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12 Tempting Comfort Foods with Low Calories

12 Tempting Comfort Foods with Low Calories

As far as the importance of comfort foods in people’s life is concerned, first of all it is better to understand what comfort foods are all about. Comfort foods are those foods that can be easily eaten and by the help of these foods negative feelings can be removed to a certain extent. This is the way through which people can control their stress level as they can attain positive vibes in their minds. These types of foods actually help people in gaining instant energy and relief as well. In reality, comfort foods are helpful in activating healthy behavior and positive feelings in people. These all foods can be effectively prepared and people could really enjoy the cooking experience to a great extent.

Therefore, these foods are usually consumed when people are depressed and feeling low. People also like to eat comfort foods when they are hungry and looking for food that can be eaten immediately. As a result these foods are assumed as instant energy providers and people could attain sentimental or nostalgic feeling after eating comfort food.

Categories of Comfort Foods

There are different kinds of categories in which comfort foods can be easily distributed; these categories are mentioned as follows:

  1. Nostalgic foods
  2. Indulgence foods
  3. Convenience foods
  4. Physical comfort foods
  5. Mood modifying foods
  6. Guilt or Break out foods

Considering the above attributes, there are 12 tempting foods discussed in order to provide the importance to comfort food lovers. These 12 foods are as follows:

1. Skinny Texas Cheese Fries

Skinny Texas Cheese Fries

    This is one of the most amazing and mouth watering food for those people who want to enjoy food along with low calories. This food is specifically prepared or cooked for the purpose of providing positive feelings and energy to people. The chili’s Texas cheese fries can be effectively consumed if motivation or energy is highly desirable. The other benefit of this food is very significant that could be quite appealing to the people and this is low level of guilt.

    Ingredients

    In order to prepare skinny Texas cheese fries, people are required to have yokon gold potatoes along with paprika, chili powder and olive oil as well. The people are also needed to use onion powder with garlic powder so that the fries give mouth watering taste to cheese lovers. There are other things required that could be considered in the form of chopped and cooked veggie bacon. Shredded cheddar cheese is also desirable along with diced scallions and sliced pickled jalapeno pepper as well.

    Calories

    259 calories

    Cooking processes

    The cooking process is quite simple yet attractive for those people who love to enjoy this food. First of all, try to cut potatoes lengthwise into ¼ inch fries. Now combine cut potatoes and oil in a large bowl, and then add seasoning (paprika to salt and pepper). Place potatoes in a single layer on a largely baking sheet. Now bake uncovered for 25 minutes turning once half way through and then remove from oven place fries into two small oven safe dishes. Now do the topping with cheddar cheese along with sliced jalapenos and scallions as well. Now use oven for two more minutes and then serve it with low fat buttermilk ranch dressing.

    Tastes and Textures

    This food is also considered as the pure comfort food and its taste is as good for people as they will love to eat it again and again. The appearance of this dish is also eye catching that attracts people ‘s attention to a large extent.

    2. Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese

    Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese

      This is also considered as the perfect food for cheese lovers, this is because of the reason that this is regarded as most scrumptious cheesy meatless dish.

      Ingredients

      For the sake of preparing and cooking delicious baked spaghetti squash and cheese, you should focus on using different stuff such as cooked spaghetti squash. The other ingredients that could be used are olive oil, minced onion along with flour. Skimmed milk, fat free chicken broth, sargento, reduced fat mild cheddar, salt and pepper are also needed. The baby spinach along with grated parmesan is desirable that could make this dish tasty or delicious.

      Calories

      165 calories

      Cooking Process

      The cooking starts by the help of cutting the squash in half lengthwise, and at the same time remove and eradicate seeds as well. Now it is better to place squash on a baking sheet and bake for one hour and place squash on medium bowl. At this point of time, please maintain the temperature of oven and heat butter and oil in large saucepan with medium heat. Now please add onions and stir in flour, now cook on low heat and stirring regularly.

      Now add milk and chicken broth and increase the level of heat and make it more thick and smooth. It is good time to add salt and pepper, remove heat now include cheddar cheese and mix well. The salt and pepper should be used according to the preferences and now incorporate cooked spaghetti squash and baby spinach. Now this is the time to pour on baking dish and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and then bake for around 30 minutes.

      Tastes and Textures

      The taste of this food sounds something cheesy for those people who do not like meat so much.

      3. Cauliflower Chowder

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      Cauliflower Chowder

        This is a kind of soup that really comes up to the expectations of soup lovers, at the same time the demand of this food generally in chilled weathers.

        Ingredients

        The ingredients that are required to make cauliflower chowder could be considered in the form of bacon along with unsalted butter, garlic minced. The other stuff is also significant and this include onion, carrots, celery, all purpose flour along with chicken broth, milk, cauliflower, bay leaf, kosher salt, black pepper, and parsley leaves as well.

        Calories

        272 calories

        Cooking Process

        The process starts when bacon is added with a large skillet till the color gets brown and crispy; this process should be done for 6 to 8 minutes. Now melt butter in a large pot on medium heat and then garlic, onion and carrots along with celery should be added. Now stir in cauliflower and bay leaf and stir occasionally. Now, whisk in flour till it became lightly browned for 1 minute and then gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk and at this time cook. After doing this bring to a boil by lowering the heat and then use salt and pepper accordingly. It is also desirable that this soup should be garnished with bacon and parsley.

        Tastes and Textures

        This is also assumed as a creamy, low crab, and snug soup that can provide unique taste and textures to the soup lovers.

        4. Skinny Buffalo chicken Chili

        Skinny Buffalo chicken Chili

          This food is special treat for those individuals who want to dip buffalo chicken wings in a chilled blue cheese sauce. In this manner this amazing food is consumed.

          Ingredients

          As far as the importance of ingredients is concerned, the ingredients are ground chicken breast, white onion, celery, carrots, cauliflower florets and garlic cloves. There are some other things required and these are sodium free chicken broth, diced tomatoes, cannellini beans and hot sauce as well. The ground cumin, chili powder, Paprika, ground oregano, cayenne along with salt and pepper are also needed.

          Calories

          203.5 calories

          Cooking Process

          First of all please try to brown the chicken through the help of large pan on medium heat. At this time toss the chicken and include all ingredients into it in a crock pot. Now provide good stir to everything and then secure the lid as well. Now cook for almost 6 to 8 minutes on low and 6 to 8 minutes on high heat. After doing this remove the lid and put it in bowls equally. The topping can be applied according to people’s choice.

          Tastes and Textures

          This food gives amazing taste of buffalo chicken having a unique flavor of chili as well. In this manner this dish delights people and at the same time stressed is reduced as well.

          5. Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese

          Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese

            It is expected that this dish will certainly come up to the expectations of cheese lovers as this dish is an awesome cocktail or combination of bread, butter and cheese.

            Ingredients

            First of all in order to make cauliflower crust grilled cheese, cauliflower bread slices along with cheese sandwiches are needed. Apart from this, organic egg, mozzarella cheese, green sea salt and black pepper are also required. The butter and cheddar cheese will also be needed at the time of preparing this food.

            Calories

            347 calories

            Cooking Process

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            This comfort food can be prepared through the help of using baking sheet having parchment paper that should be greased with olive oil. Now, cook cauliflower rice and then place in tea towel so that it could become dry that is necessary. Add egg, mozzarella, salt, and pepper in cauliflower rice and then apply cauliflower mixture in baking sheet and make 4 squares. Put butter on one side of slices of cauliflower crust bread and then place one slice of bread in pan. Sprinkle with cheese and then cook for almost 4 minutes and then flip carefully and cook for 4 minutes.

            Tastes and Textures

            This amazing comfort food provides a different taste of bread, butter and cheese as all these three things are combined in the desired manner. This is the way through which the texture of this food becomes attractive and appealing to most of the people.

            6. Oven Baked Mushroom Risotto

            Oven Baked Mushroom Risotto

              This is one of the most desirable foods that can be considered as ideal for vegetarian people. This food can be prepared quite easily and does not require much time.

              Ingredients

              The stuff, which is required for the preparation of this dish, includes dried porcini mushrooms along with boiled water as well. The other things are olive oil, chopped onion and at the same time garlic cloves and kosher salt are also needed. The chopped baby bellas, Arborio rice, white wine, chicken broth, sprig rosemary, fat Greek yogurt and grated parmesan cheese too.

              Calories

              191 Calories

              Cooking Process

              Put mushrooms in the bowl along with boiling water and then put mushrooms carefully in cutting board and then chop mushrooms. Now, add onion, garlic and salt and cook it in order to make onion tender. Include baby mushroom, add salt and cook and then stir rice and start cooking. After doing this, add wine and simmer till wine is disappeared and then include chicken broth along with sprig rosemary, mushrooms and mushroom broth as well. Now bake and after baking remove sprig rosemary and stir in Greek yogurt with cheese and then bake uncovered so that this becomes ready.

              Taste and Textures

              It’s creamy and moth watering taste is appealing who are vegetarian and love eating vegetarian food. The texture or appearance is also attractive for people as they cannot resist themselves from eating.  

              7. Skinny Broccoli Cheese Soup

              Skinny Broccoli Cheese Soup

                This is a delicious taste for all soup lovers if they want to feel the taste of broccoli cheese in a soup.

                Ingredients

                The ingredients make this soup tasty and healthier therefore these things should be carefully used. These are unsalted vegetable stock, broccoli florets, yellow onion, carrots, salt and black pepper along with garlic gloves. The cheddar cheese and parsley leaves along with half and half are also required to make this soup.

                Cooking Process

                The saucepan should be used in which the vegetable stocks with yellow onion, broccoli florets, garlic gloves, carrots, salt and black pepper should be combined and then boil it. After this the broccoli should be tender and then blend the soup and make it creamy. Then stir the half and half along with cheese and after this top accurately with parsley and soup is ready.

                Calories

                110 calories

                Taste and Textures

                The taste of this food feels like cheesy, viscous and at the same time is best suitable for light dinner. This food is also nutritious as it gives nutrition to the people.

                8. Squash, Sweet potato, carrot and white bean soup

                Squash, Sweet potato, carrot and white bean soup

                  All amazing nutrients such as carrot, potato and white beans all in one comfort food is hard to believe. But, this is a pleasing reality that should be taken into consideration.

                  Ingredients

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                  The ingredients are important part for any comfort food and these are olive oil, onion, vegetable broth, and butternut. The sweet potatoes along with carrots, salt and cannellini beans are also necessary for this dish.

                  Calories

                  272 calories

                  Cooking Process

                  First of all stuff should be carefully combined in a cooker and lid should be secured, this should be done in low heat. At this time, it is preferable to use immersion blender so that this food becomes ready to eat

                  Tastes and Textures

                  This food is really delicious and at the same time it is healthier as it provides fibers, proteins to people. The appearance of this food is also attractive and smoother for many people as well.

                  9. Slow Cooker Vegan chickpea curry

                  Slow Cooker Vegan chickpea curry

                    This dish should be prepared for all health concerned or conscious people as it provides the desired results to these people to a large extent. This dish can be prepared with so much ease and is suitable for lunch time.

                    Ingredients

                    The ingredients include olive oil, yellow onion, garlic clove, minced ginger, can chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, small cauliflower florets and coconut milk as well. The other things are also crucial for this food and these are sweet potatoes, vegetable broth, hot spice, curry powder, salt, and chopped baby spinach too. The uncooked rice along with water and salt are also needed in order to make coconut rice.

                    Cooking Process

                    Put oil in pan in low heat and add onion, garlic and ginger so that onion mix becomes ready and it should be transferred to cooker and include all other stuff but spinach should not be added at this time. Cook it and then stir in spinach for 5 more minutes and then this food is served finally. For the sake of making coconut rice, include rice, milk along with salt, water should be added in a saucepan. Now boil it and then cover and simmer in low heat and curry should be allowed before serving.

                    Calories

                    400 calories

                    Taste and Textures

                    As far as the taste of this amazing dish is concerned, it is regarded as warm, savory and decadent. The looks or presentation is also attractive and eye catching for health lover people.

                    10. Loaded Turkey Chili Baked Potato

                    Loaded Turkey Chili Baked Potato

                      This awesome food can be consumed for the purpose of dinners to a certain extent. In this food turkey chili and potatoes have been combined effectively to produce attractive comfort food.

                      Ingredients

                      First of all potatoes are required along with turkey chili, shredded cheddar, chopped chives or scallions, and Greek yogurt or fat source as well.

                      Calories

                      280 Calories

                      Cooking Process

                      At the start of cooking holes should be made in the potatoes and then use microwave for the purpose of making potatoes soft. After doing this, make half length size of potatoes and then apply fork in order to make oval shape at the top. Now, remove the top of each potato and make topping with cheddar cheese with turkey chili and chives so that the dish could be served to guests.

                      Tastes and Textures

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                      The taste is so much pleasing and appearance at times becomes mouth watering as well.  

                      11. Skinny mashed potatoes

                      Skinny mashed potatoes

                        This is another comfort food that can be consumed by all health conscious people and this food can be prepared with so much convince and in this way cooking experience becomes enjoyable.

                        Ingredients

                        The ingredients are red potatoes, reduced fat butter, and milk with minimal fat, fresh and chopped chives, salt and pepper as desirable.

                        Calories

                        123 calories

                        Cooking Process

                        Put potatoes in saucepan with cold water and then start boiling in low heat, after this put drained potatoes in the saucepan. Include reduced fat milk, chives, salt and pepper in warm potatoes so that potatoes could be smashed by the help of fork. Now use and cut by means of using knife for the purpose of blending all stuff and at the same time this process should be done in low heat. After that smashed potatoes is ready and could be served appropriately.

                        Taste and Textures

                        The creamy rich taste makes this food scrumptious and loveable for different people. The appearance is such a delight and treats to watch for all potatoes lovers.  

                        12. Skinny Chicken Parmesan Casserole

                        Skinny Chicken Parmesan Casserole

                          This attractive and mouth watering food is very much in demand by all chicken parmesan lovers. By means of consuming this food people can satisfy their hunger and eating desires as well. This dish has been perfectly developed for the dinner purpose.

                          Ingredients

                          The ingredient could be considered in the form of cooked boneless chicken breasts, Jar Francesco Rinaldi pasta sauce with no salt at all. Apart from this other ingredients are Italian cheese (shredded), wheat bread crumbs, along with panko, fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper as well.

                          Calories

                          326 calories

                          Cooking Process

                          First of all, the casserole dish should be lightly coated and after this layer the chicken in the end of dish. At this time, chicken should be topped by the help of pasta sauce and then chicken should be mixed along with cheese and sauce mixture. Now, please add bread crumbs, panko, basil leaves, salt, and pepper. After doing this cheese should be topped with bread crumbs and then dish should be baked as well. The top now should become brown after baking and this food is ready to serve at this time, so enjoy.

                          Tastes and Textures

                          The taste and appearance of this dish is highly attractive and appealing to the eyes of hungry people. The enhanced cheesy taste makes this dish highly eatable and popular among people of different ages.

                          Conclusion

                          All these amazing and mind blowing comfort foods are highly desirable and appropriate for different health conscious people. By the help of these foods, people could feel positive vibes in their minds and bodies and as a result their stress level could be reduced to certain level. These foods also make cooking as enjoyable and interesting phenomenon for both male and female.

                          Featured photo credit: 12 Tempting Comfort Foods With Low Calories via stokpic.com

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                          Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                          How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                          How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                          Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                          Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                          I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                          You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                          Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                          When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                          I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                          Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                          Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                          Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                          1. The Inner Critic

                          This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                          • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                          • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                          • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                          • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                          The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                          Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                          2. The Worrier

                          This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                          The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                          3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                          This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                          This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                          The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                          4. The Sleep Depriver

                          This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                          The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                          • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                          • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                          • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                          • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                          How can you control these squatters?

                          How to Master Your Mind

                          You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                          Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                          There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                          • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                          • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                          This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                          The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                          Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                          For the Inner Critic

                          When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                          You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                          For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                          You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                          “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                          If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                          • They rile up the Worrier.
                          • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                          • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                          • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                          • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                          Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                          Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                          For the Worrier

                          Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                          Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                          You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                          • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                          • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                          • Muscles tense

                          Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                          If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                          Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                          “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                          Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                          If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                          Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                          Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                          For example:

                          If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                          “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                          Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                          “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                          Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                          For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                          Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                          The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                          • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                          • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                          • Muscles tension

                          I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                          Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                          Breathe in through your nose:

                          • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                          • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                          • Focus on your belly rising.

                          Breathe out through your nose:

                          • Feel your lungs emptying.
                          • Focus on your belly falling.
                          • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                          Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                          Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                          One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                          Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                          For the Sleep Depriver

                          (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                          I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                          Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                          1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                          2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                          When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                          From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                          For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                          If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                          You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                          • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                          • Shut down your thinking.
                          • Calm your feelings.
                          • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                          The Bottom Line

                          Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                          You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                          Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                          Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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