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Wellness Wednesday for May 29, 2024

The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:

  • Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.

  • Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.

  • Advice. This can be in response to a request for advice or just something that you think could be generally useful for many people here.

  • Encouragement. Probably best directed at specific users, but if you feel like just encouraging people in general I don't think anyone is going to object. I don't think I really need to say this, but just to be clear; encouragement should have a generally positive tone and not shame people (if people feel that shame might be an effective tool for motivating people, please discuss this so we can form a group consensus on how to use it rather than just trying it).

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I need a sanity check: when do you get exhausted in the day?

Cause I'm just useless after ~5-6 (around 12 hrs after I wake up) and I don't know if it's just that I'm old now or my sleep is so fucking bad that even when I don't feel sleepy in the morning it hits me later.

I stopped needing a day nap about a year after I started taking vitamin D at five times the recommended daily allowance within an hour of waking up. In addition, it was no longer literally painful to awaken before 8am.

My mood benefited too, more resilient against depression.

I am a night owl and as long as I power through the slump around 22:00 I am good to go until 02:00 or thereabouts. However, I remember a phase back in my twenties when I would just get incredibly sleepy during the day.

I get most sleepy when I put the kids down for sleep, around 7:30 PM. At that point I can either fall asleep for 10 hours or if I hang on and do something mindless I get a surge of energy by 8:30 and find it impossible to go to sleep until 10-11.

Weird supplements that can help with Mitochondrial health and overall energy (besides the usual, and don't try them all at once but maybe try one at a time and see if it helps):

  • Glycine

  • Nicotinamide Riboside

  • Sterylethanolamide

  • Asprin

  • Quercetin

I'm an extreme morning person. I'm up between 430 and 5 most days, and work out by 7. I'm most productive in difficult work before 2pm. Between 2-6pm I'm working, but mostly I try to be editing or doing rote work. After 6pm I don't really get much done unless I'm drinking a bonus espresso or using other stimulants because it really needs to be done. In bed by 9pm to 930pm, asleep by 10-11pm.

I'd say I'm good for 6-7 hours of hard alert work a day, 10-14 hours of work total, before I'm tired.

I think to really parse your statement we need to define "exhausted." I'm properly exhausted like can't keep my head up after 18-20 hours, but I'm noticeably less productive after significantly less.

In bed by 9pm to 930pm, asleep by 10-11pm.

It takes you up to 2 hours to fall asleep?!

No, at 9pm ideally I've gotten into bed to read a book or news magazine. Occasionally radio broadcast of a baseball game or similar.

Late 30s, very fit, I don't get exhausted without some truly difficult effort. If I work very hard at a difficult mental problem, I'll experience mental fatigue after a couple hours and need to go take a walk. If I go for a hard run, I'll grab a shower and a beer when I get in and flip on something easy to watch, but I wouldn't go so far as calling it exhaustion.

On the flip side, I do take quite a few mental breaks, walk around, take five minutes to go play a quick mini-game, and so on. This isn't really a conscious effort, just habit.

This happens to me. I'm 40 and in great health. I have great energy and stress tolerance all day when my sleep, diet, and training are balanced. Otherwise, I'm in the same boat you are.

I'm naturally a poor sleeper unless I am strict about sleep hygiene. Recently, I quit nicotine pouches. Surprisingly this lead to a huge increase in my all day energy. So perhaps you're overstimulated. I get all my caffeine before 10am. For me, this is important for sleep. Sometimes I drink a lot (600mg), but this is now rare. I average less than 200mg per day at 95kg's. I try to cycle it (ie if I drink 400mg one day, I'll aim for just 100mg the next day). I cycle off completely for 10 or 20 days a year. I hate it. But I always feel more rested afterwards.

Glycine and magnesium on an empty stomach at night has helped my sleep. Could be placebo. Could be the fact that I stop eating sooner to the mag/glycine kick in better on a truly empty stomach. Cheap.

I love to work out vigorously, but I need to balance it so that I am always recovered.

On rare occasions I am still overwhelmed with tiredness at some point in the day, usually after 2pm, usually after a huge meal, usually during periods of high total stress, but sometimes for no reason I can see. When that occurs, I try to prioritize setting aside time to close my eyes and intentionally relax or have a 40 min nap if its early enough in the day.

Diet wise I eat almost exclusively whole foods, and an absurd amount of vegetables. Cucumbers, peppers, carrots, and roast veggies are my go to snacks / fillers. I probably eat 1kg+ a day. Sadly, drinking even small amounts of alcohol at night can throw everything out of whack for me.

All these various habits that are now somewhat second nature. My energy levels feel fantastic.

Do you have recommendations as far as recipes go, for making veggies taste good and making you actively want to eat them?

Salt, olive oil, onions, garlic, tomatoes make vegetables taste good.

On a normal day I don't feel sleepy until late evening, when I'd be going to bed anyway for my 8 hours of sleep. I'm in my 40's.

Seconding the recommendation you do a sleep study if you haven't already.

Are you dosing up on caffeine or other stims that might be causing a crash? Have you eliminated sleep apnea by doing a sleep study?

Have you eliminated sleep apnea by doing a sleep study?

I did one about a year ago and we did. I have cut down on caffeine before and not noticed any difference but I suppose experimenting with going cold turkey can't hurt.

I found it easier to switch to black tea and restrict my intake that way. My sleep improved and energy levels were more consistent during the day. The theanine was also welcome. But cold turkey works too.

I get sleepy midday even if I get full 8+ hours of sleep unless I'm physically active the whole day. I usually just take 20-30 min nap and that fixes it. I'm in my mid 20s.

Has anyone significantly increased their capacity to visualize? Like after practice inner visualizations are clearer, richer, and full of finer details?

I’ve been doing these perfect nurturer meditations that involve visualization, and they’ve been really great—and I’ve found the more I set the scene the more impactful they are. I hypothesize that with advanced visualization skills I could “practice” a variety of activities in my mind’s eye and use it to get better at a bunch of things; I’m just wondering if visualization is a tractable and trainable skill.

The ArtOfMemory forum has really good posts on this. I think what can be helpful is “feasting->fasting” process: fill up your cognition with beautiful imagery you see in the world; dwell on paintings, then test yourself with spaced repetition to see if you can recall; explore novel environments with good visual stimuli. This increases visual memory growth. Then enter a “fasting” period where you no longer take in much new visual stimuli and instead only focus on your intended visualization process.

perfect nurturer meditations

Elaborate

Elaborate

You can find a collection of them here (https://attachmentrepair.com/meditation-library/?_sft_techniques=perfect-nurturer-reinforcement).

The perfect nurturer meditation is an attachment theory associated visualization technique to facilitate secure attachment by reparenting yourself through some combination of imagining an ideal "parent" figure and applying their guidance and care to memories or composite memories (applying some form of emotional memory reconsolidation in the process).

It was based on Buddhist deity yoga.

Yes, greatly, but while I’m sure something I did contributed to the change have no idea why it happened!

I think it is. I used to have almost total aphantasia. I had to start very simply, trying to see a line or a box or a number faintly, while meditating. Started counting breaths by trying to see the number of the breath from 1-10 and starting over. Had to strain to make it appear at all. I think the training helped. I stopped keeping track of this (in)ability after a while, but later when I tried IPF/perfect nurturer, I was able to do it to a large enough degree that I could benefit from it. And I found, like you did, that the stronger the imagination is, the more impactful the attachment reconditioning/trauma repair meditation would be.

Wow, that's interesting. I have limited imaginative capabilities, but not to the point of aphantasia. Mostly, when I think, I see words in my head almost like this site, and I feel punctuation and formatting, italics make me want to lean and semicolons make me feel a slight thump. Images are hard to muster, and even when they appear they tend to flash away or fade into blackness.

I have two thoughts:

  1. My limited imagination makes reading fiction hard, especially fiction with lots of descriptions, which gives me a headache and I lose track of my place. I find it much easier to read nonfiction or fiction where the main point is dialogue or monologue. Do you think your aphantasia affected your ability to read fiction like this?
  2. It's weirdly easier for me to imagine things after I wake up, possibly a similar phenomenon to hypnagogic hallucinations. Do you notice anything like that?
  1. Yes it was probably harder to effectively read fiction while my visualization was wrecked. But sometimes I could probably "know" the scene by seeing it on a subconscious level even if not consciously at all. Possibly related issue: my working memory was worse at that time too.

  2. Yes.

This post just made me realize I have aphantasia and I spoke to my partner what she can imagine and then did the apple test.

I was aware of the term but never bothered to investigate. And I'm seemingly affected. What a wild ride.

I have to admit, I don't quite get the apple test. I don't even need to close my eyes, I can imagine a perfect image of an apple with open eyes. I can rotate it, look at little imperfections in detail, cut it open, do whatever. The same goes for just about anything that can be imagined. But it happens on a secondary plane to my normal eyesight, a third eye so to speak. If I close my eyes, I see nothing more than I do with open eyes. I would personally say I have excellent 3d imagination, but going by the test literally would lead to the conclusion that I have aphantasia?

I’m in the same boat as you, description-wise. Neither of us have aphantasia, the literal description is just poor.

This is interesting to me. What do you have in your head when you imagine a person you knew as a child? Do you not see them in your mind's eye in any way?

It's mostly the concept or a random narrative involving the person. Probably not even a real memory.

When I tried to explain a room we both know then I can iterate around the room clockwise and say the big items in the room but at no point do I have any visuals generated. Being very much influenced by LLM: I can generate an itemization of furniture, but merely because I have a spreadsheet I can go through, but it's all generated on the fly but when my eyes are closed it's just blank.

My partner, based on the red apple test, also doesn't have strong visualization skills. What I noticed is that when my eyes are open I can at some level generate images based on the visual stimuli that is currently present.

Again influenced by AI: Like that Google thing from years back that saw dogs everywhere. But not that obvious and it's still not really visually present but somehow I can get closer to a "visual feel" that way.

What's funny is that I'm partial on the conspiracy train that other people may have the same stimuli but are just making up being able to see and they just claim to be able to see something in their mind's eye. I could fake a detailed red apple and invent blemishes and such. They wouldn't be stable over a period of time because there is no actual "visual" reference but I don't know if the non-aphantasiacs have a stable reference. My wife says her blurry red apple morphs.

140 grams of protein a day:

  1. Max 2000 calories per day
  2. No protein shakes/powder/bars
  3. Actually flavorful and uncompromisingly delicious food

How would you do it?

I hit 235G P on 2045 Calories today. This is pretty common for me. It's all about habits, prep, and hacks.

Today the stores were closed so I defrosted a cabbage (carrot, onion, lentil, etc) and lean beef stew. I stirred in some lean yoghurt. I'll eat a can of sardines for dinner (I love quality sardines, esp piri-piri in olive oil).

I regularly pan fry a spice-rubbed chicken breast in minimal oil, and heat up a side of my homemade spicy white-bean, roast red-pepper puree. (Its basically an even leaner version of hummus). Store bought hummus is fine with only 140G protein and 2000 calories. Side of veggies. 80-100G protein for the meal. Low cal. Contains healthy fats.

I regularly make a lean beef burger patty (for me 500g package makes two patties). Add low fat cheese. Top with a low-cal spread (ie the above puree). 80-100G protein. 90G P, ~900 cals.

Scrambled eggs (with egg whites to meet protein goals), canned black beans, hot-sauce, side of low cal high fiber toast.

Minced chicken or turkey breast, a whole lot of veggies, aromatics, spices, sauteed wok style served over shirataki noodles/rice/barley. Dash of toasted sesame oil. Can be modified to fit into diet.

You've got huge margins. 140GP would be easy for me given how I cook. Tack stuff for a bit. I use LoseIt!. There are many others.

Thanks those are some great ideas!

Easily doable with mostly lean meat and fish... Pretty straightforward.

Won't be as tasty as their fatty counterparts though. You can't have it all.

These looks like the requirements of a man doing a cut. I.e has been done hundreds and thousands of times in the past...

I’m probably not going to do it but I’m curious as to what the diet would be to build muscle optimally.

Again, I recommend you don't skip protein shakes. They make the diet much easier to balance.

Without them, you have to fit 140 grams of protein into 2000 calories (if you eat regular food, it usually has a 1:1 protein to fat ratio, meaning that 140 grams of protein come with 140 grams of fat, that's 1820 calories alone, just 180 calories or 45 grams left for your extra carbs).

Two shakes a day provide you with 50 grams of protein and around 250 calories (50kcal for some sugar and fat), now you have to fit 90 grams of protein into 1750 calories, this means 1:1 PFR food takes up only 1170 calories, leaving you with 580 calories to spend on any food you like.

You probably don't need anywhere near that much protein. 0.82 g/lb ought to be enough for anyone.

https://www.strongerbyscience.com/the-three-laws-of-protein/

The 0.82g figure seems to be per pound, which is about 2g per kilogram, so 140g of protein would be what a 70kg person needs.

Yes, sorry, fixed.

140 g at 0.82 g/lb would be 170 lb or 77kg. I am assuming that 2rafa probably doesn't weigh that much (and if she does, it's arguable whether fat mass should be included in the calculations).

Turns out 2rafa has been Dana Shemesh all along.

  • Breakfast - 5 egg white omelette
  • Lunch - 2 grilled chicken breasts, rice
  • Dinner - 2 fish steaks, rice

Will look something like the above. Just larger than normal servings of lean protein, and every meal would have to be protein heavy.

One pound of a leanish steak (eg top sirloin) gets you to about 90g of protein and 1000 calories. I find a rare steak with salt to be perfectly satisfying and delicious, more satisfying than many more complicated meals and more satisfying than body-building foods like chicken breasts.

After that pretty much any other medium sized meal will get you an additional 50g of protein and 1,000 calories, whether that be a chicken burrito, mac&cheese or an 8oz cheeseburger.

Or you could do 20oz - 25oz of a fattier steak like rib-eye or chuck roast and 200-400 calorie supplementary meal of your choice.

No shakes and no bars? Why restrict yourself?

Chicken, turkey, lean fish and Greek yoghurt. Vegetable-based sauces and dips. Vegetable and lentil stews and soups.

London delis should have a wide variety of flavourful options: you can have hot smoked, cold smoked, roast chicken/turkey/fish with various herbs and spices for breakfast. Add some sugar-free jams to your yoghurt.

Vegetables are great, but grilled tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines get boring fast. Making stews or soups brings out much more flavor.

Roasting, stewing and grilling your meats (and seafood!) should provide enough variety.

Avoid dry carbs and fats. Raisins and nuts are great on a trail, pastries are delicious, but I'd rather splurge on exotic fruits every day.

This kind of diet should leave you with enough spare calories to fit in some less protein-efficient foods like eggs, cheese, some dessert, an occasional pasta or pizza

Start the day with three eggs and a cup of Greek yogurt will get you to 350 calories and 40 grams of protein.

A 12-ounce skirt steak cut has 750 calories and 88 grams of protein. That's a pretty good start for a TexMex meal. Roughly 250 calories worth of black beans is ~16 grams of protein. Fill in the remainder with rice and you're good to go. Avocado if desired.

Chicken breast is obviously a famous choice for protein enthusiast that are cutting. Personally, I like them pounded flat, marinated, and grilled pretty well. Make a sandwich with rolls and cheese to round up carbs and fat. Mixing up the marinades and going with rice and veggies can add some variety here.

20oz of ribeye distributed however you want over the day, with 470 calories left over for sides.

Ah, the “Neanderthal warlord” diet.

I suspect the warlord would actually eat more organ meat. But if you want something a little more sophisticated... make it 21oz of filet mignon and ditch the sides.

The key term there is lord.

  • Is there a point in your 20s when you are forced to move out because of constant bickering by your parents?

My mother has constantly been angry and aggressive since her menopause last year. I do not like shit tests coming from my mother, not the kind where the only solution is not talking to her. My dad has an incredibly short temper and would berate me for flunking high school (I still cleared the nationwide entrance tests and high school exams with literally perfect grades, being featured in the newspapers because of it). Every day he would scream at me for having flunked exams and this went on for at least 2 years until I started uni. I have to bear it from both my parents now who expect me to have a stable income while building something of my own. To them, the perfect life is of a bugman code coolie. I may have fucked up but I still went to uni without having to stay back a class. Some here would remember my posts in 2019 about trying to transfer over to the US and how my family actively sabotaged it, now whenever news of a kid getting a scholarship to some big-name uni comes up, my mom talks about it loudly as to call me a loser, even though I had zero money to even write exams, forget about hiring consultants like other kids who go out do here. Then after I argued about it, she told me that I would have failed and I got what I deserved.

I love my family, they have sacrificed everything they could have to raise me and my sibling but they are overprotective and abusive to the point where I do not wish to share a roof with them ever again. Calling me a has-been failure at age 23 (will be 24 this July) is not fun. My family suffered a lot due to bullshit court cases resulting in the loss of most of our ancestral land to legal limbo which my family sunk a lot of money into. I get why they feel the way they do yet they cannot change at this point, I should leave soon. I have not told them when I am leaving, the ticket is for June 3rd, and I want to leave without telling them about it. Have never travelled in my life since they have always been overprotective.

The shit tests are fairly constant. I started working out more seriously and saw my clothes shrink a little. I did gain some inches on my waist by forced overeating from MMA but my ma just keeps calling me fat, telling me that I am going to be fat whilst herself being really obese. Everyone in my family is overweight except me and she somehow always calls me fat whenever the topic of my clothes comes up.

  • Part-time nanny

My grandad is 91 and his room is in the section of the house where my study is so I am constantly being asked to run errands, pointless ones, it fucks my work up since I have to constantly start over and over again. Even worse is that my parents don't let me sleep because my work hours are late and they wake me up at 9 am so I average 5 hours of sleep a night. Any disagreement results in them screaming at me again and telling me that I will fail at my startup too. At this point, they are more convinced of me being a failure than anyone else I know of. Not saying that they want me to but this behaviour has always been a constant in my life. The only metric that mattered ever was fucking stupid exams, that produce their tier code coolies for the West which is what universities in my nation are in all honesty.

  • Start-up woes and relocation

I will be leaving for the large metropolis this Monday to meet with my cofounders and start serious work on my startup. One is based there and makes a good living doing a bunch of programming stuff and the other is a child prodigy of sorts who has many job offers whilst studying as an undergrad in the US. The one living there has a large apartment so we will be working out of it until we get our service apartments 5 minutes from his place, still using his home office as our primary workplace. I am the non-tech guy here for now since we need a lot of front-end and back-end infra up and running so I will have to take care of marketing, sales, hiring, communication etc and I am worried that I might get kicked out or the startup may fail. I have never had anything good happen to me over a long time and I feel quite scared.

I will keep writing more ML code, meditating and figuring out how focusing works properly since my work hours will be gruelling. I am just tired, I have no one to share any of this with, I could not share my feelings with my family earlier which is why I started posting here and now I can never share how I feel about anything with them or anyone. For now, I feel alone, with no safety nets.

I'mma be real with you, I find your plan kinda terrifying. I'm about to leave my job to embark on a startup-esque project, but I've got a decade of work experience under my belt, a cash runway of between 1-2 years, and both substantial passive income and lucrative part time contracting opportunities with the employer I'm leaving. You don't need that to start a startup, there's a middle ground to be found, but were I in your shoes, I'd be looking to move out to a place where I'd nabbed a stable 9-5, and I would grind it out no matter much I hated it until I had more security. Your living situation is intolerable, but it's very likely that your startup will fail, most do, be sure you have an income to fall back on if it does. Good luck though. I've been following your updates for what feels like years now and while I may disagree with a lot of your thought processes and decisions, I think you're a bright guy and I'm rooting for you.

I can't do stable. My life's biggest regrets are not working hard enough and still lucking into good places.

If it fails, I'll use my computer skills and get a job with my Co founders. I have a safety net of a stable well paying job but that can only materialise if I go through with this.

I wish you luck for your journey too. People fail though the one big regret many have is not doing something sooner and to the best of one's ability. For the first time in my life I can avoid that and that gives me peace.

Hey, as long as you're fed and free and your heart is still hungry, you've got another chance to take a shot at the goal. Make sure that you document what you achieve at this job so you can show what you've done with your time if it falls through. It's terrifying to step out on your own for the first time, especially with an unsupportive family and no resources, but you've got smarts and grit on your side, as long as you make good decisions you'll build something from the ether. Best of luck!

Why does it need to be a start-up? Start-ups have an inherently high failure even for highly competent people. You really need to have a good safety net.

Otherwise I agree, you need to get out. Nobody can stand such treatment very long.

My safety net is getting a good remote job if it fails. As long as I know a computer skill and have the help of my Co founders, I can get a good paying job.

I'm always wary about reading too much into any story I only get one side of. But you deserve and will benefit from having people around you that support you, and you have no obligation to stick with people who sabotage you, even if they are your parents.

Being alone with no safety net can be daunting but it can also be very freeing and enlightening. I am currently living far away from my own friends and family. It's nothing to be scared of. As a 23 year old, there's nothing you can't learn to do or adapt to.

You need to move out.

What to do about a fear of judgement? Is this the same thing as self consciousness? Caring what other people think is kinda hell.

Sublimate it upwards so you only care about what some Ideal Perfect Judge would say across an eternal span of time and with only a perfect concern for what matters. Could also help to stop judging other people by vain / unchangable characteristics

Self-consciousness includes focus on what you think of yourself rather than just on what others think of you, so it doesn't always have all the same failure modes, but it can easily be taken to excess no matter what form it takes.

For myself, I'd break down the emotional repercussions of the judgement of others into three categories. (noting that any one person's judgement can be any mix of all three)

  1. Some judgement is a matter of opinion, and opinions differ, and while it often can broaden your tastes to explore others' subjective perspective, ultimately it's not objectively bad for either of you if you still disagree afterwards. (cue Rogers & Hammerstein music here) If someone thinks it is, well, that goes in category 3.

  2. Some judgement is a matter of fact, and is correct ... and this is usually an opportunity! If you want to better yourself, you want to seek out people who can help you see your own flaws and how to overcome them, you don't want to fear that. In theory this might be an unpleasant process, because people who have insight into flawed human nature might also be rude and insulting about how they explain it, but in practice there's not generally a lot of overlap there, for obvious reasons. (among adults, at least - growing up you might have had a lot of peers who were starting to learn a few valuable insights but who had not yet counted "politeness" among them) I'm generally using "judgement" in the same negative sense that you did, but positive correct judgments can be useful too, not to help you better yourself but to help you identify negative incorrect judgments that might otherwise upset or mislead you.

  3. Some judgement is a matter of fact, and is incorrect ... and so why care about it? If someone tells you you have hideous purple hair, but you can look in the mirror and remind yourself that your hair is not purple, at that point you obviously shouldn't feel bad about yourself, you should feel sad for them. Most incorrect criticism isn't quite that blatantly wrong, but in that case just dissect it and save any bits that belonged in category 2 and then you still shouldn't feel bad about the rest.

Category 2 is an opportunity, while 3 is a bit of a waste of time, so obviously you'd like their ratio to be weighted heavily towards the former, so if you're more into corrective action than corrective introspection you might start to seek out friends/coworkers/partners/etc. whose judgement usually falls into category 2 but not 3. This becomes much more urgent if your problems include others' negative actions rather than just your own negative introspection - from the way you phrased your question it sounds like you're worried about damage to your psyche, but if you have a significant other or a boss or someone whose decisions matter and they're basing those decisions on wrong judgments, then ignoring them is not a good option and you'll have to figure out whether correcting them or leaving them is more practical.

To build on what other people wrote, how you value the judgement should have a correlation to how you value the person doing the judging. Don't worry so much about random people on the Internet. Especially don't pay attention to people who actively dislike you for other reasons than the particular action in question, or who have an ideology that they want to convert you to, or who seem to have bad judgement about you or in general. But pay more attention to people you respect, including mentors, your idealized/future self, or any relevant demigods or bodhisattvas. "Don't make baby Jesus cry." Maybe a question to ask is, "who does this person think I should become?"

The catch is that this works for narcissists and solipsists, too, because they don't value anyone except themselves. So you need to have empathy and humility and openness to the possibility that you might be wrong. But there are entire ecosystems out there built on exploiting this. Walking down the street today, I encountered panhandlers, crazies, and contractors soliciting for charities of questionable effectiveness. The world is full of people who don't give a shit what your personal experience is on the inside, as long as you act the way they want on the outside.

To use astrophysics as a metaphor, the stable Trojan points all seem to involve some form of religion, but it's possible to hang out at unstable Trojan points if you're up for making periodic orbital adjustments.

As others have said some judgement is helpful (example: a doctor telling you that you drink too much alcohol and it will cause health problems). It can help you see self-deceptive or self-destructive behavior that you can’t see on your own.

However, some judgement is unhelpful or mean-spirited. In that case here are some techniques to make you care less about judgement from other people:

  • Remind yourself of times when you were right and others judged you as wrong. This increases the confidence in your own judgement and decreases the confidence in the judgment from others.
  • Remind yourself that only you know what it feels like to be you in a specific situation (perspectival knowing). Nobody else has that same way of knowing the situation and therefore you are in the best position to make judgements about the situation.
  • Assume the person passing judgement is jealous/stupid/evil. Therefore, the judgement has far less weight.
  • Exposure therapy – Finding practice situations (without real consequences) where you will likely face negative judgments and practice not caring about it. It will desensitize you to judgement from others.

To reiterate another comment: judgement is something you need carefully and thoughtfully balance. If you are too dismissive of judgement it can lead you to having delusions of grandeur.

I have recnetly been trying focusing, the thing by eugene gendlin to help me in this context. I have low self esteem and care a whole lot about how others see and judge me. That and meditation are two things that should be of help.

Meidtation to stop me from thinking about anything besides what I am doing at the moment and focusing to ensure that I can address what exactly is bothering me.

I think you should remember that no one will invest as much time and effort in judging you as you do. Most people have better things to do than obsess over your mistakes.

Everyone says "don't be afraid of what other people think". This is bad advice. Few people achieve it, and as @Walterodim points out, the ones who do may be bad people.

We've evolved to be social creatures. Caring about the judgment of others is human nature.

But there is hope. The people who care most about judgment are those whose positions within the tribe are precarious. For example, a young academic must be slavishly devoted to the opinions of others. Even the smallest divergence will see him cast out of the tribe forever.

On the other hand, a person of independent means need not worry so much about the judgment of others.

So, if you want to care less here is what you need to do:

  1. Raise your status within the tribe

  2. Build your life so you are not the client or dependent of another person

While everything you and @Walterodim type out here is true, typically the person seeking a world free of self-consciousness is rather imagining a morning not fretting over whether his ears look big, whether her knees are too knobby for shorts, whether sunlight makes one's skin look washed out, etc. Not fear of discovery if one lies about speaking French (which as you say is a healthy approach to life and prevents all sorts of problems). In other words the hell of constant mundane fretting over the probably unimportant. (Admittedly even in the situations I have listed there is probably something to be gained by at least considering each question: A new hairstyle, different fashion choices, exposure to sunlight, etc.)

My advice would be to work on becoming skilled at something. Nothing like confidence in one thing to raise general confidence. What to work on will be a matter of individual preference up to @Oopz.

This is probably a "you should reverse any advice you hear"-type thing. I suspect it's also like psychotherapy, where a minority of the population really struggles with emotional regulation and needs to work rationally on their perceptions of the world, while most people do OK and would probably just be harmed and paralyzed by a more psychoanalytical approach to their life.

Some people probably desperately need to be told to stop worrying about the dumb things they think people care about, while others probably desperately need to be told they're screwing up and they need to start worrying about the way people perceive them. These two groups just need different things, and would be harmed by following advice necessary for the other.

@DuplexFields's advice last week is probably judicious for the first group, while @MaiqTheTrue's rejoinder serves as a necessary corrective for the second:

Sometimes I think self-improvement ideas can overfit just because the techniques are developed for those settings are developed to rehabilitate the sick and don’t necessarily carry that baggage for those who are not sick... I think a lot of mental health advice ends up that way: designed to help people with severe problems, and works pretty well there, then gets applied to the general population and not only doesn’t help, but can create the problems that it was intended to prevent.

Fearing judgment to some extent is good and healthy. If you behave poorly and show low character, people should judge you for it and you should change your ways. Any breakdown in that outcome is quite bad. On the flip side, you should reject incorrect judgments. The best way to do this it to build yourself into the kind of person that you want to be. Nonetheless, you should still be open to judgment and fear doing the things that would make people think worse of you. As with so many personality traits and emotions (anger, empathy, ambition) these drives must exist in tension and balance. People that either can't judge or fear no judgement usually suck.