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5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Holidays!

5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Holidays!

Have you ever been super excited for a holiday, only to get back feeling highly disappointed? It isn’t a great feeling at all! We all want to come back raving about the great holiday we had, yet for some of us, we might come back feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. It’s doesn’t need to be that way!

I am a HUGE fan of traveling; in the last 2 years I’ve been in over 16 countries; you might say that I am a bit of a travel junkie! The truth is that we all have different reasons for travelling, however, I think we still share something in common: we all want to get the most out of our holiday – whether the objective is just to relax and disconnect, or have an action-packed planned trip, or even both!

Here are 5 of my secrets to getting the most out of your holiday and why!

1. Connecting with the WHY

You always get better results in life if you are proactive and not reactive. Sometimes we just do things and we don’t even question why we are doing them. When we start to ask ourselves, “why do I want this?” or “why am I doing this?” we can start to shape our experiences into more enjoyable ones that match our desires.

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Be more purposeful in creating the type of experience you want; when you know what you want and why you are more likely to have it. You always get more out of your holiday when your why is being answered.

Before traveling, check in with yourself and ask yourself:
• Why am I going to THIS city/town/country?
• What would I love to experience? And Why?

“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman

2. Planning for fun

I know you will have fun on your holiday regardless, but why not plan for fun as well? I always include fun activities on my to-do list; that way I prioritize them. I include them in my week and I have more fun in life. This is the same idea; planning some fun activities helps you to destress, focus on less, and you have less hassles.

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For those of you who don’t want to pre-book tours, you can still plan to have fun by exploring the local activities available, and you will save money and see more in the end. Don’t waste time thinking what you are going to do that day, plan for fun – it works!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

3. Opinions always count!

Have you ever gone to a restaurant or stayed in hotel that was absolutely terrible? Don’t you wish someone would have warned you? Reviews are so important; most often websites will only tell you what they want you to hear, but when you read people’s actual experience, you get the low-down on what it’s really like.

You don’t want to be disappointed, to waste time, to have a bad experience, so whatever you plan to do, check out the reviews! You might also come across some other great recommendations or ideas by doing a little bit of research beforehand.

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“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” – Matthew Karsten

4. Be open to learning

When you are traveling, there is so much to take in and learn, from the people, to the food, customs, way of life, culture, and geology (to name a few). What you focus on expands, so if you are open to learning more, you will, and you will have a much better time. You will understand more and you will also go back with more knowledge.

Every place that you travel has a history, monuments, and important things to see, which gives it its uniqueness, and it should be a large part of why you are visiting there. Informing yourself and educating yourself on the place you are in will add to the richness of your travel because you will understand more. After all, they say that traveling is one of the best forms of education.

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

5. Be Present!

Finally, you can’t underestimate the power of being present. If you want to make the most out of your holiday, being present should be high on your list. Most of the time our thoughts are in the past; thinking about things that have happened, or will in the future; thinking about things that might happen, or what we must do.

Being present in the moment is in fact the only place our thoughts should be directed most of the time, especially on holiday! Take in the smells, the sights, the sounds, and the feelings. When you try the food, really taste it, smell it, understand the culture of the country and how it’s influenced its cuisine, for example. You will remember so much more and enjoy your holiday on another level.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury

Just like any experience in life, we make it what we want to be; we are in control. Direct your focus on creating a holiday that is unforgettable. Put all your energy into enjoying it, exploring it, understanding it, and making the most out of it.

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“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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