Marie Claire (South Africa) - - REAL LIFE -

1B ECOME AN IN­FORMER, NOT A ‘ME-FOR­MER’ Re­search shows 80% of so­cial­me­dia users are ‘Me-for­m­ers’, who post about what’s hap­pen­ing with them; while 20% are ‘In­form­ers’, who typ­i­cally share non-self-re­lated in­for­ma­tion, such as amus­ing ob­ser­va­tions or help­ful ar­ti­cles. In­form­ers tend to have more gen­uine friends. Tasha says: ‘When tempted with a Me­former con­ver­sa­tional topic, ask your­self, “What am I hop­ing to ac­com­plish by do­ing this?”’

TASK: Post­ing your h ‘chill­ing with an Aperol spritz in Barcelona #inlove­with­mylife’ sel e? Turn your cam­era on the world around you – In­form­ers share cool streetscapes and snap­shots of lo­cal life. 2 DON’T RUMINATE

We all self- ag­el­late oc­ca­sion­ally, but xat­ing on our fail­ures keeps us in a spi­ral of neg­a­tiv­ity. Ac­cord­ing to stud­ies, ru­mi­na­tors are less satis ed with their lives and more prone to anx­i­ety, bad moods and poorqual­ity sleep. Next time you start to ob­sess, ask, ‘Does any­one else care about this as much as I do?’ The an­swer is usu­ally no.

TASK: When your mind be­gins to spi­ral over that job-in­ter­view dis­as­ter, try this ‘thought­stop­ping’ tech­nique: pic­ture a large stop sign to snap you out of your ru­mi­na­tion. 3 AIM FOR SELFACCEPTANCE, NOT SELF-ESTEEM ‘Mil­len­ni­als have grown up in a world where they’re con­stantly re­minded of their won­der­ful qual­i­ties. The more de­luded we are about our abil­i­ties, the less likely we are to suc­ceed,’ says Tasha. But there’s a health­ier al­ter­na­tive to self-esteem. ‘Selfacceptance means un­der­stand­ing our ob­jec­tive re­al­ity and choos­ing to like our­selves any­way.’

TASK: Hope­less cook? Who cares? You don’t al­ways need to ex­cel. So ditch the home­made dim sum next time your friends are over and or­der pizza in­stead. They’ll like you bet­ter for it, and you’ll be less stressed. 4 BE THE BI­OG­RA­PHER

‘Self-aware peo­ple tend to de­scribe key life events from di er­ent per­spec­tives, ex­plor­ing com­plex emo­tions,’ says Tasha. Think about your life as if it were a book. Di­vide it into chap­ters that rep­re­sent im­por­tant phases and, within each phase, think of ve to 10 key scenes – high points, low points and turn­ing points. For each event, ex­plain what hap­pened, who was in­volved, what you thought and how you felt. Then look at your story as a whole. Iden­tify ma­jor themes, feel­ings and lessons – what does it say about the kind of per­son you are?

TASK: When writ­ing your nar­ra­tive, don’t shy away from the bad stu or try to tie ev­ery­thing up neatly. Em­brac­ing the messi­ness pro­vides a greater op­por­tu­nity for self-dis­cov­ery. 5 HAVE A DIN­NER OF TRUTH

Psy­chol­o­gists have found that learn­ing to un­der­stand con­struc­tive feed­back helps us to make bet­ter choices. Find a ‘lov­ing critic’ – some­one who wants you to be happy – and ask them to din­ner. Dur­ing the meal, in­vite them to share the one thing that an­noys them most about you – stress that noth­ing is o -lim­its. ‘You might be sur­prised at how ex­hil­a­rat­ing and help­ful it is to learn how this other per­son sees you,’ says Tasha.

TASK: Use the 3R model for feed­back: re­ceive, re ect, re­spond. Don’t lis­ten pas­sively. In­stead, ask ques­tions to gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing. Take a few weeks to re ect and con­sider how you can act on the feed­back pos­i­tively.

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