All posts by gypsy04

About gypsy04

Islander first. American second. Certified Life Coach. Author, and aspiring Philanthropist. Afflicted with a serious case of wanderlust. Laughter is my medicine. Trailblazer. Prefers quiet times. Favorite quote: "Education is the ability to listen to almost anything, without losing your temper or self-confidence" Robert Frost

Read This Before Hitting The Buffet


Buffets can be hazardous to your diet! Whether you’re at a party, wedding reception or all-you-can-eat restaurant, you’re surrounded by temptation. Use these suggestions to make healthier food choices and keep the calories under control while you enjoy your meal.

Making Better Food Choices at a Buffet

  1. Browse around first. Scientists at Cornell University studied the differences between how overweight diners approached a buffet versus their thinner counterparts. They found that that 71 percent of leaner people scanned the offerings first to narrow down their choices, while heavier diners tended to immediately grab a plate and pile it up.
  2. Load up on vegetables. Most nutritionists recommend devoting half your plate to vegetables and fruits. This is always good for your health and goes a long way toward making any buffet meal lighter.
  3. Learn to count calories. Avoid underestimating the calories in certain foods. Vegetables dishes have a lot of calories once they get breaded and fried or smothered in cheese. Beware of creamy soups and most salad dressings.
  4. Practice portion control. You can usually incorporate your favorite treats into your diet if you keep the portions moderate. A teaspoon of nuts liven up a salad but eating them by the handful could put you over your limit.

Additional Suggestions

  1. Use smaller plates. The vast majority of people make only one or two return trips to the buffet. Smaller dishes will reduce the amount of food you can fit on each trip and make the experience seem more abundant.
  2. Sit at a distance. Make it more challenging to go back for more by sitting on the other side of the room. Avoid lingering around the table where you’ll be in danger of picking at the food for much longer than you intended.
  3. Face away from the buffet. Keeping fried chicken out of mind is easier when you keep it out of sight. Turn your chair in the opposite direction from the dessert selections.
  4. Drink lots of water. Staying well hydrated is good for your overall health and energy levels and helps you to feel full sooner. You’ll save calories compared to drinking alcoholic cocktails, which could also lower your resistance to over-enjoying the chocolate cheesecake.
  5. At social events, focus on socializing. Pay more attention to the guests and less to your plate. Get caught up in conversation and dancing so you’ll forget about wanting to eat more.
  6. Wear fitted clothing. Leave your stretchy long sweaters at home. Clothes that fit closer to your body will help remind you to eat sensibly. Stop yourself before you feel the need to loosen your belt.
  7. Order off the menu. Many restaurants will give you the choice to order off the menu or eat from the buffet. Opt for a single dish if the buffet looks fattening. Even if the buffet costs less, you save money in the long run by staying fit.
  8. Eat more slowly. If you make your food last longer, you’ll have less time to go back for more. Plus, you give your brain a chance to notify your stomach that you’re beginning to feel full.

Above all, keep in mind that “all-you-can eat” is a description, not a challenge. Slow down and be more selective about what you put on your buffet plate. You’ll eat less and enjoy your food more. 

How will you change the way you approach the next buffet?

To Your Success,
Juan 

Those Pesky Evening Snacks!


If you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to stop eating in front of the TV at night. A recent study presented at the European and International Conference on Obesity adds to the growing evidence that when you eat can matter almost as much as what you eat.

Researchers found that the average adult consumes nearly 40% of their daily calories after 6 pm, and hunger typically peaks at about 8 pm. Unfortunately, that’s long after you’ve probably completed most of your usual physical activities. Late night meals and snacks also tend to involve less nutritious food choices. You’re more likely to open a bag of chips than to toss a green salad.

That means you’re likely to go to bed with elevated blood sugar, which leads to storing more calories as body fat and increasing your risk of diabetes. Plus, digesting heavy meals can disrupt your sleep, causing an increase in appetite hormones and more weight gain. Breaking the cycle will help you to eat healthier and slim down. Scary stuff!Try these suggestions for changing your eating schedule to one that supports your health.

How to Eat More of Your Calories Earlier in the Day
  1. Change your bedtime. Do you skip breakfast because you run out of time? Go to bed earlier so you can avoid the rush and wake up feeling refreshed.
  2. Drink water. You lose about one liter of water due to breathing and perspiring each night. Rehydrating will make you feel more alert and stimulate your appetite.
  3. Go outside. Morning light gives you energy too. Make breakfast more appealing by working out outdoors first and eating on your balcony.
  4. Choose delicious foods. If you think cereal and milk is boring, try less conventional options. Eat grilled fish or black bean soup for the first meal of the day.
  5. Make it convenient. A nutritious breakfast can be simple. Heat up leftovers from last night’s dinner. Prepare the ingredients for a smoothie the night before and store it in your refrigerator.
  6. Stop for lunch. You’ll be more productive if you leave your desk for lunch. Pack a balanced meal you can bring with you. Browse online to find nearby restaurants with healthy takeout menus.
  7. Carry snacks. Keep a cooler in your car filled with healthy treats. Put them in your desk drawer too. Smart choices include nuts, string cheese, high protein cereals, and cut vegetables.
How to Cut Back on Late Day Calories:
  1. Plan your menu. Decide what you’re going to eat in advance. That way you’ll be less likely to accidentally binge on pizza or a whole pint of ice cream.
  2. Cook at home. Making your own meals lets you control the ingredients. Restaurant fare usually has more fat, salt, and sugar. I can’t be the only one who needs. nap after eating Chinese
  3. Limit portions. Serve meals on individual plates instead of family style bowls that encourage additional helpings. Buy single-serving snacks or take out 2 cookies instead of bringing the whole bag into the TV room.
  4. Leave the table. Lingering around the dinner table may extend your eating time. Go to another room or clear away the dishes if you want to talk.
  5. Focus on protein. Your body uses protein more effectively if you spread it out throughout the day instead of eating most of it at dinner. For evening snacks, a little protein will help you to feel full and stabilize your blood sugar.
  6. Brush your teeth. Try to stop eating at least 2 hours before bed. Brushing your teeth may remind you that the kitchen is closed until morning.

Knowing when to eat can make losing weight and eating a nutritious diet easier. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and lunch and lighten up on dinner and evening snacks with these strategies.

To Your Success,
Juan

Eating While Distracted?


You know that distracted driving is dangerous, but what about eating when your thoughts are elsewhere? A new study explains why you’re likely to snack more while you’re watching TV. Intrigued? I was too!

Researchers at the University of Sussex studied the impact of perceptually demanding tasks like watching TV or playing video games. They found that subjects whose attention was engaged in another activity ate 45% more chips. This supports the theory that your brain has a limited supply of attention, so it focuses on what seems most important. As a result, you keep on eating because you miss the fullness cues that your body is trying to send you.

Read this before another bag of chips or cookies disappears while you’re binge-watching or talking on the phone. Paying closer attention to your eating will help you to maintain your weight and cut down on junk food.

How to Recognize When You’re Full
Feeling full depends on chemical changes in your body that take about 20 minutes for
your brain to register. That sated feeling is designed to last for several hours, but
many common habits can undermine the process. Keep the following in mind:

  • Understand cravings. Distinguish between hunger and appetite. Physical
    hunger builds up gradually and subsides after eating. Emotional appetite and
    cravings come on suddenly and may be more persistent.
  • Slow down. Sitting down and dining at a relaxed pace gives your brain a chance
    to know you’re full. Chew thoroughly and savor each bite.
  • Avoid crash diets. Cycles of fasting and splurging confuse your body. Find a
    balanced regimen that you can stick with for the long term.

Other Tips for Non-Distracted Eating
Recognizing fullness cues will help you to make healthier food choices. Take a look at some additional strategies for paying more attention to what you’reeating:

  • Plan ahead. Creating daily or weekly menus may help. Use an online calculator
    to figure out how many calories you need, so you can stay in the middle ground
    between ravenous hunger and a post-Thanksgiving-style food coma.
  • Focus on fiber. Unprocessed foods rich in fiber enhance your overall health
    and satisfy you with fewer calories. Fill up on vegetables, fruits, and whole
    grains. High protein foods have a similar effect, so include them in each meal
    and snack instead of waiting for dinner.
  • Drink water. It’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger. Have a glass before and
    during meals and anytime a craving pops up. Once your stomach feels full, it will
    be easier to resist temptation.
  • Shop wisely. Speaking of temptation, keep junk food out of the house. Use a
    shopping list when you buy groceries. Stick to the outer aisles where you’re less
    likely to run into snack cakes and crackers
  • Manage stress. Create a soothing environment, especially during mealtimes.
    Talk about pleasant subjects or play soft music
  • Work out. Physical activity helps you listen to your body and regulate hunger. It
    also burns extra calories. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic
    exercise each week. I remain fuller longer, when I use a pre workout before hitting the gym.
  • Try again. Changing your eating habits takes practice. Be patient if you slip up.
    You’ll recover faster if you stay calm and learn from the experience.
  • Talk with your doctor. Your diet plays a major role in your physical and mental
    health. If you have trouble managing your hunger or other concerns about your
    eating habits, discuss them with your doctor or a registered dietician
  • Paying attention . Your food and how much you’re eating can transform your
    relationship with food and protect your health. Put the screens away during
    mealtimes and pay attention to what’s on your plate. You’ll learn to listen to your
    body and enjoy your food more.

How helpful are these tips to fight distraction eating? I have slowly been incorporating them into my own lifestyle. It’s slow, but I am moving faster than those not doing anything. As usual, this advise is not a one size fits all, always consult with your medical and mental health providers for support.

To Your Success,
Juan

Binge Eating and Activating Your Neocortex


Urges to binge come in the form of overwhelming desires to eat large amounts of food in a short period of time. They are characterized by a sense of loss of control, excessive food consumption, and often followed by disappointment and shame.

One doesn’t have to have a binge eating disorder or any eating disorder, per se, to be exposed to such urges.  As mentioned before, many people who’ve gone through a period of restrictive dieting experience at least one strong urge to binge. These powerful compulsions aren’t easy to resist. That’s why many of us, at some point in our diet, end up reaching for forbidden foods in larger amounts than what’s reasonable.

This is how we pave our road to ruin and give way to the well-known yo-yo effect. As food consumption is an integral part of our daily lives, we don’t have the luxury to stay away from it, like in the case of cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or other addictive substances and behaviors.Food can’t be eliminated from our lives, but our thinking and acting around food can, indeed, be managed and optimized. 

How can we rise above our durable desire to indulge in food that doesn’t serve us well in the long-term? What can support us in staying faithful to our initial intention for healthy nutrition? How can we make food choices that we won’t regret later?

The Neocortex 

The answer is already within you. To be more precise, it is located in the most recently developed region of your human brain called the neocortex. This part of your brain, especially the prefrontal section, is responsible for:

  • Planning and moderating complex behavior (including social behavior)
  • Goal setting
  • Expression of your personality
  • Decision making

Your true self resides in this part of your brain. This is the self that doesn’t quickly lose control when exposed to animalistic desires such as an urge to binge. How can we call on our neocortex when we want to make conscious food choices? 

Follow these steps: 

  1. Consider your urge to be irrational. Before you take this step, ensure that you are consuming enough food. If you’re restricting your nourishment and starving yourself, then your urge to eat is a legit physiological need that should be met.
    • If you’re eating enough and still have desires to indulge in fattening foods, consider that desire as brain junk. This act will lift you up to the level of your true-self.
  1. Divert your attention. What you focus on tends to grow. If you find yourself trying to fight your obsessive thoughts, they will only increase in strength and occupy even more of your precious mindspace. What works better is to shift your focus to something more productive, self-care for example.
    • Once you allow yourself to engage in a pleasant or meaningful activity, your neocortex will get engaged, and the grip of your urge will lessen until it leaves you entirely. 
  1. Reach out to others. Food can often be used for comfort. Many of us choose to deal with our emotional turmoil by indulging in short-lived pleasures provided by sugary, fattening treats. To keep this from happening, reach out to family, friends, or even strangers. Experience comfort from human connection.
    • In doing so, you’re activating the part of your neocortex that regulates social behavior. Once you rise to this level of consciousness, your cravings will crumble down, letting you carry on with your day. 

These tips are designed for those who have a relatively healthy relationship with food and experience occasional urges to binge. If you suffer from an eating disorder, you’ll find your best results in consulting professional support and recovery assistance.

To Your Success,
Juan

Your Relationship With Food


While I don’t think there is anything wrong with occasional over eating, after all, many things propel us to gorge ourselves into a food coma. Relationship ending, failing an exam, being let down by others, etc.  However, you cannot ignore there is a problem, when you hide the habit from others, feel ashamed, and tried to stop on your own.

Overeating can have many causes, but they all produce the same result. You gain weight and feel like you’re out of control. While you may  blame yourself for lacking willpower or not trying hard enough, there could be something else at work. The real reasons (besides the mental and psychological aspects) why you eat more than you intend, may surprise you, and some are relatively easy to fix. 

There are many common lifestyle habits that tend to undermine a healthy diet. Take a look at this list to find out which things you’ll want to do differently.

Dealing with Eating Habits That Make You Overindulge:

  1. Be flexible. You may think you’re being virtuous for starting a super-strict diet, but being too rigid can backfire. Allowing yourself a few treats can keep you from feeling so deprived, that you wind up eating an entire pizza.
  2. Shrink your menu. On the other hand, planning your meals and snacks around a limited number of healthy foods can help you eat less. The lack of variety dampens your appetite.
  3. Eat mindfully. A lot of overeating happens when you’re busy with something else. Sit down and pay attention to your food instead of watching TV. Beware of nibbling while you’re preparing meals or lingering at the table after dinner.
  4. Slow down. A leisurely pace gives your brain time to tell your stomach that you’re full. Chew thoroughly and pause between bites.
  5. Listen to cravings. Intense urges are usually trying to tell you something important. Eating light snacks can keep you from getting so hungry that you long for junk food.
  6. Avoid low fat foods. Did you know that low fat foods are usually only about 10% lower in calories? Plus, they’re often higher in sugar and sodium, which can make you want to eat more.
  7. Limit artificial sweeteners. Sweetness is one of the signs your brain uses to try to determine how much to eat based on how many calories a food has. Artificial sweeteners make those calculations difficult. Over time, your brain loses the ability to make correct judgements.

Dealing with Other Lifestyle Habits That Make You Overindulge:

  1. Sleep well. A lack of sleep can make you want to eat more and make it difficult for your body to digest food efficiently. Go to bed early on a consistent basis so you can get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
  2. Socialize wisely. We tend to eat more when we have company. Be especially vigilant when you’re enjoying holiday dinners and office parties. Try to find a lunch mate who eats healthy, so you can support each other.
  3. Exercise more. Physical activity burns calories and helps to fight depression and anxiety, which can lead to overeating. Aim to work out at least 30 minutes a day 3 times a week.
  4. Deal with your feelings. While it’s natural to associate food with celebrations and comfort, it’s important to have other ways of managing your emotions. Call a friend or write in your journal.
  5. Talk with your doctor. A slice of cake rarely does much harm, but sometimes there are deeper issues at work. If you binge frequently or feel guilty and ashamed about your eating, talk with your doctor. Effective treatments are available.

Understanding the reason why you overindulge is the first step in finding solutions that enable you to stick to a balanced diet, and maintain a healthy weight. Use these tips to take control of your eating, so you can stay fit and enjoy your food more.

To Your Success,
Juan

 

Understanding Binge Eating and It’s Treatment


Photo: Yay Images

For several months, Chindeep has looked at the various Anxiety and Mood disorders, as part of the mental health series, the focus now shifts to eating disorders., the most prevalent eating disorder in the USA.

The I don’t know about you, but I gained about 15-20 pounds in the past two years. Pre pandemic, I was out and about in the community, walking between 10-20k steps per day, fit as ever. Sitting at home, dying from boredom, it became impossible to control my cravings. Did I binge eat? Hell Yeah. More than once? You betcha. Disgusted, I looked inward. Binge-eating involves more than simply overeating, it is a mental health related related disorder, associated with inappropriate eating habits and challenging emotions. 

Binge-Eating Defined
Binge-eating is a medical and psychological condition during which a person eats large amounts of food over short periods of time. Regardless of the signals their bodies send that they’re full, those who binge, to continue eat amounts of food that surpass normal portions. Binge-eating involves more than just eating a double portion of a favorite food. Those who binge might eat 2 cheeseburgers, followed by a half gallon of ice cream, and a box of cookies. 

Typical Thinking Patterns
One who binge-eats engages in unhealthy thinking patterns, which drive them to over-eat. They might feel powerless to arrest aggressive eating behaviors. Even though you might believe a person would feel too ashamed to binge-eat, the fact is that shame can actually emotionally fuel a binge-eating episode. 

Experiencing uncomfortable feelings such as self-loathing and shame is a hallmark symptom of someone who’s dealing with binge-eating. Many people who struggle with binging also have distorted body images. They might believe they’re obese when actually they’re within normal weight standards or only mildly overweight. 

On the other hand, a person who binge-eats could also weigh considerably more than the weight charts recommend for her height and age.  Although the condition does occur in males, it occurs more often in females. Recognize that people who binge can discover optimism and confidence to live successful lives in recovery.

Effective Treatments for Binge-Eating at a glance

  1. Self-help groups. As an example, Overeaters Anonymous can provide wonderful, understanding emotional support for people who struggle.
  2. Individual cognitive therapy. For those who require more professional help, attending individual therapy sessions can make a huge difference. Cognitive therapy is conducted by a trained therapist who works to confront the individual’s distorted body image, unhealthy thinking patterns, and feelings of shame.  Encouraging the person who binge-eats to surround herself with understanding, supportive family and friends is another way a therapist motivates someone in recovery.
  1. Family therapy. If the person who’s dealing with binging is a teen, family therapy in addition to individual therapy can be a life-saver. Difficult family relationships can be confronted and addressed. Everyone learns to relate in healthier ways, which can serve to reduce binging behavior.
  1. Intensive day treatment. In the event you require more intensive treatment than individual, family therapy, and self-help group attendance, intensive day treatment may be an option. These programs provide 2 to 6 hours of professional treatment for binge-eating 3 or more days a week, at an eating disorder treatment center. 
  1. Inpatient treatment stay. This milieu therapy provides a 100% supportive physical and emotional environment around the clock to ensure binge-eating behaviors subside and healthy eating habits increase. Outpatient follow-up treatment to provide much-needed support will be necessary as you transition back into your home environment.

Binge-eating is a medical/psychological condition that involves eating large amounts of food and experiencing emotional turmoil. People can and do overcome the challenging behaviors and feelings associated with binge-eating to embrace healthy, fulfilling lives. 

The key to recovery is recognizing when there is a problem, receiving effective treatment, while gaining caring support of friends and family members, to live a well-deserved, rewarding life. 

To Your Success,
Juan

Get Back In The Driver’s Seat


Is your life out of balance? From time to time, our lives can feel out of control. You spend too much time focussed on work, and your family life suffers. Or you spend too much money on your social life, and your finances suffer. Maybe you’re running yourself ragged and your health is taking a back seat. If this sounds like you, then I hope the following tips help!

Regain balance in your life with these strategies:

  1. Identify the different parts of your life. If you were going to divide your life into columns, what would the column headings be? For most of us, they would include family, work, health, finances, and social life. You might have additional categories such as music, spirituality, and volunteering.
  2. Start with your health. Is your health negatively impacted by your lifestyle? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating properly? How much exercise are you getting each day? Have you been to the doctor lately? How is your bodyweight? What can you do to improve your health?
  3. Evaluate your family life. Does your family only get attention when you have time left over from your other obligations? Are you spending enough time with your partner and children? What do each of them need right now? How can you provide it to them? How can you enrich your relationship with your family?
  4. Is your social life getting too much attention or not enough? Have you lost track of your friends? Is your family upset that you’re spending too much time socializing? Or maybe your overactive social life is causing challenges in other areas of your life. Consider what changes would help balance out your social life.
  5. Take a look at your values and priorities. What is most important to you? You can’t have it all unless your wants are quite limited. Make a list of your values and priorities. Alter your life to emphasize those things.
  6. Where are you wasting time? Perhaps you can bring your life back into balance by freeing up more time for what’s most important to you. First, identify how you’re wasting time and eliminate or minimize those activities.
  7. Learn to say “no”. There’s not enough time in the day to say “yes” to everything that crosses your path. This goes back to your priorities. One of the most effective ways to regain balance in your life is to eliminate the unnecessary. What can you live without? What will you be glad to get off your plate?
  8. Be grateful for what you have. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be easy to see the dark side of things. Remind yourself of how much you have in your life already. With a positive outlook, you’ll have a better chance of making progress. Begin each day with a grateful heart, try gratitude meditation, works wonders.
  9. Make a plan. Once you have a few ideas, make a plan on how you intend to put them into practice. Avoid the mistake of believing that identifying the cure is a cure in itself. It’s necessary to take action.

Everything gets out of balance once in awhile, including your life. The key is recognizing the challenge you face and setting priorities. Eliminate those things that don’t add value to your life so you have more time for the things that do. Take control of your life and create a life that truly fulfills you.

Here is a simple, free. Defining-Your-Life-Purpose-Goals-Worksheet-IV to kick things off. 

To Your Success,

Juan

How To Avoid Losing Yourself In a Relationship


Does the rest of your life suffer when you fall in love? Do you have a tendency to lose yourself in a relationship? I certainly have! Looking back, it’s rather terrifying, how easily and completely depended on another for “life support”?

It’s natural to be swept away when you first start dating someone new. The trouble starts when you no longer recognize who you are. It can happen in healthy relationships, especially if you have unrealistic expectations about romance. In less healthy relationships, it’s not too difficult if your partner tries to pressure or manipulate you into becoming dependent on them. Research Narcissist Personality Disorder. It’s a real thing. 

Learn how to balance love with the rest of your life. Try these tips for having a more fulfilling relationship with yourself and your partner. You can tell that you’re sacrificing too much if you know where to look.

Spotting the Warning Signs

  1. Maintain other connections. Neglecting your family and friends is one of the most common and obvious signs. Make time for them in your schedule. When you’re with them, be sure to talk about more than your new love interest.
  2. Do your job. Are you too distracted to meet deadlines and participate in meetings? Keep your mind on work when you’re at the office. Save personal calls and texts for lunchtime if necessary.
  3. Watch your spending. Maybe you’re celebrating a little too much with shopping sprees, overeating, or other indulgences. The sooner you slow down, the easier it will be to fix the damage.
  4. Enjoy your hobbies. It’s great if your partner introduces you to new interests but beware of giving up the things you love just to please them. For example, you can take a class while they go to a hockey game.
  5. Voice your opinions. Speak up for yourself. Let your partner know you like jazz more than hip hop. It’s natural to disagree sometimes.

Being Proactive

You may have noticed that even when you start a new relationship, you soon fall into the same patterns you established with your last partner. If you want things to turn out differently, you’ll need to address your personal issues. Albert Einstein said: “Doing the same things over and over, and expecting the same results is insanity”

Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Boost your self-esteem. Make yourself a priority. Remember that you are worthy of love and respect just as you are. Treat yourself with compassion and repeat positive affirmations.
  2. Create boundaries. In a healthy relationship, partners encourage each other to set their own ground rules. Explain what you need and what you find unacceptable.
  3. Set goals. You’re less likely to lose yourself if you’re excited about other aspects of your life. Develop passion projects that motivate you to learn and grow. As a bonus, you’ll probably make yourself more interesting.
  4. Practice self-care. Treating yourself well makes you stronger and more resilient. It also reminds you of your worth. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Sleep well and deal with stress constructively.
  5. Spend time alone. Do you enjoy your own company? It’s important to have a healthy relationship with yourself in order to bond with others. Solitude gives you an opportunity to increase your self-awareness and center yourself.
  6. Take a break. If you’re dissatisfied with your love life, you might benefit from giving up dating for a while. Use the time to examine your dating criteria and form new habits.
  7. Consider counseling. Working with a therapist might help too. That’s especially true if you’re trying to recover from an abusive relationship or think that childhood issues are affecting your adult behavior.

Hold onto your identity when you’re in a relationship. Losing yourself is too high a price to pay for wanting to be a couple. You and your partner deserve to feel secure and loved for who you are. 

Wishing You Well,

Juan

 

Get Clear on Why You Care So Much


One way to learn to stop caring so much about irrelevant issues and thoughts of others is to dig in deep and study yourself in a new way to get to the bottom of the reasons you care so much. Three ways help you get clear on why you care so much that you can use.

Journaling 
You can use your computer, buy a specialized journal, or you can simply use a notebook you have created to journal. It’s up to you what type of system you use and whether it’s modern or analog. The important part is that you try to use your journal to express your thoughts, emotions, and stream of consciousness about a problem you’re trying to solve or a feeling you’re trying to explore without judgment or censoring.  Write in your journal every day when you’re trying to understand why you care so much. You may end up discovering your life purpose or a new reason for getting up each day, one you had not realized before. 

Meditation
Before you use your journal, it can help to clear your mind using meditation. Meditation practice is all about not thinking and not judging your thoughts or feelings even as they still happen during the meditation.  Each time you meditate, you can have a purpose of self-discovery, or goal to clear your mind and relax.  To practice this type of meditation, you’ll want to find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lay down. Concentrate on your goals for the meditation, close your eyes, and start focusing on your breathing.  Think about the situation you’re trying to understand for a moment, then clear your mind. If any intrusive thoughts come in, brush them aside by refocusing on your breathing. You mustn’t allow any outside information or sensation to distract you during this time.  Many You Tube videos offer instructions and help.

Therapy
Today, we are fortunate to be able to access psychological therapy from the comfort of our homes using your computer or smartphone. Numerous companies offer this service and varying price points. In addition, many insurance companies include several sessions as part of your benefits.  If you seek therapy, make sure you find someone experienced working with you on overcoming people-pleasing and putting yourself last in life. Remember, your wants and needs matter too. Most therapists can guide you through the self-discovery process, to finally know what you want, regardless of what others think

Any or all three of these methods, help you become crystal clear regarding your motivations to seek approval from others and even help you stop doing it. Remember, what you want from life is important too, and following someone else’s dreams will never get you what you want and, more importantly, content in your life. 

Wishing You Well,
Juan

Approval Addiction


Today’s post might be uncomfortable for some. Anytime we are forced to closely look at more closely, the natural human reaction is to withdraw. No one likes being under a microscope. Receiving validation from other people feels good, so good that some people develop an addiction to receiving outside approval, instead of being motivated intrinsically. If you can’t motivate yourself without someone else’s approval, you may suffer from an approval addiction. The end result is anxiety, stress, depression, and yes addiction.  

Let’s dive into the signs you are addicted.

You’re Obsessed with Getting People to Express Interest in You
You like being on social media, dating sites, or any situation where you can attract attention. It might even be hard for you to settle down with a partner, because you enjoy the dating world more than being  partnered-up 

You Need Constant Reassurance 
When you are in a relationship, you find yourself asking whether they’re “mad” or “upset” with you. This may happen with lovers and friends, and even family members. If you often ask for reassurance about how someone feels about you, this may be due to a validation or approval addiction. 

You Like to Talk About Your Awesomeness
Sometimes people who aren’t confident will talk about impressive things they’ve done, to appear more worthy than they think they are, hoping others will agree and validate their thoughts about their awesomeness, even though they don’t generally believe it themselves. 

You’re Money Focused
If you tend to think more about money than the value you provide the world, you may have a problem with approval-seeking that is bordering on an addiction. Of course, money is a necessity, but it’s not the only thing important about you or anyone else. 

You Enjoy Name Dropping 
If you find yourself dropping names of well known people you’ve worked with or met, this is a sign of insecurity. You never need to make yourself look better by your company because you are special just as you are without anyone else. 

You Make Friends with Folks Based on Their Wealth or Reputation
 
When you look at your closest friend group, are they really your friends, or did you pick them based on what you think they can offer you? Friends should be chosen based on shared values, more than shared finances. 

Your Beliefs Change Depending on The Company You’re Keeping 
If you’re not keeping the same ideas and opinions across all friend and professional groups, you are part of, and you may be trying to please people too much. It’s okay to have your own fact-based ideas, thoughts, and opinions, and it’s okay for everyone else too. Hint: It’s also okay not to have any views or opinions about a topic you’re not educated enough about. 

You Prefer Being in Control of Each Social Situation 
When it comes to networking and making friends or building relationships, if you need to be the one in control of the event before you feel comfortable, you may have an issue with approval addiction. Letting other people oversee social situations and relationship building may seem scary because your self-esteem is low. Letting people lead is a clear sign that you are confident about your thoughts and ideas. 

You Easily Feed into Your Own Victimhood
 
If something starts going wrong, do you have a hard time seeing answers within yourself? Do you place blame on others? Do you feel good and safe being a victim instead of admitting where you have control and where you can make the change? 

Rejection Makes You Feel Out of Control 
If you’ve ever been rejected professionally or personally, you know it hurts. However, if you have an approval addiction, it might make you totally flip out if someone rejects you because you are doing everything (in your mind) to give them what they want, but they don’t want it anyway. If you take this personally, consider that you’re not even really being yourself and this rejection is not personal at all. 

Phew! There are some uncomfortable questions being asked in this post.  If you often find that you’re doing anything that you don’t want to do, only to gain acceptance of a person or group, you may be a people pleaser and even have an approval addiction. To overcome this, you need to figure out who you are, your personal values and design a path to reach your goals based on your own values. 

Next up, we will examine three ways to help you get clear on why you care too much!

Wishing You Well,
Juan