4 Things You Need to Hear When You’re Emotionally Exhausted

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Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” ~John De Paola

You’re on the verge of burnout.

You’re unmotivated to perform even the simplest of tasks. You’re physically and emotionally isolated. Slight annoyances cause you to snap.

You may be blaming your work, other people, or circumstances. But if you dig a little deeper, you may be surprised to learn that your own choices have led to emotional exhaustion. This is good news because it means that you can alleviate your own pain without the permission or blessing of another person.

In my junior year of college, I experienced a bout of intense mental and emotional exhaustion. I was pursuing two demanding majors and the heavy workload had finally caught up with me.

Desperate to find a way to motivate myself to finish college, I bought Tony Robbins’ Personal Power motivational program after watching his infomercial on late night television.

As I delved into the lessons, I fully expected Tony Robbins to motivate me back to good emotional health. Instead, I learned that I needed to take full responsibility for my emotional state. I learned that I had all the tools I needed to nurse myself back to emotional and spiritual health.

When I was emotionally exhausted, I realized that my own body was trying to communicate its needs to me. I just needed to listen.

If you’re on the brink of burnout, here are some things your body may be trying to tell you:

1. You need to trust your intuition.

I started college as a music major. Though I’d always had a passion for music, I decided to take on computer science as well in order to be practical.

I still remember the day I made that decision. It was the second day of classes and panic had set in. I kept having the thought “I’ll never be able to support myself as a musician.” The stereotype of the struggling artist was burned into my brain.

As I rushed to my academic advisor’s office that morning, I told myself I was making a rational choice. I did well at math and science in high school and it only made sense to build on these skills in order to secure a good paying job.

Intuitively, I knew I was wrong. I already knew deep down that I would not enjoy studying computer science. I knew that I could trust my musical gifts to create income. But I decided to ignore my intuition and went with the rational choice instead. My emotional exhaustion was the price I paid for choosing this path.

While I completed both degrees in the end, it is my music degree that provides my income and enjoyment.

Are you currently pursuing something you know isn’t right for you? Are you exhausted by the emotional conflict created in choosing what’s practical versus what you love? Do you lack motivation because your life is devoid of joy, fulfillment, or meaning? Your exhaustion may be an invitation to trust your own intuition.

2. It’s okay to ask for help.

As an international student studying in the U.S., I often felt alone. My family and support systems were far away. I underestimated how vulnerable I would feel being in a different culture. My initial reaction to this vulnerability was to fool myself into thinking I could go it alone.

In the Personal Power program, I learned that we need to feel connected to others in order to feel alive. By denying my vulnerability and my need for connection, I suffered mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Once I’d suffered enough, I decided to embrace my vulnerability and reach out to others. It made all the difference.

Emotional exhaustion can leave one feeling intensely vulnerable. It can be hard to ask for help for fear of being viewed as a failure or as someone who is unable to manage their own lives. But in your exhaustion is the presence of a deep truth: It’s okay to ask for help because you were never meant to go it alone.

3. Be patient.

Collectively, we’ve lost our capacity for patience. Our deepest needs are constantly being eclipsed by our immediate wants. And all the while we struggle to tell the difference.

During my college years, I was very ambitious academically. There’s nothing wrong with ambition. But when unbalanced, ambition can give way to disillusionment and emotional burnout.

My desire for success left me feeling impatient. I took full course loads every semester. I rarely made time for leisure, play, and rest. I’d given up my need for balance in favor of assured academic success.

But my emotional exhaustion was a wake up call that this strategy was not working. It was a sign that I needed to slow down, reorder my priorities, and think about success more holistically.

Are you currently on the fast track to emotional exhaustion? It may be time to slow down.

4. Surrender.

In my quest to be in full control of my future and ensure my happiness, I nearly burned out in college.

My emotional exhaustion was an invitation to face the reality that I don’t control everything.

In his book The Surrender Experiment, Michael Singer poses this question:

“Am I better off making up an alternative reality in my mind and then fighting with reality to make it be my way, or am I better off letting go of what I want and serving the same forces of reality that managed to create the entire perfection of the universe around me?”

After years of fighting, I decided to trust in forces larger than myself. I still worked and studied hard, but I also gradually let go the expectations and pressures I’d created for myself. I created space for leisure, rest, and personal development.

Sometimes the only thing you can do when you’re emotionally exhausted is to surrender. Befriend it and allow the process to be part of your healing.

Are You Listening?

Next time you’re feeling emotionally exhausted, treat it as an opportunity to listen to yourself.

You don’t need to tough it out, double down, or assign blame.

Just take some time out to listen, reflect, and respond.

You won’t regret it.

17 psychological tricks to make people like you immediately

Most friendships develop so naturally that you don’t even realize how or when they started.

Sometimes, though, you want to make an effort to befriend a new acquaintance or become a better friend to existing pals.

To help you out on that front, we scoured the psychological research to find science-backed strategies to get people to like you.

Read on to find out how to develop better relationships faster.

This is an update of an article originally written by Maggie Zhang.


1. Copy them

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This strategy is called mirroring, and involves subtly mimicking the other person’s behavior. When talking to someone, try copying their body language, gestures, and facial expressions.

In 1999, New York University researchers documented the “chameleon effect,” which occurs when people unconsciously mimic each other’s behavior, and that mimicry facilitates liking.

Researchers had 78 men and women work on a task with a partner, who was really a confederate working for the researchers. The partners engaged in different levels of mimicry, while researchers secretly videotaped the interactions. At the end of the interaction, the researchers had participants indicate how much they liked those partners.

Sure enough, participants were more likely to say that they liked their partner when their partner had mimicked their behavior.

2. Spend more time around them

According to the mere-exposure effect, people tend to like things that are familiar to them.

Knowledge of this phenomenon dates back to the 1950s, when MIT researchers discovered that college students who lived closer together in housing projects were more likely to be friends than students who lived farther apart.

This could be because students who live close by can experience more passive, day-to-day interactions with each other, such as greeting each other in the common room or kitchen. Under certain circumstances, those interactions can develop into full-fledged friendships.

More recently, psychologists at the University of Pittsburgh had four women pose as students in a university psychology class. Each woman showed up in class a different number of times. When experimenters showed male students pictures of the four women, the men demonstrated a greater affinity for those women they’d seen more often in class — even though they hadn’t interacted with any of them.

Taken together, these findings suggest that simply spending more time with people can make them like you more. Even if you don’t live near your friends, try sticking to a steady routine with them, such as going out for coffee every week or taking a class together.


3. Compliment other people

People will associate the adjectives you use to describe other people with your personality. This phenomenon is called spontaneous trait transference.

One study found that this effect occurred even when people knew certain traits didn’t describe the people who had talked about them.

According to Gretchen Rubin, author of books including “The Happiness Project,” “whatever you say about other people influences how people see you.”

If you describe someone else as genuine and kind, people will also associate you with those qualities. The reverse is also true: If you are constantly trashing people behind their backs, your friends will start to associate the negative qualities with you as well.


4. Be in a great mood

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Emotional contagion describes what happens when people are strongly influenced by the moods of other people. According to a research paper from the Ohio University and the University of Hawaii, people can unconsciously feel the emotions of those around them.

If you want to make others feel happy when they’re around you, do your best to communicate positive emotions.


5. Make friends with their friends

The social-network theory behind this effect is called triadic closure, which means that two people are likely to be closer when they have a common friend.

To illustrate this effect, students at the University of British Columbia designed a program that friends random individuals on Facebook. They found that people were more likely to accept their friend request as their number of mutual friends increased — from 20% with no mutual friends to close to 80% with more than 11 mutual friends.


6. Don’t be complimentary all the time

The gain-loss theory of interpersonal attractiveness suggests that your positive comments will make more of an impact if you deliver them only occasionally.

A 1965 study by University of Minnesota researchers shows how this theory might work in practice. Researchers had 80 female college students work in pairs on a task and then allowed those students to “overhear” their partners talking about them. In reality, experimenters had told the partners what to say.

In one scenario, the comments were all positive; in a second scenario, the comments were all negative; in a third scenario, the comments went from positive to negative; and in a fourth scenario, the comments went from negative to positive.

As it turns out, students liked their partners best when the comments went from positive to negative, suggesting that people like to feel that they’ve won you over in some capacity.

Bottom line: Although it’s counterintuitive, try complimenting your friends less often.


7. Be warm and competent

Social psychologist Susan Fiske proposed the stereotype content model, which is a theory that people judge others based on their warmth and competence.

According to the model, if you can portray yourself as warm — i.e., noncompetitive and friendly — people will feel like they can trust you. If you seem competent — for example, if you have high economic or educational status — they’re more inclined to respect you.

Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy says that, especially in business settings, it’s important to demonstrate warmth first and then competence.

“From an evolutionary perspective,” Cuddy writes in her book “Presence,” “it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust.”


8. Reveal your flaws from time to time

According to the pratfall effect, people will like you more after you make a mistake — but if they only believe you are usually a competent person. Revealing that you aren’t perfect makes you more relatable and vulnerable toward the people around you.

Researcher Elliot Aronson first discovered this phenomenon when he studied how simple mistakes can affect perceived attraction. He asked male students from the University of Minnesota to listen to tape recordings of people taking a quiz.

When people did well on the quiz but spilled coffee at the end of the interview, the students rated them higher on likability than when they did well on the quiz and didn’t spill coffee or didn’t do well on the quiz and spilled coffee.


9. Emphasise your shared values

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According to a classic study by Theodore Newcomb, people are more attracted to those who are similar to them. This is known as the similarity-attraction effect. In his experiment, Newcomb measured his subjects’ attitudes on controversial topics, such as sex and politics, and then put them in a University of Michigan-owned house to live together.

By the end of their stay, the subjects liked their housemates more when they had similar attitudes about the topics that were measured.

If you’re hoping to get friendly with someone, try to find a point of similarity between you two and highlight it.


10. Casually touch them

This is known as subliminal touching, which occurs when you touch a person so subtly that they barely notice. Common examples include tapping someone’s back or touching their arm, which can make them feel more warmly toward you.

In “Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior,” author Leonard Mlodinow mentions a study in France in which young men stood on street corners and talked to women who walked by. They had double the success rate in striking up a conversation when they lightly touched the woman’s arms as they talked to them instead of doing nothing at all.

In a University of Mississippi and Rhodes College experiment that studied the effects of interpersonal touch on restaurant tipping, waitresses briefly touched customers on the hand or shoulder as they were returning their change. As it turns out, they earned significantly larger tips than waitresses who didn’t touch their customers.


11. Smile

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Getty Images (Getty Images)

In one study, nearly 100 undergraduate women looked at photos of another woman in one of four poses: smiling in an open-body position, smiling in a closed-body position, not smiling in an open-body position, or not smiling in a closed-body position. Results suggested that the woman in the photo was liked most when she was smiling, regardless of her body position.

Bonus: Another study suggested that smiling when you first meet someone helps ensure they’ll remember you later.


12. See the other person how they want to be seen

People want to be perceived in a way that aligns with their own beliefs about themselves. This phenomenon is described by self-verification theory. We all seek confirmations of our views, positive or negative.

For a series of studies at Stanford University and the University of Arizona, participants with positive and negative perceptions of themselves were asked whether they wanted to interact with people who had positive or negative impressions of them.

The participants with positive self-views preferred people who thought highly of them, while those with negative self-views preferred critics. This could be because people like to interact with those who provide feedback consistent with their known identity.

Other research suggests that, when people’s beliefs about us line up with our own, our relationship with them flows more smoothly. That’s likely because we feel understood, which is an important component of intimacy.


13. Tell them a secret

Self-disclosure may be one of the best relationship-building techniques.

In a study led by Arthur Aron at Stony Brook University, college students were paired off and told that they should spend 45 minutes getting to know each other better.

Experimenters provided some student pairs with a series of questions to ask, which got increasingly deep and personal. For example, one of the intermediate questions was “How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?” Other pairs were given small-talk-type questions. For example, one question was “What is your favorite holiday? Why?”

At the end of the experiment, the students who’d asked increasingly personal questions reported feeling much closer to each other than students who’d engaged in small talk.

You can try this technique on your own as you’re getting to know someone. For example, you can build up from asking them about their last trip to the movies to learning about the people who mean the most to them in life. When you learn intimate information about another person, they are likely to feel closer to you and want to confide in you in the future.


14. Expect good things from people

According to the Pygmalion effect, people treat others in ways that are consistent with their expectations of them and therefore cause the person to behave in a way that confirms those expectations.

In a Harvard Magazine article, Cuddy says, “If you think someone’s a jerk, you’ll behave toward them in a way that elicits jerky behaviors.”

On the other hand, if you expect someone to be friendly toward you, they are more likely to behave in a friendly manner toward you.


15. Act like you like them

Psychologists have known for a while about a phenomenon called “reciprocity of liking”: When we think someone likes us, we tend to like them as well.

In one study, for example, participants were told that certain members of a group discussion would probably like them. These group members were chosen randomly by the experimenter.

After the discussion, participants indicated that the people they liked best were the ones who supposedly liked them.


16. Display a sense of humor

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Research from Illinois State University and California State University at Los Angeles found that, regardless of whether people were thinking about their ideal friend or romantic partner, having a sense of humor was really important.

Meanwhile, not having a sense of humor, especially at the office, could backfire. One study of 140 Chinese workers between 26 and 35 found that people were less well-liked and less popular among their colleagues if they were “morally focused.”

That means they placed a high value on displaying caring, fairness, and other moral traits. The researchers said that that was because morally focused individuals were perceived as less humorous by their colleagues.


17. Let them talk about themselves

Harvard researchers recently discovered that talking about yourself may be inherently rewarding, the same way that food, money, and sex are.

In one study, the researchers had participants sit in an fMRI machine and respond to questions about either their own opinions or someone else’s. Participants had been asked to bring a friend or family member to the experiment, who was sitting outside the fMRI machine. In some cases, participants were told that their responses would be shared with the friend or relative; in other cases, their responses would be kept private.

Results showed that the brain regions associated with motivation and reward were most active when participants were sharing information publicly — but also when they were talking about themselves, even if no one was listening.

In other words, letting someone share a story or two about their life instead of blabbing on about yours could give them more positive memories of your interaction.

Commitment is the beginning of your Success

Are you committed to your own success? Before you can start your own personal journey to success you have to ask yourself this one question, “Am I committed to the task?” You see many of us and including myself have a desire to succeed in life but soon after we begin we automatically stop. Why? Because we were not committed in our own thinking. It is vital that you flood your mind with positive thoughts, listening to motivational audiobooks or watching videos to help keep your on track. You have to remind yourself why you are pursing success. I will continue to press this subject of the transformation of your mind as much as I can because if you are not committed within your own mind you will soon find failure and defeat when it comes knocking on your front door.

Every successful entrepreneur has had a face to face meeting with failure, defeat and doubt. Even I have meet them face to face. Honestly, there some days I don’t feel like writing these blog posts or keep posting inspiring messages on social media. But I have to look deep down inside of myself and press on because this website is for all of you who are seeking information on how to succeed. This task that I have taken on is for the greater of my community and my fellow Americans. Many of us believe that success is not for us but it is. When you get an idea for a business or a product do not just throw in the towel and give up. If you do, YOU ARE A LOSER. Plain and simple. I want you to know that you can do it. Stay the course and be committed. Remember success is not just for you but for your family and your community. Society depends on you to succeed. The only way you will ever see your dreams come true is if you stay committed. From the start to finish, you must stay focused on your goals.

Right now I am staying committed to starting my own small business helping other small businesses within my community succeed online with digital marketing. I have experience with Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, Instagram, utilizing Google Analytics and tracking my online progress. I have a skill that I can contribute to my community and I can use my talents to build wealth. My first financial goal is to save $100,000 and invest that into a tangible asset and my business goal is to help 10X the online presence of a small business. I know that I can do it because I am committed. If I allow defeat to enter my thoughts then I will give into the very thought of failure and then I will fail at my task to help someone succeed. I cannot and you cannot allow someone else’s opinion to become your reality. Do not let people’s opinion of your goal stop you from being committed. Protect your mind at all times and stay committed at all times. Remove that person from your life if you have to. It doesn’t matter if they are your family or best friend. If they truly are behind you then they will support you all the way.

So what can you do to stay committed? Well first you have to make a decision. Do you want to succeed? If that answer is yes, then you are on your way to success. Everything in life requires that you make a decision. My second recommendation is to remove all people that have a poverty mentality. This is people who have a mediocre approach to life and they quit early on at anything that comes their way. They find that doing the minimal at their job is all that is required. Having a good attitude is far from them and they treat others with disrespect. This is a defeated mentality because doing the average and having poor customer service is what will keep you poor. Going above and beyond at your job is what will keep you ahead of the game because you are giving your all. Thirdly, turn off the news and all social media. There is so much negativity in the world that it can bring you down and get you off your goal. Fourthly, read and listen to anything that will inspire, educate and motivate you to staying focused. By doing this, the information you feed your mind will help you to stay faithful to complete what you need to get done. All that I recommended here is just the beginning of your long journey, but I practice these on a daily basis.

In conclusion, you need to stay committed to your dreams and goals. Do not and I repeat do not allow people’s opinions of you become your reality. Protect your mind at all times and remember why you started. Remember your family depends on you and so does your community.

5 Ways to Increase Your Motivation

Making the decision to start running is a step in the direction of becoming healthier, but starting something new can be daunting, overwhelming and scary. Finding motivation to persevere and commit is possible. If you’re new to the sport of running or find yourself in a running rut, benefit from these five tips that will help you find your motivation and reach your goals.

1. Sign up for a race.

The great thing about road races is that once you sign up, you have to run to train for it. It’s the only way you can prepare yourself for the race.

Once you commit to a road race, the way you think about running changes. Running suddenly has a purpose. If you skip a day because you don’t want to run, you’re only making it harder on yourself to get to where you need to be on race day. Because of this, you’ll make time to run because you’ll think of it as training.

2. Get great music.

The hardest part about running is the first step out the door, but giving yourself something to look forward to on the run will make it easier. You know that song that you blast when you hear it on the radio, dance to, download it and upload it onto your iPod? That song should be the first song you hear as you head out the door to go run.  Listen to it as much as you want but only listen to it while you’re on a run. You’ll look forward to hearing the song, and it will make walking out the door 10 times easier.

3. Think short-term.

For running to become part of your lifestyle, it needs to be something you enjoy, not something you worry about. If you tell yourself that you have to run every day for the rest of your life, it will feel impossible and overwhelm you. Things are going to happen that derail your running plans; life will get in the way. That’s why it’s important to think about today, not the next 1,000 tomorrows.

Focus on the present and what you can do today. If you only have 30 minutes for today’s run, then try to go a little faster than you would if you had an hour. If you can’t run today, make it a priority to run tomorrow. If you can’t run after work, try to run in the morning.  Focus on finding a solution to your running speed bumps, and it will feel much easier to make running part of your life.

4. Celebrate your achievement.

Splurge on new running sneakers and you’ll feel terrible if you don’t use them. If you have running gear that you love, you’ll want to put it on and use it. Celebrating your running achievements is a great motivator to reach your running goals, too.

5. Talk about it.

Stand in front of the mirror and repeat this sentence: I am a runner. Did that feel weird? Now try saying it in front of your friends and family. Scary thought, isn’t it?

It’s scary to tell people that you run, but doing so will help motivate you to stick with it. This sounds silly, but it’s true. Telling people makes it official and no longer your secret. But the greatest things happen when you step outside of your comfort zone, so just do it. Tell your friends and family that you run. Once you do, you own it – running is now something you do. Nobody cares how fast or how long you go – just the simple fact that you do it is impressive. They’ll ask you about it, so you’ll feel compelled to keep running.

Running is something you own, it’s your responsibility to keep doing.  The more you talk about it, the more pride you’ll take in running. You’ll want to stick with it because it feels empowering to do something challenging entirely on your own. So start talking.

Every runner is different, but this rings true for everyone: You can achieve any goal you set in front of yourself. Staying motivated to reach your goals is an ongoing battle, and you will struggle from time to time. It’s all in your head. Too often we get in the mindset that we can’t do something, and we let minor setback stop us from achieving our goals. Don’t think too much about running, just get out there and do it. Only you can motivate yourself.

 

Kick Your Bad Habits With These 4 Psychological Tricks

Smoking, overeating, nail biting, or wasting away the hours on YouTube; whatever your bad habits may be, there’s a good chance you’ve tried to give them up at one point or another, and perhaps you actually managed to ditch the offending behavior after a few months of exercising some extreme willpower.

But if you tend to find yourself raiding the pantry for chocolate chip cookies just two hours after you solemnly pledged to eat more healthily, you’re not alone.

According to research from the Journal of Clinical Psychology, approximately 54% of people who resolve to change their ways fail to make the transformation last beyond six months, and the average person makes the same resolution 10 times over without success.

So why is it so hard for us to make lasting changes to our behavior or attitudes?

Psychological scientists believe that the key to kicking bad habits lies in understanding our mental patterns and working with the brain rather than fighting against its natural processing system.

So next time you’re trying to turn over a new leaf, give some of these psychology-based tricks a go.

1. Figure out why and when you’re doing it.

There’s usually an underlying reason for your bad habits, such as boredom or stress, and if you pay attention, you’ll notice that all of your vices are tied to certain situations or routines.

These bad habits generally also reward you with something: smoking rewards you with stress relief, and wasting time on the Internet temporarily rewards you by diverting your attention.

Identifying how your vices are rewarding you, as well as when they occur is the first step to eliminating them from your life entirely.

For instance, you may notice that you drink more alcohol when you’re around certain people, or maybe you tend to overeat when you’re home alone. Knowing what triggers certain behavior can help you to come up with the right strategies for changing these unhealthy patterns.

2. Find a replacement habit.

Research shows that it’s far more effective to replace a bad habit with a better one than to simply cut out the old habit.

Why? Replacing a habit takes less mental effort than completely eliminating it, and believe it or not, willpower is actually a limited resource.

Once you’ve figured out how your vices are rewarding you, you can establish new habits that will reward you in similar ways, but without the same negative side effects, or at least fewer side effects.

For example, if you need to improve your diet, making an effort to snack on fruit instead of junk food would be a lot easier than not eating anything at all, and replacing your smoking break with another less damaging activity, like eating a small snack, would be more effective than doing nothing at all.

3. Don’t try to suppress your thoughts.

When trying to kick a bad habit, people often attempt to think about everything but that one activity, which of course, causes them to think about nothing but that one activity.

Why? Studies show that when we try to suppress thoughts, they actually come back stronger, because our subconscious doesn’t differentiate between “do” and “don’t” and will inevitably fixate on the one thing we’re trying so hard to ignore.

Psychologists have dubbed this phenomenon “ironic process theory.”

So, for instance, if someone tells you not to think about pink dinosaurs, you will immediately begin to think about pink dinosaurs. If you tell yourself not to think about having a smoke, all you’re going to be able to think about is going for a smoke, and you’ll start seeing the temptation everywhere.

4. Make changes to your routine or environment.

New situations make you more conscious of your behavior and choices, so changing something in your routine or environment, even if it isn’t directly connected to the habit you are trying to break, can make it easier to welcome new habits.

This is why big changes like moving to a new city or ending a relationship are often accompanied by smaller changes, like exercising more frequently or following a new diet.

One study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that a new environment can remove the automatic guides for performing certain habits and help people to make new or different decisions about their daily routines.

Even small changes can make a big difference. For example, if you tend to overeat while watching TV, make an effort to sit at the table and turn off the television during meals so that you can be more conscious of your eating habits.

Sources: mindbodygreen.com