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Want Some Desserts But Worry About The Calories? Try Some Paleo Desserts

Want Some Desserts But Worry About The Calories? Try Some Paleo Desserts

What is the Paleo diet about?

The Paleo diet is about going back in time. Way back in time. Paleo is short for paleolithic, (the prehistoric ages).[1] It involves the mimicking of ancestors about 10000 years back. It is all about eating what the cavemen did before agriculture existed.

Imagine a world without any farming. That is exactly what those from the Stone Age coped with. Waking up each morning, and the sole purpose each day was finding what you were going to eat and how to get it. You travel to where the food is and gather all you need along the way.

Diets were made up of wild animals they came across. And every other natural food found along the way. Berries, nuts, wild fruit and vegetables.This was the practice for many thousands of years.

Eating like the cavemen the notion is that the muscular lean physique will be gained.

Quick Snap on The Benefits of Paleo Diet.

  • You get to eat diet clear from additives, chemicals or preservative
  • The vegetables, oils, fruits, nuts and seeds are anti-inflammatory
  • Eating more red meat gives you more iron and it’s healthy for your blood
  • A higher intake of natural fats and protein leaves you feeling full between your meals
  • You take better natural choices so it can help you with your weight loss

Replicating the diet of the caveman fully is not possible as all found at stores come from farms and are not grown in the wild. Modern humans give it their best shot by using organic fruits, meats and veggies. Food grown from the ground with no pesticides or herbicides GMO interventions.

It’s always easier to kickstart with diet with healthy desserts! Here Are a list of suggestions for you to try!

1. Angel Food Cake

A grain free delight in a naturally sweet mixture.

    Ingredients

    For the Cake:

    • 12 large egg whites, room temperature

    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

    • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

    • 1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar

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    • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

    • 3/4 cup maple or coconut sugar

    • 1 cup arrowroot flour (the arrowroot flour prices over at Thrive Market are the best I’ve seen anywhere!)

    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped (or whipped coconut cream for Paleo), optional

    • 1 pint berries (optional)

    1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and adjust the rack to the middle position.

    2. Place the egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of a standing mixer. Whisk the egg mixture on medium-high until foamy, about 30 seconds. Add the salt, cream of tartar and vanilla. Whisk the mixture on medium-high until soft peaks form, about 1-2 minutes.

    3. With the mixer on medium-high, slowly add 1/2 cup of the maple sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Sift the remaining 1/4 cup maple sugar and arrowroot flour into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium, slowly add the arrowroot mixture. Turn the speed up to medium-high and whip until smooth (there might be some tiny little lumps from the sugar, but it will melt in the oven while baking).

    Pour the batter into a clean (and NOT oiled), 12-cup angel food cake pan (I’m still on the look-out for a glass or

    4. stainless steel angel food cake pan. If you know where to purchase one, please let me know!). Bake for 40-45 minutes, until cake is puffed and the top is just turning golden brown.

    5. Remove the cake from the oven. Carefully turn the cake upside-down and place on top of a can. Let cool completely, about 1 hour. Run a knife around the outside of the cake and invert onto a cake platter (you might need to shake the cake a little to get it to separate from the center tube of the cake pan). Serve alone or with whipped cream and berries.

    6. Note: I only test the recipes on my site with the listed ingredients and measurements. If you would like to try a substitution, you are welcome to share what you used and how it turned out in the comments below. Thanks!

    2. Lemon Bars

    A delightful mix of almond flour,almond butter and a tinge of grated lemon with a blend of coconut flour

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      Yields: 9-12 bars

      Crust:

      • 1 cup almond flour

      • 1/4 cup almond butter

      • 1 tbsp honey

      • 1 tbsp grass-fed butter, softened

      • 1 tsp vanilla

      • 1/2 tsp baking powder

      • 1/4 tsp sea salt

      Filling:

      • 3 eggs

      • 1/2 cup honey

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      • 1/4 cup lemon juice

      • 2 1/2 tbsp coconut flour

      • 1 tbsp lemon zest, finely grated

      • Pinch of salt

      Instructions:

      Preheat oven to 350.Coat 9×9 baking dish with coconut oil or butter.Combine all crust ingredients in food processor until a “crumble” forms.Press crust evenly into the bottom of pan.Using a fork, prick a few holes into crust.Bake for 10 minutes. While crust is baking, combine all filling ingredients in a food processor until well incorporated. When done, remove crust from oven and pour filling evenly over top. Continue to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until filling is set, but still has a little jiggle. Cool completely on wire rack. (You can also chill in the fridge if desired, to further set the filling).

      3. Raw Almond Joy Bars

        First Layer:

        1. Whisk all ingredients together and pour into oiled, parchment lined 8 x 8-inch glass pan. Set in refrigerator aside making topping. The bottom layer should be set up (but not completely hard) before adding the next layer.

        Second Layer

        • 2 cups of dried, unsweetened, raw coconut
        • 2/3 cup coconut butter, softened
        • 3 tablespoons raw agave nectar (or liquid sweetener of choice)
        • 1-2 teaspoons organic almond flavoring (not raw)
        1. Place coconut in medium bowl.
        2. Whisk coconut butter (not the same as coconut oil), agave and almond flavor. Pour over coconut and mix well.
        3. Pat over first layer, top with chopped almonds and ganache. (see below)
        4. Refrigerate to set.

        Third Layer

        • 1/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped

        The raw almond almond butter joy buzz come with a dazzle of cacao powder. Organic, raw coconut crystals are used to sweeten it.

        4. Almond, Apple, And Blackberry Moist Skillet Cake


          Serves 4

          Notes
          The cake is gluten free, grain free and dairy free. For a vegan option substitute egg with chia gel. Add 1 tbsp chia seeds + 2 tbsp water/apple juice in a glass, stir and set a side for 10 min.

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          Filling

          • 3 sweet apples
          • 100 g blackberries, frozen are fine
          • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar (alternatively brown sugar or sukrin gold)
          • 1 knob of butter or coconut oil
          • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
          • 1/4 tsp cardamom
          • 1/8 tsp cloves/all spice
          • 1/8 tsp groung ginger

          Batter

          • 3/4 cup ground almonds (100 g)
          • 2 Tbsp  coconut sugar (alternatively brown sugar or sukrin gold)
          • 1/2 tsp ground vanilla
          • 1/2 tsp baking powder
          • a pinch of salt
          • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
          • 1 egg, whisked
          • Around 1/5 cup full fat coconut milk(50 ml)

          Directions

          • Preheat oven to 200 °C/ 400 °F. Cut apples on bite-sized chunks. You need to use an oven proof skillet* about 20 cm i diameter.
          • Melt butter and sugar on high heat and add the apples and spices. Saut © for 5 min until the apples are caramelized and slightly tender.
          • Meanwhile make the batter. Mix almond flour with vanilla, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the egg, coconut oil and coconut milk.
          • Place the blackberries among the apples in the skillet. Pour the batter on top if the fruit until it covers the surface. It is okay if there is small cracks where the fruit can release some moist.
          • Bake in the oven for 15-20 min. depending on your oven. The cake should be golden brown on the entire surface and the batter just set.
          • Serve the cake while it is still a little warm with a dollop of yoghurt, whipped cream or splash of coconut milk – and maybe a few fresh black berries on top.. Enjoy.
          • You can  alternatively use an normal skillet to saut © apples in and afterwards bake the cake in a pan

          5. Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes

            Serves: 12
            Ingredients: 
            Cupcake:
            • ¾ cup almond flour
            • ⅓ cup + 3 tablespoons tapioca flour
            • ¼ cup coconut flour
            • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
            • ¼ teaspoon salt
            • Zest from one organic lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
            • ½ cup (1 stick) grass fed unsalted butter, melted and cooled
            • ¾ cup maple syrup
            • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
            • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
            • ½ cup coconut cream
            Frosting:
            • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
            • ½ cup raw honey
            • 2 Tsp vanilla
            • 4 Tbsp tapioca flour or arrowroot flour
            • 4 Tbsp coconut flour
            • 2-3 tablespoons blackberry puree {see below for recipe or use blackberry jam}
            • ¼ tsp sea salt
            Topping:
            • 12 blackberries
            Blackberry puree:
            • ¼ cup of fresh or frozen blackberries
            • 2 tablespoons honey
            • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
            Instructions:
            Cupcakes:
            1. Preheat the oven to 350° F degrees. Line a 12-cup cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
            2. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
            3. In a large bowl whisk butter, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla and coconut cream together until smooth.
            4. Add the flour mix into the butter mix and stir until *just* combined; do not over mix. The batter will be very thick like pudding.
            5. Divide the batter between 12 liners in your cupcake pan. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
            Frosting:
            1. In a mixing bowl, combine everything except the blackberry puree
            2. Blend with an electric mixer or hand mixer on medium until well combined
            3. Drop in blackberry puree by tablespoons while mixing on high.
            4. Mix until whipped together
            5. Put into a piping bag and top cupcakes.
            6. Add a single blackberry to frosting.
            7. Store in refrigerator covered for up to 2-3 days
            Blackberry puree:
            1. Add all ingredients to blender and puree.
            2. Add to a small saucepan and simmer for 8-10 minutes until thickens
            3. Remove from heat and let cool before using.
            4. Store extra covered in refrigerator up to 1 week.

            6. No-bake Strawberry Cheesecake Jars

              Ingredients:
              For the graham cracker bottom
              1. 1 cup (230 g) store-bought gluten-free graham cracker crumbs (see Notes)
              For the filling
              1. 1 heaping cup (170 g) raw cashew pieces, soaked at least 4 hours or better yet overnight
              2. ¼ cup (60 ml) melted coconut oil
              3. 2 tablespoons canned full-fat coconut milk
              4. 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, dark
              5. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
              6. ½ cup (92 g) peeled and diced zucchini
              7. 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
              8. ⅛ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
              9. 1 to 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
              For the strawberry sauce
              1. 2 cups (16 ounces/455 g) strawberries, hulled and sliced
              2. 4 tablespoons (60 ml) raw honey
              3. 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
              Directions:
              For the filling
              1. Divide the graham cracker crumbs among four 8-ounce (240-ml), wide-mouth mason jars, reserving some crumbs for garnish.
              2. Prepare the Strawberry Sauce store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
              3. Drain the soaked cashew pieces and place them in a blender; process the cashews until they are somewhat broken down. Then add the coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Next add the zucchini, coconut sugar, salt, and lemon juice. For the lemon juice, add 1 tablespoon at a time; go by taste to make sure the lemon flavor is there but not overdone. Blend again until a smooth and creamy batter has formed.
              4. Then pour the cheesecake batter evenly into each jar, leaving about an inch of space at the top for the strawberry sauce. Place the jars in the freezer to set for at least 2 hours.
              5. Remove the jars from the freezer 15 minutes prior to serving to allow them to thaw. Use a big spoon to top each with a large dollop of the strawberry sauce, then sprinkle the reserved graham cracker crumbs on top for garnish. Store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Let thaw 15 minutes before eating.
              For the strawberry sauce
              1. In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the strawberries, honey, and lemon juice. Mash the strawberries together until they are combined with the rest of the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and continue to boil, stirring intermittently, until the mixture has reduced and thickened, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. If not using right, away transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

              7. Quick and East Dark Chocolate Mousse

                Serves: Serves 4-6

                 Ingredients:

                Avocado mixed with dates ,sprinkled with homey and coconut milk in organic cacao powder

                8. Paleo Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

                  Ingredients:
                  1. 5 tablespoons (2½ ounces/70 g) salted butter, plus more for greasing
                  2. 1 cup (7 ounces/200 g) semisweet chocolate chips
                  3. 2 tablespoons fine-ground blanched almond flour
                  4. 1 heaping tablespoon cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
                  5. ⅛ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
                  6. 2 large eggs
                  7. 2 large egg yolks
                  8. 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
                  9. ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
                  10. Hot water for the baking dish
                  For garnish (optional)
                  1. Cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
                  2. Arrowroot or tapioca flour for dusting (to resemble powdered sugar)
                  3. Fresh raspberries
                  Instructions:
                  1. Grease four 7-ounce (210-ml) ramekins liberally with butter; set aside. Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler over low heat or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir frequently, using a rubber spatula, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Remove from the heat and let sit until the bowl is relatively cool to the touch. While the chocolate is cooling prepare other ingredients.
                  2. In a small bowl, combine the almond flour, cacao powder, and salt. Use a fork to stir together until well combined; set aside.
                  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, coconut sugar, and vanilla until frothy. Use a rubber spatula to transfer and fold the chocolate into the egg and sugar mixture. Then sift the almond flour mixture into the chocolate and whisk until combined.
                  4. Pour the mixture evenly into the ramekins. Tap lightly on the counter to remove air bubbles. Refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes to set.
                  5. About 15 minutes before the 30 minutes is up, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Place the ramekins into a 9 by 13-inch (23 by 33-cm) baking dish and carefully pour hot water, can be tap or boiled, into the baking dish and around the ramekins until it goes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges look finished but the middle appears undone. Remove the ramekins from the baking dish and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
                  6. To serve: Slide a butter knife around the edge of a ramekin to pull the cake away from the sides, then turn it upside down over a plate and tap the bottom firmly until the cake slides out. Garnish with sifted cocoa powder, raspberries or any other desired toppings. Repeat with the remaining cakes. Store any leftovers, ungarnished, in the refrigerator for up to a day, then reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds before garnishing and eating.

                  9. Almond Strawberry Shortcake

                    Ingredients:

                    • SHORTCAKE
                    • 1½ cups almond flour
                    • ½ cup coconut flour
                    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
                    • ½ teaspoon almond extract
                    • ¼ cup coconut milk
                    • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
                    • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
                    • 1 pint fresh strawberries (I used Drisoll’s)
                    • COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM:
                    • 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight.
                    • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

                    Instructions:
                    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
                    2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond and coconut flour and baking powder. Stir in almond extract, milk, and maple syrup.
                    3. Drop in the solid coconut oil and quickly crumble through the mixture using your fingers. (Similar to what you do when making a pie crust.)
                    4. Once oil is dristributed throughout dough in smaller than pea size pieces, begin to form crumbly dough into a ball.
                    5. Flour the counter with some more coconut flour and dump the dough out of the bowl. Roll dough out until about ¼ inch thick. Cut out 3″ circles and place on a greased cookie sheet. (Should make about 6 pieces.)
                    6. Bake shortcake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Let cool on a rack on the counter.
                    7. Meanwhile, cut the greens off of the fresh strawberries and slice. Set aside.
                    8. To make the coconut whipped cream: scoop the top cream layer off of the chilled can of coconut milk. Place in a chilled mixing bowl and beat on high with a blender until it begins to get a little fluffy and forms soft peaks. (Add a teaspoon of maple syrup to the cream before beating if you want it a little sweeter.)
                    9. Assemble strawberry shortcakes by layering cake with strawberries and coconut whipped cream.

                    10. Flourless Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies

                      Ingredients:

                      • 1 large egg
                      • 1 cup (250g) honey roasted peanut butter, at room temperature (not warm)
                      • 1/3 cup (67g) light or dark brown sugar, lightly packed
                      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
                      • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-process can be used)
                      • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
                      • 3/4 cup peanut butter chips

                      Directions:

                      1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
                      2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until beaten. Mix in the peanut butter, then the brown sugar, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Mix everything together very well, then mix in the vanilla extract. Finally, fold in the peanut butter chips until combined.
                      3. Scoop the dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheet. Bake two batches – 6-7 cookies on each baking sheet each. Gently press down on the dough mounds with the back of a spoon. If you find the cookie dough balls are a little oily from your peanut butter– mine usually are– blot each with a paper towel.
                      4. Bake for 9-10 minutes. The cookies will look very soft– that’s ok! For crispier cookies, bake up to 11-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Sometimes I press a couple more peanut butter chips into the tops of each cookie immediately after coming out of the oven. This is optional and only for looks!
                      5. Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Baked cookies freeze well – up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well – up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.

                      Reference

                      [1] Wikipedia: Paleolithic

                      More by this author

                      Nena Tenacity

                      Nena is passionate about writing. She shares her everyday health and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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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!

                      More About Mental Strength

                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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