8 Essential Ways to Protect Your Emotions as an Empath

8 Essential Ways to Protect Your Emotions as an Empath

Lately I’ve been feeling VERY emotional. Is it because my life is difficult right now? No. Is it because life is difficult for some people I care about? Yes!

I’ve realized that I am a TOTAL empath!

I’ve always been aware that I’m generally empathetic, but lately it’s been much more prominent in my life and more difficult to deal with. And I bet many of you can relate!

That’s why I started thinking of ways we empaths can protect ourselves so we don’t get too drained and overwhelmed. 

If you’re here, you probably already know that you’re an empath, but in case you’re not sure, here are some ways to tell.

  • You can feel just as sad when something bad happens to someone you know as you would if it happened to you
  • You frequently feel emotional and don’t really know why
  • You may feel anxiety over jobs or tasks that will impact someone else
  • You get really sad during emotional movies
  • You generally feel a desire to help people and love the idea of improving the lives of others

So when you are an empath and exhibit some of these qualities, it can be very easy to get either emotionally drained or emotionally overwhelmed. 

So here are 8 ways to protect your emotions as an empath

#1 Reflect on who or what causes you to feel drained or overwhelmed

Do you feel drained after watching the news? Do you feel overwhelmed when reading about problems happening in the world?

Does the same happen when someone you know is having a bad day?

Or do you have someone in your life who uses you as an emotional crutch? (Either intentionally or not)

These things can be very draining for an empath and it’s the first step to recognize them.

#2 Recognize that you can’t fight people’s battles for them

As an empath, you probably want to solve everyone’s problems because you will feel so affected by them. 

Whether it’s wanting to save the world or fix all the problems of those close to you, you can’t do it all.

That isn’t to say that you can’t do your part to help the world or your loved ones, but recognize that you can only do so much – and that you do need to take care of your mental wellness first.

#3 Give what is within your comfortable range

So we already know that you would do anything for the people you care about, but let’s be real – you have limits. You can’t do it all. 

Figure out what is reasonable for you that you can help with and do that. 

You’ll feel good about contributing, but you won’t feel overwhelmed or drained. 

Related Article:  100 Self-Care Activities

#4 Determine your boundaries and stick to them

You can take #3 a step further and really figure out what you are able to give to others while still protecting your own emotional health.

A little exercise I like to do is think about about what “fills my cup” and what “empties my cup”.

There’s a popular saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”, meaning that you can’t help or give to others if you aren’t at your best (or at least at a good emotional level).

Make sure you stay away from the things that empty your cup.

If you are constantly doing things for people that empty your cup, you will burn out. 

If you’re getting drained by trying to please everyone, here are some tips:

-in any area of life, whether it’s at work or in your personal life, know that it’s ok to say no to things!

-be genuine and express that you just don’t have the emotional capacity right now

-if you do want to help people but you just find they drain you a bit too much, set a limit. Let them know you are there for them, but tell them in advance that you can only give so much time

-recognize that each person is in charge of their own lives and, whether they realize it or not, it will benefit them to work through their problems on their own.

#5 COMMUNICATE!!!!!

If there are people who continuously draining your energy and causing you negative emotions, you MUST communicate with them clearly. 

Let them know how they can affect you in a calm and nice way. 

Tell them that there are certain things you can’t help with and suggest someone that can help them (therapist, professional advisor, etc.)

If you let people know that you care, and that you actually might care too much, they will be more understanding.

Let them know that you are still there to listen, but that sometimes you need a break. Again, suggest therapy or counselling (or even a helpline) if you feel like they need more help or if you are worried that they are in a crisis. 

If it’s a co-worker or boss that is draining your energy by being demanding, callous, mean, or anything else that makes you feel upset – communication is key.

As an empath, you will take on that energy so strongly and it will not be a good environment for you.

And although it might seem scary to confront someone you work with (especially one who might be a little bit scary to you), it will be much better for you in the long run to at least try to make things better for yourself.

#6 Make time for self-care!!!

You need a you day! You NEED self-care in order to re-charge your mental energy.

Remember how we talked about filling your cup? Well in my mind, self-care is the best way to fill your cup.

Make sure that you do the things that fill your cup!

You can check out my post on 100 self-care ideas or sign up to get TONS of self-care worksheets, journal exercises, and tips on happy and healthy living! 

#7 Journal

Journaling is an incredible way to release your emotions if you are feeling bogged down by them. 

You can use stream of consciousness journaling to let go and release all of your thoughts onto paper. 

You can also use guided exercises like the 5 why’s and a thought dissection exercise. You can get them by following the links or you can download my free self-care worksheets above, so you can get beautiful printable worksheets (you can also fill them in my editing the pdfs). 

Just write down how you feel and that can help you get your thoughts and feelings out of your mind and body. 

#8 Consider therapy, counselling, or coaching

Sometimes these empathetic feelings can really affect you, and that’s ok.

Sometimes there are toxic people that are hard to escape from. (And if you do think you’re in a toxic or even abusive relationship, there are resources to help, like this website)

Therapy or counselling is an excellent way to deal with your emotions. Whether you feel anxious, overwhelmed, or just need advice on how to deal with different people and situations in your life! 

You can also consider online therapy, which is a great way to get counselling and therapy from the comfort of your own home!

Protecting your emotions as an empath is ESSENTIAL

If you need any extra help with self-care and your mental health I have tons of free resources that you can use below! 

It comes with 100+ journal prompts (and many more resources) that can help you to manage your emotions and live a balanced and healthy life!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
30 Days of Self-Love for a More Confident You! | Self-Love Challenge

30 Days of Self-Love for a More Confident You! | Self-Love Challenge

“I’m not good enough for that”

“They’re not going to like me”

“There’s no way I could ever do that” 

“Ugh I wish I was skinnier”

“I can’t believe I said that. Why did I say that???”

These are just a few examples of things that we say to ourselves that can be completely unfair and definitely not self-loving. 

If you find yourself saying any of these things to yourself or anything similar, you can definitely benefit from a 30-day self-love reset.

You can definitely go through these exercises in less or more time than the 30 days, but I feel that 30 days is a good length of time to create a habit of self-love. 

I have outlined everything in this post, but if you would like a beautiful printable copy to follow along with, you can sign up below for free!

You’ll also get tons of other printable sheets to help you with self-care, mental health, productivity, and really everything that contributes towards a happy and healthy life!

Why I created 30 Days of Self-Love

I used to be one of those people who did not have much self-love at all.

I was constantly beating myself up about every little thing I did wrong, I would be up all night if I said anything I thought was “stupid”, I was constantly sad if I wasn’t doing as well as other people in school or in my career, and I was unfair to my body because I didn’t look the way I thought I should. 

The list goes on.

I didn’t realize that these unhelpful sayings were actually way more toxic than I thought.

These were signs of a severe lack of self-love.

To love someone is to love them for not only for their good qualities but for their flaws as well. 

Think about how you give love to others: 

You still love your parents even though they’re not perfect.

You still love your friends even though they’re not perfect.

You still love your partner even though they’re not perfect.

You still love your dog even though… wait… nevermind, dogs are perfect! 

But you get my point! 

You need to love yourself like you love others!

You need to learn to love yourself FOR your flaws and for the amazing strength you have for surviving the things that have made you feel like you are not good enough.

But now, it’s time to change how you think about those things that made you have love for yourself less and start using them as your strengths. 

My Biggest Self-Love Breakthrough

When I FINALLY started to truly love myself was when I forgave myself for my mistakes and showed myself compassion for all the things I had been through.

Life is unfair, and there are a lot of great people who get a lot of crap thrown at them that they don’t deserve. 

That includes you. 

And you have to realize that it’s not your fault that these things happened to you. 

People are mean to you because they have problems.

People expect you to be skinny/pretty (or any other annoying standard) because society has problems.

You have unrealistic success standards for yourself because you are comparing yourself to unrealistic standards that don’t reflect reality.

What to Expect for the next 30 Days of Self-Love 

So for the next 30 days, we’re going to focus on retraining your brain on how you see yourself, your successes, and your failures.

Each day will build off of the previous day to slowly bring you to having more love for yourself. 

Try to do these in the morning so that you can keep the positivity flowing throughout the day!

Day 1: Write an intention that you can use every day.

Here are some examples. 

A daily intention will help you start your day with purpose. You can write the intention (or a new intention) at the top of your journal page every morning so that you can remind yourself every day. 

Day 2: Write five positive affirmations about yourself. 

Think about different aspects of your personality and why they make you truly unique.

Try to incorporate saying these into your daily routine.

Hint: try things like writing them on your mirror (or on a piece of paper and tape it to your mirror) or saying them when you wake up (along with your daily intention).

Day 3: List all of the toxic things you say about yourself

(I know that you know you’re being toxic to yourself, don’t say that you don’t know which habits are toxic)

But if you don’t know, some toxic habits include:

-beating yourself up over tiny mistakes

-calling yourself stupid

-believing everything is your fault and that you are somehow responsible for how others are feeling

This is going to be a great way to identify when you are being unfair to yourself.

Day 4: Re-wiring thought patterns

This is an exercise that you should do every time you have a negative thought.

Look back at your toxic habits from yesterday’s exercise. 

For every bad thought about yourself, write something positive.

For every fear or insecurity you have, write a strength that you have that could help you deal with the fear or insecurity.

Think about why you feel you say those things to yourself. What could be the cause?

Day 5: Write a letter to your childhood self. 

What were your insecurities? 

How do you feel about them now? 

What have you learned since then? 

How can you apply that now? 

Day 6: Write a letter to your teenage self.

What were your insecurities? 

How do you feel about them now? 

What have you learned since then? 

How can you apply that now? 

Day 7: Write yourself a pep talk for when you feel sad or full of doubt. 

Sometimes we get caught up in our minds, and our emotions, like fear, doubt, and sadness can cause us to lose sight of all the positive things about us and in our lives. It’s important to have something to look back on when you’re feeling down.

Day 8: What kind of words would your closest friend, sibling, or parent say about you? 

And don’t say that they don’t have anything good to say about you, because they definitely do have kind words to say about you, even if you don’t think so.

Day 9: For every “weakness” you think you have, write a strength that you have. Or even better, write ways in which your weakness is actually a strength.

This is another way to rewire your thinking patterns.

Day 10: Write a list of inspirational quotes to look back on. 

Here are some of my favourites:

“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years, try approving of yourself and see what happens” – Louise Hay

“In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you” – Andrea Dykstra

“Your greatest responsibility is to love yourself and to know that you are enough” – Unknown

Day 12: Write five things you can do right now that can help you feel better. 

This is important because it gives you the power. This is going to help show your brain that you are in control.

Day 13: Think back to the times where you have felt uncomfortable receiving a compliment. 

Why do you think that is?

This is a great time to do the “5 why’s exercise”. Where you ask yourself “Why?” 5 times, each time diving deeper and getting to the original root cause of your fear or insecurity.

Day 14: When was the last time you felt empowered and like a true badass? 

What were you doing? 

Do you remember what you were thinking about yourself? 

Try to use these feelings and situations in the future to start feeling like this more often!

Day 15: Write a letter to your insecurities and tell them why they absolutely don’t define you. 

What defines you is your character and your will to improve if you’ve done something wrong.

Nothing else really matters.

Day 16: Write as if: how would you act if you were the most confident person in the world? 

What would you do? What would you wear? How would you approach people? How would you handle arguments? How would you handle your mistakes?

Day 17: Write down a list of people you admire.

In what ways are you similar to them?  

Day 18: What do you need to forgive yourself for?

Stop beating yourself up for every little thing. We are all human and certainly cannot be perfect. It is perfectly ok that you have made mistakes, as long as you can own them and strive to be better next. It’s really all that you can do. 

Day 19: Write yourself a letter giving yourself forgiveness.

The act of writing this and letting go of the things that bring you guilt and shame can be very freeing.

This is something you can come back to when you are feeling guilty or shameful.

Day 20: What are your core values? Why do they make you special?

We all have unique ways of adding value to the world and that can make us very special.

Core values include: being kind, supporting the environment, being honest, being loyal, defending others, helping others by giving constructive criticism, and many other things.

Day 21: Write a list of your greatest accomplishments.

Even if they are super small, they are an accomplishment. 

Even if it was as simple as getting out of bed

Day 22: Write a list of ways that you add value to the world. 

Remember that there are many things that you do that people appreciate about you, but you just don’t realize that they do. 

Think about even the smallest things: do you smile at people? Do you make people feel included? Do you hold the door open for people? Do you make a killer lasagna? Whatever it is, know that you add a unique value to the world and that is something to be proud of.

Day 23: What are some things you can work on to be the person that you want to be. 

Attention: This does not mean changing yourself or any of your core values! It also does not mean that you are not incredible the way you are. It just means that you can make some adjustments to start working towards your personal goals. 

Day 24: Write why it’s OK that you are not there yet.

It’s perfectly ok to not quite be there (or to be far from that “ideal” version of yourself). You are amazing the way you are.

Also, there are things in your life that you have gone through that have caused mental or emotional blocks for you, or maybe have caused

Day 25: Why is it important to you to be this “ideal person”? 

Do you feel pressured?

Does it align with your core values? 

Day 26: What are your true dreams? 

What is standing in your way? Why? Write why it’s ok that you are not there yet. Write actions tips that you can start doing to get closer to that dream.

Day 27: Write something positive about each of your body parts, face, and even your “problem areas”. 

Body shame is another huge reason for a lack of self-love, but why should it matter? 

Don’t like the look of your legs? They help you walk, dance, run, play sports, you name it! You should be grateful to them, not being ashamed and trying to change them.

Day 28: List your biggest triumphs. 

What have you overcome to get where you are today? There have probably been many obstacles you have overcome that you should be so proud of!

Day 29: Imagine you had a friend with all of your exact characteristics.

What positive things would you say to them? What would you tell them if they had a bad day? And what would you say to them if they failed at something? 

Trying to see things from a different perspective can help you to go easier on yourself. You wouldn’t judge someone else (especially a friend) nearly as much as you judge yourself.

Day 30: Write 5 positive affirmations about yourself

Yes, you did do this on day two, but I want you to do this again (without looking back to day two) and then compare to see how far you have come on your self-love journey.

***

Feel free to look back on any of these exercises when you need a little extra love! Your whole idea of yourself might not change in just 30 days, but it’s definitely worth it to start!

If you want a gorgeous, printable version of this you can sign up below to get access for free!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
100+ Journal Prompts for Your Mental Health

100+ Journal Prompts for Your Mental Health

As someone who has struggled with mental health for a long time, without ever going to therapy, I have found that journaling has been a bit of a saving grace for me.

It’s free, it’s easy when you have the right prompts, and it’s something that you can do again and again. 

If you have read any of my blogs or are a member of my free wellness and self-care portal, you’ll know that I love worksheets and journal exercises, and I like to use them as a way to re-train problematic thinking that can lead to anxiety, procrastination, low self-esteem and really anything else that inhibits you from living your best life. 

That’s why I have compiled a list of the best journal prompts to help reset your brain, get you out of a negative thinking pattern, and dig a little deeper into your psyche.

If you want a printable version of these prompts plus way more self-care resources, you can sign up to get them below for free!

Here are my top 100 journal prompts for your mental health!

I’ve organized them by category so you can go with what suits your mood!

Gratitude Journal Prompts

What do you appreciate most about your life right now?

What do you appreciate most about your parents?

What do you appreciate most about your friends?

What do you appreciate most about your occupation?

What do you appreciate most about your home?

Digging deep

Write about the worst day you have had? (if you are willing to go there, don’t worry if you don’t feel like writing about it)

Why was it so bad?

How did you feel about yourself that day?

How can you give yourself love for that day? 

Can you give yourself forgiveness? 

Write about how it makes you feel. And feel free to let yourself express those emotions out loud as well (cry, scream, punch a pillow – whatever you need to help release those emotions)

Digging in to recent emotions

What was the last thing that made you happy?

What was the last thing that made you cry?

What was the last thing that made you feel confident?

What was the last thing that made you angry?

What was the last thing that made you feel lonely?

Self-image and self-love journal prompts

Write about a protagonist character you admire and write 3 ways that they are similar to you

What would your best friend say was your best quality?

What do you think your best quality is?

Write a love letter to you body (even the parts you “don’t like”)

Name 3 cool skills you have

What is one thing that makes you unique?

Physical Feelings

Often times, our physical health is very connected to our mental health. These prompts can help you find the connections between your physical feelings and your emotions.

When was the last time you felt exhausted?

When was the last time you felt sick to your stomach?

What situations, activities make you feel shaky or dizzy?

What situation made your heart race (in a good way)? 

What situation made your heart race (in a bad way)?

The top 5s (good)

This exercise is just a good way to think about the good things that are in your life! It’s ok if you can only think of 3 or so!

So think about the top 5…

– songs that make you feel good

– activities that make you feel good

– smells that make you feel good

– foods that make you feel good

– foods that make you feel energized

– people you have fun with

– people that make you feel good about yourself

After going through those, write 5 ways you can incorporate more of these things into your life.

The top 5s (not-so-good)

It’s also a good idea to reflect on the things in your life that may not be so good for you.

So write down the top 5…

– foods that make you tired

– behaviours that make you tired 

– things that make you anxious

– things that make you sad/depressed

– people that make you feel bad

– comments about you that make you feel bad

Now write 5 ways that you can decrease how often these things appear in your life.

Exercises For Specific Fears and Anxieties

The 5 why’s Journal Exercise

I love this exercise and I always recommend it when you might be unsure of the cause of your emotions. This is one of the exercises from my 10 minute journal exercises to reduce fear.

Write down the anxious thought, fear, on mental hold-back that is causing you pain, uncertainty, or that is just negatively impacting your life.

Then, ask yourself “Why am I having this thought or why do I feel this way?”

Based on your answer above, ask yourself why you feel that way again.

Ask yourself why again 3 more times, each time trying to dig deeper and further into your thoughts and feelings.

Based on those answers, you should hopefully have an idea about the root cause/trauma/reason behind your fearful/negative thought or feeling, which you can then write down,

Now, based on this root cause, ask yourself the following 3 questions:

Is this how I should feel about this now?

Can I reframe the way I think about this past event? i.e. stop blaming yourself or others, forgive and accept it for what it was.

If/when I have this thought again, is there a better way that I can frame it?

Anxious Thought Analysis

Write down all the fears and anxieties you have right now. Don’t hold anything back. Write about how your fears make you feel.

Ask yourself if you are amplifying your fears with the following cognitive distortions:

Catastrophizing – irrationally assuming the worst-case scenario

Overgeneralizing – assuming that since something bad happened once, it will happen again under similar circumstances

Magical thinking – assuming that a specific, unlikely, and unrelated negative consequence will result – even with no evidence to support it

If you believe you are distorting reality, ask yourself what the most likely outcome of your feared event is

How likely is your fear to happen?

Take a moment and write down the likelihood of your fear. If it is most likely not going to happen, the fear is probably more of an irrational fear (and I’ll give you some prompts to deal with irrational fears shortly).

First, take a look at the fears that could actually happen.

Brainstorm some ways that you could lessen the impact if they happened. Think about what you could do even if the worst-case scenario happened. Chances are, there is a solution that will work.

Now write down a list of your strengths to handle the situation.

We often forget that we are very capable of handling tough situations.

Now, to deal with your more irrational thoughts and the thoughts from above that might still be worrying you, you can implement a Thought Safe Room. 

The Thought Safe Room will help you determine thoughts that are not helpful and turn them into thoughts that are helpful.

Thoughts like negative self-talk, what-if scenarios, catastrophic thinking are NOT allowed in your safe room. The thoughts might knock on your door and you can acknowledge them, but don’t let them in!

Thoughts like positive self-talk, aspirations, confident thoughts in your abilities (i.e. “I can handle this”), gratitude are always allowed in your safe room!

For other thoughts, like constructive criticism, fear about things that could actually harm you or affect your life, you can greet them at the door of your safe room and choose to allow them in sometimes if you feel like they will improve your life and you won’t get anxious about them.

Some final questions about these fears:

In what ways are you missing out on life by being afraid? 

How would your life be better if you didn’t have these fears?

Thought on Trial Journal Exercise

The purpose of this exercise is to analyze an anxious thought from a logical perspective, as if it were on trial. The idea is to find evidence that supports or rejects your thought.

Write down the anxious thought

Is there evidence that supports this thought?

Make sure that this evidence is not based on random information you find from misinformed people on the internet or based off of what you think the situation is –these things are not actual representations of the truth.

Now ask yourself, is this based on facts or feelings?

Is there someone you could ask that could clarify the situation or give you insight?

How would a friend see this situation?

Based on what you wrote above, what is a more rational way to think about this thought?

Writing Letters to Help With Healing

Writing letters that you can’t actually send is a great way to get out some emotions! Here are some people you can write letters to:

Your past self (you can forgive you past self for things you regret and talk about how far you have come since then)

Your future self

Someone who has hurt you (and express your anger about that)

Someone who has hurt you (and express forgiveness)

Someone who inspires you

Your inner child

Journal Prompts for Digging Deep and Getting Unstuck

Write a list of regrets + forgive yourself for each one

Write a list of improvements you could make to your life

Write a list of fears – are they rational?

How do your fears and anxieties hold you back? 

Are there small steps you could take to lessen how much they hold you back?

When have you felt loved?

When have you not felt loved?

List 3 small ways you can you love yourself the way you want to be loved?

Do you express love in the way you would like to be loved? If not, why?

Is there anything you need to say to people in your life that would make you feel better?

What do you feel like you are holding back from the world?

Analyzing your behaviours

Do you ever behave badly towards people? 

If so, why?

 And how can you change that? 

And how could that help you?

Are there any behaviours you do that increase your anxiety?

How could you modify those to decrease your anxiety?

Journal Prompts to foster Optimism

Write about your…

Dream life

Dream house

Dream partner

Dream friends

What can you do to bring yourself closer to those things?

What are some small things that you typically do throughout the day that make you happier?

Are there any fun things you would like to add into your life that you haven’t yet?

Is there anything you would really like to accomplish in life (i.e. your passion), but haven’t started or are too scared to start?

If you are too scared to start, why? (This answer can be used with any of the fear worksheets so that you can start to overcome this fear and go after what you really want)

How do you think these things can improve your current happiness level?

Is there anything else that could improve your current happiness level?

And although these things are fun to talk and dream about, write 3 ways that you can enjoy your life more right now.

***

So I hope that these journal prompts give you some extra help with your mental health and some inspiration for finding a deeper understanding of yourself.

And again, you can download a printable version of all of these journal prompts plus more by signing up below!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
How I Went One Year Without Eating Sugar (And the crazy results!)

How I Went One Year Without Eating Sugar (And the crazy results!)

It all started when I was 11 years old.

I was unhealthy and lethargic (probably too lethargic for a 11 year old who should have a ton of energy!)

My older brother (14 years older than me) took notice. He’s super into healthy eating and was noticing that I seemed a bit unhealthy (and that I was addicted to sugar – but seriously, who isn’t at that age?)

So first, he poked fun at me, after all, what are big brothers for?

But after, he decided he would play a part in helping his baby sis get healthier!

And I am SO glad he did, because it totally changed my life!

So how did my brother convince me to not eat sugar for a full year?

Yup that’s right, my broke 25-year old brother (at the time), bet me $500 to not eat sugar for a whole year!

And to sweeten the deal (no pun intended, well… some pun intended), my dad said that he would also throw in $500 dollars!

What kind of family does that?? Such a weird but cool thing to do!

So my little brain had to weigh the pros and cons of this, $1000? or none of that sweet addictive candy, chocolate, popsicles, cookies, etc for a whole year??

I wouldn’t even be allowed to have added sugar in things like crackers or ketchup!

But, when you’re a kid $1000 is basically like a million dollars, so I went for the money! And I have always enjoyed a good challenge!

So now the real question… what the heck did I eat? And how did I not eat sugar for a whole year???? Well honestly, the answers are pretty simple and ANYONE can do it!

And honestly the results are totally worth it! 

Also: I am totally NOT a fan of restriction diets, so I would never tell anyone to completely cut something out of their diet, but I do know that too much sugar can be harmful to your body, health, and even you mind (i.e. sugar crashes).

So definitely do what’s right for your body (and your lifestyle).

At the end I’ll give you just a bit of insight as to why I wouldn’t actually do this again.

Here were my results from going sugar-free for a year:

1. I felt SO energized and healthy!

I remember feeling so good after that year! 

2. My body fat went down A LOT!

I remember it being a pretty dramatic transformation because a lot of people were talking about it! I don’t think that was something that should have been talked about, because we are all so much more than our bodies – but that was my observation!

3. I didn’t get sick all year!

When you’re 11 and going to public school, you’re a prime target for every sickness imaginable! But not me!

My immune system was on its top game! And this made perfect sense because sugar is known to depress your immune system.

4. My anxiety went down significantly.

I experienced a lot of anxiety as a child, and this was the year that I remember feeling a lot better. You can check out my article on how your physical health affects your mental health for some more insight into that.

And the best result…

5. My confidence, self-discipline, and will-power all went up like crazy!

I felt like I could achieve anything!

One of the biggest reasons that people find it hard to avoid sugar is because they feel like they don’t have the discipline or willpower, but let me tell you, it can be easier than you think to do something like this!

So let’s take a look at what I did that helped me develop the discipline to not eat sugar for an entire year!

 

So #1 – I had GREAT motivation!

This is a great lesson, if you have the right motivation, you can do anything!

I like to talk about the effect  that motivation and proper goals can have on your willpower and self-discipline, like in this article about finding motivation every day.

That $1000 dollars was this huge glowing prize that I could think about every time I had a sugar craving!

#2 – I got really creative to make low-sugar recipes

So, I couldn’t have pop, candy, chocolate, cookies, or even some crackers, most processed foods, ketchup, bbq sauce, and some other things.

BUT – I could have some natural, non-refined sweeteners. Xylitol is natural and decently healthy, so I was allowed to have that in moderation. Also, I was allowed some less refined sugars (like maple syrup and honey.

Now – you might consider this cheating, but I had to have SOME saving grace! C’mon, I was only 11!

And the point was to get away from processed foods and easily binge-able sweets.

So I learned how to bake!

If I was going to have anything even close to a sugary treat, I was going to have to make it myself.

I has this great vegan cookbook (How It All Vegan! 10th Anniversary Edition: Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet) that had tons of ideas for modifying recipes! Even if you’re not vegan (I wasn’t), it has great recipes and baked goods that are very easy to modify to make sugar-free or to add it healthy sweeteners!

So I would make cookies from scratch with maple syrup or honey. And then I would add cocoa powder if I wanted something chocolate-y!

I also experimented with using fruit and even sweet potatoes to sweeten my baked goods! Honestly those substitutions worked SO well!

My favourite low-sugar dessert recipes:

Black bean, sweet potato fudge bars – they still have maple syrup, which still has sugar, but it’s much better for you than refined sugar or  you can sub xylitol or stevia or add a banana instead! You might get a bit of a different consistency doing different substitutions, but I always find that they end up tasting just fine!

Tofu chocolate pudding – with Xylitol or maple syrup (a healthier sweetener, but still technically has sugar)

Banana raspberry “ice cream” – just blend frozen bananas and frozen raspberries with a bit of your milk of choice

Chocolate “ice-cream” – frozen bananas, cocoa powder, and milk of choice (soooo good!) and you can add peanut butter if you want!

Fruit, plain yogurt, and a little bit of honey!

#3 How I dealt with sugar cravings

So dealing with sugar cravings can be a bit difficult. 

Especially when you are used to having a lot of sugar. But there’s usually a period where you body is in a bit of a withdrawal (which is where you have to be the strongest), but then it gets WAY easier!

It’s the same with any other type of “craving”, like wanting to watch TV when you shouldn’t or going on social media when you should be studying. 

It’s because you’re in the habit of doing it! 

You need to slowly train your brain to do a better habit, instead of the bad habit.

For example, in this case: I had healthy snacks (like berries and plain yogurt) ready to go when I would have a sugar craving!

Until, slowly – those sugar cravings went away! Then it actually became pretty easy to stay away from it!

Get a guide to prep all your meals for the week in 20 mins!

 

This might actually have been the foundation of my love for goal setting! You can check out my free goal planning mini-course at the end of this post!

It contains all of my best tips for goal setting, finding motivation, productivity, habits, and more! Plus it has free goal planners too! (And I’ll send you my top tips for mindful and healthy eating!)

Now one last thing I’d like to mention:

Why I won’t go sugar-free again

I am very confident that a low-sugar diet will work WONDERS for you! There are so many health benefits, it’s insane!

BUT I find restricting oneself too much is never good, because it leads to feeling deprived and then you are generally more likely to binge eat or just stop your healthy habits. 

And I also find that sometimes eating something a bit sugary when I’m out with my friends is really fun, so I don’t want to give up my lifestyle to stick rigidly to a plan.

Everyone is definitely different, but it’s all about doing what feels right for you and your lifestyle! (Unless your lifestyle is quite unhealthy – then maybe you can rethink some things!)

Essentially though, balance is the absolutely KEY to living a better life and it’s much easier to implement your healthy habits slowly.

Which is again, one of the principles of my free goal planning course below! It gives you tons of tools to start achieving what you truly want from life! Whether that’s getting healthier, waking up earlier, getting your dream career, anything! The core principles are the same (and they are simpler than you think!) 

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
10 easy ways to get yourself out of a bad mood

10 easy ways to get yourself out of a bad mood

Being in a bad mood SUCKS!

I am no stranger to bad moods. Sometimes it’s because of hanger or some other “easily solvable” reason, but sometimes you just feel low.

There was a point in my life that I could fall into a bad mood several times a day or, even worse, get into a bad mood and not be able to get out of that headspace for days or even weeks!

This is especially a problem right now thanks to a certain stupid virus (I won’t mention any names though lol), so we don’t have our usual routines to keep us busy or to keep us in our usual headspace.

I’ve found, through tons of personal experience, that getting back into a good mood doesn’t have to be that hard (with exceptions, of course, like mental illness or going through an emotional trauma). Sometimes, all you need is to do something different and engaging to snap you out of your bad mood! 

Now one of the best ways to avoid these darker moods is to prevent them – which I will save for another post – but if you have already felt yourself slipping into a bad headspace (or you’re already there), I’ve got you!

And also remember that it’s ok to feel your feelings and it’s ok to be in a bad mood – but sometimes it’s nice to have easy little ways of breaking free from that headspace!

So I have some great, easy ways to get yourself OUT of your bad mood – but don’t plan to do them all or else you’ll get overwhelmed and you might not end up doing any of them! (I’ve been down that road too many times to count!)

Start with one and as you start to feel better, then move on to some others.

Disclaimer: Products on this page may contain affiliate links. We only promote products that we think are super awesome and will provide value to you! You can read more about our terms here.

So without further adieu, 

Here are my 10 ways to get yourself out of a bad mood!

So my first step to stop being a sad blob is to:

1. Get up and get moving!

The best way to quickly change your mood or what your mind is doing is to change what your body is doing. 

There is endless research on why exercise is good for you. Endorphins, health, uh… more endorphins! Yeah, basically it’s all about the endorphins, which are super important and will physiologically put you in a good mood!

 Also, by getting up and moving, you are distracting yourself and breaking the negative thought spiral that you might have been in.

And you don’t need to do a super intense workout, you can do anything from going for a walk, getting up to do some laundry or house work, or doing a full blown muscle (and endorphin) pumping workout!

Bonus points if you can get out in the sun and get some vitamin D which is crucial in promoting happiness!

Bonus bonus points if you also drink some water! You might not realize how much you need to drink (and how little you actually drink!). Being dehydrated can lead to you feeling dizzy or even confused – and can definitely contribute to a bad mood!

2. Go do something you love

Even if you don’t really feel like it, changing what you are focusing on can snap you out of your downward spiral.

Doing one of your hobbies – even if it’s for a few minutes – will change what your mind is focusing on and will distract you from this bad mood.

Plus, it’s something that you love, so that should just naturally put you in a good mood.

Note that distraction isn’t always a good idea if there are deeper problems you need to fix, but if you are just experiencing your run-of-the-mill case of the downers, distraction can work wonders!

3.Talk to your friends/parents/siblings or go do a “social activity”

First of all, talking to someone about your problems is always a great way to get things off your chest and sort your thoughts out. Also, just knowing that someone cares about you and what you are going through is worth so much. 

If you don’t really want to talk about what is bumming you out, just socializing, talking, and laughing with people can snap you out of your funk and put you in a great mood (right now you’ll have to do this by phone or video chat). 

Oftentimes, socializing is the last thing that we want to do when we aren’t feeling great, because we don’t feel like our usual likeable selves. But going out and being around people (even virtually) sort of forces us to be our usual likeable selves and not the grump who’s locking themselves in their room. 

Sometimes you just have to pretend to be in a better mood and then your body and mind will just start to believe you. Remember: fake it ’til you make it! (Not always good advice, but in this case, it can be!)

4. Clean your space

It’s surprising how much our surroundings can affect our moods. If your place is a bit messy (or getting out of hand – I’m no stranger to that!), it can take a toll on your mood. It’ll get even worse if you keep putting off that task, because then you are prolonging the mess and making yourself feel worse.

Fun fact (well it’s more of a not-so-fun fact): when we put off a task that we think will be uncomfortable is some way, actually experience more discomfort putting it off then if we were to actually do it.

So basically, you’ll feel better if you just do the task.

Now this is much easier said than done, so my tip is to just put on a timer for 5 minutes (super easy to do) and start cleaning and see how far you get! I bet you’ll get wayyy more done than you anticipated.

Related Article: 100 Self Care Ideas

5. Put on a great playlist

This might seem like such a small and obvious thing to do, but my mood can seriously go from slump-to-pumped in no time if I have the right song on.

Music is one of the greatest ways to transport yourself into a completely different state of mind.

If you put on a sweet playlist that either pumps you up or is just some happy music, you will automatically feel better. 
I think this is another thing that people underestimate. It takes only a few minutes to pick out a good playlist (especially if you have spotify) and you can listen to it even if you are super busy!

The easiest way to add more music to your life is to use a wireless, bluetooth speaker! The one below is the one I use and I love it!

6. Listen to an inspiring podcast

There is no shortage of incredible podcasts out there. And there are so many that have such amazing people talking about the incredible things they have done and the obstacles they have overcome to get there. 

I find that if I am ever doubting myself or being pessimistic about the future, I just find something inspiring to listen to. I’m actually almost never pessimistic about the future because of all the awesome podcasts I have listened to. 

This also goes for Youtube videos and Ted Talks.

You can find podcasts on spotify, cast box, apple podcasts, and tons of other places! 

7. Light a candle or diffuse some essential oils

Essential oils have been known to have many positive effects on the body and smelling calming smells, such as lavender, can soothe your body.

Essential oils and oil diffusers are fairly inexpensive and last so long! And if you buy a pack of oils, you can try out different combinations, which is also fun!

Essential oils are known to have therapeutic effects as well, but I just love them because I just feel calm and nice when I put my diffuser on! 

 8. Breathe deeply

Breathing deeply is also known to work wonders for the body.

It is often overlooked because of its simplicity, but we often breathe shallowly when we are stressed or anxious and forget to completely fill our lungs with air. Breathing deeply is simply a great way to calm yourself down and bring some peace to your life! Here’s a great article with a few techniques!

You can also try a little meditation as well. I’ve been using the app Oak, which has a nice design and so far I really like the meditations.

9. EFT Tapping

EFT tapping is one of the most amazing things that has come into my life! It was my saving grace during an intense period of anxiety and panic attacks.

I’ll be writing a full article on EFT tapping soon, but in short, you do a series of tapping on different pressure points on your body, while repeating a positive phrase that acknowledges your worries and accepts them.

I find that it’s also an excellent way to ground yourself.

Grounding is where you bring your attention to what is happening to you physically, either in your body or your surroundings. 

If you feel anxious or unsettled, this will shift your focus from your thoughts to physical sensations, which can feel very calming and helps you to get out of your head. 

The phrase will go something like this: “Even though I have this worry/problem, I deeply and completely accept myself”

You say that phrase in your head over and over while tapping the different parts of your body. You can get full instructions here.

10. Meditate/repeat a mantra

Doing a guided meditation or meditating while repeating a mantra can put you into an entirely different headspace. 

The benefits of meditation are well known, but it can sometimes be difficult to get that kind of mental stillness easily, especially when you’re not in the best headspace. 

BUT if you listen to a guided meditation, you don’t have to do as much of the work and you have someone who knows what they are doing to direct you to a happier place. It’s great!

Also, much like the EFT tapping, it can be good just to repeat a positive phrase or mantra. It can be very simple too, such as “I am in a bad mood right now, but I have a great life because of xyz reasons and I am a happy, positive person”.

You can read my article on some simple stress-relieving mantras.

And there you have it! 10 things to do to pull yourself out of a bad mood. I really hope this helps if you are feeling down!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
Anxiety or Intuition? 5 Simple Ways to Tell the Difference

Anxiety or Intuition? 5 Simple Ways to Tell the Difference

Am I just being anxious? Or is this my intuition?

Should I listen to this dark feeling I’m having? Or should I just accept that it’s my anxiety?

As a formerly VERY anxious person, I know that it can feel almost impossible to tell the difference between anxious thoughts and your intuition.

When you’re always anxious, everything seems to be some elusive intuitive feeling. 

How can you know if this is your intuition or “gut feeling” or just your anxious thoughts taking control?

From my experience, it can take practice to learn the difference between anxiety and intuition, but there are a few simple things to look for that can help you!

So let’s take a look!

Disclaimer: Products on this page may contain affiliate links. We only promote products that we think are super awesome and will provide value to you! You can read more about our terms here.

The top ways to tell the difference between anxiety and intuition.

1. Your intuition is an initial feeling but your anxiety will keep coming back

They say when you take a multiple choice test, you should usually go with the first answer that comes into your mind. If you think for too long, doubt will come along and cloud your judgement. 

That’s because your intuition comes from your subconscious brain, which can process a lot more information than your conscious brain. Which means, that it usually has a pretty good idea of what’s going on.

I find that anxiety is that nagging feeling that comes afterwards. It forces you to keep overthinking and exploring all the different channels of doubt.

It goes against your intuition. Intuition should feel like a calm sense of knowing.

It can be a VERY subtle difference.

BUT, I know from my personal experience, that my intuition would typically tell me that it was fine at first and then my anxiety would sink in later.

 My thought process was usually something like this: “ I know that it’s probably fine, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s not”

Trust me, that your first instinct that “it’s probably fine” – is RIGHT. The second feeling that it’s not, is just plain anxiety.

2. Anxiety interferes with your life, intuition does not.

If you find that you keep getting a feeling that you can’t shakeit’s usually anxiety. 

That’s because it’s not rational and there’s not an easy way to resolve the feelings.

Anxiety will keep coming back into your mind and you’ll have the same anxious feeling for many different situations (and this will start interfering with your life)

Intuition will usually be a unique thought or feeling about a situation and won’t keep popping up all the time. It won’t be your usual “go-to” anxious thought.

3. Anxiety feels like something you CAN’T easily resolve and intuition feels like something you could easily resolve

Again, anxiety is usually not rational, which means that it’s not going to have a rational solution.  

It means that with anxiety, even if you take all of the right steps in the given situation you are feeling anxious about, you will still have those “what if” thoughts. 

Intuition, on the other hand, will give you a signal that something isn’t right, and you will be able to adjust what you’re doing or do something that will help the situation. Once you take some action, the intuitive thought will go away, because you’ve been able to fix that situation.

4. Anxiety is based on what you think might happen in the future, intuition is based on how you feel right now

An anxious mind is usually focused on what will happen in the future. Intuition will be a feeling about what is happening in the present. 

Your intuition is the collection of all your past experiences and knowledge, which will be used in combination with all of the information that your brain is taking in about the current situation. 

Your intuition does not have any information about the future and therefore cannot make a prediction. The “prediction” is your anxiety using your imagination to make assumptions, but these are not really true.

Now I’m not saying that your intuition is always right, but it’s a lot more accurate than your anxiety. 

Also, if you’re constantly worried about the future, here’s another piece of advice: literally no one can predict what will happen in the future, so don’t bother trying.

Here’s an example from my life:

I used to always think that I “knew” what was going to happen and I would believe my anxious thoughts. But here is what I’ve learned to help me stop doing that:

The world is much more complicated than you think, you cannot possibly know enough information to make an accurate prediction. (Which means your anxiety is lying to you)

Take this example: meteorologists. (Strange example, I know, but stay with me)

Meteorologists can make some pretty educated guesses about the weather – by looking at the FACTS, but they can never fully know because they can’t account for all of the complex factors that go into weather. There are too many unknowns out there. 

So when applying this to your anxious thoughts: you could have some facts or ideas that might lead you to believe that something bad might happen, but you’ll never know! (And in my experience, it’s not worth the stress of worrying – a concept that takes practice to understand and live by)

My other advice for this is that when you’re anxious, it can even be hard to even know what your intuition is. I have worked on my anxiety a lot and I’ve worked on listening to my intuition – so it does take practice.

It will be hard for you to EVER listen to your intuition if you don’t take the steps to help your anxiety. 

For example, there are tons of options, going to a therapist, doing online therapy, or doing some self-help!

If you want some extra free self-help, you should check out my free anxiety course below!

5. Anxiety is made up of chaotic, scattered thoughts. Intuition is a calm sense of knowing.

Not everyone experiences anxiety in the same way, but many of us will have scattered and chaotic thoughts flooding our brain. 

They tend to be triggered by similar situations, where you will get the flood of “what if”s and then the flood of hormones that accompany anxiety, which make you feel the anxious sensations in your body. 

Your intuition may come up with similar situations as well, but it won’t feel like this flood of worry, it will feel more just like a thought worth exploring.

A quick way to help determine if this is anxiety or intuition is to make a list of all the ways that you could help the situation to mitigate whatever you are worried about. 

If these are reasonable things you can do that won’t upset your life, then you should do them. Or at least ask yourself: “If I did these things to help the situation, would I still be anxious?”

If the answer is “yes”, this is your anxiety. If the answer if “no”, it is probably your intuition and you can go ahead and take those reasonable steps to mitigate the possible problems that your intuition was telling you.

Now, can you ever fully know the difference between your intuition and anxiety? 

The answer here is probably not: with ONE BIG CONDITION.

If you can’t tell the difference between your anxiety and your intuition, it’s because you NEED to work on overcoming your anxiety. 

You will never be able to tell if it is actually your intuition until you don’t have that strong anxious reaction anymore. 

In fact, your intuition has probably merged with your anxiety and is a bit off. 

This is because your intuition is a combination of past experiences and thoughts, as well as information that it has perceived.

This means that the information that your intuition holds is subjective and clouded by your anxiety.

So, if all the information your mind has taken in is from a subjective, anxious perspective, your intuition is likely anxious.

Which is why you need to focus on changing how you perceive these situations to retrain your intuition!

You can check out some other articles I have on learning how to understand your anxiety better and change your thought patterns to be less anxious. 

The 3 Elements of Mental Health that You Must Understand

The Anxiety Cycle and How to Break It

3 Must-Have Journal Exercises for Anxiety

You can also check out my free anxiety course – “get out of your head” to learn the top principles of starting your path to healing your anxiety. It also comes with a short e-book and helpful journal exercises and access to a bunch of free worksheets dedicated to just improving your life!

You can sign up below!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!