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I Played A Game About Animals And Connected Deeply With Someone In Less Than 5 Minutes

I Played A Game About Animals And Connected Deeply With Someone In Less Than 5 Minutes

I want to share a game with you.

This game will reveal something surprising. It’s something nice for ice-breaking with some newly-met friends, and a great way to reconnect with your long known friends.

To make the game work, promise me, don’t scroll to the bottom through all the text to get straight to the results. Deal?

Are you ready?

The Game

I want you to think of three animals right now. The first three animals that come to your mind, what are they?

These animals can be any kind.

Just one condition, make sure you do know about these animals in reality; and that they are not make-up things, for example, no Mickey Mouse.

They don’t have to be your favorite animals. But of course, they don’t have to be the ones you hate.

They don’t have to be pets. They can be big ones, or small ones.

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Let’s work on the first animal together.

What is it? Does it walk, fly or swim?

What is its habitat like?

How would you describe it? Clever? Reliable? Hard-working? Amiable? Courageous? Dangerous?…

Got your first one yet?

Okay, let’s get to the second animal.

So what’s it this time? Is it one of the mammals, reptiles, birds or amphibians?

Where does it live?

And the nature of it, wild or easily tamed?

How does it interact with its same species? Does it tend to live in a group or alone? …

The second one’s ready?

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Let’s get to the last animal.

I know it’s getting harder when it comes to the third one. But don’t worry, I’m still with you.  So what’s it for the last one?

Does it live under the sea, high above somewhere or on the ground?

What is it good at? Hunting? Protection? Learning? Escaping?…

What does it like doing? Relaxing? Having fun?…

If you’re still playing along with me, I think you’ve already got the three animals in your mind. And the next step will be fun.

If you haven’t got your three animals, I’ll wait a bit. Just don’t scroll to the next part yet.

Once you get to the next part, you’ll never ever be able to enjoy this game again. There’s no turning back, trust me. So, please have the three animals in your mind ready first!

I’m waiting….

….

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… yea still waiting….

….

Ready? Good. Let’s get to the next part.

….

….

….

The animals that come to your mind and the order of these animals can reveal a little about you:

  • The first animal that comes to your mind represents how you think others see you.
  • The second animal reveals how others actually see you.
  • The third animal represents the kind of person you really are.

I played the game with others and their results surprised me and themselves.

I played this game with a fellow editor and the barista of the coffee shop downstairs and these are what they told me about.

    ▲ The three animals that came to my fellow editor Emily’s mind were dolphin, seal, and pig.

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    To Emily, a dolphin is smart, playful and agile; a seal is watchful, careful, playful and likes to stay within their social groups; while a pig is cute, smart, and loves eating and sleeping. She found it especially true that she loved eating and sleeping like a pig. I also found it true that she’s a careful person who pays attention to details.

      ▲ The three animals that the barista Ryan chose were lion, tiger, and sheep.

      Ryan is the barista downstairs, we recognize each other as I always go there to buy muffins but we’d never really talked much. I just came across him during a time when he was less busy and so I played this game with him.

      To Ryan, a lion is strong and charismatic as it’s always seen as the king of forest; a tiger is brave and competitive; while a sheep is pure, gentle and loves to follow the crowd. He was really surprised about the results and he also found it unbelievable that he’s like a sheep. He didn’t believe all of these but we did have a great laugh over his choices and we shared our thoughts about how he really took the risk to be brave like a tiger to become a barista instead of following the crowd to get an office job.

      How you describe these animals is how you and others perceive you. You can probably connect these animals’ nature with your own life somehow, right?

      Remember, the Game is all about connecting with someone.

      The above things are not all correct. There’s no research or studies as evidence to prove that these animals are representing your personalities. But as I said, this is a game, a game that I’ve heard about for many years. And a game is supposed to be fun, and it’s supposed to be fun to play with others.

      As you play along though, you feel like the game really seems to be reflecting some parts of your thoughts, and some bits of who you are.

      Imagine playing this game with someone, you’ll only need a few minutes to get to know more about them. As you play this game with others, you guys get to discuss about your aspirations, interests and hobbies. It’s a great opportunity to understand a person’s character in a delightful way. You’ll probably be remembered as a witty person who can dig into some deep and meaningful topics starting with an interesting game.

      A bonus tip: this game is good for ice-breaking, but don’t forget about the basic greetings and introduction before trying this game. Just at least make sure you guys will play the game under a casual and relaxing atmosphere first.

      In case you forget about the details of this game, save this article now so you can make use of this game the next time you’re getting to know someone!

      More by this author

      Anna Chui

      Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

      Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering 20 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life How Self-Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It) 23 Books About Racism to Inspire You to Embrace Race and Do Good 50 Life Purpose Quotes to Give Meaning to Your Life

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      1 Why Intrinsic Motivation Is So Powerful (And How to Find It) 2 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future 3 How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t 4 Midlife Crisis in Men: The Definitive Survival Guide 5 How to Find Joy in Life During Difficult Times

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      Last Updated on September 30, 2020

      How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

      How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

      We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the present and the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, especially the lower levels of stress and anxiety, but how exactly can we live in the moment when our mind is constantly worrying about the past or plans for the future?

      In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of living in the moment you may not be aware of. Then, we’ll look at some of the obstacles and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.

      The result: a happier and more fulfilling life.

      The Importance of Living in the Moment

      “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha

      While it can be difficult to live in the moment, it has innumerable benefits.

      Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:

      Better Health

      By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present can also improve psychological well-being[1].

      Improve Your Relationships

      Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally s/he’s a million miles away?

      Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and building relationships with them extremely difficult.

      How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with her/him because we can make a much deeper connection.

      By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.

      Greater Self-Control

      You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier[2].

      Why Do We Worry?

      Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.

      When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then, once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.

      Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.

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      Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.

      3 Steps to Start to Live in the Moment

      Step 1: Overcome Worrying

      In order to overcome worrying, we need to do two things:

      Calm Your Mind

      When you calm your mind, you are able to see more clearly.

      The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. Then, we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.

      In addition to seeing more clearly, a calm mind will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions, allowing you to live in the present.

      Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems

      Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.

      People with more education tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.

      If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.

      Step 2: Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment

      In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, as well as outside influences.

      Racing Mind

      Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.

      You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.

      If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down.

      Unpleasant Situations and a Troublesome Past

      None of us want to be in unpleasant situations, or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.

      So how do most people cope with painful emotions?

      By doing whatever we can to avoid them, we can take our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.

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      In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.

      Some people resort to things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as food, alcohol, or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.

      A Wandering Mind

      From the moment we are born (likely sooner) until the time we die, our body and mind are active performing some function. Therefore, it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.

      Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. One thought starts an endless chain of thoughts, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function or get distracted with something else.

      Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities[3].

      Outside Influences

      Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The media draws our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future[4].

      Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy.

      Step 3: Practice Mindfulness

      So how can we live in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?

      Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.

      Understand Mindfulness

      The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful is to live in the moment.

      When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment, and you are fully in touch with reality[5].

      You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.

      This may be counterintuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then, much of our understanding will come from simple observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.

      To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.

      If you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you live in the moment.

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      You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you and suit your lifestyle.

      Mindfulness Meditation

      Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.

      Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.

      You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to start spending time away from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.

      This practice is highly effective, and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.

      If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article: What Is Mindfulness Meditation? 7 Ways to Start Meditating

      Mindful Breathing

      While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity. That’s it.

      You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.

      Here’re some breathing exercises you can try to learn: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)

      Mindful Walking

      Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting or calling someone while walking. But are we really?

      Instead of getting on your cell phone or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking to train yourself to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand?

      Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing, but instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.

      You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.

      In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable and can really help your mind settle down.

      You can discover more benefits of walking in nature here.

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      Mindful Eating

      Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. Therefore, many of us try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.

      The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level[6]. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.

      Live in the present with mindful eating.

        Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss[7].

        So how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:

        • Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
        • Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself.
        • Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.

        You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating

        Mindful Activities

        Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander,. When it does, just bring your attention back to washing dishes.

        Notice some of the specific movements or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.

        You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.

        Final Thoughts

        Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time, and this will add up to greater peace and happiness, as well as get you closer to achieving your goals.

        Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.

        Practicing mindfulness may be a bit challenging in the beginning, but I can assure you it will get easier.

        The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying. When you do, a whole new world will open up for you. This is what Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ultimate reality.

        More About Living in the Present

        Featured photo credit: Smile Su via unsplash.com

        Reference

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