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20 Simple Ways To Relax and De-Stress

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20 Simple Ways To Relax and De-Stress

 

Do you ever fell stressed, exhausted and full of tension? There are many factors that can contribute to stress, our work, our home, finances, etc. One thing is for sure, being stressed is bad for our health. Actually stress can be a killer. Chronic stress for example, is linked to six leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide, according to the American Psychological Association.

It is important to take action to manage stress to ensure your body is functioning as it should and for your overall health and well-being. Here are 20 really simple ways to help you to relax and de-stress. The following tips can also help relieve anxiety, depression and sleep problems. Read the following tips with an open mind and try to incorporate as many of them as possible into your daily routine.

Breathe

With one hand on your belly and the other on your chest, take a big deep breath in through your nose filling up your diaphragm and then slowly exhale the air out through your mouth. Try to clear your head of any thoughts and and just try to focus on your breathing. Try to do six to ten deep breaths a minute for five to ten minutes. Taking slow deep breaths are a great way of lowering your heart rate, your blood pressure and help you to feel more relaxed.

Meditate

Find a comfortable place in your home, this can be a chair, the couch or simply sitting on a comfortable cushion. You can play some relaxing music in the background if you wish. Begin your meditation by closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Imagine any tension moving down from your head, past your chest, down your legs and out through your feet as you breath and relax. Try to focus on the present moment and let any thoughts go that come into your head. Rather than focusing on clearing your head of any thoughts, focus on just ‘being’. It takes a little practice to let thoughts come and go, but over time it will become easier. A simple five minute meditation can have you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Use a Journal

I am a big fan of using a journal every day. Start off by writing down three things that your are grateful for. These could be anything from the home you live in, your family, your health, your job, having food on the table, your positive attitude. The list is yours, there are no rules here. Just get into the positive daily habit or recording three things that you are grateful for. Next, write down in your journal your short and long term goals. Finally, write down in your journal anything that might be troubling you. Get into the habit of getting your thoughts out of your head and down on paper.

 

relax

Listen To Music

Do you have a favorite song playlist? Well, put up the volume and listen to the songs that make you want to sing, dance and forget about anything that might be bothering or stressing you. Music has the power to relax, inspire and make us feel happy. I find that listening to some music for just a few minutes is a great way to lift my spirit and have me feeling great. Try it!

Exercise

We all know that exercise is not only good for improving us physically but there are mental benefits too. The feel good chemicals that are released by the brain such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine will help to lift your mood. A brisk walk or run are great ways to get the heart pumping and your muscles working. After just a few minutes of exercise you should feel any stress drift away. I like to go for a fast walk, listen to my favorite music and soak up the scenery around me to help me totally relax.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates

Drink Green Tea

There are many health benefits of drinking green tea. If you want an energy boost and a healthy pick me up without any after slump, green tea is the answer. Green tea contains l-theanine which offers many brain benefits, it is widely appreciated for its ability to bring about a state of focused relaxation and calm attentiveness. Some people like to drink green tea in the evening to help them relax and sleep better.

 

20 Simple Ways To Relax and De-Stress

Call a Friend

We all have that close friend that instantly makes us feel better when we speak with them. If something is bothering you, a good idea is to share what is on your mind with a good friend. A good chat with a friend is always a great way to put a smile on our face and give us a much welcomed mood boost.

Take a Nap

Sometimes the best way to unwind and relax is simply to lay down in bed and have a quick nap. As you drift away to sleep, imagine all of your worries drifting away also. After you have your nap you should be feeling fresh and relaxed again.

Stretch

Try to get into the positive morning habit of stretching all of your muscles. Begin by stretching all of the large muscle groups such as your legs, chest and back, then gently stretch your shoulders, arms and neck muscles. A few light stretches are a great way to release any tension and stiffness from your muscles.

 

20 Simple Ways To Relax and De-Stress

Aromatherapy

By simply inhaling some lemon, lavender or jasmine will instantly help you to feel calmer, think more clearly and relieve any tension. Lighting a scented candle in your home is an easy way to clear the air and have you feeling better in no time.

Laugh

A good laugh is a great cure for when you might be feeling stressed or under the weather. Did you know that there is actually scientific evidence to back this up. Laughter actually enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and also increases endorphins that are released by your brain. Having a good laugh can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress. Watch a movie that always makes you laugh out loud or meet your friends that always put a smile on your face.

Visualize

Get yourself into a comfortable position on the couch or a chair. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and recall a time when you were in a relaxed, tranquil environment. With your eyes closed, bring back the scene as vividly as possible (feel free to embellish the scene with more color and light. The memory is just a point of reference from where to begin.) Imagine the sounds, the sensations – perhaps a light breeze, or the warm feeling of the sun at the beach. Imagine all your senses immersed in the peace of the moment, relaxing in tranquility and harmony. When you feel complete, think about the rest of your day unfolding in total peace in harmony. Slowly open your eyes and notice how relaxed and wonderful you feel.

Sit Outside

A wonderful way to relax and unwind is just by simply sitting outside (weather permitting of course). Feel the sun against your face, the wind in your hair and listen to the birds singing in the distance. This break outdoors from your typical surroundings is a great way to chill out and feel great again. Sometimes when I go for a walk in the local park, I will take a few minutes and sit on a bench and take everything in around me. The sights, the sounds, the fresh air always help me relax and de-stress.

 

20 Simple Ways To Relax and De-Stress

Read

Another great way to relax and de-stress to to read. This could be some motivational quotes, your favorite self help book or a great novel. The choice is yours. Occasionally, I like to pick a book that I haven’t read in a long time and start reading it again. A great book is a great book, no matter how many times you read it.

Switch Off Your Phone

Our phones can be a constant source of distraction. Emails, messages, phone calls, notifications, news feeds, sports scores etc etc. Try to get into the healthy habit of not using your phone or having it beside you 24/7. Better still, get into the productive habit of either not using it for the first hour of the day or switching it off in the evening an hour before you go to bed.

 

20 Simple Ways To Relax and De-Stress

Clean The House

Some people find that cleaning can be very therapeutic. I like washing the dishes for example. I don’t know why, but I just seem to feel more relaxed as I wash the plates and cups. Some people enjoy vacuuming, while others like to iron clothes. Giving your home a regular spring clean can be a great way to freshen up where you live and tidy up all of your ‘stuff’ which can be contributing to your stress.

Have A Cup Of Coffee

Millions of people make coffee their morning beverage of choice to help kick start each day. There are many health benefits of drinking coffee. The chlorogenic, ferulic and caffeic acid contained in coffee can help reduce the inflammation of nerve cells that takes place in the brain of people with depression. Also, the caffeine in coffee causes an increase in your brain’s production of dopamine, leading to an increased feeling of well-being and a more positive mood. The next time that you are feeling stressed, make yourself a nice cup of coffee and enjoy all of its benefits.

 

20 Simple Ways To Relax and De-Stress

Take A Shower

Having a nice hot shower is a great way to wash away any tension from your body after a stressful day. The warm water has a wonderful calming effect on the mind and soul. Having a nice hot shower to help your muscles relax followed by a cool splash of cold water is another great way to feel invigorated and energized. For an extra bonus, try singing your favorite song while you are having a shower for some extra feel good therapy.

Use a Singing Bowl

I use a singing bowl every morning for a just few minutes as a part of my morning routine. The sound of the singing bowl followed by the gentle vibration that it makes have a wonderful calming and meditative effect. Using a singing bowl is also a great way to aid your immune system and also improve your blood circulation. I also find that using a singing bowl helps me to relax, de-stress and re-focus.

 

20 Simple Ways To Relax and De-Stress

Enjoy Your Time Alone

Sometimes all we need to do to help to relax and clear or mind is to simply switch off our phones, disconnect from the computer and spend some quality time alone with our thoughts. Get into the habit of liking who you are and enjoying your own company.

I hope that you find some of the suggestions above useful. I find a mixture of the above tips help me in different times. The important thing to remember here is to find what works best for you that will help you to relax and de-stress and do it.

 

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6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough

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6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough

Have you ever had moments where you feel completely inadequate? Maybe a specific situation comes up and you think there is no way that you would ever be good enough to do what is needed. Or, maybe you feel that way all the time and you can’t seem to get past it.

Thinking that you are not good enough and having low self-esteem tend to go hand-in-hand, but they are slightly different.

Thankfully, you can work on both of them by changing your thinking habits and banishing some of that negative self-talk from your mindset. Whether you think you are not good enough in certain situations or you have a hard time believing that you are good enough for almost anything, it doesn’t have to be that way forever.

Let’s look at a few things you should always keep in mind when those thoughts come in, and how you can start to convince yourself of your true worth.

1. You Are Not Alone

Thinking that you are not good enough can cause a lonely existence. You might not want to put your burdens on others, so you don’t talk about it. You might also think that everyone else is perfectly happy with who they are, and are confident in everything that they do.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is, you never know what other people are fully thinking/feeling. What you can count on, though, is that there are so many others who feel just like you, and are constantly wondering if they are “enough”. Knowing that you are not alone can help you to work through your feelings without feeling so isolated.

2. You Have Your Own Skills

A common reason why people tend to think they are not good enough is because they don’t have a specific talent or skill that someone else has. But you probably have something that person doesn’t, too.

Everyone has their own abilities and things that make them unique. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, keep your mind on your talents and what makes you special.

“If you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you!” – T. Harv Eker

3. You Can’t Be Perfect

Perfection is a fruitless thing to chase. Many people who question their self-worth do so because they are perfectionists.

But, if you set such a high standard for yourself, you will always be disappointed. Perfection doesn’t exist, and while you can strive to be your best, it is important to understand human error and limits. That doesn’t mean the things you do are some how “less” than great. But, striving for perfection is something that can make you feel inadequate.

4. You Are Worthy of Loving Yourself

Love tends to be the answer for so many things, including any pain or turmoil that you might be going through. Thinking that you are not good enough is an easy way to cause yourself sadness and pain. Those thoughts can quickly snowball and you might start to think about more negative things about yourself.

Instead of fueling those negative thoughts, choose love. Love is like a permanent band-aid for the pain that you are going through. It is a great way to comfort yourself, provide reassurance, and get a clearer picture of who you really are and all of the wonderful things that you can offer the world. By choosing self-love, you can start to see yourself in a more positive light, and push those negative thoughts away.

“We must fall in love with ourselves. I don’t like myself. I’m crazy about myself.” – Mae West

5. Mistakes Can Be a Good Thing

Do you ever find yourself feeling especially inadequate when you “fail”? While that is not uncommon, that word should really be removed from your vocabulary.

Everyone “fails” at times, because again, perfection is not attainable. When you start to consider anything less than perfection to be a failure, it is easy to beat yourself up and think that you will never amount to the things that you truly want.

But, when you start to view your failures and mistakes as good things and stepping stones, you can completely shift your perspective and realize that not only are you good enough, but you are also resilient and strong. Some of the biggest “failures” in history went on to be the most successful people because they learned from their mistakes. They looked at the things that went wrong and considered how they could change them.

It is important to use your mistakes as a way to learn and grow. When you are able to do that, you will find a greater sense of fulfillment when things finally come together and you get it “right”.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordon

6. Gratitude Goes a Long Way

It might not always feel easy to accept and be grateful for who you are. But, it is incredibly important. Instead of thinking about the things you don’t have or areas where you are not “good enough”, choose to actively think about and pursue the positive. Focus on what you are grateful for. The more that you do that, the easier it will be to banish those thoughts of doubt and insecurity. I like to start every day by using my journal and begin by writing down three things that I am grateful for.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie

Once you really start to think about it, you will find that you have more to be grateful for than you may have initially realized, and that way of thinking can help you to establish healthier, more positive thoughts about yourself that will last a lifetime.

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50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

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50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

What are existential questions?

Existential questions are usually deep, philosophical questions that question just that — our very existence.

They can be great conversation starters and they can also sometimes make for a passionate discussion. The following existential questions can be a great way to get to know someone better and perhaps even learn new things about yourself.

The word existential comes from the Latin word “existentia”, which means to exist. Existential questions challenge our way of thinking, our beliefs and our perspective.

Is there a right or wrong answer to an existential question? Perhaps not, as each question usually just asks more questions.

I have put together the following list of thought provoking existential questions so that you can perhaps start an internal conversation with yourself or start an interesting debate with your friends.

50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

 

1. Are there limits to human creativity?

2. What makes something beautiful?

3. How do we know if we’re doing the right thing?

4. Who am I?

5. What is one thing that every human should get to experience in their life?

6. Do you believe in a power greater than humanity?

7. Are we given enough time?

8. Is privacy a right?

9. What is the best way for a person to attain happiness?

10. Are we alone in the universe?

11. What is love?

12. How would you define genius?

13. What do you think your purpose is?

14. If babies are considered innocent, when do people cease to be innocent?

15. Is it better to expand your knowledge or to deepen it?

16. Why do you think we are here?

17. How important is ‘play’ in living a healthy and fulfilling life?

18. Do you have a right to be happy, or should you earn it?

19. What happens when I die?

20. What worries me the most about the future?

21. What is a person? Is it the mind, or the body?

22. Would the world be a better place if all leaders were women? If you answered yes, why?

23. What activity have I done that has made me feel the most alive?

24. Does truth exist without evidence?

25. If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would I give?

26. Does a person have a soul? If so, where is it?

27. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?

28. Is it more important to love or be loved?

29. What would make the world a better place?

30. How should we measure our lives? In years? In moments? In accomplishments? Something else?

31. What is the difference between living and simply existing?

32. If you died today, would you be satisfied with the life you’ve lived?

33. What advice would you tell your younger self?

34. Which is worse: failing or never trying?

35. Is a minimum wage a good idea? What about a maximum wage?

36. What is the most important goal every person should have?

37. Can anything ever really be considered ‘true’ or is everything subjective?

38. Is the world a better place with humans in it?

39. If extra-terrestrial life was discovered, how do you think humanity would react?

40. Is happiness just a mixture of chemicals circulating through our bodies?

41. Where do you think we go when we die?

42. Have I done anything lately worth remembering?

43. Can you ever have full control over your own life?

44. How do you know that you are not dreaming right now?

45. Is one lifetime enough?

46. What matters most in my life?

47. Is a person ever truly evil? If so, are they born that way?

48. What is the meaning of life?

49. Is humanity going in the right or wrong direction?

50. What does it mean to live a good life?

I hope that you enjoyed these thought provoking existential questions. I hope that they perhaps made you think about your beliefs, yourself and the world around you (the bigger picture). If you discuss these questions with a friend, remember, there is probably no right and wrong answers, usually just a matter of opinion.

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30 Life Lessons That I Would Tell My Younger Self

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30 Life Lessons That I Would Tell My Younger Self

I clearly remember when I was 18, then 25 and in then what seems like a flash, I have recently celebrated by 50th birthday. While some people might dread the thoughts of hitting such a milestone. (more…)

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