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7 Behaviors Most People Think Are Negative That Are Actually Healthy

7 Behaviors Most People Think Are Negative That Are Actually Healthy

The most healthy behavior is simply for you to be authentic. Yet often we avoid our own authentic behaviors thinking they are unhealthy ones. Your own mind and body know what you need. And if you need a reminder why it is important to follow your authentic self, look at these common behaviors which are often considered negative which can actually be healthy.

1. Anger

Anger is something many of us avoid expressing and yet it can often be very liberating. Being angry and expressing it in a healthy way can create powerful and positive change in our lives. Anger is simply a type of emotional energy that rises up in us when we have been wronged and a personal boundary has been crossed. That energy is set out on a mission to dismantle the inappropriate situation that has caused our suffering.

So, learn how to embrace that energy and put it to positive use. When you become angry, examine how you can express that anger in a positive way that will create change for the better. It is when we deny our anger and avoid it that it can turn into more unhealthy ways of being, such as rage or depression. Know that healthy anger is there for a reason, to be your protector and liberator.

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2. Being Lost

We are feeling lost when we have lost our sense of direction. Yet when we are lost, it makes us pay attention to the moment and to our instincts. If you have ever been lost in a big city or a foreign land, you likely also made some wonderful discoveries while trying to find your way.

The same is true for life. Be okay with knowing it is the journey that is important, and sometimes in being lost and going down paths we never would have thought to choose we find out things about ourselves that are amazing. We discover unknown talents in ourselves, and meet friends or allies who otherwise would have remained a mystery. Being lost now doesn’t mean you will be lost forever. It simply means you are taking your time in finding your way, and also allowing the world around you to give input into the path which is best for you. Often it is that input we never would have dreamed to ask for that sets us on our true path.

3. Crying

Crying, like anger, is a healthy human emotional response to certain situations. Although few of us would want to be crying all the time, it is important to honor those times in life which may bring us to tears. Those tears can be tears of loss but also of joy. When we cry, it helps our psyche unleash energy that if we were to hold on to may become toxic or make us rigid.

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Crying also softens our personalities as well as our appearance to the outside world, letting others know we feel, care, grieve and are effected by the world around us. So, crying not only lets us release our grief and sorrow, but also sends a signal to others that we are open and vulnerable as human beings, making us more attractive as friends and partners than those who never shed a tear for any reason.

4. Being alone

Being alone doesn’t have to be seen in a negative way and often can mean that we are just cutting off some of the not necessary social activities to dive into a deeper level of our being. It’s true that there are some situations where a person isolating themselves might be a reason of concern, but know as well that many of the worlds greatest artists, writers and thinkers found supreme value in solitude to find deeper inspiration and re-ignited their sense of creativity. Sometimes we just need to turn off the external stimuli and be with ourselves.

If you are feeling the need to be alone, trust and honor it. Sometimes a walk by yourself in the park, or even going on a solo vacation can lead to a level of self reflection that completely renews our sense of purpose. In some situations, the most healthy thing you can do for yourself is to be alone.

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5. Not listening

Not listening to others may often be seen as an anti-social or even arrogant form of behavior, and yet there are times when you need to just go on your own intuition and be free with what your inner calling is. Keeping your eye on a strong vision sometimes requires you to ignore or tune out those voices who may not understand or be in alignment with that vision. Trust yourself and know that if advice is being given to you there may be some very good reasons not to listen to it.

Not listening can also simply display a level of discernment, as we have all seen those people who listen to what everyone else tells them, and how they can often appear to be captains on a rudderless ship, lacking an internal strong sense of direction. Be wise and know when to listen to others and when not to. If that inner bell says to go on your own gut feeling in spite of what others say, then trust it.

6. Breaking the rules

Breaking the rules at times can improve your life, as well as the lives of others. Rules are made by people, and none of us are perfect. So, trust in your own ability to find the heart behind the rule, and then decide for yourself if that rule promotes the greater good. Most innovations in art, science and society happen because someone stopped abiding by the rules as they were written and had the courage to challenge those rules that were unjust. Some of the world’s great rule breakers were Rosa Parks, Gandhi, John Lennon, and Martin Luther King Jr. Don’t be afraid to be like them.

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7. Not fitting in

Not fitting in can be painful and awkward, especially during teenage years, but it can also mean you’re an innovator and that you have something to offer beyond the norm. When we fit in, it is usually because our thoughts, feelings and even our imagination is in tune with our community. Stepping outside that box of what others might expect of us can lead us into a place of not fitting in, but it can also lead us to explore outside the zone of commonly accepted beliefs and thoughts, which is the fertile ground for new ideas and new ways of thinking that beget innovation.

The future never fits nicely into the past, so embrace who you are in the now even if it doesn’t fit in with others. Know that your innovations may forge a new path that others may eventually follow.

Featured photo credit: Woman feeling so alone via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

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

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

1. The Inner Critic

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

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

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

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

2. The Worrier

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

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

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

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

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

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

4. The Sleep Depriver

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

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

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

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

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

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

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

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

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

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

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

For the Inner Critic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For the Worrier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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For example:

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

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

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

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

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

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

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

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

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

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

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

Breathe in through your nose:

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

Breathe out through your nose:

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

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

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

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

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

For the Sleep Depriver

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bottom Line

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

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

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

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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