Thought Catalog

Zayn Malik Is Explaining Exactly How Crippling Anxiety Can Be To Those Who Have Never Experienced It

Posted: 01 Nov 2016 08:40 PM PDT

Zayn Malik Instagram
Zayn Malik Instagram

Last June Zayn Malik opened up about suffering from anxiety when he cancelled a show in the UK. At the time he wrote:

“Unfortunately my anxiety that has haunted me the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me… with the magnitude of the event I suffered the worst anxiety of my career. I cannot apologise enough but I want to be honest with everyone who has patiently waited to see me, I promise I will make this up to everybody I’ve let down today.

I know those who suffer from anxiety will understand and I hope those who don’t can empathise with my situation.”

Instagram Photo

In his memoir out today, Zayn writes honestly about his anxiety and the panic attacks that lead up to many performances:

I just couldn't go through with it. Mentally, the anxiety had won. Physically, I knew I couldn't function. I would have to pull out.

One of my team members offered to write a statement saying that I'd been taken ill, but I didn't want to do that. I was done with putting out statements that masked what was really going on. I wanted to tell the truth. Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of; it affects millions of people every day. I know I have fans out there who have been through this kind of thing, too, and I wanted to be honest for their sake, if nothing else.

The thing is, I love performing. I love the buzz. I don't want to do any other job. That's why my anxiety is so upsetting and difficult to explain. It's this thing that swells up and blocks out your rational thought processes. Even when you know you want to do something, know that it will be good for you, that you'll enjoy it when you're doing it, the anxiety is telling you a different story. It's a constant battle within yourself.

On a positive note, Zayn writes about the positive impact his honest has had with fans:

I was blown away by just how many people got in contact, and how many people suffer from anxiety. It's so common, and that's not surprising, really. Life bombards us with pressure—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram… everywhere online there are unattainable body images that make us feel inadequate; competitive messages that bring us down; there's pressure from our parents and our peers to excel—pressure everywhere. When that pressure is magnified by living your life in the limelight, it can be pretty tough to handle: There's a lot of negative chat and hate out there. But what I found in the wake of my cancellation at Wembley wasn't hate but a massive amount of support from fans—people who understood, kids who were in the exact same situation as I was. Guys on Twitter were telling me how anxiety had affected their lives and saying that they were glad I had spoken up. It felt as though some good had come from the situation.

It’s so powerful to have a beloved teen idol support people who have experienced anxiety and be honest about the pressures he faces — especially when it’s something that’s so easily dismissed by people who haven’t experienced it. In the book Zayn also talks about having an eating disorder, his feelings about One Direction now, and how being in the limelight can make everything worse. Thank you Zayn! TC mark

People May Leave, But Their Impact Will Always Remain

Posted: 01 Nov 2016 08:01 PM PDT

Tim Marshall
Tim Marshall

One day, someone will come into your life who will say nice things about you. You will hear them say words that you don’t usually hear from the people you spend most of your time with. You will go out and go on dates. They will remember the food you eat, the small talks you had, and as each day passes, you'll start to see possibilities that you’re both going beyond the limits.

That someone will make you fall in love for the very first time. That someone will shake your ground and will make you question everything. That someone will make you feel what it’s like to have butterflies in your stomach, and that someone will be the definition of your happiness.

That someone will be the reason why you have to dress like there is always a party or event – because you don’t want to look plain and normal like you used to. That someone will hold your hand like they will never let you go and that someone will make you feel wanted and needed.

That someone will make you feel the warmth of the sun, sinking into your skin and making you feel more beautiful than you ever have.

That someone will make you realize that you don’t need anyone else. As long as there is someone who loves you – that is enough.

But, there will always be an ending to a nice movie, to a good book, to a wonderful story.

One day, someone will come into your life to change who you are and when you finally get attached to them… they will leave. That sucks, but it's true that people come and go.

One day, you’re so special. The next day, you’re no longer.

People come to our lives but sooner or later, they all leave. What truly remains is how they have changed you.

So keep breathing. All those people who came to your life has their own purpose. Don’t give up. Always make room for guests in your heart because you can never know the impact that someone can make on your life. TC mark

Delete His Number

Posted: 01 Nov 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Remove the old texts from your phone, the messages that gave you hope, that made you believe that the two of you could be something. Delete them all. Don't give yourself the opportunity to search for meaning between the pixelated words on the screen. Don't give yourself the chance to analyze time stamps and emojis, promises and plans to hangout. Maybe at one time these messages would signify a future, but now they are simply the past. Let them be so. Delete those texts.

And then erase the tough texts, too, the ones where he took too long to reply, the ones where he told you he wasn't looking for anything serious. Get rid of the texts that confirmed your worst fears: he was not invested in you and never would be. You got the information you needed. No need to keep opening the wounds by scanning the words that burst your heart open. Erase the texts. It's okay.

And now scroll to his name one last time.

And almost send him a message. Draft out a declaration saying you still want to be friends, even though you both know that's not true. Type out that you'll get over it eventually, even though right now you don't see yourself doing so. Lace together these beautiful lies stitched together with hope and good intentions, and hover your thumb above "Send." But instead, backspace it all.

And then delete his number.

Stare at your phone for a minute to let it sink in that you won't be reaching out to him on your toughest nights and that he won't be the one to comfort you. Let it come together that you won't be wishing him a happy 27th birthday, and he won't wish you a happy 25th. You won't get to hear how his mom is doing, you won't get to see him on New Year's Eve. Let it all sink in that his name is no longer going to pop up on your screen on the drive home from his work day. You won't know if he got that promotion. You won't know if he ever got out of that job he hated.

He is no longer part of your life and you no longer part of his. And this is okay. You are okay.

Now put your phone down. Walk away from it all for a while. Feel the distinct mixture of sadness and freedom pumping through your veins, the feeling that only comes with the end of something painful and the beginning of something more. Feel the sweet relief and heaviness collapse on you all at once and realize that you are on your way to moving on. You deleted his number, one step closer to removing him from your heart. TC mark

Your ‘Fight Language’ Is The Secret Thing That Determines Whether A Relationship Will Work

Posted: 01 Nov 2016 06:00 PM PDT


There are a dozen different ways to determine whether or not you will be compatible with someone based on your individual personality traits. Whether you’re looking to science or the stars, there are many ways we categorize patterns and habits, and predict how well they will interact. Though we know the basics of compatibility – value the same things, communicate well, be equally committed – there’s one thing that usually flies under the radar, but is the most imperative of all: your fight style.

The way you fight, or really, argue, is what’s going to determine whether or not your relationship will work. Anybody can get along when you’re both in a good mood and life is going swimmingly and there are no pressing decisions to be made. Challenges either make or break relationships, and that’s not a coincidence, because it’s then that you see what you really need to know about a person. Here, in order of least healthiest to most, are the “languages” that people use when confronted in an argument. Striving toward the end of the list is usually the goal for most couples, but either way, being aligned on the same style tends to be more important than that. It’s when you fight differently that you have a harder time resolving things.


The problem is never really addressed because it is immediately deflected from when brought up. When someone’s fight language is deflection, they are completely closed to hearing any feeling or opinion that doesn’t align with their best interest, and so they either bring up a counter-argument, name-call, and tend to become very aggressive. All of this is usually the result of their egos feeling very fragile – they can’t bear to hear how they’re “wrong,” or even consider changing themselves for someone else’s sake.

Suppression then over-expression.

People who suppress their emotions and then have a meltdown one day believe their feelings are not going to be heard or valued. They hide them for the same reason that they eventually blow up: they get tired of feeling as though their ideas don’t matter, and try to prove how valid they are by displaying how angry and emotional they become. Another trait that tends to be true of people who suppress and then over-express is that after they explode, the issue is quickly swept under the rug and they are back to acting as though everything is normal.


People who dominate will hear the other person’s feelings, but they won’t actually listen to them. Instead, they find roundabout ways to convince them that their emotions are misinformed or incorrect. A trait that tends to be common in people who dominate is that they lack empathy. Interestingly, these also tend to be the most emotional and fragile people, and what they are trying to avoid is the sense that they have done something wrong, or hurt somebody. Underneath what appears to be a narcissistic façade is a very sensitive person trying to shield themselves from the world.


Mediators have one objective in mind, and that’s to reach a compromise. They don’t have easily bruised egos, and are able to truly listen an argument, and then respond with their own. They are masters at maintaining an even tone and temper, and will use strategies such as taking a break and then coming back to the conversation, or writing points and then communicating them, to ensure that things stay balanced and healthy. Mediating is the most common fight language of couples who did not begin with the same fight language, but have, over time, learned to communicate with one another better. For people who are naturally mediators, it’s sometimes a struggle to convince someone who is not to get on board with your tactics, which can be frustrating.

Free communication.

Free communication is the ultimate goal, meaning that both people feel comfortable enough to express how they are feeling the moment they are feeling it. They are in tune with themselves but also have enough command of their language that they can communicate with precision, and feel understood. For “free communication” to work in a relationship, even tone and temperament is absolutely imperative (as people often learn to do when “mediating”). People who are free communicators don’t necessarily avoid every problem, but they have the least trouble overcoming it and reaching a compromise or conclusion in which everyone feels their perspectives are heard and valued. TC mark

The Truth About How You Become A Strong Woman After Heartbreak

Posted: 01 Nov 2016 05:00 PM PDT


Pride is stubborn. It refuses to let you understand your feelings. Some people have little pride and some people have a lot. Pride shows in different ways.  It can show in your pride to be right, your pride to work well, or your pride to love.

I have a lot of pride for being an independent person.

At that time I wouldn’t admit I was heartbroken. I tried to act like everything was ok, because what else are you supposed to do? People hurt you and you have to move on, but because I acted like I was fine on the outside and ignored what was inside of me and I started to deteriorate.

“I was fine,” I kept telling myself. Except I hadn’t been healthy for over 6 months.

I kept telling myself that I was “unlucky,” that I was continuously getting sick.

“I was fine.” I was getting sleep at night. I was laughing. I was eating healthy.

I wasn’t though.

My first true heartbreak fucked me up in every way possible.

I cried myself into a kidney infection. I continuously got colds. I suffered from a TMJ, which is built up stress in your jaw. I thought I was fine and healthy until I went to the dentist and nearly fainted. He told me my body couldn’t handle the stress.

I walked out of the dentist wondering why I was so overwhelmed. I was fine, so why was I sick and stressed?

Was it school? Was it work? Was it partying too much?

Although I’m sure they all played a part to the bigger picture, I had realized that I had been so upset because I was holding on to a relationship that just continuously hurt me.

I refused to admit to myself that a childish boy, who didn't see my worth, broke me a million times again and again.

I refuse to admit that I was sick because I have always been a strong, independent woman, but I realized something.

You can't be a strong, independent, and a healthy woman without being broken at least a few times.

Maybe this is cheesy, but take for instance, your immune system. You have to get sick so that you can build up your system. That way you are stronger for whatever the future might bring.

Just like your immune system, your heart has to endure heartbreak so that it can grow stronger for the next relationship.

I can’t say that being broken so many times will make the next heartbreak hurt less. It might hurt more. It’s the inevitable consequence or risk of sharing your heart with another. But at least maybe the next time you might handle yourself with more dignity or composure, or just willingness to understand you partner. Experience changes you. Sometimes it can hurt to morph into something new but things change to only improve ones life. TC mark

Why The Craziest Things Happen When Someone You Care About Really Needs You

Posted: 01 Nov 2016 04:30 PM PDT


I have spent the better part of a decade traveling the world to understand one thing: What causes us to live exciting and fun lives? In the process, I discovered The EPIC Model of Adventure, a four-stage process every adventurer goes through. In my new book, The 2 AM Principle: Discover The Science of Adventure, I combine scientific research on human behavior with outrageous stories (getting crushed by a Bull at Pamplona's Running of the Bull to battling Kiefer Sutherland in Drunken Jenga) to demonstrate how to live a more fulfilling life. As I see it, an experience only qualifies as an adventure if we grow by getting outside of our comfort zone. Here’s just one example from my personal life.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2007, 8:07 AM GMT –5,

Palm Beach, Florida, USA [26°42'03.1"N, 80°02'11.6" W]

My brain shorted out, I didn't know how to process the fact that we were in genuine danger. The guy yelling over the phone at my friend Jordan was saying that he carries a gun and was not so subtly suggesting we leave town.

This all started two weeks earlier, when Jordan suggested we fly down to Florida for New Years to meet his new girlfriend Olivia, who he had been dating long-distance.

I was told everything was taken care of: Olivia's best friend Lisa would arrange accommodations for me and Jordan’s brother. What people neglected to mention was that "arrange accommodations" really meant that the mobster who was cheating on his wife with Lisa would put us up in one of his lackeys apartments.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2007, 5:33 PM GMT –5,

Palm Beach, Florida, USA [26° 42' 03.1" N, 80° 02' 11.6"]

Apparently, Jordan and Olivia didn't see eye to eye on something—namely, that they should continue dating. Jordan was distraught from the sudden breakup and so his brother and I decided the best way to cheer him up would be a night on the town. Walking into a bar, an attractive crowd of singles in their mid-twenties mingled and danced to a mix of Top 40. This was exactly what Jordan needed: some fun conversation and a little flirting to remind him he was a catch. His brother and I were quite proud of ourselves until we saw Olivia standing at the bar, sharing a cocktail with a well-known male model-socialite.

When Jordan and Olivia saw each other, any progress we had made in cheering him up disappeared. We moved to another room and tried to recover, but Olivia kept walking by, flaunting her new plaything. Clearly she wanted to hurt Jordan, so she called Lisa and complained about him being around. Lisa decided that the best way for her to get rid of Jordan would be to text him conversational but slightly suggestive messages. This was an ingenious move because her overprotective, jealous, macho mobster boyfriend would periodically go through her phone. On seeing the texts, her boyfriend was infuriated by what he thought was Jordan's disrespectful flirting with Lisa.

That evening the mobster called Jordan and "politely" suggested that he and Lisa should end their communication. Unfortunately, Lisa didn't stop texting Jordan. The mobster was so angered that while leaving dinner that night, he pulled his gun out in the restaurant parking lot on the driver of an SUV that was in his way.

A little after 8am the next day (New Year's Day), Jordan received a second phone call telling him and his friends to get out of town.

We were in the middle of Florida, alienated from the only people we knew and evicted from the place we were staying. We got in our rental car and sped south down I-95, hoping that we would find a solution along the way and trying to get as far as possible from Lisa and the mobster.

I anxiously searched through my phone book for any person who might be able to put us up for the night, but everyone was away for the holiday. Remember, this was the era before apps and Smartphones so to find a cheap motel in Fort Lauderdale or Miami, we would have to pass one or somehow find a number. As all hope had nearly disappeared, we saw signs for Boca Raton (a town famous for its rich, old, retired Jews). A family friend, Abe, happened to be one of these old rich Jews. If we were lucky, he would be able to host us in his McMansion. After a five-minute call with Abe, we were driving ten miles an hour through the streets of Boca, avoiding old women with walkers and antique Ferraris.

Sitting safely at Abe's I realized Jordan was a mess, and it was up to me to turn things around and come up with a New Year's plan. The few local bars and restaurants listed online seemed designed for early-bird specials and senior-citizen discounts, and since none of us wanted to be the designated driver, and taxis would cost a fortune, we had to invite people over. Unfortunately, we didn't know anyone to invite who didn't smell like denture glue. I had this genius plan (words I use very loosely):

I would go on a dating site, create the most amazing account ever, and then send out messages to every non-crazy-looking girl within thirty miles, telling them we were throwing a barbecue party at this mansion and they could bring their friends.

Here is a sample of my profile:

"Some things you should know about me: I was part of the original team that reached the top of Everest. By the age of 12, I had won a Nobel Peace Prize for having created an agreement between the Capulets and the Montagues. I personally trained Chuck Norris. I have a body temperature of 96 degrees making me about 2 percent cooler than anyone else on earth… At the age of nine I named a soda that I invented after a physician who saved my life, Dr. David Pepper…I have always found Waldo. I have achieved all this, but I have not yet found the love of my life."

After five hours of continuous messaging, two girls confirmed each saying she would bring a friend.

At about 8:15 pm one of the girls showed up with her sister. The one I had been communicating with was about twenty pounds heavier than her photos suggested, and her fake tan looked like a shade of orange that nature usually reserves for poisonous bugs. I couldn't complain about being misled since even though I looked like my photo, my "epic barbecue party" wasn't exactly as advertised.

Less than ten minutes later, the other duo arrived. Unlike the sisters, these new visitors would not glow if I turned off the lights.

Jessica, the person I had spoken to, was a pretty, 5-foot-8 brunette with a doctorate in psychology and a giggly personality. Her friend Brynn was a cute but small redhead.

After a quick round of introductions, one of the sisters asked the question I dreaded most, "So how do you two know each other?"

Jessica answered, "Well, this is really random, but I met Jon today on a dating website, and he invited us over for a barbecue party, so we said why not." The older of the two sisters glared at me and pulled me aside to inform me in her most curt tone that they would be leaving. I cringed at the idea of explaining this to Jessica and Brynn.

Entering the kitchen, I saw the rest of the group preparing the barbecue. I paired myself off with Jessica to set the patio table. Before I could bring up the topic, she asked me flat-out, "What's really going on here?

It was clear I could be honest with her since she was looking for a reason to stay. After I told her our mobster story and my plan, Jessica laughed loudly and responded, "I don't know if that's absolutely brilliant, or the most pathetic thing I have ever heard."

She called everyone over to make me repeat myself. Everyone laughed, and as we did the tension from the day melted away.

Over the next four hours, we barbecued, shared stories, played board games, and, to bring in the New Year, toasted in the hot tub. When Jordan and Brynn kissed at midnight, I knew he was in good shape.

It's funny: When there is something at stake that you care about, it's amazing how far outside your comfort zone you will go. Jordan was and still is one of my best friends, and he made me realize that sometimes the pursuit of a greater purpose can be the perfect excuse to grow as a person and experience adventure. TC mark

It’s Time To Take Your Life Back From The Person Who Didn’t Love You

Posted: 01 Nov 2016 04:00 PM PDT

"Welcome to the land of unrequited love."

If my heart came equipped with a welcome mat, this is likely what it would read.

I am the master of liking people who cannot or will not like me back. You name the unavailable person, I have pined haplessly after them. The long-distance lover. The emotionally unavailable bad boy. The committed guy. The straight girl. The ex who I wasn't even that into when we were together, but who has suddenly become a sex God and soul mate in retrospect.

For a long time I thought that going for unavailable people was a fun challenge I liked to pose for myself – after all, some of the time I'd win them over. Maybe only for a night or a couple of weeks, but it was a high like no other. It freed me of the need to take things seriously. It gave me the easy out I wanted in my early twenties, when everything seemed so disposable.

But lately I've been slowing down the chase and an important – and somewhat unsettling – realization is surfacing:

After a long enough period of time spent chasing after people you can't have, you start to define yourself as someone who cannot be loved.

It's been a long time since I've been in a real relationship. It's been a long time since I've felt healthy love – the kind that gives and receives without expectation.

It's been a long time since I've let myself be open to anyone who could be good to me or love me properly – because I'd forgotten that that kind of love was possible. I'd forgotten it wasn't always a matter of lust and longing and fleeting satisfaction followed by quickly letting go.

I forgot I could be loved. I forgot I could love someone else back.

And that's a scary thing to lose sight of.

Because the truth is, it's all too easy to start looking at yourself only through the eyes of the people who do not love you.

It's easy to count every flaw that might have driven someone away – to decide that you're too brass or too broken or too stubborn to deserve someone else's affection. It's easy to convince yourself that you're destined to only have flings and one-night stands and whirlwind romances – that other people were built for lasting relationships and love, but not you.

You're just not that kind of girl (or guy).

Until you start wanting to be.

Until you wake up one morning and realize that it has been years since you've been in a real relationship – one that's stable and supportive and firm.

Until you realize that you aren't fresh out of college anymore and it's not as much fun to be #FiercelyIndependent 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. That some companionship wouldn't kill you.

And that's the point where you have to face up to the hard work of re-committing to loving yourself.

That's when you have to stop looking at yourself through the eyes of the people who wouldn't or couldn't love you, and reclaim control of your self-perception.

You’re not the ex who got left for someone else. You’re not the person who got cheated on. You’re not the girl who fell in unrequited love with her best friend or the guy who’s been permanently broken by his past relationship.

You aren’t the person who’s father couldn’t love them. You aren’t the fearful-avoidant monster who can’t commit.

You aren't the party girl or the travel romance or the ongoing one-night stand. You’re not the person who’s too broken to love.

You are whomever you decide you to become. And it really does get to be that simple.

You're the person who can love. You're the person who can invest. You're the person who can stay put and wait for a love that reciprocates what you're willing to give.

There aren't requirements for being this kind of person. There's just an internal mantra of who you keep telling yourself you are. And if you don't like that mantra, it's entirely within your power to change it.

Because the truth is, nobody else gets to define who you are. No one else gets to tell you whether or not you are worthy of love.

You're the one who makes that call.

You’re the only one who gets to stare yourself down – in all your glory, all your inadequacy and all your hesitation – and decide whether you’re ready to share that person with someone else in a real way. To lay it all out on the line. To stop only investing in people who will never get close enough to see your imperfections.

You’re the only one who can decide to finally step out of the shadow of the people who didn’t love you the way you wanted them to, and to step into the (sometimes harsh) light of self-acceptance. To decide that you don’t have to be just a little thinner, richer, meeker or less adventurous to let yourself be loved by someone.

You just have to be ready to take a chance on that kind of a relationship.

One that’s risky. One that’s uncomfortable at first. One that might ultimately leave you heart-broken all over again.

But also one that could heal you in unfathomable ways.

And that relationship starts with you.

It starts with you sitting down with yourself and getting serious about what you actually want – out of life, out of love and out of yourself.

It starts with you letting go of someone else’s perceptions of you as ‘not good enough,’ and committing to a new perception of yourself – one who’s stronger than that. Bolder than that. Bigger than that.

One who calls the shots about who’re they’re becoming.

And one who’s committed to taking their heart back. TC mark

Pre-order Heidi Priebe’s debut poetry book, “The First New Universe” here.


In Praise Of Single-Tasking

Posted: 01 Nov 2016 03:30 PM PDT

William Iven
William Iven

Do you have trouble filtering information from your day-to-day routine? Do you schedule your days down to the hour to maximize your time? Or, if you're like me, do you try to do too many things at once? If the answer is yes to any of the above, then your brain is probably running on overdrive.

You may struggle to pay attention, to recall information or to effectively switch from one job to another or you constantly feel the pressure not to miss out on opportunities. The reality is that you are probably doing more than everyone in your social group and your colleagues put together.

You swim through the chaos, surfacing for air every once in awhile for a break – but not just a standard vacation, of course. Rather, you spend your holiday on an action packed adventure where you probably climb a mountain or learn to scuba dive. Because, of course, your annual leave should be productive. Just as every hour of your day should be productive. You stop thinking laterally and the ability to concentrate and organize your thoughts and plans diminishes. In a bid to achieve more, you become less creative. What you are experiencing is the curse of being a multitasker – and it's not good for you.

Why does multitasking have negative effects?

When you Google multitasking, the first two search responses are "human multitasking" and "computer multitasking." The term was originally used in an IBM paper to describe the ability of the System/360 to process multiple tasks. Later applied to humans, multitasking has become an advertised skill plaguing resumes and LinkedIn bios globally. Unfortunately, humans generally lack the ability to maintain focus on multiple tasks. Computers can run concurrent tasks for days, they only need to be connected into a power source. Humans need sleep. We need to hit the "shutdown" button every night. But when you are cramming in a 12 hour shift at work, how do you find the time? You need to prioritize yourself; sleep helps your memory to develop and improves your ability to stay focussed. Even computers have a form of digital sleep: power saving mode.

When multitasking, human error comes into play as our brains weren't built to multitask. The process of switching between tasks quickly, has a detrimental effect. Every time you do this, you are asking you brain to draw from your memory what the task was, when it needs to be completed by and how much progress you have made. Multiply this by 8 tasks and the number of mental processes that you are demanding is 24. Add in some phone calls, meetings and discussions with your colleagues and you are over capacity.

Ultimately our to-do lists are dragging us down. A University of London study found that multitasking lowers your IQ. It triggers the stress hormone cortisol leaving you feeling under pressure. The tasks that you might be completing do not gain an equal share of quality focus. You may deliver on 10 requests in a day at 50% rather than 5 requests at 100%. If you constantly feel like you could have done something better with more time, then look to reduce the amount of things that you are trying to get done. Stanford University research shows that people who multitask must have strong cognitive control over the multiple plates that they are spinning. But ultimately their productivity suffers.

How can you achieve better results?

Try to gain some perspective on how much you are trying to get done. Are you meeting your own deadlines? Or do you keep moving the goalposts? Shift your compulsion from multitasking to single-tasking. Complete one task at a time from start to finish and block out any background noise. You are likely to achieve so much more and the quality of your work will be much higher.

Give your brain a break. Turn off the audio notifications on your devices. Reduce the amount of time spent looking out for the next request to respond to. Plan your days with only one key focus and select a time frame in which you will check your inbox. This will not only reduce your stress levels but it will contribute to how effectively you are completing your other tasks.

We are constantly exposed to so much information via email, TV and social media that our brains have learned to run at maximum capacity. This is not healthy. We have become obsessed with consuming more in a bid to achieve more. However, information overload, exacerbated by multitasking to fit everything in, is killing our productivity. In a society obsessed with doing more, being productive has become a characteristic that we use to describe ourselves. Focus on forming better habits so that you are on top form in that all important client meeting, interview, training session or presentation. There is nothing worse than feeling unprepared.

To start, employ the power of focus for a week and try not to get distracted. Write a post-it note stating "single-tasking" and stick it to your desk to keep it at the front of your mind – when you start a task aim to complete it. TC mark

50 Tiny Things Every 20-Something Needs To Realize

Posted: 01 Nov 2016 03:00 PM PDT


1. Your parents only want what is best for you.

2. You can’t change your body type.

3. Meditation actually works.

4. You aren’t fifteen anymore.

5. Talking about someone behind their back isn’t going to make you look any cooler.

6. You aren’t going to have the same friends that you did when you were six. And that’s ok.

7. People grow apart.

8. Just because someone tells you they love you, doesn’t mean they will mean it forever.

9. When you find love, don’t run away.

10. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

11. You are not as alone as you think.

12. Making a mistake is not the end of the world.

13. You’re allowed to quit a job you hate.

14. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

15. Sex gets better.

16. Travel while you are young.

17. Heartbreak is a universal feeling. And it’s not going to kill you despite what you might think.

18. Trust your gut.

19. You have to work at what you want. It’s not going to come to you.

20. Don’t get back with your ex.

21. Crying doesn’t make you weak.

22. You’re allowed to feel lost at this age.

23. You’re allowed to not know what the heck you are doing.

24. Work hard in school. It will be worth it.

25. Don’t let people who treat you badly back into your life just out of comfort.

26. When you say, ‘I love you’, mean it.

27. Your dream career may not be what you are going to do for the rest of your life.

28. Your dream guy/girl may not be who you end up with.

29. Online dating isn’t something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.

30. Love is always going to be beautiful.

31. Mental health isn’t something to joke about.

32. You’re allowed to drop everything and travel.

33. You are still so, so young.

34. You will probably have a quarter-life crisis one of these days, but I promise you, you will survive it.

35. Block your ex on every social media platform. Trust me.

36. If you are in love with someone, tell them.

37. Make mistakes. And then learn from them instead of beating yourself up about it.

38. Follow your own advice.

39. If you really want something, chase after it until you get it.

40. Being kind goes a long way.

41. Know your worth.

42. Don’t let people treat like you like a little kid.

43. How you see yourself is so important.

44. You can’t hide from your problems.

45. Tell the truth and come clean if you mess up. Don’t hide.

46. Grades don’t mean a thing in the real world.

47. Worrying more will not do anything to help you.

48. You need to surround yourself with people that make you feel good about yourself, not people that bring you down.

49. Don’t ever take anything for granted, especially the people who you love.

50. Say ‘I love you’ as much as you can. TC mark

I Try To Shut My Emotions Down So I Can Feel Less

Posted: 01 Nov 2016 02:00 PM PDT


I'm used to shutting parts of myself off to feel less. I'm used to blaming others for my inner issues. "You made me this way" comes out of my mouth more than I want it to. Those ugly emotions like resentment, bitterness, and pettiness are my natural defense mechanisms against anything I feel threatened by.

I do not share my emotions. I act out my emotions via long text message rants at 12 am and self-destructive tendencies, aka tequila shots when I have a paper due the next day. I can be my best friend and own worst enemy, because I call the shots.

At the end of the day, I allow myself to be bothered about what someone said or did to me. I allow myself to feel angry and disappointed for expecting something out of someone that wasn't inherently guaranteed to me.

But the only person I can be accountable for is me. My opinions, my feelings, my interests, my sorrows and joys. I am in charge. There is no crash dummy in the driver's seat holding my life hostage. Just me, myself and I.

So if I dictate what is important to me and what isn’t, then why do I use my struggles as an excuse to bulldoze through people that are just trying to help me? Am I so dense that I can't understand that not everyone gets me and not everyone has to?

It is perfectly fine to feel alone as long as you can be happy with yourself. If you hide your discomforting thoughts from yourself, then you can't be alone anymore, because guess what will happen the second you are? All of the unexpressed bullshit will rise to the surface like a dead body in a river, leaving you unsure of what the hell is going on and how to fix the situation.

I have spent a great deal of time avoiding some nasty truths about myself, like how much attention I give the opinions of others. I don't care what kind of person you ask, if they say they have never cared about the opinions of society, they are lying through their teeth.

We all put parts of ourselves under the microscope, either through late night overthinking in bed or on the internet via social media. We are constantly analyzing pieces of ourselves and where we fit in this chaotic world. How others perceive us matters. We want the maximum amount of likes on our selfies, because we like feeling accepted, because it makes validating ourselves easy.

The hardest lesson comes when we stop running to these platforms to tell us it's okay to be a certain way, and start being who we are inside. If you suppress yourself, then you will always be a caterpillar and will never morph into a monarch.

It is okay to be afraid and to pay attention to shit that shouldn't matter. Just have the courage to say it won't always be like this, and start validating your own damn self little by little every single day. TC mark