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Find a Better Version of Yourself or You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Find a Better Version of Yourself or You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Do you ever get the feeling that the spiritual version of yourself is fighting with the material version of yourself?

The bigger the gap between who you are and what you want, the more anxiety, angst, and stress you will feel. How can you close the gap between the two in order to live the highest version of yourself?

The reason this gap occurs is because your values are something you can’t physically touch—you can’t hold them in your hand. You can only experience them through experience, participation, and pursuit. The material goals we chase are much easier not only for us to see and feel, but for others to see and feel as well. This makes them more real to us and much more desirable.

Have you ever really taken time out to not only ask yourself questions like this, but to actually answer them? Questions such as:

  • What do I want to be?
  • Who do I want to be?
  • What is important to me?
  • What really matters to me in my life?

Think about this for a second. What happened the last time you didn’t achieved a goal set for yourself? You might have been upset for a little bit. Now think about the last time you went against a personal value you set for yourself: maybe you were dishonest and lied to someone close to you, stole something, or lashed out at someone. I bet that felt much worse than the former.

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So how can you close the gap between your values and your goals and make them work together to create a better version of yourself?

Consistency first, intensity second

It’s easy to attack the things you want most in life like a bat outta hell. Maybe you want to lose 20 pounds this month so you decide to hit the gym 7 days a week, run 5 miles a day, and eat nothing but chicken and broccoli. The next thing you know, you’re a week in, you’re exhausted, grumpy, and your entire body aches because you haven’t been active in years.

Slow down a bit. I’m a big believer in attacking life with some serious gusto but most things are not going to happen overnight. Set yourself up for success by creating a plan that you can maintain over the long haul.

Make sure that your plan of attack is something you can actively participate in each day. Create tiny wins for yourself everyday to build confidence and momentum. If you desire to write a book commit to writing a 1,000 words per day as opposed to the whole dang thing.

What are some ways you can start and end your day that can help you keep up the momentum? You may find that your daily practices might not even be related to what you are trying to achieve. Personally, if I start my day with exercise, meditation, and some reading I feel accomplished already. I find that I have much more energy and enthusiasm to tackle the rest of the day.

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Accept the ups and downs

There’s a great saying in The Book of Understanding: Creating your own path to freedom.

“…He is ready to destroy the roses just to avoid the thorns.”

Every path to ecstasy has an alternative path to agony. Don’t avoid being the person you truly are because the other side of the path might be difficult; accept that the road will be difficult, but have confidence that you can with stand it. Look back to past experience where you have overcome difficult situations, and use those as markers of what you are truly capable of.

Practice difficult situations. Get use to being comfortable with the uncomfortable. Participate in regular personal challenges that get you outside of your comfort zone and force you to see and experience new things, such as:

  • Cold showers
  • Eating lunch with a stranger
  • Dancing in the middle of a crowded place

It’s not always one thing versus another

It’s not always good versus bad, you against the world, dark chocolate versus milk chocolate. Those are simply definitions we give to circumstances in order to create less anxiety for ourselves. When we don’t understand something or are confused, we experience anxiety and stress. The easiest thing to do when faced with anxiety, and the best response to it is do define it so you can try to give it meaning as quickly has possible.

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There are a million and one ways to interpret a situation, circumstance, or event. Focus on your response to the situation whether it is good, bad, or somewhere in between. What is your next step? What can you do this moment that is in line with the the person you want to be, and builds momentum in the direction you want to go?

You can’t always control the outcome of a situation, but you can always control your response.

When things aren’t going right, it’s a wake-up call

Sometimes it can feel like nothing is going right. Take this as a wake-up call that your not living and making decisions based on your values and what is most important to you. This is gut check time: ask yourself what you’re doing and what decisions you’re making consistently that have been leading to these outcomes.

Avoid placing blame on others or circumstances—where you are and who you are right now is a collection of the decisions, choices, and habits that you display on a daily basis.

Be responsible, but not in the traditional sense

When I hear the word “responsible”, I think of things I have to be doing, but the truth is no-one has to do anything. You always have a choice. Sometimes that choice is more difficult to make than others, but you always have it. In Latin, to be “responsible” means to promise something in return for something else. Promise yourself to live a life guided by the things that are most important to you—your values, whatever they may be.

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Take time out to define what your values are and promise to live everyday by them in return for your happiness. In the same way that we need air and water to survive, we need personal growth to avoid frustration. It is inherent in us as humans to want to be more, achieve more, do more, and learn more. Don’t fight the desire—embrace it—and do so in a manner that is aligned with your highest self.

 

 

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Justin Miller

Healthy Lifestyle Architect

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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