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5 Ways to Create Adventure and Joy Every Day

5 Ways to Create Adventure and Joy Every Day

Life can get monotonous with the daily grind. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are easy, simple ways that you can make life fun everyday. Before I give you the 5 tips to bring more adventure and joy into your life, I’ll share with you how I realized how important it is to integrate these tips into your life.

Over a decade ago I was enamored with the Jack Kerouac road-trippin’ adventurous lifestyle. I got on a plane to Costa Rica with only a small backpack and a guide book. No plans, no reservations and barely a word of Spanish on my tongue. That same year I traveled across Canada with a friend and spent my summer picking cherries in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. These adventures sparked freedom and joy into my life. I knew I had to maintain this feeling.

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When I moved to Vancouver to pursue my studies in nutrition, I knew I had to bring that quality of adventure into my everyday life. I thought about how when you are traveling, or on the road, every new landscape is breathtaking. Every moment is a joyous surprise. I received pleasure from walks through unknown streets and forests on my many travels, and realized how simple it could be to bring this joy and adventure into my every day.

That was 8 years ago now, and to this day I still look for the adventure and joy in the everyday. Here are 5 of my favorite ways to keep life exciting:

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1. Follow Your Feet

Let your feet guide you. When you go on a walk that is meant for enjoyment, instead of having a pre-conceived route of where you think your walk or run will take you, let your feet speak for you. It is an intuitive practice of allowing your body to guide you, and often leads to the discovery of new streets, parks, and a total sense of adventure. As you set out on your walk with the intention of your feet being your guide, you will find that your body will have a pull to a certain direction—go with it. To this day I still discover new roads, routes, and gorgeous havens that amaze me all the time. I recently found a magical forest near one of my favorite beaches. I couldn’t believe that 8 years went by and I hadn’t discovered it until about a week ago. That’s the beauty of adventure and following your feet!

2. Take Mini-Trips

Month-long and year-long adventures are not realistic for many people. But most of us can find a day or a weekend to get out of town and explore. Getting out of your city and exploring a new city or quiet rural village, or island, is an adventurous way to spark joy into your life. Out here in Vancouver, there are many islands near the mainland that feel like I am far away from the bustle of my own city and transport me to a whole new life, if even for just a weekend. Whether you live near some islands, or are simply a few hours away from another gorgeous city or town, getting out of your everyday surroundings helps to spark your spirit and rejuvenate your sense of appreciation and joy for the little things.

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3. Use a different route to work

If you are not in a huge rush and can afford an extra 10 minutes to give a new route a try, do it! Through walking or driving down a different street you may discover a new shop or park that you never knew existed. So many treasures often lurk just meters away from us. If you always stay on the same path, you will never know what wonders are just around the corner. Since not taking your regular route can throw your timing off balance I recommend leaving your house a few minutes earlier to account for the minor time difference it may take. It is incredible how just one block over you may discover the place you dreamed of.

4. Shop for groceries somewhere new.

I find when I travel, the supermarkets and stores are always so different than what I am used to back home. Usually it’s because I am in some mega store in the USA where there is ten times the options as here in Canada, or I’m in Mexico astonished at their wide selection of tropical fruits and tortillas, and small overall assortment of food through the aisles. Nonetheless it contributes to the adventure of discovering a new place. I do the same thing here. There are a few major chain stores and several mini-marts. I find that when I go into a store I rarely visit, I discover an exciting and different array of options, and it contributes to a sense of adventure in my discovery of something new to try. It’s amazing how these little things really add a sense of adventure to your day.

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5. Do something out of the ordinary.

When I travel I am always checking out new cafes and restaurants. My daily routine changes and I am living more in the moment. When I am lacking adventure, I’ll purposefully get out of my regular routine, and head off to a new café as if I was traveling, or start my day off in a slightly different manner. If you find that every Saturday you have the same weekend routine, splash it up by deliberately changing what you do. It may involve going out to eat somewhere different, or putting your chores on hold while you craft up something new and fun to do. During the week you might decide to set your alarm a little earlier so that you can start your day differently, perhaps with a little walk or reading a book. The little changes that you make to your daily or weekend routine create a sense of novelty and joy.

Now it’s your turn. Did this article inspire you? Then put it into action! Take one of these tips and mark down in your calendar when you plan to engage in your first adventure. Then have fun with it and see where the adventure takes you. Report your plans and insights in the comments below. Let’s all live with a little more adventure and fun in our lives.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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