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25 Incredible Places For Anyone Who Is On A Budget To Travel To in 2017

25 Incredible Places For Anyone Who Is On A Budget To Travel To in 2017

Many buy into a belief that traveling is a luxury for those in high economic spheres and untouchable for them. The possibility of world travel is dismissed as an idealized fantasy for dreamers. The impossible mindset needs to be changed. Believe you can reach all of your dream destinations, remember that if you truly desire to travel you can make it work.

To keep within budget, review costs in terms of these points:

  • Research, compare and book flights
  • Review airports of arrival and departure
  • Time of the year when journey is planned
  • Length of stay

And here are 25 incredible and affordable travel destinations you should check out in 2017!

1. Tanzania – East Africa


    (The Highest Peak in Africa: Mount Kilimanjaro Credit: Kilimanjaro: Africa’s highest summit)

    Tanzania is blessed with natural landscapes that are treasures in the world. It is not a very expensive country but if you aim to explore all they have to offer, you will run over your budget as the list is never-ending. Highlights include the paradise island of Zanzibar and Mount Kilimanjaro. For exploring the best African wildlife, Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti National Park are two of the most common destinations.

    2.  Vietnam


      Daily life in Cẩm Thanh, Hội An, Quang Nam Province

      Vietnam needs to be on top of travel lists for all. With the dramatic landscapes embodied in a fascinating history in a country full of energy and epic food, Vietnam can electrify all senses capturing you from all angles.

      Vietnam is culturally and historically rich. It is a beautiful amazing country. It is a mixture of serenity, relaxation, and thrill. It is a popular destination for low budget travelers looking for bargains! A safe and friendly place where, with some common sense, the trip is destined to be trouble-free and smooth.

      3. Laos

        Young Girl with Animal in Asia (Credit: Girl with Animal.Asia)

        Laos is all about relaxation. Surrounding countries and a bustling industry make Laos a haven in South East Asia. Along with the relaxed atmosphere, in Southern Laos, there is an area called the 4,000 Islands, referring to the small islands that dot the Mekong River. Laos offers some travel costs that are fairly relaxed too. There are plenty of options for affordable food and drink, transportation and lodging.

        4. Thailand

          Buddha Statue in Thailand (Credit: Buddhist Statue)

          Ready for a vacation getaway to a culturally stimulating place? A foreign, exotic and affordable destination,  Thailand is rich with relaxing beaches and atmosphere. If that doesn’t win you over, the people and the food will. It is one of the most beautiful places with endless sites, excursions, and attractions for any kind of traveler. You will find affordable guesthouses next to very expensive resorts.

          5. China


            Fisherman-nature on the Guilin-river

            China has tourist appeal that is enhanced by cultural uniqueness. It is an exotic destination packed with new experiences and sights that are refreshingly different.  This exotic culture is a combination of spectacular scenery and a buzz of activity. Whether you are backpacking on a shoestring travel budget, or a pensioner trying to stretch your buck, there are various ways to cuts costs when touring China after efficient planning and research.

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            6. Bulgaria

              Beach (Credit: Burgas, sunset on the sea)

              Bulgaria is a country that is affordable and comes with amiable locals, beaches, scenery and an incredible history, not to mention the nightlife. Everything about Bulgaria is a winning experience, even though you may have thought of it as an underrated country, you will not be disappointed.

              7. Nicaragua

                Nicaragua volcano on Ometepe-island

                Nicaragua is one of the most beautiful places in Central America and is sparsely populated. The Pacific coastline; with lengthy gentle Caribbean beaches; freshwater lakes along hilly inland and volcanoes. Tourists flock to discover the ancient towns, rainforests, pristine rivers, and lakes.

                Backpackers and intrepid travelers have taken notice of Nicaragua. Nicaragua became the alternative to the overcrowded destinations of Panama and Costa Rica. Nicaragua appeals to retirees, backpackers, and families for cost-effective activities of surfing, hiking, and drinks. It has amazing natural beauty and is filled with warm people. High expectations will not result in disappointment.

                8. Panama

                  Panama (Credit: Central American archipelago)

                  The palpable excitement of Panama is in the delectable culture, the food, innovative architecture and new industries adding to the local offerings. Panama has it’s own International Film Festival and jazz festival. Major international summits take place at the convention centers in Panama. There is golf, sailing, tennis fishing, birding and surfing, birding and all imaginable activities. Socialising is extremely easy. Boundless possibilities await in Panama.

                  9. Honduras


                    Roatan Honduras port-architecture

                    Honduras is a rewarding destination with 700 recorded bird species. There are whale sharks and sea turtles in the ocean. Monkeys inhabit the jungle reserves along the Caribbean coast. Travelers rave about Honduras in Central America as a frequently overlooked travel paradise.

                    The least visited country in Central America is Honduras, where all is low key and laid back. Since there are low tourist numbers there is little competition between hotels and agencies working out inexpensive accommodation and food. Buses are affordable and comfortable. Many planning a mere transit through Honduras end up staying on for a longer time.

                    10. Fiji


                      Fiji ocean tropical seawater

                      In the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji has tropical islands which are home to the happiest people on the planet. The private islands feature all inclusive resorts with culinary destinations and top spas. Intrigue and lustrous outdoor adventure are celebrated here making for a lively and active tourist experience. White sandy beaches and crystal clear ocean offer an ideal getaway for honeymooners, budget globetrotters, and families.

                      11.Cambodia


                        Angkor Wat

                        If you are on a budget, Cambodia is one of the best budget-friendly places in South East Asia. There is historical Angkor Watt temples to explore and modern Khmer Rouge history with a mixture of ancient architecture, beaches, and cities.

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                        As the sun rises it reflects off the stone temple complex and the surrounding dense green jungle, creating glowing blue and purple hues that mystify onlookers. Angkor Wat draws over two million visitors yearly and this ancient site is not the only one worth visiting. Cambodia is filled with wonder.

                        12. Ecuador


                          Quito-streets in Ecuador man with painting

                          Every cliché about living large on a small budget is true when it comes to Ecuador. Ecuador is in the northwest corner of South America. It’s bordered by Colombia and Peru and despite the small size of Ecuador, there is incredible diversity.

                          Mountains with rain forests, pacific beaches with natural wonders, amazing culture and climate. Envision it as a dream location with bustling cities, unspoiled beaches, mountain villages and university towns. Ecuador has it all.

                          13. Belize

                            Belize-vacation

                            Care to venture out to a trendy, picture perfect island? The cost of living varies, depending on where in the country you want to go. A lesser known beach destination like Corozal, Punta Gorda, or the San Ignacio Districts are far more affordable.

                            There are fragrant mangoes, papayas, pineapples, ripe watermelons, crispy green beans, and firm avocados. Enjoy delicious fresh fish, even catch and cook them yourself! If you love nature you are going to love Belize. A slow paced life in the sunshine with gentle and kind neighbors. Belize is one of the most welcoming places on the face of the earth.

                            14. Portugal

                              Aveiro – colorful houses in Portugal

                              Cobblestone villages, medieval castles, and captivating cities along with golden beaches make Portugal an unforgettable experience with the great food, history, exploration and idyllic scenery. The beauty of Portugal unfolds in a startling variety of activities including hiking granite peaks or taking in the pristine scenery. Splendor abounds at the sandy islands and dune-covered beaches. Dolphin watching, kayaking, boating and bike rides will make your visit to Portugal memorable for years to come!

                              Above it all, this joy-packed country is for travelers that are on a budget. Portugal represents one of the most affordable countries in Western Europe offering stunning beaches and fascinating citiesPortugal has cheap modes of public transport, accommodations that are reasonably affordable and good prices on food.

                              15. Australia


                                Rainbow Lorikeet parrots

                                AustraliaAustralia is a huge island with surrounding oceans offering diving, snorkeling, surfing, sailing,  or swimming. If you weigh your options and assume Australia is out of the affordable price range, reconsider it.

                                A trip to Sydney and surrounding areas may be far easier on the wallet than expected. Public transport is available and inexpensive. Tourists can indulge in succulent Australian meals at affordable rates and the best attractions are free of any cost. It is possible to cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge or climb steps of the Opera house, wander the Botanical gardens and spend days enjoying the surf at no cost. That saves your budget for buying more souvenirs.

                                16. Madagascar

                                  Ring-tailed Lemur

                                  Experiencing Madagascar is exploring incredible nature from Baobab trees to rock forests, remote beaches, and adorable lemurs. No place on earth is like Madagascar and the wonders you’ll see once you land there.

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                                  There are various local transport varieties from rickshaws to busses and cabs. Always remember to bargain with the taxi or rickshaw drivers to get around at a lower cost. Local eateries are affordable offering sumptuous Malagasy meals!

                                  17.Budapest


                                     Budapest chain bridge over water

                                    Budapest is known as the ‘Paris of the East’ and remains a popular destination with low prices, youthful spirits and beautiful architecture. Pair that together with vibrant nightlife, and interesting history for a wonderful travel experience. It has a gritty Eastern Europe ambiance adding to its appeal.

                                    18. Dominican Republic


                                      Sunrise at dawn: Dominican Republic (Credit: Sunrise at dawn)

                                      The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern side of the Hispaniola island. It is a popular Carribean destination. The sun kissed sandy beaches are framed by crystal clear water and palm trees. This gorgeous island boasts tropical rainforests, alpine wilderness, and mangrove swamps. Adventure and ecotourism at its best. In a single week, you can mountain bike on remote dirt tracks, make your way up a rope beneath a waterfall, and get on a fishing boat to marvel at whales.

                                      There is a passionate swing of intoxicating rhythms with the national Bachata and Merengue music permeating all activities. Overall, this destination provides an excellent value comparable to most Caribbean destinations.

                                      19. Ireland


                                        Lake landscape in Ireland-nature home

                                        Located in the northwest of Europe, international travelers rave about its beautiful landscapes, stunning views, and welcoming nature.

                                        The rugged and romantic landscapes are steeped in an ancient lore and filled with geological richness. The warming Atlantic effect produces astonishing natural diversity on the tiny island. It is splashed with lakes and surrounded by a primeval bogland.  Unhurried rural living and unending history, the scenic array is open to leisurely exploration by bicycle or foot.

                                        The diversity of Ireland with its compact size makes it easy for navigation and travel. It offers guests everything from ocean beaches to castles, to spas and quaint pubs. A valued experience for the aggregate travel budget.

                                        20. Greece


                                          Sea beach-Greece Zakynthos

                                          The Greek sun is synonymous with a carefree lifestyle in a mild climate. Complete with excellent infrastructure this is a favorite destination all year round. Traveling to Greece is really accessible, you can go by road, sea or train.

                                          The aquamarine coastline comes with a pathway for island hopping along sun-bleached ruins and local festivities offering a menagerie of Mediterranean cuisine. Between taking in the thriving art scene in the streets of Athens and venturing out on remote Peloponnese hikes, get ready for a memorable Greek experience.

                                          Major roads link Asia and Europe with Greece. Like every other country, there is a variety of budget options. You can travel cheap or go on a spending spree. People assume Eurozone countries are expensive, this is not true for Greece which boasts affordable accommodation and food even though it is in the Eurozone.

                                          21. Bolivia


                                            Peru-Titicaca-lake

                                            With icebound peaks, deserts of high altitude, exuberant rainforests, and vast savannahs, Bolivia represents a landscape that is astonishing in its range. Mystical terrains boast breathtaking attractions with salt pans, towering volcano peaks, and Inca trails. It is at the remote end of South America rewarding adventurous travelers with exoticism and mystery. The cultural diversity and the ethnic combinations are quite fascinating as well. Bolivia is one of the least expensive countries on the continent.

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                                            22. Cuba


                                              Cuba market colorful memory

                                              White sandy beaches, quaint towns tucked away, striking architecture, blue water and, of course, the renowned Cuban cigar are all a part of this lovely country. Take tours of tobacco farms and heritage sites. Ride in and admire classic American cars that will take you back in time. The Cuban people are the island’s treasure, with their creativity, lively culture, and welcoming hospitality. There are many new discoveries to be had in Cuba. It is important to think about budget and planning carefully ahead of time, as wifi is scarce for checking online bank balances.

                                              23. Martinique


                                                 Martinique memorial Anse-Cañete

                                                Martinique is part of the Lesser Antilles Islands with the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic ocean bordering it. The island is diverse in ethnicities and cultures due to a rich history of various inhabitants.

                                                Martinique has sightseeing possibilities on foot. Fort-de-France, the capital, offers architectural wonders, winding, narrow streets and landmarks including the Saint-Louis Cathedral. Touring the city on foot allows you to shop for souvenirs in local shops and visit a local fish market, where you can purchase lunch or dinner in the form of fresh seafood caught that same day.

                                                Martinique Island is part of France officially. It is a volcanic Caribbean island with a coastal spread of towns and settlements. It is known for excellent beaches and a cuisine that combines French delicacies with Creole cooking styles. Martinique is ideal for budget travelers as it has a large residential population with many accommodation options. Plan and build an easy budget for traveling to Martinique in advance, taking into consideration the Euro currency.

                                                24. Galápagos Islands


                                                  Sea-lion in Galapagos

                                                  The Galápagos Islands will entrance those that visit and inspire visions of the future. The unmatched biodiversity of these isolated volcanic islands is one of the few things on Earth that will imbibe a sense of lasting appreciation.

                                                  A guaranteed journey of a lifetime, this archipelago has a unique biological richness. The fauna and flora have been the main attraction for travelers, nature lovers, and scientists, who have grown to love this ecosystem.

                                                  One of the main reasons for visiting Galapagos is the multitude animals that are unknown to most people. They burst with friendly wildlife like huge sea tortoises and sea lions. It is an archipelago of nineteen islands surrounded by smaller islets, sprinkled along the Ecuadorean coast of the Pacific ocean. The Galapagos islands have good weather all year round. Each island has a unique landscape ranging from volcanic rocks to white sand beaches that melt into the blue waters.

                                                  25. Indonesia


                                                    Girls at countryside path doing work

                                                    Indonesia is an amazing spectacle in a myriad of flavors. Whether there are Orangutans that lounge in the trees or Balinese dancers moving in rhythm, the sites are sure to please even the impoverished traveler. The idyllic desert, relaxed sandy beaches, and surf breaks are an intriguing adventurous mashup of serenity. The vast and inspiring elements of the 17,000 islands makes visiting Indonesia an intoxicating exploration of diversity.

                                                    It is an inexpensive country and budget deals can be found without intensive searching. Accommodation and travel are fairly reasonable and costs only escalate with additional activity participation.

                                                    Travel and Experience the World

                                                    Traveling is more than just a challenge. It is an escapade of new discoveries. A soul expedition into a lifetime bubbling with experiences. The initial round is sparked off by something you see or hear about a certain destination. The calling has arrived to piece together an ideal route. The venture to fulfill an essence of an all-rounded human and journey into self-discovery. A motion into getting an outer glimpse of your daily inner circles and spheres, traveling is reaching new heights, learning new dialects, perspectives, and visions. A live encyclopedia of world flavors and human existence with vastly diverse languages, cultures, and living spheres.

                                                    Get ready to travel, change your life, create a positive influence on others. Be free of ‘the nine to five’ everyday hustle and bustle of the ‘real world.’

                                                    Photo Credit: Pixabay, Unsplashed and NY daily times

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                                                    Nena Tenacity

                                                    Nena is passionate about writing. She shares her everyday health and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                                                    Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                                    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                                    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                                    Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                                                    Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                                                    I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                                                    You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                                    Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                                                    When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                                    I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                                    Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                                    Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                                    Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                                                    1. The Inner Critic

                                                    This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                                                    • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                                                    • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                                                    • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                                                    • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                                    The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                                                    Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                                    2. The Worrier

                                                    This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                                                    The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                                                    3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                                                    This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                                                    This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                                    The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                                                    4. The Sleep Depriver

                                                    This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                                    The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                                                    • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                                    • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                                    • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                                                    • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                                    How can you control these squatters?

                                                    How to Master Your Mind

                                                    You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                                    Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                                    There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                                    • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                                    • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                                    This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                                                    The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                                                    Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                                    For the Inner Critic

                                                    When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                                    You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                                    For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                                                    You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                                                    “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                                    If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                                    • They rile up the Worrier.
                                                    • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                                    • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                                    • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                                    • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                                                    Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                                    Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                                    For the Worrier

                                                    Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                                    Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                                                    You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                                    • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                                    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                                    • Muscles tense

                                                    Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                                    If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                                    Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                                    “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                                    Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                                    If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                                                    Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                                                    Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                                                    For example:

                                                    If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                                    “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                                    Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                                    “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                                    Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                                    For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                                    Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                                    The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                                                    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                                                    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                                    • Muscles tension

                                                    I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                                    Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                                    Breathe in through your nose:

                                                    • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                                    • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                                    • Focus on your belly rising.

                                                    Breathe out through your nose:

                                                    • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                                    • Focus on your belly falling.
                                                    • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                                    Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                                                    Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                                                    One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                                                    Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                                    For the Sleep Depriver

                                                    (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                                    I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                                    Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                                    1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                                    2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                                    When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                                                    From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                                    For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                                    If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                                    You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                                    • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                                                    • Shut down your thinking.
                                                    • Calm your feelings.
                                                    • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                                                    The Bottom Line

                                                    Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                                                    You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                                    Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                                                    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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