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6 Ways To Unearth Your Inner Zen

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Do you feel you’ve lost your joy? When was the last time you’ve felt calm and at peace within yourself? Unfortunately, in this life we all have to deal with things that seem unpleasant and bothersome. No one is free from stress in this world. But, thankfully there is a way back to finding your inner zen.

A place where nothing can move you. It is possible to reclaim your peace of mind. I believe that obtaining inner zen can be achieved by following six steps. Start by living in the moment, freeing yourself from unwanted distractions, identifying and resolving conflict, relinquishing your bad habits, and lastly by pursuing your dreams.
Here are some simple steps you can take towards unearthing your inner zen:

1. Take Control of Your Thought Life

One of the most important things we can do to unearth our inner zen is to take control of our thought patterns. The way we think directly affects how we feel. When we allow our thoughts to control our emotions and attitudes, we become unbalanced and start to move away from our center. Think of your thoughts as a rudder of a boat, when your thoughts are scattered and your mind is jumping from one thought to another, you will move off course. I find that practicing to live in the moment every day is one of the essential ingredients to unearthing your inner Zen. This means being honest with yourself and learning to accept all of your feelings and emotions as they come without judgment. It takes too much energy to deal with regret about what you didn’t accomplish in the past or what you hope to achieve in the future. Stress and anxiety from over thinking and worrying will rob you of present joy and can even steal years from your life if you let it.

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2. Clear Out the Clutter

Keeping on top of even our smallest responsibilities is a must if we want to have peace of mind. Clutter plays a major role in making us feel stressed out, anxious, and scattered. Maybe you have piles of bills still laying on top of the desk that you haven’t gotten around to paying or you may have a garage filled with old possessions you have been meaning to throw away, but you can’t seem to find the time to dispose of them. Whatever the case may be, wherever there is clutter you’ll find chaos. It is important to release everything from you life that hinders you from finding your inner zen. A good way to stay on top of these mundane yet necessary tasks is to schedule them on your calendar. You may also want to ask someone you know to keep you accountable, just until you get in the habit of doing them consistently.

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3. Replace Bad Habits with Good Habits

All of us can admit that we have at least one bad habit we need to work on changing. Whether it be smoking, eating too much junk food, or just being a couch potato. If it is impeding us from feeling good about ourselves, then we need to replace that bad habit with a good one. When we continue in our bad habits and are not taking care of our mind, body, and spirit, we lose confidence in the self. In essence, we are robbing ourselves of our peace of mind. For instance, if you know you need to lose weight to become healthy and are not doing anything to contribute to that end, you will not feel good about yourself until you start to make small changes. So take charge of your destiny and take the steps towards becoming the person you were meant to be.

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4. Strive to Resolve Conflict Quickly

Nothing keeps our soul more troubled then letting conflict go unresolved. Conflict stems primarily from pride and anger. When we let our pride get in the way of resolving a dispute, whether we are right or wrong in the situation, we leave it room to fester into animosity. Animosity leaves room for bitterness to grow within the confines of our inner being. If we can make it a point of resolving conflict quickly, we will not have to sacrifice our peace of mind. In this world, we will never be without conflict, but we don’t have to let it disrupt our inner zen.

5. Focus on Easing Stress

It’s no secret that stress is one of the leading cause of anxiety, depression, hypertension, ulcers, heart disease, along with a laundry list of other illnesses. To put it bluntly, stress kills. When we allow ourselves to become stressed out we are without inner peace. Stress and inner peace cannot coexist simultaneously. Instead of giving your worries power to control the way you think and feel, it would be good to take time out to meditate. Try sitting in a quiet place, close your eyes, take deep breaths and repeat positive affirmations, a mantra word, or scriptures. Whatever will help you take the focus off of your worries. Meditation is an ancient practice that has been used for centuries to produce serenity and bring us back to our center. Meditation has great healing potential. There are many different types of meditation in the world such as Buddhist meditation, Qigong meditation, Transcendental meditation, and Christian meditation. The next time you are tempted to become stressed, remember there are positive ways to cope with every situation.

6. Set Your Sights On Reaching Your Goals

Do you still remember the dreams that were put on your heart years ago? Have you let them fall by the wayside because you feel that you have no time or energy to invest in making them a reality? As human beings, we are created with an innate desire to learn new things, grow in character and personality, and stretch in our God given abilities. We were never meant to become idle or lack purpose. Unfortunately, many of us maintain a mediocre lifestyle. We have a tendency to put ourselves on autopilot. We get up early to rush our children off to school, go to work, come home to cook the meal, help the kids with their homework, and spend the rest of the evening watching television. Then the vicious cycle starts over again the next day. There are so many excuses that can stop us from pursuing our dreams. What excuses have you used over the years for not realizing your dreams? Are they legitimate excuses or do they stem from fear and uncertainty? Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time.” What a profound statement! You know, it’s never too late to reach for your dreams. It will take effort and perseverance to get started in the right direction, but eventually you will reap the rewards that come with hard work. So, make sure you have no regrets at the end of your journey and just go for it!

When we quiet our minds, our subconscious has a way of letting us know the truth about ourselves. You cannot change until you face that truth. If you are searching for clarity and inner peace be sure to take the time for self-evaluation.

Enjoy your journey towards unearthing your inner zen!

 

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Barbara A. Boyle works full time as a civil servant, but in her spare time she writes short stories, poetry, and essays. Barbara is also pursuing free lance work and enjoys sharing her inspirational and motivational insights on her personal blog, ‘Unearthing Inner Zen.

 

 

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6 Reasons Why You Should Create A Bucket List

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Reasons Why You Should Create A Bucket List

The term ‘bucket list’ has become quite popular in recent years. It has been used in pop culture references and as a casual topic of conversation when someone wants to do something. Chances are, you have heard someone say, “Oh, that’s on my bucket list!” But, a bucket list is more than just a fantasy, an out of reach dream or an excuse to say that you want to do many things, only to never follow through on them.

There are actually many benefits to creating a bucket list, if you just put in the time, the thought and the dedication into it. Still not 100% convinced? Let’s take a look at six reasons why you really should create a bucket list. Maybe, by the end of this article, you will be ready to put together one of your very own.

1. It Gives You a Purpose

While putting together a bucket list won’t tell you what the meaning of your life is, it can help to give you a purpose to your life. A bucket list should be more about the major goals that you have for yourself, rather than a bunch of fun little things that you might want to do. A bucket list gives you something to get out of life and allows you to stay focused while you are doing it.

Have you ever been bored, wondering what you’re going to do this weekend to fill up your free time? A bucket list can give you that answer, encouraging you to always work towards the things that you truly want to do and experience in life.

2. It Brings Your Goals to Life

As stated above, a bucket list should be about exciting goals that you have for yourself. But, it is also an opportunity to hone in on those goals. Many people have ambitions and even make goals or resolutions for themselves each year only to be forgotten a few days later. But, when you have a specific list of goals written down, it can help to make you more motivated and focused to achieve them.

Goals are incredibly important to have, and the fact that your bucket list can make those goals clearer and more tangible is really important.

3. You Will Create Lasting Memories

Memories are one of life’s greatest treasures. As you start to accomplish the things on your bucket list, you will also be making wonderful memories each time. Since you are doing the things you really want to do, those memories will bring you comfort, a sense of achievement and give you something positive to look back on and share with others.

Bucket list Create Lasting Memories

4. It Will Pull You Forward

Have you ever been in a “funk” in life, or maybe you have had bouts of feeling down or depressed that have kept you from doing the things you typically enjoy? No one wants to stay in that kind of mindset for long. Because a bucket list can help to give you a sense of purpose, it can also give you the motivation to pull yourself out of a funk. It can call you to do something new, something different, or something that even challenges you. Sometimes, that’s all a person needs to be pulled out of a tired or depressed state.

Additionally, doing something on your bucket list will help to distract you for a while. That can be a great solution for someone who has anxiety or tends to focus too much on the negative things in life. Sometimes, a distraction can be a welcomed reprieve.

5. You Will Experience Life-Long Learning

When you commit yourself to having new experiences, you are also committing yourself to learning something new. So many people think that learning stops when you finish school, but you can learn so much more simply by living and trying more new things throughout your life. People who embrace this type of lifestyle are called “lifelong learners”. The reality is this; you will never be able to learn everything there is to know. But, because all of us have such a short time on this planet to figure things out, the more experiences we participate in, the more that we will learn and grow. Not only can a bucket list help you to learn things about different cultures, skills, situations, people and personalities.

It can also help you to learn more about yourself. Closing your mind off to the idea of lifelong learning will cause you to become stagnant with your thoughts and your growth. As a human being, you should have a desire to continue to grow and achieve as much as you possibly can throughout your life. Working through your bucket list can help you to achieve that.

Bucket List For Life long Learning

6. You Will Never Run Out of Things to Do

If you sit down to make a bucket list, you might write down anywhere from 10-100 things that you really want to do. But, it doesn’t have to stop there. Chances are, as you start to work through some of the things on your list, you will come up with more ideas.

Experiencing new things, and even challenging things, is a great way to get inspired and motivated to continue on that trend. A bucket list can truly be never-ending as you come up with more exciting new ideas and goals for yourself.

Building Your Bucket List and Bettering Your Life

There are so many additional reasons why you should create a bucket list for yourself. Remember, a bucket list is a very personal thing, and the experiences you put on the list should be things that you truly want to do or accomplish. Don’t make them  so unrealistic that you will never plan on committing to. Instead, promise yourself that you will immerse yourself in those experiences.

A bucket list might be something you create to accomplish things before you pass on, but in creating one and diving into new experiences, there is a good chance you will feel more alive than ever!

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8 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day

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8 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day

Self-care is a term that gets thrown around a lot lately, to the point where it’s easy to ignore or blow it off as some kind of “buzz word”. But, it’s so much more than that, and when you are willing to take self-care seriously, you might just start to see how much easier it will be to get through each day. (more…)

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The Top 8 Most Important Things in Life

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The Top 8 Most Important Things in Life

It is easy for people to speculate and debate about the most important things in life. You have probably heard that “the best things in life are free” or that “love is all you need”, but what about what are the most important? What do you really need in this life in order to find contentment and fulfillment? (more…)

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