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Six Valuable Lessons to Learn from Thailand

Six Valuable Lessons to Learn from Thailand

I have often found that when compared to South East Asia, the western culture is fast paced and focuses on things that don’t actually matter. We strive to find happiness and contentment in life but our methods tend to fall short. The car you drive, the clothes you wear and the house you live in are not a definition of your true passions in life. They will never bring you a sense of wholeness.

There are remedies for the western world and many things to learn from Thailand that can be found in the way Thai people view life.

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1. Happy Regardless of Circumstance

Thai people have a happiness in them regardless of what they own. Something to learn from Thailand is to appreciate what you have. Thai’s keep life simple, often having a small business that brings enough money in to sustain them. Some don’t have a real home but you can see them smiling as they sit under an aluminum roof with the rest of their family. Kids play with sticks in the dirt with more enthusiasm than a child sitting on a cozy couch playing video games n North America.

2. Living Off the Land

While most of us don’t live in a climate that allows fresh exotic fruits to grow abundantly, there are still some things we can use from nature. Many of the herbs and fruits that grow naturally can also be used medicinally. In most countries, there are native plants, fruits and vegetables that you can grow. In a culture like ours that is now concerned about pesticides, grow your own organic plants in whatever space you have. Find out about the medicinal herbs that grow in your area.

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3. Taking a Nap

All over Thailand, you’ll see people closing their eyes for a quick cat nap whenever the opportunity arises. Whether they’re sitting up, standing or laying down, it’s not abnormal for someone to take a nap in a public place. While they work long hours, they take the opportunity to shut their eyes throughout the day many times. Their ability to fall asleep even in the middle of a busy place symbolizes that they can shut out the world and find relaxation anywhere.

4. Overcome Obstacles with a Smile

This is a big point to learn from Thailand. Thai people have a way of dealing with things that ensure they never really stress out. They seem to realize that for every problem, there is a solution they can offer. They are innovative in their problem solving. For example, if there is a day the government states no alcohol can be sold, a bar will put your beer in a plastic cup.

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If they aren’t supposed to sell things in a certain area, they put their whole business on wheels. That way, if the police do come, they can roll away without getting caught out. I have never seen a Thai person get stressed in a moment of chaos. You think they’re not taking action because they’re not running around but they figure out a solution in their own time.

5. Family Dynamics

Family takes care of family throughout their lifetime. A grandmother is respected and the matriarch of the family. She will never be sent to an old folks home, instead her children will take care of her and go to work to pay the bills. Family sticks together and supports one another so there’s little loneliness in life’s journey for the Thais. While our social structure in the West is much different, it’s still an important lesson to learn from Thailand: family matters.

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6. Devout Buddhists

The land of Buddhists don’t label yoga and meditation as some trendy activity. It’s a way of life and you will see the tiniest toddler put their hands together and bow to Buddha. They are real about meditation, going into monasteries for weeks of silence. You lay on cement at night and wake up before dawn.

Their way of viewing meditation is a sense of respect for their religion as opposed to a way of not yelling at your kids. Maybe their meditative practices and lessons in the Buddhist philosophy are why Thai people live in the way they do.

Featured photo credit: Tord Remme/flickr via flickr.com

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Loraine Couturier

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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