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How To Stop Negative Self-Talk Right Now

How To Stop Negative Self-Talk Right Now

Are you one of those people who, like me, sometimes (often) talk to themselves poorly? Saying things to yourself with that voice in your head that you would never consider saying to someone you cared about? But you say it to yourself. You berate yourself and, especially when you’re feeling challenged, recite a laundry list of reasons why you suck and will never be a success. I’ve been there. And done that. Still do it. But why…?

It’s because we hate ourselves. Kidding. The truth is, I really don’t know why we do it. Maybe it’s the need for certainty. Meaning, if we fail at whatever we’re pursuing, we don’t have to be disappointed because we already beat ourselves to the punch. Or maybe we don’t feel we’re deserving of being happy or having money or being desirable. Or maybe we do hate ourselves and just like to make sure we know it. I don’t know. Here’s what I do know…

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Being super critical of yourself is NEVER helpful. It only helps to make you feel the way you talk to yourself: Bad. Worthless. A failure. Fat. Dumb. Untalented. The list goes on… But how do we fix it?

Step 1: Notice It

It’s pretty easy to do actually. Whenever you might be feeling down or anxious, take note of the dialogue in your head. How are you talking to yourself? In a positive and loving way? Like you would talk to your best friend who was having a tough time? Or are you trash-talking yourself and adding fuel to the pain and shame fire?

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Step 2: Stop It

Stop it. Don’t do that. Stop talking badly at yourself and start talking to yourself as if you were cheering on your best friend. Treat yourself as your own best friend. Tell yourself how awesome you are. How hot. How fun and likable. How inspiring. Just fill up your mind with positivity and don’t allow any space for negative thoughts. Do that for as long as it takes to convince your mind to stop finding things to criticize. It will take a lot less time than you might think.

As simple as that: Positive Thinking

That’s two steps. It’s that simple. “But, Michael it’s NOT that simple.” Oh yes, it is. It’s a simple matter of choice and you have total control over it. But don’t take my word for it. Just ask Dr. Eric G. Potterat, Force Psychologist, Naval Special Warfare Command. Dr. Potterat has 20 years experience in the Navy. Much of that time was spent helping Navy SEALs with the extreme psychological demands of their training and missions. Dr. Potterat found that positive self-talk was a major determining factor of a SEAL’s performance. In fact, they found that those who talked to themselves in a positive way had a much greater chance of completing their basic training (which is arguably the toughest military training in the world). If this technique works under some of the most extreme and challenging conditions a human being can face, it can certainly work for any of us in our day-to-day lives.

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As a photographer, how does this help my clients on-camera? Quite simply: You will be FAR more attractive on-camera if you’re cheering yourself on while that lens is pointing at you rather than berating yourself. Do you think Kim Kardashian talks to herself in any other way other than awesome when she’s posting those selfies? HECK NO. And with 82.6 MILLION Instagram followers, she knows a thing or two about a thing or two.

The next time you catch yourself berating yourself, stop that, flip the script and speak to yourself as you would your best friend. You’ll thank yourself later.

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Last Updated on October 29, 2018

What Causes Brain Fog? (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It)

What Causes Brain Fog? (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It)

Brain fog is more of a symptom than a medical condition itself, but this doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Brain fog is a cognitive dysfunction, which can lead to memory problems, lack of mental clarity and an inability to focus.

Many often excuse brain fog for a bad day, or get so used to it that they ignore it. Unfortunately, when brain fog is ignored it ends up interfering with work and school. The reason many ignore it is because they aren’t fully aware of what causes it and how to deal with it.

It’s important to remember that if your brain doesn’t function fully — nothing else in your life will. Most people have days where they can’t seem to concentrate or forget where they put their keys.

It’s very normal to have days where you can’t think clearly, but if you’re experiencing these things on a daily basis, then you’re probably dealing with brain fog for a specific reason.

So what causes brain fog? It can be caused by a string of things, so we’ve made a list things that causes brain fog and how to prevent it and how to stop it.

1. Stress

It’s no surprise that we’ll find stress at the top of the list. Most people are aware of the dangers of stress. It can increase blood pressure, trigger depression and make us sick as it weakens our immune system.

Another symptom is mental fatigue. When you’re stressed your brain can’t function at its best. It gets harder to think and focus, which makes you stress even more.

Stress can be prevented by following some simple steps. If you’re feeling stressed you should avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine — even though it may feel like it helps in the moment. Two other important steps are to indulge in more physical activities and to talk to someone about it.

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Besides that, you can consider keeping a stress diary, try relaxation techniques like mediation, getting more sleep and maybe a new approach to time management.

2. Diet

Most people know that the right or wrong diet can make them gain or loss weight, but not enough people think about the big impact a specific diet can have on one’s health even if it might be healthy.

One of the most common vitamin deficiencies is vitamin B12 deficiency and especially vegans can be get hid by brain fog, because their diet often lacks the vitamin B-12. The vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to mental and neurological disorders.

The scary thing is that almost 40 % of adults are estimated to lack B12 in their diet. B12 is found in animal products, which is why many vegans are in B12 deficiency, but this doesn’t mean that people need animal products to prevent the B12 deficiency. B12 can be taken as a supplement, which will make the problem go away.

Another vital vitamin that can cause brain fog is vitamin D. More than 1 billion people worldwide don’t have enough vitamin D in their diet. Alongside B12 and vitamin D is omega-3, which because of its fatty acids helps the brain function and concentrate. Luckily, both vitamin D and omega-3 can be taken as supplements.

Then there’s of course also the obvious unhealthy foods like sugar. Refined carbohydrates like sugar will send your blood sugar levels up, and then send you right back down. This will lead to brain fog, because your brain uses glucose as its main source of fuel and once you start playing around with your brain — it gets confused.

Besides being hit by brain fog, you’ll also experience tiredness, mood swings and mental confusion. So, if you want to have clear mind, then stay away from sugar.

Sometimes the same type of diet can be right for some and wrong for others. If you’re experiencing brain fog it’s a good idea to seek out your doctor or a nutritionist. They can take some tests and help you figure out which type of diet works best for your health, or find out if you’re lacking something specific in your diet.

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3. Allergies

If you have food allergies, or are simply a bit sensitive to specific foods, then eating those foods can lead to brain fog. Look out for dairy, peanuts and aspartame that are known to have a bad effect on the brain.

Most people get their calories from corn, soy and wheat — and big surprise — these foods are some of the most common foods people are allergic to. If you’re in doubt, then you can look up food allergies[1] and find some of the most common symptoms.

If you’re unsure about being allergic or sensitive, then you can start out by cutting out a specific food from your diet for a week or two. If the brain fog disappears, then you’re most likely allergic or sensitive to this food. The symptoms will usually go away after a week or two once you remove the trigger food from the diet.

If you still unsure, then you should seek out the help of your doctor.

4. Lack of sleep

All of us know we need sleep to function, but it’s different for everybody how much sleep they need. A few people can actually function on as little as 3-4 hours of sleep every night, but these people are very, very rare.

Most people need 8 to 9 hours of sleep. If you don’t get the sleep you need, then this will interfere with your brain and you may experience brain fog.

Instead of skipping a few hours of sleep to get ahead of things you need to do, you’ll end up taking away productive hours from your day, because you won’t be able to concentrate and your thoughts will be cloudy.

Many people have trouble sleeping but you can help improve your sleep by a following a few simple steps.

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There is the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise, which is a technique that regulates your breath and helps you fall asleep faster. Another well-known technique is to avoid bright lights before you go to sleep.

A lot of us are guilty of falling asleep with the TV on or with our phone right by us, but the blue lights from these screens suppresses the production of melatonin in our bodies, which actually makes us stay awake longer instead. If you’re having trouble going to sleep without doing something before you close your eyes, then try taking up reading instead.

If you want to feel more energized throughout the day, start doing this.

5. Hormonal changes

Brain fog can be triggered by hormonal changes. Whenever your levels of progesterone and estrogen increases, you may experience short-term cognitive impairment and your memory can get bad.

If you’re pregnant or going through menopause, then you shouldn’t worry too much if your mind suddenly starts to get a bit cloudy. Focus on keeping a good diet, getting enough of sleep and the brain fog should pass once you’re back to normal.

6. Medication

If you’re on some medication, then it’s very normal to start experiencing some brain fog.

You may start to forget things that you used to be able to remember, or you get easily confused. Maybe you can’t concentrate the same way that you used to. All of these things can be very scary, but you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

Brain fog is a very normal side effect of drugs, but by lowering your dosage or switching over to another drug; the side effect can’t often be improved and maybe even completely removed.

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7. Medical condition

Brain fog can often be a symptom of a medical condition. Medical conditions that include inflammation, fatigue, changes in blood glucose level are known to cause brain fog.

Conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anemia, depression, diabetes, migraines, hypothyroidism, Sjögren syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Lupus and dehydration can all cause brain fog.[2]

The bottom line

If you haven’t been diagnosed, then never start browsing around Google for the conditions and the symptoms. Once you start looking for it; it’s very easy to (wrongfully) self-diagnose.

Take a step back, put away the laptop and relax. If you’re worried about being sick, then always check in with your doctor and take it from there.

Remember, the list of things that can cause brain fog is long and it can be something as simple as the wrong diet or not enough sleep.

Featured photo credit: Asdrubal luna via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Food Allergy: Common Allergens
[2]HealthLine: 6 Possible Causes of Brain Fog

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