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3 Hacks to Be a Better You

3 Hacks to Be a Better You


    We should always work to be better people. We have the tools, and they shouldn’t be wasted. How you decide to become a better person is up to you. It may mean being a better spouse, parent, sibling, son, or daughter. Perhaps it means being a better provider, a better employee, or a better employer. No matter what it means to you, it means work. One should not shy away from the work that it takes to improve as a person. With that said, if you need a little direction then here are 3 hacks to be a better you:

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    1. Diet and Exercise

    Are you tired of hearing this? There’s a reason that you see and hear it everywhere. It works. No one says that you should look like a perfect genetic specimen, and no one expects you to. Being in good physical condition, however, is one of the biggest keys to being a better you. It helps you to feel better about yourself. Not only does it boost your confidence, but you feel better physically and mentally. Of course there are the numerous health benefits that come from diet and exercise too.

    “Diet” doesn’t mean that you have to go on some crazy fad diet where you cut out solid food and implement a liquid-only diet, or that you have to eat only 200 calories a day until you starve yourself into a size 0 hospital gown. It means maintaining a balanced and healthy diet. Half of it is common sense, really. Don’t eat that half pound slice of German Chocolate Cake. Reach for the yogurt instead. Have some fresh fruit instead of those greasy potato chips. Don’t eat before bed. The simplest things can make such a big difference.

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    In that same vein, “exercise” doesn’t mean that one has to train for a triathlon. It simply means that people should stop spending so much of their free time on the sofa. Do some aerobics or yoga, go for a jog, or do something to remind your heart that sometimes it needs to shift gears before it forgets how to.

    2. Focus on Fulfillment

    Many people use such a variety of empty ways to pass time. They waste their time on so many things that don’t matter. I don’t think that I really need to give examples here, but a few things come immediately to mind, such as reading celebrity gossip and channel surfing the television.

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    Focus on activities that make you feel fulfilled. If you have kids, spend time with them, and make some memories. If you don’t have kids, why not plant a garden? Perhaps learning a new skill might interest you. You could learn to paint, cook, golf, ski, kayak, surf, or one of so many other options. The point is, find something to spend more of your free time doing that will create a much deeper sense of accomplishment and fulfillment within you, rather than being concerned about which celebrity just entered rehab, or which A-list couple just separated.

    3. Visualize What You Want to Do

    Visualization can help you achieve things by getting you in the proper mindset to do so. First, figure out exactly what you want to do in life and what you want to be. Do you need a career change? Is there a specific job that you want? Perhaps it’s something else, like you want to be a better parent, or you want to have more influence with your friends and family, at work, or in your community.

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    Whatever the case may be, determine what it is that you want, and visualize it. Not just once, but visualize it all the time. Every chance you get, and every time you think of it, visualize everything that you want. Visualize yourself doing, being, or getting that thing which you desire. Visualize yourself driving the new car that you’re going to buy after you land that new job. Visualize yourself living the lifestyle that you want after you make that career change. Visualize yourself being a better parent or having more influence, and the potential results of those. An excellent example of this (and I do not take credit for this – it has been used before, but it’s a very effective example), is to recall a time when you put a puzzle together.

    When you visualize not only the end goal, but the results and provisions that will come from it, it will help motivate you to start working toward that goal. Your thoughts and actions will begin to calibrate and align with that target, and you’ll be on your way to achieving it. Often, the only thing holding a person back… is that person. Don’t let that be you. Go after whatever it is that you want. You deserve it. But you should start by visualizing it!

    (Photo credit: Good, Better, Best via Shutterstock)

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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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