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Life-Changing Trips: Visit These 7 Cities To Boost Your Personal Growth

Life-Changing Trips: Visit These 7 Cities To Boost Your Personal Growth

Traveling has the power to transform us and change your outlook on life and yourself as an individual. Here are seven destinations that are guaranteed to open your eyes and give you plenty of moments of self-reflection.

1. Kyoto, Japan

This tranquil city which was Japan’s capital for 1,000 years is the perfect place to unplug from the rush of everyday life. Take your time wandering through the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, that include reflective gardens and stunning temples. Kyoto is the complete opposite of the frenzied pace of Tokyo, Japan’s current capital and is the perfect pace to stop and do some serious self-reflection in this highly spiritual place.

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2. Istanbul, Turkey

This city not only has a rich layered history, but is also a perfect blend of east and west, and preserving tradition, while simultaneously embracing present-day culture. It is the perfect place to travel to grasp a better understanding of the need for balance in one’s life and how it’s possible to have many different aspects of yourself co-exist simultaneously and harmoniously.

3. San Francisco, USA

This city welcomes people from all walks of life with open arms and teaches all those who come through its Golden Gate to do the same. It is hard not to visit this beautiful City By the Bay and not feel the urge to open yourself up to new experiences that will broaden your horizons and make you more open-minded. Whether you try a new cuisine or immerse yourself in a neighborhood whose culture is a bit foreign to you, San Francisco will teach you how to become more open-minded and tolerant of those around you.

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4. Cape Town, South Africa

This city at the very southern tip of Africa will help you step out of your comfort zone and educate you about the horrible racial injustice that has taken place in this area of the world. You will be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s struggle and leadership to bring his country out of the shadows of discrimination and in turn reflect on your own cultural identity in your community at home and in the world.

5. Grindavik, Iceland

Find a sense of peace within the natural healing powers of this coastal Icelandic city. One of the main draws of this place is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa that is the perfect place to cleanse both your body and your mind. There is no place quite like this on the planet and spending time here in this surreal environment will put things in your life into a new perspective.

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6. Krakow, Poland

This Eastern European city takes hold of you the moment you arrive and leaves an impression on you long after you leave. Feeling like you are in a modern-day fairytale wandering around the Main Square, around the castle grounds of Wawel or exploring the dragon’s lair (the city’s mascot) it is hard to not feel like you are in a dream. Krakow is not all about dreams though, since it holds reminders of the tragedies that it experienced during the Holocaust. It is a perfect place to educate yourself about the history’s sometimes dark moments and learn about the power of the human spirit that fights through it all.

7. Christchurch, New Zealand

This beautiful city with snow-capped mountain ranges as a backdrop, makes for a tranquil and unique destination to experience. With nature all around this urban landscape it is hard not to reflect inwardly and think about your own life. This city is a great example of recovery after heartache left from 2010 and 2011 earthquakes that devastated the city and shows all who visit that it is possible to bounce back from unexpected hardships.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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