How to end a hurtful relationship

We often hear words like “Let it go” or “just cut him/her off”, but when it comes to actually following this advice, we’re not as good at letting things, people and situations go as we think we are. What are we afraid of?

 Read also What negativity does to our life.

 Ending a painful and destructive relationship is like removing a tooth that’s making you suffer. You have to be prepared to feel even worse pain after the operation, but it will ultimately recede.

 I can’t compare people with teeth but… some relationships are very much like toothache: you are constantly in pain, lose your inner peace, your productivity, creativity and sense of adequacy. Mental or physical pain is always a signal that we have to take some sort of action. You should never simply change your attitude towards pain and quietly accept it. Although you can endure it for a time whilst trying to deal with the cause, but if your ‘medication’ doesn’t work then ‘surgery’ may be the best option.

Letting go of people has been always been a challenge for me. Being highly empathetic I often find myself being highly attuned to other people’s feelings, and caring deeply about them. My parents and grandparents always taught me to consider others people’s feelings before my own. I think that people with high emotional intelligence are also more susceptible to suffering from such situations and that they are therefore open to exploitation by less sensitive people. If you feel that you fall into the former category, then the following points could be useful.


Pay attention to inner discomfort.

Emotions never lie. If you feel uncomfortable with someone this may indicate that you are in a toxic relationship. However, don’t stress. Just vocalize your worries, feelings and/or doubts immediately. Don’t wait for the problem to solve itself. If the other person is overly aggressive, highly defensive or attacks you instead of looking for a mutually acceptable solution, then it’s time to leave. Don’t wait for it to become unbearable.


Do not be afraid of emptiness.

First of all, the feeling of emptiness is a good feeling. Emptiness can be space for something new, for people who will truly appreciate you, for better opportunities and for inner peace. This empty space could be vacant for some time, but that’s ok! Don’t rush to fill it. Look around, try to spend more time with your inner child, listen what she is talking about, do something nice for her. I’m sure you will find plenty of things you have always wanted to do but never had time. You won’t believe how wonderful that time of ‘emptiness’ can be if you reinterpret it as time for yourself.


Cut! Cut and go!


Don’t be afraid hurting people if they were not afraid hurting you? Stop pretending that you’re Mother Teresa. Just cut those people off! Stay polite and respectful and explain your position if you feel like it, but don’t back away from the decision. Be ready to endure one last blast of pain. Be ready for the fact that some people might be aggressive. Don’t take anything personally, and remember that severing ties with the wrong people is like removing an unhealthy tooth: you experience extreme pain, and then relief…

Read also What negativity does to you life.

Big love and peace x

Tatiana Dmitrieva

 

A bit of music for quality trans meditation

Music could be a key to the Universal energy. Open your mind and make a step towards the unknown. Embrace the unknown and share your experience with us. 


Read also How and why to meditate. Simple techniques to start your mindful journey

Some people believe that ‘authentic’ meditation should only be performed in silence. It is completely up to you. I practice both ways: Listening to sounds of nature may be the best way to replenish your stocks of energy. However, hectic urban life often doesn’t afford us the opportunity to escape to a remote beach or a rural forest for an hour or two. In this case music can act as a key to open the ‘sacred door’ to the soul. Try various things, and choose what works for you the best. Here is a list of a few wonderful options I tied myself.

  1. Leichtigkeit Des Seins – LDS 5.3 by LDS ROOM on #SoundCloud

https://soundcloud.com/ldsroom/leichtigkeit-des-seins-lds-53

2. BABËL▽ Geju – Kudasai Chudes by BABËLIVE on #SoundCloud

3. We Go For Sound : 11 | MoM | May 2016 by Ethereal Kollektiv on #SoundCloud

https://soundcloud.com/etherealkollektiv/wgfs-11-mom

4. Jati Div at Leveldva by leveldva**| music on #SoundCloud

5. Bonjour Ben | Mandala by Bonjour Ben on #SoundCloud

Enjoy

Namaste

 

Putting yourself first: Why YOU should be a priority

Being nice to other people is great, but you can’t please everyone. Being willing and able to give a helping hand to others is a fantastic personal quality, but don’t delude yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody will. It should always be your first and foremost responsibility. Make yourself a priority. Believe me, it’s not selfishness – it’s a necessity!

 In this short article I will outline four key reasons why you ALWAYS have to put yourself first, and what particular steps should be taken to do so.


 I’ve been working with people for 16 years. Unfortunately, I’ve heard too many sad personal stories from burned-out and deeply depressed altruistic, kind and open people who helped others too much without even the slightest appreciation. I’ve heard even more stories about broken relationships when one partner always put other partner’s feelings over his/her own. Every story is unique, but all of them have one thing in common: when you neglect your own feelings and interests, people start taking you for granted.

 

There is a simple explanation for that phenomenon. First of all, neglecting your own feelings, you assume the position of ‘less valuable person’. People detect this vibe and start neglecting your interests and feelings too. In essence, people always treat you as you treat yourself. Note that what’s important is what you feel but not what you think about yourself. There is a huge difference between these two dimensions of self-awareness; you can encourage yourself with uplifting thoughts, such as: “I deserve the best”, “I’m clever and attractive”, or “People respect me as a professional” – but ultimately this is just noise. What you really feel is what really matters.

Neglecting your own feelings, you assume the position of ‘less valuable person’. People detect this vibe and start neglecting your interests and feelings too.

What should you do to change the pattern? A good therapist or high performance coach could be helpful. Here are no short cuts, I’m afraid. However,

the solution of every problem starts from a conscious acknowledgement of why you have to do certain things.

 

So, here’s why you should always put your own feelings first:


  • It’s important for your health

It’s simple: if you neglect your feelings you become stressed. You may be a “people person” and really enjoy helping others, but stress and burnout will ensue if you are always relegating your feelings and interests to the back of the queue. As a result your stress hormones will increase, your body will stop functioning properly and you’ll get sick. You might feel tired, fatigued, demotivated and even develop a serious condition such as hormonal imbalances, digestion problems, weight gain, sleep deprivation, depression, and so on.


  • It’s important for your relationships

When you always elevate your partner’s feelings and interests over your own, and give more than get back, you will not only start appreciating him or her less but also be constantly exhausted, drained or, conversely, overwhelmed and have a sense of being unfairly treated. Those bitter feelings could utterly destroy your relationship.

So, take time for yourself if you need it. Rest well, and come back to your loved one fresh and happy. If you are permanently overworked and have no energy to spend quality time with your partner, then explain your situation, skip a date or two, recharge yourself, and ask your partner for help.

If you get a lot of superficial and useless advice instead of solid actions I reckon it’s time to accept the fact that the person you are with is not your real ‘partner in crime’. Remember, partners take responsibilities and should not only share the good times with you, but also the hard work and tough periods in your life.

Here I’d like to add a few words about gender-related differences: Even though modern society actively supports the idea of equality of the sexes, we are not the same. Our bodies and hormones are different and as a result our contributions to a relationship are not the same either.

This is a broad and complex topic which I intend to tackle in a future article.

Watch this amazing talk about gender differences and relationships by John Gray (the author of best-seller Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSi00H4f8Fs


  • It’s important for your career and self-realisation

Logically, if you’re stressed and tired and feel useless and demotivated, you can’t be productive and creative in your daily job. Constantly trying to please your co-workers and business partners is a certain route to self-destruction. Put your own needs first.

Interact and collaborate by all means, but don’t allow work to be piled on your shoulders just because you are “that nice guy”.

You can – and must – limit your tasks. You also have the right to rest and holidays. Don’t forget about these simple things, as overwork reduces your productivity and could affect the overall team’s results. Putting your feelings and health first is not selfish it’s highly beneficial for the whole team.


  • It’s important for this World

Spiritually speaking, all of us are responsible for those energies we transmit to the World. When we are on our best form we contribute more to society. On the other hand,

by transmitting misery, apathy, anger or a sense of victimhood, we multiply those low feelings poisoning the space around us.

It’s important to assume responsibility for our shared wellness, and always take care of yourself and protect your interests. The more balanced and happy people there are around, the happier and more harmonious our lives will be.

Read also Why we have to be grateful for bad thingsWhat negativity does to you lifeHow and why to meditate. Simple techniques to start your mindful journey

Tatiana Dmitrieva

 

 

Why we have to be grateful for bad things

Being grateful for bad things too actually eliminate bad things as class from your life. They become things to be grateful for: lessons, freedom, understanding, and acceptance.

Gratitude is one of the fundamental principles of spiritual practice. But while it’s easy to be grateful for good things, what about bad ones? Many spiritual books and gurus tell us that we should be grateful even for the hurtful things in life. Many psychoanalysts and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy practitioners also strongly advocate the benefits of maintaining a positive attitude and outlook when undergoing painful situations. 

 

Have you ever noticed that everything happens for a reason? Very often negative events bring something really positive into our lives. I’ll give you a couple of examples from my personal life-journey. At one point my job application was refused because the level of my English didn’t satisfy my potential employer. I had to survive without an income for eight months and really struggled to make ends meet. That was a tough time, but being rejected actually incentivized me into learning English properly. 8 years later I moved to London, and succeeded in gaining postgraduate degrees from two top UK universities and graduated from a first class university in the United States. The entire curriculum was, of course, in English. Looking back at my experiences, I am grateful to the person who initially binned my application, an experience which drove me to improve myself.

There are plenty of examples of why we should be grateful for sad events in our lives. I’m pretty sure each of you have experienced something similar in the past, and you’ll know that the most painful time is the period immediately after the event. It is very important to be consciously present at this moment in time, and interpret the things that are happening to you in the right way. Being depressed is extremely counter-productive, and negativity merely attracts more negativity.

Here are few examples of ways in which we should try to react, in order to maintain our serenity, reflect gratitude and radiate positivity:

 

Stay ridiculously positive

Imagine that the person you’re in love with suddenly changes. Those sweet jokes, positive vibes, generosity, compassion, and appreciation are gone for no apparent reason. Be grateful! He or she has revealed their true self. Don’t dwell on the past, and remember that it was all a sham. Just move on: There’s no need to figure out what happened. Just be grateful to this person for emptying space in your life for someone truly amazing.

Your lover finishes the relationship, and there’s that awful feeling of emptiness…. Actually, you know what? Be grateful again! One who does not appreciate your company does not deserve to be next to you. Let them go. Probably your real friend, true love or partner is waiting for you around the corner, but doesn’t have the space to walk into your life.

Your business fails… Be grateful! Most likely, it was not the right thing for you, or not the right time. In any case, you are free to embark on new ventures. Every new start brings new opportunities, new inspirations, and new people into your life. Don’t miss these opportunities.

You lose money… Be grateful that someone took it. First of all, you made somebody’s life a bit better. Accept it as karmic: All good deeds will definitely pay off. Secondly, view the financial loss as a tax on your future happiness, health and wellbeing.

You break your leg… That’s shitty, but I would still encourage you to be grateful! You won’t be able to run for a while but you will have some free time to accomplish other things that you always wanted. Start learning a new language, read books from your reading list, go to art classes…

You’re treated poorly… Be grateful! Firstly, remember the old adage that what goes around comes around. Your karma will benefit from the experience. Secondly, you’ll be reminded of what you appreciate in those people who treat you properly. And finally, you’ll learn what you shouldn’t do to others.

So my dear friends, what are the three bad things you are grateful for today?

Tatiana Dmitrieva

 

What negativity does to you life

Negative thinking and subsequent emotions are probably two of our worst enemies, and not just because we are feeling down, frustrated or overwhelmed with negativity… What impact can these thoughts have? Here’s a rundown of their terrible effect on our lives. They:

 

Also read How and why to meditate. Simple techniques to start your mindful journey, and Being an Empath. Top 10 Traits

  • Kill productivity

first things first (coffee laptop)

Can you fully concentrate on the present moment when you’re overwhelmed by worry, fear, emotional pain or other negative emotions? I didn’t think so! You can’t be productive without completely focusing on what you do. You are ‘doing your thing’ but at the same time you’re not really there; your brain is gummed up with negativity. You could be stuck in this rut for hours, days or even months. In some extreme cases, people can’t escape this damaging cycle for years. It is well-established that we, as human beings, are incapable of engaging our full concentration on more than one thing at a time; if you are doing more than one thing at once, you’re already not 100% focused. Your attention is diluted. Very often, negative thoughts completely dominate us. What happens next? We lose our connection with reality, and as a result, experience a drop in productivity.

  • Supress creativity

kills creativity.jpg

When we do this it is impossible to be fully creative, and we carry out tasks on auto-pilot. We become remote, detached and mentally disconnected from our surroundings. What could we make without creativity? You’ve got it – nothing of real value. I haven’t even touched the topics of inspiration or motivation, which vanish instantly when ‘bad’ thoughts emerge. Passions are supressed, and the fire of life is doused by a flood of painful memories and negative thoughts.

  • Activate fears

anxiety

As we dwell on those negative things in our lives we increasingly fear the uncertainties of the future, and consequently our levels of anxiety rise. Negativity has regenerative characteristics: We think it’s conquered, but it can quickly take root again with only the slightest of triggers. It can also grow with astonishing rapidity, overwhelming us almost without warning. Memories of old grievances, lost opportunities, frustrating and anger-inducing situations and people who have, in some way, abused us, may all form part of the dismal mental fog in which we find ourselves, and which distorts our perception of ourselves and the world around us.

Our brain becomes locked into a sort of confirmation bias, in which we only see the negative things which happen around us and use those selective events to reinforce our world-view. It is a self-perpetuating cycle which can turn our world into a personal hell full of imaginary monsters and personal demons. Always try to remember that the ‘reality’ we perceive at these times is a fiction, created by our mind when drugged with negativity.

  • Affect your vibrations

empath-4

How do you feel when constantly surrounded by abusive people, unfairness and cruelty?  I imagine that the answer is “miserable”. Always keep in mind that your feelings determine the energy (vibrations) you radiate. As soon as you start feeling dejected and apathetic, other people will sense your vibrations and treat you accordingly. I knew one talented young man who was always unfairly treated by his colleagues and peers. Their behaviour toward other people was completely different, however; something he was constantly aware of. Finally, he was fired with no explanation and a few days later his girlfriend left him. When I asked him why it happened his answer was simply, “Those people are stupid”. It was difficult to believe his argument that absolutely everybody around him was both foolish and blind, and didn’t see his amazing qualities and personality. That young man was, in fact, vibrating on a very aggressive and arrogant frequency, which people picked up on. It was for that reason that they distanced themselves from him, partly as a protective mechanism. Why was he aggressive? Probably because of his past fears and anxieties. He tried to hide his internal insecurities behind scorn and criticism, adopting a position of ‘attack is the best form of defence’.

The moral? You get exactly what you give.

  • Affect communicative skills

bad vibes

You cannot interact with others productively when vibrating, let’s say, on a frequency of fear or anger. Even if you mask your true feelings with a friendly smile and polite demeanour, people will sense your vibration anyway. Moreover, sugar-coated negativity always tastes even worse. Can you imagine a piece of rotten fish coated with the finest Swiss chocolate? Both start smelling awful, don’t they?

  • Hold you from achieving your goals

tired.jpg

Summarising all of the above points, negativity holds you back from achieving your goals, rendering you unable to fully concentrate, express creativity, and properly interact with other people in a truly friendly and collaborative way. Negativity generates ever more negativity, leading to a vicious circle which can have a devastating impact on our quality of life.

By increasing your levels of self-awareness, and through perseverance, you can break out of that circle. Try starting today.

Tatiana Dmitrieva

IMG_0096

 

5 Simple Tips to Turn Around a Bad Mood Fast

As a therapist who talks and writes about mental strength, I often hear people say things like, “I can’t control my emotions.” Occasionally, readers will even make comments like, “You shouldn’t try to control your emotions. It’s not good for you.”

1465828761500-2


Also read How to declutter your mind

8 Questions To Ask Yourself To Feel Better

Kiteboarding as a spiritual practice: Zen, mindfulness, universal rules of being


But it appears that people who make that assumption are confusing emotion regulation with suppression—and they’re not the same thing. Just because you wake up grumpy doesn’t mean you have to stay in a bad mood. And just because you’re nervous about something doesn’t mean you can’t calm yourself down.

What Is Emotion Regulation?

We all experience moments when our emotions control our actions. When this happens, we often regret the things we say or do and wish we had been able to keep our emotions in check. There are techniques—like meditation—that can allow you to do just that, along with various other benefits, like mood improvement and increased compassion and empathy.

Regulating your emotions is about choosing to take charge of how you feel. That doesn’t mean you should force yourself to be happy all the time. In fact, research shows that forcing yourself to feel happy all the time backfires. But it does mean that you can make choices to boost your mood when you’re down or calm yourself when you’re upset.


Here are five skills that can help change how you feel:

1. Distraction (Keeping busy)

Studies show that distraction is the best way to cope with stress. The more you think upsetting thoughts, the worse you’ll feel. So rather than rehash that mean thing your spouse said, or worry about that stressful meeting tomorrow, distract yourself with an activity: Listen to music, go for a walk, or do whatever you can to change the channel in your brain.

Do any activity which requires full concentration on the present moment. It is extremely beneficial thing and not only because it could shift your mood in a positive way but also because it helps keeping things done. 

Also read Living in Rhythm

Lead a Mindful Life Today. Quick tips.

2. Reappraisal 

Changing the way you look at a situation changes the way you feel. Telling yourself that your overly talkative friend is just in need of emotional support or reminding yourself that a co-worker’s annoying questions stem from his desire to do his best can help you stay calm.

Cognitive reappraisal is one of the quickest ways to shift your emotions. Research shows that changing the way you think about a situation changes your body’s physiological response. Your heart is less likely to race so fast when you’re angry, and your palms might not sweat as much when you’re nervous, which can be a key to keeping intense emotions at bay.

3. Humor

Laughter creates changes in your brain and gives you an immediate positive boost in mood. A good sense of humor has been linked to everything from improved physical health to a better social life. Whether you crack a joke or your friend says something funny, good sense of humour is key to managing your emotions. Research show, however, that mean-spirited humor is much less effective in changing your emotional state.

4. Temporal Distancing (Take a step back) 

Temporal distancing changes your mindset by helping you look at the bigger picture. Think about the present from your future self. Imagine how much today’s concern will matter one, 5, or 10 years from today. Whether you’re upset that you didn’t get a promotion, or nervous about a life decision you need to make, you may realize that those things might not matter much far down the road. Studies show that gaining proper perspective helps you stay calm, even in tough situations.

5. Situation Modification

If changing the way you think about a situation doesn’t seem like a viable option, change the environment. An environmental change may involve a major modification, such as changing jobs or moving to a new city. However, it doesn’t need to be a drastic change in order to be effective: Deciding to sit next to a more positive co-worker instead of a negative one or choosing to go for a walk during your lunch break instead of eating at your desk might be all you need to boost your mood.

Amy Morin
Amy Morin What Mentally Strong People Don’t Do
Aggregated bu OpenMindPortal
Source:

Being an Empath. Top 10 Traits

The trademark of an empath is that they feel and absorb other people’s emotions and/or physical symptoms because of their high sensitivities. They filter the world through their intuition and have a difficult time intellectualizing their feelings.

1465777566870-1


As a psychiatrist and empath myself, I know the challenges of being a highly sensitive person. When overwhelmed with the impact of stressful emotions, empaths can have panic attacks, depression, chronic fatigue, food, sex and drug binges, and many physical symptoms that defy traditional medical diagnosis.

But an empath doesn’t have to feel too much and be overloaded once they learn how to center themselves. The first step is to acknowledge that you are an empath. Here are the top 10 traits of an empath from Judith Orloff M.D. book on how to achieve emotional freedom. See if you can relate to them.


1. Empaths are highly sensitive
Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually open, and good listeners. If you want heart, empaths have got it. Through thick and thin, they’re there for you, world-class nurturers. But they can easily have their feelings hurt. Empaths are often told that they are “too sensitive” and need to toughen up.

2. Empaths absorb other people’s emotions
Empaths are highly attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme. They take on negativity such as anger or anxiety which is exhausting. If they are around peace and love, their bodies take these on and flourish.

3. Many empaths are introverted
Empaths become overwhelmed in crowds, which can amplify their empathy. They tend to be introverted and prefer one to one contact or small groups. Even if an empath is more extroverted they prefer limiting how much time they can be in a crowd or at a party.

absorbing-people-2

4. Empaths are highly intuitive
Empaths experience the world through their intuition. It is important for them to develop their intuition and listen to their gut feelings about people. This will help empaths find positive relationships and avoid energy vampires. Read How to Develop Your Intuition to learn more.

5. Empaths need alone time
As super-responders, being around people can drain an empath so they periodically need alone time to recharge their batteries. Even a brief escape prevents emotionally overload. Empaths like to take their own cars when they go places so they can leave when they please.

empath-4.jpg

6. Empaths can become overwhelmed in intimate relationships
Too much togetherness can be difficult for an empath so they may avoid intimate relationships. Deep down they are afraid of being engulfed and losing their identity. For empaths to be at ease in a relationship, the traditional paradigm for being a couple must be re-defined. For strategies see my article Secrets for Sensitive People: Why Empaths Stay Lonely.

7. Empaths are targets for energy vampires
An empath’s sensitivity makes them particularly easy marks for energy vampires, whose fear or rage can sap their energy and peace of mind. Vampires do more than drain an empath’s physical energy. The especially dangerous ones such as narcissists (they lack empathy and are only concerned with themselves) can make them believe they’re unworthy and unlovable. Other vampires include The Victim, The Chronic Talker, The Drama Queen and more. To help you deal with the drainers in your life read 4 Strategies to Survive Emotional Vampires.

empath.jpg

8. Empaths become replenished in nature
The busyness of ever day life can be too much for an empath. The natural world nourishes and restores them. It helps them to release their burdens and they take refuge in the presence of green wild things, the ocean or other bodies of water.

9. Empaths have highly tuned senses
An empath’s nerves can get frayed by noise, smells, or excessive talking.

10. Empaths have huge hearts but sometimes give too much
Empaths are big-hearted people and try to relieve the pain of others. A homeless person holding a cardboard sign, “I’m hungry” at a busy intersection; a hurt child; a distraught friend. It’s natural to want to reach out to them, ease their pain. But empaths don’t stop there. Instead, they take it on. Suddenly they’re the one feeling drained or upset when they felt fine before.

As an empath myself, I use many strategies to protect my sensitivities such as fierce time management, setting limits and boundaries with draining people, meditation to calm and center myself, and going out into nature. Being an empath is a gift in my life but I had to learn to take care of myself. Empaths have special needs. It’s important to honor yours and communicate them to loved ones.

Judith Orloff M.D.
Judith Orloff M.D.

Source:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-freedom/201602/top-10-traits-empath

 

6 Ways to Reduce Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is the third most common psychological disorder, right after the granddaddies of depression and alcoholism. Fully 13% of people meet criteria for diagnosable social anxiety disorder, and a whopping 90% of people say they are or were shy at some point in their life. The good news? Social anxiety is changeable.  Start with these 6 tips—test them out one at a time and see what sticks.  And yes, these are drops in the bucket, but do them over and over and you’ll fill your bucket to the brim with bravery.

1)   Play “Worry Mismatch.”  Anticipating a worrisome social situation is almost always worse than the actual event.  For example, after dreading the company holiday party for weeks, it may actually be a relief to walk through the door, and—surprise—it may not be as horrifying as you anticipated.  Your brain is wired to keep you safe from danger and rejection, but sometimes it can go overboard and jump to the worst-case scenario. So it’s important to learn that the alarm bells before a social situation are usually louder than necessary.

Try this experiment: The next time you reluctantly attend a party, have to speak in class or a meeting, or work up the courage to do something you usually avoid, contrast your expectations with the actual experience.  Think of what you’re worried about (“No one will understand what I’m saying and then I’ll turn bright red”) and then afterward, ask yourself if that’s what actually happened (“One guy said ‘what?’ twice, but otherwise everyone seemed like they could hear me—plus it was loud so I couldn’t hear perfectly, either.”)

Our brains are great at coming up with potential catastrophes  (“Nobody will talk to me!”), but they seldom play out in reality (“I stood around by myself for a few minutes, but then that guy from HR struck up a conversation I actually enjoyed.”)  Simply realizing your alarm bells are set too loud may be a consolation the next time they go off.


2)   Volunteer to host or play a role.

If suffering through a big family wedding, for example, makes you want to hide under the buffet table, ask whomever is in charge how you can help make things run smoothly.  Oftentimes, social awkwardness is alleviated by having a defined role.  Asking attendees to sign the guest book gives you a reason to circulate.  Rounding up groups for photos provides you purpose.  Playing a role allows you to practice approaching people, practice having eyes on you, and practice making requests.  Invariably, this practice buildsconfidence.  When you’re ready—whether in a few hours or a few decades—you can transition to the ultimate role: yourself.

3)   Push yourself. . . a little.

Both parts of this tip are important.  For instance, if you’re a socially anxious student, you might push yourself by asking a question in class.  However, start small. Push yourself a little by first asking the TA a question after class, then asking the professor a question after class, then asking a question in an informal exam review, then in a 10-person seminar, and finally in a 100-person lecture.  Inch into the water slowly; you don’t have to do a cannonball.

4)   Ask questions.

Many people feel awkward in social situations because they feel they have nothing to say.  One helpful technique is to ask open-ended questions (“So how did you two meet?” or “I’ve been thinking of taking that course—how do you like that professor?”) or ask advice (“I’ve got a few vacation days to burn—I need a good weekend getaway,” or “I just abandoned a terrible book—I need another one.  Any suggestions?”)  Then, based on the answer, ask another question that takes the conversation deeper.  Many people are delighted to talk about their lives and experiences and will thank you for the chance.

5)   Keep showing up.

Despite what you see onFacebook, the average American only has two true friends and almost one in four find themselves without a social circle at all.  If you’re starting from scratch, have hope and take heart knowing you’re not, well, alone.  Wondering where to start?  Think about what you like to do.  If you’re stumped, think about what you liked to do as a kid.  Then, based on your answers, plug yourself into a small, recurring group with the same people—not a one-shot event or huge city festival.

Did you love to draw? Take a semester-long art class. Run? Join a community running club and attend the Tuesday evening runs religiously. Read about dinosaurs? Volunteer at the local museum, preferably on a shift with the same co-volunteers. The most important part is to keep showing up. Commit for at least a season, even if you’re tempted to throw in the towel earlier.

6)   Do the strong thing and seek help.

If you’re ready for a change, a good cognitive-behavioral therapist can help you face your fears slowly and safely.  In a nutshell, he or she will ask you to construct a hierarchy of things you avoid, from easiest to break-a-sweat hardest.  Next, you’ll work through them gradually, only moving on to the next level when you’re ready.

Social anxiety gets in the way of living your life, but with time, practice, and a willingness to push yourself, you can achieve the ultimate: being comfortable in your own skin.”

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-be-yourself/201605/6-quick-ways-ease-your-social-anxiety

https://rennickeassociates.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/6-ways-to-reduce-social-anxiety/

 

 

Classic Boat Week Antigua. Photo reportage.

Enjoy and appreciate every moment of your life. It could be an ordinary day in office with nice and friendly people. Or it could be a beautiful rainy day full of stillness which is so amazing to use for reading an interesting book you were aiming to read for a while and have some time-in. It could be a snowy winter evening when you can finally meet your best friend, have a glass or two chatting about anything with no restrictions and cooking something yummy. Or it could be a sunny day on a boat somewhere in Antigua…. 

Here is a  bit of boat “eye candy” for those who love sailing and those who appreciate sailing from a different era.


Our visit to Antigua to pick up our new North Sails coincided with Classic Yacht Week which meant we had the opportunity to watch old style sailing vessels.  Classic week draws sail boats in a variety of sizes and all of these aged beauties reflect an era of pre-fiberglass boating.

These wooden boats have a lot of teak which makes them look beautiful, but I imagine the TLC required to keep it bright and shiny is tremendous. It was fun to walk the docks and imagine the history of these old timers. It was even more fun to watch them race….

…Unfortunately, winds were very light so the boats didn’t have ideal condition but there was enough wind for them to raise sails and we enjoyed seeing them flying all the canvas they could hoist as they tried valiantly to compete with little wind.

Here is a  bit of boat “eye candy” for those who love sailing and those who appreciate sailing from a different era.

class

Antigua was a beautiful back drop for the races.

Classics

Classics in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Classics-4

“Mini-me” – the sailing variety.

Classics-2

I thought this helicopter was pretty low…

Classics-5

Until he decided to get even closer!

Classics-1

I can’t imagine tacking all these sails to round the buoy.

Classics-6

A close-up of this pretty girl.

Classics-9

That is a LOT of sail area on one boat!

Source:

https://helialetitbe.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/kickin-it-old-style-classic-boat-week-antigua/

Your peers affect your IQ

If you want to get brighter, only mix with the brightest, or suffer the consequences

That’s according to Professor James Flynn, who was once considered controversial because of his research which suggested that people were getting more intelligent each generation – the Flynn Effect.

IQ

In his new book “Does your family make you smarter” he proposes that intelligence, rather than plateauing at 18 years of age, can increase throughout adulthood, providing you have a stimulating lifestyle.

Households where people talk, challenge, joke  and share cultural pastimes can boost the IQ of family members by several points. And workplaces that impose intellectual challenges on staff can over time raise their individual intelligence.

The opposite is also true. People who share a home or workplace with dullards for any length of time risk seeing their IQ enter a sharp decline because of lack of stimulation.

Flynn also says

Intelligence has always been thought to be static … the new evidence shows that this is wrong. The brain seems to be rather like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets. That means you can upgrade your intelligence during your lifetime

He suggests the best way to improve your IQ is to marry someone smarter than you, find an intellectually stimulating job, and hang out with bright friends.

 

Up to now we’ve believed that intelligence is controlled by genes influenced by our nutrition and environment up to age 18 when it stabilises.

Flynn’s research took 65 years of IQ tests from the US and correlating the  results with the age of the people creating IQ age tables. From these he draws two conclusions. The cognitive quality of a family alters the IQ of all members but especially children i.e. it can lift them or hold them back.

For example a bright child of 10 with siblings of average intelligence will suffer on average a 5-10 point IQ disadvantage compared to a similar child with equally bright brothers and sisters.  A child with a lower IQ can gain 6-8 points by having brighter siblings and educational support…

He also believes, based on this research, that although genetics and early life experience determine about 80% of intelligence the rest is strongly linked to our lifestyle as adults.

As you leave childhood behind the legacy of your family diminishes but the game is not over. A large proportion of your cognitive quality is now in your own hands. You can change it yourself and your IQ can vary through life according to your own efforts… Going through life feeling your childhood is holding you back is misunderstanding how much power you have to improve yourself

says Flynn.

In 2011 researchers at the University of Pennsylvania said that they found that high IQ scores are a result of high intelligence plus motivation whereas low IQ scores could be because of the lack of either intelligence or motivation (published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

 

Research in Scotland found that people with mentally stimulating jobs suffered less cognitive decline as they got older.

And recently researchers at the University of Texas found that busy over-50s had higher cognitive scores than younger people.

Experts in emotional intelligence have long held that EI, unlike IQ, continues to develop into adulthood. Now it seems we have the capacity to develop both our cognitive and socio-emotional skills.

Source:

http://bizpsycho.com/2016/06/01/if-you-want-to-get-brighter-only-mix-with-the-brightest-or-suffer-the-consequences/