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7 Ways To Instantly Chill Out When You’re Feeling At The Edge

7 Ways To Instantly Chill Out When You’re Feeling At The Edge

It can be very easy to feel like we’re not in control of our own lives. With so many different responsibilities and people to worry about, who’s really running the show? In the end, you’re in charge of your own life, but it can be hard sometimes to remember that among all the stress and hubbub of the day-to-day. Whenever you’re feeling a little too anxious, just read these seven tips on how to chill out. You’ll feel better in no time — I guarantee it!

1. Meditate.

Meditation involves sitting, usually cross-legged, and focusing on your breathing patterns. The point of meditation is to let your mind let go of all of your stresses and to clear it completely. Meditation is a popular way to relax, and meditation sessions can last as long as you want. 10-minute sessions are fine, while some people might find hour-long meditation sessions to be the most helpful. However, meditation is good for more than just relaxation. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation has been shown to improve symptoms of the following conditions: asthma, cancer, pain, and sleep problems, among others.

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2. Practice yoga.

Yoga, like meditation, is a great way to relax. It often focuses on clearing your mind of all worries and letting it drift. However, because yoga is based more on holding poses for longer periods of time and moving, yoga is great for a light workout or for a good stretching session. In one study, people who practiced yoga regularly produced less of a stress-inducing hormone, therefore leaving them more relaxed in the long run.

3. Get moving.

Exercise is a great way to chill out. When you work up a sweat, your body releases endorphins, which have been shown to increase mood and enhance body image. So next time you’re feeling too stressed out, hop on a bike or go for a run. Even a moderate amount of exercise is sure to make you feel better.

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4. Take a spa day.

Your body takes a lot of abuse day to day, so show it some love with some much-needed pampering. Shave, put on a face mask, or paint your nails. Soaking in a warm bath might be a good option, since studies have shown that doing so increases your body temperature, therefore making you feel more relaxed. This also makes it easier to go to sleep once bedtime rolls around.

5. Smile.

Research over the years has shown that the act of smiling, even if you don’t feel particularly happy, improves your mood. According to researcher Judith Grob, we think, “I smile, so I must be happy.” Laughing can produce a similar effect. If you’re feeling really stressed, start laughing to yourself. You may feel insane, but pretty soon the happy mood will follow.

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6. Take up a hobby.

Hobbies are great ways to remove yourself from your routine and to chill out a little bit. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, having a hobby can do wonders to improve your mood. And if you don’t have a hobby and don’t know where to start? Try gardening! A study done in the Netherlands showed that gardeners were way less stressed after gardening than people who read for the same amount of time.

7. Play music.

Musical instruments are a great outlet for people looking to chill. Not only is music a great way to connect with other people with similar interests, but it also has been shown to lift your spirits. WebMD credits music with improving mood regardless of genre. So whether you’re into slow classical music or heavy metal, chances are you’ll feel a lot calmer after a short jam session.

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Featured photo credit: B.C. Lorio via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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