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4 Steps to Declutter Your Soul and Become a Happier Person

4 Steps to Declutter Your Soul and Become a Happier Person

Luckily, more and more people are decluttering their lives, getting more organised, and understanding that we need less of the material things in order to have more freedom.

One aspect often gets forgotten, though, and that’s our spiritual well-being. It’s as important as physical health, but we seem to skip that part when changing ourselves and improving the quality of our life.

We are constantly bombarded by all the thoughts in our heads – which are too many and, often, too negative – that give birth to stress and anxiety. And then, the stress and anxiety from there lead to all sorts of unpleasant situations.

Being stressed out prevents you from keeping your focus and keeps you from doing your best at work and/or school. Anxiety doesn’t let you enjoy life for what is today because you always worry about what might happen tomorrow. Negativism turns you into a complainer and impacts those around you too.

I can go on like that forever because the consequences of not decluttering your mind and soul are endless. For now, let’s concentrate on finding a solution. How can we declutter our mind and spirit to live more peacefully, happily, and freely?

Here are some great ways:

1. Leave behind the past.

A negative mental pattern we develop unconsciously is to often think about events from the past and bring all the bad feelings into the present moment. As a result, we literally relive it and feel awful again.

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Be it a breakup, a painful memory, a mistake you made, or how others treated you when you were insecure – all this must be left behind. It belongs in the past and if you think about it, you evoke the same emotions when you bring those old wounds back into the light. In turn, it ruins your present and your whole day.

Don’t let it happen anymore. Practice letting go. When you notice another thought about the past popping up in your mind, stop, remember that it’s already in the past and there’s nothing you can do about it, come back to this moment, breathe deeply, and let go of it.

Having such an attitude towards anything related to the past will make you a happier person in no time.

2. Stop overthinking.

Less is better. That’s the case for the number of thoughts in our mind too. Thinking might be good in many situations in life, but when it’s purposeless and only makes us worry and imagine negative scenarios, an empty mind would be a better option.

Overthinking means constantly trying to figure out how things will turn out, what people think about you, what might go wrong, whether or not what you want to do is worth it, etc.

The main similarity between all these is that they are pointless. Such thoughts stop you from taking action, make you feel awkward when socialising, and turn every moment into desperate anticipation of the next one.

How do you declutter your mind and soul if overthinking has become your habit?

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By getting better at emptying your mind with daily exercises.

It doesn’t need to be anything complex. Start meditating for five minutes every morning. Then, add another session before you go to bed.

Simply find an isolated place, sit down, start breathing deeply, and focus either on your breath or on one positive thought you think of.

The point is to practice mindfulness and to quiet your mind. It won’t happen from day one, so be patient. Do it the next morning too, and feel how it gets easier over time.

Soon, you’ll turn that into your constant state of mind and unnecessary thoughts won’t have any place there. It will be only freedom, contentment, and presence.

3. Limit the information you consume.

Information overload is a real thing. There’s so much going on at any moment that if we want to stay up-to-date, we risk losing our sanity.

Social media doesn’t make this any easier either. Every time you scroll down your feed on one network, you might feel overwhelmed by seeing all the stuff being posted, you might want to read more about it all, might feel bad about something, or might start comparing your life to how others are living theirs and feel depressed.

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That’s just five minutes of someone’s day.

Then you open your inbox and see tons of news emails, each with different links that make you want to know more.

Later in the day, you receive even more information from all types of sources, other people bother you with their problems, devices are everywhere, someone texts you, or you receive notifications every 15 minutes, and that just never stops.

Unless, you decide to put an end to it.

You can’t have peace of mind with all these facts in your head, 90% of which are absolutely unimportant.

So, here’s the solution:

  • say a big “no” to most of these sources of information
  • set a limit for using social media and checking email
  • don’t read stuff that doesn’t concern you or the industry you work in
  • unsubscribe from all newsletters and only check out the sites that truly provide meaningful information
  • practice emptying your mind a few times during the day

4. Replace expectations with acceptance.

Think about this. We expect so much from ourselves and those around us, that this prevents us from being who we are and taking risks, from enjoying other people’s company, and being grateful for having them in our life.

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Expectations are bad. We are never satisfied and there’s always something else to expect.

So let’s ditch them. And replace them with something better – acceptance.

I’m talking about accepting yourself for who you are and smiling for this, but also knowing you can always improve if you work hard and believe in yourself.

I’m talking about accepting every person in your life as an individual, and not waiting for them to react in a certain way, not judging or blaming them. Simply being there for them, accepting their lifestyle and qualities, and appreciating having people who love you.

That small change will make a big difference in all of your relationships and will make you happier every day because you won’t be expecting so much, and won’t be stressing over not meeting these expectations.

Now that you know why simplicity is good for us in general, and that it’s also beneficial to our peace of mind and happiness, you won’t live your days unconsciously anymore.

Take one little step today, like saying “no” to a thought from the past, quieting the voices in your head before bed, or smiling for what you already have, and see the instant transformation in your mind.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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