How to concentrate on studying without getting distracted

Ashok asks…

“I am a 22 year old student and am sick of my uncontrollable thoughts. My main problem is I can’t concentrate on my study matter. When I try to study I just sink into another world of imagination. After a few minutes I start thinking about college, family, my aims, girls.

I am highly sensitive. Others enjoy themselves, have fun and also study hard but I can’t do any of those things so easily. For every action I think about pros and cons. While talking with friends I try not to hurt anyone and I get too attracted towards girls. If I like someone I can just think about her, for whole days to months.

Please help me in getting rid of useless thoughts of hero imagination, girls, judging others behavior, of living a luxurious life, becoming popular etc. I just want to study, get high scores and be successful in my life.”

© Mer Chau
© Mer Chau

What is success?

First of all, I want you to relax about any ideas you have of being “successful.”

There’s a lot of pressure these days from parents and teachers to get qualifications and well-paid jobs. I understand this from a parent’s perspective.

Apart from notions of “success” they also worry that their child will live a life of financial struggle, and feel unfulfilled, by only being able to get low-paid, “menial” jobs. The common perception is that jobs like sweeping the streets or serving food represents failure.

The reality is that many high earners are in positions of great responsibility and their day is usually unhealthy and stressful. These jobs are often sedentary and demanding — people to manage, targets to hit, deadlines to meet. Stress, fast lunches and unhealthy snacks, a sedentary indoor lifestyle — these things are conducive to poor health and unhappiness. Continue reading

The wise fisherman

© Michael Keith Manges

A fisherman was sitting near the seashore, relaxing under the shadow of a tree.

Suddenly a rich businessman approached him and angrily inquired: Why don’t you catch more fish instead of just sitting there?

The fisherman asked: What would I do by catching more fish?

Businessman: You could sell them, earn more money, and buy a bigger boat.

Fisherman: What would I do then?

Businessman: You could go fishing in deeper waters, catch even more fish and earn even more money.  Continue reading

How to stop worrying about your family

Ruchir asks…

“My mother always has tension in her mind. Things which have happened in the past, or are happening, disturb her. She thinks too much about every household topic and worries about every minute topic related to family. She’s not able to to sleep at night. Does she have a serious problem or is it normal?”

woman wearing gray scarf and gray coat near group of people
Photo by Pixabay on

I don’t believe she has a serious problem.

I think she just has deeply ingrained thought habits that cause her to worry about members of her family, at the expense of her own peace of mind…

A good first step is to ponder that everyone is responsible for their own lives, which will lead to a new acceptance and a new way of seeing things — at least intellectually.

Then, she can make a clear and calm decision (pact) that will become a reference for changing her behavior. In this case, a “worry hour” is a fantastic way to go. This way, she can still allow herself to worry about her family, but not habitually…

At first, her mind will keep trying to make her go back to the old way — thinking and worrying about family. Such is the power of habit. She must pay these thoughts no mind… ignore them… just see them as the old conditioning (which is what they are). They will then become less and less frequent. Continue reading

Case study — from depressed to happy in 11 days

© Rosh PR

I wanted to tell you about what happened to a Happy Guide reader called Matt because it’s a great case study, showing how quickly things can turn around.

It shows what’s possible when you start giving your body what it needs!

Here’s what happened…

We first heard from Matt when he left this comment on Mike’s unwanted thoughts article…

Today I realized how out of control my mind has become. Over the last few months It feels as though I’ve lost control of my thoughts and I’ve slowly slipped into the beginning of a deep depression. I spent much of my teenage years in that rut so I don’t want to go back. Somehow I got over that, but it took years. I can feel the darkness once again and it is almost enough to make me want to knock myself out and not wake back up.

Reading what you have said on how to stop the problem has given me that hope that I can stop it before it destroys me again. I was doing exactly what you said not to do to try and stop it. I was so terrified I was going to get taken down again and this time not get out. Just seeing how I am suppose to help myself in print makes it a lot easier for me to believe that it can actually help me. You and your website and the methods you explain are my weapon against my unwanted thoughts. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Matt, 29 August

Although I was pleased that Matt had found the article so helpful, I was well aware that in terms of lifestyle, everything affects everything else. This was just one of the six lifestyle elements for a happy, healthy life.

I knew he would need to get his biochemistry right if he was going to see the back of depression for good. So I emailed him, and Matt has kindly allowed us to post the resulting conversation here… Continue reading

Zispin — cause of a low blood platelet count?

© Wellcome

My mother got a call from her doctor, the day after a routine blood check.

The doctor told her that her blood platelet count was dangerously low, down to 5 — and that it should be at least 150!

I found out on the web that these figures are in thousands. Apparently, most of us have anywhere between 150,000 to 400,000 platelets per microliter (mcL).

Anything under that and you’re officially labelled as suffering from “thrombocytopenia” — which simply means you don’t have enough blood platelets…

The only symptom was a few bruises here and there that were slow to heal. But apart from that, she felt fine. All other levels were normal — blood pressure, white blood cells, red blood cells… it was JUST the blood platelet count that was a problem. And apparently anything under a count of 20 is potentially very dangerous — spontaneous internal bleeding can occur. Continue reading

How to overcome fear of fainting

This article is about overcoming an irrational fear of fainting. If you regularly feel light-headed, dizzy, or faint unexpectedly, please seek medical advice.

Dana wrote…

“Hello, about 2 years ago I pierced my finger with a staple while opening a package and fainted at home. Ever since then I have had a chronic fear of fainting again.

It’s whenever I go out in public the consistent thoughts of ‘I hope I don’t pass out’ just play through my head like a tape recorder and eventually I just panic and have to go sit down to calm down, and get a grip on reality that it’s not real and that I physically have no reason whatsoever that I would pass out.

I truly believe that I won’t pass out and the thoughts are irrational and also its not really ME thinking this stuff but my mind running wild and its almost like a habit to think this way. I try to live in the present moment but I just feel sometimes that its so hard to break from these irrational thoughts and control my mind.

What would you suggest I do to finally take control of this thought and eliminate it for good? Thank you so much!!!”

© Geeta Nambiar

This is a great case of our minds being dysfunctional — not serving our best interests. I can relate to your problem, I remember I was very “mental” back in school…

I used to run through difficult/embarrassing scenarios in my mind, and of course that attention made the problem worse…

Naturally, I assumed I needed to THINK about the problem in order to get rid of it and solve it (BIG mistake!) For example, I remember going through a spell where I kept thinking “I hope I don’t blush. It’ll be terrible if I blush, everyone will look at me and that will be really embarrassing”…

And then of course I would imagine how embarrassed and awkward I would feel if I blushed, and guess what… I would blush… How’s that for a self-fulfilling prophecy? :-) And of course, but for the thought, and then the attention to the thought, it would never have happened. Continue reading

Beware your holiday habits

Happy Guide reader Clair Whitty writes a “Natural Lifestyle” column for The People newspaper in Ireland.

Clair enjoyed instant results with Happy Guide but recently ran into a “holiday habit” problem. Below is what she told her readers. I’ve replied in the comments at the end…

Clair writes…

As many of you know I have had really good success using the guidance and tips from a book called Happy Guide. I know that many of you bought the book and I hope that you had the success that I had… Continue reading

OCD — chemical imbalance or bad habit?

Joe wrote…

“I have a question regarding habits. For the past so many years, I have suffered with OCD. I read an article that you wrote about how a friend of yours cured his OCD. I have learned through MUCH research, that OCD is an acquired disorder, and CAN be cured. Many of these doctors claim its genetic, and a ‘chemical imbalance’ and all this crap.

I’ve learned that it IS curable, and OCD is actually… a habit. It’s a coping mechanism for anxiety, and it’s driven by thoughts and fears. My question is, do you think Happy Guide would be able to help break the habit that is OCD?? And even eliminate it??

I ask this because I’ve come to realize that beating OCD comes down to confidence and will power. A change in thinking. However, it is hard to stick with it. I find myself reducing it, but I still have yet to eliminate it completely. What do you guys think about OCD??? Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.”

© Dhammza

It’s possible for anyone to still their mind, and take back control of their thoughts. I was an obsessive thinker when I was a teenager and it caused misery… thankfully I run my own head these days.

I’ve seen Mike help a number of people overcome OCD. It CAN be overcome and folks are always amazed at how simple it is, once they put what Mike tells them into practice…

For example, we recently got this email from John Woods, an OCD sufferer of many years…

“I just wanted to say that since I read this board and purchased the guide that to date I have had no issues at all. What you wrote cured me and I am totally amazed by it. I am so impressed with the results, I feel totally different and peaceful. I would love to know where you got all your information from, as I have seen so many health professionals over my problems, but none has ever come close to the advice that you give. Thanks Mike you have honestly changed my life.”

You will definitely enjoy Happy Guide Joe. Firstly because everything affects everything else, so by getting your whole lifestyle right you will feel a great deal better overall. But you will personally benefit immensely from the “Break Bad Habits” and “Live in the Moment” chapters… Continue reading

Can dehydration cause dizziness?

© Ivan Dervisevic

I just got back from taking my father to the doctor.

He’s in his later years now and unfortunately hasn’t lived the healthiest of lifestyles.

Amongst other things, he’s been having trouble with his hearing and dizziness. A few specialists later and no-one seems any the wiser…

His doctor today recommended he try a new clinic that was setup for people with “non-specific” complaints. The doctor told me this new clinic is causing a bit of a stir… Continue reading

What’s the difference between a neurotic compulsion and a healthy habit?

Paul asks…

“I saw a website yesterday and from the looks of it, exercise and dietary habits can be classified as neurotic compulsions. What’s the difference between unhealthy and neurotic compulsions and healthy habits?”

© Lululemon Athletica

Our human minds are wired for conditioned responses.

This is of course, essential. Otherwise we’d need to learn to walk, speak, dress, etc every day.

Unfortunately, these conditioned responses don’t always serve our best interests…

At best, they can keep us in bad habits for years. At worst, they can manifest as neuroses or obsessive compulsions. Exercise and dietary habits are definitely not neurotic compulsions in themselves :-)

They’re simply examples of symptoms that can point to an underlying obsessive tendency. Continue reading