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11 Stress-Busting Mindset Hacks You Need in Your Life Right Now

11 Stress-Busting Mindset Hacks You Need in Your Life Right Now

We live in a fast-paced, competitive, and stressful world. You may believe that you’ll eventually make it big, but there’s no escaping the everyday doubts and disappointments that everyone faces. However, there’s no reason to blame yourself at all.

According to the American Institute of Stress, 80 percent of workers are stressed with their job due to increasing hours, concerns about job security, and personal issues. When left unchecked, stress will slowly consume you—physically and mentally—and will cause you to miss out on the better things in life.

It may be hard, but you need to be resilient. Despite the blur we call life, you need to stay focused on your goals. Here are 11 mindset hacks that will help you do this:

1. “Can I do something about it?”

The golden rule of managing stress is to focus only on what you can control. Doing otherwise will only waste your time and energy. The disappointment will also lead to even more stress.

The key here is to liberate yourself and save your energy for things that count. Every morning, determine the tangible goals you can accomplish that day and try not to be distracted with meaningless things, like the bad weather, heavy traffic, and the sour attitude of your boss.

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2. Try a little humor

A dose of humor is an excellent cure for stress. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with work, try taking a break and revisit an episode of your favorite sitcom. Social media also makes it easy to find lighthearted videos – be it a prank or an animal video.

3. Drink a little caffeine

Stress and being out of energy are closely connected. Fortunately, people have known a cure for midday drowsiness for years. Not only will a cup of coffee help stimulate the brain, it will also provide you with an excuse to have a 5-minute break from work.

Studies have shown that coffee has positive effects on a person’s mood. Just remember to keep it moderate and not have more than 400 milligrams of caffeine in a day.

4. Try being mentally neutral

    A lot of people experience stress by focusing on one of two extremes. After all, not everything has a “right” or “wrong” answer. You can avoid a lot of stress by looking for a middle ground. For example, just because a co-worker has a different idea from yours, doesn’t mean you can’t work together for a common goal. Put the differences aside and look at the things you can agree on.

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    5. Try a little less

    People today can learn a lot from the philosophy of minimalism. Rather than giving in to consumerism and aiming to have more, you should roll back to the essentials and prioritize value. Web designers, for example, prioritize user experience over fancy graphics and visual effects.

    You can apply minimalism to your life in a variety of ways. A good start is to embrace minimalism at home and focus on owning less possessions. In addition to organization, having a minimalistic home will also lead to big savings in the long run.

    6. Look for the “at least” in every failure

    “Too bad the employer didn’t choose me, at least they pointed out the weaknesses in my resume.” Nothing is more powerful than the spirit of a lifelong learner. Remember that every failure has a silver lining. Leverage them and make a commitment to improve yourself.

    7. Isolate home from work

      Everybody deserves an escape from a hard day’s work. Unfortunately, some people deny themselves this privilege and choose to resume working when they get home.

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      If possible, try to discuss with your boss the possibility of postponing urgent assignments until the next workday. Home is where you should be resting, not a place to worry over tomorrow’s deadlines.

      8. Ask for help

      A lot of stress at work can be avoided if only you asked for someone else’s help. It doesn’t matter if you’re unsure about something or simply incapable of handling all the tasks yourself. At the very least, you should accept the input of others and learn.

      9. Try stress-busting apps

      Yes – there are now mobile apps and games for busting your work-related stress. Alternatively, you can look at apps that can help you organize and maintain your life/work balance.

      10. Look forward to future events

      It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do; there’s bound to be something you’re looking forward to right now. Admit it, there should be a few things that popped into your head upon reading the last sentence.

      Whether it’s an upcoming birthday or a new movie, you need to identify these simple pleasures and appreciate that you have something worth looking forward to.

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      11. Experience the joy of others

      Sometimes, the key to beating stress is to be selfless and focus on the happiness of others rather than yourself. If there’s nothing you can do to cheer yourself up, perhaps there’s something you can do to lighten up someone else’s day.

      Remember that it doesn’t take much to do something good for another person. Showing your gratitude by saying “thank you” should be enough to put a smile on someone’s face. Now that you thought about that, try to remember the last person who helped you out. It’s payback time.

      ____

      Image Credits:

      Woman girl freedom happy sun, Freedom sky hands handcuffs clouds Via Pixabay

      Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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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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