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5 Ways Decluttering Your Circle of Friends Can Save Your Energy and Peace of Mind

5 Ways Decluttering Your Circle of Friends Can Save Your Energy and Peace of Mind

Most people wrongly assume that we need more of some things in life in order to be happy, to find meaning and to get rid of stress and anxiety

It’s just the opposite. We need to choose less over more to save ourselves from unwanted worries, from living a complicated lifestyle and from having too many thoughts and too much tension in our mind.

When you’ve had enough of everything, and feel like you need more time for yourself, more freedom and peace of mind and more energy and focus to work on the things that matter to you, it’s time to start decluttering.

You’ll hear a lot of tips on how to get rid of unnecessary possessions at home, how to clear your mind and let go of regrets from the past, too many plans and random thoughts. There’s also a lot said about how to declutter your desk, computer and closet. You can also easily eliminate a lot from your calendar and daily to-do list to free some more time and stop doing unproductive activities.

But there’s one area of life that also needs decluttering, but which gets forgotten: your circle of friends.

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Let’s see why it’s smarter to have less friends in your surroundings and how this can significantly increase your level of happiness and make you more energetic and calmer:

1. You waste a lot of energy dealing with toxic people.

Toxic people are those individuals who are negative, around which you feel pressure and anxiety, who think only about themselves and require a lot of attention.

You can always argue with them but they’ll still want to be right every time. They don’t make compromises, may often upset you and make you feel inferior to them.

As a result, you feel miserable around them and it’s like they’re stealing your soul and draining your energy.

Life would be much easier if you simply stop communicating with them. If the connections were stronger you owe them a honest explanation. It’s normal that sometimes people grow apart. Even if it’s people you’ve been with your whole life, you don’t owe them your never ending connection. It’s your job to keep your happiness and peace of mind and live simply, so don’t feel bad about telling them all that to their face and removing them from your life once and for all.

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2. You’ll have more time for yourself.

In order to live a meaningful life, you should strengthen your relationship with yourself. One of the best solutions to filling the void you feel inside, to forgiving yourself, staying mindful, healing your inner self and embracing self-love, is to spend more time alone and reflect.

Having too many friends, some of which negative or playing the role of a victim, requires a lot of your time, attention and energy.

But without all that, you can have some me time daily. Imagine creating pleasant rituals to start and end the day with creative, positive and inspiring activities.

You can start meditating, working out, reading great books and getting motivated and learning new things, journaling your thoughts, visualizing yourself being more confident and successful, drinking tea and enjoying the silence, working on a creative project, or taking a walk and spending time in nature.

You’ll begin to feel more comfortable in your own skin, to get clear about your issues and about the things you truly desire in life. You’ll find out you’re worthy of love and won’t let others put you down anymore.

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You’ll be feeling fresh, energized and completely present.

Often, having many friends results in finding no time for yourself and being overwhelmed with other people’s problems. But once you declutter this area of your life, you’ll find balance and peace of mind.

3. Being constantly criticized is exhausting.

Others are judging you all the time, whether you like it or not.

And even if you’ve worked hard on trying to deal with this, it still affects your performance and way of thinking. At some point, you may end up living by someone else’s standards, seeking their approval, answering their expectations. But then you’ll be miserable because it won’t be what you want to do with your life.

Make sure you don’t end up like that, by eliminating all the people in your life who don’t support you, who don’t accept you for who you are, who aren’t there when you need them, and who even try to talk you out of your dreams.

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4. You’ll reach your goals sooner.

Some of the people in your surroundings are preventing you from moving forward. They are a distraction on your way to success.

You don’t need them in your life. Once you start avoiding them, you’ll begin feeling complete, you will find your way back to your own path, and will get closer to your goals by taking focused action every day.

5. You’ll dedicate more time to the people who matter.

Only a few of your friends are really worth it and deserve your precious time and energy. Chatting with doznes of newly met people may be exciting but long-term can drain your from energy.

Once you get rid of the connections which don’t nourish you, you’ll have the chance to be with them more often and deepen your relationship even more. But at the same time, you’ll still spend enough time on your own so that you aren’t stressed out or emotionally exhausted.

Now it’s your turn. Take a closer look at your circle of friends. Try to see people for who they really are, remember how they’ve treated you in difficult situations, analyze their reactions to different things from daily life.

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll think of many who are actually toxic and aren’t a good fit for the lifestyle you want to create for yourself.

Don’t overthink it too much, be strong and direct and let them know you’re moving on.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

Do you forget stuff every now and then? Are you trying to enhance your memory but not sure how?

All you need is the right memorization techniques to make the most of your memory.

The human brain is fascinating. More specifically, the vast interconnections within our mind. Mendel Kaelen compares the human brain to a hill covered in snow,

“Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, and thoughts as sleds gliding down that hill. As one sled after another goes down the hill a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into preexisting trails, almost like a magnet. In time it becomes more and more difficulty to glide down the hill on any other path or in a different direction.”

The intent of Kaelen’s discussion is to think of new ways to temporarily flatten the snow. Kaelen remarked,

“The deeply worn trails disappear, and suddenly the sled can go in other directions, exploring new landscapes and, literally, creating new pathways.”

The idea here is to temporarily rewire your brain, or as Michael Pollan remarked in How to Change Your Mind,

“The power to shake the snow globe, disrupting unhealthy patterns of thought and creating a space of flexibility-entropy-in which more salubrious patterns and narratives have an opportunity to coalesce as the snow slowly settles.”

So, how can we rewire our brain allowing deeply worn connections to disappear and new connections to form? The answer is quite simple. We must change the way we store information in our mind.

    Let’s examine 5 specific memorization techniques that will change the way you think and remember information.

    1. Build a Memory Palace

      What is it?

      The method of loci[1] (aka memory palace) is a method of memory enhancement using visualizations with the use of spatial memory. It uses familiar information about your environment to quickly recall information. It is a method that was discussed by Cicero in an ancient dialogue called De Oratore.

      How to use it?

      Ron White discusses in How to Memorize Fast and Easily: Build a Memory Palace, that it’s essentially a room or building that you have memorized and you use locations in the room to store data. Ron informs us,

      “You memorize locations in a room and then you later go back to those locations to retrieve the data that you want to remember.”

      Example

      An easy 5-step example, in the form of a Wiki, can be found at Artofmemory.com. Let’s examine the the steps:

      • Step 1. Choose a place that you know well. For example, your house or office.
      • Step 2. Plan the route and pick specific locations in your route. For example, your front door, bathroom kitchen, etc.
      • Step 3. Decide what you want to memorize. For example, geography, list of items, answers for a test, etc.
      • Step 4. Place one or two items, with a mental image, and place them in your memory palace. Exaggerate your images. For example, use nudity or crazy images forcing it to stick in your mind.
      • Step 5. Make the image into a mnemonic.

      You can learn more about this technique here: How to Build a Memory Palace to Remember More of Everything

      2. Mnemonic

        What is it?

        A mnemonic is a memory device that aids in retention and/or retrieval of information. Mnemonic systems are techniques consciously used to improve memory by helping us use information already stored in long-term memory to make memorization easier.[2]

        How to use it?

        Mnemonics make use of retrieval cues to encode information in our brain allowing for efficient storage and retrieval of the information. The trick is to learn how to easily create mnemonics. If you find that you struggle with creating your own, try the following website: Mnemonic Generator.

        Example

        I recently came across a video using mnemonics to memorize countries. Memorizing Countries using Mnemonics is a video created as an introduction to a class for using memory techniques to learn the names of countries on maps.

        I actively search for videos that provide enormous educational value, yet receive very little exposure. At the time of this writing, this video has received less than 4k views. Let’s examine the video.

        Goal: Create a mnemonic to memorize the countries in the Caribbean (just the countries you need to learn).

        Step 1. Looking at a map – write out each country (for which five were chosen).

        Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico.

        Step 2. Write the first letter of each country vertically.

        C

        J

        H

        D

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        P

        Step 3. Create a sentence or phrase.

        Cubs

        Just

        Hate

        Doing

        Push-ups

        Cubs just hate doing push-ups. (Cuba Jamaica Haiti Dominican Republic Puerto Rico)

        3. Mnemonic Peg System

          What is it?

          According to Artofmemory.com, a mnemonic peg system is a technique for memorizing lists and it works by memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent.[3] These objects are the pegs of the system.

          How to use it?

          The trick is to create a Number Rhyme System with each number having a rhyming mnemonic keyword.

          Example

          Let’s look at an example of a Number Rhyme System:[4]

          0 = hero

          1 = gun

          2 = shoe

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          3 = tree

          4 = door

          5 = hive

          6 = sticks

          7 = heaven

          8 = gate

          9 = line

          Another technique like the Peg system is the Number Shape System.[5] Here you are assigning mnemonic images based on the shape of the number. Watch the following video for an example of this system: Number Shape System for Memorizing Numbers.

          4. Chunking

            What is it?

            Chunking is a way to remember large bits of information by chunking them into smaller pieces of information. We are more likely to then remember the information when we put the small pieces back together to see the entire picture.

            How to use it?

            In the video Chunking – A Learning Technique, we can see that there are several ways to chunk information.

            Example

            Let’s examine a simple example using a nine-digit number.

            Step 1. What is the number you are trying to remember?

            081127882

            Step 2. Cut the number into smaller pieces through chunking.

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            081 – 127 – 882

            Let’s look at one more example from the same video.

            “Piano teachers will first demonstrate an entire song to students. They will then ask their students to practice one measure at a time. Once the part has been learned and the neural connections in the brain have been built, then students go on to the next measure. After all chunks have been played separately, they are combined until the entire piece is connected.”

            5. Transfer of Learning

              What is it?

              Transfer of learning is a way to learn something in one area and apply it in another. Authors of Thinking at Every Desk, Derek and Laura Cabrera inform us about the transfer of learning,

              “If a student has a high transfer skills, she can learn one thing and then teach herself 10, 50, or 100 additional things.”

              How to use it?

              There are two specific ways to use it:

              1. Vertical Transfer (aka Far Transfer). Think of learning something in grade school and applying it another grade or later in life.
              2. Horizontal Transfer (aka Near Transfer). Think of learning a concept in history and applying it in math.

              Example

              I provide a detailed step-by-step example for this technique in this article:

              Learn How to Learn: How to Understand and Connect Difficult Ideas Easily

              The Bottom Line

              The key to using the techniques discussed here is to remember that we must actively think about information.

              We cannot simply drill information into our brain through rote memorization. We must change the way we think about memorization. We must find a way to “shake the snow-globe” in our mind or flatten the snow so that we can create new learning paths.

              Or as Derek and Laura Cabrera point out, we must insert “Thinking” into the equation,

              “Information X Thinking = Knowledge”

              More About Enhancing Memories

              Featured photo credit: Nong Vang via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Remember Everything: Memory Palaces and the Method of Loci
              [2] The Learning Center Exchange: 9 Types of Mnemonics for Better Memory
              [3] Art of Memory: Mnemonic Peg System
              [4] Art of Memory: Number Rhyme System
              [5] Art of Memory: Number Shape System

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