Categories
action items

Calm Your Anxious Brain by Reminding Yourself That You Are Safe

Every human has a certain level of anxiety. We need it. It electrifies our fight, flight or freeze response and it can keep us safe. Issues arise when our anxiety is overactive, when we feel anxious in situations that do not need to elicit a strong response, or when our anxiety hinders us from functioning. When we have a heightened feeling of anxiety it can stress us out, we may feel unsafe, we may have racing thoughts and anxiety can potentially ruin our entire day or week.

There are tips for quelling a panic attack and removing anxiety. Things like grounding by finding 3 things around you that you can touch, see and smell. I don’t know about others, but if I am having an anxiety attack, I am not thinking of things around me and it is tough for me to get to that point. I also find it very unhelpful as I am disconnected and disassociating from my environment when I am in that stage. My mind is racing, and I do not care that there is a blue chair or a coffee table near me.

I, however, find something that worked for me and I wanted to share it with you to see if it can help you out. Everyone is different so you may need to change the wording or maybe it won’t work at all, but it is worth a shot!

“I am safe.”

When I am having an anxiety attack or feeling particularly anxious, I ground myself by reminding myself that I am safe. That is my version of looking around and naming things. But instead I am looking around and reminding myself that I am safe. Because I am. And if I am not then my anxiety is doing what it is supposed to do – it is alarming me to threat and danger.

I stumbled upon this little gem as I was reflecting on the situations in which my anxiety was triggered. One of which was speaking in front of large groups. Depending on your level of anxiety the actual size of a large crowd can differ. For some a large crown can be more than 3, for others it can mean more than 100, others more than 1000, so forth and so on. Whatever the case, before speaking in front of a group our anxiety can be initiated and manifest in what people commonly refer to as “nerves”.

You may feel anxious, you may have shaky hands or sweaty palms.This is a result of your body responding to your thoughts. The way you are thinking about the situation is sending a signal to your body that is telling it you are in danger. Your body is then responding by triggering your anxiety in order for you to successfully flight or flee. However, you logically know there is no real danger. You are now stuck with a miscommunicating mind and body, inner turmoil between your anxious and logical brain, sweaty palms, anxiety and a speech to present – oh joy.

A few years ago I was in a position where I was speaking in front of groups a lot and I was usually the last speaker. While everyone else was presenting my anxiety was festering. Making it worse, I was working in compliance so we were not the most loved speakers and people usually just looked bored and dismissive – it was a tough crowd.

During meetings when I felt my anxiety get triggered I started to remind myself I was safe. I grounded myself. I was sitting in a conference room and I was about to have a catered lunch. I was more than safe! I was doing great! I practiced what I was going to say the night before, I was prepared. Then I started thinking about how far I came in my career and how my speech might go extremely well!

Sh*t, maybe the CEO will hear about it and I’ll get a raise on the spot with a promotion and a company credit card. Hehe, it went from me being frozen with anxiety – but not enough to keep my hands from shaking – to me realizing I am probably looking like a weirdo laughing at my own thoughts while someone is discussing quarterly projections.

Normal levels of anxiety do not interfere with daily functions. Being anxious sucks. I know. I’m living it and have been living it for my entire life. You can beat it though. It is all about finding what works for you. Next time you are feeling anxious or have racing thoughts remind yourself that you are safe and see if it helps. If you try another mantra that works for you let me know if the comments.

Categories
action items

8 Ways to Work Through and Resolve Cringeworthy Events

SUMMARY: Cringeworthy, or embarrassing, events can replay in our mind in what may feel like a never-ending cycle. We need to work through these thoughts to build confidence, remove doubt and have a safe space to work on our self development.

The what

We call them cringeworthy because they make us cringe – we feel embarrassed or awkward. Sometimes a cringe worthy experience is something we just cannot seem to forget or get out of our minds. We may recall these experiences months and even years after they occur. They can have a lot of negative effect on our lives and our decision making process.

Note: Due to different perspectives, people define what constitutes a cringe worthy experience differently. However, everyone has had an awkward or cringeworthy event in their life that they would like to forget. Look at this post of people sharing their cringeworthy events here.

Examples

For illustrative purposes only (but I am sure something like this has happened at one point to someone in the world).

  • Franklin trusted a fart that he shouldn’t have. An already very unfortunate event made worse by the fact he was on a first date.
  • The hot sandwich guy said, “enjoy your meal.” Without thinking Kate responded, “love you too.”
  • Mary was presenting in front of the entire company. She flops and forgets her speech – mumbling instead of sounding confident like she practiced.
  • Eric has been crushing on Mark for years. He decides to work up the courage and ask Mark out. Mark says he thinks Eric is a “nice guy,” but he does not want to date him – ouch.
  • Amber drank one too many last night. She woke up with a faint recollection of what happened but she feels embarrassed by what she does remember.

Note: Depending on the person, only 1 or even none of these may be defined as cringeworthy.

The why

Cringeworthy events can pop in our heads and go on a repeating loop with seemingly no cause at all. Our brain could be bored, we could be triggered by something in our environment, feelings around the event can be unresolved, etc. Whatever the cause, The reason it reoccurs is because it is unfinished or because our anxiety is manifesting in the event. We can try to push the event out of our minds or practice unhealthy escapism (drinking, sex, drugs, eating, video games, etc.) but the event will keep coming back until we resolve it.

The effects

Cringeworthy events can have negative effects on us long after they are over. We need to work through the event so it will stop reoccurring in our mind. When we face it head on we relive anxiety, free up mind space and allow ourselves to move forward in a positive direction.

  • They can hold us back. If we have a cringe worth experience that makes us feel embarrassed or like we are “less than” we can form an inaccurate self-image that can result in low self esteem and lead to us holding ourselves back or feeling like we are not deserving.
  • They take up mental mind space. All of the time we are spending going over these experiences is not productive and takes our mind from things we can focus on that are productive and can actually keep us from having cringeworthy evens in the future.
  • They can be a dream killer. Back to that lowered self-image. If a cringe worthy experience involves our career (like our friend Mary in the example above) we may focus on that one bad experience keeping us from practicing and getting back out there.
  • They take our attention away. The time we take to mull over the cringeworthy experience is taking away time from other valuable endeavors. Even if it is getting some sleep or relaxing and watching TV.
  • They are manifested anxiety. And anxiety likes to feed and feed. If we succumb here, anxiety will have a pathway into other areas.
  • They can keep us awake at night or interrupt or sleep. In order to work on self development we need to get some much needed R&R. How many times do you lay awake at night and have a cringe worthy event pop up? It is time to get them gone.

OK, how do I get rid of them?

The answer here is going to be different for everyone. Try a few of the items below and see what works. Remember: you can do this! YOU are not the cringeworthy experience. It does not define you or who you are as a person.

1. Play out how it would have ideally happened.

Listing my favorite one first. When we think of the event we most likely go over the bad parts and we stop there. We then try to push it away because we feel embarrassed or get overcome with emotions. Instead, we should think about what would have ideally happened. For example, ideally, Franklin would not have sh*t himself on his date and maybe he would have gotten laid.

This is not to have you feeling badly about what happened. This to to have you work through it so you do not just stop and the cringeworthy part and allow a continual cycle of it replaying in your brain. This way, if, in the future you are in a similar situation you are prepared to have it end with a better result. Maybe Kate will focus on her responses to hot sandwich guys so she doesn’t blurt out things she doesn’t mean – or maybe Franklin won’t have Taco Bell before a date.

In this case, Mary, can focus on how her speech would have ideally been presented. Instead of wasting time rehashing the event, she can channel that energy and use it towards practicing for her next presentation. You got this Mary!

2. Consider that it may have not been as bad as we think.

We tend to be our own worse critic. When we think of the cringeworthy event we most likely recall it as being worse than it was. And we most likely stop at the point where we feel we failed. What we tend to do is not realize how it could have actually played out. Maybe Mary’s speech wasn’t so bad. Maybe Mark thought Eric was cute but Mark isn’t gay… I’m all about being positive but sh*tting yourself on a first date is pretty bad so I got nothing for Franklin here 🤣.

Whatever the case remind yourself that it may not be as bad as you thought and if it was bad it is over and you can do better next time – you can!

3. Think of someone else’s cringeworthy event.

While we should only focus inward it is sometimes tough to not worry abut what others are thinking – I get it. Gain a little perspective here and realize it may not be as bad as you think. Maybe a friend called you embarrassed because they did something or someone did something embarrassing in front of you. Notice how you forget about it? Other people are forgetting about yours too. While it matters what we think and not what others think it may help ease our mind when we realizes others probably don’t remember.

There will be those people who seem not to forget (or like to bring up) certain cringeworthy events of others. Just know that this is a direct reflection of that person. They are most likely goin over every cringeworthy events they did in their own mind while they bring up yours or they are so boring they don’t have any cringe worth events of their own – a sad life to lead.

4. Make an accountability circle

We can be really tough on ourselves sometimes and we may tend to think all the accountability is on us. How accountable were we for this experience? Sometimes these events happened when we did not know any better. This is not to make any excuses. It is to help us understand what we did and how much we contributed to this cringe worthiness. If we should have known better than we can acknowledge that and resort to doing better moving forward. When we face the situation head on, figure out who is accountable and resolve it will action items going forward we work though the situation and stop the loop and reoccurring playback.

I’m feeling great. Feeling better?

5. Consult the trichotomy of control

The trichotomy of control focuses on helping us realize the things we can, cannot, and can somewhat control. What Eric did took courage and he should be commending not condemning himself. Eric cannot control that Mark said no. Eric can control how open he is to others in the future. He should not be seeing this as a cringeworthy event but rather as a time saver. He can now stop focusing on Mark and on something more productive.

6. Engage self-compassion

What would you say to a friend who did what you did? Are you saying that to yourself? Forgive yourself and allow yourself to make mistakes. If it is a one off type thing like Amber getting blacked out by just having a good time and having one too many then we should have some compassion for ourselves. If it is reoccurring, we should still have compassion but we also need to work on the underlying issue and realize it may be caused by a bigger problem – maybe Amber needs to lay off the partying and face her issues head on instead of drowning them in a bottle of Jamo.

7. Change perspective

These type of events can help us too. Eric cannot control that Mark said no. What Eric did took courage and he should be commended not condemning himself. If we look at cringeworthy events as life lesson and as teaching moments we move them from negative to positive. Rejection is tough but Eric faced it head on and now he is more equipped to ask for what he wants in the future without fear. With all the practice, Mary is going to be a rock star at presentations.

We can also try to think of it as comically bad. I mean, Franklin, what are the chances? Remember, thinking of it negatively is only hurting yourself. Try to utilize it and make the event work for you.

8. Write it out

Last, but certainly not least, sometimes writing things out helps us to work through them. I have a journal next t my bed and sometimes when I feel my brain is working too much I will write some things out so I can sleep. Writing things out can help us gain clarity and find peace. While we may not be able to resolve it fully, writing it out a cringeworthy experience will help us to work through it better than replaying it in our minds.

I totally understand how it can be nerve-wracking to think of someone reading your thoughts. If you do not keep a journal because of this consider writing it out and then throwing it out. Or you could do a Nancy Drew type thing and come up with your own secret code.

Conclusion

If we are going to do this self development thing I need you to have a clear mind space. Replaying cringeworthy events is counterproductive and will hold you back. It’s like carrying a 70lb weight on your back as you try to sprint up a hill and das not good. You’re guaranteed to lose the race every time.

Continue to work through any cringeworthy events as they pop up. It may be uncomfortable at first but the more you do it the easier it becomes. All of this is really tough. I know. It is worth it though, I promise you. I’m proud of you.

Would love some comments. If you want to share a cringeworthy event below please do so, if not here with someone you are close to or in a journal.

Categories
Uncategorized

3 Reasons Why I Have Pictures of Puppies (And Not People) on My Website Dedicated to Self-Development

Like anyone starting a site I took a look at what was already out there. All of the self-development websites looked the same. Stock pictures of happy people: a woman in a field throwing leaves in the air, etc. To me, it was all very generic. I didn’t want that. We need something different.

Wanting to focus on the quality of the content, ideally I would not have any pictures at all. However, I quickly found out that a site can look pretty boring without pictures. I was stuck. I needed something to grab my readers attention, but not take away from the writing. Hmmm.

There was much contemplation and I tried a lot of different directions — if you have been following the site you may have noticed all of the edits. Then, the answer came to me… puppies!

Eureka! It was so simple yet so genius.

Here’s why:

  1. Not only are puppies and kittens super cute and adorable, it has been proven that looking at pictures of cute animals boosts mood and increases productivity. An interesting study on that here.
  2. Puppies will eliminate any feelings of comparison and let you focus on yourself and your improvement.
  3. It is just weird enough to be quirky and that is JUST my style.

Hope you enjoy the pictures of the cute puppies and kittens. I find they are making me smile as I edit the site. And remember to keep on keeping on. There are people out there who want you to succeed (I am one of them).

– Lyndsey

Exercises to help you improve here:

Recent articles here:

Categories
action items exercises

Take Inventory of Things You Like, Don’t Like, and Are Meh About

SUMMARY: Making a like, meh and dislike list is good for anyone trying to move forward in a positive direction. It can help you decide on a new goal or just figure out what to focus on next. It doesn’t take long and you may experience a lot of positive benefits – so just do it.

Intro

Let’s face it. We can get lost sometimes. There is a good chance you may feel lost right now. Things are busy. We get distracted. It is good to ground ourselves and to consider how we really feel. To realize the things in our lives that are going well and the things that we can improve upon. This is how we efficiently make goals.

This exercise does just that. It helps us figure out what we should focus on and what we do not need (or want) in our lives. It consists of writing down a few things in a list of three columns and then evaluating what we come up with.

As a person who hates making lists like this, I can attest that this list was very helpful for me. I think it will be helpful for you too. All it takes is some thought, 5-15 minutes and something to write your list on. What can it hurt, right?

We are going to go over how to make the list, some tips if you get stuck and then I will go over my list from 8 years ago and how it has helped me. Let’s begin – shall we?

How to

  1. Make three columns: on a piece of paper, on your phone, on a word doc, on the back of a receipt or napkin – wherever.
  2. Label the columns something along the lines of: “Things I like,” “Things I am meh about” and “Things I do not like.” You can name the columns whatever you like. “Things I am meh about” could be “Things I am indifferent to.” You can use emojis (😀, 😶, 😫) for all I care just make sure the overall idea is still there.
  3. Fill-in the columns accordingly.
    • not all columns need to have the same amount of items but make sure to have at least 5 items per column
    • the more items per column the better this will work
    • no one will see this (unless you want them to) so feel free to list away
    • tips for filling-in the columns below
  4. Take a step back. Maybe go for a walk or just do some breathing for a moment. Then, look at what you wrote and see if there are any patterns. Is there something in your ‘do not like’ column that you cannot change so the right course of action is acceptance? Maybe it is only temporary so you can look forward to when it will end? Is there something in your ‘like’ column that you can do more of, like going for more walks? Whatever is on your meh list most likely should not be part of any of your goals – why work for something you are just meh about?

Below I will go over my list from 8 years ago and show how I incorporated it into my life to give you a better idea.

But first, some tips for creation:

  • Think of things that are societally expected of you and how you feel about it. Put it in the appropriate column.
  • Reflect on your day and things that make you happy or not during a typical day.
  • Think of the apps you use, people you talk to and your interactions with the world. What ones do you like or not like. What ones are you indifferent to?
  • Look around your house and see what you like. Maybe you do not like the messy pile of clothes in the corner but you like the candle on the table – list them in the appropriate columns.
  • Recall memories of things that made you really happy and things that made you sad. Write them down.
  • Imagine your ideal life and put some things that are in that image in the like column, things you do not want there in the dislike column, and things you are indifferent to in the meh column.
  • Shout it out! I saved the best for last. When I originally did this exercise I had some trouble getting started and realized I was thinking about it too much and being too analytical for my own good. I took a couple deep breaths. Calmed my brain and just let the thoughts come from where – uncontrolled. You’ll be surprised what you come up with!

My list (from 8 years ago)

While I couldn’t find my actual list from 8 years ago (what a bummer), the last time I saw the list was a few months ago, so I made a mock up from memory. I think I hit the nail on the head – or close to it. Let’s go through to see how I used my list to better my life in hopes it will help you to create your list and improve your life.

Things I like

I listed:

  • Sleep
  • Food
  • Being Healthy
  • Consistent Improvement
  • Plants
  • Quiet

Noone I know would be surprised by this. I make sure I get enough sleep. I have really dope pillows. I love eating healthy while also having not so healthy foods – in moderation. I am constantly working to improve myself and I have a lot of plants in my quiet home. In retrospect, I wish I listened to this list a few years ago when I decided to move to a noisy city. But, how was I to know my neighbors would sound like they were having a rollerskating party and dropping bowling balls all day, everyday?

Things I am meh about:

  • Expensive cars
  • Getting married
  • New gadgets

I was not interested in marriage then, and I am still meh about it now. I do not like expensive cars either. Everyone seems so into them I figured it would make me happy but nah. Even after test driving a beautiful sports car I am still meh about it. Just not my thing. I mean, if Elon Musk wants to gift me a Tesla I will happily accept (do it Elon, do it!), but the car note is not something I want. These are things that I will not chase in my life and are not part of my goals.

Things I do not like:

  • Traffic
  • Potholes
  • Flat tires
  • Mondays
  • High Heals

This is where the list really changed my life. I had no idea I hated driving to work so much. It was obvious that I did. I was constantly getting nails in tired due to construction, pot holes would make me cringe every time I would accidentally hit one, and traffic was a mess. After making the list, I made sure my next job was close to home and my quality of life improved! Now, I will move close to work and I try to keep my commute to less than 10 minutes. It is important to me and I have reaped so many positive benefits. I feel less stress and my life overall is better!

In regards to Mondays. I realized I did not like them but they are a day of the week just like any other. I needed to change my perspective because Monday’s weren’t going anywhere, and did not care if I didn’t like them. Now, I do not mind them as much. I’ve come to accept them and that has contributed to a more positive outlook.

Conclusion

Write your list. If you need help, fell free to DM me here with any questions or add questions in the comments. Elon, I like navy blue or black with dark tan interior 😆.

Categories
current events

I Wouldn’t Have to Touch Things at the Grocery Store If They Were Labeled Accurately

With COVID-19 we are asked to limit trips to the grocery store and to only touch the products we need. I am more than happy to oblige.

Even without COVID when I’m at the grocery store I want to get in and out ASAP. Before I go I make a list and coordinated it with the store layout. Items are on my list according to aisle starting at the produce section on the left side of the store and ending in dairy on the right side of the store.

With COVID, the thing keeping me from getting out as quickly as I would like is that the brands I typically purchase are out of stock and I have to choose new brands. With new brands comes the question: is the labeling accurate?

A very frustrating truth is that some organizations practice misleading advertising. So the “100% apple juice” you are buying could actually be made of concentrate, fructose syrup and a bunch of other preservatives. It took me a few tries before I could find a 100% cranberry juice that listed cranberry juice as the only ingredient.

I saw this a few times today. While I would love to just quickly read the front of the label and trust what it says, I know better. I know that a lot of labels are inaccurate and for marketing purposes only. I know I need to read the ingredient list in order to know what I will actually be consuming. Whether done unintentionally or on purpose, companies need to be held accountable for their labeling practices. They need to label their products appropriately or edit their product so the label is correct.

How can we change this?

  1. Find trusted brands: Once COVID-19 is behind us grocery stores will be stocked again and we will be able to find our trusted brands. By trusted brands I mean a brand that you trust to have accurate labeling. Look at the ingredients in the items you buy and see what other additives are in there. If it says 100% of something but there are several ingredients something may not be right. While it may take some time at first, once you find your trusted brands your shopping trip will speed up. Please note, your parents’ or friends’ trusted brand does not need to be your trusted brand.
  2. Spread the word: Let others know that words like “natural” and “pure” are not regulated. Even words that are regulated are regulated very loosely. If you see a friend buying something labeled as “all natural” but you notice it is loaded with artificial sweeteners let them know. Something like – “Hey, I saw you are using ABC, I used to use that stuff but then I found out they put a lot of added fructose in there and it’s actually really unhealthy” – will do the trick.
  3. Remember that the onus is on you as a consumer. We need to hold companies accountable. If we stop purchasing mislabeled items they will get the message. As a consumer where we spend our money says a lot.
  4. Practice quality over quantity or price. Sometimes products that do not include additives cost more money. It is up to you to decide how you would like to spend your money. Keep in mind the benefits of quality over quantity like the fact that the 100% cranberry juice is more expensive but it is very strong so I dilute it with water and actually get a lot more than I would with the other stuff.
  5. Become familiar with preservatives. Some items need to contain preservative(s) to keep from going bad. For example, canned fruits typically come with citric acid which is added and used as a preservative. You do not need to be an expert, but it will be beneficial to understand preservatives and if they are added to foods you commonly eat. There seems to be different opinions on preservatives so I will leave the google searching up to you on this one.

We need to hold companies accountable for their marketing tactics and unethical practices. Checking labels can feel tedious but once you do it a few times it will get easier. Do it for you. Do it for your health.

Do you think my coordinated shopping list is anal & weird or innovative 🤷‍♀️?

Categories
mind

Self Development — Where to Begin and 12 Things to Keep in Mind

Dear reader,

Self-development begins with a want. How we develop that want is unique to each of us. It could be a result of a life changing experience, due to years of not feeling well, or we could simply have a natural desire to constantly improve. No matter where you are starting you can get to where you need to go. It may take some longer than others and that’s OK too. We are all floating on a ball in space and we are all just trying to do the best we can.

While we want to get better, we may not know where or how to begin. Making positive changes are tough so we may feel intimidated, or that we do not have the motivation or willpower to start. I was here once. Now that I look back, I realize I needed to be there in order to be where I am now.

First, start with knowing that while things are not the greatest right now, they can and will get better. Take an inventory of where you are now. What you would like to change? What do you like that you want to see more of in your life? What are you not so happy about that you would like to remove from your life or work to make better? Focus on the things you can change and work on accepting the things you can’t.

Getting started can take many forms and you do not need to spring into action right away. If you are feeling particularly unmotivated you could start by reading articles about motivation like this one here. Or you could do things that make you feel good in the short term, like reading a book or doing the dishes. If you don’t feel like doing anything you can reflect and think about how you want to do better. Just thinking about it is enough to instill the want and then we need to put the effort in to make it happen.

If you are anything like me, you want to feel better ASAP. You may be feeling a sense of urgency. These things take time though. It is a process and life is a journey. I am happy I started when I did and surprisingly, I do not have any regrets for not starting earlier. The thing is though, you have to get started.

While it would be awesome if we could just click our fingers or buy some miracle product we are going to need to put in work. Thinking of it in a daunting way will put you in a losing position so it is important to remember that while it is work, the benefits far outweigh the effort.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • You will find inspiration in unexpected places.
  • Continue to remind yourself to be accepting of change.
  • Some people will surprise you and there is a chance some will have you feeling let down.
  • Your identity is not defined by your past.
  • Some days will be easier than others.
  • It is OK to not have a good day.
  • Allow yourself to take breaks.
  • A bad day or a mistake does not negate all of your progress.
  • It’s OK to look to others for help and guidance.
  • Everyone’s path is different.
  • Something that worked for someone else may not work for you.
  • Most importantly, you are not alone.

During all of this you are going to learn about yourself. You may even surprise yourself! There are people who support you and people may surprise you too. You will realize things and see the world with more clarity. It all starts with a want and some action behind it. It will take some work but you can do it and others have done it before. I did it and I am happy to help guide you the best I can. One day you will help someone else too. It’s just how it works.

I am adding articles frequently so please continue to stop by and see if anything is helpful.

You got this!

Lyndsey

Join 64 other followers

Categories
body terms

Basal Metabolic Rate

SUMMARY

Our basal metabolic rate tells us how many calories we burn while our body is at rest. While it may be tough to get the exact number it is important for us to have a general understanding of what a basal metabolic rate is and an estimate of our basal metabolic rate.

Calories give your body energy, and your body needs energy to function even while you are just lounging around. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is considered how many calories are required to keep your body functioning per day day while being non-active. Meaning how many calories your body burns (how much energy your body needs) if you laid around and weren’t active for a day.

While some people may have the same basal metabolic rate as others, everyones basal metabolic rate is different. This difference can be due to factors such as height, weight, sex, age and amount of muscle mass. Muscle requires more energy so the more muscle you have the higher your basal metabolic rate. We lose muscle as we get older so the older we are our BMR may be lower.

It is important for us to know our BMR so we can gage how many calories our body needs at rest. Standard on-line trackers calculate BMR by general measurements such as height and age, but it is impossible for them to consider muscle mass of each individual. While they may not be spot on they can give us a general idea.

I used the three trackers below and received a similar number for each. Note, I get a body composition done at the gym each month that lists my muscle mass and BMR. My BMR from the body composition was 100 calories higher than the number I go from the tracker. Also note, I do strength training and have a higher muscle mass than the average woman my height and weight.

My fitness pal tracker here

Active.com tracker here

Tracker with a chart of calories and activity levels here.

Categories
body terms

Calories

SUMMARY

Our bodies burn and consume calories. While we do not need to understand the exact science behind calories it is important for us to be aware of them and how we consume and burn them.

On dictionary.com the word calorie is described as:

  1. “a unit equal to the kilocalorie, used to express the heat output of an organism and the fuel or energy value of food.
  2. a quantity of food capable of producing such an amount of energy.”

I have successfully lost weight (and kept if off for almost 5 years now) by keeping a general tracker of my calories, and I am not even sure what that definition means. I consider calories to be a unit of measurement to keep me on track.

What we need to know about calories is that our body burns and obtains them.

Calorie burn:

  • Our bodies burn a certain amount of calories per day while we are at rest, this is called our basal metabolic rate.
  • We burn calories while we are in motion. Activities like walking around, cleaning our home, working out, taking a stroll, etc.

Calorie consumption:

  • We consume calories by drinking them (coffee creamer, speciality drinks, soda, alcohol – basically any beverage not water or marked as “0 calorie”)
  • Calories are in our food and we consume calories every time we eat – different foods having different calories.

Categories
terms

Internal Validation

SUMMARY

Internal validation is the act of accepting our thoughts and feelings – even if we do not necessarily agree with or appreciate them. Internal validation is an integral part of the foundation for self-love and happiness. When we validate and accept ourselves we create a path towards betterment and wellbeing.

Opposite of external validation, internal validation is when we validate our own feelings, thoughts or wants. This is something we will need to work at if we never learned how, or if we do not have self-confidence or self-love. As children our care givers validate us externally. As we get older we need to shift that validation inward – which, as mentioned above, we may need to work at.

No matter our starting point, it is important to internally validate what we feel and think. When we validate internally we acknowledge our thoughts and feelings even if we do not necessarily agree with them. For example, if we are feeling anxious before speaking in front of a large audience we may acknowledge feelings of anxiety. Instead of trying to invalidate those feelings by ignoring them, getting annoyed, frustrated or pushing them away, if we acknowledge them and allow them to be what they are (most likely the result of an outdated primal instinct) we can then work through our anxious feelings. We can remind ourselves that we are not in any physical danger, and that while it is nerve-wracking to speak in front of an audience we are prepared and going to do the best we can.

This is also true during a break up. While some may encourage us to invalidate our feelings and “get over it,” or “move on,” when we internally validate our feelings and allow ourselves to feel the feels we validate that we have feelings and that we are hurt. While acknowledging our feelings it is important to stay positive (by the true definition of the word, found: here) and know that we can and will feel better.

Categories
terms

External Validation

SUMMARY

External validation is the act of our thoughts and feelings being recognized by another. While someone may not necessarily agree with our sentiment, external validation means they acknowledge how we are feeling. External validation triggers a rewarding feeling whether we seek it or not.

External validation is when we seek or receive recognition from others. When we discuss external validation in a psychological context the topic largely has to do with the validation of feelings. However, the way I see it, we are externally validated in other ways and external validation can come in many forms. For example, our friends telling us we look great with our new look is an external validation of our want for change – especially if we were feeling unsure of that change.

External validation can be lacking, for instance, if you confide in a friend that you are going to start your own business and said friend does not sound excited. If said friend does not sound excited or thinks it is a bad idea you may feel invalidated in your want to start a business. Depending on your confidence level this could potentially have you questioning your decision. On the other hand, if your friend is encouraging you may feel externally validated and more confident in your new venture.

Sometimes we seek external validation to help encourage us when we are making a tough decision or because we do not feel confident to make decisions on our own – external validation also comes in the from of support.