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5 Ways To Improve The Relationship With Yourself

5 Ways To Improve The Relationship With Yourself

The one and most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. In order for all your other relationships to work, you need to consider the time you spend on yourself and your own needs. Let’s be honest that if you feel fulfilled with yourself, you will project the same positive energy to the world out there and all your relationships will benefit from that.

You need to constantly pay attention to your body, to the daily signals it gives you about the way it feels. You also need to make sure you give yourself enough love, nurture, care and accept yourself for the person you are. The way you treat yourself will impact the way you treat other people – if respect and love grows within you, then they will grow around your relationships as well.

Here are 5 ways to improve the relationship you have with yourself:

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1. Practice self-love

The starting point of improving the relationship with yourself is loving and accepting yourself for who you are. Think about the importance of enjoying your own company because if you don’t, how can others enjoy it? When you start accepting and being grateful for yourself, that will be the moment you start a healthy and loving relationship with yourself. Make sure you show love to yourself in your daily endeavors even if it means grabbing your favorite drink or sitting for a moment and reading your favorite magazine.

From time to time look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of the person you have turned into. Showing appreciation of yourself is a key in practicing self-love every day.

2. Make time for yourself

Making time for yourself must become a priority in your life if you want to have a lasting loving relationship with yourself. You can’t really give much to others if you do not show care and nurture to yourself first. Perhaps saying “no” to other people is the starting point to create some extra time for yourself.

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When you make yourself a priority you will be able to unwind and recharge for the next day. There is nothing wrong with this because what we normally do is put ourselves on a second plan in order to fulfill other responsibilities and inquiries.

3. Don’t be so hard on yourself

Many times you have fallen into the trap of feeling guilty about something you have done or something wrong you said. You then start accusing yourself of not being appropriate and always making the wrong moves with other people. Well, it is time you stop doing that and start considering the importance of being kind to yourself.

If you do not do it now, when will you start doing it? How long can you go on with being so harsh on yourself? The more love and kindness you show to yourself, the more it will be able to give you back. So make sure you are aware of your own thoughts in order to start a healing relationship full of acceptance, gratitude, and awareness.

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4. Think about your health

Taking good care of your own body, having a regular and nutritional diet and enough exercise every week is really important for you. Meditating and practicing yoga are also essential for connecting to your inner world and becoming aware of what is going inside your mind. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is like giving yourself a precious gift every single day in order for you to feel happy and fulfilled.

Fall in love with the process of caring about your own health, mind and spirit. Your body is practically like a home to you, so make sure you turn it into a place full of love and comfort.

5. Smile more often

Smile and laugh more often. Do not take life so seriously and make time for having fun. Life becomes a much more exciting journey when we start acting and thinking mindfully and always expecting good results in return. Practice to be more positive and optimistic towards the world out there as this will be extremely helpful in maintaining the relationship you have with yourself.

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When you become more enthusiastic about life in general, the way about you feel yourself will change. You will be much more excited to wake up in the morning and embrace the person you have become. So go on and make your every day beautiful because you deserve to have an amazing relationship with yourself!

Featured photo credit: Deya Walking on the Beach / Nan Palmero via flickr.com

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Filiz Mehmedova

Writing Blogger

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Published on July 7, 2020

Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts

Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts

Exercise isn’t just for your body. Just as important is keeping your mind strong by training your brain with fun mental workouts.

Think of your mental and physical fitness the same way: you don’t need to be an Olympian, but you do need to stay in shape if you want to live well. A few cognitive workouts per week can make a major difference in your life.

The Skinny on Mental Workouts

Physical fitness boosts your stamina and increases your muscular strength. The benefits of working up a mental sweat and brain training, however, might not be so obvious.

Research suggests that cognitive training has short- and long-term benefits, including:

1. Improved Memory

After eight weeks of cognitive training, 19 arithmetic students showed a larger and more active hippocampus than their peers.[1] The hippocampus is associated with learning and memory.

2. Reduced Stress Levels

Mastering new tasks more quickly makes the work of learning less stressful. A stronger memory can call information to mind with less effort.

3. Improved Work Performance

Learning quickly and remembering key details can lead to a better career. Employers are increasingly hiring for soft skills, such as trainability and attention to detail.

4. Delayed Cognitive Decline

As we age, we experience cognitive decline. A study published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that 10 one-hour sessions of cognitive training boosted reasoning and information processing speed in adults between the ages of 65 and 94.[2]

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Just like in physical exercise, what’s important isn’t the specific workout. To be sustainable, cognitive workouts need to be easy and fun. Otherwise, it’s too easy to throw in the towel.

Fun Brain Training Exercises for Everyone

The best about fun mental workouts? There’s no need to head to a gym. Feel free to mix and match the following activities for daily brain training:

1. Brainstorming

One of the simplest, easiest ways to engage your brain? Coming up with solutions to a challenge you’re facing.

If you aren’t good at solo ideation, ask a partner to join you. When I’m struggling to come up with topics to write about, I call up my editors to bat ideas around. Friends or co-workers are usually happy to help.

2. Dancing

Isn’t dancing a physical workout? Yes, but the coordination it requires is also great for training your brain. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

Studies suggest that dance boosts multiple cognitive skills.[3] Planning, memorizing, organizing, and creativity all seem to benefit from a few fancy steps.

3. Learning a New Language

Learning a new language takes time. But if you split it up into small, daily lessons, it’s easier than you might think.

With language learning, every lesson builds on the last. When I was learning Spanish, I used a tool called Guru for knowledge management.[4] Every time I’d learn a verb tense, I’d create a new card to give me a quick refresh before moving on.

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4. Developing a Hobby

Like languages, hobbies take time to develop. But that’s the fun of them: you get a little better—both at the hobby and in terms of brain function—each time you do them.

If you’re trying to train your brain and improve a certain cognitive skill, choose a hobby that aligns with it.

For example:

  • Attention to detail: Pick a hobby that requires you to work patiently with small features. Woodworking, model-building, sketching, and painting are all good choices.
  • Learning and memory: Choose an activity that requires you to remember lots of details. Your best bets are hobbies that require lots of categorization, such as collecting stamps or coins.
  • Motor function: For this brain function, physical activities can double as fun mental workouts. Sports like soccer and basketball build gross motor functions. Fine motor functions are better trained through activities like table tennis or even playing video games.
  • Problem-solving: Most hobbies require you to problem-solve in one way or another. The ones that test your problem-solving skills the most, however, take some investigation.

Geocaching is a good example: Using a combination of clues and GPS readings, geocaching involves finding and re-hiding containers. Typically done in a wooded area, geocaching is a fun way to put your problem-solving skills to the test.

5. Board Games

Playing a board game might not be much of a physical workout, but it does make for a fun mental workout. With that said, not all board games work equally well for cognitive training.

Avoid “no brainer” board games, like Candy Land. Opt for strategy-focused ones, such as Risk or Settlers of Catan. Remember to ask other players for their input.

6. Card Games

Card games build cognitive skills in much the same way board games do. They have a few extra advantages, though, that make them worthy of special attention.

A deck of cards is inexpensive and can be played anywhere, from a kitchen to an airplane. More importantly, a deck of cards opens the door to dozens of different games. Challenge yourself to learn a few in an afternoon.

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7. Puzzles

Puzzles are great tools for building a specific cognitive skill: visuospatial function. Visuospatial function is important to train because it’s one of the first abilities to slip in people struggling with cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s.[5]

Choose a puzzle you’ll stick with. There’s no shame in starting with a 500-piece puzzle or choosing one that makes a childish image.

8. Playing Music

Listening to music is a great way to unwind. But playing music goes one step further. On top of entertaining you, it makes for a fun mental workout.

Again, choose an instrument you know you’ll stick with. If you’ve always wanted to learn the violin, don’t get a guitar because it’s less expensive or easier to pick up.

What if you can’t afford an instrument? Sing. Learning to control your voice is every bit as challenging as making a set of keys or strings sound good.

9. Meditating

Not all cognitive exercises are loud, in-your-face activities. Some of the most fun mental workouts, in fact, are quiet, solo activities. Meditating can help you focus, especially if you have pre-existing attention issues.

Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never meditated before. It’s easy:

  • Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down.
  • Set a timer for 10 minutes, or for however long you have to meditate.
  • Close your eyes or turn off the lights.
  • Focus on your breathing. Do not try to control it.
  • If your thoughts wander, gently bring them back to your breath.
  • When the timer goes off, wiggle your fingers and toes for a minute. Slowly bring yourself back to reality. Remember the sense of serenity you found.

10. Deep Conversation

There’s nothing more mentally stimulating than a good, long conversation. The key is depth: surface-level chatter doesn’t get the mind’s wheels spinning like a thoughtful, authentic conversation. This type of conversation helps in training your brain to think more deeply and reflect.

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Choose your partner carefully. You’re looking for someone who’ll challenge your ideas without being confrontational. Stress isn’t good for brain health, but there’s value in coming up with creative arguments.

11. Cooking

When you think about it, cooking requires an impressive array of cognitive skills. Developing a cook’s intuition requires a good memory. Making sure flavors are balanced takes attention to detail. When something goes wrong in the kitchen, problem-solving skills come into play. Motor control is required to stir, flip, and whisk.

If you’re going to cook, you might as well make enough for everyone. Invite them into the kitchen as well: coordinating with other chefs adds an extra layer of challenge to this fun mental workout.

12. Mentorship

Whether you’re the mentee or the mentor, mentorship is an incredible mental workout. Learning from someone you look up to combines the benefits of deep conversation with skill-building. Teaching someone else forces you to put yourself in their shoes, which requires empathy and problem-solving skills.

Put yourself in both situations. Being a student makes you a better teacher, and teaching others gives you insight into how you, yourself, learn.

Final Thoughts

Your mind is your most important possession, and training your brain is needed to maintain its health. Don’t let it get soft.

To keep those neurons firing at full speed, add a few fun mental workouts to your schedule. And if you’re still struggling to get your brain in gear, remember: there’s an app for that.

More Tips for Training Your Brain

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

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