Advertising
Advertising

50 Incredible Travel Experiences To Have Once In Your Life

50 Incredible Travel Experiences To Have Once In Your Life

Wanderlusters, what makes your heart rate speed up? Watching sunrise at Giza at the Great Pyramids? Or watching sunset over Tanah Lot at Bali? For all travel lovers, shutter-bugs and adventure seekers out there, here’s the ultimate list of incredible travel experiences that will blow your mind, change your world view and let you dig down deep into foreign culture.

1. Go on Safari in Tanzania

14727750033_c678c4db57_k

    Boasting one of the biggest and baddest national parks in Serengeti and 16 national parks in total, Tanzania is the perfect place to watch the annual wildebeest migration. Watching baby elephants playing with their moms and pops in the muddy Rufiji/Tarangire River is one of the epic lifetime experiences to keep in your memories bright for decades. Fees start from $60 per visit and you can check the full list here.

    2. Heli-skiing in Girdwood, Alaska

    5564901149_8052e779bf_b

      Now if you have enough skills and bald courage, heli-skiing is one of the life changing experiences! Named as best for “Off-the-beaten-path powder hounds with an aversion to glamour” by Nat Geo, Girdwood has loads of incredible hills and off-pistes where you can be the first one to shake off the powder. Day trips with 16,000-18,000 vertical feet of skiing guaranteed start from $1,275 per person.

      3. Drink beer at Oktoberfest in Munich

      245358696_5c5e10be4c_b

        The days when the Germans lose all their stiffness and the whole city Munich goes on one crazy beer party! Oktoberfest will start on September, the 19th this year and last till the 4th of October. Check out more details at the official website. Last year a liter of beer was priced around 10€ (~$11.77) on average.

        4. Throw tomatoes at La Tomatina in Spain

        156223672_d79dc4b8ae_b

          Spain’s brightest feast is held on the last Wednesday of August when the whole town of Bunol goes covered in gooey red tomato paste. Early in the morning many trucks full of ripe tomatoes arrive to the city center. As the first brave soul climbs up into the back of the truck and throws a tomato – the Biggest Food Fight in the World officially begins! Yet La Tomatina is not all about practicing your accuracy by throwing tomatoes at random folks. It is actually a week-long festival also featuring music bands, parades, dancing, and loads fireworks. Right on the night before the great tomato fight, everyone is invited to compete in a paella cooking contest. Participation fee: 10€ (~$11.77).

          5. Find your mojo at a yoga retreat in Pune, India

          11500903876_40f3eed96c_k

            Meditate with a view of gorgeous Lake Mulshi, while nourishing your body with special foods and your soul with healing practices. Yoga holidays will bring the much needed balance back into your life and allow you to discover something new about yourself. Besides, you can’t miss some of the most amazing temples in whole India – Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganpati and iconic ISKCON NVCC Temple!

            6. Take a pastry cooking class in France

            15151187420_ab7572325f_k

              Among the things French know best is how to create perfectly delicious, work-of-art-styled pastries, desserts and sweets! Step closer to the culinary magic and learn to bake macaroons or crunchy lemon tarts during your next visit to France. Best memories come in taste, right? Prices start from 95€ for a two-hour class (~$112).

              7. Meet the Moai at the Easter Island

              5803816395_6e9522e597_b

                One the mysteries the humanity failed to solve is who, how and why created a series of huge statues made of solid rock and how they were transported and erected at various places around the island? Spectacular Easter Island is 3,800km west of mainland Chile with flights from Santiago taking around five hours and cost 650€ (~$765) return.

                8. Marvel the Northern Lights in Sweden

                Northern lights

                  Get absolutely bewitched by this incredible phenomenon Mother Nature saved for northern dwellers! Green, indigo blue, yellow, purple – these are just a few colors to light up in the skies! Abisko National Park and Jukkasjärvi and the Torne Valley are among the best places to watch the wizardry happen!

                  9. Try new wine at Beaujolais days in France

                  SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

                    Yes, there’s a whole festival in France dedicated to the new wine, released each year on the third Tuesday of November, just a few weeks after the grapes were harvested. It’s actually not even one, but 120 festivals held all around Beaujolais wine region with the most famous one – Les Sarmentelles – held in the city of Beaujeu with numerous wine and food tastings, competitions, live music and dancing for five days straight. This year the celebration falls on November, the 19th.

                    10. Try on a mask at Venice carnival

                    Venice Carnival

                      Venice is a grand and elaborate city to visit at any time of the year, yet during the carnival it bursts with even more colors when the local crowd dresses up exquisite costumes and masks. Held from Jan, the 31st till Feb, 17th, there are numerous performances and parties you cannot miss! Check out the carnival program to find out the best dates to visit!

                      Advertising

                      11. Dive at the Great Barrier Reef

                      1218738518_90e50cef34_b

                        2,600km of fascinating coral formations of all shapes and colors, diving at the Great Barrier Reef is like getting into another universe! It does not matter whether you are a diving pro or are just planning to earn your certificate as the Great Barrier will leave you speechless in any case! Prices depend on your qualifications and start from $150 per diver.

                        12. Visit Hobbiton in New Zealand

                        15189132237_ad2126f010_k

                          Plunge into the magical world of Middle Earth at Matamata in the North Island of New Zealand. Whether you are a Lord of the Rings fan or not, you need to see those perfect little hole-houses of Shire hidden in the emerald sloppy hills! Tours start from $75 per adult.

                          13. See sunrise over Bagan Temples in Myanmar

                          5285298402_82d8f8c095_b

                            Imagine over 2000 temples, lying down in the valley hidden in the morning mist. As the sun rises, they slowly emerge from the white covers and turn deep golden. It looks so beautiful that it hurts!

                            14. Climb Iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge

                            4756831209_34f5b00324_b

                              Get magical views of the Harbour and Sydney Opera Theater by getting over your trembling knees and going all the way up the bridge! Guided climbs are offered daily by Bridge Climb Sydney starting from AU$ 148 (~US$ 128).

                              15. Bungeejump at Bhote Koshi River, near Kathmandu

                              sys_media_94209

                                Named one the longest bungees in the world as you jump from the bridge, right into a scenic 160 meter deep river gorge! Prices start from $145 per person.

                                16. Ride the Glacier Express in Switzerland

                                7156-glacier-express-grisons-switzerland-800x600

                                  The slowest, yet the most scenic train route in the world. Glacier express connects two major mountain resorts of St. Moritz and Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. You won’t get bored during 7.5 hour journey as you tour over 291 bridges, through 91 tunnels and across the Oberalp Pass on the highest point at 2,033m while watching (and snapping) breathtaking alpine landscapes outside the window. Get ready to pay $146.23 one way in 2nd class and $257 in 1st.

                                  17. Watch Komodo dragons in Indonesia

                                  5418187901_a981d8cb7c_b

                                    The largest lizard species to be found on Earth, more specifically at Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia. Witnessing those huge lazy fellows soaking the sun is merely spectacular. The biggest population can be found now found in Komodo National Park. Entrance fee – just $1.6, plus $4 for your camera.

                                    18. Hike Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia

                                    8680114145_315ddf3e40_k

                                      Just 150km north-east of Kuala Lumpur, Tamana Negara park is the place where you can still meet a family of elephants while wandering through 130 million years old rainforest jungles. The entrance fee is ridiculously low: 1RM ~ $0.28$, plus 5 RM: $1.4 for your camera.

                                      19. Take a boat ride down Ganges at Varanasi

                                      14720674016_6286fa8fc0_k

                                        The Holy city of Varanasi exists for 2000 years already. It’s a controversial, yet spectacular place where you can merely hop in the boat at one of the ghats and slowly sail along the shores to witness the whole cycle of life – from small kids learning to walk on the steps, to mid-aged men and women doing the laundry and bathing a few meters away, and finally funeral fires set at the most distant ghats where the passed-away are bathed in the Ganges for the last time and cremated on a holy fire. Prices for a boat ride highly depend on your bargaining skills, but shouldn’t be more than 250 INR (~$4).

                                        20. Spend a night at a deserted island

                                        DSC02484

                                          Basically, it could be anywhere in the world, but I would choose the Togian Archipelago in Indonesia. There are plenty of deserted, nameless islands around Kadidiri, including Karina beach islet where you can bathe at the shimmering golden waves at night when the glowing plankton comes close to the shores.

                                          21. Swim at the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

                                          Advertising

                                          5455740338_83c8f36725_b

                                            Needless to say how mind-blowing the views of the Singapore skyline are, right? Staying at Marina Bay Sands is a pretty expensive pleasure with prices starting from S$632 (US$ 479) per night. But it’s all worth to splurge at least once in your life!

                                            22. Watch sunrise and sunset at Uluru, Australia

                                            6866872250_79d5a6772d_b

                                              Witness the magic happen at the sacred Uluru stone in Australia as it turns deep brown and red under the first rays of sun. Come back at sunset when the monolith colors bright orange! A standard three day path costs $25 for adults and I bet you would return to watch Uluru color change each evening!

                                              23. Climb Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

                                              353570180_ffe68bd12f_b

                                                There are over 350 routes to hike up the iconic Table Mountain to get a bird’s eye perspective of Cape Town and nearby Atlantic down below.  A day entry pass costs 80 Rands, approximately $7.

                                                24. Admire Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

                                                5305112685_5ed7c79c51_o

                                                  Take a trip to the kingdom of ice and fire hidden in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Yellowstone National Park leaves you deeply enchanted with its wilderness and unique, out of this world scenery! The entrance fee is $25 for a vehicle and $12 for each visitor entering by foot, bike, ski or snowboard.

                                                  25. Swim at the Blue Lagoon in Island

                                                  9464129467_95079a311d_k

                                                    Dip your toes into warm turquoise waters at this incredible geothermal pool in Grindavík and marvel the incredible landscapes around while your body soaks and relaxes. A standard ticket costs 35€ (~$41.21) while premium packages can go up to 165€ ($195) per day.

                                                    26. Watch whales in the Gulf of St Lawrence, Canada

                                                    9579063711_9fc3673c10_h

                                                      Despite having a notorious history of whalers firing their harpoons here, St Lawrence gulf stays one of the best places in the world to watch seemingly smiling belugas and 25m-long blue whales! The peak season is May-September.

                                                      27. Observe mysterious Nazca lines in Peru

                                                      4444260010_11cb5ac83c_o

                                                        Mysterious ancient geoglyphs are another mystery mankind failed to unveil. There’s still no proven data on why and more importantly how, those peculiar images were drawn in the southern Peruvian desert about 400km away from Lima. Tour packages vary in price and start from around $180.

                                                        28. Explore the world’s driest place: the Atacama Desert in Chile

                                                        8671418273_04117c8572_k

                                                          Over a kilometer of sand stretched along the Pacific coast in Chile, Atamaca is known to have extreme temperature changes from -1°C early in the morning going up to 22°C by midday. Dress appropriately if you plan to explore Valle de la Luna with scenery similar to the surface of the moon or watch mighty El Tatio geysers. Tours start from $600 for a four day trip.

                                                          29. Take a slow ride up the Mekong in Laos

                                                          5889416373_dee63054ea_b

                                                            The life swirls around the Mekong in Laos! Take a héua sáa (traditional slow boat) to Luang Prabang from the Thai border town Huay Xai to spend the next two days watching how life goes on the shores and grab a few tasty delights from boat sellers approaching your vessel. One way ticket costs $20 per person.

                                                            30. Learn to dance salsa in Havana, Cuba

                                                            13339711855_62fb64d07c_k

                                                              Hop on the party vibe and learn to move the local way. Havana has vibrant parties held each other night at nearly each hole-in-the-wall bar where you can also grab a glass of fine mojito before going wild on the dance floor. If you feel like you need a bit of practice first, taking private lessons will cost you around $6-9 per hour.

                                                              31. Husky mush in Lapland, Sweden

                                                              sledge

                                                                If you are brave enough, learn to ride a sledge yourself and go onto a race through the gorgeous frozen lakes and woods in Lapland! Prices depend on the tour providers and typically vary around 700-790€ ($820-930) for a three day tour.

                                                                Advertising

                                                                32. Temple-gaze at Abu Simbel, Egypt

                                                                124924780_1df8287df6_b

                                                                  Did you know that Abu Simbel temples were actually built twice? Originally carved out of a cliff in the 13th century BC, the Great Temple and smaller Temple of Hathor were taken piece by piece and moved a few kilometers away in the 60s to avoid damage by the rising waters of Nile. Do not miss a spectacular light and music show held daily at 7pm and 8pm in winter and at 8pm and 9pm in summer.

                                                                  33. Climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

                                                                  15287168445_8c1520730f_k

                                                                    Hiking up over 6.000 meters will not be easy, yet if you can make it – this incredible experience will never bleach through the time. There are eleven main routes to attempt for reaching the summit ranging from 5 days up to two weeks. So it’s up to you to decide how much time your adventure will take!

                                                                    34. Go trekking around Annapurna circuit in Nepal

                                                                    8697137123_83ccb51731_k

                                                                      Arguably, one of the world’s most spectacular tracks taking around 24 days to walk in full. The landscapes constantly change from emerald green lush rice terraces at lower elevations, to the lunar terrain northern and finally to the range of 6.000-8.0000 meters high snowy peaks of Annapurna I, II, III and numerous unnamed, yet as stunning peaks out there!

                                                                      I highly recommend taking a bit practice at hiking lower terrains before making your first attempt to conquer the circuit as the temperature and elevation changes can seriously influence your well-being. The cost of the track will vary depending whether you are going to organize everything by yourself (around $20-30 a day) or take advantage of ready-made adventure tours (starting from $900 for 22 days).

                                                                      35. Visit Baliem Valley in Papua, Indonesia

                                                                      272951311_4727070e64_o

                                                                        A lush green valley with a population of indigenous people stayed undiscovered till 1945 when a plane crashed here by accident. The ways of life haven’t changed much since those days with local tribes still preferring peculiar traditional costumes to pants and sneakers and pigs being the main currency and estimate of one’s wealth. Visit the valley in August when all of the tribes gather for a huge festival to show off their archery and skills.

                                                                        36. Walk along the Great Wall of China

                                                                        896744048_ca2aab218d_b

                                                                          Set foot onto the mighty walls protecting the ancient empire and walk as far as you can to sense the glory of this epic UNESCO sight! It will be hard to walk it in full, yet you can always come back once again for more! Entrance fee: 45 RMB (~$7.30).

                                                                          37. Sneak to Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan

                                                                          8525547622_32bc2df1d8_k

                                                                            One of the world’s most remote temples, the Tiger’s Nest (or Paro Taktsang) is all worth of time and efforts to get there. Not only is it stunningly beautiful and serene, but it gives you a chance to uncover yet another secret of happiness that Bhutanese people know.

                                                                            38 Try on a maiko or geiko outfit in Kyoto, Japan

                                                                            15917548506_a0696cb765_k

                                                                              Getting wrapped up in layers of breezy silk, your hair decorated with elaborate accessories and face make-uped till you barely recognize yourself is a fun and unusual experience to have in the Land of the Rising Sun. Now you may need a bit of a practice to walk with grace in traditional wooden shoes and obi kimono, but it’s all worth the time till you get carried into the Diary of the Geisha atmosphere at narrow Kyoto streets. Dressing up and a pro photo-shoot will cost you around 9500 yen (~$80).

                                                                              39. Marvel the palaces in Lhasa, Tibet

                                                                              10566067003_ca005bb41b_k

                                                                                Imposing Potala Palace will carry you away with its numerous stairs, elaborate hallways and spectacular views of the Himalayas. Unfortunately you are not allowed to snap pictures inside, so keep your eye open wide and embrace each detail! Visitors are restricted to just 2.300 a day, so you need to come early and get in line for the tickets: RMB 100 (~$16.15) in slack season (from December till May 1st); RMB 200 (~$32.30) in peak seasons (from May 1st to November).

                                                                                40. Ride the Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia

                                                                                125083668_20cc78b716_o

                                                                                  Board the train in cosmopolite Moscow to step out in a week at the Japanese seashore at Vladivostok. Alternatively, you can take a connecting branch heading to China, Mongolia or even North Korea. There’s no right way to take the route – hop off at Lake Baikal or Ulan Ude, connect to the next train heading to Beijing or ride it the reverse way! The adventure can last as long as you desire. A bunk at a 4 bed sleeping compartment from Moscow to Vladivostok will cost you $640 one way.

                                                                                  41. Cross the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia

                                                                                  6641065685_928608ecd7_b

                                                                                    If you ever wondered where the sky meets the earth, it’s here at the Salar de Uyuni – a 9,000sq km mirror made of salt platters covered with water in rainy season (December to April) or becoming an arctic white patchwork desert during dry season. The nearby town Uyuni is 10-12 hours away by bus from La Paz or 7 hours by train from Oruro.

                                                                                    Advertising

                                                                                    42. Snorkel with manta rays in Bora Bora, French Polynesia

                                                                                    3840411214_4ccdc49a54_o

                                                                                      Bora Bora looks likes like a heaven on earth even without going underwater. Yet, you’d better not spend all your days beach bumming as the underworld has incredible treasures hidden for you! Grab your gear and get close to the huge floating beasts living in the nearby waters. Don’t get too surprised when you find yourself surrounded with fish of all shapes and colors and meet the eagle, bat and manta rays!

                                                                                      43. Meet mountain gorillas in Rwanda

                                                                                      5355541430_f17ac9fb7e_b

                                                                                        Step deep in the lush moisture jungle and track a few kilometers before all of sudden you bump into a family of gorillas leisurely playing at the lake shore. As there are just around 700 mountain gorillas left in Rwanda and Uganda, there’s not much time left to experience this adventure! Entry permits to track cost $500 and entail a group pass for eight people, supervised by a ranger.

                                                                                        44. Get carried away at Machu Picchu in Peru

                                                                                        2115782565_44842e6f30_b

                                                                                          It may sound like a popular tourist place, but you cannot skip seeing the great Inca temples once in Peru. Get lost among numerous polished dry-stone buildings erected centuries before concrete and cranes where invented, yet still standing tall and shining gloriously in the sunset rays. As visitors are restricted to just 400 a day you should plan you visit and purchase a ticket at the selected date in advance at the official website.

                                                                                          45. Visit a tea ceremony in Japan

                                                                                          3319472780_3fd99559f3_b

                                                                                            The art of the traditional tea ceremony rules have not changed much since the Emperor days. The way how a tea ceremony is performed depends of the time of the day, season, venue and other considerations. All the guests have to take a sequence of special rituals before entering the tea house and keep a special code of conduct during the two-hour (or even four hour) ceremony. You can attend a guided ceremony where you will be explained all the subtleties at numerous venues in Tokyo. Prices start from 8.000 yen (~$68) per person.

                                                                                            46. Catch the sunrise at Taj Mahal in Agra

                                                                                            KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

                                                                                              A symbol of eternal love and devotion, the Taj Mahal gets fabulously colored during early morning hours. Besides, it’s one of those times when you can see the least crowds. Entrance fee: 750 INR for foreign tourists (~$12).

                                                                                              47. Admire Michelangelo paintings at Sistine Chapel, Vatican

                                                                                              5981401358_4fb03c7736_b

                                                                                                How many hours can you spend marveling the paintings before your neck stiffens and your head starts to go round from this insane, dazzling beauty a genius once managed to create? The full admission fee is 16€ ($18.84) with discounted rates offered for youths and scholars.

                                                                                                48. Treat yourself with spa at Bodrum, Turkey

                                                                                                6184534023_cceaf08532_b

                                                                                                  Constant adventuring can be exhausting, right? And once in a while we all just wish to get a relaxing nourishing holiday before getting back on track. LifeCo at Bodrum offers incredible spa and detox programs, developed by a world-known specialist Amanda Hamilton starting from 913$ per week of messages, relaxation and luxury care. Besides, you can’t miss splashing in turquoise waters of the Mediterranean and work on your tan on the white sand beach nearby.

                                                                                                  49. Meet sunrise over Angkor Wat in Cambodia

                                                                                                  15390171420_fa092820af_k

                                                                                                    Again, the temples of Agkor are a pretty well-known destination, yet by no means it devalues their majesty! Get up early and head across the moat to catch the mind-blowing view of the temples reflected in the golden lake waters. Entrance fees: one day pass – 20$, three day pass valid for a week – 40$ and seven day pass valid for a month – $60.

                                                                                                    50. Step close to the edge at the rock city of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

                                                                                                    12244369666_ccadda3547_k

                                                                                                      Built in the 5th century AD inside a 150 meter solid rock, the city of Sigiriya was once inhabited by ancient kings and afterwards Buddhist monks. Get lost in the numerous gardens and secret passageways before making your way to the very top where dazzling views of the nearby planes open up! Not to miss ancient mural painting in the inner caves.

                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Patrick Nouhailler via flickr.com

                                                                                                      More by this author

                                                                                                      Elena Prokopets

                                                                                                      Freelance Writer

                                                                                                      7 Ways To Learn a Foreign Language Faster (That Are Backed by Science) 22 Amazing Pineapple Health Benefits (With Simple Pineapple Recipes) 15 Cool And Practical Apps For Couples 14 Things No One Tells You About Being in a Long-Distance Relationship 9 Tips to Prepare For Your First Multi Day Hike

                                                                                                      Trending in Leisure

                                                                                                      1 5 Best Free Websites To Learn Photography Skills Easily 2 World’s 30 Coolest And Most Unusual Hostels You Definitely Need To Visit 3 Beauty Hacks: 25 Smooth Shaving Tips for Women 4 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are 5 30 Inspirational Songs that Keep You Motivated for Life

                                                                                                      Read Next

                                                                                                      Advertising
                                                                                                      Advertising
                                                                                                      Advertising

                                                                                                      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.

                                                                                                      Advertising

                                                                                                      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:

                                                                                                      Advertising

                                                                                                      “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.

                                                                                                      Advertising

                                                                                                      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.

                                                                                                      Advertising

                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                      Read Next