|In a few days it will be the beginning of a new season, with all the changes that it entails. Now, let’s take the word change and apply it to our personal life to see how this simple word can have a huge impact on our well-being. Where does change begin? The answer is simple: our brain.|
|Boost your well-being this month by exploring these 5 ideas linked to your brain:|
|Action words: “When I change my thoughts, I change my life.”|
|Activity: Meditation. As it promotes concentration, it is a sure way to increase your brain power. Just a few minutes a day are enough for noticeable improvements.|
|Food: Blueberries. Because they are high in antioxidants, they help protect the brain and improve brain function.|
|Color: Indigo. Associated to the third-eye chakra, located between the eyebrows, behind the forehead, it is a part of the brain that can be made more powerful through meditation, and leads to greater awareness.|
|Sounds: Tibetan singing bowls. Listening to recordings of these sounds engages our relaxation reflex and can help to induce a deep meditative state.|
4 Steps to Healthier Behavior
Occasional rewards can help you stay on track when you’re working hard to make positive behavior changes. Here are steps you can take
Jump to: Motivate Yourself Reward Balance Self-Reinforcement Positive Activities
If you’re trying to lose weight, get fit, reduce stress or anxiety, stay sober, or manage any type of health condition, you know how much work it takes to change old, ingrained habits, set new goals, and commit to healthier behaviors. Ending old, ingrained habits and committing to healthier ones—like eating better, exercising more and following your doctor’s advice for better mental health—can be challenging to say the least and oftentimes it’s just plain hard to stay motivated.
Reaching your goals and feeling a sense of achievement are certainly the ultimate rewards, but as you’re striving to get there, the intangible reward of better health may not be enough motivation for you to keep up the good work.
“Most of us could use some tangible rewards from time to time, something to provide a lift and keep us going,” says Katrina Firlik, MD, chief medical officer of HealthPrize Technologies and author of Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside. “That’s especially true when the work we’re doing to stay healthy is difficult and seemingly never ends.”
One way to stay on track is to give yourself an occasional reward, something to mark milestones and celebrate the positive changes you’re making, big and small. Here are some ideas.
#1. Motivate Yourself from Inside and Out
Mental health experts use the terms intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) when describing motivations to act. Intrinsic motivation comes from within yourself, and often requires no more reward other than performing the act itself. Extrinsic motivation comes from somewhere outside of the act itself.
Think about it in terms of artistic endeavors. Your motivation is intrinsic if you find great enjoyment in painting a picture or writing a poem. At the same time, if your poem is going to be published, or your painting purchased, those are extrinsic motivations. In the same vein, many people find great satisfaction in helping others through volunteer work, participating in athletic events, or pursuing a career in a field of interest, regardless of the pay scale. If you are internally motivated to do something, there is often no need and no particular benefit to an external reward, because that internal reward of personal satisfaction is enough.
#2. Find Your Reward Balance
Life is a balancing act, however, and most people have both internal and external motivations for their choices and behaviors. And most people need, expect, and are motivated by the prospect of some type of reward for their hard work. You need to get paid, even if you love your job. You need to see results if you are making difficult changes in your lifestyle in order to lose weight, get fit, stay sober, or otherwise improve yourself.
When it comes to self-improvement, you already know good physical and mental health is your best reward, but you probably also know that it hasn’t always been enough to sustain your best efforts to change. You need more incentives along the way, something to help you stick with it. It can be as simple as remembering to pat yourself on the back or buying yourself a fun new pen, any small thing that feels positive and makes you feel good.Article continues below
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“When it comes to reinforcing new health-related behaviors, like taking a daily blood pressure pill, for instance, drawing on intrinsic motivation can be difficult, even though avoiding a stroke or heart attack should be reward enough,” says Dr. Firlik. “That’s when external rewards can be particularly helpful, especially in the beginning when you are first establishing a new habit.” Consider treating yourself to a frivolous gift from the pharmacy whenever you’re there on time to refill your prescription, she suggests, something like a fun magazine or a special bar of soap.
#3. Practice Self-Reinforcement
To help make positive self-reward work for you, make a list of things, big and small, that you will truly find rewarding. Keep that list handy so that every time you accomplish even the smallest thing, every time you meet a short-term goal, you can refer to your list. Rewards can be material things or activities. The best reward is one that brings you closer to your goal, like new workout gear when you’re trying to get fit. It’s important to reward yourself only when you’ve earned it, and to match the size of the reward with the size of your accomplishment, so you don’t run out of positive reinforcers and always have something to work towards, something to look forward to.
It’s also important not to choose rewards that could sabotage your long-term goals. If you’re in the process of losing weight, for instance, and you want to reward yourself for practicing portion control all week, it may not be a good idea (yet) to take yourself out to eat at a favorite restaurant. Instead, choose something non-edible, like an inexpensive new scarf or belt or other clothing accessory. On the other hand, if you are at a point where you can be satisfied with just a small serving of ice cream, or any small snack, lose the idea of “forbidden foods” and go ahead and give yourself an edible reward from time to time.
As you sense that your small accomplishments and changes in behavior are becoming permanent new habits, you can give yourself bigger and more trivial rewards. Buy yourself flowers, special beauty or grooming products, a massage, or a piece of jewelry. Take a day off from work for no reason other than to catch up with yourself. When your new habits are firmly entrenched, you can look forward to bigger rewards, like a a more expensive piece of clothing than you would normally buy for yourself or perhaps a long-dreamed of trip abroad.
#4. Choose Positive Activities
“You may find after time that you need fewer material rewards and more positive, routine activities to distract you from negative feelings and help you stay on your chosen path,” suggests Dr. Firlik. That’s good news! A positive diversion can be a new hobby, a new way to exercise, a group or club you’d like to join, a continuing ed class you now have time to attend. Smaller diversions can also help you stay on track whenever you’re feeling bored, upset or a little down. Again, keep a list of activities that you can refer to when you think your emotions are about to get the best of you and you need to focus your mind on something else. Some ideas include writing in a journal, calling a friend, taking a walk, listening to music, washing your car or your dog, or taking a trip to the library or a local museum or gallery. These small diversions can help change your perspective and tide you over until the negativity passes.
The Goddess Memoirs By Laura Zukerman
Working alongside a toxic person will take a toll on your psychological well-being. These strategies can reduce the damage.
While not every charming person you meet will be a sociopath, if you feel like you’re being manipulated, gaslighted, or otherwise messed with by an exceedingly lovely (read: cunning) person, it is possible you’re becoming the victim of a sociopath’s mind games. Or, at the very least, you’re being strung along by someone with those tendencies. This can be an incredibly disorienting experience, whether it’s happening in your relationship, at work, or in a friendship. So the more you know about sociopaths, and the faster you can get out of manipulative situations, the better.
But first, what, exactly, is a true sociopath? “A sociopath falls into the category of cluster-B personality disorders,” therapist Rev. Sheri Heller, LCSW, tells Bustle, adding that they’re similar to psychopaths, but tend to be less savvy and less polished — and thus easier to identify.
That doesn’t mean, however, that they can’t put you through the proverbial ringer. “Sociopaths are master manipulators and have a way of controlling others around them,” NYC-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, tells Bustle. “The way you dress to who you associate with can all be influenced by a sociopath,” without you even realizing it.
To help keep yourself out of toxic situations, here are some mind games sociopaths play, and other ways to spot them, according to experts.
1. They’re A Little Too Charming
A classic trait of sociopaths it that they “use charm and manipulation in order to get what they want,” board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Susan L. Edelman, tells Bustle. So if you’re speaking to one, it might feel as if they’re being a little too nice.
They have mastered the art of charming people to get their way. But one way to spot a lack of genuine kindness is to think about how it makes you feel. “At first, you may feel charmed,” Dr. Edelman says, “while later you’ll feel scared or confused.”
It’s important to trust your gut, especially when it comes to meeting new people. If someone is “too” charming or nice, you may want to learn a bit more about them, and take everything they say with a grain of salt.
2. They Show Zero Remorse
Let’s say you were to catch a sociopath in a lie. While most people would admit their wrongdoing and apologize, a true sociopath might go to great lengths to convince you you’re wrong.
“Over time, you’ll notice that this person is very comfortable lying to people and has little or no empathy for other’s feelings,” Dr. Edelman says. “They also don’t show remorse when they hurt others as they have no conscience.”
That’s why, even if you call them out on their lie, or tell them how much the lie affected you, it won’t necessarily stop them from telling a lie again. And they certainly won’t truly care about the negative impact they had.
3. They Blame You For Everything
If you’re being blamed for everything — for example, a partner always tells you arguments are 100 percent your fault — consider it a red flag. As Heller says, “If the sociopath is psychologically savvy, [they] may use psychological concepts to innocently pathologize the target and characterize [them] as the unintentional instigator.”
In other words, when dealing with a sociopath, nothing will ever be their fault. They prefer to blame and manipulate others, instead of owning — or apologizing for — their mistakes.
4. They Try To Confuse You
One way sociopaths are able to manipulate others is by confusing them, and twisting words in their favor — all so they can get their way. For example, “a sociopath might say something, then insist he didn’t say it,” therapist Karen R. Koenig, MEd, LCSW, tells Bustle.
As a partner, a sociopath might deny that they admitted a fear and accuse you of making it up, Koenig says. As a boss, they might claim credit for your successful work. As a coworker, they might spread a rumor about you and act shocked when it comes back around to them.
These are examples of a sociopath confusing those they interact with, as a form of manipulation.
5. They Seem To Enjoy Messing With Your Head
A sociopath will show no remorse while messing with your head — and they may even seem to enjoy doing so.
As an example, Koenig says they might insist you speak your mind to a friend, and then when your friend becomes offended, they’ll act sympathetic and take your side and say how awfully the friend treated you. This is one way a sociopath’s manipulative behavior may play out. But unfortunately, there are many others.
That’s why it’s so important to recognize signs you’re dealing with a sociopath, so you don’t get caught up in their games.
6. They Gaslight You
In a similar vein, if you feel like you can’t “win” an argument with someone, no matter what you say or how reasonable you’re being, it could be of sign of gaslighting— which is a tactic many sociopaths use in order to confuse their victims.
“Gaslighters manipulate your words then use them against you, so you end up saying, ‘But I didn’t mean…’ and keep trying to defend yourself,” Koenig says. “The goal is to invalidate you and make you question your sanity.”
This, again, puts them in a position of power, which is right where sociopaths like to be.
7. They’re A Little Bit Threatening
In an effort to control you, a sociopath might even dish out a threat or two. “Sociopaths often use threats to keep you in their control, such as threats of suicide or saying ‘you’ll be sorry’ for your behavior,” Hershenson says.
They also might give off a threatening vibe because they aren’t being genuine. It can be difficult to spot someone who’s lying or manipulating those around them, and sometimes it’s just all about their “vibe.” If something feels negative, there’s a good chance it is.
8. They Flatter You Endlessly
A sociopath will likely do whatever they can to win you over, and often that means dishing out compliments and flattering remarks. But if you know what to look for, you may be able to spot these compliments as disingenuous.
“Compliments feel good, but [a sociopath’s] flattery feels like too much,” Hershenson says. “Instead of saying they enjoy being with you, a sociopath might say, ‘You are the most amazing person I’ve ever met and I can’t imagine life without you,’ even though you’ve only known them a short time.”
Again, it’s all about trusting your gut. If a person or situation seems too good to be true, they may not be someone you want to get too close to.
9. They Lie And Cheat
Casual and blatant, yet totally incessant lying is a huge sign of sociopathy, and especially so when the lies are helping the person reach an important goal.
“Someone who has sociopathic tendencies has a lack of remorse or regard for others,” Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of The Web radio show, tells Bustle. “They are driven by what gets them towards a goal, and they are not going to play by the same rules of morality and ‘right and wrong’ as you are.”
When it comes to sociopaths, they aren’t going to follow usual codes of conduct, and might give off weird vibes as a result.
10. They Justify Breaking The Law
Because sociopaths (and even people with sociopathic tendencies) can only focus on themselves and their own needs, they rarely think twice before breaking the law. And in the process, they may even try to cover it up by manipulating your reaction.
“They will break rules and laws with strong justification and try to make you believe that if you can’t see how it is OK, something is wrong with you,” Dr. Klapow says. Asociopath will never admit that they did something wrong, or that they’re flawed in any way. If breaking a law benefits them, that’s all they’ll focus on.
11. They’ll Seem Oh So Very Sincere
The tricky thing with sociopaths, is they’re really good at lying, and thus really good at coming off as totally sincere when trying to get their way. Unfortunately, this can include using their talents to come off as genuine — even when they really aren’t.
“They can be quite sophisticated in their approach,” Dr. Klapow says. “You may feel they are being sincere and then turn around and find out they have manipulated your good will and trust. Lying, manipulation, and seduction to get you connected with them are all games the sociopath will play.”
12. They Treat You Differently
“If they seem to be engaging you deeply and emotionally, but have a bad reputation with others, these are all warning signs,” Dr. Klapow says. You might, for example, notice that someone is disliked at work, but for some reason they’re super sweet to you.
“Keep your eyes open and focused not just on how they are treating you and what your interactions with them are like, but how do others see them,” Dr. Klapow says. This can be a big clue, and it can help you see past their veneer.
13. Something “Doesn’t Feel Right”
When dealing with a sociopath, you might not be able to put your finger on what, exactly, is “off” about them. But that feeling, that gut instinct that something’s wrong, will likely still be there.
“With a sociopath, that ‘something is not right’ feeling could be your first and only warning sign,” Dr. Klapow says. “Trust it.”
Because if something feels strange, and you think you’re being lied to, manipulated, or gaslighted, that very well may be true. And when it comes to sociopaths, this is what they’re skill at doing. Anyone can get caught up in a sociopath’s toxicity, but being able to spot the signs can make it easier to keep yourself safe.
When people think of a psychopath, they often conjure up images of serial killers. And while most serial killers likely are psychopaths, many more psychopaths aren’t murderers. In fact, research over the past couple of decades reveals that some psychopaths are successful professionals who excel in the workplace.
Unfortunately, that means there’s a chance you might find yourself working next to a psychopath. And while a psychopathic co-worker might not pose any physical danger to you, there certainly is a big emotional risk.
Dealing with a workplace psychopath can take a toll on your psychological well-being. And it could hurt your career if you’re not careful. Learning how to spot a workplace psychopath and understanding how to deal with one can reduce some of the damage.
How to Spot a Successful Psychopath
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Research and Personality titled “The Search of the Successful Psychopath” examined what separates psychopaths who become criminals from psychopaths who succeed in business.
Researchers concluded that successful psychopaths share the same core features as other psychopaths. They’re arrogant, dishonest, and callous. They experience little remorse, minimize self-blame, exploit people, and exhibit shallow affect.
What made successful psychopaths different was their level of conscientiousness. Psychopaths who become criminals rank low in this personality trait. Successful psychopaths, however, rank higher in conscientiousness.
Ranking higher in conscientiousness means that successful psychopaths are less impulsive, negligent, and irresponsible than the psychopaths who live a life of crime. That doesn’t mean successful psychopaths are always law-abiding citizens, however. They just might be smart enough not to get caught.
Psychopaths are most often male. But that doesn’t mean you’ll never encounter a female psychopath. Although they’re not as common, they do exist and they can be just as harmful as male psychopaths.
Why Psychopaths Sometimes Succeed in the Workplace
Psychologists estimate 1 percent of the population meets the criteria for psychopathy. Yet about 3 percent of business leaders may be psychopaths. By comparison, an estimated 15 percent of prison inmates are estimated to be psychopaths.
So why would a disproportionate number of business leaders be psychopaths? Researchers suspect their characteristics and behavior may give them some competitive advantages in the workplace.
For example, they’re quite charming. That can come in quite handy when someone is looking to network with powerful people.
They also have a grandiose sense of self. When they say they can skyrocket the company to new heights, they believe it. And they often convince others that they’re capable and competent too.
They’re also good at manipulating people. They know how to use guilt and flattery to get what they want.
How to Deal With a Psychopath
Whether you’re convinced your boss is a psychopath or you’re concerned your colleague is a psychopath, there’s a good chance that you’ve encountered at least one psychopath in the workplace.
Switching teams, changing departments, or finding a new job altogether may not feel like an option. But it’s best to avoid psychopaths whenever possible because working alongside a toxic person will take a toll on your psychological well-being.
If you must deal with a psychopath, try these five strategies:
1. Keep Your Emotions in Check
No matter how frustrated or upset you feel, keep your emotions in check. Losing your cool gives a psychopath more power over you, as he’ll see that he can manipulate your emotions. Present a calm demeanor at all times.
2. Don’t Show That You’re Intimidated
Psychopaths often use intimidation to control others. A psychopath may make subtle threats, stand over you while you’re talking, or use aggressive language to get you to back down. Stand your ground in an assertive manner, and report incidents of bullying or harassment to human resources.
3. Don’t Buy Into Their Stories
Psychopaths often use long-winded tales to paint themselves as victims. They often blame other people and refuse to take any responsibility for their wrongdoing. Showing sympathy for them plays into their hand, so keep discussions centered on facts only.
4. Turn the Conversation Back on Them
Pointing out a psychopath’s flaws can be the best way to disarm them. So when a psychopath blames someone else, turn the conversation back on them. Say something like, “Are you doing OK today? I saw how you responded in the meeting today and I wonder if you might be stressed out.”
5. Opt for Online Communication Whenever You Can
A 2016 study published in Personality and Individual Differences found that psychopaths excel at negotiating when they’re communicating face-to-face. Online conversations make it difficult–if not impossible–for them to charm their way into a better deal. So consider requesting all communication occur via email if you can.
Build Your Mental Strength
If you can’t escape daily interaction with a psychopath, it’s especially important to work on building your mental muscles. Get proactive about taking care of yourself and managing your stress.
If you’re struggling, consider talking to a mental health professional. It’s difficult to stay mentally strong when you’re working alongside a toxic person.
A typically healthy person may have difficulty understanding someone who is suffering from anorexia. – After all, why would anyone want to consciously starve themselves? It’s critical, then, that an understanding of the way anorexia manipulates the mind and cause issues with body image acceptance, be achieved in order to better understand such patients. Developing an understanding also helps avoid pushing them even further into their illness.
Anyone suffering from issues stemming from body image acceptance has difficulty correlating the person they see in the mirror with the person they see in their head. The version of themselves that exists internally will override even the direst physical issues, issues that are obvious to everyone but them. Whether it is because of a need to exert control over at least one aspect of their lives or because they feel the need for approval, the nature of the eating disorder quickly overtakes a person through an obsession with their weight, the calories they consume and the amount of exercise they perform. This obsession becomes the cornerstone of an individual with anorexia. Other activities and interests fall by the wayside.
Anorexia leads sufferers to believe that even healthy foods are bad for them, even if there is no logical evidence to support these beliefs. In fact there can be nothing but evidence to the contrary, but the person suffering from anorexia does not listen to reason and will assert their irrational claims regardless. This disease twists even the most logical arguments a loved one can pose – and the person suffering from this disease will become more obstinate the harder they are pressed.
They can even begin to notice their body’s cries for help – weakness, fatigue, feeling faint – and interpret them as positive, even desirable. Instead of reading these as signs that they need to care for themselves, they strive for these symptoms and will associate them with success.
It’s key to remember that although expressions of concern are natural, a person suffering from anorexia can interpret these expressions as positive reinforcement. Just as feeling faint and looking gaunt are something to strive for, hearing others express concern only seems to reinforce that individual’s belief that they are succeeding.
Because anorexia is so all consuming, it cannot be effectively treated by the average person. Medical supervision, along with therapy to assess and treat the root causes of the disease and its effects on the brain are necessary if a person suffering from this disease is to recover.
Mental health refers to our cognitive, behavioral, and emotional wellbeing – it is all about how we think, feel, and behave. The term ‘mental health‘ is sometimes used to mean an absence of a mental disorder. Mental health can affect daily life, relationships, and even physical health.
There are three main laws for conscious creation. They are the law of attraction, the law of detachment and the law of God Action. When you know these three laws, you’ll be able to create your perfect reality like a master. This trinity of laws form the perfect creation of all reality. You would experience what you would call the perfect life by using these three laws together.
- Perfection is the result of the perfect working of universal forces. Perfect understanding of universal forces enables perfect reality creation.
The law of attraction states that energy attracts like energy, and what you focus your mind on is what you attract. Knowing the law of attraction is the first step that turns you into a conscious creator of your reality. You know that you create everything with the power of intention.
- You become conscious of how everything you experience is created by you. With the awareness of this universal law, you become awakened and live life like a lucid dreamer. You are creating consciously instead of unconsciously.
The law of detachment states that creation is free to be worked on by the universal mind when you mentally and emotionally detach from your intention. Knowing this law enables you to allow your creation work to happen without sabotaging it.
- Spirit is free and unbounded, therefore when you let go of your intention, you are expressing your true nature as a free spirit. By resonating as your true self, you allow it to carry out the work of creation fully. Detachment allows your creation work to happen unhindered.
The law of God Action states that it is the universe itself that is creating through you. Knowing this law enables you to allow all your creation work to be guided by a higher power. You know that your existence in this dimension is simply a channel for the universal mind to express itself through. Your personal creation is meant to be a portion of the universal creation that is in progress. When you create from this level, your intentions are in alignment with your higher self, therefore everything works out perfectly.
Awareness of each of these laws enables you to be conscious on a certain level. Those who know the law of attraction without knowing the law of detachment will wonder why their intentions keep failing to manifest. They are not conscious that they are getting in the way by interfering too much with the manifestation process. Being aware of the law of detachment enables you to be conscious that it is not your conscious mind but your subconscious mind that creates. Your creation becomes more effortless.
Those who know the law of attraction and law of detachment without knowing the law of God Action will wonder why certain things are still not happening for them. They’re not conscious that everything is really going their way in the higher scheme of things. Being aware of the law of God Action enables you to be conscious that the work of creation is taking place through you from a higher level of reality. Everything is happening in accordance with divine order and timing. Your creation operation becomes perfect.
Understanding each law gives you better understanding of the other laws, because these three laws function as one. Everything is really the law of attraction. When you do not detach, you are attracting both your desire and the absence of it. When you have an intention to create something, you are simultaneously creating the absence of it. Because if it already existed, you wouldn’t be intending to create it. Detachment resolves the duality by letting go of the intention while still attracting it into manifestation.
Knowing that everything is God in Action enables you to understand the truth about detachment. When you detach, you let go and let God take over. The intention of your higher self is communicated to you through your heart’s desire. Focusing on your true desire instead of your fear attracts it to you. You then detach from the intention and turn it over again to your higher self. All true intentions come from your higher self and return to your higher self to be worked on. All that you have to do is be in alignment.
You sometimes attract what you do not think you are intending because it is the result of the intentions of your higher self. The law of attraction is always functioning in perfect harmony with the law of God action. Whatever that you or your higher self is intending is always attracted into your life.
- The intentions of your higher self are the primary attracting power. Your higher self works everything out for you. Detachment is for the purpose of surrendering to your higher self as well as divine order and timing.
Be, do and have. Everything that you have is the result of what you attracted. Creation follows a rhythm of doing and non-doing. You mentally act when you intend, and you mentally rest when you detach. Everything that you do or intend comes from a place of being when you are following your heart’s desire.
- Understanding the three laws is how you are able to be, do and have according to universal harmony and perfection. Be first, then do and have. Be inspired, then intend and detach, and have fulfillment.
You create everything that you experience whether consciously or unconsciously.
- Knowledge is awareness and the more you have it, the more of a conscious creator you will be. Your level of awareness determines your level of reality creation. Knowing the law of attraction is the first level of being a conscious creator. Knowing the law of detachment is the next level. Knowing the law of God Action is the highest level of all. When you know all the three laws, you can create your reality perfectly at all levels.
- Activate Your Spiritual Senses.
- Find Blockages In your Energetic Body
- Cut or Disintegrate Blockages
- Remove Blockages
- Refuel with Healing and Loving Energy
If you follow these steps, your energy will be clear on a constant basis. Your day to day quality of life will be much better.
Whenever we are I’ll, we need to search our hearts for who it is we need to forgive.
The course of miracles says that “ all disease comes from a state of unforgiveness.” And whenever we are ill , we need to look around to see who it is we need to forgive.
You are not perfect by any means, you are learning. Your progressing , you here today to be a little better than you were yesterday.
Pick one thing that will move you toward becoming the best version of yourself.