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12 Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

Few activities have stood the test of 2500 years. Today we still have running, music, writing, swimming and… mindfulness meditation (among scarce others).

Such ancient interests that are still practiced today have a good reason for thriving so many centuries later. But while our ancestors could feel the benefits of meditation, they didn’t have the luxury of modern science to support their claims; it seemed to improve their lives, so they kept doing it.

Now, as western researchers have applied scientific rigor to mindfulness meditation, the results are in… and they’re more incredible than you might have imagined. Below are twelve science-based benefits of mindfulness meditation that will blow your mind.

Make your brain younger

A Harvard neuroscientist and her team wanted to determine whether meditation can change the brain over the long run.

Amazingly, their research found that 50-year-old meditators had the same amount of gray matter (brain cells) as 25-year-olds in the prefrontal cortex (a key brain region used for decision-making and memory), which normally declines with age. The scientists concluded that “regular practice of meditation may slow the rate of neural degeneration.”

Meditation has also been shown to fight age-related cognitive decline and even slow cellular aging. While most peoples’ memory and other brain functions decline as they get older, these effects aren’t seen to the same degree in long-term meditators.

Increase pain tolerance by 57%

mindfulness meditation benefits
Meditation has been shown to increase pain tolerance.

Your read that right: After just four days of training in mindfulness meditation, participants in one study found painful hot sensations to be 57% less unpleasant on average.

This may sound too good to be true, but there’s solid neuroscience to suggest why. As you learn to meditate, your brain can begin to separate the physical sensation of pain from your emotional reaction to it. Most of the suffering we experience, scientists have found, is a result of our psychological reaction, rather than the pain itself.

See Also: Easing Back Pain: 7 Things You Can Do To Promote Comfort

Gain back half of your waking life

Harvard researchers found that we spend an average of 47% of our days lost in thought. That’s nearly half of your waking life spent in some kind of mental simulation, daydreaming about the future or past. And the same study found that many of those thoughts are negative!

Mindfulness meditation can help you regain presence and spend less time mind-wandering. As you practice, you’ll spend more time immersed fully in whatever you’re doing and get more out of your life.

Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression

In our modern western world, millions of people suffer from anxiety and depression.

This has also led many of them to take up meditation, which has been shown to help with both mental problems. One of the reasons that mindfulness meditation helps in this area is that it teaches you to identify and detach from the harmful stories you might be telling yourself. Anxiety and depression, after all, are both negative narratives that get repeated over and over again in a mental loop.

Become more self-aware

This isn’t something that can be studied in the lab, but it’s one of the first benefits that every meditator notices at some point.

Having sat for some time directing your attention inward during mindfulness meditation, you’ve trained in the art of self-awareness (or what psychologists refer to as “introspective metacognitive awareness”). To put it one way, your mind gets good at observing itself.

This benefit doesn’t just help others, who have to deal with less of your annoying habits, but it’s also a fast path to self-improvement. Us humans are the only species on earth with this skill of “5th-degree metallization,” the mind’s capacity to become aware of its own processes.

Improve your concentration and working memory

In our current distraction crisis, it’s never been more important to have control of our attention. Furthermore, working memory is your ability to hold something in your mind in the short-term and is something that seems to be declining. Could you remember a 7-digit phone number if you had to?

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to improve both of these key areas of cognitive functioning. So to all the kids drinking insane amounts of caffeine to get better test scores, try meditation instead!

Diminish inflammation

Inflammation is a major underlying cause of many illnesses, including depression, heart disease, acne, and fatty liver disease. While most people look to decrease inflammation by going on a special diet or exercising, there’s another option available that takes just a few minutes each day.

Studies have confirmed meditation’s ability to help diminish inflammation. Because of the mind-body connection, mindfulness meditation benefits your body’s health as well as your brain.

Overcome addictions

Whether to a chemical drug or something more minor, like chocolate, meditation has been shown to help reduce cravings and even addiction.

Addiction recovery centers are now using meditation, along with traditional treatments, to help addicts. Brown neuroscientist Judson Brewer, Ph.D. and his team found that mindfulness meditation was as effective as any other method for helping people quit smoking.

Reduce feelings of stress

mindfulness meditation benefit
One of the benefits of mindfulness meditation is that this happens less often.

The modern world is full of things that stress us out, from traffic jams to an unreturned text message. But your brain often can’t tell the difference between those minor issues and a lion attacking you on the savannah, as it sets into the motion the fight-or-flight response.

When you meditate, the brain goes from active beta brainwave states to slower and more rejuvenating alpha and theta brainwaves. One of the first things you’ll learn to activate on command is a state of deep relaxation that you can spend more of your time immersed in.

Boost your immune system

Nobody likes getting sick, and oftentimes we think of washing our hands as the best preventative.

But it turns out there’s another way to help bolster a healthy immune system. Some of the top meditation researchers in the world, including Richard Davidson, Ph.D. and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. found that eight weeks of mindfulness meditation training significantly increased key antibodies compared to a control group.

Cultivate positive emotions, like compassion

While you won’t feel happy all the time, training a mindful mentality will gradually build up positive emotions. You’ll come to appreciate the smaller things in life more and better bear turbulent times.

Meditators commonly report feeling like they can better “surf the waves” of life, even when the ocean waters aren’t perfectly calm. And you also might uncover a natural well of untapped compassion within yourself as your practice continues.

Enhance your sleep

massage therapy deepen sleep

Sleep is something that’s often viewed as a waste of time… until we get a bad night’s sleep and realize how important it is for mental clarity, mood, and productivity.

Shockingly, 40% of U.S. workers chronically under-sleep, costing over $63 billion in lost productivity each year.

And while some people try to use various cocktails or drugs to knock themselves out, oftentimes they are just knocking themselves out rather than actually sinking into a restful state.

Better to do it the old-fashioned way with an ancient practice that’s been the hero of our story: mindfulness meditation. In a randomized clinical trial, meditation significantly improved sleep quality and lessened fatigue.

How much would you pay for a “magic pill” that accomplished all of the same benefits of mindfulness meditation? But all it takes is a few minutes each day. And if you’ve tried meditation but it didn’t seem to work, it’s likely that you weren’t taught correctly.

So if you feel like getting all of these benefits for yourself, here’s where to start:

The Best Way to Learn Meditation

Many people find it best to learn from a professional app, where they can meditate on-the-go and access some of the world’s best instructors in their pockets at any time. But most of the apps provide only surface-level instruction and are trying to make a quick buck.

That’s why we recommend one app in particular, the FitMind meditation app, which was created with the help of neuroscientists and monks and takes a more in-depth approach to meditation. Unlike the other apps, you’ll learn over 50 different methods, progressing from beginner to advanced techniques.
fitmind mindfulness meditation benefits

Via fitmindFitMind teaches this same program at Fortune 500 companies, like Amazon and Uber, and was recently named the #1 meditation app for better sleep and less stress by CNET.

If you’re trying to start a meditation practice or take your current practice to the next level to reap the full benefits of mindfulness meditation, we recommend giving the FitMind program a shot.

The post 12 Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Tips for Aging Men And Women to Improve Memory and Focus

Memory and focus are both parts of the psyche negatively affected by age. Fortunately, there are tons of tips on how to keep your memory sharp.

As both memory and focus play integral roles in completing everyday activities, working to keep them sharp can help avoid a number of problems that come with aging. This includes memory loss, decreased independence, physical health problems, and serious mental issues like depression and suicidal thoughts.

Here we have outlined 5 tips for aging men and women to keep their focus and memory strong and ultimately avoid the physical and mental health issues that often accompany memory loss.

Mental Exercise

keeping your memory sharp

Exercising your mind is a great way to keep it young. Saying the word “neurobics” is a brain exercise in itself, but it is, indeed, a real science. Many resources online offer easy-to-use programs and games to work out the brain. For the phone-savvy, there is a wide array of mental exercise games available in the app stores.

Things you already do may also be mental exercises, such as newspaper games like crosswords and Sudoku. Anything that makes you think is contributing to your mental aerobics!

Sleep

Sleep leads to a more focused mind and a well-rested memory. If getting more sleep is something that seems like a difficult challenge, there are many healthy ways to extend the number of hours your mind is at rest.

Some of these coincide with mental exercise, such as reading before bed or listening to music. The easiest way to try to improve your sleep is to simply go to bed when you feel tired, even if it seems early or late.

See Also: Importance Of Sleep: How It Can Put Your Health In Serious Jeopardy

Social Activity

This may be the opposite of sleeping, but it’s just as important for memory and focus improvement. Connecting with individuals, especially new individuals keeps the mind fresh.

Staying in contact with friends or re-building an old friendship is as easy as ever, thanks to technological advances. Calling family or friends and catching up for a while helps trigger memories. Meeting new people, on the other hand, makes the brain focus to realize who they are and what they’re telling you.

There are many avenues for the senior population to meet new people, including senior fitness classes and senior sports leagues like bowling and golf.

Exploration

Though jumping in an RV and going to a place you’ve never been is certainly worthy of being called “exploring”, you can take your brain for an excursion without leaving your town or even your home.

In relation to the social aspects above, going to unfamiliar places strengthens the brain. This can mean a new restaurant in town, a new park down the street or a bookstore that you haven’t been to in a while.

Different environments force the brain to adapt and learn something new. Exposing yourself to these environments can be a very enjoyable form of mental exercise.

Diet

keep your memory sharp

A diet consisting of eating fruits and vegetables is as important to mental health as it is to physical health. Increasing the “good” cholesterol and decreasing the “bad” cholesterol (steak, dairy, fried foods) can be as instrumental in preventing memory loss.

Trying a new healthy restaurant is a great way to exercise the brain with new activities while also starting a healthier diet!

See Also: 5 Practical Tips to Boost Energy and Brain Power

Taking small steps every day to work on your mental processes can pay off largely in the long run. After all, there’s nothing more important than mental health.

The post 5 Tips for Aging Men And Women to Improve Memory and Focus appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

8 Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

Few activities have stood the test of 2500 years. Today we still have running, music, writing, swimming and… mindfulness meditation (among scarce others).

Such ancient interests that are still practiced today have a good reason for thriving so many centuries later. But while our ancestors could feel the benefits of meditation, they didn’t have the luxury of modern science to support their claims; it seemed to improve their lives, so they kept doing it.

Now, as western researchers have applied scientific rigor to mindfulness meditation, the results are in… and they’re more incredible than you might have imagined. Below are science-based benefits of mindfulness meditation that will blow your mind.

Make your brain younger

A Harvard neuroscientist and her team wanted to determine whether meditation can change the brain over the long run.

Amazingly, their research found that 50-year-old meditators had the same amount of gray matter (brain cells) as 25-year-olds in the prefrontal cortex (a key brain region used for decision-making and memory), which normally declines with age. The scientists concluded that “regular practice of meditation may slow the rate of neural degeneration.”

Meditation has also been shown to fight age-related cognitive decline and even slow cellular aging. While most peoples’ memory and other brain functions decline as they get older, these effects aren’t seen to the same degree in long-term meditators.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Increase pain tolerance by 57%

Your read that right: After just four days of training in mindfulness meditation, participants in one study found painful hot sensations to be 57% less unpleasant on average.

mindfulness meditation benefits
Meditation has been shown to increase pain tolerance.

This may sound too good to be true, but there’s solid neuroscience to suggest why. As you learn to meditate, your brain can begin to separate the physical sensation of pain from your emotional reaction to it. Most of the suffering we experience, scientists have found, is a result of our psychological reaction, rather than the pain itself.

See Also: Easing Back Pain: 7 Things You Can Do To Promote Comfort

Gain back half of your waking life

Harvard researchers found that we spend an average of 47% of our days lost in thought. That’s nearly half of your waking life spent in some kind of mental simulation, daydreaming about the future or past. And the same study found that many of those thoughts are negative!

Mindfulness meditation can help you regain presence and spend less time mind-wandering. As you practice, you’ll spend more time immersed fully in whatever you’re doing and get more out of your life.

Become more self-aware

This isn’t something that can be studied in the lab, but it’s one of the first benefits that every meditator notices at some point.

Having sat for some time directing your attention inward during mindfulness meditation, you’ve trained in the art of self-awareness (or what psychologists refer to as “introspective metacognitive awareness”). To put it one way, your mind gets good at observing itself.

This benefit doesn’t just help others, who have to deal with less of your annoying habits, but it’s also a fast path to self-improvement. Us humans are the only species on earth with this skill of “5th degree metallization,” the mind’s capacity to become aware of its own processes.

Diminish inflammation

Inflammation is a major underlying cause of many illnesses, including depression, heart disease, acne, and fatty liver disease. While most people look to decrease inflammation by going on a special diet or exercising, there’s another option available that takes just a few minutes each day.

Studies have confirmed meditation’s ability to help diminish inflammation. Because of the mind-body connection, mindfulness meditation benefits your body’s health as well as your brain.

Reduce feelings of stress

The modern world is full of things that stress us out, from traffic jams to an unreturned text message. But your brain often can’t tell the difference between those minor issues and a lion attacking you on the savannah, as it sets into the motion the fight-or-flight response.

When you meditate, the brain goes from active beta brainwave states to slower and more rejuvenating alpha and theta brainwaves. One of the first things you’ll learn to activate on command is a state of deep relaxation that you can spend more of your time immersed in.

mindfulness meditation benefit
One of the benefits of mindfulness meditation is that this happens less often.

Boost your immune system

Nobody likes getting sick, and oftentimes we think of washing our hands as the best preventative.

But it turns out there’s another way to help bolster a healthy immune system. Some of the top meditation researchers in the world, including Richard Davidson, Ph.D. and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. found that eight weeks of mindfulness meditation training significantly increased key antibodies compared to a control group.

Enhance your sleep

Sleep is something that’s often viewed as a waste of time… until we get a bad night’s sleep and realize how important it is for mental clarity, mood, and productivity.

Shockingly, 40% of U.S. workers chronically under-sleep, costing over $63 billion in lost productivity each year.

And while some people try to use various cocktails or drugs to knock themselves out, oftentimes they are just knocking themselves out rather than actually sinking into a restful state.

Better to do it the old-fashioned way with an ancient practice that’s been the hero of our story: mindfulness meditation. In a randomized clinical trial, meditation significantly improved sleep quality and lessened fatigue.

How much would you pay for a “magic pill” that accomplished all of the same benefits of mindfulness meditation? But all it takes is a few minutes each day. And if you’ve tried meditation but it didn’t seem to work, it’s likely that you weren’t taught correctly.

So if you feel like getting all of these benefits for yourself, here’s where to start:

The Best Way to Learn Meditation

Many people find it best to learn from a professional app, where they can meditate on-the-go and access some of the world’s best instructors in their pockets at any time. But most of the apps provide only surface-level instruction and are trying to make a quick buck.

That’s why we recommend one app in particular, the FitMind meditation app, which was created with the help of neuroscientists and monks and takes a more in-depth approach to meditation. Unlike the other apps, you’ll learn over 50 different methods, progressing from beginner to advanced techniques.

fitmind mindfulness meditation benefits
FitMind’s science-based meditation training program. Via FitMind

FitMind teaches this same program at Fortune 500 companies, like Amazon and Uber, and was recently named the #1 meditation app for better sleep and less stress by CNET.

If you’re trying to start a meditation practice or take your current practice to the next level to reap the full benefits of mindfulness meditation, we recommend giving the FitMind program a shot.

The post 8 Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Identify One Goal: The Secret to Discovering Your Purpose

I think a lot of young people will find this post very useful if they were to apply themselves to it.

Most often, I find people wondering what their purpose in life is. And before they discover it, they try a couple of things and make some mistakes. They are the lucky ones as some people don’t even find out their life’s purpose at all. So, they end up living someone else’s life — a fake life.

But discovering your purpose is not a hard thing — at least not as hard as some say it is.

As a motivational speaker and life coach, I encounter this question a lot and most often, usually asked by young people. Not too long ago (January 2017), someone asked me that same question.

This lady was in her early thirties, a banker, had a car and living in a really nice apartment. At that point, she was living better in most standards than me. As we got talking, she asked me how someone could identify one’s purpose. I was shocked because, in my own mind, I would think she’s living her dream life. However, I contained myself and gave her an answer.

Identify one goal

What do you want to spend your life doing? What is that one thing you want to be identified with? And what is that one thing you want to be known for?

Identify that one thing you can do forever and you don’t mind doing it for free. That is the question that can point you to where your passion lies.

identifying one goal

When you finally identify it, spend every day of your life learning about it, studying it, practicing it, and doing it. Practice until you are not afraid to do it in front of other people.

“Don’t think about money; don’t start by focusing on the money. Do it because it just makes you happy and satisfied.”

be happy

Like I don’t care if I get paid for writing or speaking, as far as there is one person who listens to me or reads what I write, I’m satisfied. That’s why on my website, I have a place to book a one-on-one time with me because I care about just you who’s reading this.

“Focus on what you love and when you are so good at it people will start paying you for it.”

Usain Bolt is a multi-millionaire for just running. Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova are worth millions of dollars for just playing tennis. Linda Ikeji is a millionaire for being a gossiper. But at first, they all started loving what they do and they were doing it whether money was involved or not.

Takeaway

If you want to be counted as one of the greats or one of the richest, identify that one thing you are passionate about and be the best at it. You’d be lost having fun and doing your thing that one day, you’ll just discover that you’re rich and you’re celebrated.

The post Identify One Goal: The Secret to Discovering Your Purpose appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Avoid The Regret of Yesterday And The Fear of Tomorrow

“We look neither ahead nor backward. We look straight into the present.”

Stay in the present, be in the now, just for today.

We’ve heard those lines time and time again, but we still struggle to get hold of this life-changing concept.

Why? Why is it so hard to know how to stay in the present?

If we’ve been told that focusing on the present is the answer to all of our problems, then why do we find it so hard to do it?

Why do we insist on continually dragging ourselves back into the past or propelling ourselves forward into the future?

The answer is simple. It’s because it’s easy to say but not so easy to do!

So, here are 5 tips on how to stay in the present.

Focus on one thing and look at it with all of your might

I’m not talking about some random object like a pencil or a chair. Looking at that with all of your might would be pretty pointless and boring.

I mean something in nature. It could be a tree, a flower, your dog or your cat.

Stare at it with all of your might. Take every single tiny detail in.

If you’ve chosen to focus on a tree, watch how each leaf moves individually. Zoom in on the lines and texture of the bark and count how many different hues of green you can see. Listen to the tree whisper to you as the wind dances through the branches.

If you decided to gaze willfully at your pet, watch how its body moves gently as it breathes. Watch how it gazes so simply into space or how peacefully it sleeps. Focus on its nose and how it subtly twitches as it smells the world.

When you focus solely on something like that, you are being 100% at the moment and you won’t even realize it.

See Also: Feeling Stuck In a Rut? Here’s How to Change Your Focus

Do a guided meditation every day, just for 10 minutes

practice meditation

Come on now, it’s just ten minutes.

I don’t believe you are that busy that you can’t throw a quick 10-minute guided meditation into your day.

You don’t have to be a spiritual guru or a yogi in order to meditate. Anyone can do it and it really is the best way to center you into the present moment.

There are some brilliant meditation apps for your phone that make meditation quick and easy. Check out Calm or Headspace.

See Also: Benefits Of Meditation: How You Can Change Your Life In 10 Minutes

Watch the world like you’re watching a movie

When you are sitting on a train or a bus, sitting in a coffee shop or restaurant or even walking down the street, imagine yourself sitting in a movie theater.

Be absolutely still for a moment and just watch everything that is happening all around you in that very moment.

The movie is called ‘Life’ and it’s a fly on the wall documentary film.

It’s the quickest way to get out of your head and find your way straight back to the present.

Focus on the soles of your feet

A weird one I know, like my other four suggestions haven’t been somewhat odd.

If you find yourself feeling all kinds of yucky because you’re preoccupied with what happened yesterday or what’s going down tomorrow, just pause for a moment and focus on the soles of your feet.

Close your eyes and just zone in. Try and feel the soft skin on the soles of your feet without touching them with your hands. Simply use your concentration.

Feel the soles of your feet against your shoes or how they feel against the tiled floor or the grass between your toes. Pay attention to your toes, the arch of your foot, and the bottom of your heal.

Sounds weird but while zoning out on your feet, you’re actually being completely in the present moment. Your thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow have disappeared.

Dance

dance with abandonement

Dancing with abandonment is the best way to clear your head of overthinking and to just feel joy and pleasure right now.

I’m not saying you have to start dancing with abandonment in the middle of the supermarket or at the bus stop. However, if you have the courage to do that, then kudos to you.

No, I’m just suggesting you put some headphones on, lock your bedroom door, and just have a quick boogie to one of your favorite uplifting songs.

It’s impossible not to stay present when you’re strutting your stuff without a care in the world.

The post How to Avoid The Regret of Yesterday And The Fear of Tomorrow appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Staying Focused At Work: How To Be Productive In A Challenging Environment

A lot of organizations deal with challenges like maintaining productivity and quality of work. Employees constantly complain about the increasing chaos that hampers their productivity and this directly affects the business. Because of that, managers are quite pressed to find a solution that can motivate their team members while boosting their productivity.

In this article, we’ll share with you few essential tips on staying focused at work.

Prepare a To-Do List

prepare to do list

Half the battle is won once you prioritize your tasks. Make a master list of what needs to be done.

For example, you can put all tasks that require urgent attention under “A”.  Create a list “B” for things that are important but not urgent and List “C” for tasks that can wait for a while. Complete all tasks under “A” first before you move on to “B” and “C”.

Plan your day through these lists and set realistic deadlines to accomplish each one of them. Once you’ve completed everything, don’t forget to reward yourself to keep your spirit up. When you start prioritizing, you won’t just be focused but efficient, too.

Start With Cognitively Challenging Tasks

After preparing your to-do list, start with cognitively demanding tasks. Suppose your List “A” has three tasks. Start with the most difficult tasks before moving on to the easier ones. Do the same thing for the “B” and “C” lists.

Once you complete the difficult tasks, you are all set for the rest of the day. Now, you can relax and take care of the other tasks that aren’t as mentally draining.

Schedule Your Work

Don’t overstretch yourself with your work. Rather, split your work into segments and sub-segments. Try working within a 2-hour window and then take a break. Don’t sit for more than two hours at a stretch or else you’ll feel exhausted. Even a leading study suggests that “Sitting is the New Smoking”.

To avoid such burnouts, take a walk to revitalize your brain, allowing it to concentrate better. Though breaks are essential for a healthy workday, you must learn to take them with a pinch of salt. Frequent breaks can be addictive and can hamper work.

To draw a line, you can optimize your breaks by doing the following:

  • Schedule your breaks
  • Keep a track to ensure you are not overdoing or under doing your breaks

Learn to Set Priorities

Responding to each and every request of your co-workers can immediately affect your focus, preventing you from doing deep work. If you have a habit of entertaining every request, you are most likely to lose your value. On top of that, tackling on-the-fly requirements can also deplete your focus.

With that, you have to make others understand that their requests will be entertained but only once you are finished with your priorities. For better focus and results, it’s also important to avoid indulging in non-work related discussions or “grapevine.”

If there are sudden urgent tasks, you can deal with them with a simple project management tool. Simply make a note of the new task, assign a deadline and you are good to go. Once you’re done with your current task, start finishing the others one at a time.

Desist Multitasking

It might feel tempting to do multiple tasks simultaneously to enhance your productivity. But, honestly, it just makes things worse.

Multitasking drains your mind and it can cause a significant decline in your mental sharpness with time. It can prevent you from achieving your most important goals and make you more vulnerable to work errors.

Avoid Distractions

Nowadays, being online on various social media platforms is a trend. Several notifications pop up every now and then, commanding your attention. If you are constantly attending to such notifications, how are you supposed to do meaningful work?

One of the greatest tips in staying focused at work is to identify distractions and just get rid of them. While working on an important project, put your phone on silent or switch it off. If you really want to stay updated with your social media accounts, you can designate dedicated time slots to check your phone.

Be an Email Ninja

Though emails are important, they can be distracting, too. They have the potential to divert your attention from your work to something that can wait.

So, lay down personal rules and follow them religiously. Set specific times for your emails and stick with them.

Pay Attention to Chat Status

More often than not, people take your chat status wrongly. If your chat status says “available” all the time, they’ll think of it as a sign to forward more requests.

When you are doing a task that demands a razor-sharp focus, set your chat or email setting to ‘busy’ mode. Needless to say, you can change the chat status after you’re done.

Cut Outside Noise

avoiding noise distraction

Managing your focus in an office environment can be quite tricky. Until you do away with noise, you won’t be able to focus.

Limiting auditory distractions is crucial in increasing attention span. You can use noise-canceling headphones for that. If you still feel distracted, you can move to a quieter place, such as a conference room. In case that doesn’t solve the problem, opt for remote work for a day or two to regain your lost focus.

Manage Stress

Working on a crucial project with close deadlines? Growing expectations, increased competition, and pressing deadlines can increase your stress at work. This can make your productivity suffer.

To solve this, try turning on a soothing music to lower your stress and calm your mind. Apart from that, you should also pay close attention to your diet. As much as possible, avoid the following:

  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Don’t forget to exercise regularly and sleep well.

See Also: 4 Ways To Reduce Stress Inside and Outside of Work

Declutter Your Workdesk

Visual clutter can take away your focus, preventing you from doing any meaningful work. Therefore, you must declutter your office desk to increase work performance.

Keep everything that’s essential to your work, like your pen, notepad, marker, and files, on top of the table so you can easily get them when needed. Lock all other unnecessary things inside your drawer.

See Also: 12 Desk Hacks To Make You More Productive At Work

In Summary

Focus on bringing tranquility to your workplace, so the whole environment undergoes a positive change. You can add positive images to your work desk or you can write down quotes to boost your focus. Practice a simple routine of keeping a clean desk and make sure that you don’t leave food or other things lying on your desk.

Keep on practicing these positive habits and you’ll surely see a noticeable improvement in your productivity level at work.

The post Staying Focused At Work: How To Be Productive In A Challenging Environment appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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6 Best Tactics to Improve Your Self-Control

How do you improve your self-control?

For most of us, this is a work in progress. Self-control, at its most basic, is the ability to control our emotions and actions. Having the ability to do this effectively has been tied to being successful in all areas of life. It allows us to achieve goals and accomplish tasks that may seem daunting or even impossible.

For example, self-control in the financial arena can help you make wise buying or investing decisions. You may deny yourself frivolous items, opting instead to save that extra dollar or two for more worthy choices. As a result, you are more likely to find yourself feeling secure in your finances and creating the life you desire.

Self-control in relationships is also important. Everyone has found themselves feeling strong emotions, both positive and negative, in a course of a relationship. If we are not able to control how and when we express these feelings, we can destroy a relationship needlessly.

Remember:

Just because you think it does not mean you need to say it.

With self-control, you create a grace period to determine whether what you are feeling is really something that is worth saying.

So, what do you need to do to improve your self-control and set yourself up for success?

Check out these 6 tactics.

Set a goal

Setting a goal is one of the best first steps toward improving self-control. With a goal in mind, you can determine which actions are needed in order to achieve it and which could be detrimental. This may mean that you have to control certain desires and emotions along the way.

Take getting in shape, for example. In order to change your shape in any fashion, you have to make a number of choices. Many of those choices require a great deal of self-control. It would be far more pleasurable to eat a doughnut than a carrot stick. But, if you want to get closer to your goal, you have to control that impulse to indulge in a sugary treat.

See Also: 4 Powerful Ways To Stay Motivated And Reach Your Goals Through Tough Times

Understand the ‘Why’

five whys

If you know why you are doing something, you are far more likely to work hard to achieve it. If you are a person who is prone to emotional outbursts, understanding why you need to work toward controlling them will motivate you to focus on that control.

Knowing that an unchecked emotional outburst can hurt someone you love unnecessarily, jeopardize your position at work, or cause people to lose respect for you can be a strong motivator. This is WHY you need to exercise control over the impulse to speak before you think.

Change your environment

If the things that test your control are always in front of you, consider modifying your environment. This is not a sign of weakness but, rather a sign of control and strength. When you proactively alter your access to temptation, you are helping yourself and practicing control at the same time.

A smoker who is trying to quit knows to get rid of cigarettes. However, if he really wants to be successful, he may also want to make changes to the places or people he spends time with. This change of environment not only improves personal control but also strengthens one’s ability to control the other aspects of life as well.

Keep a journal

If you are working on something continually, it can be hard to see your daily progress. If you jot down the time you said no to the doughnut, held your tongue or chose not to spend that $10, you will be better able to see your track record of success.

And success breeds success. If you can see what you have already achieved, you are more likely to push further.

See Also: Writing Therapy: How It Can Make Your Life Easier

Meditate

practice meditation

Meditation is a form of self-control. You are forcing yourself to quiet your mind and focus. This simple act can be far more challenging than it seems.

Finding time to stop, be still and explore your own thoughts requires a certain amount of discipline and self-control.

Exercise

Studies show that the simple act of routinely moving your body and raising your heart rate will help improve your focus and clarity. The act of physically exhausting yourself can give rise to mental calm and it requires you to actively control the impulse to stop and sit.

Mastering self-control can be difficult. Many of us work toward this every day in different ways. More important than any tip you can be given, however, is the personal knowledge that you have the ability to do whatever you set your mind to. After all, the only behavior you can truly control is your own.

The post 6 Best Tactics to Improve Your Self-Control appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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3 Good Reasons Why Planning Just Isn’t For You

Planning. Simply the sound of this word is enough to give me a rage fit and a subsequent migraine.

Whether you want to start a business, do well at college or just become good at any kind of activity, one of the most frequent pieces of advice you will get is to plan everything. Even when it comes to relationships, planning is still considered to be essential.

At first, I became really angry and frustrated when I read all those articles because I am terrible at planning– really. The only thing I have managed to plan so far is my shopping list.

I have a bright memory from childhood. It’s when I decided it was time to get all fancy and organized and created a schedule of the entire following day. I was so serious that I even used an A3 sheet of paper for my schedule and I’m not kidding you.

And now, you can try to guess how much I lasted on my schedule.

I managed to do only one thing from the list and that’s to wake up. The rest of my day went haywire, as usual.

After years of struggling with my hectic and disorganized self, I started to question the premise and had anti-planning thoughts.

Can planning really do miracles to your life? I highly doubt that. I believe that, like everything on Earth, it has its downsides. Here are some of them.

Plans make you frustrated

frustrated planner

I’m a perfectionist- yeah, that’s weird for someone who hates plans- and it backfires so much when it comes to crossing out items from my to-do or even shopping lists. If I can’t manage to find something or if I postpone a tiny errand to the next day, I will feel dissatisfied with myself. No matter how many tasks I do that same day, that one uncrossed thing will bug me.

What to do instead?

If you’re like me and “1 pound of sour cream” in your shopping list can ruin your day if uncrossed, try creating lists of things you actually DO as you go on with your day. This will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and boost your confidence. At the end of the day, you’ll be looking at a list of things you actually managed to do and not those you didn’t manage.

Plans don’t make THAT big of a difference

A lot of people expect to become time-management gurus the moment they start creating plans. But, guess what?

That doesn’t happen in a snap. It has to be learned much like any other action and habit out there. More than that, though planning helps you become more organized, the main point is that you need to do things. Planning alone won’t get you anywhere, except the fact that you’ll become incredibly good at creating lists.

What to do instead?

Try the immediate action strategy. Planning is preparation, and preparation is usually good. But, let’s be honest. Most of the time, we start making plans to procrastinate and to feel like we are actually doing something good about our lives.

So, instead of indulging into writing another list, choose a tiny action. Let’s say, clean a small section of your working table or finally move all the clothes from the chair to your drawers.

Plans can increase your anxiety

anxious planning

Life goes by its own rules with little regard for our plans. People forget to return a call or even show up, cars break and bad weather strikes unexpectedly. Life is haywire and that’s probably the reason we like plans so much. They help us make a little sense of the mess that’s constantly going on.

When something unexpected and unavoidable intervenes with your perfectly designed plan, it can make you feel like you are out of control and this adds more stress. You have a lot of things to deal with and now you have another issue to solve. In essence, it means less time for more things to accomplish.

What to do instead?

Choose a couple of pivotal actions and make them vital for you. See, there’s a lot going on with our lives, but we don’t forget the basic things anyway. We eat, sleep and drink.

Choose a couple of simple actions and make them an absolute must of your day. Soon, you will be used to them that you won’t need a plan to remind you anymore. You won’t beat yourself up for not sticking strictly to your schedule.

I’m not saying you should totally forget about lists and to-dos completely. They can be useful when you are packing for a trip or having a really hectic time. However, I don’t believe you need a to-do list for every day of your life. To me, they are more of a play-pretend game than of real usefulness.

What do you think about planning and to-do lists? Are they overrated or do they really make a big difference?

Share your insights below and maybe you can help me and other people who are all about anti-planning change our minds.

See Also: Todo List Apps for People Who Don’t Like Todo Lists

The post 3 Good Reasons Why Planning Just Isn’t For You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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What To Do When You Hit A Roadblock: The Power Of The Subconscious Mind

Many of us know that if you want something in your life, you’ve got to visualize it, hold it clearly in your mind, feel it and be it. In essence, you have to implant that thing using the power of the subconscious mind.

You can spend time each day visualizing exactly how your life is going to look. You can imagine yourself there, living the lifestyle you want, doing the things you want to do and being the person you want to be.

Another way is to journal. It can help you imprint your goals in a much stronger way.

You can try writing out your life in detail, repeating all those things you want to have in your life over and over again. Or you can meditate and spend time each day doing affirmations about who you’re going to be and what you’re going to have and do. You can do an evening gratitude list to get your mind to concentrate on the good things that are happening instead of the not-so-great.

You dream, you visualize and you act.

But, what if something comes along that knocks you sideways?

You see, the thing is, you’re really powerful- unbelievably powerful.

All the tools and techniques that I’ve listed out are just to help you harness and utilize the enormous power of the subconscious mind.

The problem is that we let our subconscious minds get on with things.

For a long time, our minds have ruled our lives. What the mind says, we believe. What the mind tells us to do, we do. The opinions our minds have seem like they’re their own. And for most of our lives, we’ve listened to our minds as though they are us.

We’ve Believed Everything It’s Told Us

And then, you suddenly decided that wasn’t good enough and you want to be in charge. You started exercising your mind on your terms, telling it what to think, where to place its attention, and even – heaven forbid – telling your mind that it’s wrong in what it’s thinking.

Now, you might think that you’re in charge here and that you’re going to get that stuff together and harness the power of the subconscious mind as though it was some tidal power station. Unfortunately, your mind has other ideas.

If you’ve been in charge for all those years, would you let go of control easily and quietly?

Didn’t think so? Your mind isn’t going to either. It’s got way more subtle (sneaky) powers than you ever dreamed possible.

You can visualize and journal and focus and imagine all you like. But, your subconscious mind will test your resolve- every time.

journaling

See Also: 5 Benefits of Journaling To Inspire and Motivate You

You say you want something? The mind will check if you really do. Your mind will create a massive roadblock that’s going to stop your visualization train in its tracks.

Let’s say you’ve been visualizing a wonderful and relaxing Caribbean holiday. You’re imagining yourself there on the beach. You can hear the waves, smell the ocean and feel the warm breeze upon your skin. You’ve almost saved enough for your holiday. You’re going to go out after your next payday and book your trip.

Then, your car breaks down and what do you know? The repair bill is what you’ve saved for your holiday TO THE DOLLAR!

At this point, you’ll probably think “Why does this stuff always happen to me?” or “I can never get ahead” or “I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this.”

But, consider this:

That, my dear, is just your mind testing you. It’s just your mind at work making sure that you do want all the things you’re thinking about.

How Powerful Is Your Mind?

How powerful is your mind that it can create stuff like that? It’s extremely powerful.

Instead of getting upset (like we tend to), acknowledge the power and creativity your mind has. See it as proof that you’re on the right track and your mind is just making sure. See it as evidence that you really can have everything you want. If not, the things you want are going to pose no problem.

subconscious mind

Your job is to visualize the end result. Leave working out how to get there to your subconscious mind. It knows far more about how to work the universe than you do.

So, next time you run into one of those roadblocks, don’t stop and just keep going. Get straight back into visualizing the end result, journal about it, do whatever you can to get that vibration back to the level you want.

See Also: The Secret Mind Hacks That Can Change Your Life Today

The post What To Do When You Hit A Roadblock: The Power Of The Subconscious Mind appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Simple Ways To Cope With Life

There have been times where I found life to be really difficult to cope with. During those times, I have succumbed to stress, had low self-esteem and felt that I just could not carry on. Fortunately, I have come through and this encouraged me to share with you 5 simple but effective ways to cope with life.

Recognize your situation

Sometimes, one of the most difficult things to do is to recognize your own situation. When life is tough, it becomes difficult to see what is actually happening.

Negative thoughts can make it hard for you to think clearly. They can make you feel as if there is no way you can continue.

To break this kind of thinking, ask yourself: Have I changed?

Take note of the things you have been experiencing lately, like struggling with sleeping, not eating well, drinking excessive alcohol and no longer doing the things you enjoy. These are all signs that you are not effectively coping.

Recognizing these signs is the first and most important thing you should do. Once you are able to recognize your struggles, you can start finding ways to improve things and make your life better.

Try to identify what is triggering your anxiety. It can be the sad passing of a friend or family member, money problems or relationship difficulties. Or it could be a combination of things which are mounting up.

See Also: 3 Healthy and Inexpensive Ways to Cope with Anxiety

Make time for yourself

practice meditation

You are important and you need to recognize this. Failure to see your importance can easily make you neglect yourself.

Ensuring that you are eating a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do. When your body is healthy, so is your mind.

Try to engage in some form of exercise. This doesn’t have to involve a trip to the gym. In fact, you can start with a gentle stroll around a local park.

Although exercise can’t instantly cure your stress, it can help reduce your anxiety as well as help divert your attention. In addition to healthy eating and exercise, you can also do meditation.

There are a number of resources online that can give you advice on how to meditate. If that isn’t up your alley, you can try breathing exercises. For this one, you need to:

  • Find a quiet area where you will not be disturbed for five minutes. Get comfortable and switch off your phone.
  • Close your eyes and slowly breathe out through your mouth over a count of ten.
  • Hold your breath for a moment
  • Breathe in through your nose slowly, over a count of ten
  • Hold your breath again for a moment before repeating the process.
  • Repeat the steps ten times

With each breath, concentrate only on your breathing. Feel how the air enters and leaves your lungs and pay attention to how your chest expands and tightens.

As you perform the breathing exercise, visualize the times you were happy and imagine that you are there, at that exact time and place. As you visualize your happy place, try and think of every detail- what you see, smell and feel. You need to involve all your senses and really immerse yourself in the image you are creating in your mind. Now, as you do this, touch your thumb and index finger together.

At first, this may seem unusual, but, in the long run, this technique can make you easily recall your happy moments easily.

Plan a way to move forward

Once you know what is causing your stress, you can start looking for ways to solve it. If you know you won’t be able to solve it on your own, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

In case you are being stressed by money problems, for example, there are organizations that can help you with advice and support. For bereavement, there are counselors who can give you practical help to move on.

There are a lot of organizations online that can give you support. If you find this uncomfortable, you can go see your doctor.

Keep a ‘Positive Diary’

positive diary

A “positive diary” works similarly to a journal. However, instead of paying close attention to negative thoughts, you write down positive things about your day.

For each day, you need to record three positive things. They can be things you felt or thought of during your work at the office, while working out in the gym or during your walk home.

As much as possible, disregard the negative things that may have happened. Focus only on the positive things to attract more of the good energy into your life.

See Also: How To Overcome Negative Emotions Using 5 Writing Techniques

Know that you can carry on

As I said above, there will be some days where you will encounter setbacks and there will be times when your best-intentioned plans will fail. You need to know that this is something that happens to everyone and is not a reason to give up.

Some time ago I went through some pretty tough times. At that time, I thought they were insurmountable. However, I kept going, looked for positives and got through it.

I was reminded by reading some of my Facebook memories which showed some pretty bleak posts from previous years that showed me how I found a way to get through. In time, things did get better.

Don’t give up

You may feel that there is no solution and that the only way forward is to leave this world. Although tempting, this isn’t one of the best ways to cope with life. If you ever feel this way, please get professional help.

I recently had to attend the funeral of a very good friend who took his own life. It was devastating to look around a room and see his work colleagues, friends and family all wondering if they could have done anything to help him.  Actually, we could have done something- had he only asked.

Moving on and finding ways to cope with life can take some effort and time. This, however, doesn’t mean that they aren’t doable.

 

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Senior Care- What You Need To Know About Assisted Living

Discovering that a family member is finding it difficult to handle daily living activities means that you need to start learning about senior care. Assisted living is among the options that are available and it refers to different senior care services that provide several benefits to seniors and their caregivers. As many people age and deal with long-term illnesses, professional care is a healthy and viable choice for your loved one and will benefit the entire family.

Personalized Care

One of the reasons why assisted living is popular is because it is personalized. Facilities that offer assisted living do not offer one package to cover everyone’s needs. Any senor who resides within the community has a distinct personality, certain traits and medical conditions.

Professional caregivers make sure that everyone gets the support they need on a personalized basis. Whether an elderly person has mobility issues or struggles with memory loss, a professional will address their specified and individual needs.

See Also: 5 Exercises to Improve Posture and Mobility for Seniors

Safety

assisted living
Via senior-care-resources

An assisted living facility is designed to minimize risks and hazards for its senor residents. Installing certain types of safety equipment at home can be expensive. At an assisted living residence, additional components of safety are standardized and have a positive effect on the mobility of your loved ones. They also reduce the risk of seniors experiencing injuries that arise from falling and any other incidents.

Quick Response to Emergencies

While every step is taken to maximize the safety of seniors, accidents may occur. Trained professionals are hired by assisted living facilities and they are available throughout the day in case of a medical emergency. Transportation to medical facilities for routine check-ups or non-emergency situations is also organized by the staff.

Freedom and Privacy

Professionals monitor the health needs of each resident without compromising on their privacy or need for personal space. Regardless of how much daily care your loved one may need, they still enjoy their freedom, privacy, independence and mobility. It can be challenging for seniors to move away from their families and homes but they usually enjoy being able to have their privacy and freedom.

Supportive Environment

If an elderly person has the ability to perform various tasks without any exposure to danger, professionals will always support them and their efforts to be independent. This is essential for the individual’s general well being.

Active Lifestyle

assisted living entertainment
Via nharch

Assisted living provides activities during which exercise and physical mobility are encouraged. Staying active and being mobile not only helps the senor regain their youthfulness, it also helps to prolong life by keeping diseases at bay. The facilities provide a variety of recreational activities that are aimed at keeping seniors healthy. This helps them to maintain an active lifestyle.

Conclusion

Taking good care of elderly people is vital. With the assistance of an assisted living facility and trained staff, you and your family have the assurance that your lived one will be able to enjoy a higher quality of life as well as their independence. Older family members can get the care that they need at assisted living facilities that are committed to enhancing the well-being and happiness of each of their residents.

 

The post Senior Care- What You Need To Know About Assisted Living appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Where to Find Friends and Support During Addiction Recovery

When you’re in rehab, you have a support system of therapists, group leaders and fellow patients. However, when you go back to your everyday life, you may suddenly find yourself alone. It can be difficult to get through work and your other responsibilities without anyone there to soothe you.

Perhaps you don’t live near family and friends, or they’re enablers. They also may just not understand what you’re going through and not be able to help. If you don’t have a therapist you see regularly either, you may feel lost.

After rehab, it’s crucial that you have a period where you can transition back into your everyday life and get on your feet again. This can be difficult to do, especially when substance abuse was your primary coping mechanism. You need people you can turn to who are reliable, as well as places you can go if you feel like you’re slipping back into your old behaviors.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can garner support during this tough time. The following are places to look for support during your post-rehab recovery period:

Individual or Group Therapy

family-counselling

Before you exit rehab, you should be set up with a private therapist who has addiction counseling experience. If that didn’t happen, ask your rehab for referrals.

Depending on your situation, you may want to visit a marriage or family therapist, too. An alternative to individual or family therapy is addiction group therapy, which may be lower in cost and give you more of a support system.

Peer-to-Peer Support Groups

group therapy

Recovery support groups, or peer-to-peer groups, are essential to your recovery. It’s been proven that when you join these types of meetings, you are much more likely to stay sober. Similar to rehab, you are connected with people who are going through the same or similar situations. They’ve all struggled with addiction and know where you are coming from, so you won’t feel like an outcast or like you don’t belong. In fact, you should feel accepted and related to.

Two popular peer-to-peer groups are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. You can use Addiction.com’s meeting finder to determine the most convenient location for you. In AA and NA, participants stand up, explain why they are in the group and how it has changed their life, as well as what their path to recovery has been like. Then, other members can volunteer to talk about their stories too. You may even establish a relationship with a sponsor you can call if you’re in need of help or you just want to check in. These are informal settings, so there is no pressure to share or connect with a sponsor if you don’t want to.

Organizations like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence give you information on the various types of meetings available as well.

You may also find support within your local church, synagogue or mosque, or you can use a toll-free telephone hotline if you find yourself in need. Most of these hotlines are staffed 24/7 with helpful individuals who can give you referrals for additional support.

Your Rehab Facility

If you live near your rehab facility, they may provide support to you as part of an ongoing outpatient program. Most likely, your rehab will set you up with support outside of the facility. They will be there for you in your time of need, however, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them at any point.

A Successful Recovery Is Possible

Addiction recovery is not easy. Without the care and support of friends, family and professionals, you may feel like you can’t get through the hard times.

But don’t despair. Wherever you live, you can find a meeting, a therapist, friends, or simply pick up the phone to talk to someone on a hotline. Always remember that it’s normal to need help from a variety of sources at this time, even if it means going to groups and talking one-on-one with mental health professionals.

A full recovery outside of rehab is possible. It just takes time, patience and a little work to find the support you need to succeed.

See Also: 8 Drug Addiction Treatment Programs To Help You Break Free

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Stumble, Success, Stumble, Success – 11 Simple Steps to Improve Your Life

In its simplicity, life can be difficult. Then we make it more tortuous by the way we treat ourselves — feeding our minds with thoughts that reinforce the negatives.

So what can you do to focus on the positives?

Get off Facebook

Comparing your life with others’ is a sure-fire recipe for depression. Stop looking over the “neighbour’s” fence and looking at what they’ve got and you haven’t.

If you are tempted to peek, look at all the things you’ve got that they haven’t.
Our assumptions about other people are often wrong. We only see a small sliver of their lives. Their public one. The one they want to project. It’s not a complete picture.

Get on with managing your own life. Analyze the things that have gone wrong. Think about why they went wrong. Find the real reason (that’s the answer to the 5th why) and not just a good reason (the off-the-cuff answer to the 1st why).

Is there a pattern? Is there a real cause that you can tackle?

Get outside

get outside

Take a deep breath of fresh air, see the trees, and listen to the birds and insects. Relate to this world. Smell the flowers, the damp earth or the rain. Look up and marvel at the sky and the clouds.

Soak in the ever changing world you have the opportunity and privilege of experiencing.

It will have an immediate and positive effect on your mood.

Use a loving voice with yourself

Talk to yourself like you love yourself. Like a new found romance when you only see the good and positive.

Consider your life. Concede that you are in the best place you could be. Accept your failures and weaknesses as challenges and hurdles to overcome.

Admit that without pain, there would be no ultimate pleasure.

Exercise, exercise, exercise

So simple to do … so difficult to do.

Exercise releases feel good endorphins. It lowers stress and positively channels negative energy.

Be careful what you eat

Don’t diet. Eat less and less often. Be aware about what you unconsciously shovel down your throat.

Having a healthy diet can impact your mood much more profoundly than most people realize.

Talk to people who care about you

Build a positive community either in person or online.

Speak to empathetic people who listen. Hear what they say. Think about it and digest it.

Having someone who just listens often has an encouraging effect.

Volunteer-help those who are less fortunate

There’s always someone less fortunate. Often much less fortunate.

Helping others not only benefits them. It can help us feel thankful and more in touch with our positive feelings.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer 

Think happy

The old adage of “fake it till you make it” is filled with wisdom. Breathe deeply, pull your shoulders back, put a big smile on your face and stand proud.

Greet a stranger with a kind word or smile. Their positive response will boost your happiness.

Make sure you get enough sleep

get enough sleep

Sleeping gives your brain time to do its daily housekeeping like cleaning up the past day’s dust and residue.

If you can’t sleep, then lie quietly. Your body needs rest to repair and rejuvenate.

See Also: Get Strong, Sleep, Repeat: The Importance Of Sleeping 

Be grateful for all the simple things in life

See your glass half full. Look for opportunities.

Don’t believe the news

… unless you see it as a reality show … with loads of interpreted facts, fake news and lots of spin!!

Take life on in small steps. Improve slowly. Don’t be impatient. Most overnight success takes many years!

Enjoy the unfolding wandering … with the inevitable stumbles and the stimulating wins.

 

The post Stumble, Success, Stumble, Success – 11 Simple Steps to Improve Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Essential Tips for Keeping Your Sobriety When Traveling

*This article is for recovering addicts and how you can stay sober while traveling.

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac

Traveling may bring a multitude of new sights, new experiences and new cultures. However, as a recovering addict, there is one very important fact you need to remember – you are still YOU. You still have your “triggers,” you still have your weaknesses and, ultimately, you still have your addiction. Therefore, it is essential that you prepare yourself prior to making your trip.

Don’t get me wrong. It is not dangerous for you to have travel as an integral part of your recovery; in fact, quite the opposite. It will broaden your mind and give you, hopefully, fresh perspectives on how you can best live the life you want and deserve.

However, for travel to impact upon you in the best possible way, preparation is the key. Remember the “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” edict? This is so relevant to you as a recovering addict for you will have much to lose. No-one is more aware of that than you.

This article will provide you with 5 essential tips for ensuring you maintain your hard-fought sobriety when confronted with new sights, experiences and cultures. These tips are designed to assist you make the right choices and decisions whilst traveling. As a recovering addict myself, and a guy who loves to travel as often as possible, what I wish to share has come about through good advice from others and positive experiences.

Recovery Relapse Plan

group travels

In the more secure and stable environment of your home and your local community, you have successfully created a life that keeps you sober, free of alcohol and/or drug use. Part of your success is this familiarity with your daily life, your daily routine and your local support; be that friends, sponsors, meetings, etc. When you are travelling, away on your vacation, these things are removed from you. Therefore, it is up to you to develop your own relapse prevention plan.

You should:

  • Tell your sponsor (if you have one) about your travel plans. As with everything else, it should not be a secret. Should you feel that you need to speak to your sponsor, let this person know that he or she will be the first person you call.
  • Tell your family and friends. Let them know that you may feel the need to call them too.

As part of your recovery, you will have identified your triggers, and physical and mental scenarios that have previously led you to addictive behaviour. Be introspective and analyze those triggers again. Remind yourself of them fully and be completely aware of the danger they pose to your sobriety.

Organize Activities

A vacation should be just that – time for you to rest and relax. However, as a recovering addict, you will know that boredom, inactivity and the compulsion to do something active always needs to be addressed.

So, in your travel plans, incorporate activities, tours, and other scheduled events to ensure this doesn’t happen. Whatever type of vacation you are planning, engage in activities as part of a group. Remember, for you, isolation is not your friend.

Keeping Your Routine

If you are able, incorporate as much of your normal daily routine into your days while on vacation. For example, attend meetings, maintain your healthy diet and exercise regime, and keep a journal of thoughts and feelings. Even waking at your usual time will help you maintain your equilibrium in your temporary new surroundings. Always endeavor to maintain whatever works as part of your usual recovery routine in this new one.

Sober Vacation Websites

Did you know that these even existed? Well, they do – for the sole needs of those like you and I that require assistance with our travel preparations. For example, Sober Vacations International offer a wide-ranging variety of vacations, from safaris to cruises to all-inclusive beach resorts. Sober Travelers offer vacations specifically based around the 12-Step Program. Even Expedia can provide a whole host of destinations designed for those wishing to keep their sobriety.

….and ENJOY!

have fun

By incorporating all of the above into your travel preparations, you will dramatically increase your chances of a relapse-free trip. So there’s only one thing left for you to do. Quite simply, enjoy yourself.

From my own experiences, traveling has given me a much clearer view on how I wish to lead my new life. Living sober (as I have done for a significant number of years now) has not stopped me from wanting to enjoy every moment of my travels. The people I have met, the new sober friends I have made, the cultures I have learned from – all of it is now an integral part of my personal recovery. It can be for you as well.

Happy, Safe & Sober

Let’s recap. Your 5 essential tips for keeping your sobriety when traveling are these: work out your personal relapse prevention plan, organize activities for your destination, keep as much of your daily routine as possible, make use of the available sober vacation websites, and, last but definitely not least, go and enjoy yourself. If you have any other advice for fellow recovering addicts with regard to ensuring their sobriety when traveling, please feel free to share in the comments below.

One last quote for you, one that I totally agree with.

“Hey, people who travel with their bed pillow. You look insane.” – Jim Gaffigan

Happy, safe and sober travels to you all.

See Also: 6 Steps to have a Stress Free Travel including Yoga

 

The post 5 Essential Tips for Keeping Your Sobriety When Traveling appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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One Awesome Tip On How To Shift Perspective

A while back, I took acting classes, one of which involved me doing a monologue (which is basically when one person stands in front of the audience for an extended period of time and speaks directly to them). This monologue was from the playwright Eric Bogosian and the title was “Pounding Nails in the Floor with my Forehead.”

And although this monologue was meant to be funny, it kept coming out as if I was angry, not the emotion I wanted to portray to the audience. This left me feeling frustrated with myself and unsure what to do in order to quit sounding mad so I might actually make them laugh.

At one point, my teacher, one of the best teachers I’ve actually ever had, sensed my struggle and said, “Red. Stop for a second and come sit in my seat.” I wasn’t quite sure what good that was going to do but, like a good student, I complied, trusting in the fact that he knew what he was doing (when I clearly felt like I didn’t). Then he gave me my next command. “Now do the monologue.”

In my mind, I’m thinking, “What? How am I going to do the monologue from this audience seat?” Most importantly, I wondered how changing my physical location was ever going to help me change my tone enough for the correct effect. But again, I trusted my teacher so I did as he asked. The result? The monologue suddenly sounded exactly like it was supposed to…funny.

That day I learned that sometimes you have to move your physical space in order to change your perspective and get better results. In this case, it took me leaving the theater stage and sitting in an audience member’s chair to shift my thoughts enough to shift the monologue tone as well. So, if you’re not achieving what you want in your life, maybe moving your space is the one thing that can help you overcome your hurdles and create better results.

change of environment

For example, if you work behind a computer all day and find that you spend more time fiddling with your ink pen than typing out your marketing goals or coming up with new products or services, why not take your laptop and head to a coffee shop instead? Leaving the quiet office scene and going someplace where people come and go all day may just stoke your creativity, making it easier to come up with new thoughts and ideas that can take you and your business to higher levels.

Or if you feel like you’ve been treading water for some time in your career—expending lots of energy but not really getting anywhere—a change of space may be exactly what you need to start moving forward again. This could involve taking a day off and going to a conference, networking with others, or taking a class to learn more in an area that you struggle (marketing, product development, etc.) and enabling you to begin to make progress again.

By changing your physical space, you’re better able to change your mental perspective. When you see things from a different angle, you get a better view of solutions or ideas that you didn’t know existed simply because you’re looking at them differently than ever before.

This process can be amazingly transformational, helping you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. And you can do it solely by taking a step in another direction, giving you a better view.

See Also: How to Leverage Your Problems in Order to Become Happier

 

The post One Awesome Tip On How To Shift Perspective appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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