There are many different kinds of people in your life: co-workers, neighbors, acquaintances, lovers — and then there are your friends. But how can you tell who your true friends are? Who are the ones who will see you through thick and thin, the good and the bad, the ups and the downs? It may be hard to know who your “for-real” friends are, so here is a list of five ways to tell.
Do they share secrets with you? It may sound childish, but a true friend sees you as a trustworthy person and shares personal information with you. From what’s going on at work to his love life, a true friend doesn’t have dark areas of their life that you’re not allowed to see.
Of course, even more importantly, do you share secrets with them? Do you trust that they will keep what you tell them themselves? Be on the lookout if they share other people’s secrets with you. This is not a good sign that they are keeping your private life private.
Are you able to give them advice? It’s important in a real friendship for friends to be able to give each other feedback on their lives. For example, what would your friend do if you tried to tell her the person she is dating is obviously using her? Would she get angry and storm out? Or would she stop and consider that you have her best interests at heart?
Do you feel that the advice they give you comes from that same place of compassion, or does it seem that they are just trying to prove that they know more than you? Real friends just want the best for each other.
Everyone messes up sometimes. A true friend will both admit fault and ask for forgiveness when he is in the wrong, and extend forgiveness to you when you are in the wrong. Remember, though, that extending or receiving forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will be perfect between you and back to normal. Trust has to be rebuilt slowly, but a real friend won’t continue to bring up your mistakes at every opportunity.
In a real friendship, your friend will stick up for you whether you are there or not. It’s one thing for a friend to tell someone to back off who is yelling at you in public. A true friend will tell someone to stop talking negatively about you even if you aren’t there. He will also let you know if someone you think is your friend is saying horrible things about you behind your back, even if it means risking the other person being mad at him. Someone who does not stand up for you is not your friend.
Finally, you can trust a real friend with things you care about. You can let her be alone with your significant other without worrying. You can loan her personal items without wondering if you’ll ever see your things again. You can trust that she will keep your confidence and watch out for you even when you didn’t ask her to.
Loneliness can be a painful feeling. Low self-esteem, depression, negative thinking and low self-worth can all reinforce or lead to feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is a complex mental and emotional phenomenon that is a result of many different brain functions. Like any emotion, loneliness will ebb, flow and eventually disappear but like any emotion practical steps are necessary to recover from it. Whether you are recovering from a breakup, the loss of a loved one or are feeling depressed, here are a few tips and reminders that can allow you to begin to heal or bring you back to your usual self.
1 – Realize you are not alone
This is an important first step. Whether you believe it or not, you are not alone. Brain functions can trick you and it will make you believe that no one understands how you feel. The truth is not so simple. As you will see further down, there are practical steps you can take to reach out to people or to feel better about being alone. Remember that even if someone like a family member, significant other or friend does not understand how you feel, the ability to confide in them can make a big difference in your mental fortitude. Believing that people really are there for you is an important first step.
2 – Force yourself to be social
Depending on the root cause of your feelings of loneliness, forcing yourself to be social can be a great step towards improve your mental wellbeing. Being social may seem like the last thing you would want to do, but humans are great at mirroring emotion and being surrounded by social groups can make you happier. Being social can also be done alone. If you are reeling from the loss of a loved one, going to see a movie or visiting their favorite restaurant alone can be a cathartic act. Here are some tips:
– see friends – organize a get together, go see a concert, take a walk or meet for coffee.
– go to a movie alone – No better place to lose yourself than at a movie. A healthy distraction for a few hours can do wonders.
– go eat alone – People tend to feel weird when it comes to eating alone but this can be a real confidence booster! Visiting the favorite restaurant of a deceased loved one can also be a very cathartic act that will help in the healing process.
– take dancing lessons – This has the benefit of boosting confidence, getting exercise and meeting people. Chances are that many people in a class may be feeling the same way as you do.
3 – Better yourself/Be proactive
– take cooking lessons – Learning a new skill can benefit you by boosting your confidence and can really help in the healing process. Feeling lonely can often make you question your self-worth. Fight against this feeling by teaching yourself some new skills!
– join a gym – This advice is probably one of the most proactive steps you can take. Exercise releases endorphins into the brains which help to make you feel happier, less stressed and less anxious. This in turn can make you feel better about yourself, others and your situation in life. If you do not want to join a gym, start running or walking and make it a part of your routine!
– write a journal or start a blog – If you are grieving, document your experience. Writing for yourself is a healthy way to organize your thoughts and better understand your life. If you start a blog, remember that your words may help someone who is going through similar experiences and that can be a rewarding process.
– turn off the electronics – Connect by disconnecting. The electronics in our lives, while seemingly connecting us to a large social circle, often do the opposite. Turn off your computer and go for a run or grab a coffee or meet with friends. You should not define yourself by your online life.
– write down good thoughts – Keep a notepad next to your bed and when you wake up in the morning, write down three positive things about yourself. When you go to bed at night, write down three positive things that occurred to you during the day. No matter how small, write it down.
When you look back on it, you will realize just how proactive you actually are.
Finally, if you cannot get out of your funk… why not fake it?! A study conducted by psychologists at the University of Cardiff in Wales found that when forcing people to smile, their moods would automatically shift. Smiling can reinforce emotional responses in our brains without our even realizing it. Be confident when you walk into a room, smile even when you are alone and think good thoughts about yourself. It is hard work but the payoff is immense.
It is not a surprise that all negative thinking is fear-based, but did you know that chronic negative thinking that goes on day-after-day creates stress that can damage the body and mind, resulting in disease or worse? Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the mind/body has a hidden defense that safeguards us from the extreme damage of fear, anxiety and worry. That defense is depression.
Depression is your body’s defense mechanism against the ill-effects of chronic negative thinking. Depression ‘turns down’ all emotional responses. Without depression, your body must deal with the constant fight-or-flight stress response that is the result of chronic negative thinking. Depression literally depresses the effects of negative thinking by numbing-you-out to fear, but depression is not selective so you also become numb to other emotions, such as love and joy.
Depression, of course, is not good for us, but the body’s first course of action is survival. If your survival is threatened due to the stress of chronic fear caused by fear-based thinking, it will do what it needs to do in order to save you.
Maybe you have blamed depression for your negative thinking but, I promise you, it is the other way around – it is your negative thinking that has caused depression. This is good news, because it means that by correcting improper thinking, you can rise up from depression.
In order to wake up from depression, you must overcome the fear-based thinking that has created the need for depression. This means that you can turn off depression by turning off negative thinking.
The mechanics of creating your reality
Depressed or not, most of us don’t even realize that we are thinking negatively because it seems to us that we are just reacting to the events in our lives, but our negative thinking is really creating those events first and foremost. There is no question of the chicken or the egg – first negative thinking then negative events. If you want to change your life, you must change your thinking. If you wait for your life to change, in order to change your thinking, you will be thinking negative thoughts forever. Whether you are aware of it or not, your thoughts create your reality. But how?
Every conscious thought that you have is recorded by your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind does not question or argue with the validity of a thought. It literally takes your word for it. So, if you say, “I am tired or I am broke,” it just says, “Yes, you are tired – Yes, you are broke,” and your thoughts are accurately recorded.
Your subconscious mind then communicates directly with the quantum mind that manifests your reality. Just like the subconscious mind, the quantum mind always says yes.
Now, a single isolated thought does not usually manifest in reality, which is really good news because if that was the case, every time we are upset with someone and wish them ill, illness would fall upon them, and we don’t really want that. At humanity’s current level of collective consciousness, it takes repetitive thoughts or beliefs in order to manifest anything in our lives.
Having said this, it is still our thoughts that create reality, and if we have negative thoughts that we think every day, those thoughts are going to manifest. Now, they might not manifest exactly as we think them, but negative thoughts always manifest in some sort of negativity. In other words, thinking negative thoughts about your neighbor may not result in a negative experience with your neighbor, unless he is on the same vibrational page, but those negative thoughts may manifest in car problems or issues at work, for example. We might not make the connection between our thinking and the events in our lives but negative thinking always begets negative experiences. This is the law of attraction, and it works regardless of if we understand how it works or not.
Life is a perfect mirror
Negative thinking is simply thinking about what you do not want, while positive thinking is thinking about what you do want. Ask yourself, do I focus more on what I do want or what I don’t want? For the majority of the world, the answer is the latter. Most people are unconsciously addicted to negative thinking. Negative thinking is not just a bad habit, it is a terrible addiction, and probably directly responsible for every other addiction known to man. After all, when we are addicted to food, TV, drugs, etc.., we are really just trying to escape our own thoughts.
Negative thinking includes the words that you say and think, and it also includes negative visualizations, self-talk and metaphors, as well as, mentally replaying unhappy memories.
Because we often don’t even recognize negative thinking, let’s take a moment to clarify several aspects of negative thinking that might pass by our radar:
- Judgment of anything is negative thinking because you are focusing on what you do not like or desire.
- Self-judgment is negative thinking where you are focusing on what you don’t like about yourself – and reinforcing it.
- Perfectionism is just another word for self-judgment.
- If you call yourself a “realist,” you are someone who rationalizes negative thinking in order to give yourself permission to think negatively.
- While self-doubt is negative thinking, negative thinking creates more self-doubt.
- Feeling sorry for someone is judgment of them or their experience which is negative thinking.
- Worry is also another form of negative thinking because you are imagining the worst.
- Even negative questions are a form of negative thinking because they produce negative answers.
If you ask yourself, “What will happen if I don’t succeed?” your mind will sort for all the terrible things that might happen, and you will be focused on what you don’t want.
- Complaining about what is wrong in your reality is also negative thinking – yes, even if it is really happening. On the way down the mountain on our bikes, my son’s bike began to have problems. Later he realized that he was in a bad mood. Not making the connection between being upset about the bike and his bad mood, I pointed out that his negative thinking caused the bad mood.
- He responded, “I wasn’t thinking negatively. I was just reacting to what was really happening.”
- I said, “Were you thinking about what you do want or what you don’t want?”
- Reluctant to answer, he said, “I was thinking about what I don’t want.”
- “So, you were thinking negatively?”
- “Yes,” he answered, “Negative thinking is sneaky.”
Indeed, it is!
At this point, you might be more aware of just how much of your thinking is fear-based. Instead of being overwhelmed, this is a moment of personal power. It is your awareness that opens the door to profound change.
I’ll be honest with you, it took me many years to make the connection between my negative thinking and chronic depression. Now, it seems so clear to me. All the years that I tried relentlessly to overcome depression, I wasn’t able to do it because I was not changing my thought patterns. I wish I could go back and tell my past self, “Hey Nanice, stop focusing on what you don’t want. Take your attention off worry and fear and focus on what you do want, and keep doing it, despite evidence to the contrary.” I would tell her that her commitment to changing her mind will save her – because eventually it did!
Negative thinking first manifests as negative feelings
Any thought that makes you feel bad is a negative thought. Negative thinking causes negative feelings like sadness, frustration, jealousy, anger, etc… In fact, negative feelings are your inner guidance system telling you that you are thinking negatively and imagining what you do not want. Your feelings are telling you that your thoughts are out of control, and you going away from what you desire in life. Even though depression numbs feelings, those feelings are still very much present and persistent.
Sick and tired?
More people get sick as a result of negative thinking than anything else. You don’t find sick people with healthy thoughts. You find sick people with thoughts that create sickness. This doesn’t mean that you think about being sick.It means that you have a history of negative thinking that adversely affected your body, causing sickness.
Negative thinking profoundly affects one’s body, mind and quality of life. You can trace virtually every problem back to fear-based thinking. Negative thinking makes everything harder and requires that we give more effort to the things we want.
You cannot be anxious, overwhelmed or depressed without corresponding negative thoughts. People who think happy, peaceful and relaxing thoughts are not anxious, overwhelmed or depressed.
Why OH WHY???
If negative thinking is so detrimental to our health, well-being, relationships and prosperity, why-oh-why do we do it? Why do we habitually think negative thoughts and focus on what we do not want?
- Negative thinking is a survival strategy that causes us to look for what is wrong so that we can protect ourselves against danger, but it is a very bad strategy because our thoughts actually create reality. So instead of preventing bad things from happening, we are telling the quantum mind to materialize them.
- We are programmed by our parents, teachers and society how to think. If those who brought us up thought negatively, and most of them did, we learned to do the same.
- Our negative beliefs about ourselves and the world cause us to have negative thoughts. If you believe that you are unworthy, your thoughts will support that belief.
Negative thinking is complete ego!
We often think of egoist thoughts as those thoughts that say, “I’m better than… or look at me,” but all negative thinking is just as much ego-based. Since our higher selves would never think the types of negative thoughts that we indulge in, negative thinking must be a result of a fearful ego that believes that you are alone, powerless and unworthy. Knowing that negative thinking comes from your ego, might help you to loosen its hold, by not paying attention to it.
What about serious issues?
Yes, there are plenty of serious issues in the world and maybe even in your life, but if you only focus on what’s wrong, you miss the “purpose of issues.” Every issue offers a solution that helps us to evolve. When you seek out solutions and focus on solutions, you are using your mind to think positively. The point is to use the negativity of problems as leverage to find positive solutions.
Retrain your mind
Your life cannot be any better than your thoughts about your life. It is imperative to master your mind, so that you can overcome depression and create the life you really desire. Yes, it takes real determination and conscious effort to change your thinking but if you want to feel better, it is the only way.
As a former negative thinker and the only daughter of a world class negative thinker, I know that it seems overwhelming to change your thoughts but it is possible to master your mind and become a powerful positive thinker. If I can do it, you can too!
As your thoughts improve, depression will begin to lift. If you are no longer engulfed by fear-based thinking, there will not be any reason for depression and it will begin to dissolve.
To assist you in reprogramming new thoughts, I offer the following guide
Got Proof?: It is your current and past beliefs that now shape your reality, so if you are reacting to your current reality, you will just keep reinforcing the same old beliefs, and if you wait for proof, you will never change your beliefs. Take a moment to really comprehend this.
You don’t need proof that good can happen. You just need to choose to believe that good is happening -without the need for proof. Proof will come after the belief is recorded in your subconscious mind – never before.
Proof is not the result of what is true. Proof is the result of what you believe.
It takes courage to consciously choose to believe new empowering thoughts, but it is your way out of difficulty and dis-ease and your way into joy, peace and ease. This means that you can choose what you want to believe without needing proof.
Take responsibility: If you want to awaken from depression, it is essential that you take responsibility for all your thoughts, but also notice that you are not your thoughts. This is the high level of conscious responsibility. If you can separate who you really are from your thoughts, thoughts will begin to lose their power over you.
Focus on solutions: If you are faced with a problem, focusing on the problem is a negative mental state, however, focusing on the solution or focusing on finding the solution is a positive mental state. So, instead of my son focusing on the issues with his bike, he could have just as easily focused on the solutions, and maintained his previous good mood.
Turn it around: If you find yourself focusing on what you do not want, flip it around. If you know what you don’t want, you also know what you do want. Flip it around as many times a day as necessary. Eventually, it will stick.
Practice letting go: When you become aware of negative thoughts, let go as quickly as you can. Don’t fight with your thoughts, just let everything go. If you imagine that the voice in your head is the voice of Mickey Mouse, it will lose its power. You might also want to imagine putting the thought in a bubble and then popping the bubble.
Add a “yet”: When you say, “I can’t do something,” it tells your subconscious mind not to allow you to do it. However, if you add a “yet,” it changes everything. By saying “I can’t do it, yet,” you are commanding your subconscious mind to prepare for doing whatever it is that you want to do.
Drop your “buts”: If you say or think something positive but you add a “but,” you negate the positive. By saying, “I really like this pizza, but I wish it had more sauce,” you made the whole thought negative. Just focus on the positive and drop your “buts.”
No excuses: Don’t give yourself excuses, such as, “Everyone else thinks negatively” – that will just keep you trapped in your old thinking.
Detox your life of toxic people: Until you gain control of your mind, do your best to be around positive people. If you can’t detox your life of certain people, get a good pair of headphones and use them whenever you need to block out the negativity of others. Better yet, set boundaries.
Set boundaries: When I first detoxed my life of negativity, I would literally tell any negative speaking people, “I’m sorry, you probably didn’t know this, but I don’t allow anyone to talk negatively about me or around me.” I would say it very nicely and I would smile. Often people would respond with an apology or they would just change the subject. Either way, it always worked.
Saturate your mind: Saturate your mind with positive youtubes, books and music – anything that makes you feel good and moves you in the direction of focusing on the positive.
Practice imagining: Practice imagining your perfect life as if it has already happened. Indulging your imagination will unlock the positivity that already exists inside you. It is also a great idea to pre-pave your day by imagining how you desire your day to unfold.
Positive questions: Ask yourself positive questions, such as, “What is the best that can happen?” Your mind will sort for all the good that can happen and then you are automatically thinking positive thoughts.
Be kind: If you have been practicing negative thinking your whole life, it might take some time to shift. Be determined to do so, but also be kind, patient and loving with yourself. Judging yourself for negative thinking is just more negative thinking on top of negative thinking.
Others: Instead of feeling sorry for someone or worrying about others, imagine those who have challenges overcoming those challenges – see them strong, happy and successful. The most that we can ever do for another is to imagine them at their very best.
Isn’t this “Pollyanna” thinking?
Yes, of course it is! Pollyanna was a fictional character who saw the good in everyone and everything and as a result she transformed an entire town from dreary to full of life. The point is, the irrepressible optimism of “Pollyanna Philosophy” absolutely works! Whatever you focus on you create more of – so why focus on what you do not want? Why not change your perspective and look for the good in everyone and everything? Yes, sometimes you do have to look deeper than the surface, but it is always there, and you will find it if you really look.
Miracles are ready to blossom in even the most discouraging of circumstance.
Your mind is priceless technology that when used properly can attract and create the most amazing of beautiful experiences, but you must take the captain’s seat. No one can do it for you. You must do it for yourself. Yes, it might take some time, but time is going to pass anyway, so you might as well utilize that time to find your way to a path that will take you where you want to go – a path that will free you from depression and grant you access to joy, peace, wellness and abundance. It is a path worth taking!
Author: Nanice Ellis
Source: Wake Up World.
Change your Shoulds Into Musts.
Often you get stuck into a situation when you think that yes you should do this, you should let it go or you shouldn’t do it. But remember one thing, if it’s that important than it’s time to change all your should into Musts.
What difference it can make? “Should” and “Must”.
Should: It is used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.
Must: Something that is absolutely required or indispensable
For example, Read these two sentences; “seat belts are an absolute must”. or “You should wear seat belts.”
Tony Robbins once said that, “If you wish for an extraordinary life, you must have an extraordinary physiology.” Believe me if you really want something extra, you must out in something extra; put some more efforts. Now the question is, what is an extraordinary physiology ?Extraordinary physiology simply means living in an extraordinary state, where you got to condition your body, nervous system and your mind.
So, how can you be in an extraordinary state?
It’s quite simple, all you need to do is condition your brain. You need to program your subconscious for the results you want to get.
If you are from a poor background, you got a poor physiology and for that you got to condition your brain. Because, it doesn’t matter who you are, your destiny will be shaped by what you actually do. You cannot do about what background you have but you can definitely choose where you will reach, what you will achieve and who you become.
Remember, “Life will pay, whatever price you ask for it.” – Anthony Robbins.