself from the negative emotions from the outside.

Highly successful people do this unconsciously. They have a way to prevent negativity from getting in. So, they maintain high emotional energy when things get tough.  You can do this too, now that you know how!

4. Spiritual Energy

The last type of energy is spiritual energy. This type of energy is all about what you see as your purpose in life.

When you have high spiritual energy, you have lots of creative ideas. You get answers to your problems. You have intuitions that lead you through life. You feel connected to nature and other people. Or God, universal consciousness, or some other form of spirituality. You’re really in the flow, and everything seems easy. It’s when the Law of Attraction really starts to work.

When you have low spiritual energy, you pretty much get the opposite. Spiritual energy is also finite, and it’s very hard to be on a spiritual high all the time.

What Is Robbing You of Your Spiritual Energy?

What are the specific people, places, and things that prevent you from fulfilling your highest purpose in life? Maybe it’s your self-worth or self-belief. Certain habits, behaviors, temptations, and weaknesses also take spiritual energy away from you.

Master Your Spiritual Energy

To increase your spiritual energy, focus on positive feelings. Send these out to the world, out to the universe. Remember that the universe picks up on feelings much more than anything else.

Focus more on providing value to others. This is a great way to get you out of your own head and connect you with a higher power, whatever that higher power is for you.

In Conclusion

In reality, these four different types of energy work together.

Since you now know them, you can try and boost each one in turn. Remember that it’s essential to lead a balanced life. You must balance your energy. Learn when you need to take a break and when you need to recharge. This will help you master your energy over time. You will be ready to successfully pursue your dreams and goals.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

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Any thought that makes you feel unhappy, frustrated, sad, angry or guilty will almost certainly fit into one of the 12 common thinking traps that I cover in this article.

We take in information from our five senses and it goes through a mental filter. This distorts some incoming information, deletes other bits and then generalizes the remaining information so that it makes sense to us.

This happens all the time, but sometimes the information gets filtered through one of the 12 common thinking traps. When this happens, you can feel negative, pessimistic and stuck.

In this article, I cover the 12 common thinking traps in detail. I also provide some great information to help you steer clear of these thinking traps so that you feel happier, less anxious and more at peace with yourself and others.

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What is a Thinking Trap?

A thinking trap is when you perceive your experience differently to how it really is and that results in you feeling negative and pessimistic. The technical term for this is “cognitive distortions”.

Cognitions are your thoughts, perceptions, beliefs, and values. They represent how you interpret the world. They can also be called TFB loops, which stands for thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We have a thought that generates a feeling and that in turn generates a behavior or action.

So let’s get into these 12 common thinking traps or cognitive distortions so that you can identify the ones that you do and start making changes to address these.

1. All-or-Nothing Thinking

This is also known as black and white thinking. It’s about thinking in extremes. Either something is really good or absolutely terrible. There’s no middle ground, only extremes.

Here is an example that came from one of my hypnotherapy clients. She said, “I am a complete failure as a mother”. Deep inside, she believed that she was responsible for her son’s behavior. Now, in reality, there are lots of factors that influence how a child grows up. These include the father, teachers, friends and other kids at school.

Other examples include saying to yourself “I’m a total loser” after making a mistake or saying “my diet is completely ruined” after being tempted by a little bit of chocolate. How about “nobody likes me” after one person took a dislike to you.

So what is happening here? One experience or just some small part of life is creating a negative belief that is very black-and-white.

How do you overcome this? Start by noticing that your experience is not black or white, right or wrong, it’s shades of grey. Most things are good or pretty average with the occasional negative experience thrown in every so often.

When you find yourself falling into this all-or-nothing thinking pattern, simply say “really?” This will force your brain to think of counter-evidence. For example, if you hear yourself saying “I’m a total loser”, then say to yourself “really?”. Your thinking might then change to – “Well, I made that mistake just now, but I’ve already done these things correctly today”.

2. Catastrophizing

Catastrophizing is imagining the worst-case scenario without any assessment of how likely that worst-case scenario really is. It’s also about believing that you won’t be able to cope if this scenario did happen.

This cognitive distortion is also called magnifying because you are magnifying errors, fears, and imperfections. Here are some examples to help you understand this cognitive distortion better.

You’re a child at home and you hear your mom and dad arguing. You instantly think they are going to get a divorce and then you wonder how you’ll cope if they do.

A student might say “if I fail this test, my life is over”. The reality is that failing a test is not the end of the world. You can normally re-sit the test or use this as a reason to move your life in a different direction. Failures also help you learn and become better over time.

To overcome this common thinking trap, look at the likely reality. Ask yourself: “How likely is this event to happen?”. In most cases, it’s very unlikely. Also, look at the unexpected things that have happened to you in the past and how you’ve successfully coped with them. This will help you feel that if the worst-case scenario did happen, you would find a way to cope, just as you have done so in the past.

3. Negative Brain Filters

Negative brain filters are about noticing and focussing on negative experiences only and ignoring the positive ones. This is one of the most common thinking traps.

Examples of this include beating yourself up for eating chocolate whilst ignoring all the salads and other healthy foods that you have eaten recently. Or flunking a golf shot and then spending the rest of your golf round focussing on that duff shot, whilst ignoring all the great shots.

To overcome this thinking trap, become consciously aware of the entire experience and notice both the good, average and bad aspects of any activity. Also, focus on gratitude. Think about how well your life is going and all the good things that are happening. This will shift your focus towards what is working in your life and less on what is not working.

4. Mind Reading

Mind Reading is assuming that you know what other people are thinking about you, when there is no real evidence to back that up. You might say: “I know she hates me”, after seeing a certain facial expression in another person or after something they said. However, it is impossible to read the mind of another person. You do not know what is going on in the other person’s mind and their life. Perhaps that person that seemed unfriendly had just been through a major argument with her husband or is currently dealing with a life-threatening illness.

Another example of this common thinking trap is “Others think I’m stupid”. Again, this could be based on a comment someone made, or on a feeling you have around certain people. You might also think “I know they are talking about me behind my back” based on noticing someone saying something to another person and assuming it’s about you.

To overcome this, begin to understand that you are not a mind reader. It is impossible to read someone else’s mind. You get an idea of what others are thinking, but you can never be completely sure.

Instead, test the evidence. So when someone says something negative about you, ask yourself “what else could this mean?” Your answer might be that this person is having a bad day or has a habit of being negative to lots of other people besides you due to their own insecurities or low self-esteem.

5. Fallacy of Change

One of the key common thinking traps is the fallacy of change. This is about wanting or expecting other people to change to make you happy.

The underlying belief behind this is that your happiness depends on someone else. A great example of this thinking trap is “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t spend every Saturday on the golf course”, or “If you really loved me, you would buy me flowers every week”.

You need to realize that happiness is not dependent on other people and their actions. Remember it can be hard for other people to change. If you’ve struggled to change, then its highly likely that other people find changing difficult as well, especially if they don’t have an awareness of self-development.

To overcome this, realize that someone else changing is NOT within your control. You can influence their behavior by what you say and how you act. However, you cannot directly control their behavior. Also, realize that your happiness depends on you and the decisions that you make each day.

6. Fortune Telling

Fortune Telling is thinking or predicting that things will turn out badly. An example of this common thinking trap is “I’ll never be able to change” or “I know I messed up my interview” or “No one is going to talk to me at this party”. It’s basically telling yourself what is going to happen. It’s attempting to predict the future and in a very negative way.

In reality, we cannot predict the future. In fact, thinking about the future in a negative way is more likely to result in the negative thing happening, because that is what you’re mind will now focus on. So it’s totally pointless to think in this way, especially when there is no concrete evidence that this negative experience will actually happen.

The solution is to ask yourself: “What’s the evidence that I’m going to flunk this interview or that I’ll never be able to change?”. When you start asking yourself these questions, you’ll discover that the evidence behind this thinking trap is quite flimsy.

7. Always Being Right

WARNING! This common thinking trap can ruin relationships.

Always being right is constantly proving that your thoughts and actions are the correct ones. You go all out to prove that you’re right, even if you upset others, especially the ones you love. It’s when you think or say “I know I’m right, I’m going to prove I’m right, I’m going to do this at all costs”. It comes across to the other person as not really caring about what they think, or displaying a lack of interest in them.

A great question to ask in this situation is: “Would I rather be right or would I rather be happy?”. When you ask this question, it’s pretty easy to answer. Most people would rather be happy than right, especially if it helps someone close to you feel that you are listening to them and that they have a voice too.

When I overcame the need to always be right, the number of arguments I had with my wife reduced dramatically! I realized that I didn’t need to prove whether I’m right or not and that trying to be right would simply cause more harm. Instead, I now just let go and be happy instead. If you really want to be happy in your intimate relationship (or relationships in general), then this is a really good cognitive distortion to let go of.

Of all the common thinking traps, this is one of the best ones to work on if you want to improve your relationships and how you interact with other people.

8. Labeling

Labeling is describing yourself or your sense of identity with just one word such as “stupid”, “fat” or “disaster”. This is one of the most dangerous common thinking traps, because all behavior stems from your sense of identity. So, if you see yourself as a stupid person (and that becomes part of your identity), then you’ll start doing more stupid things more often.

In reality, we are far too complex to be summed up in a single word. Choose positive phrases and words that are believable and more realistic instead.

9. Overestimating

This is exaggerating the chance that something bad will happen. This cognitive distortion is a little bit like catastrophizing, but it’s more exaggerating the possibility of something bad happening, rather than completely believing it will happen.

For example, if I forget to lock the front door at night, it is very likely that my house will get burgled, even if I live in a low-crime area. The reality is that, if you forgot to lock the front door, you probably wouldn’t get burgled and you would be perfectly safe.

The belief here is that if I forget to do something, then something bad will happen. This is a fundamental belief that is behind people that suffer from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

What about “The next plane that I fly on is going to crash!”. Now we know that in reality, you are far more likely to win the lottery than to be on a plane that crashes. Nevertheless, if a person really believes that the plane that they are on is going to crash, then they won’t enjoy the flight and have a high level of anxiety instead.

The way to deal with this is the same as for catastrophizing which is to realize that the situation is extremely unlikely to happen. More importantly, if it did happen, you would find a way to cope or deal with it.

10. Overgeneralizing

This is making sweeping judgments about yourself based on one or two experiences. It is often characterized by the use of the words “always” and “never”.

This is not helpful, because it takes one or two experiences and applies them to all situations and events. For example, let’s say that you flunk a few words in a presentation. You then think or say “I’m never going to be good at public speaking.” Did you notice the word “never” in there?

Here is another example. Your boss criticizes you for one specific task, so you say to yourself “I always make mistakes”. Notice the word “always” in there.

The way out of this common thinking trap is to realize that you can’t judge yourself based on one or two negative experiences. Look for counter-examples, such as times and situations where you performed well and had good experiences.

11. Blaming

This is refusing to accept your part in a situation or outcome, and instead blaming others. When you blame others, you are not taking responsibility for the situation and how you react to it. When you don’t take responsibility, you have no control or influence, so you feel powerless.

In a business situation, you might say: “It’s not my fault that we lost out on this opportunity”. However, the reality is that it usually takes several people for something to go wrong in a business environment.

To overcome this cognitive distortion, you need to take responsibility for your own mistakes. Understand that you can change your approach and have a part to play in influencing the outcome of any situation.

12. Should Statements

This is when you tell yourself that you “should”, “ought”, or “must” do something, feel something or behave in a certain way. However, this is not how you actually feel and it goes against what you really want to do. It’s thinking about what you should be doing, rather than being true to yourself. Also the words “should”, “ought”, or “must” indicate a lack of choice.

As a result, you feel anxious, frustrated and disappointed with yourself and feel that you are being pressurized by other people or things you “should” do. It can also cause you to have an unrealistic expectation of yourself.

Getting around this simply involves changing your language. Instead of the word “should”, use the word “could”. This makes you feel like you have a choice. You don’t have to do something, you can choose to do it instead.

Other words that give you a feeling of having choices and options are, “choose” and “will”. For example, “I choose to” or “I will do”.

So these are the 12 thinking traps or cognitive distortions that steal your happiness and success in life. These thinking traps are a core component of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). An important part of CBT involves challenging these thinking traps or cognitive distortions.

When you challenge and then overcome these thinking traps, you’ll be able to attain more success in life and start living each day to the fullest.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

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Stress is something we all have to deal with almost every day. But do you really know what stress is? Or where it comes from?

Before I introduce you to 10 natural ways to reduce stress, let me answer these questions first.

What is stress?

Stress is a gap between something external and your ability or confidence to deal with it. It can also come from needing something to happen.

When you get stressed, your body answers with a chemical and emotional response, along with negative thoughts. Those thoughts create negative emotions that trigger more negative thoughts. So, you end up trapped in a vicious cycle of stress.

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4 Types of Stress

There are 4 major types of stress:

  • Time stress. This is caused by not having enough time to do all the things you need or want to do. We’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives.
  • Anticipatory stress. This is anxiety about something in the future. It could be money, health, or simply a presentation or interview coming up.
  • Situational stress. This is caused by an uncomfortable situation that you can’t control. It could be an emergency, getting laid off or making a mistake in front of your team.
  • Relationship stress. This is stress coming from relationships. This would include your husband, wife, family members, friends or colleagues.

What Is the Real Cause of Your Stress?

Is it your boss, your kids, money, business problems, bad clients, legal issues? No, it’s none of these. These are all external situations. The stress comes from how you react to those situations.

Let me give you some examples. Two employees could work for the same difficult boss and express a different reaction to that boss. Or, two people could have the same money problem, but a different response to that problem.

So it’s not the external event that causes you stress. It’s how you respond to it. Stress comes from your reaction to the situation, not the situation itself. This is extremely important!

The Stress Is Coming from You

Stress is a gap between the situation or something external and your ability to deal with it. A calm person thinks, visualizes, and imagines things differently from an anxious person. The key thing is that the stress is coming from you. It is self-created. It’s your reaction to the circumstances, not the circumstances themselves.

So ask yourself, how are you responsible for the stress that you’re experiencing? Are you creating it or allowing it into your life? Taking responsibility and control is key to long-term success in reducing stress.

Your Confidence Is Crucial

Why do some people get stressed and others don’t? It partly depends on your belief about whether you can deal with the situation or not. If you feel confident, you’re less likely to feel stressed.

Those beliefs come from your past experiences. If a certain event was stressful in the past, then you may well believe that it will also be stressful in the future. If it was easy and comfortable in the past, then you’re less likely to feel stressed about it. You will probably think it will be easy again.

Yet, many things that have stressed you previously, might not be a problem now. For example, delivering a presentation was very stressful the first time you did it. But since then, you have done it many times, and it became routine. Your confidence and competence improved, and the stress was reduced.

Excessive Stress Causes Problems

There are many problems caused by excessive stress. Here are some of them: difficulty concentrating, weight loss or weight gain, sleeping problems, negative thoughts, loss of sex drive, procrastination, aches and pains, short temper, depression, unhappiness, and increased use of artificial things to help you relax, such as alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes.

Manage Stress Symptoms!

To reduce stress, you need to work on two things. First, deal with the causes and your reactions to them. Second, manage the stress because sometimes it can take time to resolve the causes.

There are good and bad ways to reduce stress. Good ways include exercising, meditation, spending time with family and friends, or having a hobby. These are healthy and empowering. Bad ways, like gambling, drinking, taking drugs, or overeating, give you short-term benefits. But, they have long-term negative effects on your health and that will create more additional stress later in life.

The 10 Natural Ways to Reduce Stress

Now, I’m going to cover my 10 natural, helpful and efficient ways to reduce stress. They will help you manage and eliminate it.

1. Identify the things that stress you out

Is it your work or is it a relationship? Is it money or is it health? Is it uncertainty about the future? Before you can manage or eliminate the stress you must know where it comes from. Get really specific and into details. What is it about the work that’s stressing you out? What is it about your relationship that’s causing your stress? What is triggering that stress response?

2. Eliminate stress

If you can, eliminate stress now! Maybe a friend or a co-worker is causing you stress. Take some time away from that person. Even just for a while.

If you can’t eliminate stress now, make a plan to eliminate it in the future. For example, if you hate your job, you will probably have to find another one before you quit. That might take some time. If it’s money that’s stressing you, create a plan to make more money. Do more training, get new qualifications, or find a better job.

If it’s a lack of time, then slow down. Take on less, say no more often, and give yourself more time and room to grow. Just be more patient with yourself.

If it’s relationships, remember that you can’t control other people. You can only influence them. This mind shift alone may be enough to help you reduce or eliminate stress around other people.

3. Decide to do it or let it go

Ask yourself: Can I deal with this right now? If yes, go on and do it. If no, let it go. It’s pointless to stress about things that you can’t do anything about.

Are you one of those people who often check their emails on the phone? Let me give you one little tip. Before you do that, ask yourself: Can I deal with what I might see in my inbox right now? If you can’t, if you don’t have the time, don’t check your emails. Otherwise, you’re just creating additional stress.

4. Know what you can and what you can’t control

You can’t control other people. You can’t control the economy. You can’t control changes that might happen in your workplace. There’s no point in blaming someone or something else. Accept it the way it is. That’s not an easy thing to do in practice, but dealing with things that you can’t control is the key. Accept what you can’t change. That gives you the energy to focus on the things that you can change.

5. Watch funny YouTube videos

This is a great stress reliever. There is a saying, which you probably heard, that laughter is the best medicine. What about laughter is the stress medicine? Laughter is one of the best ways to reduce stress.

A good laugh forces you to take in lots of oxygen, and it decreases stress hormones. It increases your immune cells and also your infection-fighting antibodies. It improves your resistance to disease. It releases endorphins which are your body’s natural feel-good chemicals. It can even help relieve pain.

Find funny YouTube videos, watch comedies, play jokes, or listen to funny podcasts. Anything that’s going to make you laugh.

6. Talk it over with someone

Talk about your situation with other people and get their advice. That could help you gain a different perspective. It could also be a chance to release your emotions. Once you talk it through with someone, it might not seem as important as it once did. You can also learn how others dealt with things that are stressing you.

7. Consider the worst-case scenario

A lot of stress comes from asking but not answering “What If” questions. Think about the worst-case scenario. Ask yourself how would you cope if that worst-case scenario actually happened. If you messed up that presentation, what would be the consequences? Probably not as bad as you would think. Most likely, you would not lose your job.

8. Repeat positive affirmations

Positive affirmations help change negative thoughts that cause a stress response. They also ease stress symptoms.

Here are some great affirmations for you:

  • It always works out well in the end.
  • Whatever happens, I’ll handle it.
  • All challenges in life have a solution.
  • The solution or resolution will come to me.

I hope you find these useful. There are many other affirmations as well, but these four are really good at helping you relieve stress.

9. Meditate

Stress reduction is the most common reason why people meditate. Meditation reduces cortisol – the stress hormone. It helps in controlling anxiety and experiencing more positive emotions. Meditation also enables you to get behind the thoughts that are causing your reaction to a stressful situation. Any kind of meditation can help because it slows down your busy mind by focusing on one thing.

10. Exercise

Exercise reduces the stress hormone cortisol. It also releases endorphins that make you feel happier. Think about the last time you did some exercise. How did you feel afterward? Most probably, pretty good and in a better emotional state. After exercise, some of the issues that you were concerned with, might seem less important. Moving your body is a great stress reliever.

These are my 10 natural and efficient ways to reduce stress, manage it, and even eliminate it from your life. As always, do put these into practice! You will be surprised by the results!

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

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Paul

The human brain is fascinating in so many ways!  It has lots of different parts. In this article, I focus on the ones that are most important from a psychological perspective.

You may have heard of terms such as prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hypothalamus or hippocampus before, but do you understand what these parts of the brain do?

In this article, I will cover 5 different parts of the brain in detail and explain how these different parts of your brain work together to keep you safe.

Knowing this information will help you understand why you sometimes act emotionally or instinctively. You’ll also discover why you forget things when you’re stressed or anxious.

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It’s so important to understand how your brain works so that when you have an emotional experience or fear response, you know which area of the brain it stems from. When you forget something important, like your lines during a speech or presentation, you will begin to understand what is happening within your brain that causes this to happen. Knowing this gives you more choices and helps you find better ways to control your brain.

So, I’ll now cover the different parts of the brain that affect your mindset, emotions, and psychology.

The Prefrontal Cortex

The Prefrontal Cortex is the very front part of the brain, located just behind your eyes and forehead. When we think or become aware of our thoughts, it feels like they come from this area. It’s the part of the brain that is often described as the “conscious mind”

The Prefrontal Cortex is part of the Frontal Lobe, which is the larger front part of your brain. Together, they are part of the Neocortex, which is the whole of the top part of your brain.

Prefrontal Cortex functions

The Prefrontal Cortex is responsible for thinking, goal-setting, and prediction of outcomes. It helps us work out what we want to achieve. It’s used to plan our time, our life and how we organize things. It also determines what is good and bad or right and wrong, based on our beliefs. It helps us to evaluate options and make decisions and predicts the future consequences of our actions and how they affect other people and our life. The ability to make decisions is a key function of the Prefrontal Cortex.

The Prefrontal Cortex also controls personality expression and how we act in public by moderating social behavior. It allows us to suppress emotional urges and unhelpful thoughts to better fit in during social situations. This is why your behavior often changes when you are interacting with others.

Limbic System

The Limbic System is the center for emotional responsiveness. It is where motivation and memory formation happen. It also houses the mechanisms that keep us safe. These include things like sensory perception, time perception, attention span, and consciousness.

The main parts of the Limbic System are the Amygdala, Hippocampus, and Hypothalamus. These areas are all very closely connected to the Prefrontal Cortex and carry out functions simultaneously.

Practicing meditation and mindfulness helps to strengthen the connections (or neuropathways) between the Prefrontal Cortex and the Limbic System. So there is real scientific evidence as to why meditation and mindfulness are so good for you!

The Amygdala

The Amygdala is the emotional processing part of your brain. It receives incoming sensory inputs and provides an emotional response. It’s the early warning system for either perceived or actual threats and is a much more unconscious part of your brain.

The left side of the Amygdala deals with both positive and negative emotional responses. The right side deals mainly with negative emotional responses.

Amygdala functions

One of its most fundamental roles is directing your attention and focus to the most important sensory-stimuli, whether it is good or bad. Other unnecessary surrounding stimuli is blocked out and ignored.

This explains why you can be extremely focused on one specific person or thing, such as when in love or extremely engaged in a conversation.

When experiencing fear, your Amygdala will focus your attention on either dealing with or getting away from the threat. It activates the stress response so that you respond effectively to dangerous stimuli.

The Amygdala also evaluates facial expressions and sends this information to the Prefrontal Cortex. When you notice someone smiling at you, the Amygdala picks that up first and then triggers thoughts about that person.

Another useful function of the Amygdala is the release of hormones that can alter the cognitive processing of the Prefrontal Cortex. When under stress, blood flows away from the Prefrontal Cortex into the more emotional parts of your brain and body. Less blood in the Prefrontal Cortex is the main reason why you forget an important phrase in a speech when you’re feeling stressed. These hormones also activate the body via the Hypothalamus, which we will discuss further later in this article.

Fight, flight or freeze

The Amygdala is especially activated by surprising, ambiguous or uncertain situations. When these situations occur, it accesses memories from past experiences (and your beliefs behind these) to determine whether the incoming sensory input is a stressor or not. If it is, it will then activate an emotional response. This is typically known as the “fight, flight or freeze” response. You either attack the threat head-on (fight), run away (flight) or stand still in shock (freeze).

In a fight, flight or freeze response, the Amygdala hijacks the Prefrontal Cortex, by taking blood away from the Prefrontal Cortex and redistributing it to the Limbic System. It also activates your instinctive survival responses without you having to think about them.

The Amygdala processes information milliseconds earlier than the Prefrontal Cortex. So if a memory matches an incoming stimulus, it will act automatically and instinctively without involving the Prefrontal Cortex. If it is a new experience, the Amygdala will look to the Prefrontal Cortex for direction.

Depression and the Amygdala

Depression is linked to an enlarged Amygdala. The more frequently the Amygdala is activated, the larger it becomes. As the Amygdala gets larger over time, it increases the symptoms of depression. By examining the Amygdala and other areas of the brain, depression can now be measured scientifically.

The Hippocampus

The Hippocampus is responsible for the formation of memories. It creates structured interactions between the Hippocampus and the Prefrontal Cortex, which happens during slow brain wave sleep. This is part of the process of consolidating long-term memories while we sleep. This is one of the reasons that we have dreams.

You can think of the Hippocampus as like your brain’s Google search engine. It allows fast and efficient memory searching from the Prefrontal Cortex and other parts of the Neocortex to help assess and plan. This is important for learning, especially for physical tasks. The Hippocampus tracks your conscious steps so over time they become unconscious or second-nature.

Chronic stress negatively affects the Hippocampus. Depression can reduce the volume of the Hippocampus by between 8% and 19% as well as enlarging the Amygdala as mentioned earlier.

So the consistent thoughts and feelings that you have can cause real physical changes in your brain.

The Thalamus

The Thalamus is the central hub of your brain. It receives outside information from your senses and forwards that to other areas of your brain like the Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex. It also helps to manage motor and cognitive functions.

The Hypothalamus

The Hypothalamus takes input from your senses via the Thalamus. It is closely connected to both the Amygdala and Hippocampus and helps control and monitor numerous vital processes.

These include your metabolism (how quickly you digest food), your circadian rhythms (what makes you feel sleepy or wide-awake) and the quality of sleep, especially the amount of deep sleep.

Your Hypothalamus also controls your body temperature and lets you know when you’re thirsty or hungry. These are a bit more unconscious and influence your body more than your mind. However, the Hypothalamus also takes psychological input from what you perceive through your senses.

Final Thoughts

The parts of the brain that control our psychology, mindset, and emotions are fascinating to learn and very useful in understanding how and why you think, feel and behave in certain ways. With this greater understanding, you will be able to tackle issues in your daily life with more clarity and focus.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

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Everything that you do is consciously or unconsciously driven by one of 6 human needs. These needs motivate and inspire us to take action in positive ways. However, when some of these needs are not met consistently, your mind will unconsciously find ways to satisfy these needs. How your mind does this is not always good for you and can lead to addictions.

Tony Robbins identified these 6 human needs and how they are behind everything that we do. If you have a behavior that you can’t seem to stop, then it is likely that one of these 6 human needs is behind it.

Let’s get into these 6 human needs right now, so that you understand why you do what you do.

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The Top 6 Human Needs Explained

I’ll start by covering the first 4 needs as these are essential to life. You will always take action in ways that fulfill these needs.

1. The Need for Certainty

Everyone craves a need for certainty, safety, security, stability, comfort, control, predictability, and consistency. We like to know what is coming next so we can prepare ourselves accordingly.

We like to seek comfort and avoid the pain of not knowing what is coming next. This need also affects your tolerance for risk. The higher your need for certainty, the fewer risks you’re willing to take. You’ll take fewer risks regarding your career, relationships, investment opportunities or health.

To meet the need for certainty, you might prioritize financial security over other things in life. You may choose to watch the same movie multiple times because you know the plot and this gives you a sense of certainty. You might choose the same holiday destination and stay at the same hotel or apartment.

Other ways to meet the need for certainty include working for the same company for many years or staying with the same partner for life.

The need for certainty can also be met in negative ways. These include eating or drinking excessively, smoking, taking recreational drugs or trying to control other people to achieve an emotional need.

You might enjoy the predictability of a dysfunctional relationship or toxic work environment, even though you know its not good for you in the long term.

2. The Need for Uncertainty

This is the need for surprise, variety, challenge, excitement, adventure, change, and even chaos. It’s the complete opposite of the first need.

Do you like surprises? – I’m guessing the answer is “yes”

We love surprises, but only if they are positive and make us feel good. However, what if the surprise is a problem or unexpected challenge? What if it’s an upset, something you didn’t expect or want in your life? That changes things a little, right?

Unexpected challenges are useful and important too. They stretch you, grow your character and develop mental toughness.

Positive or neutral ways to meet the need for uncertainty include watching or playing competitive sports. Why? because we don’t know what the outcome will be.

The need for uncertainty could also be achieved by taking calculated risks towards your goals in life or by taking part in adrenaline sports.

Ultimately, you could meet this need by going on exciting trips or holidays. You may enjoy visiting various regions of the world, staying in different places and connecting with a wide variety of people.

The need for certainty and uncertainty are related. They work as a continuum. If you have too much certainty in your life, you feel bored and begin to desire variety. If you have too much variety or change in your life, this creates additional stress and worry. You then crave security and certainty.

Find the balance between certainty and uncertainty that works best for you. Know that this will change as you go through life as well.

3. The Need for Significance

This is the need for significance, meaning & pride. It is about feeling important and valued for who you are, and for what you’re bringing to society. We all want to feel loved, needed and significant.

Positive and neutral ways to achieve this need include academic achievements such as masters’ degrees and PhDs. It might involve climbing the corporate ladder to get to an executive position in a big corporation or becoming a highly successful musician, painter or athlete.

Some people meet the need for significance by volunteering or helping others, while others get it by making more money or through their spiritual life.

Negative ways to achieve significance include having more problems than anyone else!. If you have a lot of problems in your life and you always talk about them, this could be an unconscious way to meet your need for significance.

You can feel significant by putting other people down, gaining an unfair advantage or hurting other people. People can become bullies or rebellious to achieve their need for significance.

Of all the human needs, I feel that the need for significance is a fundamental reason behind many negative and harmful behaviors. It’s a powerful need for many people.

4. The Need for Love and Connection

This fourth human need is for communication, approval, and attachment. It’s about feeling connected with other people on an intimate level and loved by other human beings. Achieving this need can have some downsides. It might involve overcoming a fear of rejection or learning how to handle criticism from others.

Also, when you achieve this need, you might settle down, which makes life very predictable and certain. You then start to crave a little uncertainty and excitement!

Positive ways to meet this need include dating, intimacy, finding the perfect partner or getting married. However, you can also meet this need by joining clubs, social media groups, going to parties, hanging out with friends and interacting with new people on a social level. Walking in nature, even by yourself is also a great way to fulfill this need for love and connection.

If all else fails, get a pet! I know of several people that haven’t yet found their perfect partners, so they have a dog, cat or other pet instead. This helps them fulfill their need for love and connection.

Negative ways of meeting this need include joining a gang or a cult, settling for an average or even a codependent relationship. Perhaps, you’ve been heartbroken in the past, so you settle for an average relationship (or even stay single), so you don’t get hurt again in the future.

The need for significance and the need for love & connection are also a continuum. If you have too much significance in your life, you’ll often notice a lack of connection. This is a reason why certain celebrities become depressed, anxious and lonely. They over-emphasized significance and are now lonely and in need of love and connection.

Too much love and connection, especially in an intimate relationship can reduce your sense of identity as an individual. You’ll no longer feel important as an person. That’s when begin to value significance more than love & connection. So it’s important to strike a balance, so that you feel both significant and loved.

The Last 2 Needs

The 4 human needs that I have covered above are essential for life. We will always do things to meet our need for certainty, uncertainty, significance, and connection. As you can see, you can achieve these in a positive or negative way.

The last two human needs are less important. You can have a relatively good life without striving to achieve these two. They are called “spirit needs” and are essential for achieving happiness and fulfillment. Not everyone will achieve these, but those that do will feel truly fulfilled in life.

5. The Need for Growth

This is the need for the constant development of your intellect, body, spirit, and emotions. As the saying goes, “if you’re not growing, you’re dying“. This is about growing in all areas of life, including your health, relationships, career, finance, wisdom and spirituality.

6. The Need for Contribution

This is a need to get beyond ourselves, to care, protect, and serve other people. The idea around this need is that “it’s not about me, it’s about we“.

Have you ever received some good & exciting news? What’s the first thing you do? You probably share it with someone else. We like to share good and exciting things with other people.

This human need is not about what you get, but about who you become. Contributing makes you happy in the long term. Giving and helping other people is the key to unlocking the feelings of happiness and fulfillment.

Final Words

These are the 6 most basic human needs as identified by Tony Robbins. Let’s do a quick recap.

The first one is the need for certainty. The second one is the need for uncertainty. The third one is the need for significance, the fourth is love & connection. The final two needs are growth and contribution.

I encourage you to look at your life and discover how you can meet these needs in positive or neutral ways. You are the master of your life. You can dramatically improve your life by leveraging the true power of these needs and by meeting them using positive means.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

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Paul

In this article, you are going to discover the powerful connection between the reticular activating system and goals. You will then learn 8 fantastic ways to use your reticular activating system to achieve your goals.

We continually get bombarded with information that stimulates our brain. This is why your reticular activating system and goals must be aligned so that you notice the abundance of opportunities that will help you get ahead.

Once you understand the key connections between your reticular activating system and goals, you will be using both your conscious and unconscious mind in harmony. This makes achieving any goal much easier and requires less conscious effort.

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What is the Reticular Activating System?

According to Tech 21century.com, we receive the equivalent of 34 gigabytes of information every day. That’s a huge amount of information and is increasing year by year. The influence of technology, social media, and our very interconnected world constantly bombards us with information to respond to.

If you put 34 gigabytes of information onto your laptop every day for a week, it would become overloaded! Same with us humans!

So to prevent us from being overloaded, we have the reticular activating system (RAS), and this acts as the gatekeeper. It takes in the 34 gigabytes of information that come from our 5 senses. It then filters out the unnecessary from the important. The reticular activating system decides which information to pay attention to and what can be ignored. A staggering 99% of all sensory input is ignored by the conscious mind.

Your subconscious mind will pick up everything. It’s the reticular activating system that alerts the conscious mind to information that is important. The reticular activating system learns over time and alerts you to the same information on multiple occasions. That’s one of the ways that a habit is formed.

However, our conscious mind is smarter. So if you pay attention to something consciously, your reticular activating system will put it on the more important list. The reticular activating system will then start to unconsciously notice things that are relevant to what you are paying attention to.

It’s for this reason that the reticular activating system is super important for goal setting. It plays a key role when you focus on what you want. It’s also important for sustaining life, and I’ll cover this in a moment.

Examples of the Reticular Activating System in Action

Here are some examples of the reticular activating system in action.

  • You buy a new car and then notice other people driving the same car. Why? Because the model of your new car is now unconsciously on your important list. Your reticular activating system notices other people that also have the same car.
  • You are a pregnant woman, and you notice other women who are pregnant because this is now on your important list.
  • As you learn a new word, perhaps some technical jargon or abbreviation, you start to hear other people saying that word a lot.
  • You are at a party with lots of noise. Whilst in a conversation, someone shouts your name. You hear your name through all the background noise. Why? Because your unconscious mind knows that your name is important and it picks that up.
  • When your baby coughs or cries at night, your reticular activating system will wake you up from deep sleep to attend to the baby. That’s because one of the functions of your reticular activating system is sustaining life.

Your reticular activating system will also help you focus on one thing as well if that’s seen as important. Let’s say that you’re completely engrossed in a soccer match or a movie. Your reticular activating system will not bring other things into your conscious awareness unless they are more important than the soccer match or movie.

Reticular Activating System and Goals

Your reticular activating system is the mechanism in your brain that helps make goals happen. With conscious direction (such as writing down goals and focusing on what you want) you begin to attract people, things, places, situations and opportunities into your life.

Here are some examples of this happening.

  • You have decided to eat clean and healthily so that you can increase your energy and lose weight. You start flipping through the pages of a magazine and your reticular activating system unconsciously spots a relevant article or recipe that will help you. If you had tried to do that consciously, would you have found it? Probably not.
  • You’re trying to solve a technical problem on your computer. You take a break and start mindlessly surfing the internet. Suddenly an article appears in the search results with the solution.
  • You are a bystander at a party and you overhear a conversation that is highly relevant to the new career goal or job that you have been focussing on and aspiring to attain.
  • Someone says something directly to you and you have an “a-ha” moment because it’s just what you need to hear at the time. You might have heard the same advice many times before, but at this moment, it was important, so you picked it up.

So with all the above examples, the answer was always there. You just didn’t notice it until now.

Have you ever wondered why comedians find jokes in the most bizarre and mundane of situations? Well, a comedian’s reticular activating system is always looking for something that will be great material for a joke and for the funny side of any situation.

To summarize, your reticular activating system is super important because it helps bring people, things, places, situations and opportunities into your life based on what you focus on consistently.

When you lack goal clarity and focus, you miss out on opportunities as your reticular activating system has nothing to go on. If the reticular activating system doesn’t see something as important, you will miss out and it will instead focus on the mundane or negative.

This is why it is so important to focus on what you want. When you focus on bills, lack debt and sickness consistently, then a life of abundance, good health, prosperity, and peace will be out of reach for you.

If you desire a life of abundance, good health, prosperity, and peace, then take time to focus on these in detail. This will get your reticular activating system working for you rather than against you. Keep reading to learn the specific steps to unleash the power of your reticular activating system.

How to Use the Reticular Activating System to Your Advantage

So I’m now going to cover some ways to help you use the reticular activating system to your advantage.

1. Use SMART Goals That are Written Down

A smart goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. I recommend that you follow my step by step process for setting goals. Then write them down in your own handwriting. The reticular activating system will act more effectively with handwritten goals, as opposed to goals that have been typed on the computer.

2. Ask Questions to Make the Goal More Vivid

A great question to ask is “how will I know when I have achieved it?” Taking the time to answer this question will help you get your goal extremely clear in your imagination.

Then ask, “what will I see, hear, or feel?” and “where, when, and with whom do I want it?” These questions will help you bring in places and other people and this also helps to make the goal more vivid.

Now ask “what will achieving this goal do for me?” or “what’s the benefit?“. These questions will help you focus on the benefit and the feeling or emotion of that. Really intensifying the feeling of achieving your desired goal will help impress this more deeply on your reticular activating system.

Now ask, “what am I already doing to move towards this goal?” This will focus your mind on the progress that you are already making. Your reticular activating system will pick up on this as well.

Finally ask “what qualities, skills and emotional states do I need to reach my goal?“. This is a great question! It will encourage your reticular activating system to go looking for the qualities, skills, and emotional states that you need and bring these into your life as well.

3. Keep the Goal or Problem to Solve at the Top of Your Mind

Think about your goal many times a day! Talk about your goals to your family, friends, and colleagues that you trust and that believe in you. Write down your goals and dream about them. The more you do this, the more it will impress on your reticular activating system.

Another great way is to post pictures, charts, or graphs of your goal around your house. Find places where you will often notice them unconsciously. Bathroom mirror, fridge, desk and wardrobe doors are great places. Alternatively, create a vision board and post pictures of your goal on there.

4. Take Consistent Action

Consistent action is important in achieving any goal. However, it helps the reticular activating system as well. When you are taking consistent action, you are also thinking about it consistently. Your reticular activating system will act on this and alert you to new opportunities.

5. Train your Reticular Activating System

I had a client recently that had lots of anxiety in her life. I realized very quickly that she only focussed on the negative things that were happening to her. When I mentioned anything positive, she dismissed it immediately.

I asked her to tell me 5 things that went well for her today. She really struggled and after 5 minutes, we only had 3 things and that was with a lot of prompting from me. Her reticular activating system had become so trained to focus on negative things only. As a result, she found it almost impossible to think of anything that was positive or useful for her. It was like the neural pathway in her brain that looks for good things had almost completely closed down.

Here is a great exercise to help train your reticular activating system to notice positive and useful opportunities for you.

Grab a piece of paper and then set a timer for 5 minutes. Now write down everything that you have achieved in your life so far. This will be easy to start with. Examples could include getting a university degree, falling in love, getting married or buying a house. You can add career and health achievements into the mix as well. What about travel and great friends you’ve made? After 2 or 3 minutes you will start to run out of achievements. Keep going and look for smaller achievements. Keep going for a full 5 minutes writing down everything you can think of.

Once the 5 minutes is up, give yourself a pat on the back. What you will notice is that your reticular activating system will keep thinking of other things that you have achieved after the time is up. That’s because you have begun to train your brain to focus on the good things that you have done in your life so far.

6. Create Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations force the reticular activating system to kick in automatically. The reticular activating system then adds these items to its important list. This works best when you do the following 3 things:

  • Speak your affirmations out loud.
  • Create affirmations that are very specific to your goals.
  • Feel the positive emotions that you want to experience as well.

Ensure that your affirmations are stated in the positive. For a goal of losing weight, the positive affirmation could be “I am thin, fit and healthy”.

7. Use Visualization

Your reticular activating system cannot distinguish between real events and synthetic or imagined reality. Anything that you can vividly imagine will seem real to your reticular activating system and it will act on it. Your reticular activating system believes whatever message you give it, whether it comes from external life experiences or something you create inside.

Your imagination and subconscious mind love pictures! It’s even better when you include what you can hear (including your internal self-talk), feel, touch and perhaps taste and smell as well.

It’s also important to make the image very large! Imagine that you’re seeing it on an incredibly large cinema screen. Visualize the goal as having already been achieved.

8. Repetition

This is simply doing as many of the above techniques regularly and consistently. Each time you do one of these techniques, you are building a new mental pathway in your brain. This makes it more important to your reticular activating system. Then your reticular activating system can get on and do its job.

So now you have a much clearer idea on how the reticular activating system actually works. You also have some strategies that you can use to start getting the reticular activating system to focus on the people, things, places, situations, and opportunities that will help you achieve your goals.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

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Paul

In this article, I cover the 10 principles for success in anything.

Tony Robbins says that 80% of success in anything is down to your mindset. The remaining 20% consists of the specific skills you use and the steps that you take. So this article focuses on the mindset principles for success.

As you learn about these principles for success, you may discover that you are doing some of these already. If that’s the case, give yourself a pat on the back and then work on the remaining ones to the best of your ability.

Watch the video below:

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1. Have Realistic Goals and Expectations

Everybody wants a quick fix. Advertisers and marketers reinforce the belief that there is a quick fix for everything. People begin to believe this and set unrealistic goals.

Product testimonials often provide evidence of a quick fix. However, these results are rarely typical and often come from people that have already gained experience and knowledge prior to embarking on this new product.

So it’s important that you set realistic goals, especially process goals. These are goals that are under your control. Focus on long-term goals, long-term results and really master the process. The results will then come.

Now, those crazy goals do have a place. They are part of your long-term vision. This could be where you want to be in 3, 5, 10 or even 20 years time.

2. Take Massive and Consistent Action

Success in anything requires hard work. Again advertisers and marketers will tell you otherwise, but the truth is that you have to work hard. If that wasn’t the case, everyone would be highly successful! However, you can enjoy this hard work and let it help you grow as a person. After working hard, reward yourself. What gets rewarded gets repeated.

Watch out for perfectionism. It’s okay to make mistakes and do a reasonable job initially and learn as you go along. Avoid waiting for the perfect time to start something. There will never be a perfect time!

Be consistent. Whether you want to lose weight, grow a business or get six-pack abs, you will need to put in consistent effort to make progress. You won’t get a six-pack by going to the gym once!

3. Have an Open Mind and Be Willing to Learn

The three most dangerous words in the English language are “I know that

When you say “I know that”, you automatically block the chance to learn something new or a different and more effective way to do it. Be humble and put your ego aside. Whatever your level of success there will always be more to learn. Instead, have the belief and attitude that there is always something more to know and learn.

Create a good balance between competence and confidence. if you are highly confident with little skill, you will take massive action and make tons of mistakes. Some of your mistakes might negatively affect other people. However, if you are highly competent, but with low confidence in what you’re doing, then you are less likely to act and others won’t get the benefit of your skills and experience.

4. Learn from Failures, but Don’t Dwell on Them

Failures, setbacks, struggles, adversity and hard times are part of life. Every successful person has failed many many times. You have to fail to succeed! Learn from your failures and interpret failure as feedback and part of the process of learning. Failure tells you what not to do and you have to fail to make progress.

Ask any successful person how many times they’ve failed? They will have probably lost count, because they have failed lots, learnt from their failures and then forgotten about them.

5. Change Your Approach, but Don’t Give Up

If something doesn’t work then change your approach. Things will happen that are outside your control, things will happen that you didn’t expect. Be flexible when this happens and change your approach.

I once heard that the definition of insanity is when you keep doing the same things repeatedly whilst expecting a different result. So it’s important to change your approach as required, but don’t give up!

6. Have Patience

Focus on your actions rather than the results. You will make a lot of mistakes and learn from these. You might struggle at times and not fully understand or get things. That’s all part of the learning process.

With anything new, you’re going to spend time learning and trying out new things. This will seem like dead and non-productive time but it is so valuable.

Don’t compare yourself with others. Everyone has different skills and experience. Everyone is at a different starting place on their journey to success. Sometimes, the results can take a year or even five years to come to fruition.

So it’s important to focus on the long-term. Keep your eyes on the horizon and this will give you the motivation to keep going.

Now I don’t find it easy to be patient, but here is a great example of where patience and effort really paid off for me. When I first started my hypnotherapy practice, I wrote web pages covering all the different things that I could help people with. These included pages for Anxiety, Insomnia, Quitting Smoking, Weight Loss, Eating Disorders and many other issues. Each page was around 1000 words and many of them took between 3 and 5 hours to write. I often doubted whether the time and effort was worth it.

After about 6 months, these pages started to rank really well in Google and I started getting a steady stream of inquiries and clients as a result of this effort. These pages continue to generate more inquiries and probably will do well into the future.

So it didn’t seem like it was worth it at the time, but the results and benefits of this work are now clearly apparent. So it’s important to focus on the long term and trust that the actions you are taking now are going to help you achieve long-term success.

7. Be Honest, Help Others and Maintain Integrity

You can be successful without this, especially in business. However, you won’t be happy. In the back of your mind, perhaps unconsciously, you’ll have a fear that you’ll get found out. So it is always best to be honest with other people, especially people that are helping you such as friends, colleagues, a coach or business partner. Help others as well. For me, this always feels good and you tend to get back what you give.

Know the values and principles that you stand for and keep these at the forefront of your mind when taking action. This goes especially for values such as integrity, honesty, and trust.

8. Take Responsibility for Your Success

Success is up to you. Whatever happens, take responsibility, especially for how you react to situations. Taking responsibility gives you choice and control and makes you more open to learning and finding ways to improve things.

9. Focus on Getting Better and Better

This is all about improving yourself and your craft. It’s about investing in yourself to learn and grow. It’s ultimately about mastering the skill, the process and the activities required for success. Take the time to get better and better and focus on constant and never-ending improvement.

10. Listen to Your Intuition or Gut Instinct

Have you ever had the experience of doing something and knowing it’s not quite right? Or something making complete sense that it seemed exactly like the right thing to do.

It’s important in these cases to trust your gut instinct and your intuition. Here is a personal example.

When I started my hypnotherapy business, all the marketing experts and many of my colleagues told me that you have to be active on social media. This didn’t make sense to me, as people search on Google to find solutions to problems. They don’t use social media. I trusted my gut instinct, focussed on writing great content that would do well on Google and that worked for me.

So trust your gut instinct. If it feels right and you feel committed to doing that course of action then do it! However, monitor your progress along the way. Sometimes, what you feel is right may not be right in practice, so it’s important to look for real evidence.

So these are my 10 principles for success in anything. You can apply these principles for success to health goals, business or career goals, even hobbies, and sports. Once you start applying these principles to your life you really will start to notice success becoming easier for you.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

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Paul

In this article, you will learn how to hypnotize yourself easily and effectively using my 5-step process. I will guide you through these 5 steps so that you can use self-hypnosis to reprogram your subconscious mind.

Learning how to hypnotize yourself is a wonderful skill to acquire. It allows you to change unconscious habits, banish limiting beliefs and release or resolve troublesome emotions. It feels great too!

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, so even when you are being hypnotized by a hypnotherapist, it is actually you that is doing the hypnosis. This may seem hard to believe, especially if you have seen hypnosis on stage or on TV. I’ll explain how this works shortly.

Keep reading and you’ll discover how to hypnotize yourself so that you can make lasting changes to your life right now.

Watch the video below:

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What is a Hypnotic State?

Every thought you have is a form of self-hypnosis. Why? Because every thought is either taking you towards or away from some desired outcome.

The characteristics of a hypnotic state include a more focussed concentration or attention on one idea and a greater internal focus with less awareness of the external world. It’s also characterized by slower brainwave states.

You have been in a hypnotic state many times in the past. For example when reading a really captivating novel and you’re completely unaware of what is happening around you. Or when watching a movie that you get completely involved with emotionally.

I believe that addictions are a form of negative hypnosis. People think so much about their next cigarette or alcoholic drink that it becomes their focus of attention. Once they have it, their mind returns to normal for a while before the same thing happens again.

The Different Brain Wave States

In normal everyday awareness, your brainwaves are at the beta level. This is a fairly fast brainwave state and is required for taking action, keeping safe and mental alertness.

However, at certain times during the day, your brainwaves slow down to the alpha level. This often happens when daydreaming, reading a book, watching a movie or when in hypnosis. In the alpha state, your concentration improves and you learn and remember things more easily.

When your brain waves slow down even further, you reach the theta level. This is close to falling asleep and is associated with rapid eye movement and that light dreamy sleep feeling. In hypnosis, people often reach the theta level too.

When asleep, brain waves slow down to the delta level. This can occasionally be achieved in meditation too, after many months or even years of practice.

Purpose of Self Hypnosis

So the purpose of hypnotizing yourself is to reprogram your subconscious mind. This is the part of your mind that is responsible for your feelings, emotions and impulsive behaviors. By consciously hypnotizing yourself, you start to reprogram the subconscious mind so that you naturally do the behaviors and actions that you want to do.

The 5 Steps to Hypnotizing Yourself

To learn how to hypnotize yourself, follow the 5 step process that is covered below.

Step 1 : Slow Down Your Brain Waves

There are a few parts to slowing down your brain waves that I will cover below:

Develop Peripheral Vision

With your eyes open, focus on an object in the room that is directly in front of you. Now, without moving your eyes, notice what you can see above, below, to the left and to the right of the object that you are focussing on. This is known as peripheral or side vision.

As you do this, your brain is forced to take in more information from your eyes. Your brain can only hold around 6 to 9 pieces of information at a time. Therefore, whilst you hold the peripheral vision, your brain is forced to slow down other processes in your brain, including your internal dialogue or self-talk.

Relaxation Breathing

Now start breathing in deeply. Ensure that your stomach or diaphragm expands as you breathe in. This is known as diaphragmatic breathing and is how we naturally used to breathe when we were babies. When you breathe out, make your out-breath slightly longer than your in-breath.

Repeat the word “relax” as a mantra

Now repeat the word “relax” either out loud or silently to yourself every 3 seconds for 1 minute.

Close your eyes

If you haven’t already, now is the time to close your eyes. You are now in a state of hypnosis. You may notice yourself being less attached to, or involved with your thoughts. You will be more internally focussed and less aware of what is happening around you. You will feel relaxed and be in a great state to learn and take in new information. Your subconscious mind is now much more receptive to new information.

Step 2 : Suspend Existing Beliefs

A key step in learning how to hypnotize yourself correctly and effectively involves understanding how the critical faculty works and the importance of suspending existing beliefs to keep this part of your mind out of the way.

Your “Door Policy” for New Ideas

Imagine your critical faculty as being like a bouncer in a nightclub. The queue of people waiting outside really want to get into this wonderful place where all the fun, excitement and enjoyment is. However, the bouncer decides who to let in and who to turn away.

If you directly challenge the bouncer, he will block the door, so you have absolutely no chance of getting into this amazing nightclub. If you could make friends with the bouncer or distract him, then you could make it into this club.

So think of your new positive ideas and suggestions as being the queue of people. Your critical faculty (your internal bouncer), decides which ideas and suggestions will be accepted by your mind (so are let in) and which are rejected (kept out).

Directly challenge your critical faculty with a new suggestion such as “I am a millionaire” and it will probably be rejected because it won’t be believable. Your door policy for new ideas will reject it.

One way to make friends with your critical faculty, your door policy for new ideas, is to use a suspend belief statement. Its a way of compromising with your mind by saying that you only need to accept these new ideas for the duration of the self-hypnosis session. When done regularly, this is long enough for the new ideas to become embedded in your unconscious mind.

The Suspend Belief Statement

Here is the suspend belief statement that I recommend that you use.

“I consciously, deliberately and willingly suspend my existing beliefs about (the desired outcome), Instead, I accept these new ideas as if they are completely true right now. My desire and belief are completely aligned just for now and that feels good.”

The suspend belief idea originally came from “The Nature of Personal Reality” by Jane Roberts.

Step 3 : Reinforce Core Beliefs

In Step 3, you will reinforce up to five core beliefs. This is key to learning how to hypnotize yourself effectively. These five core beliefs provide a firm foundation for the unique positive suggestions or visualizations that will follow in step 4. The five positive core beliefs are:

1. I am good enough

Behind any limiting ideas such as I’m not intelligent enough, smart enough, extravert enough (or pretty much anything else ending in “enough) is the core belief that I am not good enough. This is why it is so important to reinforce the positive core belief that “I am good enough”

2. I am worthy enough

If you feel that you are not worthy of love, money (or something else) or you feel that you don’t deserve to have something, then you will want to reinforce the core belief that “I am worthy enough”

3. The world is a safe place for me

If you feel that you could get hurt mentally, emotionally or physically, then repeat the positive core belief of “the world is a safe place for me”. However, do exercise common sense with this one, and don’t knowingly venture into places or situations that could cause physical harm.

4. I am powerful and can influence my world

This one is super-important if you have been trying to change part of your life for a while without success. The more times you try something new and fail, the more it reinforces the core belief that “nothing will work for me”. I see this happen a lot in people that struggle to find solutions to chronic health issues. It can also happen if you spend a lot of time and money on self-development activities, but find it hard to change.

Reinforce the core belief of “I am powerful and can influence my world” to help increase your belief that whatever you are learning, applying or getting outside help for will work for you. It’s also a great core belief to have to increase your ability to influence others in a positive way.

5. Love and Relationships = Pleasure

This is only relevant when working with love and relationship goals, especially if you have been heart-broken or suffered mental, emotional or even physical pain from relationships in the past.

If you keep attracting people that cause you pain and unhappiness, then you need to reinforce this core belief strongly, so that it becomes part of your identity.

It’s not necessary to use all of these five core beliefs. Just pick the ones that resonate with you or would help you the most.

Step 4 : Introduce New Positive Ideas

The next step is to create new positive ideas about the thing you want to change. This should be about something that you don’t have right now, but you want in the future. The new positive ideas could be affirmations or mantras that you repeat, visualizing what you want to happen or asking yourself self-hypnotic questions.

Self-Hypnotic Affirmations or Mantras

The simplest way to introduce new positive ideas is by creating affirmations or mantras that you repeat during self-hypnosis. It’s super important that these new positive statements are believable. Here are 2 examples of positive statements that are not believable.

  • I am a millionaire (for a person that is broke and in debt)
  • My body is in perfect health (for someone with a chronic and perhaps life-changing disease).

In both these examples, the person’s critical faculty will challenge these new ideas and not let them inside, just like a bouncer would turn this person away from a night club. The new ideas will simply not be accepted.

To make your new positive suggestions more believable, use the following phrases.

  • I want to…
  • I can…
  • I am learning to…
  • Every day I am getting better at…
  • I take action every day to become one step closer to…

Here is an example of how to apply these statements to help your body heal from a health condition.

  • I want my body to begin to heal itself and feel good once again.
  • My body can begin to heal itself and feel good once again.
  • I am learning to find ways to help my body heal itself so that I can feel good once again.
  • Every day, my body is getting better at healing itself.
  • I take action every day to become one step closer to healing myself and feeling good once again.

Can you see how much more believable these positive statements would be to a person that wants to overcome a health condition or disease.

Creative Visualization

Instead of repeating affirmations or mantras, you can visualize the goal or outcome. See yourself having already achieved the thing you desire. Creative Visualization is covered in greater detail in another blog post that you can access here.

However, the key points are to imagine visualizing on a large cinema screen (rather than the back of your eyelids) and to use all your senses. Imagine what you hear, feel, taste and touch as well as what you see. Also, include the positive internal dialogue of self-talk that you will notice when you have achieved this outcome.

Self-Hypnotic Questions

Asking yourself questions encourages your mind to find or seek an answer automatically. When done in hypnosis, the answers can come more directly from your subconscious mind or intuition. As a result, they will often be more powerful and accurate.

Here are some great self-hypnotic questions to ask yourself.

  • How can I increase my ability to do… (desired action)?
  • How can I do this even more?
  • How can I motivate myself to do (desired action)?
  • What would be the best way to achieve (desired outcome)?
  • What other ways would help me more easily achieve (desired outcome)?

Allow your mind the time and space that it needs to answer these questions. Sometimes, the answers will come after the self-hypnosis session, so be aware of your intuition and new ideas or answers that come to mind in the next few days.

Step 5 : Return to Normal Waking Awareness

The final step is to come back to normal waking awareness. The easiest way to do this is to count from 5 to 1 and become more aware of different parts of your body as you do so. Then open your eyes and have a stretch.

How to Hypnotize Yourself More Effectively.

Here are a few tips to help make your self-hypnosis sessions even more powerful and effective.

  1. Repeat the self-hypnosis session every day for around 30 to 40 days. It can often take a few repetitions to plant the new ideas firmly in your subconscious mind.
  2. Focus on one desired outcome only during the self-hypnosis session.
  3. Focus on one new positive affirmation, mantra or visualization for at least 20 seconds. Holding one idea for 20 seconds or longer is unusual in today’s fast-paced world, so your brain will see these new ideas as important and build new neuro-connections in your brain. The technique of holding only one idea in your mind for 20 seconds or longer is called “monoideism”.
  4. Use your emotions. The subconscious mind really takes notice of emotions. The more you can feel the positive emotions behind your suggestions or visualizations, the more this will imprint the new positive ideas into your subconscious mind.
  5. Do self-hypnosis first thing in the morning or just before going to sleep at night. At these times, your brain is likely to be in the more receptive alpha brain wave state, so your new positive suggestions or visualizations will go in at a deeper level. This also means that you can skip step 1 and jump straight to step 2, as your brain waves will already be slower than normal.
  6. Record your self-hypnosis session and then use the recording to guide you through it. It can be quite difficult to guide yourself as your mind can wander off. When you use a recording, your brain can focus on the recording and you can immerse yourself completely in the process.

Although learning how to hypnotize yourself is very effective, there may be times when you need an experienced hypnotherapist to work through your specific issues, habits or mental blocks. I can help you do that, so if you would like me to hypnotize you, then click on the link below.

https://selfhelpforlife.com/hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy can be delivered very effectively online from the comfort of your home or office using Skype, Facetime or Zoom.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

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Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul

In this article, you will learn how to use the rapid relaxation exercise to relax completely in 6 minutes or less. This is a powerful exercise that you can do almost anywhere!

Use the rapid relaxation exercise whenever you feel stressed, overwhelmed or anxious. It will really help you physically relax and allow your mind to become quiet and centered.

The rapid relaxation exercise is a little unconventional! However, its super easy to learn and is a fantastic way to rapidly reduce stress and relax completely.

Watch the video below:

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Listen to the Podcast

Where and When to do the Rapid Relaxation Exercise

The rapid relaxation exercise can be done almost anywhere. You can do this in a car when you’re parked, on the bus or train, in the local park or out with nature. You can even do this on the toilet! It’s also a great exercise to do in bed as you’re going to sleep.

Don’t do it when you’re doing anything that requires your full concentration, such as when you’re driving.

This is a wonderful exercise to do whenever you feel stressed, can’t think straight or when reacting to things or acting emotionally. It will help you re-center yourself when your mind is getting too busy or if you feel overwhelmed.

It’s also great to do before meditating, visualizing or repeating affirmations because this exercise will help slow down your brainwaves from the Beta state down to the Alpha state. Your unconscious mind will then be more receptive to new ideas.

Once you have completed this exercise, you will typically feel much more centered, relaxed and at peace. Things that were bothering you a few minutes ago seem to be more manageable and less overwhelming.

I learned this exercise from Andrew Parr who is a very successful Harley Street hypnotherapist in London. However, the original ideas in this rapid relaxation exercise came from Andrew Newton and he is the hypnotist that trained Paul McKenna.

The best way to learn this exercise is to download my MP3 recording that will guide you through it. Click the link below.

Click here to download my MP3 audio file that will guide you through the Rapid Relaxation Exercise

Rapid Relaxation Exercise Script

Here is the script from the Rapid Relaxation MP3 recording.

The Starting Position

Rest the back of your hands on your knees with your palms facing upwards. You might have seen people meditating with their palms up, but that’s not the reason for you doing this now.

In fact, if you hold this position for a while, you will notice tension around the inner joint of your elbows and the top of the forearms inside.

Keeping the heals of your feet on the floor, lift up the rest of your feet and then curl your toes upwards.

This will create tension in the top of your foot and if you hold this for a while, the tension will build up along your legs as well.

Now, I want you to tilt your head back and look at a real or imaginary spot on the ceiling and just focus your gaze on that spot for a while.

Now take a big deep breath in through your mouth, in to your stomach, so that your stomach expands as you breathe in.

And as you breathe out, just letting go, almost like a sigh of relief

Relaxing Your Body

Now take another big deep breath in through your mouth, into your stomach, so that your stomach expands as you breathe in. and as you breathe out, just close your eyes.

Now take another nice big deep breathe in through your mouth and into your stomach, as you breathe out, allow your head to tilt forward towards your chest.

Now take another nice big deep breath in through your mouth to your stomach, and as you breathe out, turn your hands and arms over, so that your palms are facing downwards and your arms can relax.

Take another big deep breath in through your mouth to your stomach, and as you breathe out, allow your shoulders to sag, drop down and relax.

Take another big deep breathe in again, through your mouth to your stomach, and this time as you breathe out, gently relax your toes and allow your feet to return to the floor. It feels really nice to finally relax your feet and toes and feel their connection with the floor again. 

And, as you do that, notice your feet relaxing along with your ankles, calves, shins and all the other muscles in your legs.

Take another big deep breathe in again, through your mouth to your stomach, and as you breathe out, begin to loosen all the muscles and bones in the top of your body, so that they feel loose, limp, lazy, a very relaxed feeling.

Lights Visualization

Now in your mind, I want you to imagine that you’re looking at a very beautiful cityscape, a night-time city scene with beautiful skyscrapers with lots of lovely lights on. Sometimes those scenes can seem quite magical with all the little lights on,

Now starting from the buildings furthest away, I want you to see those lights being switched off now one by one. And I want you to switch those lights off and see them switching off as you do. So just one by one dtt dtt dtt dtt dtt dtt.

You watch the lights flickering out, and as you switch the lights off, you begin to switch off little parts of your body for a while. Your muscles, nerves, neurons, feelings, sensations, thoughts, just letting go, just beginning to close everything down for a while.

Take your time. Watch the lights there, and as you switch those lights off, watch as it gets darker and darker,  just heading towards a very comfortable, relaxing darkness.

So eventually when all those lights are out you are left in a very comfortable darkness and you feel very quiet, peaceful, serene and content.

Just stay there and enjoy feeling peaceful, relaxed, content and savouring the stillness and the tranquillity of this moment.

And, when you are ready, you can become aware of the sounds around you, the sensations in your body, and then you can open your eyes and come back to the here and now.

Now it’s your turn

Start by using my MP3 recording to guide you through the rapid relaxation exercise. After using my recording a few times, you will be able to learn and memorize the steps so that you can do the rapid relaxation exercise without the recording. You will also get quicker with practice and will soon be able to do this exercise in just 3 or 4 minutes.

Click here to download my Rapid Relaxation Exercise MP3 Recording

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of all my latest video blogs.

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Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul