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8 Ways To Keep Your Whimsy

8 Ways To Keep Your Whimsy

As we grow into our lives, into the people we are, there are a few qualities we gain: maturity, patience, independence, all those traits that we perceive as being ‘adult’. But there is one quality that doesn’t get nearly enough attention; whimsy. Mike Burns of The Other Side of Complexity shares 8 ways you can hold on to and embrace your inner playful, quirky, happiness:

I have some good friends who told me they prioritize “whimsy” in their relationships and life pursuits. Whimsy is defined as, “playfully quaint or fanciful behaviour or humour.” It’s not just a future goal for these two. It shows in their daily behaviour, now.

And I love it. I want this characteristic to be true of me, as well. I want to take life seriously. I want to be sober and make a difference. But, I want to have fun in the process! I don’t want the tougher parts of life to choke the happy out of me.

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Here are a few ideas on how to maintain your whimsy:

Laugh at yourself.

We can’t take ourselves so seriously. We have to learn to giggle at the goofy things we do each day. Don’t get upset when someone else laughs at something you say or do. You’ll be much better off if you learn to join them! Mock your own missteps. Imitate your own strange voices. You’ll be WAY more fun than if you were uptight about it.

Laugh by yourself.

Yes.  By yourself. When nobody else is looking. When nobody else would benefit. When you’re wondering if you’ve gone mad because you just said something in a crazy voice for-your-ears-only. There’s something very healthy about that. Try it.

Pause production.

You can’t work all the time. It’s good that you love to create things. You love to bring things into existence. But you have to have healthy rhythms. You’ve got to figure out when you can say,“I’m not going to produce right now.” Maybe for a day. Maybe for a few hours. Get some rest. Don’t get so busy driving that you forget to stop for gas.

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Get a hobby.

Find something that you love to do, and make time for it. You might not be able to do it as much as you’d prefer, but you can do it on occasion! There are as many different possibilities for hobbies as there are people reading this post. Discover yours.

Find fun in your daily rhythms.

It’s possible to take our repetitive, everyday tasks and make them enjoyable! Our attitude and approach can make all the difference. Admittedly, some tasks are easier to “funify” than others. Whatever the case, be creative and see how you can turn your tasks into some kind of play. You might use a different accent. Perhaps you can count how many times you hear a particular sound. Maybe you can shout, “Well, thar she blows!” every time you fold a towel. I hesitated even making suggestions because what’s funny to one person may be ridiculous to another. Do what works for you.

Look for the good in things.

I get it. Life can be crappy. But good happens, too. Look for that! Make sure you continuously expose yourself to stories of the beautiful parts of humanity. I’m not asking you to be naive, just intentional. Make sure you don’t allow the negative to have complete domination in your mind. Look for the good in people and situations.

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Make people smile.

Seeing people smile as a result of your efforts is very rewarding. There is enough bad stuff going on that makes people sad. Find ways to bring a moment of joy to the people around you. You can tell jokes or make faces or open a door for someone or compliment them. Make your community a better place to be. Leave the people you meet better off than they were when you found them.

Love deeply.

It’s a lot easier to be positive and playful when your relationships are healthy. Give your best effort to the people in your closest circles. Love deeply. Love well. Make time for them and let them know you care. Say it and show it.

Those are the few suggestions that came to mind today when I was thinking about “whimsy.”

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What thoughts did these trigger in your mind?

What suggestions would you add to the list?

Mike Burns blogs about Living Well and Focusing on What’s Most Important at theothersideofcomplexity.com.  He has also written books about decluttering. You can connect with him on Twitter (@mikemikeburns) and Facebook (facebook.com/theothersideofcomplexity).

How To Keep Your Whimsy | The Other Side Of Complexity

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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