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5 Things You Should Do Every Year When The Weather Gets Nice

5 Things You Should Do Every Year When The Weather Gets Nice

No matter how mild the winter, spring always brings a welcome improvement to the weather. Before you know it, areas that were, just weeks earlier, covered in snow and barren trees are full of lush greenery and flora.

Though we humans don’t hibernate throughout the cold months of the year, many of us use winter as a sort of “downtime,” during which we stay indoors as much as possible. When spring arrives, we emerge from our warm nests, ready to finally enjoy our surroundings yet again.

The following is a list of ways in which you can maximize your enjoyment of nature during the season when the Earth regains its liveliness.

Prepare Your Yard

You most likely don’t take much care of your yard during the cold, wet, winter months — and that’s fine. But when the spring rolls around, you’ll need to do some work to make it look presentable again.

If you didn’t rake your lawn before the last snowfall of the year, you’ll be stuck with a bunch of unsightly leaves that never ended up decomposing. While a lawn full of leaves probably didn’t stand out in November, it certainly will in April and May. Take care of them as soon as possible.

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If need be, plant grass seed throughout your lawn to patch up any areas that need it. Remove any weeds, sticks, and brambles from your garden, and replant annuals as needed.

Finally, break out the grill, hammock, and anything else you know you’ll be using throughout the spring and summer months. It might not be warm enough to use them right away, but you’ll be prepared to do so when the sun finally peeks out.

Prepare Your Home

Everyone knows about spring cleaning, right?

As mentioned above, you may have gone through a period of downtime throughout the winter months, during which you might have allowed your home to get a little, well, messy.

Take some time to dust off surfaces, clean out closets, and air the rest of your home out. Just getting some fresh air circulating throughout your house can improve your health and elevate your mood.

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As you move things around to dust and sweep, you might realize you have a ton of miscellaneous items around the house that you never really use. Instead of tossing them back into the closet to collect even more dust, consider having a yard sale. You’ll end up with a little extra change in your pocket as well as some extra space in your home.

Have BBQs and Picnics

The first day that the weather is nice enough to eat outside is always a cause for celebration. There’s just something about eating outside that makes certain foods taste better.

Whether you’re having a small party with friends and family or a nice quiet lunch with your loved one, you’ll have a to do a bit of preparation. Make sure you have all the utensils and cutlery you need to cook and eat your delicious meal, as well as napkins or paper towels to clean up afterward.

Also, make sure you have some citronella candles and bug spray handy. Nothing ruins a potato salad quite like a swarm of mosquitos.

Lastly, bring some warm clothes just in case it gets a little chilly. It might be 85 degrees in the sun, but if clouds start to roll in, the temperature can drop quickly.

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Get Up and Out

Obviously, the springtime is a great time to enjoy some outdoor activities. You wouldn’t play baseball in the house, would you?

Even if you don’t need to be outside to partake in an activity, you should still get up and get out. Take your laptop or book outside instead of staying cooped up in the house all day. Bring your guitar outside and let the neighborhood hear you as you practice. Paint a picture of your surroundings or take photographs of the blooming flowers.

We simply weren’t meant to spend our life inside. Get out and enjoy yourself.

Get Dirty

Just as we weren’t meant to stick around indoors all our lives, we also weren’t meant to be pristinely clean all the time, either.

Most of the items on this list require you to forget all about cleanliness, at least for a short period of time. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and not care about how ridiculous you look.

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Throw on an old pair of jeans and start a garden. Play catch with your nephew. Eat with your fingers and wipe it on your shirt.

The spring is not only a time of rebirth, but it’s also the perfect time to forget all your worries for a little while and remember what it was like to be as carefree as a kid. Don’t let it slip away.

Featured photo credit: Declan Rex via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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