Relaxation

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Harnessing The Power Of Sleep

Sleep is an important part of our lives. We are supposed to be spending a third of our lives asleep, but not everyone is making that happen. Lack of sleep can result in a lot of different problems, including an increased risk in type II diabetes, heart disease, mental health issues, as well as a decreased immune system. It’s a stressful time right now, and more people than ever are having trouble catching the appropriate amount of Zzzs. How can we overcome stress and ensure we are getting the rest our bodies and minds need?

The Importance Of Sleep On Health

benefits of sleep

Six in ten of the leading causes of death in the United States have been linked to a lack of sleep. Most people know they are supposed to get eight hours of sleep a night, but only a few actually do. Some people fool themselves into believing they can get by on six hours of sleep or less. Others are so busy with life and work, particularly those who have multiple jobs, that they aren’t able to make the time they need to get adequate rest.

The result of not getting enough rest hinges on cortisol and melatonin levels. These are the hormones that regulate our sleep and wake cycles. When you first wake up in the morning your cortisol levels are higher and your melatonin levels are lower. You’ll have higher blood pressure and lower inflammation and you will feel awake and alert.

As the day wears on your melatonin levels rise and your cortisol levels drop, and right before your typical bedtime is one of the highest levels of melatonin you will have all day. Your blood pressure drops and your inflammation levels rise and you begin to feel drowsy and ready for bed.

During sleep your body is in a rest and repair state. Cytokines are released in order to regulate both innate and adaptive immunity. White blood cells accumulate and fight off the antigens trapped in your lymphatic system.

When people don’t get enough sleep, though, these normal functions aren’t taking place. Too little sleep causes cortisol to build, causing you to live in a perpetual state of stress, which wears down your immune system. This causes your inflammatory processes to kick into overdrive, which lowers cytokine production among other issues. Over time, too much cortisol can lead to increased problems with sleeplessness and daytime fatigue, issues with memory and focus, and decreased immunity.

How To Get Better Sleep Starting Tonight

power of sleep

Maintaining a routine is the most important thing when it comes to getting more and better sleep. Keep a regular schedule. Wake up at the same time every day, regardless of what day of the week it is. Go to bed at the same time every day for the same reason. This gives your body a chance to know what to expect so your hormones can do what they need to do. Keeping your body guessing disrupts your cortisol levels and melatonin levels, so your sleep and wake cycles won’t come naturally.

Manage light levels and other comfort factors in your bedroom. Use light blocking shades if you work during the night and sleep during the day or if there are any lights outside your bedroom window. Stop using screens and anything else that emits blue light at least an hour before bedtime. Try to keep the temperature in your room cool, use a white noise machine if there are any distracting noises, and ensure your bedding is clean and comfortable.

If you still can’t sleep:

  • Make sure you aren’t sabotaging yourself by taking naps during the day.
  • Take an honest look at your caffeine intake – are you getting too much or not cutting it off early enough in the day?
  • Don’t try to keep trying. Get up and read for a while and try again later.

If you are waking up frequently because of nightmares, you’re not alone. Increased stress has been shown to impact quality of sleep and lead to higher levels of negative content in dreams. Oftentimes, dreams during times of stress and trauma are more vivid and more memorable, which can make you feel as though you haven’t slept at all.

It’s time to harness the power of sleep. Learn more from the infographic below.

The Power of Sleep
Source: Online Mattress Review

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To All Those Who Love Nature And The Ones Who Don’t

I think it is pretty amazing how nature alone can teach us so many things and can make us realise the real beauty and meaning of life. For some, it may be boring and for some it is the answer they have been longing for.

Whether it is an old tree or a clear blue sky, a mountain top or a dark hidden cave, a clear blue ocean or a blooming flower, each one of these show what life really is.

The sky will show all its colors over the course of the day. It always begins with the cool bluish hue of the morning, its shades somewhat transitioning to red orange with the arrival of sunrise, and finally welcoming the coolness of the afternoon with its blazing golden colors. The sky’s beauty is then further highlighted with its pinkish glow as sunset approaches and basks us in its splendor.

That’s exactly how human emotions are — totally different from one another. All we need to do is express each one of them. And we must not forget about the somber vibe of the night, too! If we expect a bright morning, then we must also anticipate for the coming of the dark, deep blue, night sky. If we are open to happiness then why shun bad times? Everything has its time in our life, nothing is forever and we must understand that.

nature teach us

Diving deep into the beauty of nature, a tree is the best companion you can ever have! Who says a person is alone? Nature is something that never ever leaves you. It’s always there, keeping its ears attentive for all that you have been piling up inside. Its arms are wide open to give you a warm bear hug, leaving a smile on your face.

Sitting under a tree, listening to the rustling of leaves, observing the new and young ones, which are soft to touch and, at the same time looking at the old ones that have fallen beside you, closing your eyes for a few minutes and just letting the cool breeze touch you, is the best feeling you can feel!

Speak your heart out because a tree is never going to judge you. It will tell you something and listen to your somethings. It will teach you how to stand tall in spite of the heavy rain even though it knows that, at some point, the rain will do some damage; but it never stops trying to stay strong! It teaches you to be fearless, to believe in the power of perseverance, and to accept the changes happening around you.

Take out some time from your busy life, and just experience it for once. I am not saying do it daily! But trust me it’s going to be much better than the amazing party happening in the city. It’s going to be worth it! No therapy, counselling sessions, and exercises can work in maintaining your mental and physical stability until the time you give nature a chance to do  its part.

what nature teach us

For those who adore the beach, looking at the sea and releasing all your tensions right there and then actually gives you a feeling of lightness. Those sunburns have their own fun; tasting the salt from your face when you’re in the sea and trying to open your eyes when looking towards the sun are the small things which we often forget to try.

That is exactly what is called living the moment! Going on a vacation abroad just to be close to nature, but ending up clicking thousands of selfies is not living the moment and is an unfortunate waste of time. No one is telling you to stop taking pictures. In fact, photos are the best way to capture beautiful memories.

Snapping photos to have something to remember your experience by is one thing, being oblivious to the beauty around you because you’re too busy clicking and applying filters is another. And to be close to nature doesn’t mean that you need to plan a vacation in the Himalayas! It can be a park near your home, or any place where you can walk through the lane of emotions while you try to figure out life will do.

Thank you
Ridhi Panwar

The post To All Those Who Love Nature And The Ones Who Don’t appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Why You Need a Mindful Journaling Practice

Each person should find time to have a break and think about what is bothering them. Mindful journaling will help to figure out what is in your heart.

Our hectic lifestyles lead to stress, depression, and other similar problems. Nearly all people have this feeling when everything seems to be fine, but something is wrong. You can be successful, you can have a great life and no complaints, but some event or even conversation might leave a trace in life. Mindful journaling is a practice that is targeted at finding out what is wrong.

When you can’t get over something bad or negative, mindful journaling is supposed to help in soothing your mind. You need to find time for yourself, to focus on what is bothering you, and to figure out why you are experiencing certain feelings. Such a practice will help to categorize your feelings, to understand yourself better.

All you need to do is to spend some time alone. You don’t have to meditate and close your eyes, just think about the feelings you are experiencing, write them down, and let it go. For example, if you had an argument with someone and you can’t get over it, just process your thoughts in your mind. Think of reasons why you can’t forget this conversation, why did it affect you that much, and write down these thoughts.

By doing so, you will see clearly what is wrong. When you understand why a situation had such an impact on you, eventually, you can get over it. Mindful journalism helps to restore the peace of your mind, it gives a boost to your mental health, and you feel a lot better afterward.

How To Start Your Mindful Journaling

You can create your own scheme of how to begin your mindful journaling, but to make it easier, you can read the tips below. Just remember, your thoughts in written form are going to help you to understand yourself better.

Use Paper

We live in an era where everything is computerized. Probably, the first thought that came into your mind is to put your thoughts into a computer or tablet. But it’s better to use simple paper or even a special notebook only for your thoughts. Don’t confuse it with a diary, it is different since you note your thoughts and reasons why you are experiencing certain feelings.

When you are putting your thoughts on paper, it takes a bit longer, but that’s exactly what you need. While writing down your thoughts, you are processing them at this moment. This writing process gives you time to understand you even better. Written thoughts give you the feeling that you are in the present moment, it gives you ground. And one more thing, if you choose a notebook that you like, you will be more eager to take your journal again and open up.

Think Deeply

If you understand that a situation, event, or even someone else’s phrase has caused an impact on you, try to look at a situation from a different perspective. If you can’t get over something, for instance, if you are in conflict with someone, try to look at this situation as if you are an observer, not a participant of that conflict.

We all need advice at certain points in our lives. But who would be the best advisor in any situation if not you yourself? Try to think about a situation as if it happened not with you, but with your friend. What advice would you give?

When thinking from a different perspective, we see other details. We can’t change what has happened, or what was said at some point. It might be nagging us and that’s why we can’t get over it. But concentrating on the same details won’t help us heal from a situation. So look at it from a different perspective and eventually, you will get over it.

Date

You might want to write the date when you have expressed your thoughts on paper. It works especially well when you are trying to get over something. Writing a date might help you to leave a situation in the past and to start living in the present day. We all do the same mistake — let our regrets affect the present.

What happened in the past is already in the past. Writing the date of when you have written your thoughts will help you to start a new day without regrets. It helps you to live in the present and your negative experience won’t affect how you perceive the present. That’s how you can keep your mind sound.

Censorship Is Not Allowed

how to mindful journaling

You don’t have to be afraid of misunderstandings, you are exposing your thoughts in front of yourself. When we are talking to our loved ones, we sometimes filter what we say since we might be afraid of being misunderstood. We are carefully choosing words and phrases so the listener would definitely understand us right.

But you don’t have to hide some thoughts or feelings if you are putting your thoughts on paper. Your journal is a safe place where you can be yourself. No one will read it, it’s only yours. And you have to be completely honest with yourself, to write down your thoughts in those exact words that describe your feelings, since that’s the only way you can understand why you are experiencing these feelings and let them go.

Add A Touch Of Happiness

Do not focus only on negative things in your life. Think about what can help you in a particular situation. For example, you feel that you are not completely satisfied and you miss out on something. What could you do in this situation so you will feel better? If you are feeling lonely, you can figure out where you can meet new people. Or you can decide to call your friend, etc.

Or if everything is going well, try not to focus on small negative details by writing them down. If overall you are feeling great, encourage yourself. Think about how happy you are and write down a thought that you are doing great and should keep up the good work. Take some time and write down what makes you happy. After you put your words down, you will notice a long-lasting positive effect. Happy thoughts always have the best flavors.

See Also: Simple Yet Effective Habits For A Better, Happier Life

Start By Doing Small Steps

It’s like learning how to walk or to ride a bicycle. Start with small steps. If you don’t know where to start, just take your journal and write down some thoughts that had occurred in your mind. You don’t have to write down a detailed analysis of what you feel and why you experience these feelings. If you don’t know how to do it, write simple sentences. Eventually, you will gain experience and will figure out the best way to explore your own mind.

One of the best ways to systematize what you are feeling and experiencing is by writing down lists or bullets. For example, write down a small note reflecting your feelings, and then write down everything that comes into your mind as a list. You will understand what you mean, and everything that made no sense will finally become meaningful. That way you can solve the issue, you will understand why you are feeling in a certain way.

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

Keep Up The Good Work

mindful journaling tips

Considering the tips mentioned above, and your own thoughts about how to mindfully journal your thoughts, start a habit of taking your journal and writing down your thoughts. It doesn’t mean that you have to do it every day, but don’t forget to have a break sometimes and to take your journal. If you feel happy, write down what makes you happy. Process this feeling, let it go through you and you will notice that this positive effect is long-lasting.

If you feel that you are losing control over a situation or life overall, take a break, write down your thoughts. Reread them, figure out why are you experiencing these negative emotions, and figure out a way that can make you feel better.

Your journal is a safe place where you can express yourself without being judged. It will help you to understand how to make you feel happier. When you take your time and write down what makes you feel sad, you can get over this situation. That’s how you can gain full control over your life and be happy.

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Quick Tips On Taking a Social Media Break

We often call the next generation and children today as “digital natives”. They’ll grow up being more familiar with social media and the digital landscape instead of interacting with other kids. Some of them may even be considered addicted to internet.

We often show disdain at such an idea but we ourselves don’t necessarily give up our dependence on social media, especially given how it affects our daily life.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean we should remain dependent on social media forever.

In fact, there are actually ways in which we can start to “de-stress” and take a break from our social media habits. A lot of this can seem overwhelming at first, but this is actually a very plausible idea that has its merits.

So, how exactly do you start taking a social media break?

Genuinely think about the benefits you’ll reap.

Reflect and think about the benefits you’ll be receiving once you start taking a social media break. Try listing down the things you’re missing out on or things you’re not enjoying because you’re too engrossed with social media.

Then, try checking if there’s something you can do to remedy the situation. That way, you can justify yourself — in a way you understand and accept — that taking a social media break is possible and necessary.

Remind yourself of the goals you want to achieve.

Once you’ve started to feel like social media has been occupying your head, you might need to take a step back. Look at how social media affects your goals, personal or otherwise.

How is social media affecting your goal to get that dream job? How is social media affecting your goal to spend more time with family and friends?

Start reconnecting with your personal values and see how you can change your social media behavior to reflect it.

Once you feel like social media is becoming overwhelming, try to assess and realign your personal values.

Why are you using social media? Do you think you’re becoming a better person because of it? How can you use social media to help support your goals and help you become a better friend or family member?

The above two tips might not be directly related to a social media break, but they can definitely help convince you to take one.

Disguise it as another non-digital activity.

If you can’t deal with the idea of taking a social media break, you can always think of it as “something else” entirely. It can be in the form of a hobby, exercise or even just spending time with pets or your friends. This only works if it’s an activity that doesn’t involve using your digital devices.

Sometimes, if you’re having a hard time stomaching the idea of a social media break, you need to disguise it as something else so it feels “justified”. And while it might seem like “cheating” the idea, it does make a lot of sense. This is important if you’re also using said activity for a particular benefit other than just “having a break.”

take a social media break

Try to set no-phone zones inside the house.

If you feel like your social media activity is becoming too intense, try to establish places at home where you can’t use gadgets. These can be in the bathroom, the dining area, your bedroom or even in the backyard. This allows you to slowly realize, even in small time frames, that you can “live without social media”.

Try to pursue other activities

Consider working out, jogging, playing board games or even talking with your friends and family (personally!) instead of doing things related to social media.

You can even go out and do journaling in a quiet park. The point of this is to establish that you can do far more productive things even when not using your phone.

Integrate your breaks into your routine.

One of the reasons why we can’t get a break from social media is because we’ve relied on it as part of our routine so much. So why not do the same with a social media break?

Think of resting from social media in the same way you take a break when you eat or when you need to sleep. It has to become a seamless part of your routine so it doesn’t seem like it’s “intruding” in your day-to-day affairs. And interestingly enough, forcing yourself to adopt such a mindset may be able to help you see the relevance of taking a social media break.

Start thinking of your breaks as a necessary part of your daily life.

In the same way that you “automatically” go down to eat during mealtimes and when you “automatically” go to the bathroom for breaks, you can start forcing yourself to actually take your social media break as though it’s a normal part of your life. The key here is not to think “you’re transitioning to a break” but rather “just think you’re already doing it for the past years”. You’d be surprised at how quick your body adapts to such a mindset.

Create opportunities for your body to automatically go to a social media break.

For instance, you can have your charger placed in a location you have to walk to. That way, you’d feel lazy to pick it up whenever you’re downstairs talking with family. The same thing should work if you’re eating dinner and want to stay away from your phone. Put it somewhere far and you’d be surprised that you’d rather finish the meal and talk with family than check notifications.

Start playing game or watch videos.

You’d be surprised to realize that you can do a lot more things with your social media time than pursuing ‘likes’ and checking notifications.

social media break

See Also: 7 Inspiring Movies to Watch When You Are Low on Motivation

Actually include it in your schedule.

If you think you can’t get a social media break because there’s “no time in your schedule”, then now might be the time to actually make time for it.

In today’s society, everything is important for as long as it’s on a schedule. And we often forget that our mental well-being is also just as important as our work and being able to pay the bills.

If you find it hard to get a social media break, you might need to convince yourself that taking a break is advantageous to help you perform your obligations correctly.

Try creating a “schedule” for social media breaks that coincide with other things you’re already doing.

Do it when you eat with family and friends, while you drive or during the commute. These short breaks can give you time to think about things you want to pursue or thoughts you might have been “hiding” or repressing.

Enforce your schedule to yourself.

In the same way you’d force yourself to stay focused when attending meetings or when you need to pay attention to your work tasks, you need to treat your social media breaks from the perspective of necessity.

Remember to tell yourself it’s necessary to take breaks so you can feel energized and more focused. Applying this mindset will constantly remind you of how these breaks can affect other important things in your life, so you may get motivated to take these breaks more often.

Social Media Break: Destress From the Pressures of Digitalization

With the above tips in mind, you’ll hopefully be more acquainted with yourself and your capacity to enjoy life to the fullest without having to rely on social media. Given the sheer complexity of the dynamics that social media has with our life, it’s understandable how getting a social media “detox” can be scary. However, it’s also extremely manageable and possible with the right planning, research, motivation, and execution.

If you have tips in mind you want to share with others and fellow social media users, feel free to comment them below!

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A 10-Minute Guide On How to Ease Neck and Shoulder Pain

Our shoulders often hold a lot of our stress and that causes stiffness and uncomfortable pain. This pain may sound like second nature for someone who works long hours, has a busy schedule or just experiences chronic stress.

While it may be an easy trigger response to relieve discomfort with painkillers, hot packs or secret remedies, the pain can usually manage to find its way back with these methods. Neck and shoulder pain is not new, but how you treat it can change the way you feel.

Instead of spending time and money on medication, Brain Education TV has created a simple 10-minute guide on how to ease neck and shoulder pain. The key to releasing this pain is breathing. It will help you focus and clear your mind so you can release the stuffiness and negative energy that is causing unwanted pain in your neck and shoulders.

Step 1: Breathe out any negativity

neck and shoulder pain

Find a comfortable place and sit on a mat or on the floor. Start by sitting upright with your legs crossed and slowly take a deep breath in and out. Remember to focus on exhaling the negative energy and pain you feel within with every breath you take. While doing this, slowly bring your upper body forward and over your legs. Feel the stretch in your spine.

By stretching your upper body, you are releasing the tension and creating circulation. And by acknowledging your discomfort, you are allowing yourself to focus on it and heal it properly.

Step 2: Rotate your shoulders

From the same position, slowly rotate your shoulders forward. While doing, this make sure that you feel the motion in your shoulders. Try to focus on rotating that pain out with every exhale. Do this for 30 seconds and then rotate them in the opposite direction. You should feel your shoulders loosen up.

Rotating your shoulders allows lubrication for your joints, which help ease the pain and discomfort. You want to make sure that you are doing these movements at a comfortable place to avoid hurting yourself.

Step 3: Stretch your sides

ease neck and shoulder pain

Now, take your left hand, bring it over your head to the right and bring your right hand over your lap to the left side of your body. Feel that stretch and hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat the same step on the other side. You will feel the stretch on both sides of your body and in your torso.

See Also: 10 Stretches To Do Right Now For Back Pain Relief

Step 4: Rotate your neck

Next, place both of your hands on your knees with the palms facing up. Begin to slowly rotate your neck at a comfortable pace. While doing so, you want to make sure that there is a gap between your neck and the base of the skull. Do this for 5 slow rotations and switch directions.

While rotating your neck, remember to breathe in and out. Feel the stretch on both sides of the neck and try to feel your muscles relax.

Step 5: Stretch your trapezius

Your trapezius is the muscle that links your neck and shoulders together. Return your neck to the center and tilt your head to the right and touch your right ear to your right shoulder. Make sure that your left shoulder is in place. To get a better stretch, you could use your hand to press down on your head and hold for 10-15 seconds.

Find time in your day to perform these tips on how to ease neck and shoulder pain. You could do it in the morning before starting your day, during a break while at work or after a long day to help you unwind and relax.

The post A 10-Minute Guide On How to Ease Neck and Shoulder Pain appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Best Family Beaches In the USA You Can Visit With Your Kids

Summer is the perfect time to be on beach vacations. They offer a great way to bond with the family and create lifelong memories. But not every beach destinations can cater to the unique needs of travelers with kids.

As we plan our family beach trip, we should ensure that the beach offers amenities like kid-friendly attractions, spacious accommodations, food stores/restaurants, easy access to clean showers and restrooms, and of course, the lifeguards.

To save you the time of doing your research for best family beaches in USA, use this list to help you plan your next family trip.

Boca Raton, South Florida

Originally designed to be one of Florida’s premier resort towns, Boca Raton is known for its beautiful beaches and parks.

The Red Reef Park, a 67-acre park, wildlife conservation, and education center is the famous destination in the area where the family can do land and water activities. The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center offers educational programs about sea wildlife, nature, ecology and conservation.

These programs make the area one of the best family beaches in the USA.

Kailua Beach Park, Hawaii

kailua beach park hawaii
Via hawaii.com

Vacationers will love the turquoise blue water of Kailua Beach Park. The life-guarded beach offers plenty of free parking and a variety of family-friendly water activities. The fine and soft white sand is great for kids and their beach play.

With its gentle waves, this spot is ideal for kids who are just learning to swim. Kids who are also learning how to surf will likely have a good chance to practice there as well.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater may not be as big as Miami, but the place offers plenty of ways to enjoy the summer family vacation.

Stroll down at the Sunsets at Pier 60 and enjoy the mini-carnival atmosphere. Kids will enjoy the playground and inflatable amusements. They’ll find the street performers and musicians at Pier 60 amusing.

Children over 14 years old are allowed to drive a rented jet ski with a parent. You should also add the dolphin cruise and the half-day fishing expedition on your itinerary.

Gulf State Park, Alabama

waterville usa
Via gulfcoastweekend.com

Families are flocking to the incredible beach town in Alabama every summer since it is the perfect place for fun and memorable family beach vacation.

There are plenty of family activities to do in Gulf Shores both on the beach and land. There is a small entrance fee but you’ll be rewarded with sugar-white sand and gently crashing waves.

Kids can do swimming, kayaking, and crabbing along the 2-mile stretch of beach. The Waterville USA is a popular destination for its water slides, a lazy river, and a miniature golf course.

Coronado Beach, California

Tons of activities and sparkling clean ocean water await every family at Coronado Beach. The beach is home to resorts, parks, and a lighthouse that will cater to the whole family including your dog.

You read it right. Yes, the North Beach is a go-to destination for families with their beloved pooch. From dog-friendly beaches to the views, and picnic spots, Coronado has become a top family beach destination in Southern California.

Hope this quick list helped you plan your next family beach vacation. These great beaches have a combination of nice shoreline, swimmable waters, delicious food choices, and a variety of activities. All of which make your family beach vacation comfortable, relaxing, and enjoyable.

See Also: How To Travel With Children And Live To Tell About It

Author Bio:

Edward Cruz is a staff writer for VIPpromocodes.com, a website that provides the latest promotional codes, exclusive sales, and offers for all of the top stores in the U.S.

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How NOT To Breathe When You Feel Anxious

‘If you feel nervous, just take a few deep breaths. In, then out. In, then out.’

This feels like an obvious advice. Everyone knows that slow, deep breathing can calm the heart rate and lower feelings of anxiety. You may have tried this breathing technique to calm your nerves at a job interview, a presentation or a date.

It’s also obvious how to breathe. It’s intuitive, after all.

As you breathe in, the intercostal muscles expand, the ribs rise and the shoulders rise and spread. Then, as you breathe out, it all relaxes. You inhale up and then exhale down. Breathing expert Belisa Vranich says that 9 out of 10 people breathe this way, using what she calls ‘vertical breathing’.

The Bad Things About Vertical Breathing

Unfortunately, vertical breathing happens to be tremendously inefficient.

It uses enormous muscular effort. The rib cage is heavy and your neck and back muscles take most of the weight. The effort of hiking up the rib cage on inhalation can cause neck and back pain.

That extra effort stimulates the ‘Vagus’ nerve, the ‘wanderer’ nerve that travels from the gut to the brain. The brain uses the wanderer nerve to check up on how the body is feeling. When you’re breathing vertically, the body sends up ‘danger’ signals to the brain.

vertical breathing

So, just breathing badly can elicit feelings of anxiety.

Vertical breathing also robs your brain of oxygen. Think of the shape of your lungs. They’re pear-shaped, with the large parts at the bottom. Raising the ribs fills the thin, narrow parts of the pear, leaving the oxygen-rich bottom unexpanded.

Oxygen energizes your brain, blood and muscles. Visitors to London’s ‘oxygen bar’ -UK’s only licensed vendor of oxygen- can attest to that.

If your friend feels anxious, tell him to ‘take a deep breath’. Their shoulders rise, their ribs expand, their neck strains, their vagus nerve pings ‘danger’ and their brains de-oxygenate. Most likely, they’ll feel more anxious after that.

So, what could you tell your friends to do differently?

See Also: Suffering From Anxiety? This Is How I Deal With Mine

Diaphragmatic Breathing

When in doubt, trust Sesame Street. In 2012, they released ‘Belly Breathe’, featuring a rabid ‘monster’ Elmo assisted by Common and Colbie Caillat. In it, they place Elmo’s hand on his belly. He breathes, his belly moves and he returns to his normal self.

Breathing from the belly is otherwise known as diaphragmatic breathing. As you breathe in, the belly expands and this creates an internal cavity for the diaphragm to drop into. The bottoms of the lungs fill with oxygen. The ribs stay still, relaxing the neck and shoulders. Also, the Vagus nerve sends calming signals to the brain.

As you breathe out, the belly deflates inwards. The movement is horizontal, not vertical. This is good breathing.

But, I have a small critique of the Sesame Street method. Their lyrics go: ‘put your hands on your belly and you slowly breathe in’. This seems perfectly innocuous on the surface, but good teaching can sometimes be about changing your wording.

The instruction to ‘breathe in’ is dangerous. Watch the kids in the Sesame Street video. Their hands are on their belly, but they’re breathing with their shoulders. A producer told them to ‘breathe in’, and their brain went ‘Oh, I know how to do that!’ and they breathed badly. In my sessions, most people do the same.

So, it’s not enough to know the technique. We need to reframe how we think about breathing and that’s where I’d like to make my contribution.

When you feel anxious, don’t take a deep breath in. Breathe out first.

In Summary

Breathing out is very hard to get wrong. Your belly always deflates. You’ll feel it going back towards your spine if you breathe out firmly enough. Some people say “But I need to breathe in first. There’s no air in my lungs!”.

That’s not true. Only puncturing the lungs can empty them. You have a little bit of air in them all the time. It’s called the Resting Expiratory Level and you can use it to breathe out.

And when you’ve breathed out all of your air, don’t think ‘breathe in’. Just think ‘relax’ and notice the air passively returning to your lungs. Notice the belly relaxing back outwards and keep the shoulders still. Yes, that’s diaphragmatic breathing.

  1. Breathe out.
  2. Relax.
  3. Repeat.

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

 

The post How NOT To Breathe When You Feel Anxious appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Seven Mindfulness Steps To Build Self-Esteem

It’s no secret that a lot of what we think and do are the products of our habits. These habits are often carried out unconsciously and they lead to our emotions and beliefs. These emotions and beliefs then lead to certain actions. These actions can reinforce our beliefs or have consequences that start the cycle all over again.

What exactly is mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been defined in many ways. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn has described it as, “Awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. It’s about knowing what is on your mind.”

Generally speaking, mindfulness has two major aspects to it.

The first involves the following:
• Being generally aware of the present moment
• Noticing when that awareness wanders
• Bringing that awareness back to the present moment

The second most common aspect of mindfulness is focusing on something in particular. This involves:
• Paying attention to something in particular, like one’s breath
• Noticing when the mind drifts from that thing
• Bringing attention back to that thing.

Strengthening mindfulness for self esteem

Mindfulness is a skill that most westerners are not used to. Becoming more mindful usually takes specific forms of practice. Many traditions and methods have been developed over the years.

The different forms of meditation have been generally accepted as mindfulness practice. Still, the main goal of being more mindful is to apply its principles to real life situations.

mindfulness and meditation

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Seven steps to utilize mindfulness for self-esteem

Stay in the present moment

Most of your distressful feelings are either memories of things gone wrong or thoughts of a less than optimal future. If you find yourself feeling less confident, odds are you’ve been harping on past failures or are worrying about a particular outcome.

You must strive to vigilantly observe when your mind isn’t focused on the present. When you notice your awareness drifting, bring it back to the here and now. Concentrate on what you’re doing right now at this very moment. There’s a saying, “If you have one foot in the future and the other in the past, you’re pissing on today.”

Don’t confuse ruminating and worrying about the future with planning. Depending on how ingrained your habit towards negative thinking is, it can be a thin line between worrying and planning.

Think of it like this.

If you tell yourself that you are going to do x, y and z, it’s usually planning. But, if your thinking is along the lines of “what if” or “such is probably going to happen”, then you’re probably worrying.

Don’t judge

Judge not or you shall be judged.

This saying has more truth to it than most people realize. Judging can become a formidable unconscious habit. What you often don’t realize is that by judging others, you’re actually drawing comparisons.

You will eventually judge someone to be better at something than you. And once that happens, you will start to down yourself and attack your own self-esteem.

A good way to practice being non-judgmental is to watch the news or read the newspaper and not form an opinion about what you see. In other words, try not to think that the event, the people involved or their actions are right, wrong, smart or stupid, etc. Then, try to bring this same mindset when dealing with others.

When you judge others, your mind slips out of the present moment. It makes you vulnerable to ruminating about the past and future. Remember, judge not, or so you shall be judged.

Stand tall

Research has shown that standing with good posture can have beneficial effects on your mood. It is hard to walk with one’s head, shoulders and chest held upright and not feel good. If you’re standing with good posture, most people will look at you and treat you as if you are confident. It can help you feel better about yourself.

One of the hindrances that make it hard for many people with low self-worth to stand tall is fear of eye contact. If you keep the two previous steps in mind, staying in the present and forming no judgments, it will be easier for you to look people in the eye.

Don’t stare. Just occasionally look people in the eye, especially if they’re looking at you. If you still find eye contact hard, there are a couple of hacks for it. You can look at the bridge of a person’s nose, instead of directly in the eye. Another trick is to look at a person’s ears if you’re directly in front of but not too close to him.

Demand your space

People with low self-esteem often don’t want to be noticed. When in public, they try to be as unobtrusive as possible. Whereas people with high self-worth stand out. One of the ways they do this is by taking up space.

For instance, when standing, try to keep your feet shoulder-width apart. When sitting, keep your knees apart as much as is appropriate for the situation. When you do this, you’re basically telling the world that you not only have balls, but they’re big ones. Try and keep your hands away from you as well, being mindful not to consistently fold your arms across your chest.

If you are a man, you should also be mindful of keeping your elbows away from your torso as well. Keeping the knees and elbows drawn in is often viewed as weak and submissive, not to mention effeminate in some cultures.

Make faces

The look you hold on your face often influences your mood. You should strive to have the look of a confident winner. Different people show that differently.

For one person, it could be a smiling face. For another, it could be the look of a person who’s serious and doesn’t play games. The choice is yours, as long as it is the facial expression that you feel a confident person would wear.

A lot of times, when you have low self-esteem, you defeat yourself before you even start. You have a look of defeat, submission or unhappiness plastered on your face. Not only does this affect your mood, but it can influence those around you.

When you smile, the whole world smiles with you. If you look upbeat and confident, it can make it easier for people to gravitate towards you. People instinctively know that emotions are contagious. Therefore humans tend to be attracted to people who feel good.

On the other hand, if you look like a depressed loser, not only will you tend to feel that way, but it can make people hostile towards you. They don’t want to feel like you do, so they will tend to avoid you or drive you away.

You’ll even find people will often be attracted towards you if you look slightly angry. The key word is “slightly”. If you look enraged or ready to explode, people may stand clear out of fear for their physical safety. Anger is not generally considered a positive emotion, but an angry person is generally looked at as having more confidence than one who looks submissive.

Relax

mindfulness and relaxation

Relaxation techniques help to alleviate the effects of the fight or flight response. Being in a relaxed state won’t necessarily build confidence, but it can help to relieve anxiety and other adverse moods. This step takes practice.

In the beginning, it’s recommended that you practice some type of relaxation technique. This is so that you know what relaxation actually feels like. Once you have established how it feels, you’ll have to be mindful of the stress on your body. The common trouble spots are the face, neck, shoulder region and the central torso. During your day, you can do a quick self-check to see if there is unnecessary tension in those trouble spots.

Act as if

This step includes bringing all the other steps together. It’s sort of like being a method actor.

You contemplate how you would imagine a person with high self-esteem would act and then you strive to emulate that type of behavior. It may be awkward at first and people that know you may be put off a little. They may not take the ‘new’ you seriously. But, if you’re consistent, they will fall in line. The key is consistency.

You will eventually slip into your habitual ways of behaving. This is where mindfulness plays its part. You have to train your mind to become aware of your thoughts, attitudes and behaviors so that you can correct them as soon as possible. If done often and consistently enough, this in and of itself will become a habit.

See Also: 7 Ways Mindfulness Can Unlock The Door To Your Authentic Life

Conclusion

We see that high self-worth can be influenced by what you do and don’t do. Always remember that it’s about progress and not perfection. You should strive to be mindful of using your thoughts and behavior to:
• Prevent self-defeating thoughts from arising
• Eliminate self-defeating thoughts that do arise
• Bring up esteem building thoughts when they are not presently in mind
• Maintain esteem building thoughts that are currently in mind

If you want moderate gains in your self-esteem, be mindful of the steps you take to move through life. Your limits are only set by the limits of your mindset.

The post Seven Mindfulness Steps To Build Self-Esteem appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Find The Boring Life Of Your Dreams

Sounds funny, right? Why would you want to make the life of your dreams boring?

There’s just so much to do these days. You can take in a live sporting event, enjoy fine wine, dine on international cuisine or even travel to exotic destinations.

But, do you really want those things? Does a fast-paced, entertainment-filled life bring you real happiness?

My guess is it leaves you feeling depleted.

Yes, you want the best travel, food, entertainment and lifestyle, but you want to enjoy them at your pace. And right now, you just feel exhausted. So, how can you find time to breathe while getting the most out of life? The “boring life” of your dreams may just be the answer.

What is a “boring” dream life?

Simply put, it means living your life at a steady pace- not too fast or too slow. It means to counteract the exciting moments with the quiet, more “boring” ones. But, how exactly can you do that?

Below are 5 ideas to help you get started.

Start a meditation practice

As someone who’s been meditating for 13+ years, meditation gives me time to process my experiences, think more clearly and make better choices.

meditation at work

When life at the office is stressful, my schedule is jam-packed with activities or I just feel too exhausted, meditation provides me the time to catch my breath and reflect.

On a hot summer day, meditation is the cold glass of water that revitalizes me. It helps soften the blow of all the intense experiences, and it can do the same for you.

See Also: Questions and Answers: A Beginners Guide to Meditation

Schedule unscheduled time

Remember having more “free time” as a kid? You know, that block of time you were given at camp or some other event to do whatever you want? Unscheduled time is similar. It’s time where you don’t plan anything, and you can do whatever you feel.

Unscheduled time is similar. It’s the time where you don’t plan anything, and you can do whatever you feel.

The funny thing about unscheduled time is you have to schedule it—or it’s likely not to happen. Personally, I schedule it in two-hour blocks, and I leave one entire day a week (usually Sunday) as unscheduled.

I never work on Sundays. Instead, I hang out with friends, explore the city with my girlfriend, catch a movie, exercise or simply do what I feel. And without fail, that one unscheduled day revitalizes me, recharging my batteries for the week ahead.

Chill out on the stimulants

Consuming booze, coffee, sugar and even fatty meals on a regular basis can have a dramatic effect on how you feel and your perspective.

Too much coffee can leave you wired and irritable. Boozing frequently can keep you perpetually in hangover-recovery mode, and too much sugar can leave you feeling depleted.

So, I recommend balancing your stimulants.

Drink more water. Eat more fruits and veggies (with less butter and dressing), and don’t overdo it with the stimulants. Yes, these changes can be dreadfully boring, but your body and mind will surely thank you later.

See Also: How To Develop Awesome Eating Habits Without Failing

Stay grounded with habits

Personally, my habits help keep me sane. I meditate every day, exercise 2-4 times a week, eat 2 vegetarian meals a day and go to bed at 10 pm on weeknights. These habits make me feel like me, and they remind me of who I am.

In other words, habits provide stability in your life.

They keep you planted when the going gets tough. If you have a bad day, your habit, whether that’s exercise, meditation, reading an hour in the evening, will be right there waiting for you. No matter how much the circumstances in your life change, your habits won’t. They can be your rock when life gets insane.

Balance your life

Last year, I took a total of 4 vacations, lasting a total of 6 and a half weeks, in the span of 5 months. How did that make me feel?

Awesome at first but, by the last trip, I was sick of vacation. I felt unproductive and bored with the sights I was seeing.

In hindsight, it’s obvious I overdid it. I should have spread out my vacation time more evenly throughout the year. If I had, I would have enjoyed the experiences a lot more.

Whether it’s vacation, dining at nice restaurants or knocking back some beers with your buddies, I recommend adopting the same attitude in every area of your life. Don’t overdo it, and don’t underdo it. Find a balance between the quiet times and the exciting times so you can live the life of your dreams.

vacation

But, how do you find that balance?

Well, that answer is for you to discover yourself. Experiment and find out what works best for you.

And here’s a tip.

If you feel like you’re overdoing it in one area of your life, ask yourself, “How does this make me feel? Does doing this activity so often make me happy?”. If the answer is “no”, then try cutting back on it to find a happier medium. You may just discover a new love for another activity.

The challenge of enjoying the “boring” dream life

There’s no use sugar-coating it.

It can be scary to slow down, especially when your friends start to take notice. Some of them might think you’re acting weird and you may even lose some friendships along the way. Even worse, taking some quiet time for yourself may cause you anxiety.

Why?

Well, you’re not used to it. And that’s okay.

There’s no need to rush though. Take baby steps as you slow down towards the life of your dreams. Once you find time to breathe and balance the adrenaline with the quiet, I guarantee you’re going to feel 10x better. You’re going to enjoy time with friends. You can go out for vacations and parties to eat out and drink.

Start today and take some time for yourself. Start a new habit, like meditating. Do whatever you need to do but just make sure you schedule some time for yourself.

Put YOU first and ask yourself, “Will this activity make me happy?”. Let that question be your guide, and you’re sure to find yourself smiling a bit longer.

The post How To Find The Boring Life Of Your Dreams appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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The Secret Mind Hacks That Can Change Your Life Today

Have you ever wondered about that little voice in your head? What it actually does to you and your way of thinking?

In reality, it’s possible that it mostly does you harm. It puts up invisible self-sabotaging barriers for you. What’s worse is that it creates habitual, unconsciously negative emotions in your body that can lead to real physical pain over time. Eckhart Tolle, author of “Practicing The Power of Now”, calls this “the pain body”.

The good news?

It’s just your mind, NOT YOU! That voice is just one of your brain’s many tools. It can definitely be turned off. And by doing that, you also gain the power to consciously choose your thoughts, emotions, and responses to the outside world.

In this article, I’m going to tell you how to first shut that voice off so it doesn’t bother you and how to make your mind work for you. You’ll get actionable insights on how to make fast changes, delete horrible, life-long habits and set your mind to put you on the fast track to success.

Freeing Yourself From The Toxicity of Your Mind

Studies suggest that humans think between 12,000 – 70,000 thoughts daily. Around 80% of these thoughts are negative.

With this number, it’s easy for your actions to turn into habits.

Keep in mind that thoughts coupled with feelings become emotions. Emotions, when felt frequently and consistently, become actions. Actions then become habits which shape our entire lives.

This makes it important that you free yourself from the negative, self-sabotaging thoughts and self-talk. Replace them with positive, empowering thoughts that can move you into a better, happier place.

How?

By becoming intensely in the “here and now” and shutting off that chatterbox in your head. You can do that through physical activities, like Yoga or meditation.

practice meditation

Meditation trains and strengthens the “choosing muscle” in your brain. By monitoring what goes on in your mind, you become intensely focused in the here and now.

With daily practice (10-20 min), meditation can remove the toxicity from your whole being. It can help you shut off your senseless thoughts and bring focus into the present. Meditation has an amazing 76 scientifically confirmed benefits.

See Also: Questions and Answers: A Beginners Guide to Meditation

The most important relationship in your life is between you and your mind. It’ll make you or break you so make sure you build a healthy and strong relationship with it.

5 Hacks to Make Your Mind Work For You

The majority of people are stuck in the same, limiting ways of thinking and feeling throughout their entire lives. These limiting beliefs, fears, habits and thoughts consistently disempower and damage them.

Mohammed Ali said: “A man who sees the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life”. Remember, what you think and feel frequently, you BECOME!

The good news is that there are powerful mind hacks that can help you break the chain and let your mind work for you. Here are five of them:

Your Mind is Hard-Wired to Like Pleasure Than Pain

“The secret to success is learning how to use pain and pleasure, instead of having pain and pleasure use you” – Tony Robbins.

What does that really mean?

If you want to change, your current situation has to be more painful than the pain of change. That can happen either by circumstance or through your own effort.

For example, if you wanna stop the habit of procrastinating, one of the best mind hacks you can do is to think of what may happen if you don’t change it.

procrastinating

Take, for example, the following:

– The more you procrastinate, the more time you waste
– Self-loathing
– Loss of self-respect
– Horrible self-esteem and confidence
– Feeling constantly anxious until it’s done
– Less creative
– Poor health
– Less money
– Missed opportunities
– Possibly get fired from your job for low productivity or poor quality of work
– The longer you wait, the more stressful it will be in the end
– Forcing yourself to stress at the last minute

If you wanna change a bad habit, you absolutely have to reward yourself when you act on a new, better habit. That can be done through strong, positive, inner self-dialogue. You choose how you want to reward yourself, but make it pleasurable and good for you.

See Also: 7 Mentally Damaging Habits You Need To Let Go

Your Mind Loves Familiarity

The key here is to make the familiar unfamiliar (through pain) and the unfamiliar familiar (through pleasure). Reward yourself when you do something good that’s unfamiliar to you and watch what happens.

Smoothly Build High Self-Esteem

You know what the major reason for depression is?

Harsh, hurtful, critical words you say to yourself- repeatedly.

You know the best way to build your self-esteem?

Praise yourself, especially if it feels odd to give yourself compliments. That’s a tough one for many people to do but you absolutely have to do it. Your happiness and self-esteem depend on it.

Don’t wait for external validation. It’s not as effective and it rarely comes in sufficient amounts.

My own inner dialogue was like poison to me, until I came across Marisa Peer’s video.

It’s deeply changed me and many people. I now consistently feel more whole, self-loving and free from worry of others’ opinion of me.

Practice your inner dialogue by saying these lines 3 times, with strong emotion:

“I am Lovable. I’ve ALWAYS been Lovable. I am Enough!”

No matter how odd it feels, say it and make it a habit.

Your Mind Gives You Specifically What You Ask For

Have you ever experienced hoping you wouldn’t get sick on an important day and then you got sick? Wished you wouldn’t be late for a meeting and that’s exactly what happened?

Your mind can’t tell the difference between your sentences and ideas. It takes everything as a yes.

So, instead of beating around the bush, the key is to tell your mind exactly what you want. It loves specifics.

Example:

If you really want to lose weight, say 5 kg or 10lbs, then soon enough you’ll start seeing pieces of advice everywhere on how to lose that weight. You’ll see and hear them online, from your friends or at the gym.

What your mind thinks, it attracts.

Two Things To Change How You Feel

How you feel at any time is tied to two things: the images you hold in your head and the words you say to yourself.

Imagine two people preparing to do the exact same workout at the gym.

One is telling himself how much he hates it and would rather be home, watching TV on the couch. The second one, meanwhile, is telling himself how exciting it is to go to the gym and push harder than last time. He’s thinking of all the benefits he could get from the workout.

The first person was able to exercise but didn’t feel too motivated to do his best. The other person was able to happily finish his workout despite how tough it is.

Don’t let your mind wander with random thoughts. Actively choose good words and imagery. They shape your life.

 

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Yoga Helps You Love Yourself

A lot of people nowadays live in an environment that isn’t particularly friendly to the mind. The sad truth is that you basically work to survive and only a selected few can enjoy life to the fullest.

However, yoga can make the change you’ve been desperately searching for. Yoga can help you relax your mind and get rid of any unnecessary stress in your life. Whether you want to make life easier or simply enjoy it maximally, yoga can be the medium you need.

A lot of people that I know have chosen to do yoga and they managed to turn their lives completely around. It wasn’t until I noticed the changes that I decided to embrace yoga myself.

In this article, we’ll talk about how yoga can help you love yourself and what you do. Yoga can help you understand who you are and what your purpose in life is, which means that you’ll live a much easier life from the moment you start practicing it.

• Get To Know Yourself On A Deeper Level

yoga happiness

Humans are spiritual beings. This isn’t something most people understand and are willing to accept. Nonetheless, this is a fact, and without proper spiritual knowledge, we won’t be able to evolve further.

Get to know yourself on a deeper, more spiritual level by practicing yoga. Yoga can help you release negative energy and bring in positive energy. Plus, while doing yoga, you’ll get to know yourself for who you truly are!

• It Allows You To Let Go Of The Need To Be Perfect

Perfection doesn’t exist which means we shouldn’t be looking for it. But, if we are to become better people, we should constantly strive towards becoming better than before.

Once you start practicing yoga, you’ll let go of the need to be perfect and accept yourself for whom you are, but you’re still going to work towards being a better person.

• Look Inside Your Heart

Through yoga, you’ll be able to look inside yourself and find lost emotions that were once part of you. Thanks to yoga, you’ll be able to experience many things that you haven’t experienced before!

• It Helps You See That You Are Worthy

yoga self worth

Stop telling yourself that you aren’t enough in this world. No matter how little you think you’re worth to the world, we’re telling you that this isn’t true. Your existence alone means that you are worthy of anything that this world has to offer, and don’t even try to think otherwise!

See Also: 9 Ways to Tackle Low Self-Esteem with a Positive Attitude

• Gain A True Sense Of Self

A lot of people simply don’t know their purpose in this world. Yoga practitioners have managed to realize how important they are and what they represent. Through yoga, you’ll be able to gain a true sense of yourself and your inner being.

• Embrace Yoga And Begin A Love Affair With Yourself

There’s no one more important than you. You’re the most important person to yourself, no matter what people say. After all, you’re the one in charge of your destiny and future. If you have negative thoughts, your future won’t look bright. Thanks to yoga, you’ll be able to take care of your life faster than ever before!

See Also: 13 Yoga Trends To Immerse Yourself In On Your Journey To Health & Happiness

 

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Five Ways of Overcoming the Problem of Getting Sleep

Sleep. An important and inevitable physiological body function. An effortless activity in past years but an increasingly difficult one in the present day.

Many people in our contemporary society are struggling with sleep — correctly termed insomnia — in their daily lives. The lack of it has been shown by scientist to have a ripple effect on the overall productivity and health outcomes of individuals.

Sleep has increasingly become elusive partly due to tremendous changes in sleep-wake patterns and technology that has infiltrated in every human living space including bedrooms. A change in work operations has taken a more white-collar approach with the same technology making work easier through mechanization of work. The result is often people who sit behind computers and devices the whole day with minimum physical activities.

Worse still, the mobile technological gadgets evolution has hooked people onto their laptops, mobile phones, and tablets while they are traveling, dining, and even when they retire to bed. The lack of physical exhaustion and the addiction to mobile devices at bedtime has led to the steadily increasing problem of inadequate sleep.

This article will present rather unempirical solutions that will sure help in getting over the trouble of going to sleep.

Make yourself tired

get physically tired

Lack of adequate physical activity may in the long run affect your sleep pattern. Increasing your physical activity ensures your body is literally tired and leaves it craving for rest.

Ways of increasing your physical activity may include taking a jog, walking to work (for considerable distances), standing in the office (if that is allowed) and hitting the gym. Indeed, the gym is the most effective way of ensuring you crawl right home and to bed after gym. The intense exercises ensure you are exhausted, and you will find yourself falling asleep even on the couch too sleepy even to walk to bed. But hey, we want to sleep, don’t we? A shower after a physically exhausting day will ensure you sleep even before you know it.

Think about sleep

The second solution has something to do with the mind. Whenever you retire to bed and have trouble falling asleep, think about sleep. Yes, tuck warm, pull on your blankets and think about nothing else than sleep. Allow yourself to drift and fall into that pitless abyss of darkness that is sleep. Think of nothing but the darkness, the good feeling of finally relaxing and letting go of all worries. Drift in the wave of calmness and think how amazing it is to sleep. You will be in deep sleep before you know it.

See Also: 4 Benefits of Mind Dumping to Help You Sleep 

Do not sleep hungry

Hunger is no friend of sleep. From the rumbling of one’s stomach to the body’s physiological response of craving for food, a person will be preoccupied with nothing but thoughts on how they should wake up and grab something to eat.

Thus, ensure you eat your fill two hours before bed time. It also helps to have hot meals and a hot non-caffeine drink. Being full has something to do with blood pulling to the stomach to meet the demanding needs of digestion that will often leave you drowsy. This explains why many people will be sleepy in the afternoon after having a hot meal over lunch. The same is applicable during supper and may greatly help in getting sleep.

Sleep-wake pattern

Any changes in the sleep-wake pattern have also been shown to impact a person’s sleep. An unhealthy sleep pattern, such as sleeping too late into the night, may lead to the problem of insomnia.

Revisit your recent sleeping and waking hours and pinpoint any deviations. In case there are any changes, work on normalizing them by ascribing to your usual hours. This may not be instantaneous, but it works over time.

Avoid staying up late and ensure you get at least the recommended 7 hours of sleep well within the night. Put your phone in silent mode, disconnect from the Internet, and disable notification alerts that may ultimately interrupt your sleep.

See Also: Sleep Adjustment: Why the Early Bird Gets the Worm 

Let yourself get bored in bed

get bored in bed

Lastly, wild as it may sound, allow yourself to get bored in bed. By this, I mean do not use your phone at the first sign of insomnia. Once you take your phone and start chatting or simply surfing the internet, sleep becomes even more elusive. This also means staying away from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Instead, allow yourself to drift into your thoughts, fantasize about things, and also allow yourself to drift in your imaginings. Reminiscing and trying to recall childhood memories in surreal states also helps. This is one of the most effortless yet very effective ways of finding sleep when insomnia strikes.

In conclusion, the methods presented in this paper may not be scientific or empirical, but they sure do work great. Having ascribed to them personally, I can assure you that you will be asleep sooner than you expect.

Ensure you get physically exhausted by doing simple things like taking a walk in the evening or going to the gym. Once you get to bed, think about sleep and allow yourself to drift into space. Avoid going to bed hungry and lastly, do not be afraid of getting bored in bed. This will mean ditching your gadgets including mobile phones and laptops and embracing the serenity of the night calm.

Using these methods will ensure that insomnia becomes a thing of the past and staying up at night will become your new challenge. That is what we want, don’t we? Go ahead and fall asleep.

 

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