Addiction isn’t what we think it is… I am so happy and relived that the perspective of psychology is finally changing!
Coping with stress as a student
A big stress factor, especially for students, is the fear of rejection or the fear of not fitting in. This inability for coping with stress comes from a negative self-image and self-rejection. We project our fears and beliefs about ourselves onto some outside “movie”.
How you judge yourself, is how you expect others to judge you. You change your fear of rejection, by improving your self-image. Just accept who you are and say empowering words to yourself like “I am a loveable person and other people like me”, or whatever it that makes you feel good about yourself.
Visualise a positive and exciting picture
When coping with stress, try to visualise a positive and exciting picture about connecting with new people. That will create positive emotions, instead of stress and anxiety, when it comes to interacting with the new group.
Trying even harder to fit in, doesn’t work! Because the opposite of fitting in, is belonging and that’s what you are actually after. To belong and connect is the underlying feeling, that makes you try to fit.
Belong to yourself first
If you want connection, you first have to belong to yourself, by being true to yourself. Stop trying to fit in, show yourself, speak your through and just be who you are.
When you are yourself, other people will show themselves too and that’s when real connection is happening. This will help with coping with stress as a student.
The key to Empower Yourself is Self- awareness
Self-confidence and trusting yourself is key for self-empowerment. Through self-awareness you become self-confident and capable to honestly trust yourself.
The essence is Self-responsibility
Take full and complete control and accountability for your own life and circumstances. Make your own choices and decisions. Live to your own values. Set your own boundaries.
What we need to do, is take a break and stop when it’s too much. Free yourself from the anxiety of living up to the expectations of others. Live your own truth. Experience the joy of being yourself.
It’s also very important and empowering, to ask for help when you need it. Because this is what helps empower you and reach your goals.
Create a Self- empowering and positive mindset
Take control of your life. Let go of the victim mentality and see yourself as the creator of your own life.
That includes letting go of the past and your internal story. Self- empowerment and a positive mindset can only come through self-acceptance and a positive self-image.
In conclusion, you can create a positive and successful story in your own mind and let your subconscious manifest it on the outside. Switch from “I can’t to I can”, stay open for new possibilities and take action.
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How to overcome your fear and start living life
Did you know that fear is the core source of many emotional illnesses. Learning how to overcome your fear will help stop issues like anxiety, self-doubts, negative thinking, depression, wrong decisions and any self-limitations. It’s basically the main thing that’s stopping you!
Here’s how to overcome your fear
If you are scared of something for a long periods of time. Your fear will turn into automated thought patterns and behaviours that may lead you to avoid situations or into defence mechanisms that distract your perception of reality.
The reason why you’re struggling to overcome your fear, is because you stopped dreaming big and dared to live your dream! This isn’t because your not intelligent or creative enough. It is also not because your not good enough or because you can’t do it. It is because you let your fear win.
You actually have lots of good ideas, but you are too scared to act them out so you rather stay in your safe comfort zone instead of creating the life you want to live. That’s not just me saying that, but evidence from many different studies.
Whether you are scared of the unknown
Whether you are scared of the unknown or of death, flying, failure, or breaking out of the social norms. By quitting your 9 to 5 job and doing what you want to do. Or maybe leaving your relationship. Speaking up for yourself… We all know how it feels…it sucks and it holds us back from what we actually want.
Fear can take two different paths in the brain
Fear can take two different paths in the brain: The short cut or the long road. The shortcut activates your fight or flight response, where your logical thinking is shut down and you instinctively react. When fear takes the long path in the brain you can still think logically, but you automatically try to consider every option that could possibly happen.
Imagine you hear an unknown noise at home, that wakes you up in the middle of the night. If your fight or flight response kicks in, you would expect the worst case scenario and automatically jump out of bed to protect yourself.
If your fear takes the long path, your alertness kicks in and you automatically think about all the different options that it could be before you actually act out on in.
Either ways your thoughts take control over you, but it should be the other way around. How to overcome your fear if you really want to win the mental game.
How to control your fear mechanisms
You’ll need to learn how to control your fear mechanisms. Positive thinking alone doesn’t help. You actually have to take action and reprogram your brain. But a positive mindset is definitely key and a requirement in order to dare to become active.
To overcome your fear follow these 3 Steps:
- Define your fear
- Reprogram your brain with different thoughts
- Rebuild the neutrons in your brain by taking action in direct opposition to your fear
The whole process doesn’t happen overnight. Learning how to overcome your fear can be mastered by anyone. Your brain is a muscle, so you need to train it. Only persistence creates existence.
If we never learn how to reprogram our brain to overcome our fears, we will never be able to be successful with our missions in life. You are stronger than your fear!
How to turn expectations into goals. An expectation is to have an imaginative construct in our own mind, where we map out the desired outcome of a situation, or perhaps we place an expectation on another to become someone we think they should be, or to behave in certain way.
By having developed this mental story or judgment we automatically attach an emotional value to it, (if this happens i’ll feel happy, if it doesn’t I’ll feel sad..) this makes us totally emotionally dependent on the outcome and by not meeting our own expectations we generally get all wound-up, frustrated or bitterly disappointed.
See, expectations come from a self-limiting mindset. Since we say “only if I achieve this or only if this happens” can I feel happy or satisfied. Well, you know those “only if thoughts” they’re just a little assumption that our mind automatically loves to do! These thoughts don’t actually serve us in any way, all they do is cause us stress and pressure.
Basically the higher our expectations are, the higher our stress-levels will be. This often feels very similar to anxiety or depression. I like to think of it as a mental stress filled frustration trap!
Having a goal is very different to having an expectation because it comes from a more positive mindset. You’re passionate about something you genuinely want to achieve in your life and you don’t just expect this thing to happen over night, but you’re willing to work towards it.
This gives you a clear direction to where you want to go, without making yourself emotionally dependent on the various outcomes. Instead of the “limiting only if mindset” we create a more open “oh, that would be cool” motivation mindset.
When we are motivated towards a goal our brain releases “feel good hormones” called endorphins and dopamine, which do more than only making you feel GREAT! They are also responsible for giving you the drive to achieve and perform, as well as improving your mental concentration and focus. That means that your brain will work under better conditions, which is helping you to reach your goals faster and easier.
You turn your “mental stress frustration trap” into a “mental motivation trick”, simply by changing the way you look at it.
Usually we are not even aware of how much we expect from ourselves and others, until we pay attention to it. Have a look yourself. What do you expect from yourself? What do you expect from your partner, friends and the people around you? Can you find any expectations that doesn’t really serve you, or which aren’t really that important?
Well, if there are, simply let go of them. Then you will probably have other expectations, which aren’t easy to let go of, because they are just important to you. Try and turn those expectations in a goals. You will decrease your stress hormones, feel lighter and more relaxed. Meanwhile, your brain can work under better conditions and make some magic!
So as an example, when I first started writing this blog post, I expected it to be pretty good, but that really puttee under pressure so I couldn’t even concentrate and didn’t bring a proper sentence out. I thought “oh no, I am trained to write as a scientist. I don’t know how to bring words to paper in an easy way, so that people actually understand it.
Because honestly this scientific language is just a pain to read. But the moment I changed my thoughts into “oh well lets just try to bring this message over somehow, so hopefully it’s gonna help someone.
I felt released and suddenly the words came out. I actually had so much fun writing this post in the end, that I just purchased an online course about writing…in a non-scientific way 🙂 So go and turn expectations into goals
Luckily science has been increasingly backing up the positive ways in which body and mind respond to nature. I am sure there are even more benefits than we know so far, but here is the latest research update:
– Better moods positively correlates with an increase exposure to sunlight
– Spending time in nature increases Vitamin D, which not only plays a role in mood regulation but can also decrease our risk of developing heart disease and the flu.
– Being on nature lowers our risk of getting sick due to indoor pollutants
– Spending time in nature has been linked to numerous positive mental traits, such as improved attention span, boosts in serotonin, and increased activity in areas of the brain associated with love and empathy
– Being in nature shows decreased activity in region of brain associated with depression and anxiety
– Spending time in nature shows decreased stress hormones and increased „healing hormones”
– Children exposed to the natural world showed increases in self-esteem
– Nature can significantly improve the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), providing a calming influence and helping them concentrate
– Exposure to nature reduces hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure), respiratory tract and cardiovascular illnesses; improve vitality and mood; benefit issues of mental wellbeing such as anxiety; and restore attention capacity and mental fatigue. – Feeling a part of nature has been shown to significantly correlate with life satisfaction, vitality, meaningfulness, happiness, mindfulness, and lower cognitive anxiety.