Emotional states are a key driver for action and provide the fuel for success. I’m sure you’ve had days when you felt really good, achieved so much and were on top of the world! Days when it seemed so easy to get things done.

Then on other days, you felt flat, frustrated, confused or lacking in energy. Your mind is busy but with many conflicting thoughts. You just can’t seem to get anything done.

So how do you change these emotional states?  Well, the first step is knowing what they are, so you can pinpoint which one you are in right now.

In the Sedona Method book by Hale Dwoskin, he identifies the 9 key emotional states. These emotional states are on a gradient scale of energy to action. The lowest state has the smallest amount of energy and external action whilst the highest has unlimited energy, mental clarity and if required, massive external action.

During each day, you will experience several of these emotional states. This article will help you identify the emotional state you’re in right now.  That might be enough in itself to change your state.  If not, then I cover how to release unwanted emotions using the Sedona questioning technique here.

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So here are the 9 fundamental emotional states from lowest to highest.

1. Apathy

When you experience apathy, you feel that desire is dead and you wonder what’s the point. You feel like you can’t do anything and that no one else can help and that there is no way out.

You may withdraw from life and play weak because you are afraid of getting hurt. The mind and imagination are very busy but limiting. You see failure and what you can’t do.  You have many conflicting thoughts that leave you with little energy to act.

Words that describe apathy include feeling bored, hopeless, powerless, indecisive, lazy, stuck or overwhelmed.  If you maintain this state for a long time, this can lead to symptoms of depression.

2. Grief

With grief, like apathy, you feel that you can’t get out of a situation yourself, but you could with someone else’s help. Or you could be grieving for someone or something that you’ve lost in the past or something in the future that you don’t have now.  It’s a yearning for someone else to help and fix the problem for you.

There is a little more energy and your mind is slightly less cluttered, but still very noisy with thoughts and images of pain and loss.

Words that describe grief include feeling abandoned, guilty, betrayed, vulnerable, nostalgic (about good times in the past), rejected, cheated, hurt, or sad.

3. Fear

When feeling fear, you want to act, strike out or reach out, but you don’t because you feel the risk is too great or that you’ll get hurt.

Your body has more energy and feelings can change rapidly from positive to negative. Your mind is busy and focuses on getting hurt, losing out, and how to protect yourself and loved ones.

Words that describe fear include feeling anxious, scared, skeptical, nervous, terrified, vulnerable, worried, or cautious.

4. Lust

Lust is about wanting possession or wanting something. It’s a hunger for money, power, sex, people, places, and things, but the hunger comes with hesitation. There are underlying thoughts and beliefs that say we cannot or should not have what we are desiring.

There is more energy and the sensations can be pleasurable and intense as the mind creates positive fantasies. However, these fantasies are about what we don’t have yet. They are in the future. Thoughts are about what we need to get. You’re never completely satisfied and tend not to enjoy what you already have.

Words that describe lust include anticipation, craving, impatience, obsessed, compulsive, envy or pushy.

5. Anger

Anger is where you have a desire to hurt and stop others, but it comes with hesitation. You may or may not act on the anger.

There is more energy and it’s quite intense and explosive. Your mind is less cluttered. However, it’s noisy, stubborn and obsessive. You may have thoughts of getting even or making others pay. The energy you get from this anger feeling can be quite frightening for yourself and possibly lead you back to the previous emotional states described earlier in this article.  The actions you take are mostly destructive to you and to those around you.

Words that describe anger include aggressive, annoyed, furious, hate, outrage, resentment, jealousy, and impatience.

6. Pride

Pride is about maintaining the status quo. You don’t want to change, so instead, you try and stop others so that they don’t get ahead of you. The mind is very rigid and self-involved with thoughts and images about what we already have and know. When you’re with others, it’s about others noticing how great you are, because inside, you’re trying to hide your own shortcomings.

Over time, you start to ignore your own shortcomings and as a result, you’re not open to receiving help and support from others, because you don’t believe you have any shortcomings!

Words and phrases that describe pride include narrow-minded, arrogant, patronizing, clever, judgmental, being a know-it-all, critical, overbearing, and complacent.

As you can see, the six emotional states covered so far are negative or limiting. They form a crust over the next three more positive emotional states.  One way to access the next 3 positive or empowering emotional states is to release or let go of these limiting emotional states.  I cover how to do this using the Sedona Method here.

The last 6 emotional states were about what you can’t do.  The next 3 are about what you can do.  Here they are:

7. Courageousness

Courageousness is having a willingness to act without hesitation. It’s the feeling that you can do whatever needs doing, It’s being able to let go (when you need to), and move on. You are flexible, resilient, and open. Thoughts and images are about what you can do and what you can learn. You also think much more about how to help others. As a result, you’re self-motivated, self-reliant, and okay with other people succeeding. Making mistakes is cool (you might laugh at them) and life is fun.

Your body continues to gain energy and it’s available to take positive action. Energy levels are high and clear.

Words that describe courageousness include resilience, visionary, decisive, certainty, enthusiastic, motivated, competent, and confident.

8. Acceptance

Acceptance is having and enjoying everything as it is. There is no need to change anything.  Life is okay just as it is.

Your body has a lot more energy, and that energy is mainly at rest, available if required. The mind is mostly quiet and content. Images and thoughts are of love, joy and an acceptance of what is.

Words that describe acceptance include abundance, beauty, delight, belonging, enrichment, fullness, harmony, and joy.

9. Peace

The final and highest emotional state is peace. When you experience peace, you feel whole and complete. Everyone and everything is part of you. Everything is perfect.

You have a lot more energy than in acceptance, but that energy is totally at rest. The energy is totally still, quiet and calm. Your mind is clear, empty, yet totally aware. There is no need for any pictures or thoughts. Life is as is and all is well. The mind is not planning the future or worrying about the past. It’s just resting in the now. It’s a state of being rather than doing. You experience life as a human being rather than a human doing!

Words and phrases that describe peace include wholeness, awareness, oneness, perfection, pure, completeness, serenity, feeling free and fulfilled.

In closing, I wonder which of these 9 emotional states resonated with you the most?   Which emotional state were you experiencing as you read this article right now?  As you go through your day, I invite you to notice which emotional states you experience.

In closing

To learn how to release or let go of the lower emotional states when they occur, so you can experience greater courageousness, acceptance, and peace, click the link below.  This will take you to another video blog article that covers this in detail.

How to release emotions using the Sedona Method questions.

The information about the 9 emotional states came from The Sedona Method book by Hale Dwoskins.  It’s available on Amazon and I highly recommend getting a copy if you’re interested in further understanding and changing your emotional states.  Click the link below to check it out.

The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskins

If you really want to go deep with this, then visit the official Sedona Method website here.

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 or share it with a friend or on social media.

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We have many universal human needs.  The most basic are physical such as food, water, and shelter.  Once we have these, we strive to meet our mental and emotional human needs.  These are the universal human needs that I will focus on in this article.

When these fundamental human needs are met, we feel happy and fulfilled. Our health and wellbeing can improve massively as a result.

When one or more of these universal human needs are not met, you’ll feel bad or engage in addictive behaviors that allow these needs to be met in other ways.

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These universal human needs come from the Human Givens Model. This is a method of psychotherapy that was developed in the U.K.  Here they are:

1. Safety and Security

We all want to live in an environment that is free from excessive fear. When our environment feels insecure, unpredictable, or dangerous, our mental health can suffer.

Safety and security fall into three areas. Firstly financial security.  This is feeling confident that we’re not going to lose our job, or lose our house. Secondly health. Feeling confident that our body will look after us for years to come. Thirdly physical safety. Living in an area where you feel reasonably safe walking the streets, or living with a partner that looks after you and won’t harm you.

2. Autonomy and Control

Life can be unpredictable and uncertain. However, deep down we need a sense of control and autonomy. When adversity strikes, some people rebound more quickly than others, because they have developed a good sense of internal control.

Internal control is about controlling your emotions, being assertive in relationships and making & acting on decisions. It’s also about knowing what you can directly control and what you can only influence.

If you struggle with internal control, then relax when the unexpected happens.  This will give you a new perspective.  If things outside of your control are making you feel anxious, then focus on other parts of your life that are going well and are more within your control.

3. Status

The third universal human need is status. This is about feeling accepted and valued in different social groups such as work, family or friends.
If you are unable to get this feeling of status from normal day to day activities, consider volunteering or leading something in the community that will make a difference and feels important to you.

4. Privacy

Privacy is having the time and space to reflect on life’s experiences. It’s time alone, “me time”, time to reflect on how things are going in your life. Time to consolidate your thoughts, and decide on the next step.

5. Attention

This is receiving attention from others and giving attention to others. Too much time alone can affect your mental and emotional state. The amount of attention varies among people.  More extrovert people are likely to crave attention more, but we all need this at some level.

Meet the fundamental human need for attention by spending time with family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances or even pets. Catch up with old friends, or make new friends. I highly recommend Meetup.com for finding friends with common interests. Use the phone or Skype to interact with people that live a long way from you.

Related Article: The 6 Human Needs that Drive All Good and Bad Behavior

6. Connection to a wider community

The sixth universal human need is all about connecting with a larger group of people and feeling a sense of being part of that group. This takes the focus off yourself and your own issues. It allows you to do something that goes beyond meeting your own needs and involves helping to meet the needs of others.  It’s also a great way to get out of your own head.

This sense of connection benefits your immune system, your mental health, and level of happiness and fulfillment. Consider joining a club to meet some like-minded people. Meetup.com is great for this as well.

Think about what you’re really good at and share that with other people or teach them how to do it.  We all have some skill or knowledge that we can share with others.

7. Intimacy

The seventh universal human need is intimacy. Intimacy (as defined by Human Givens) is an emotional connection with others. This includes friendship, love, intimacy, and fun. It’s the ability to share your ideas, hopes, and dreams with at least one other person. Typically this would be with a loving partner, but it could be with a close friend. As long as it’s someone that values who you are, understands you, and is willing to listen.

If you’re in a relationship, have a date night. Use this time to talk about your future, about where you’re going and your passions. Avoid talking about practical day to day issues such as money, work or the kids.

8. Look after your body

The eighth fundamental human need for a balanced life is looking after your body. Maybe you know this person. They thrive (apparently) on four or five hours sleep. They’re always first in the office. They skip lunch, believing that lunch is for wimps. They skip the gym because they’re too busy. If they feel tired, they grab a coffee. This lifestyle is not sustainable in the long term. Keep doing it and this will lead to psychological problems and stress-related illness.

It’s important to make time to look after your body. This includes getting enough good quality sleep, resting and relaxing, doing some exercise, eating healthily and visiting the doctor to get regular health checks done.

9. Competence and achievement

The ninth universal human need is having a sense of your own competence and your ability to achieve things. It’s having what it takes to meet life’s demands, feeling confident and that you’re making progress in life and achieving things.

If you have nothing to achieve or aim for, then learn a new skill. You could go to an evening class or learn online. Look back at what you enjoyed in the past. What hobbies did you have in the past that you don’t have time for now? Maybe you could start this hobby again and use that to help you meet this fundamental human need.

I also recommend setting goals in all areas of life, I start with yearly goals, then create monthly and weekly goals as stepping stones to meet my annual goals. By setting goals, you enjoy the satisfaction of watching your progress towards these goals.

10. Purpose and Meaning

The final fundamental human need is having a strong sense that your future plans are worthwhile and that you can achieve them. It’s about having beliefs and values that you stand by. Principles that guide your life.

Having a clear sense of purpose, direction and meaning will help your imagination work for you. You start to picture yourself doing things really well, thriving in new situations and becoming a different person.

People that lack a purpose or meaning in their life, often feel worthless, as if life has no meaning.  They don’t see a reason for their existence. It feels like something’s missing and they feel bored or empty. As the imagination has no positive direction, it starts to focus on what’s not working and begins to fear and imagine the worst. So your imagination needs to go where you are going.

If you need more help with fulfilling this universal human need, then I suggest taking some time out to evaluate what you want to achieve in your life. Once decided, create a plan of action to do that.

Don’t spend months or years trying to figure out what your purpose or meaning in life is. There could be several that fit you equally well. Also, your purpose and meaning in life could well change over time. Go with what makes sense to you for now. What gives you the passion and excitement right now?

Next steps

So these are the 10 universal human needs that bring lasting happiness and fulfillment.  Identify the human needs that are lacking and take some steps now to better meet these human needs. You’ll be glad you did!

Also, check out the two articles below which I used as a basis for this blog post.

Wikipedia article

Uncommon Knowledge article

Also check out my related article that covers the 6 Human Needs that Drive All Good and Bad Behavior.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article and learning about the 10 universal human needs. 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 or share it with a friend or on social media.

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Why do people fail to achieve their dreams?  If you’re reading this article, you probably have some goals and dreams that you want to achieve.  So, I’m going to cover the top 14 reasons why people fail to achieve their dreams.  Be on the lookout for these, so that they don’t stop you from achieving your goals and dreams.

Tony Robbins says that 80% of your success is down to your psychology and mindset. Only 20% is down to the actual action that you take.  Think about your specific goals.  Perhaps you want to lose weight, become fit, improve a sport, develop a business or improve your career.  Whatever it is, 80% of your success in achieving these goals is down to your mindset, your beliefs and your sense of identity as a successful person that can make it happen.

Sometimes, you need to know what you’re doing wrong in order to correct it. To help you, I’m going to identify the top 14 reasons why people fail to achieve their dreams.

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1. Not willing to do the work

The first reason why people fail to achieve their dreams is that they don’t want to put in the work required. Doing the work to be successful is non-negotiable. It’s true that some people are more gifted, so can achieve the same goal as you with less effort. However, anyone that achieved lasting success has put in a great deal of effort.

Success can be a lonely road as you work hard often by yourself.  Remember that you will be rewarded in public for the thousands of hours that you practice in private. Think about virtuoso musicians or Olympic athletes.  How many thousands of hours have they spent practicing and training to master their craft?

If doing the work is challenging for you, then I believe it comes down to not having a clear enough ‘why’. You need to be desperate to change or inspired to change. Both are okay. Sometimes focusing on what you don’t want and the pain of that will give you the motivation to change. This will help you overcome laziness or procrastination. Create a vision, a why that really motivates you and gives you the fuel to put in the effort required.

2. Having a Negative Attitude

Do you continually focus on what’s not working for you, what’s going wrong or what you don’t want?  If you do, then however hard you look, you’re probably going to find the things that are not working.   The good news is that when you focus on what you want, you will start to notice what is working.

No experience is good or bad, it’s just the meaning you give it. The only meaning anything has is the meaning that you give it. How powerful is that?

When a life situation or event makes you feel disappointed, frustrated or angry, just remember that you can change the meaning that you give to that life situation or event.

If you are the type of person that is often a little negative, don’t worry, this is something you can work on. This is where affirmations and visualizations can really help. You can become more positive.  You may just need to work a little harder on developing a positive attitude.

This is an important reason why people fail to achieve their dreams, so taking the time to develop a positive attitude and mindset is vital.

3. Lack of Compelling Reasons

You’ve got to have a compelling ‘why’ and strong reasons for achieving your goal or dream.  They have to be your reasons.  They can’t be your parents, partner or a friend’s reasons.

As mentioned earlier, these reasons can be positive or negative. In the case of starting a business, a positive reason could be “I want to be my own boss”.  A negative reason could be “I no longer want to answer to a boss”. The key here is to find reasons that motivate you to take action.

Start by writing out at least 20 reasons why it’s a must for you to achieve this goal or dream. Then focus on these reasons every day for a couple of minutes. Notice how you feel after doing this.

4. Lack of Belief, Confidence, and Certainty

This could be a lack of belief, confidence, and certainty in yourself, or in the process to achieve your goal. Imagine you are following a series of steps to build muscle or lose weight.  If you believe that the steps are going to work, you’ll be more likely to take action, which greatly increases your chances of hitting the goal.  If you don’t believe that the diet or exercise program is going to work, then you are unlikely to take sufficient action to reach your goal.  It’s like you’ve got one foot in and one foot out.

Instead, you need to have faith. Faith is believing in something when there is no reason to believe it. It’s about having faith in the process and faith in yourself. Reading stories of other people that have achieved the success you are after is a great way to develop greater faith.

Find positive role models in your life. People that are more successful than you. Learn from them and get inspired by their achievements.

5. Lack of Patience

A lack of patience normally occurs when you focus too much on getting a fast immediate change, rather than a long-term sustainable change.  The truth is that successful people don’t become successful overnight. There are lots of courses and products offering immediate changes and these may work for a few people. However, if you read about the most successful people in the world, they will tell you that it took many years to get to where they are now.

The most successful people focus on what they want to become, as well as the external tangible things that signify success to them.

6. No Goals or Clear Outcomes

Imagine a pilot with a vague idea of where he was going. It wouldn’t be a great experience. You wouldn’t feel confident that you would reach your destination.  The same goes with goals. It’s essential to have SMART goals, Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-related. I also recommend a mixture of process and outcome goals.

A process goal is completely within your control. Examples include going to the gym three times a week or spending 10 hours a week studying towards your exams.

An outcome goal is not completely within your control.  Examples include I want to lose 3 kilos this month, or I’m going to get 3 new clients this week.

It’s important that you set outcome goals, as these will be more motivating and meaningful than process goals.  Then set process goals to give you the steps to maximize your chances of achieving these outcome goals.

7. Crazy or Unrealistic Expectations

A sure-fire way why people fail to achieve their dreams is by having crazy or unrealistic expectations of success. Ones that are not backed up with a plan.  Whilst it’s good to stretch yourself when setting goals, it’s important to be realistic as well.

The place for crazy, audacious goals is five or more years in the future.  These goals get you excited and become part of your vision.  However, you want to back up this vision with SMART goals that will feel good when achieved.

8. Don’t Invest in Training or Continuous Learning

It’s wonderful to make use of free resources, such as this article and video. Think of each free resource as a single piece of the puzzle.  Investing in courses, coaches or mentors will give you the step by step process to solve the puzzle. All the pieces are in a logical order so that you can solve the puzzle quickly.  You know that all the pieces are there.  Nothing is missing.

If you want a step by step process to lose weight, start a business, get better at a sport or something else, then invest in training from people that have already achieved the goal that you desire. You also learn from their mistakes, so you’re not reinventing the wheel. Your time is valuable, and it’s worth investing some money to save you time further down the road.

My initial training provided me with a qualification to become a clinical hypnotherapist.  However, when I started seeing clients, I soon realized that I needed to continue my training and have since invested in several courses to improve my knowledge and skills.

Don’t be one of those people that fail to achieve their dreams by not investing in training and continuous learning.

9. Don’t listen to advice from successful people

Some people fail to achieve their dreams because they have too strong an ego. They’re too proud and believe they know it all. It’s a false sense of confidence. If you relate to this, then I encourage you to go from becoming a know it all to a learn it all.  Avoid saying, “I know that.” This statement closes your mind to any new ideas. Be willing to listen and learn from others, to take on their ideas, especially if these people are where you want to be.

10. Hang out with the wrong people.

It can be hard to achieve a specific goal or dream if you don’t hang around with people that already have what you want. If you want to be in great shape and have a wonderful body, then hang around with bodybuilders and fitness experts. If you want to be healthy, then spend time with healthy people.

It’s still good to spend time with family and friends.  However, find a way to mingle with people that can help you achieve your goals as well.

11. Shiny Object Syndrome

This is someone that excitedly buys a new program or a new course, thinking that it will be the answer to all their problems. They’re halfway through this program when something else comes along that they also believe will solve all their problems.  They buy this program and then something else comes along. Can you relate to this?

A few courses later, you have all this information, but nothing to show for it.  It’s easy to get into information overload and a feeling of overwhelm as you try to figure out which bit of information to apply first.  This is a common reason why people fail to achieve their dreams.

Resist shiny object syndrome. Instead stick to one or two programs that will really help you, one or two coaches or mentors. Play full out with these programs, coaches or mentors. Take them as far as you can and only move to something else when you have already mastered what you are learning right now.

12. Can’t deal with Failure or Adversity

Most successful people fail their way to success. Anyone that has been massively successful has failed, experienced setbacks, faced adversity and had many challenges along the way. It’s all part of the process. The biggest decisions in my life happened when things were going badly. You rarely make life-changing decisions when things are going well. It just doesn’t work that way!

Understand that failure is to be expected and that it is a good thing.  Failure is simply feedback. View failures as opportunities to learn.

I also recommend that you don’t focus on something that failed for any longer than you need to. It should be just enough to learn from it.

13. Fear of Rejection

Fear of Rejection is a crucial reason why people fail to achieve their dreams. This usually comes from caring too much about what other people think. There will always be people that will doubt you, be overly negative or try to hold you back. You’ll also find people that just don’t like you.

Unfortunately, this does not go away as you become more successful. It actually gets worse!  The more successful you become, the more people will know about you, admire you and some of them will not like you.

There will always be some people that will try to bring you down because it makes them feel good. Knowing this really helps you deal with these people in a more positive and resourceful way.

Also when you notice someone trying to bring you down, ask yourself if they have the life that you want? If the answer is no, then don’t worry about them. You dictate who you are and no one else.

14. They Give Up

The final reason why people fail to achieve their dreams is that they give up. Reasons for giving up include its too much work, takes too much time, I don’t think I can do this or it’s not worth the effort.

The problem is that when you give up, there will be a part of you that never quite feels satisfied and fulfilled. You’ve had a glimpse of a better life.  You’ll ask yourself questions such as “What if I had stuck it out?” If someone else in your life does stick it out and gets the results that you wanted, how will you feel then?

If things are going badly or you’re in a plateau, then a change of direction can be useful. It’s important to be flexible, whilst never giving up on your goal and dream.

So these are the 14 reasons why people fail to achieve their dreams.  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 or share it with a friend or on social media.

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There are so many benefits of gratitude.  It’s wonderful for your body, mind, and spirit.  In this article, I’m going to cover the benefits of gratitude in detail.  This will give you the motivation to start becoming more grateful for what is already working in your life.

Practising gratitude is also a wonderful way to improve how you feel instantly.  To feel happier and more fulfilled.  It’s fun to do and I cover 4 very easy and effective ways to incorporate the practice of gratitude into your life.

To make the most of the benefits of gratitude, I recommend that you practice being grateful for a few minutes every day.

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What are the Benefits of Gratitude?

Gratitude makes you feel good and this improves your mental and physical health. Have you noticed that when you achieve or gain something (for example a new car), you feel excited, happy and grateful, but the feeling doesn’t last. It soon becomes a normal experience.

When you focus all your attention on achieving more, this creates a habit or pattern of taking things for granted, because you’re focusing on what you don’t have.

Achieving is a good thing, but you want to do it in a way that makes you feel happy and fulfilled at the same time.  Why do you want to achieve something in the first place? – My guess is that it’s probably to experience some kind of emotion such as happiness, fulfillment or satisfaction.  However, you can have these emotions now without having those things.

I’ve also found that if you focus too much on wanting to achieve something, this gives an energetic message to the universe that says “I want that”.  However, the feeling of wanting is different from having.  Wanting something means that you don’t have it yet and that is a different feeling that the universe picks up on.

By practicing gratitude, you focus on what you already have.  This sends the message of “having” to the universe.

So let’s look at some of the benefits of practicing gratitude.

1. Improves Physical Health

People that practice gratitude daily have fewer aches and pains. They look after themselves better and exercise more often. They have lower blood pressure, live longer and have more energy.

2. Improves Sleep

Practicing gratitude regularly helps you sleep better by sleeping for longer and getting deeper, restorative sleep. When you worry about things before you go to sleep, the level of stress in your body increases and that reduces your sleep quality.

If you practice gratitude instead by focussing on what you already have and what’s going well in your life, then this initiates the relaxation response. Your body can then relax and you’ll sleep much better.

Before you go to sleep tonight, I invite you to do the following:

  • Think about three things that went well today.
  • Think about three things that I’m grateful for.

3. Reduces Stress

As mentioned above, being grateful induces the relaxation response. This then lowers the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body.  Lower levels of cortisol mean you feel more relaxed.

4. Improves your Mental Health

One of the other benefits of gratitude is a lower chance of becoming depressed or developing other mental illnesses.  Think of being grateful as fitness for the mind.

5. Enhanced Self Esteem

Being grateful improves your levels of self esteem. You have less resentment towards other people that appear to be doing better than you.  Instead, you appreciate their accomplishments. You’re less likely to compare yourself with other people and have greater satisfaction in your life as well.

6. More Resilience

Practising gratitude improves your resilience and mental strength. A study measuring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Vietnam War veterans found that people that were more grateful during the war and afterwards generally had fewer symptoms of PTSD. A study undertaken after the 9/11 attacks found that people that were more grateful of what they had before the attacks seemed to deal better in the aftermath of the attacks.

7. Changes Memories

Practising gratitude helps you to change past memories. Your memories are not set in stone. They’re not like files in a computer where the information stored never changes. Memories can and do change over time. You may remember things as better or worse than they really were. The people in that memory may have been kinder or crueller. Gratitude increases the chances of remembering those things in a more positive way. It can also help you gain closure from upsetting memories.

8. Improves your Emotional Wellbeing

Being grateful helps reduce many negative emotions such as frustration, anger, regret, envy, aggression, revenge and resentment. It also helps increase your level of happiness. Practising gratitude makes you feel good, which in itself is a great reason to practise it.

9. Better Relationships and Social Life

One of the other benefits of gratitude is improved relationships and social life.  When you feel grateful, people will like you more, you will come across as more trusting. You will be more social and appreciative. You will have more friends, deeper friendships and a better relationship with your partner as well.

10.  More Career or Business Success

When you feel good about yourself and grateful for what you already have, you will be more productive and make better decisions. You will be more positive, solution focussed and find it easier to get results through other people.

11. Better Manifesting

Practising gratitude helps you to focus on the positive (the things you already have), rather than the negative (what you don’t have). When manifesting, it’s so important to focus on what you do want. A great way to do this is to focus on what you want AND what you already have. This helps you get the feeling of having what you want NOW.

How to practice gratitude on a daily basis

Hopefully, you’re now sold on the benefits of gratitude, so I’ll now cover a few quick ways to do this.

Gratitude Journal

A gratitude journal is simply writing down the things that you are grateful for. Things you might include could be your body, physical & mental health, family & friends or books & resources that you’ve benefited from. It could also be happy memories from the past or even small things like your heart beating consistently every day, or having running water and electricity.

Gratitude Questions

Ask yourself the following questions

  • What am I grateful for in my life?
  • What am I proud of in my life?
  • What do I love about my life?
  • What made today great?
  • What was good about today?

Notice what comes up when you ask these questions.  Gratitude questions are powerful because it focuses your mind on answering the question and this will lead to more things that you are grateful for.

Gratitude Bucket List

You probably already have a bucket list for holiday destinations, experiences and people you would like to meet. What about having a gratitude bucket list? Think of all those things that you have already achieved, the places you’ve already visited, the people that you’ve already met, Create a gratitude bucket list of all the things you’ve already achieved.

Showing Appreciation to Others

What can you do that will brighten up someone else’s day?  How could you show gratitude or appreciation for something that someone else has done? You can show your gratitude and appreciation face to face, via text message, email or on social media.

As you can see, there are lots of great benefits of gratitude. I hope this convinces you that it’s worth practicing being grateful on a daily basis. Best time is first thing in the morning when you get up and just before going to bed.

However, practicing being grateful throughout the day is great as well. It will make you feel better about yourself and happier too. It will balance your life as you’ll be focusing on things you already have, as well as focusing on the things you want.

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There are so many practical ways to relieve anxiety quickly.  These include mindfulness, meditation, having a relaxing bath, or having a massage. They’re all great to do, but they only deal with the symptoms, not the root mental causes. In this article, I’m going to cover a number of ways to relieve anxiety quickly by dealing with the root causes.

Thinking and Imagining what could go wrong

To be anxious, you have to imagine or think about something in the future going badly. If you think it will go well or normally, then you won’t feel anxious. You will probably feel confident instead. Look back on past events or things you were anxious about.  How did they actually turn out? – My guess is probably okay.

Now think about something that you’re anxious about in the future.  Based on previous events, how do you think it will turn out? Probably okay as well.

Here is an example to help you understand this. Recently, I was at Sydney Airport waiting for my luggage. I had been waiting for 10 or 15 minutes and most people already had their bags by this time.  I started thinking, “I don’t think my bag is going to turn up.” Then, “what if” questions such as “what happens if my bag doesn’t turn up?”. Then more thoughts like “how am I going to deal with that?”

I realized that this thinking was making me feel anxious, so I reminded myself that I’ve been on about 70 flights over the last 20 years. On every flight, the bags have always turned up! – That’s the most likely outcome.

If I had kept thinking about the bag not turning up, that was just going to make me more anxious. So instead, I started thinking about the bag turning up. I even visualized it showing up on the conveyor belt!  For those next 5 to 10 minutes while I was waiting for the bag, I felt more comfortable and more relaxed. Sure enough, the bag did show up, which was what I was expecting all along.

Here are some tips to help you relieve anxiety quickly by changing your focus of attention.

Spend time consciously focusing on how you would like something to go. It doesn’t have to be super-positive.  Turning out okay is fine. A good time to do this is first thing in the morning when you get up.

When you feel anxious, notice what you are imagining or saying to yourself. Then, ask yourself, “Is thinking or imagining this going to make you feel any better?” Questioning is really powerful. It gets your mind to focus on the solution.

Imagine going 45 minutes into the successful completion of whatever it is you’re worried about. Notice what you notice, and notice how you feel when you do that.

Ask yourself, “How likely is the worst case scenario?” If the worst case scenario is quite likely, then make plans to deal with it, so you have a contingency. If it’s highly unlikely, then it’s much better to stop focusing on it and to focus on something else instead. Remember, 95% of what you fear or worry about never happens! You need to have this distinction in your mind as to what is probable (likely to happen) and what is possible but unlikely to happen.

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Separate Anxiety from Your Sense of Identity

I wonder if you have ever said these to yourself? –  “I am an anxious person”, or “I’m always anxious.”

If that’s you, then remember that anxiety is something you do, it’s not something you are. It’s a feeling. It’s not part of your identity.

Here are some ideas to change this and help relieve anxiety quickly in the process.

Add the phrase “except when you’re not.” For example “I’m always anxious, except when you are not“. If you think about it, I’m sure there are many times when you are not anxious. We just never think about those times.  Adding the phrase “except when you’re not”, reminds your brain that anxiety is something you do, NOT something you are.  Thank Bill O’Hanlon for this one.

Think about all the other things that you are besides an anxious person.  Perhaps you’re a parent, husband, wife, doctor, dentist, lawyer, electrician, chef, dog lover or cat lover.  See if you can list 20 other things are you also are.  If being an anxious person is only 5% of who you are, then that really puts it into perspective.

Think of anxiety as a feeling, rather than part of who you are.  Rather than say, “I am anxious,” say “I feel anxious,” or “I am feeling anxious.”


It’s pretty hard to be anxious if you don’t overthink things. They go hand in hand.

Overthinking doesn’t need to be negative thinking. It can be planning, strategizing or weighing up options. However, if you keep thinking of the same things over and over again, you’re going to feel anxious.

How do you know when you’re thinking but NOT overthinking?   A useful amount of thinking will normally lead you to a decision or some kind of action to solve the problem. An excessive amount of thinking will usually keep you stuck in the problem.

If you find that you’re thinking the same things over and over again and not taking any action or getting a solution, that’s a clue that you’re probably overthinking something.

Here are some tips to help you relieve anxiety quickly by reducing or stopping overthinking.

Notice “what if” questions and answer them.

People that overthink things, often come up with “what if” questions, but they don’t answer them!

For example, if you were feeling anxious about a presentation you might have a thought like “What if I mess up my words in my presentation today”

Here are some possible answers:

  • Some people could laugh
  • Other people might help, support and encourage you
  • Other people may empathize with you.
  • Some people will be relieved that it’s you talking and not them!
  • Other people will not even notice that you messed up your words.

So by answering the “what if” questions, you start to focus on solutions or contingencies. For example, If somebody does laugh, you can decide how you would deal with them laughing. You’ll be prepared for it and have a way to deal with it.

Allocate specific “worry-time”

Allocate a specific time to think or worry about situations.  When this time is up, imagine putting those worries into little boxes and locking them. You could have separate boxes for work worries, money worries, relationship worries, health worries etc.

When it’s not “worry-time” and an anxious thought comes into your mind, say, “Not right now.” The anxious thoughts will come up often to start with, so be persistent with saying “Not right now” It will take a while to train your brain to respond to this.

If you find that worries keep you awake at night, then this is a great exercise to do just before going to sleep. You can do this by visualizing a very calming and relaxed room with little boxes on the wall.  Then imagine putting your work worries into a box and locking it, then repeating the process with money worries, relationship worries etc.

When all your anxious thoughts are safely in the correct boxes, imagine putting the keys to the boxes somewhere safe.   Somewhere where there is no chance of anything coming out of those boxes until the following morning. Maybe put the keys under your pillow, if that works well for you.  I have found this to be one of the best ways to relieve anxiety quickly.

Dealing with Uncertainty

We cannot predict the result of anything we do with 100% accuracy. Life would actually be quite boring if we could.

Imagine going to a soccer or rugby match knowing exactly which team would win. That would be quite boring. It would be like watching a recording of the match on TV the following day when you already know what the result is.

Or what about taking part in a competition where you had a 100% chance of winning. I don’t think the feeling of winning would be quite the same if it was guaranteed.

So uncertainty is actually a good thing. It’s what makes life fun, exciting and enjoyable.   The problem comes when the uncertainty is negative.

How do you deal with negative uncertainty in a way that will relieve anxiety quickly? – Well, one thing that really helps is a good level of self-confidence. I believe that confidence is the opposite of anxiety.

If life is uncertain, what can you be certain about? – We can be certain about having the confidence to do our best and the confidence to handle whatever happens.

Long-term Focus

In the longer term, things are much more predictable. If you eat the right foods consistently for months or years, then the chances are very likely that you will have a healthy life.

Same with mental health. If you focus on being grateful, think positive and take action on your goals and dreams, then in a few years’ time, you’re far more likely to be successful and happier than someone who doesn’t do that.  So as you can see, in the long term, results are actually quite predictable.  Uncertainty is really a short-term issue in most instances.

Knowing what is within your control

People that feel anxious worry a lot about things that are outside of their control. This is especially true when other people are involved.  Remember that you can influence others, but you cannot directly control them.

Ask yourself, “Can I really control the outcome, or can I only influence it?

Focus on the things that you can control. When that involves other people, do the best you can.  Then be okay with whatever the outcome is in that situation, knowing that you’ve done your best.

Just the simple shift of knowing what is within your control and what isn’t can really help relieve anxiety quickly.

Taking Action

Thinking too much about something can lead you to overwhelm, indecision, and procrastination. A good thing to remember is that thinking is not doing.

I encourage you to look at situations that are making you feel anxious, and ask yourself, “What have I done in the last week to make this situation better?” or “What have I done in the last week to deal with it better in some way?” If the answer is not a lot, then taking some kind of action, even if it’s not the best option, will help you replace anxiety with feelings of confidence.

If something seems overwhelming, break it down into steps, and then do the first step today and notice how the anxiety feelings start to wash away.

Focus on the External World and Other People

This is really about getting out of your own head. I have found that anxiety tends to be an inside job. It involves spending too much time thinking about your problem and not being in the present.

Instead, become more aware of the external world. When you’re walking, notice the flowers in people’s gardens. Notice what other people are doing. Notice the sky and clouds. Really notice what is happening around you.

Focus and be more grateful for the things you do have. Notice the problems that other people have, and share empathy for them. Help them if you can. Helping others will make you feel better, but more importantly, it gets you out of your own head and this really helps relieve anxiety quickly.

Focus on the Skills, Abilities and Experience that you DO Have

People with anxiety feelings tend to overestimate risk and overestimate the things that can go wrong.  They underestimate what they can actually do about it and their level of confidence to deal with it successfully.

Think about past anxious situations that you have dealt with successfully, and ask yourself, “How did I overcome similar obstacles in the past?” or “Where else in my life have I used the skills, abilities, and experiences that I could use now?” or “How have I handled these things in the past?”

Maybe you didn’t handle them as well as you would have liked. However, still focus on how you did handle them, and then use some of those skills and abilities and apply them to this situation.  Then notice how this can relieve your anxiety quickly.


It’s natural to want to perform well and to the best of your ability.  To be as effective as you can. However, could you be putting too much pressure on yourself?

Being a perfectionist is essential in some occupations. You would want your brain surgeon to be a perfectionist! However, in many situations, being good and doing something to the best of your ability is more important (and less anxiety-producing) than being an absolute perfectionist.

It’s more important to make progress and improve as you go along. If you’re a writer, ask yourself, “Would it be better to have four books that are 80% perfect rather than one book that is 100% perfect?” How many more people would benefit from four books that are 80% perfect than the one book that’s absolutely 100%.

You don’t have to be perfect at everything!

Think about the things in life that don’t have to be perfect. Things like housework, ironing or preparing food.  These don’t have to be absolutely perfect. It’s not an all or nothing situation.

Focus on the things that really need to be perfect and make them perfect.  For everything else, focus on making them good enough. This will help you reduce anxiety and stress generally.

If you’re the kind of person that requires everything in your life to be absolutely perfect, then you are going to suffer from a high level of anxiety.  If that’s you, take on this idea of being a perfectionist of some things and notice how this helps you relieve anxiety quickly.

Become an Internal Control Freak

Trying to control everything externally in your life is exhausting and simply not possible. So I suggest that you let go of the things that you can’t control. Instead, you can become an internal control freak! – A control freak for your mind!

There are a number of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) techniques that can help you to become an internal control freak. Here are a few of them.

If you have a lot of internal dialogue or self-talk, try turning down the volume of the self-talk. Although this dialogue is in your head, it can often be perceived as sounding quite loud. Imagine turning down the volume of this internal dialogue.  If you can, stop reading and do this now!   Make it really quiet and notice how your feelings change.

Internal dialogue or self-talk can sometimes be perceived as very authoritarian. This possibly came from teachers at school or your parents, who needed to be very authoritarian at times to keep you out of trouble.

Listen to your self-talk.  If it sounds authoritarian, make it sound naughty instead. A naughty female French accent works really well for many people!  Imagine saying the thing that’s making you anxious with a naughty French accent. What might that be like?  This can be a fun way to relieve anxiety quickly.

Also, watch your language! Looking out for non-choice words such as “I should”, “I must” or “I have to,”.  These words indicate a lack of choice and sound quite authoritarian too. Use words such as “I could”, “I can” or “I choose to.” instead.  This will give you the feeling of having choices and options which is probably closer to reality anyway.

If you often imagine things going wrong, then make the images smaller and in black and white. This will help reduce the anxiety feelings.

So experiment with the above NLP techniques and notice how these can help you relieve anxiety quickly.

So these are my strategies for helping you relieve anxiety quickly in your life by dealing with the root causes. There is a lot of practical information here and I really encourage you to apply as many of these tips as you can. They will help you immensely if you work on them consistently.

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In this blog post, I’m going to talk about how to change the four core beliefs that keep you stuck.

What are the four core beliefs that keep you stuck?

1. I’m not good enough

This is a very common core belief to have. Other variations to this include “I am not worthy enough” or “I don’t deserve this“. When you have this core belief (which is often unconscious),  you’ll find that you often sabotage yourself.  You don’t take the steps to achieve your goals and dreams because you don’t feel you’re worthy of it or don’t feel you’re good enough.

It also translates into money as well. You might apply for jobs with a lower salary because you feel you’re not worthy of anything more. This belief could affect how you negotiate salaries or promotions.  So if you have issues with money, it will often come down to the belief of I’m not good enough or not worthy enough. Same applies if you’re self-employed.  Perhaps you’re uncomfortable charging a certain amount for your services, even though that’s the market rate for your profession.

2. The world is not a safe place for me.

This core belief can manifest itself in a number of ways.  Sometimes specific fears or phobias can arise from this. Or it’s a reluctance to go out and try new things, to get out of your comfort zone. However, if you believe that the world is not safe, this is going to affect the things that you do in your life.

3. I am powerless.

Now, this could be feeling powerless to change, feeling that you have no power over your life circumstances or over what happens to you. This can be a challenging belief if you’re into personal development or self-help.  You go to seminars, read books, watch videos, but then struggle to apply the information to your life consistently.  If you have this belief that you can’t change anyway, then you’re not likely to take the steps that are proven to work and give you the changes that you want.

Having the belief that I am powerless also means that you don’t take responsibility for yourself. Instead, you blame other people or other situations for the way your life is at the moment.

4. Love and relationships = pain

If you unconsciously believe that love and relationships = pain, then you might attract abusive or difficult partners or people into your life.  People that will make you unhappy. Or you end up lonely because you just don’t go out and meet people because you believe inside that relationships are going to cause pain.

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What happens if you don’t address these core beliefs

If you don’t address these four core beliefs, then affirmations, visualizations or positive thinking will either not work or be a temporary fix.

You come up with a positive idea or affirmation.  It’s something you want, it’s stated in the positive and achieving it makes you happy and fulfilled.  It all makes logical sense to your conscious mind.

However, another part of your mind looks at your core beliefs and thinks that it isn’t positive. A fear or threat based emotion challenges that positive idea. It seems scary and what if it all went wrong. That part of your mind is simply trying to protect you and keep you safe.

So when you say an affirmation or think of an idea that conflicts with one of your core beliefs, you’ll either get an internal voice that says something like, “you can’t do that”, “this is not going to work for you”. Alternatively, you might get some kind of uncomfortable feeling, perhaps in the stomach.

Related Article: How to Permanently Change Limiting Beliefs

Questioning the Resistance

So the first thing I recommend you do is question that resistance. Do this by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What am I thinking right now?
  • What am I feeling right now?
  • What must I be believing to have this feeling?

What these questions do is take you to the next layer of your beliefs. The more you question those beliefs, the sooner you’ll get to the core beliefs that I was talking about earlier. It’s like peeling an onion, the more you peel it, the closer you get to the core.

3 Ways to Change your Core Beliefs

Here are three methods or techniques that will help you change your core beliefs.

Suspend Belief Statement

The suspend belief statement allows your mind to park your current reality for a little while, which then allows your new ideas to sink in without conflict.

Here is an example of a suspend belief statement.

For the next few minutes, I will momentarily suspend what I believe in this area and willfully accept the belief that I want. During this time, my desire and belief will be one. There will be no conflict because I do this willingly. For this time, I will completely alter my old beliefs. I will act as if the belief I want were mine completely.

The original statement (which I’ve modified a little) came from a book called “The Nature of Personal Reality” by Jane Roberts.  This book is well worth a read.

For me, this statement made all the difference between affirmations that work and affirmations that don’t. What you are doing is suspending your current beliefs for a few moments, whilst you willfully accept the belief that you want, as if it’s completely yours right now. There is no conflict with what I normally think, because I’m going to pretend that all those thoughts don’t exist just for now.

The important factor here is that you have to consciously, deliberately and willingly suspend your normal reality for a moment. Then willfully accept some new ideas as if they’re already true now, not at some point in the future. Right now!

Create Affirmations that address some or all of the four core beliefs.

The second process (which I recommend doing after the first process above) is to incorporate affirmations that address some or all of these four core beliefs. Here are positive affirmations that are the opposite of the four negative core beliefs outlined earlier.

  1. I am good enough or I am worthy enough or I do deserve this.
  2. The world is a safe place for me.
  3. I am powerful and can influence my world. This is being powerful within yourself, rather than power over other people.
  4. Love and relationships equal pleasure.

What I recommend is to start saying these to yourself. When you say these, you may notice any kind of inner resistance.  This might be negative self-talk or an uncomfortable feeling.   If you notice any resistance, then modify these statements to replace the word “am” with the word “want” and then “can“.

Example of positive core belief affirmations using the word”want”

  1. I want to be good enough or I want to be worthy enough or I want to be able to deserve this.
  2. I want the world to be a safe place for me.
  3. I want to be powerful and able to influence my world.
  4. I want love and relationships to equal pleasure.

When you use “want” instead of “am”,  you will notice that your mind will be able to accept the affirmations more easily with less resistance.  Your conscious mind will pick up on the fact that you haven’t got this right now.  However, your unconscious mind will still pick up on the core idea of being good enough, the world being a safe place, being able to influence your world and relationships being pleasurable.

As your mind accepts these “want” statements and you notice little or no resistance, then you can then move on to “can” statements.

Example of positive core belief affirmations using “can”

  1.  I can be good enough or worthy enough or deserve this.
  2. The world can be a safe place for me.
  3. I can be powerful and able to influence my world.
  4. Love and relationships can equal pleasure.

Once you feel comfortable with the “can” statements, you can then use the “am” statements that I covered earlier. You can also replace “am” with “want” or “can”  with your other affirmations as well, so give it a go.

Related Article: How to Create Affirmations That Work Extremely Effectively

Using Emotion

The third part of the process is using emotions in the most effective way.

Think about how exciting the lead up to Christmas can be.  However, when Christmas day arrives, it’s often not quite as exciting as the lead up to it was. Same goes for holidays. During those last few days at work, you get really excited about your forthcoming holiday.  The holiday arrives and you hopefully have a lot of fun, great experiences and enjoy relaxing.  However, have you noticed that after a few days, the holiday starts to feel kind of normal.

That’s the kind of feeling you want to create when saying your affirmations. You want your brain to start thinking of this new experience as normal.  It can still be fulfilling, pleasurable and you can feel grateful for having it.

Creating this “normal” feeling will help you when taking action towards your goals, by transforming that emotional excitement into physical action energy. So you’re putting this energy into achieving the goal and focusing on it.

Other Important Tips

  1. Repeat your affirmations at least once a day for 30 to 40 days.  This may seem like a lot, but if you incorporate it into your morning ritual or morning routine it will become a habit and something that makes you feel good.
  2. Focus on one idea, one affirmation for 15 to 20 seconds.  That is actually quite a long time to focus on one idea. Typically, after 3 or 4 seconds, our brain has wondered to something else. When you focus on one idea for 15 seconds or longer, your brain thinks the idea is important and latches onto it. The affirmation will then take on more meaning in your brain and your own conscious mind will take it more seriously as well.
  3. Say your affirmations out loud when you can. This will really help. When your mind hears what you are saying, it goes in deeper. Repeating affirmations out loud also helps improve your concentration, so you can focus on this one idea for longer.

We unconsciously say affirmations to ourselves every day, hundreds of times a day and they’re often negative!  So you need positive affirmations to counteract these. The affirmation that is repeated most often is the one that’s going be most effective.

If you’re repeating positive affirmations to yourself regularly and are also saying things to yourself like, “I’m not good enough” or “I’m stupid” regularly, and if the negative idea has more emotive force than the first idea,  then the negative affirmation is obviously going to win!

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The Power of Acceptance is so important to achieving success, happiness and a sense of fulfillment.  It will help you be at peace with your current situation whilst taking action to improve it at the same time.

Many negative emotions such as impatience, frustration, guilt and blame can be reduced or even eliminated by practising the power of acceptance.

There are some things in life that we cannot change.  These include:

  • Our Height
  • Our Parents
  • The Past

There are a huge amount of things that we can change.  These would include:

So we need to accept the things that we can’t change and work on improving the things that we can change.

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However, it is not always that simple.   Many of the things that we can change take time.  For example, working out at the gym to improve your body or finding a new job or starting a business to create more money.

In these situations, it is important that we can accept the current situation and also work on changing it at the same time.

What is Acceptance?

Let’s start with what Acceptance is NOT!

It is NOT apathy, giving up, surrendering control or blaming someone or something else. It is also not accepting that it is going to be that way forever.

Acceptance is fundamentally an attitude or state of mind.  It is the opposite of resistance.

For example, if you were stuck in traffic, it is your impatience and eagerness to reach your destination (and the possible consequences of being late) that make you just want to get moving!  – That’s resistance in action.  You don’t want to be where you are right now.

Instead, you could be listening to music, practicing affirmations, looking at other people with curiosity or being grateful for having a car!

Accepting something does not mean that you like it, want it, choose to have it or even support it.  Instead, it’s choosing to allow it to be there in this moment.  To make space for it.  It’s giving yourself the chance to feel what you feel, experience what you have experienced without feeling negative emotions such as shame, guilt or anxiety.

How does the Power of Acceptance Benefit You?

When you can better accept what is, you will notice that you will :

  • Have less arguments
  • Stop trying to make other people wrong
  • Stop complaining
  • Look for the good in other people
  • Notice frustration melting away and being replaced by curiosity and fascination.
  • Look for good things in your life
  • Attract more good things to you.  This could be new opportunities or new people.

I believe this happens because your thoughts and energy change.  You increase your level of vibration, by letting go of resistance and being more at peace with yourself.

The power of acceptance can neutralize unpleasant and irritating experiences.  It might even transform them into positive ones.

 Acceptance and Pain

Struggling against pain (whether physical or emotional) can be one of the hardest areas to practice acceptance.

In the case of chronic physical pain (or a chronic health condition), it can often feel that it fits into the “things I cannot change” bucket.

However by resisting it or rejecting the pain, it will cause you to suffer more.  Using the Power of Acceptance may not reduce the pain, but it will reduce the suffering.

By reducing the suffering, you will develop the patience to work on solutions that can sometimes take some time and trial and error.  You will probably find that you will notice the discomfort less often.  It’s also good for the immune system.

Practising Acceptance

Acceptance isn’t something that just happens over time.  It requires practice until it becomes a habit.

Acceptance and resistance are opposite ends of the spectrum.  By practising acceptance, you strengthen the neural pathways in your brain, so that acceptance becomes easier in the future.

It is natural to yoyo between acceptance and resistance, but this will reduce over time as you practice the power of acceptance.

Acceptance can be practised in all areas of life including:

  • Your current experience or reality
  • Health
  • The past
  • Other people
  • Your thoughts and emotions
  • Other people’s beliefs or ideas
  • Your appearance

When you wake up,  repeat the following affirmations:

  1. Today is good and where I am is good
  2. All my mistakes are just fine.
  3. I am learning the lessons that I need to learn to graduate to something better.

And when something goes wrong, say something like “I don’t know why this happened, but this is okay”, then look for reasons to be happy.

If you’re having a hard time accepting something, say “Right now, I have absolutely no idea why this had to be a part of my journey but I embrace it anyway”

Another tip is to avoid the word “should”.  Using the word “should” tends to make you argue or resist reality.  For example, I should have gone to university, the government should do something or that person shouldn’t be so angry.

Acceptance and Other People

Happy people tend to be more flexible and more accepting of others.  Rather than making demands on life and people, they will have preferences instead.

Here are some examples of preferences in action

  • I prefer quiet neighbours, but if they are noisy, I can handle it.
  • I prefer people to be polite, but when they are rude, I can be okay with that.
  • I prefer people to see my point of view, but when they don’t, that’s fine too.

Can you see how that defuses potential negative emotions by a change in prospective?

Here are some examples of situations involving other people that you can choose to accept.

  • People that work less than you
  • People that make more money than you
  • More intelligent people
  • Angry or rude people
  • Ungrateful people.

Acceptance, Happiness and Peace of Mind

Whatever we are trying to achieve in life, it is probably to achieve some level of happiness and peace of mind.   When you realise that this is really the ultimate goal, you can often be more flexible and less resistant to the tangible results.

If you can accept where you are, see the best in other people and make an effort each day to do your best, then you can achieve your goals and dreams and be happy and at peace in the process.

I based this article on a podcast about Acceptance by Andrew Matthews.  You can listen to it here.

If you enjoyed reading this article, 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 or share it with a friend or on social media.

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Stepping out of your comfort zone is wonderful for your confidence, self-esteem and creativity.  It also means that life is never boring and neither are you!

You’ll experience greater enjoyment as you try out new experiences.  You’ll stimulate your brain which is crucial to mental health.  It will provide you with the resilience to deal more easily when unexpected changes happen in your life.  Stepping out of your comfort zone helps you to improve yourself and become a happy, fun person that has lots of interesting things to talk about.

Here are my 13 easy, practical and effective ways to expand your comfort zone, so that you can reap the above rewards as well.

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1.  Go to another country

Travelling is one of the best ways to step out of your comfort zone.  You will experience new cultures, different customs, unique landscapes, flora and fauna and sometimes another language.  Working with different currencies is good for your brain too!

When I travelled to South East Asia for the first time back in 2000, I remember the discomfort of having the injections before I left, getting food poisoning on New Year’s Eve in Malaysia and bartering with taxi drivers that wouldn’t put on their metre.  However, I also remember the excitement of seeing a monkey for the first time, exploring amazing tropical rain forests and spending time on beautiful beaches with good friends.

2.  Unplug

Take a break from today’s interconnected world.  Leave your phone at home, turn off the TV, radio and internet.  This worked wonders for me when I was travelling in the Australia outback with my wife.  We had no connection to the outside world for 3 days! – That felt a little uncomfortable and I knew that if we got stuck, we would be reliant on people coming the other way to help.  I also remember how excited I was when I got my first “ping” as we reconnected with the internet on our approach to Alice Springs.

3.  Start a Conversation with someone new

This doesn’t have to be a complete stranger.  Strike up a conversation with someone new at work, the barista in your local coffee shop, a neighbour or someone in the queue.  See if you can maintain a conversation for 30 seconds or longer.  Another benefit of doing this, as that it gets you focussing on other people (rather than your own internal thoughts) and that is good for your mental health too.

4.  Give yourself a thrill

Do something that is a little scary or fearful.  You could step out of your comfort zone by trying scuba diving, skydiving or a roller coaster ride.  If that doesn’t float your boat (or is too scary), try giving a speech or taking a dance class.  I tried scuba diving a few years ago in the Maldives.  I was super scared to start with, but once I got underwater and started seeing the corals and tropical fish, that sense of fear started to ease.  Afterwards, it was lovely to have that sense of elation that comes from overcoming a fear.

5.  Eat something new

Try a new restaurant that serves food from an unusual country that you have never tasted before.  Examples are Lebanese, Pakistani or Korean food.   If you’ve never tried raw fish, go to a Japanese restaurant and give it a go.  I tried raw fish for the first time about 3 years ago and it tasted much better than I thought it would!  You could also try choosing different fruits or vegetables from the grocery store.

6.  Sit in a different place

Sit on the couch instead of your favourite chair.  Sit at a different seat on the dining table.  If you’re working at home, work in different places and notice how that feels.  One of my suggestions for overcoming procrastination involves working in different locations.

7.  Learn something new

Learning can be fun, but it can be unsettling as well, as we grapple with new ideas and concepts that require our complete attention and focus.  Think back to learning how to drive a car and remember how that felt.  Our brains are designed to learn and make new neural connections, so this is a great way to step out of your comfort zone.  Try learning to use a new computer software or how to build a website.  Other examples could be learning a musical instrument, learning to sail, taking part in a dance class or learning to cook a new recipe.  The list is endless.

8.  Apply for a job that is a significant step-up

If work is a little dull, predictable or boring, try applying for other jobs that are a significant step-up from what you are currently doing.  On two occasions, I have applied for jobs that had a salary that was 20% higher than what I was currently earning.  On both occasions, I got the job!  Once I was doing the job, I soon got used to the new skills and responsibilities and enjoyed the financial rewards that came with it!

9.  Start Slowly

If something seems daunting, just do the first step.  Then pause and see what that feels like.  In most cases, the discomfort will be lower than you expected and that sense of confidence will start to grow.  Then do the second step and keep going.  This can be a great one for gym routines.  If doing 50 push-ups seems like a nightmare, start with 5 and progress from there.

10.  Take a new route home from work.

Drive home via a different route.  Turn off your Sat Nav or Google Maps and trust your instincts and see where you end up.  Hopefully you’ll make it home for that different recipe that your partner has been experimenting with (because he or she has also been reading this blog post!)

11. Reconnect with someone you had lost touch with on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Social media has allowed me to reconnect with friends from School and University that I thought I would never see or speak to again.  I’m so grateful for that.  However, I always get that sense of discomfort when I first message them.  Questions go through my mind such as “Will they remember me?” or “will they still like me?”.  However, by doing this, I have since met with people that I hadn’t seen for over 10 years and that in itself is an amazing experience.

If you can’t find anyone that you have lost contact with, contact someone that you have not spoken to for at least 6 months and notice how that feels.

12.  Face your Fears

Pick the one thing that is really holding you back, think about all the benefits that doing this will bring and go ahead and do it!  This is one of the best ways to step out of your comfort zone.  Examples could include asking your boss for a raise, inviting someone out for a date, making your first sales call or talking to your partner about something about the relationship that has been bugging you for months or even years.

13.  Become comfortable with discomfort

Stepping out of your comfort zone will never feel completely comfortable (if it is, you will want to step out of your comfort zone more).  Become more accustomed to this discomfort, helps you step out of your comfort zone more often.  You realise that this feeling of discomfort is part of the process of achieving your goals and dreams.

Living consistently outside my comfort zone over the last 2 years has allowed me to record YouTube videos, create this blog and build an online business and brand.  It has also allowed me to challenge myself and grow as a person.

Stepping out of your comfort zone opens up many new possibilities.  I wonder how your life could change if your comfort zone were larger.  Apply some of all of the 13 steps above and notice how you can stretch your comfort zone a little more each day.

If you enjoyed reading this article, 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 or share it with a friend or on social media.

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Is sadness a feeling or emotion? – How about happiness, joy, anger or lust?  And why should you care?

When you know the difference between feelings and emotions, you can identify and change negative behaviours. This includes those that have persisted for years. It also helps you find more peace and happiness.

What are Emotions?

Emotions are physical.  They can be measured objectively.  Blood flow, brain activity, facial expressions and body language all change when we experience an emotion.  They are hard-wired into our brains and core being.  Emotions are instinctive and don’t vary much between people.

Imagine walking with a group of people in Africa.  A lion approaches you.  What emotion would you immediately feel? – Probably fear!  In fact, everyone in the group would experience fear! – How they react to this fear will differ and I’ll come on to this shortly.

The purpose of emotions is to respond to stimuli (like the lion!).  At the most basic level, we are influenced by either danger or reward.  This is hard-wired into our brain and isn’t going to change anytime soon!

Emotions come from a part of the brain known as the amygdala.  It is part of the limbic system or emotional processing centre.  This part of the brain can be illogical, irrational and quite powerful too.

The amygdala sits behind the neocortex which is the part of the brain that deals with conscious thought, reasoning and decision making.

When the amygdala is strongly influenced by a stimuli, logical thinking tends to go out of the window! This is why we sometimes say or do things that we know we shouldn’t do or behave in negative ways!

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What are Feelings?

Unlike emotions, which radiate through our entire body, feelings are purely in our heads.  They come from the neocortex.  The logical brain.  An important point to grasp is that emotions always come first, feelings second.

Unlike emotions which are pretty hard-wired into our psyche, feelings are influenced by our beliefs, memories and experiences.  They are more subjective.  The feeling is the meaning that we give to the emotion.  

Feelings require cognitive input, cannot be measured objectively and are often subconscious.  As a result, feelings vary dramatically between different people and different situations.  The person’s personality affects the feelings that they experience.

Knowing the difference between feelings and emotions is important because you have lots of control over your feelings and little control over your emotions.

Some Key Differences between Feelings and Emotions

Now lets look at some important differences between feelings and emotions.

Emotions can be very intense but are temporary.  Laughing is the behaviour of experiencing joy.  People may cry when they experience sadness.  These are both emotions and the act of laughing and crying will stop after a short time.  Feelings are much less intense, but can be sustained for long periods.   Love and worry are both feelings and both can be maintained for long periods of time.

We experience sadness when someone dies that is close to us. Sadness will last longer in this situation.  However, it is still an emotion and it will eventually leave.  If it doesn’t, then it is replaced by feelings such as depression.

Emotions alert us to imminent dangers and prepare us for immediate survival by giving us the energy and strength to fight or run away fast (flight).  Feelings alert us to anticipated dangers and ensure our long-term survival.   So going back to the lion example, the worry or anxiety that comes from thinking about being attacked by a lion is a feeling.  It protects us from being in a situation where this could happen!  If you were approached by a lion, then the emotion of fear would kick in whether you like it or not!

Emotions affect the initial attitude that you have towards a situation.  This could be anger about something another person said or did.  If you keep brewing about it in your head, then you will start to develop feelings of bitterness or resentment.

Emotions determine what we like, dislike and what are good and bad actions.  Experiencing emotions such as joy or enthusiasm will let you know that you’re doing good things and enjoying them.   Feelings of worry, bitterness or resentment is a sign from within that it’s time to do something different or that it’s time to evaluate how your actions could be affecting other people.

Feelings are created by persistent thoughts and the beliefs behind them.  Emotions are created by situations and events in life.

So which are which?

The following are typical emotions.

  • Joy
  • Fear
  • Enthusiasm
  • Anger
  • Lust
  • Sadness

and these are typical feelings.

  • Happiness
  • Worry
  • Contentment
  • Bitterness
  • Love
  • Depression

When it gets complicated

Emotions are experienced by imagined as well as real events. Think about watching a scary movie.  Did you notice your heart beating faster and other physical changes?  Your neocortex knows it’s just a film, but the amygdala still sends the emotional response.   Think back to a good (or bad) time in the past and start to relive that, you will probably notice the emotion starting to emerge.

You imagine a situation going badly. The emotion created by the imagined situation starts to drive a negative feeling, which then fuels the emotion even more, which then drives the feeling.  A vicious cycle emerges and you begin to feel like an emotional rollercoaster with no sense of control.  At times like this, no positive thinking in the world is going to help!

Identifying and separating the emotions can help develop a sense of detachment.  You now know that it’s extremely hard to control emotions directly, so choose to ignore them and let them go.  Techniques such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), The Sedona Method and Regression Therapy (used in Hypnosis) are good tools to help with this.

Then work on the feelings and start looking at the beliefs, memories and life experiences that could be contributing to these feelings.  Affirmations, positive visualization and monitoring and challenging negative thoughts are all good strategies to use here.   Remember, feelings are generated from our thoughts, memories and beliefs about previous experiences.  These are things we can change.

In Summary

Knowing the differences between feelings and emotions means that when you feel negative emotions, you will know why. You can choose to ignore them, work on changing your feelings instead, maintain your sense of purpose, identity and move towards your goals.

If you enjoyed reading this article, 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 or share it with a friend or on social media.

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Creative Visualization when done correctly is an immensely powerful way to reprogram your subconscious mind.  It is also a skill that improves with practice, just like learning a sport or musical instrument.

Scientific studies have shown that creative visualization actually changes the neural pathways in the brain.  This is often known as neuroplasticity.  Other studies have shown that creative visualization influences gene response, anti-body count and this has been proved in blood tests.  This is great news if you want to use creative visualization to improve your immune system or help with healing.

Here are some of the areas in life where creative visualization could help you.

  • Improving a sport or general fitness level.  Olympic Athletes have been using creative visualization for many years and see it as an essential part of their training.
  • Increasing performance at work or in your business.
  • Making more money
  • Improving your relationships
  • To generate the creative juices to write, paint or compose music.

The list is endless.  I reckon creative visualization could help improve almost any area of your life.

To get stunning results with creative visualization, you need to practice it the right way.  Keep reading to learn the 10 steps to transform your creative visualization skills.

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1. Be in a relaxed state

The purpose of creative visualization is to reprogram your subconscious mind so that you automatically do things differently in the future.  For this to work, you need to reduce the impact of your conscious mind. This is best done by slowing down your brain waves to an Alpha or Theta brain wave state.

We are naturally in Alpha or Theta just before falling asleep and when we wake up, so these are excellent times to practice creative visualization.  You can also get into an Alpha or Theta state through meditation or self-hypnosis.

2. Visualize on a large cinema screen.

Many people simply close their eyes and start to visualize on the back of their eye lids.  This creates small images that aren’t compelling to the subconscious mind.  So instead, imagine that you are sitting in the best seat of a large cinema.  You are the only person in this cinema and the screen is huge! – You will project the images of your future on to this gigantic cinema screen.

creative visualization - self help for life

3. Acknowledge where you are now

Start by acknowledging, accepting and being grateful for where you are now, what you have now and how far you have already come.  You are probably already in a much better position than most people in the world.

This step is crucial.  It puts your mind in a state of positive expectancy and increases your vibrational energy (important for manifesting).  It also bridges the gap between where you are now and what you want.  Sometimes this gap can be huge and unbelievable at first.  Acknowledging where you are now will help bridge that gap and reduce the chances of the critical conscious mind getting in the way.

4. Start small and get bigger

After acknowledging where you are now, start visualizing the smaller positive changes and then move to the larger ones.  This will help increase your belief and its often easier to make the smaller changes more real when just starting out with creative visualization.

Your visualization can then unfold like a movie plot with all the exciting goals and dreams coming true at the end!

5. Use all your senses

When visualizing, use all 5 senses.  Notice the sounds, how you talk to others, how they talk to you and how you now talk to yourself.  Feel the sensations as you touch, taste or smell this new thing that you are creating in your life.

Let’s say you are visualizing a new luxury car.  You could notice the sound of the engine, your favourite music on the high-end car stereo.  Or notice the sensation of turning the steering wheel or the g-force when going around corners.  Perhaps you would smell the leather seats or the feeling of air washing over you when you have the top down.

Although we use all 5 senses everyday, most people develop a preference for one of them.  It’s usually either Visual (seeing), Auditory (hearing) or Kinesthetic (feeling).  When visualizing, notice the sense that works best for you and focus more on that sense.  However, don’t ignore the others.

Ideally, you want to make your visualization a 5 sensory experience.  By doing this, you activate the same areas of the brain that are used when you are having this experience for real.  So your brain thinks you are actually having a real experience!  How powerful is that to reprogramming your subconscious mind!

6. Use emotions

Incorporating all 5 senses will help bring emotion to your visualization.  However, you can also consciously turn up the emotional level of your visualizations.  Really stir-up the emotions and feel the excitement, exuberance, passion, happiness, fulfilment or whatever other emotion it is for you.

Bob Proctor states that Thoughts + Emotions = Attraction.  Many people under-estimate the emotional component to manifesting.  Ensure that you maximise your emotions when visualizing.  This will rapidly speed up your results.

7. Focus on the what – forget the how

When using creative visualization, focus on what you want to achieve or manifest.  Don’t get caught up in the how.  Once your subconscious mind has a full sensory experience of what you want, it will help you find the how.

8. Let Go

You now want to let go or release the visualization to the universe and let things happen.  This is probably the hardest step, but it will come with practice.  You want to achieve a state of positive expectancy.  It’s a similar feeling to ordering a meal in a restaurant.  Once you place the order, you don’t worry about whether it will arrive or not.  Instead you have a state of positive expectancy.

Worry, anxiety, frustration and other negative feelings will short-circuit the commands you have just given to the universe (and your subconscious) through your creative visualization.

Having said that, it is okay to repeat the same visualization multiple times.  Just make sure that you let go after each visualization and maintain a state of positive expectancy.

9. Finish off with “Let this or something better happen”

Complete your visualization with the affirmation “Let this or something better happen”.

10.  Take Action

After you finish your visualization, do something to make it happen.  This might be reading to gain some knowledge, looking at the house or car of your dreams.  By taking some kind of action, you establish an intention.  You are showing the Universe that you are serious.  This also helps reduce any fear or worry about achieving something big.

To take you through the above 10 steps, I have created a Guided Creative Visualization MP3 recording for you.  Its completely free and you can download it by clicking the button below.

I hope you enjoy putting these steps into action and noticing your Creative Visualization skills flourish as a result.

This article is based on a webinar on Creative Visualization by Vishen Lakhiani and Lisa Nichols.   This is part of their FREE Introductory course that you can access here.

If you enjoyed reading this article, 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 or share it with a friend or on social media.

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