“True happiness arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one’s self.” – Joseph Addison
It’s hard to keep the world from weighing down on you. With relationships, bills and a whole slew of other frustrations in the world, it’s easy to understand why you feel glum. It can even feel as though life is just one giant string of depressing moments broken up by tiny moments of happiness.
However, the truth is that many times, our frustrations are caused by not taking the proper time for yourself. What this means is that a huge number of the annoyances that we face everyday can be solved quite simply. In fact, there are 6 solid ways that calm you down every time!
Who doesn’t like a good nap, whether it be twenty minutes or two hours? There really is nothing quite like waking up refreshed and wonderful! In fact, studies show that there is a direct link between your mood and how much sleep you’re getting.
So using that sort of knowledge, it makes sense as to why the perfect nap increases your happiness. In the case that you’re in a down mood, you now have the perfect excuse to sleep it off.
2. A Walk in Nature
Think back on all the times you’ve wandered into the woods as a kid. Whether you’re hiking through a forest or walking down a nature trail, nature just soothes the soul. One thing many scientists agree on is how your environment affects your mood. Being around the sun, the singing birds and the gentle wave of the trees is exactly what you need sometimes.Advertising
Just changing that view allows your mind to wander into the pleasantness of the moment rather then all the things going on in your life. Life is about being in the moment, the people that live in the now are generally quite happy with their lives!
3. A Good Laugh
Laughing until you cry. The very image makes people smile with joy as they relate their experiences of doing just that. The fact of the matter is that when you laugh, it stimulates a part of the brain that controls happiness. A solid laugh with a group of friends always feels so good while it’s happening.
Afterwards that great feeling just sits in your chest for a time, and if you think about it, one joke tends to lead into another. If just a solid laugh fixes your down mood, think about what a wave of laughter can do?Advertising
4. Fresh Air Near the Sea
Picture yourself on the edge of the sea. Whether it’s on the shore or cliff is irrelevant. Feeling the cold wind hit your face, feeling the refreshing effects. Just the very thought of being next to the sea inspires images of relation and calmness. The sea air is the subject of actual research being conducted to find out the exact medical benefits of seawater and the air.
5. Deep Breathing
Breathing deeply is a quick, immediate solution to calming yourself down. If you get very upset and are stressing out, immediately stop what you are doing and take a second. Shallow breathing has been shown to be a part of the stresses of modern life.Advertising
Breathing deep when the situation calls for it is one of the best abilities to develop. Our lungs are as deep as they are for a reason, take advantage of the calm that comes from breathing deeply!
How many times have you sighed deeply when you take a shower? That water running down your back just seems to take all your cares away. The rushing water has also shown to yield some surprising effects on your overall mood and health.
With these solutions to cure your mood, it’s surprising to see so many people so frustrated. The issue is the fact that they are so easy! If you think abut it, taking five minutes to do any of these things is all it takes. By that same nature, you have all the time in the world to cool off. Which is exactly why people don’t do it. You need to commit a huge amount of willpower just to use these solutions, but it’s totally worth it. Take those five minutes, calm yourself, and increase your happiness!
Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com
Last Updated on May 21, 2019
How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship
For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.
If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:
You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.
You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.
In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.
You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.
People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.
You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.
You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.
The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.
You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.
Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.
If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.
Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:
- Understand your own communication style
- Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
- Communicate with precision and care
- Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger
1. Understand Your Communication Style
To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.
In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.
Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.
2. Learn Others Communication Styles
Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.
If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:
“How do you prefer to receive information?”
This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.
To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.
3. Exercise Precision and Care
A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.
On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.
Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.
I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.
I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.
In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.
The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.
Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.
4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger
Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.
In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,
“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”
Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.
Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.
It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.
It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.
It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.
Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.
Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.
The Bottom Line
When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.
I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.
More Articles About Effective Communication
- Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work
- 13 Best Communication Books for Stronger Social Skills & Relationships
- How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home
- 7 Most Important Communication Techniques to Master in the Workplace
Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com
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