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8 Ways To Cultivate More Love in Life

8 Ways To Cultivate More Love in Life

As we grow more connected to the outside world, we also paradoxically distance ourselves from the “real” people right in front of us. Between Twitter, Facebook, email, and the ever-increasing prevalence of the computer in our lives, it’s becoming increasingly rare to have a face-to-face conversation about anything at all, let alone anything of real substantive value to ourselves and our loved ones.

I advocate a “back to basics” approach that cuts off the ongoing encroachment of technology and reminds us that we’re not cyborgs, but fully functioning human beings. Here are 8 ways to cultivate more love in life that will help you “ground” yourself and interact more completely with your life, instead of just reporting on it on social media.

1) Take a technology detox.

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technology

    You mean…

    Yes. I mean.

    Take a full day. That’s 24 hours. From the time you get up to the time you go to bed, no computer, cell phone, email, or “just popping on to check out what Miley Cyrus did today.” None. Zip. Zero. Nada. Instead of watching TV, radio (music’s still okay, but try to steer clear of the computer to get at it, hmm?), or playing on the computer, take a walk, call some friends, or do something‒ANYTHING!‒but avoid messing around with social media or anything that might somehow tempt you to do so. Post a sign if you have to, so all your friends will know that NO, you haven’t seen Charlene’s latest Facebook update about her breakup with her boyfriend. You can catch up tomorrow. Promise.

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    2) Read a good book.

    This is perhaps one of the most overlooked “simple pleasures” we have. A Kindle’s great, a PDF will do in a pinch, but there is just no substitute for the feel and smell of wood pulp in your hands and actually, physically turning the pages of a book. Many people say that, although e-reading is great, there’s just something about being able to physically touch a book that gives a deeper connection to it. I don’t know how it works, since I’m a writer and not a psychologist, but I can tell you with absolute, 100% certainty that it does. Make today the day you rediscover an old favorite, or support your local independent bookstore and see about scoring some new ones!

    3) Meditate on who you are.

    meditate

      It’s almost a cliche that although we can look back through Facebook and tell you what we ate for breakfast three years, two months, sixteen days and ten hours ago, we have no idea who we really are today. You can counter this tendency by taking a little time to quietly ponder who you are and who you’ve become. Do you like what you see? Are some changes in order? This is a great way to inject some love into your life, because if you don’t like who you are, now is the time to change it. Not on New Year’s Eve, not next week. If you really want to change, the time is now.

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      4) Remind yourself that you, and others, are worthy of love and attention.

      If you feel like you’re being ignored a lot, ask yourself if you’re giving what you’d like to receive. If you are, then it’s time to seek out a new social circle, because the people you’re hanging out with are clearly too self-absorbed. If you’re not, then this is a good time to start giving out what you want to receive. You’ll be liked a lot more, and people will be more likely to pay attention to you when you need them as well.

      5) Ask, “How was your day?”and LISTEN to the answer.

      How To Be A Good Listener That Others Want To Talk To

        “How was your day?” is almost a pro forma question these days. We hear the answer, but don’t really listen because we just can’t wait to get on to the really important topic of OUR day. if you’re not willing to listen to the answer, don’t ask the question; conversely, if you’re going to ask, you owe it to yourself and the other person to listen. Otherwise you’re just wasting your breath asking, and they’re wasting their breath telling you. You can tell if this is happening in your life because when you ask, the other person is reluctant to say anything at all. The more love, attention, and respect you give, the more compassion you’ll receive.

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        6) Touch.

        beach_kiss_250x167.jpg

          This is such a simple thing, but too often it goes ignored. The act of touching conveys much more than simple physical contact. It is a sign that you care about someone enough to get in their space, and to allow them into yours as well. Human beings need touch in order to feel secure and comfortable; it is a social and spiritual act. This can be a friendly or amorous touch, familial or comradely, but everything from a high-five to sex with your lover shows that you care. If you feel lonely, isolated, or unloved, try touching someone you care about. You may be surprised where it leads.

          7) Schedule a game night.

          No, I don’t mean watching football, hockey, or soccer. I mean an old-fashioned table game. Whether you like to play dice, cards, Monopoly, or even beer pong, a game night is a good way to break up the routine and allow some real socialization with friends or family (Sorry, online versions don’t count here). This is an excellent way to reconnect with others and disconnect from the Internet for a night. You’ll be surprised at how much warmer and more cared-for you’ll feel at the end of the evening, too!

          8) Watch the sunset.

          20090107-sunset1

            There are just some things that cannot be simulated or duplicated. Why not take your lover out around sunset and watch the sun go down? Not only is it a great, intimate way to spend a little time, but it will also help you think about some of life’s bigger questions, like why the things we place such a premium on really don’t matter much in the end. This is a perfect time to tell your partner, “I love you and I’m so thankful that you’re in my life.” You’ll also feel more at peace, which is always a worthy outcome!

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            J.S. Wayne

            J.S. Wayne is a passionate writer who shares lifestyle inspirations and tips on Lifehack.

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            Last Updated on July 8, 2020

            How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

            How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

            Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

            For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

            But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

            It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

            The Importance of Saying No

            When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

            In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

            Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

            Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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            Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

            “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

            When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

            How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

            It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

            From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

            We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

            And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

            The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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            How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

            Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

            The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

            1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

            Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

            2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

            Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

            3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

            When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

            6 Ways to Start Saying No

            Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

            1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

            One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

            Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

            2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

            Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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            Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

            3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

            Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

            Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

            4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

            Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

            Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

            5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

            When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

            Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

            A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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            6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

            If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

            Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

            Final Thoughts

            Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

            Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

            Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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            Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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