5 Times to Embrace the Power of Negative Thinking

9 Ways to Let Go of Stuck ThoughtsYes, REALLY.

My whole life I have been told to embrace the power of positive thinking. This was something a lot of adults said to me, a negative, nervous little girl, riddled with anxiety.

Well, that and “stop worrying or you’ll give yourself an ulcer.”

Thanks, Mrs. Nicholson! Ulcers don’t work that way! Anxiety is more than something other than an annoyance for you to deal with from 9 to 3! Fourth grade was a living nightmare and also I hate you!

19 Quotes For When Anxiety Feels Completely Overwhelming

The truth of the matter is this, our negative emotions are just as important in our lives as our positive emotions.

I know that I, for one, used to view my negative emotions as things that were “bad”, that I needed to change. But in his new book, The Power Of Negative Thinking, Dr. Tim Lomas shows what he’s learned over the course of his career thus far — and a big part of that is how our understanding our negative emotions and letting them be can actually make us much more happier in the long run.

Here are some examples of the physical and mental benefits of our negative emotions. Now if you will excuse me, while you read I will go have a good cry.

1. Pulling Away When You’re Sad

When you go through something like a big break up, or you’re mourning the loss of a loved one, it’s totally normal to retreat from the world, wrap yourself up in a blanket and lay in your bed with only Netflix and the delivery guy for company and comfort. It’s just as normal for your friends to try and break you out of your funk.

But here’s the thing, neuroscientists have found that when you retreat this way your brain is telling your body to go into its own very necessary form of hibernation. It’s doing what it needs to do to let you heal and to help you feel stronger than ever. Let the streets know!

2. Crying Your Eyes Out

I cry at the drop of the hat. Happy, sad, angry, I am prone to cry. I used to get frustrated about this because as a working woman it’s a tough enough struggle as it is already without adding an ocean of tears into the equation. Plus, crying when you’re say, having a fight with a partner, completely undermines you leaving both parties frustrated.

Luckily there’s science behind our weeping. Tears remove toxins (including stress hormones), kill bacteria, and keep our mucus membranes moist and lubricated, making our sight better than ever. You know that great feeling of calm after a bout of weeping? There’s biology behind it! Crying clears up your perspective in more ways than one.

3. Feeling Incredibly Bored

When I was kid I was constantly complaining to my parents about being bored. My dad would cryptically respond to my complaints with “talk to me in twenty years.” I know what he means now, and I miss those days where I had even an extra to waste on a feeling like boredom.

It turns out I’m pining with good reason. A scientist discovered a strange pattern in our brain activity when we aren’t engaged in a specific task. He called this pattern the Default Mode Network (DMN). Today neuroscientists believe that the DMN plays a critical role in our artistic ideas, new thoughts, and sense of self. In short, when you think you’re bored you are probably right on track to be struck with a brilliant idea.

TERRIFYING: This Is What Happens To Your Body When You’re Stressed

4. When You’re Lonely

There is a real difference between feeling lonely and enjoy solitude. In the fuss of our constantly connected age, now more than ever we need to remember not just how to disconnect, but how to be alone, enjoying or solitude without feeling “lonely.”

Enjoying solitude can allow for your brain to “reboot,” helps bolster productivity, and solve problems with greater ease. There’s more to enjoying a night to yourself than eating a pint of ice cream and watching Mean Girls, science says so.

5. Those Times Anxiety Strikes

Anxiety is something we all experience in one form or another. Unless you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, daily anxiety can be helpful in encouraging you to test your boundaries, push yourself, and to be better prepared to face adversity.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield calls this embracing the power of negative thinking, and he’s right. Rather than looking at any of these negative feelings as hindrances, we should start seeing all the ways in which these natural and normal emotions help us in very real ways every day.

This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: 5 Scientific Reasons Anxious, Negative People Are Actually HEALTHIER.Save


Do You Know What to Say When Someone Has an Anxiety or Panic Attack?

Panic AttackSaying the wrong thing can do more harm than good, but don’t worry! We’ll guide you on how to help.

As someone who suffers all too frequently with panic disorder, I can tell you that sometimes, there’s just nothing to do but get through it. Friends, and family may try to help but truthfully, they can make it worse.

If you haven’t actually had the experience of a panic attack (Congrats!), then you may not understand what the body goes through. Lucky for me (ha!), I can tell you first hand what an anxiety attack is like.

19 Quotes For When Anxiety Feels Completely Overwhelming

Have you ever had a drink of water and chugged it so fast, it went down your air pipe? That feeling of having to choke and not being able to breathe? Yes, well, that’s one part of it.

Ever feel like there’s a weight on your chest and your lungs are restricted? That’s another!

How about the sweats? Yup! Rapid cycling thoughts? Thinking you’re going to die when in practicality, you’re not? Nausea? Yup, yup, and yup!

Think only crazy people have anxiety? NOPE! According to National Institute of Mental Health, about 40 MILLION people, ages 18 to 54 within the United States, suffer with an anxiety disorder. If you’re not the one dealing with anxiety, then it’s likely you know someone who does.

There ARE ways to help! Be compassionate with the person, before, during, and after their attack.

You can offer to bring them to a place of comfort, outside of their trigger zone, if you’re able. You can try distracting them with a funny story, a cute anecdote, or something you know they enjoy, but try not to invoke an emotion other than happiness. Bringing up a story about their deceased loved one, even if in jest, could cause an even worse situation.

For me, drinking ice-cold water helps. I’ve talked to many people who feel the same way, an ice-cold jolt brings them out of their panic cycle and is calming. That may not work for everyone, so don’t go throwing ice at your friend’s face; just saying! (But you could suggest a cold shower. It’s been shown to help!)

Here’s the thing: You may think you’re being useful by saying certain common phrases that seem helpful, but they’re not. I’ve created a list of things people have said to me during a panic attack. Word of advice: Don’t say these things. But lucky for you, I’m also including some helpful ways to make the situation less awkward for everyone.

1. DON’T SAY: Just Relax.

I totally appreciate what you are trying to do, but telling me to relax has the complete OPPOSITE effect. Seriously, if it were that easy to relax, I wouldn’t be in the middle of a panic attack.

INSTEAD, SAY: Is there anything I can do to help you right now?

Honestly, just knowing we have someone next to us who’s understanding and willing to run to the store to get a paper bag to breathe into can do wonders!

2. DON’T SAY: It’s All Going to Work Out.

So, technically, you’re probably right. Everything WILL work out, most times. But saying that to me while I’m panicking just makes me feel like you’re dismissing me. At the moment that my head is spinning, I can’t think rationally. Despite all signs pointing to good things, I see it as DANGER DANGER. Thank you, but no.

INSTEAD, SAY: Whatever happens, we’ll figure out a way to make it right.

Even though it may be a situation that can’t be resolved, just being reminded in that moment that there’s someone willing to work with me on something, and even giving a glimmer of hope, helps TREMENDOUSLY.

3. DON’T SAY: It’s All in Your Head.

OF COURSE it’s in my head. Anxiety is a diagnosable MENTAL illness. That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. You telling me it’s in my head just makes me more embarrassed about what I’m going through!

INSTEAD, SAY: I’m here if you want to talk about what’s upsetting you and work through it.

Phew! I can’t tell you how many times a panic attack has been squashed just by breaking down all the moving parts into tiny fixable situations.

4. DON’T SAY: I Know How You’re Feeling.

Maybe you do. But more than likely, you don’t. Even those with anxiety may not know what I’m going through because the symptoms fall on such a large spectrum and vary person to person.

INSTEAD, SAY: I wish I could understand how you feel, but I don’t. I respect your feelings and will do anything you need me to do to feel better.

OK! So, obviously, I’m not going to be like, “I need a piece of cheese from Whatever County 100 miles away to feel better.” Even though cheese always does help. But knowing you’re willing to help makes things a bit easier to swallow.

5. DON’T SAY: There Are People With Bigger Problems Than You.

Yes, I’m well aware there’s starving children in the world and people with incurable diseases. However, when I’m in the midst of an anxiety attack, all I can think about is my little small world. Not only that, I have GUILT about feeling the way I do KNOWING I don’t have it that bad. But thanks for reminding me!

INSTEAD, SAY: Nothing.

I’d rather you be quiet than tell me about people who have it worse. There’s no way to spin that into something better.

6. DON’T SAY: You Have a Lot to Be Grateful For.

It’s very likely that I know all the things in my life I should be happy about. It’s also very likely that it’s those VERY things I’m worried about. Sometimes, I get into a panic just thinking about LOSING everyone I love, or even the roof over my head.

INSTEAD, SAY: Try thinking about the big picture here.

Sometimes, I get so caught up in all the tiny minutiae of life that it’s hard for me to remember that I have an entire world of good things. Just don’t TELL me I have good things. Walk around it. Just…walk around it.

7. WHAT NOT TO SAY: Want to Get a Drink?

This is tricky. Some people do self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, but that’s not how I roll. And even though a drink or two may solve the problem momentarily, it’s not a long-term fix and may even exasperate the condition even more. Don’t offer drinks, because the person you may ask might not be able to say no.

INSTEAD, SAY: Want to grab a bite to eat?

This is a good opportunity to be distracted by people, music, eating, and a perfect place to talk things over.

8. DON’T SAY: You’re Annoying!

Trust me, I’m just as bothered as you are. But as a friend or relative, it’s actually really rude and inconsiderate to say this to someone while they’re suffering. It’s harder on the person with anxiety than you. Be nice, and get over it!

INSTEAD, SAY: I wish I knew a way to make you feel better. If there’s anything I can do, just let me know!

It sounds repetitive, I know. But seriously, knowing someone is there to offer help in our moment of crisis means the WORLD!

10 Things Your Friend With Anxiety Wants You To Know 

9. DON’T SAY: I’m Going to Give You Some Alone Time.

That just makes us feel like we’re really alone, you know, when you leave us alone. Especially if we’re in a public place, don’t leave your panicked friend alone. Our minds are running wild and we need your support. If you don’t know how to handle the situation, your best bet is just to ASK the person what they need from you.

INSTEAD, SAY: Do you want to be alone? Do you want me to stay? I’ll do whatever makes you comfortable.

Because sometimes we DO want alone time, but not having someone just leave us in haste. Asking what the person wants is a good way to connect and open dialogue.

10. DON’T SAY: You Really Need to Try Yoga/Essential Oils/Chiropractor/Whatever.

Though I appreciate your sales pitch, I REALLY do, now is not the time. It’s like when I’m in the mood for macaroni and cheese and my husband says, “Oh, I’ll pick up some next week.” HOW DOES THAT HELP ME NOW? It doesn’t. So don’t do it.

WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Every situation is different. Every person handles anxiety in different ways. Offer your loved one a hand; don’t force contact, but let them know your hand is free. Call me crazy (actually, don’t!) but sometimes just holding someone’s hand can be more calming than any words.

This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: What You Should (And Should NOT) Say When Someone Has A Panic Attack.

Symptoms | Panic and Depression

Panic attacks are the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and includes at least four of the following symptoms:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
  • Chills or heat sensations
  • Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  • Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
  • Fear of dying
Panic Attack

Since many of the symptoms of panic disorder mimic those of heart disease, thyroid problems, breathing disorders, and other illnesses, people with panic disorder often make many visits to emergency rooms or doctors’ offices, convinced they have a life-threatening issue.

In the past it might have taken months or years and lots of frustration before getting a proper diagnosis. Some people are afraid or embarrassed to tell anyone, including their doctors or loved ones about what they are experiencing for fear of being seen as a hypochondriac. Instead they suffer in silence, distancing themselves from friends, family, and others who could be helpful. We hope this pattern is changing.

Many people suffering from panic attacks don’t know they have a real and highly treatable disorder.

If however you feel that panic disorder may be something you struggling with, please contact me and together we can determine the origin of your anxiety, working towards re-establishing you well being. I can help.  Contact me directly via my email.

Source : https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/panic-disorder-agoraphobia/symptoms


Seven Seconds to Success

seven seconds to successWhen you first encounter someone they make a decision about you in seven seconds. Beyond a first impression which is made during the first three seconds and is relatively shallow about your appearance and attractiveness, the next four seconds is where you seal your fate. Seven seconds is all it takes to make it or break it, whether it is during a job interview, sales call, or annual performance review. A lifetime of preparation can boil down to a seven-second encounter.

Why Seven Seconds?

All of us, admittedly or not, form an opinion about a person or business within seven seconds of coming in contact with them. Those hasty judgements we make have their roots in evolution. In other words, our primitive origins drive our modern day social interactions. In fact, evolutionary psychologists go so far to suggest that we make quick decisions now because we had to act fast in early times to not end up as dinner!

Our psychological make-ups have not changed while our environment and challenges have. In prehistoric times, you would have had to make a quick judgment about an encounter with an unknown animal to avoid being a snack. Today, you make a hasty decision about a new business partner, service provider, or even romantic interest to avoid being taken advantage of, or worse, physically hurt.

According to Mark Schaller, a leading social psychologist at the University of British Columbia, during that critical first seven seconds of contact, we subconsciously decide whether a threat might be present and if we want to engage with someone. In seven seconds we sum up a new person well enough to try to figure out if we are interacting with a criminal or a sociopath that might steal from us or do us harm, or a nice person we want to do business with, buy a product from, or even date.

Tips to Prepare for Your Seven Seconds

Your life is a series of seven-second encounters where the world is judging you. All day everyday people decide if they want to do business with you, hire you, date you, or even be your friend. So, how do you best prepare for those fateful seven seconds? How do you connect with someone in seven seconds?

  • Jog, bike, or walk on a regular basis.
    It is widely accepted that rhythmic exercise like running builds confidence, grooms effective leaders, and is associated with greater income. But, how? Exercise like walking and stair climbing are primitive. They are a central pattern generator (CPG) that once it starts it keeps going like a wheel and activates your primitive brain. While the body moves, the brain can do something else, such as listen to music or watch a television monitor.

    Think of a CPG as a liberator. It allows your brain to think, reflect and plan while your body does its thing. Any simple, easy rhythmic exercise calms your mind and decreases your anxiety. In the long run, it puts you in touch with your primitive, natural, and relaxed self that people will like and trust.

  • Mimic the other person’s body language.
    This communicates empathy. If the person you encounter is standing, then stand. If their arms are open and at their side, yours should be too. When we convey empathy we establish a connection and within seven seconds can begin to build a lasting relationship.
  • Quell social anxiety.
    As we saw above, regular exercise like jogging can help over time, but not always in the moment. The problem with anxiety is that nervousness conveys uneasy excitement to others. It is unnerving and will immediately turn people off to you. When you are anxious, forget seven seconds; you are done in less than three!

    The reason is that primitive man would have experienced anxiety to signal danger — a lurking predator for example. So when you are anxious you are signaling a nearby threat and people will associate you with danger. To appear less anxious, remember that anxiety is your brain playing tricks on you by overvaluing social encounters.

    To reduce anxiety, breathe deeply and maintain open-arms and tall postures to signal to your brain that there is no threat. Next, shift your focus from you to the other person. Be empathetic. Ask yourself, what is (s)he saying? Determine how (s)he feels. By focusing on the other person, you establish rapport and are now using anxiety to your advantage during each seven-second encounter.

Seven Seconds goes by in a hurry. But it is all the time we have based on how evolution wired our brains. Prepare for your seven seconds with rhythmic exercise to put your best foot forward and then use the easy how-to tips to make every seven seconds a success!


Seven Seconds to Success
Seven Seconds to Success
When you first encounter someone they make a decision about you in seven seconds. Beyond a first impression which is made during the first three seconds and is relatively shallow about your appearance and attractiveness, the next four seconds is…

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