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15 Smart Things Every 20 Something Should Do To Get The Most Out Of Life

15 Smart Things Every 20 Something Should Do To Get The Most Out Of Life

1. Travel

Whether you grew up in a big city or a small village, you have been stuck with certain ideas and attitudes. Traveling the world can open your eyes to new ways of thinking, being and help you broaden your horizons. Even if you have no-one else to go with, grabbing your backpack and going it alone will only encourage you to engage with local culture and people more.

2. Change your attitude to money

When you’re a kid, it can sometimes all be about flashing the cash, particularly if you’ve listened to too many rap songs. Money is not an aim in itself – learn that it’s something you need to live on, not something to make for the sake of it.

3. Find your own path

As teens, most people wanted desperately to fit in and be just like their friends. In your 20s, it’s time to learn who you really are, what you really want, and what is important to you. And that’s going to be something totally unique to you. Your 20s is really a time to start to get to know the real you ‒ and what life-path will fulfill you.

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4. Start to take care of your body

In your teens, your body will take a lot of abuse. Overindulging in junk, missing sleep, and not exercising won’t seem to affect your ability to bounce back and get on with life vigorously. As you enter your 20s you’ll notice that your body will start to really show its ingratitude for being treated badly. If you want to stay looking and feeling good, start treating your body right.

5. Tame your tech use

Do you seriously want to live in a virtual world, or would you prefer to actually engage with real people and live a real life? Social media may be fun for teens, but if you don’t ever tone it down, it can become an obsession that stops you from getting out there and having real adventures. Learn to limit your use of technology, so that you develop your interpersonal skills, meet real people and have real fun.

6. Forgive yourself and others for mistakes

Teenagers often have the attitude that if someone does something wrong, then they’re a bad person and should be begrudged forever, instead of realizing that there are often several sides to a story and many ways of looking at things. Learn to see mistakes as mere disagreements or setbacks, not reasons to judge and condemn – especially ones you make yourself.

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7. Distance yourself from drama

Some people like to cause drama for the sake of it. In the end, it’s really not worth getting involved in the mental stress of it. By all means, learn when your friends really need help and lend them a hand, but protect yourself from toxic people and situations – it’s a waste of your time and energy.

8. Slow down

There’s no reason why you can’t fill your life with exciting things in your 20s, but it will also add a greater quality to your life if you allow yourself to slow down and breathe. Learn to become grateful, mindful, and enjoy the little things.

9. Invest in self-improvement

Whether it’s learning something new, reading more, or investing in coaching sessions to help build your strengths and make yourself a better, wiser person, you’ll thank yourself later for taking your personal development seriously in your 20s.

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10. Know your values

By your 20s, you should have started to notice certain things about yourself – things that make you happy, people you admire. These things are all reflections of your true values. Make an effort to notice what really matters to you, so you can ensure you live your life in a way that adheres to your values. I guarantee you’ll be much happier if you do.

11. Find your true friends

As youngsters, we often hang out with people who are in the same class or neighborhood – and sometimes we do end up friends with these people for life. But in your 20s it’s important to find a group of people who really ‘get’ you and who you can always rely on. These ‘kindred spirits’ can support you on your life journey.

12. Don’t lose your ‘childishness’

By your 20s, you should be mature enough not to be having temper tantrums or whining if things don’t go your way; but there are some very special childlike qualities you should hang onto as you get older. Keep your sense of curiosity, adventure, and fun. Your whole life will be better if your keep these great traits.

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13. Learn to economize

It’s too easy in your 20s to not think about your 30s, 40s and beyond. Learn how to invest or save money so that you’ll never be struggling for cash at whatever grand old age you manage to reach.

14. Set goals

You don’t necessarily have to have a whole timeline of your life laid out: marking out when you want to get married, have kids, write a novel etc. But if you want to achieve anything important, it’s smart to start setting step-by-step goals of how you’ll get there. Otherwise, all these things may remain aimless dreams forever.

15. Sort out your ‘issues’

You could go through your whole life suffering from low self-esteem, fears, phobias, jealousy, anger and other unhelpful emotions. Your 20s is the perfect time to tackle these issues properly. You should be mature enough to do it at that age, and doing so will ensure you live the rest of your life free from unnecessary suffering.

Featured photo credit: WanderingtheWorld /Chris Ford via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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