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5 Ways to Improve Your Sleeping Habits

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5 Ways to Improve Your Sleeping Habits

 

When it comes to sleep, you might have gotten into some pretty bad habits. You may have started watching the latest Netflix drama on your laptop in bed, for one. (Now it’s a miracle if you sleep before 1 am, and usually your dreams are of the violent, cliffhanger variety). Perhaps you have started to raid the fridge for late-night snacks, which will also keep you awake for longer. And when you do manage to fall asleep, do you find yourself waking up an hour or two later needing the bathroom after those few beers or glasses of wine that you enjoyed after work. If you find it difficult to get a good nights sleep, fear not, a better nights sleep can be yours by following these simple but effective steps.

1. Create an Evening Routine

Ok, it might sound dull…but trust me on this, don’t knock it until you have tried it! By following the same steps before bed every night, your body and mind will start to realize that sleepytime is not far away. Before you hit the hay, perhaps treat yourself to a nice soothing bath. Read a physical book, burn some relaxing essential oils, do some yoga stretches, listen to a guided meditation or write in your journal. All of these activities will help you calm down after a busy day and set you up for a great nights sleep.

2. Keep The Office Out of The Bedroom

We are all guilty of it: watching TV, checking our phones and updating our profiles right before bed. It may seem harmless enough, but the blue light these screens emit actually inhibit sleep. For one, they overstimulate the mind, even if you might not be aware of it. For another, they block the production of serotonin in the body, which we rely on to make us feel nice ‘n’ sleepy.

So leave the screens out of your sleep sanctuary; better still, turn them off an hour before bedtime. You will be surprised at how much deeper your sleep will be.

3. Chow Down on Sleep-Promoters

There are plenty of foods and drink you can avoid to rid yourself of bad sleeping habits; caffeine and sugar are chief among them. If you need a coffee fix during the day, make sure it is before 2pm as caffeine can take up to 6 hours to leave your system.

But there are also sleep-promoting foods you can eat – foods such as bananas, almonds, kiwis, sesame seeds, sweet potatoes and wholemeal toast. These all benefit our sleep in different ways; some contain mind-calming magnesium, others muscle-relaxing potassium, while others simply keep us fuller for longer. No more rumbling tummies disturbing your sleep.

So get snacking on more sensible stuff – and your sleep will thank you for it.

4. Get Your Zen On

I have already mentioned meditation in your evening routine, but this habit is also worth a point of its own. Although meditation might seem like an difficult undertaking at first, it is pretty much the best way to keep your mind calm at any time of day. And if a restless, anxious mind is what’s keeping you up at night – don’t worry, it happens to the best of us – meditation could be your ticket to Snoozeville.

I would recommend starting with a short guided meditation, of which there are plenty on YouTube. Or simply try a ‘progressive tension’ exercise yourself instead. Lying on your back, imagine that you are first tensing and then releasing your toes, ankles, calves, knees and thighs. Work your way up the body all the way to your neck and head, your eyes, mouth etc, until you feel your body heavy and sinking into the bed/floor. This is a great way to relax both body and mind before settling into a better sleep.

5. Hydrate as Needed

By this, I mean swap sugary drinks and alcohol for water! Sure, a beer or a glass of wine can help us to unwind after a long day; but they actually disrupt our sleep that night. Even if you find it easier to fall asleep after alcohol, the sleep quality that you are getting is actually much lower and chances are you will wake up during the night as a result. Not to mention a full bladder waking you for the bathroom!

Speaking of which, I am a big advocate in drinking plenty of water during the day. But having too many glasses of the stuff right before bed, or especially herbal teas, can send you running for the bathroom in the middle of the night. And it can be a real pain getting back to sleep afterwards. So drink enough water during the day, have a few sips before you go to bed (to avoid waking up thirsty) and sleep right through until morning.

That’s a wrap!

Now that you have seen how to rid yourself of bad habits and pick up some more useful ones, a better sleep now awaits you. Enjoy your new evening routine, that is free from phone screens and caffeine and is instead full of tasty sleep-promoting snacks. Give meditation a try, and any pre-bedtime alcohol a miss. Start sleeping better and waking up brighter in the morning. And if you need any more tips on sleep, whether it is on meditation exercises, sleeping positions or reviews on comfortable beds, check out what the guys from the Sleep Advisor have to say.

Sleep well!

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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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