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How to Survive the Holidays.

How to Survive the Holidays.

The holidays are a time for joy, wonder, love, and cheer. They give us an opportunity to reconnect with family, laugh with friends, and can provide us with a rare respite from the humdrum of the day-to-day.

However, they can also give us those awkward moments that we wish we could forget, handle better, or avoid completely. Here, I will give you a few tips on how to survive the holidays.

Family

Loved Ones

It’s always exciting to see that family member that you haven’t seen in “forever”, the new additions to the family, and of course the elders in their twilight. It’s a truly a beautiful thing. You should be aware of everyone equally. Don’t play the priority game with the ones that you love. Be weary of favoritism – provide everyone with the warmth and affection that they deserve. Sure, you may miss a moment or two with your “bestie” but in turn gain moments of love with the people that you’d never expected to adore with all your heart. Life is short, so love everyone thusly.

Not So Loved Ones

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Everyone has a relatively torrid history. There may be a person or two in attendance that you may not be very fond of. Remember, it’s the holidays. That individual(s) has dealt with the separatism for long enough. Extend your heart to them. If they rebuke the gesture, it’s okay, but never underestimate the power of love pitted against repudiation.

Festivities

Host

It’s never easy hosting a party. The stress mounts, the bar raises, and everyone seems to be unappreciative. The trick here is to acknowledge that most of the attendants are simply happy to be invited. They’ve come because they trust in your abilities as a host -abilities that you’ve proven yourself capable of transcending. There is no need to worry or over-reach. They’re the ones whose job it is to impress you. Give it your best effort and the crowd will follow suit in their praise.

Attendee

Etiquette is the key ingredient to participating in a successful gathering. Mind your manners, dress according to code, and obey the same “unwritten rules” that you do every day. No one enjoys a show-off and everyone hates an isolate. Find your niche and use it to happily engage your fellow patrons. Use your strengths as a person to commit to the success of the event, not to its detriment. You’re an attendee – not a judge – so act accordingly. Complimenting the host is not required (though it is highly encouraged).

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Interaction

Social

If you’re a social butterfly, then you are allowed to fly free (but not without some assistance). It’s never okay to gossip, mock, or “stir the pot”. If you’re bored, find someone interesting, talk to them. Chances are that they’re bored as well. Just don’t do anything regretful. Gatherings can tend to bring out the worst in people, so this is not the time to give an expose’. Use your powers for good! Connect the room. Whether you’re loud, angry, miserable or frustrated, these people love you. Find a way to bridge that gap and love them back – with the best of you.

Non-Social

You’ll be seen as the outcast – but this is a positive. This is your chance to break out of the rut. For {insert reason here} you feel as if you don’t connect with the people that you’re “forced” to see. But you have to understand that the tables of reality are turned.  Here, they wish to see you. The holidays are a happy time. Your goal is to show them what makes you happy and what makes them smile. Your connection with them could last a lifetime.

Conversation

Talker

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“Shut Up!”

Non-Talker

“Speak Up!”

Company

Big Family

The joy is simply having the company that you never knew you had. Embrace the people that you may never see again. It’s the little things in life that count. Some people are seasons – endure the weather and find its beauty.

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No Family

Enjoy the solitude that offers you an unrelenting peace. Endure what ails you and respect the things that you’ve chosen to love. This is your time to reflect, improve, and change the world. Every day is your opportunity. Grasp it with a passion that undeniably succeeds.

Happy Holidays!

Featured photo credit: Steve via flickr.com

More by this author

Antwan Crump

Novelist, blogger, essayist, podcaster.

What Happens When Ego Closes Our Mind but We Aren’t Aware of It The Hardest Part of Being a Minimalist That Most People Have Overlooked 5 Ways to Beat Procrastination How to Survive the Holidays. 5 Productive Ways to Multitask

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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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