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5 Things You Need To Stop Comparing To Lead A Better Life

5 Things You Need To Stop Comparing To Lead A Better Life

We all do it. We look at someone and instantly compare how we measure up. This is done so often and quickly that we may not even realize we are doing it. Whether we realize it or not, it affects us. By constantly feeling that we don’t measure up, we affect our confidence which affects how we deal with everyone else in the world. Here are 5 things you need to stop comparing to lead a better life.

Keeping up with the Jones’ Can Get You Into Debt.

Whether it’s a neighbor, a friend, or someone you wish you were friends with, everyone knows someone who seems to have the latest and greatest thing. Maybe it’s a car, tablet, phone, fitness gadget, or clothes. Some people feel pressure to keep up whether or not they can afford it. Perhaps your friend is excited about her new phone and asks when you are getting one. Or maybe you feel pressure to have the latest fashion for work so you feel up to date and more desirable to clients.

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In some cases you really do need to spend some money on new things. There are many ways to keep the spending under control though. You can shop in high end consignment shops, choose items that look like they are from top designers but aren’t, and look for sales. It’s not necessary to pay top dollar. It doesn’t make you seem any better just because you spent an extra $50 on a blouse.

In other cases you really don’t need to spend the money on stuff. If you spend what you cannot afford, you are adding stress to your life. Save the money you might have wastefully spent. Less stress equals a better life!

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Feeling Down About Your Body Makes You Look Bad.

Here’s a secret. No matter what you look like, if you exude confidence then you are instantly more attractive. By confident I don’t mean arrogant. Being confident, happy and yet humble override any physical attribute. That includes the people who are perceived as pretty or handsome. If they have a bad attitude, they instantly become unattractive.

You are a beautiful human being with so much to share with the world. Life is too short not to experience as much as possible. Go out, be happy, and have fun!

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Being The Head of a Company Doesn’t Make You a Better Person.

Some people judge their worthiness, as well as other people’s, by the rank of their employment. They chase perceived greatness while missing out on so much around them. I’ve seen some of my friends climb the corporate ladder in exchange for time with their kids, friends, family, and health. I’ve seen them get sick due to stress and not looking after themselves properly. On the other side of the fence, some of my friends have been confident in what they need to be happy. It usually isn’t very much. They have time for tea with friends, and work in jobs that have a lot of personal satisfaction. They are happy and healthy!

Butterflies vs Wall Flowers:  Both Have Great Qualities!

Social butterflies seem to be the life of the party. Wall Flowers have deep, meaningful relationships. These are generalities, of course. Some people can be social butterflies and also have deep, meaningful relationships. Some wall flowers can be brought out of their shell in the right setting. The point is, both qualities are great! Be confident in who you are. You might start off as an awkward, shy little kid and eventually surprise yourself as you grow into a confident, somewhat outgoing adult. That is how I would describe myself. Having had the pleasure of experiencing both sides, over the course of my 40+ years, has been enriching. I always considered myself extremely shy and wished I could be outgoing and not care so much about what people think. My friends never considered me shy at all! How interesting! Once I stopped caring about what people might think of me, I felt liberated and free to be me!

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Everyone Else’s Family Seems so Normal.

Growing up watching family television shows planted a seed in our minds as to what is normal.  Every generation had its shows.  There was ‘Leave It To Beaver’, ‘Little House On The Prairie’, etc.  Every kid started comparing their family life to what they saw on TV and we felt something was wrong or missing in our families.  It’s too bad because the truth is that there is no normal.  Every family has its issues whether they are openly visible or not.

Stop Comparing. Celebrate the differences. Liberate yourself and lead a better life!

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Jennifer Wasylenko

Exercise Physiologist, ACSM

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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