Wanderlist: 60 Cities To Visit Before You Die

Wanderlist: 60 Cities To Visit Before You Die

It’s never too late to go on a holiday you’ll never forget. Or 60 holidays! Here’s a list of 60 of the best cities to visit, according to tourists around the globe. It will give you a little glimpse of each location with three suggested attractions or activities that are a must-see (or do!) while you are there. Read on and maybe you’ll be a little inspired to start planning the ultimate holiday.

1. Los Angeles, USA


    Sunny LA with all its energetic buzz of dreamers and go-getters, it can be superficial but also multicultural and complex. Visiting Hollywood, the birthplace of the iconic Mickey Mouse, and taking selfies on the Star Walk of Fame are just a snippet of the LA experience.

    Things to do:

    2. Marrakech, Morocco


      Pulsating with stunning mosques, fascinating crafts and luxury living, Marrakech is a very popular destination amongst travellers. Whether you’d like to circle the Koutoubia mosque or enjoy a culinary high with a side of modern art, it’s all here from the exotic to the hypnotic.

      Things to do:

      3. New York City, USA


        If you’re a first-timer, go ahead and be as touristy as possible. Visit the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the Met, Central Park … But if you’ve got more time, be sure to delve into the neighborhoods because you’ll surely find quirky shops, delis and hole-in-the-wall bars. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to go behind the scenes here.

        Things to do:

        4. Chiang Mai, Thailand

        CNX Chiang Mai Waterfalls

          Chiang Mai is laid back, vibrant and reverential. Explore the famous Night Bazaar, the National Museum, and the Botanic Gardens to soak up as much of the culture and exquisite aromas of Thai orchids as possible. Spiritual vibes are also at an all-time high here with the city’s center being home to over 30 temples.

          Things to do:

          5. Budapest, Hungary


            Budapest is a gem of Baroque, neoclassical, eclectic and Secessionist buildings to satisfy the architectural cravings of its eager visitors. Not your thing? Well, Budapest has more to offer, from the poignant scars of war and history, to an abundance of thermal and mineral hot springs, so the options are numerous.

            Things to do:

            • Take a Danube cruise for a stunning panoramic view
            • Take a dip at one of Budapest’s famous baths
            • Walk across Chain Bridge and you’ll understand why it’s often called the ‘Pearl of the Danube’

            6. Krakow, Poland


              Krakow is Poland’s second largest city covering both banks of the Wisla River. To many first-timers it’s easy to feel at home very quickly in its old-world ambiance and charm. Old Town and Kazimierz’s streets are crammed with galleries, cafés, pubs and restaurants, all for your touristic enjoyment.

              Things to do:

              7. Saint Petersburg, Russia


                This is the Russia cultural heart, home to the architectural jewels of the Winter Palace and the Kazan Cathedral, with a side of the world-renowned art of the Hermitage. You’ve got everything from art and nightlife to fine dining here.

                Things to do:

                8. Buenos Aires, Argentina


                  This is the seductive and energetic birthplace of the tango, with atmospheric neighbourhoods bursting with romantic restaurants and pumping nightlife. Embellished with European heritage in the architecture, boulevards and parks.

                  Things to do:

                  9. Florence, Italy


                    The dream of every art historian, this city is filled with the work of Michelangelo, which grace the walls of the Basilica di Santa Croce. The city appeals to photographers with its stunning views, and Tuscan cuisine is the cherry on top.

                    Things to do:

                    10. London, England


                      The ultimate cocktail of history, art, fashion and food in one place, that’s London! There’s a little something for everyone from the Tate Modern and the Royal Opera House for the art fanatics, Oxford Street shops for the ones willing to splurge, and Abbey Road and the Sherlock Holmes Museum for the music and book lovers.

                      Things to do:

                      11. Riga, Latvia


                        This city is the largest metropolis in the Baltics and it’s a compelling mix of Latvian traditions and influences from various other countries. Riga is funky and vibrant, trapping travelers long past their departure date. Riga manages to combine its steeples and turrets with an irresistible nightlife and restaurant scene. Old Town, once dubbed the ‘Paris of the East,’ is filled with lavish glass hotels and business centers.

                        Things to do:

                        • Visit the living history of Old City
                        • Take part in a day tour around the city
                        • Go shopping at the Central Market

                        12. Montreal, Canada


                          The Quebecois cosmopolitan center, Montreal is home to an alluring mix of cuisine, festivals and culture with its irresistible pastries, breathtaking heritage such as the Notre-Dame Basilica, and its winter wonderlands of nearby ski resorts and ice hotels. Despite its modest size, it’s packed and you don’t want to miss out on it.


                          Things to do:

                          13. Berlin, Germany


                            A sobering and edgy reminder of the postwar atmosphere, from its fashion to its architecture to its history. But Berlin is a combo of museums, galleries, operas, guerrilla clubs and snack shacks that go beyond its dark history, making it almost reminiscent of 1980s New York.

                            Things to do:

                            14. Lhasa, Tibet

                            Lhasa Tibet China 11

                              The heart and soul of Tibet, deep in the Himalayan mountains, Lhasa remains to be a city of ancient wonder despite the modern Chinese influence. Its streets are bustling with people from all around the world and the city has become a cultural hybrid. Being seen as the ‘real Tibet,’ Lhasa deserves a week of exploration to fully capture the vibes it possesses.

                              Things to do:

                              15. Cape Town, South Africa


                                Known as the ‘Mother City’ with all of Mother Nature’s beautiful wonders, the proudly multicultural community that coexists in harmony gives Cape Town an exotic and delicious touch. The Table Mountain National Park is the most important attraction and in essence defines the city as a whole, and the gorgeous metropolis is filled with chalets, parks, Afro-chic decor and restaurants for all tastes.

                                Things to do

                                16. Siem Reap, Cambodia


                                  Being one of the largest religious complexes in the world, Siem Reap has become one of the most popular destination for tourists worldwide. The home of the temples of Angkor, Cambodia’s eighth wonder of the world, has reinvented itself into becoming the epicenter of the new Cambodia. With its temples, history, shopping stalls, food vendors, and  world-class spas, you might want to spend a little more than just a couple of days here.

                                  Things to do:

                                  17. Skopje, Republic of Macedonia


                                    One of Europe’s most riveting and multifaceted cities, with a very historic vibe derived from all that survives from Skopje’s Ottoman and Byzantine-era–from hand-carved ornaments to fortresses. This is accentuated with a very contemporary culture with its bars, clubs and galleries.

                                    Things to do:

                                    18. Istanbul, Turkey


                                      Istanbul is one of the hottest tourist attractions around nowadays. With its mosques, bazaars, Turkish baths, restaurants, galleries and clubs, it’s been dubbed the ‘World’s Hippest City.’ There’s plenty to keep you busy during the day, from sightseeing to getting the ultimate Turkish treatment at a spa, but at night there’s this joie de vivre sensation throughout when the clubs and restaurants are buzzing with action.

                                      Things to do:

                                      19. Hanoi, Vietnam

                                      Hanoi the huc bridge

                                        This exotic city blends medieval and modern as they co-exist in an urban center with Parisian chic and Asian pace. Having survived American bombs and Russian planners, Hanoi re-emerged after economic reforms and is now scattered with huge mansions, grand boulevards, lakes, and parks, not to mention the 600 temples and pagodas. The City of the Soaring Dragon awaits you.

                                        Things to do:

                                        20. Vilnius, Lithuania

                                        OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

                                          Curiously charming, eccentric and soulful. Lined with decadent and fragile Orthodox and Catholic churches, there’s more to this capital than meets the eye as the underlying magic is what creates its soul. The true essence of boho spirit lurks around the reminders of loss and pain that only make it more captivating.

                                          Things to do:

                                          21. Bangkok, Thailand


                                            Bangkok is split into 50 unique districts filled with golden palaces, porcelain inlaid spires, and floating markets and food stalls. The old districts still possess the grit that the city used to have, which makes them a must-see for any first-time visitors. Thai cuisine is one to marvel at too with its diverse sweet, spicy, sour and salty flavors.

                                            Things to do:

                                            22. Barcelona, Spain


                                              Barcelona is Spain’s most cosmopolitan city, with its avant-garde chefs and its flamboyant street performers. Once home to Picasso, Barcelona has been revolutionary when it comes to art and despite the seeming aura of hedonism, its people are very dynamic and hardworking. The capital of Catalonia could keep you occupied for weeks so make sure you pay it a good visit.

                                              Things to do: 

                                              23. Venice, Italy


                                                This is gondola central, with its canals, restaurants, romantic ambiance, Grand Canal palaces and marble churches. Venetians ignore the aqua alta and marvel in their paintings, wine, music and boho-chic trends. Always flowing with admirers at any time of the year, visitors appreciate its cuisine, art and espressos.

                                                Things to do:

                                                24. Dubai, UAE


                                                  Home to the tallest building in the world, the only seven-star hotel and the largest artificial islands, Dubai is the multifaceted cosmopolitan center of the future. Constantly full of surprises, Dubai is ever changing with its multiplying shopping malls, extraordinary architecture and delicious gourmet restaurants featuring a taste of places from all around the globe. In addition, you have the desert to explore: just rent a dune buggy and go crazy.


                                                  Things to do:

                                                  25. Miami, USA


                                                    Sun-kissed, sultry and shimmering. By day, it’s a must to hit the beach, walk about Miami’s colorful Art Deco architecture, or dare to hit the envious South Beach celebrity scene. West of the city is the Everglades, the most eccentric ecosystem in North America while to the North you’ve got the infamous Fort Lauderdale with its yachts and martinis. Miami is sweaty but glamorous and the party is always on, you take your pick!

                                                    Things to do:

                                                    26. Amsterdam, The Netherlands


                                                      History with an urban flair, that’s Amsterdam. The gentle canals are a beautiful backdrop for the Jordaan and Rembrandtplein Square, and no one should miss out on the most moving experience of the Anne Frank House. Amsterdam is cosy and surrounded with artistic treasures like the Van Gogh Museum. Although many tourists are only there to see the Red Light District, be sure to explore the rich history in all the houses that date back to the Golden Age.

                                                      Things to do:

                                                      27. Phuket, Thailand


                                                        With its colorful blend of cultures, rubber trees and tin mines, Phuket has attracted entrepreneurs from all around the world. The Old Town has become infused by current art, food and music and attracts a very hip crowd after having its shophouses and homes renovated. This is a surreal vacation that is perfect for the tourist on a budget.

                                                        Things to do:

                                                        28. Agra, India


                                                          The Taj Mahal is the magical destination that draws tourists to Agra like mad, but that’s not the only attraction worth the visit. There are also the fascinating tombs and mausoleums that are scattered around the city, along with the many vibrant and bustling chowks (the marketplaces).

                                                          Things to do:

                                                          29. Varna, Bulgaria


                                                            This maritime capital is by far the most interesting and cosmopolitan town on the Black Sea coast as it is a combination of port city, naval base and seaside resort. How could it get any more interesting? Beautiful enormous parks, historic feel, Roman baths, museums and a buzzing restaurant scene, that’s how!

                                                            Things to do:

                                                            30. Bali, Indonesia


                                                              The saying that the best things come in small packages is very true when it comes to Bali because it is more than just small, it’s an Indonesian paradise. Listening to your body’s needs and pleasuring it with a massage on the beach or a sybaritic spa is first on your travel checklist. Then comes the shopping, the cuisine and the beautiful, lively nightlife, you will never get enough of the frangipani trees or the enchanting temple ceremonies.

                                                              Things to do:

                                                              31. Brussels, Belgium


                                                                For every fan of the unknown, here’s a bizarre but interesting mix of French and Flemish and café culture. Renowned for great shopping, fab restaurants, sublime chocolate shops, and history dusted and polished into the walls of the historic and decaying buildings. Are you seduced yet?

                                                                Things to do:

                                                                32. Bucharest, Romania


                                                                  Most don’t speak too fondly of this capital, but it’s perplexing. That’s its point! It’s medieval and home to many of Romania’s most historic churches. This is the place to leave your comfort zone and just go exploring all the elegant vibes of the 20th century, French-influenced architecture. Stick around for more than a day, and it’ll just make sense.

                                                                  Things to do: 

                                                                  33. Lima, Peru


                                                                    Lima is for those willing to delve deep into a city to truly understand and unravel the beauty underneath the foggy and chaotic atmosphere. Lima’s beauties are humble, hiding amid the high rises where the pre-Columbian temples and colonial mansions lie. Lima also makes up for the aesthetics with a multitude of experiences, from museums filled with poetry to golf clubs and crowded nightclubs. This is what you’d call a hot mess, don’t miss it.

                                                                    Things to do:

                                                                    34. Zürich, Switzerland


                                                                      A major destination for all things shopping and contemporary art. Some say the city’s Protestant modesty is truly what saves it from getting just a little carried away with its vibrant collection of bars, restaurants and clubs with the most buzzing nightlife you’ll see. If it was once seen as dull, it surely isn’t anymore!

                                                                      Things to do:

                                                                      35. Shanghai, China

                                                                      China Shanghai town city blocks of flats high-rise buildings city skyline Huangpu river flow Pudong evening travel traveling

                                                                        Shanghai is the chance to acquire a taste of the past, present and future in one dynamic cosmopolitan center in the world’s fastest-changing nation. Exhilarating, and obsessed with the latest fads, fashions and technology, this city has got European-style cityscapes and a sci-fi skyline, so don’t miss out on it.

                                                                        Things to do:

                                                                        36. Kyoto, Japan


                                                                          Kyoto is the home to masterpieces of religious architecture, beautiful temples, exalted gardens and decorated shrines. There are said to be over 1,000 Buddhist temples along with a varied range of excellent restaurants, ancient specialty shops, and a feel for all the seasons in one.


                                                                          Things to do:

                                                                          37. Siena, Italy


                                                                            This Tuscan town will take you back in time with its marvelous marble floors, artwork and heritage from the Middle Ages. The city’s artistic glories are largely Gothic and that is transcendant in its cathedrals and the medieval tradition that involves bareback riders (dangerously) racing on cobblestones. It’s thrilling: a must-see for any avid traveler.

                                                                            Things to do:

                                                                            38. Dublin, Ireland


                                                                              Dublin wears everything on its Irish sleeve, from its fascinating history to its brilliant personality and with all Georgian elegance aside, Dublin is not like the other European capitals. It’s amiable and witty and leaves you all at ease with its charismatic and multicultural soul.

                                                                              Things to do:

                                                                              39. Hiroshima, Japan


                                                                                Despite its name evoking the memory of 6 August, 1945, Hiroshima has a lot more to offer like the Peace Memorial Park. But Hiroshima with its wide boulevards and laid-back vibes is anything but depressing. Take a couple of nights to check out its thriving community.

                                                                                Things to do:

                                                                                40. Cusco, Peru


                                                                                  Visit this cosmopolitan Inca capital with its cathedrals, temples, cobblestone streets, and most importantly the awesome llamas and alpacas. This city of the Inca Empire is the archaeological destination of the Americas, as well as the continent’s oldest inhabited city.

                                                                                  Things to do:

                                                                                  41. Glasgow, Scotland


                                                                                    Glasgow is edgy, Victorian and swamped with the best bars to tickle your taste buds. The hedonistic culture will encourage your nocturnal side and get you head banging along to the live music scene. The city is in the midst of a transformational era, and you want to be there for it.

                                                                                    Things to do:

                                                                                    42. Nadi, Fiji


                                                                                      This tropical paradise is very popular amongst travelers looking for a holiday of beautiful beaches and gorgeous ancient cultural sites around Sigatoka. Nadi is building its identity while incorporating elements of a city, a business hub and a tourist junction, and even if it never makes up its mind, you should still give it a visit!

                                                                                      Things to do: 

                                                                                      43. Oslo, Norway


                                                                                        This Norwegian capital has been here for a thousand years, how have you not gone there yet? It’s a visual delight when it comes to the variety of museums it offers, from Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream,’ to the unforgettable Viking Ship. There’s a rapidly growing café, restaurant, nightlife and opera, jazz and indie rock culture, so Oslo appeals to all the tastes out there!

                                                                                        Things to do:

                                                                                        44. Panama City, Panama


                                                                                          Home to the natural riches of Panama, with a thriving international banking and trade sector along with a sultry skyline of glistening towers, that is Panama City. The city has architectural, cultural and ethnic diversity, which means there is something for everyone. So with a little touch of salsa beats and adventurous activities from hiking through the rain forests or taking a train along the jungle, you’ve got yourself the ultimate Panamanian experience.

                                                                                          Things to do:

                                                                                          45. Havana, Cuba


                                                                                            The Caribbean’s largest city with its romantic vibes and contagious energy, 500 years of an exciting history has led to making Havana (or Habana) a culturally unique society. You’ve got mambo, salsa, Che Guevara, rum and the unconventional beauty it’s known for. Its appeal lies in the abstract.

                                                                                            Things to do:

                                                                                            46. Bruges, Belgium


                                                                                              A picturesque, fairy-tale, medieval town with dreamy, soaring towers and exceptionally photogenic canals, historic churches and whitewashed almshouses. The tourists never leave, but if you can visit midweek or in the gorgeous spring, you should have a little of its flair to yourself.

                                                                                              Things to do:

                                                                                              47. San José, Costa Rica


                                                                                                San José is often seen as a collection of outdated commercial buildings, but beyond this extremely superficial and uninformed analysis this is is a cosmopolitan city filled with department stores of all sorts, chic cafés, and fast-food restaurants making it the nation’s cultural hub.

                                                                                                48. Ljubljana, Slovenia


                                                                                                  Ljubljana is a delicious cocktail of German, Mediterranean and Slovene influence seasoned with the old town’s Baroque, Art Nouveau and Renaissance buildings. The biggest perk has got to be everything is such a short distance away, just go for a walk or take a bike! The ‘beloved’ city is also a student community, which means the alt-lifestyle gives it a different vibe.

                                                                                                  Things to do:


                                                                                                  49. Copenhagen, Denmark


                                                                                                    What was once a Viking fishing settlement has transformed into the “coolest, most cosmopolitan and most exciting” city in Scandinavia, while holding on to the traces of Norse explorers that keep its culture and history truly rich. Like all the best places, it has a blend of modern and historic, making it not just a great tourist destination but also one of the world’s most livable cities.

                                                                                                    Things to do:

                                                                                                    50. Rome, Italy


                                                                                                      Ravishing, radiant and remarkable, that’s Rome. The city will continue to amaze you every time you see the Colosseum or a breathtaking baroque church. It embraces its historic legacies, fine art and absolutely delicious food. Rome is intriguing and will have you experiencing excitement with all your senses.

                                                                                                      Things to do:

                                                                                                      51. Singapore, Singapore


                                                                                                        One of the most enjoyable, seemingly science fiction comic inspired cities in Southeast Asia from beginning to end. You begin at one of the world’s best airports and take a zippy MRT train line without a single care given for the traffic. Whether you’re up for a stroll through fashion emporiums and antique shops, or you’re more interested in the city parks or the city’s clubs, Singapore has got it all. The city is colorful, soulful and has a thriving creative environment!

                                                                                                        Things to do:

                                                                                                        52. Lisbon, Portugal


                                                                                                          Indulge in fresh pastries, window shopping, espressos and the warmly lit 1930s-era cafés, or take a walk along the seaside. At Bairro Alto you’ve got many restaurants with jazz and reggae vibes filling the air and nightclubs scattered all over the town. Lisbon’s Gothic cathedrals, monasteries and museums all accentuate this lovely city.

                                                                                                          Things to do:

                                                                                                          53. Split, Croatia


                                                                                                            Within the atmospheric walls where Split came to life, you’ve got a balance of tradition and modernity with many many bars, restaurants and shops. Its coastal mountains are the perfect backdrop to the Adriatic, where you can chill and appreciate the cityscape. While people used to cross Split to get where they wanted to go, the city has renovated itself to become exactly where people want to be.

                                                                                                            Things to do:

                                                                                                            54. New Orleans, USA

                                                                                                              Vibrant, old-school and filled with precious architecture. After Hurricane Katrina broke the levee, New Orleans has managed to rebuild itself with echoing sweet jazz and blues beats, spontaneous dancing and mouthwatering aromas from unexpected corners. It’s a great city for late afternoon walks, meant for the ones willing to admire its subtle charm.

                                                                                                              Things to do:

                                                                                                              55. Cairo, Egypt


                                                                                                                This constantly pulsating and hypnotizing metropolis will surprise you with the chaos at your arrival, but soon you’ll get drawn way too deep. As long as you’re not looking for solitude, the City of the Thousand Minarets is the perfect place to explore and experience Egyptian history and culture.

                                                                                                                Things to do:

                                                                                                                56. Sydney, Australia


                                                                                                                  Sydney is attractive at any time of day, so keep your eyes wide open! It’s famous for its National Parks and its super eventful evenings of undercover bar hunting, sporting events to support, underground bands to check out or a super crazy party to crash. The city’s glamorous but oh-so-casual at the same time making it such a relaxed but vibrant environment. Everybody loves to tan at the beautiful golden beaches, enjoy the exciting food scene and explore the very subtle touches of history.

                                                                                                                  Things to do:

                                                                                                                  57. Seoul, South Korea


                                                                                                                    Seoul is a very interesting mix of everything from night markets to the infamous K-Pop, but of course it goes beyond what we all vaguely know about it. The city is filled with temples, skyscrapers and majestic palaces everywhere in addition to the 21st century urban edge in design and culture. Ten and a half million people reside in this metropolis and it almost never goes to sleep because the day is for a lovely morning visit to a temple followed by a visit to a teahouse, and the night is for the night markets and the Hongdae or Itaewon party life!

                                                                                                                    Things to do:

                                                                                                                    58. Milan, Italy


                                                                                                                      The world’s top fashion capital means glamor, grace and Gucci. Milan is a well-dressed and chic engine room for the country’s economy. Filled with true treasures like da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” showing just how much Milan’s creative ‘streak’ has an impact. Everyone has been here on the runways from Prada to Versace to Dolce & Gabbana, so why not get dressed up and come along?

                                                                                                                      Things to do:

                                                                                                                      59. Chicago, USA


                                                                                                                        The Windy City will blow you away, trust me. There’s always something going on here, from high-flying architecture to peanut butter and banana topped waffles for breakfast, could things get any better? Chicago is great festivals and Lollapalooza is a must-see because when everybody’s head banging to the beat, you really don’t want to miss out on the fun. Art museums come in all genres: impressionist, psychedelic or outsider? Take your pick! Chicago will surely keep you busy and entertained.

                                                                                                                        Things to do:

                                                                                                                        60. Prague, Czech Republic


                                                                                                                          Super bohemian and fairytale-like for the travelers who want to immerse themselves wholly into another culture. Prague is a European hotspot with art galleries ranging from Gothic pieces to collections of 20th-century surrealists, constructivists and cubists. The city is also quite famous for making some of the world’s best brews so grab a pint and head on an urban exploration of the alluring and rather quirky Prague.

                                                                                                                          Things to do:

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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.


                                                                                                                          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:


                                                                                                                          “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.


                                                                                                                          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.


                                                                                                                          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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