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How These 7 Ways To Relax Will Change Your Life

How These 7 Ways To Relax Will Change Your Life

When the stresses of daily life events begin to take its toll, it’s time to renew our mind, body and spirit. If going on a vacation is not possible, try these time-tested ways to relax that are proven to rejuvenate from the inside out.

1. Breathe the right way

When we are too stressed, our breathing becomes fast and sharp. The right way to breath is to inhale and exhale deeply and slowly without any jerks. When you inhale, inflate your stomach as you fill in your lungs with oxygen. Deflate your stomach as you slowly exhale out.

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2. Meditate

Meditating calms and revitalizes the mind and makes you think clearly. If you are pressed for time, try this 10 minute-powerful meditation that will make your brain as refreshed as you feel when you wake up from deep sleep.

Om chanting meditation: Choose a quiet place and sit on the floor or a rug in cross-legged position also called Half-Lotus pose. Keep your face, neck and back aligned in a straight line. Place your hands comfortably on your knees with palms facing up, and close your eyes. Breath in and out normally three times. Now inhale deeply and slowly and observe your breath as it fills in. As you slowly exhale chant ‘OOOOMM’ in a sweet voice until the breath is totally out. As you chant, feel the vibration of ‘O’ traveling up from the navel to the chest then throat and ‘M’ reverberating in your head. Pause for 30 seconds then repeat. Do this a total of three times.

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Whereas you can chant any other word such as ‘peace,’ it’s been scientifically proven that the vibrations caused by the three sounds in OM (AUM) invigorates the mind and body.

3. Do Yoga

Yoga attempts to balance mind, body and soul by lowering stress levels in the mind, relaxing and toning the body and promoting emotional well-being. Poses such as Downward Dog and Seated Forward Bends rush blood to the brain and revitalize it by providing it with oxygen. The Corpse Pose is the ultimate relaxation exercise.

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4. Journal

Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a great destresser as it helps to introspect and make sense of the situation. However, next time add something you are grateful for that will dispel negativity from within.

5. Bathe in warm water with music and visualization therapy

Light lavender scented candles or ocean scents if possible and play soothing music, preferably sounds of ocean waves as you prepare to soak. Lie down comfortably and close your eyes. Now imagine yourself on a beach, lounging in a beach chaise that is partially immersed in the ocean. Picture the blue-green horizon merging with the blue skies, splash of the waves and the cool breeze caressing your face. As you listen to the waves recede, imagine your fatigue and stress leaving with them. Feel your body relax and your breath slow down. Enjoy the happy feeling until you feel fully relaxed.

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6. Body Massage

A full body massage relaxes the tension in your muscles and promotes blood circulation. If a visit to the spa is not possible then here is a quick way to achieve the same result on your own. Before you hit the bed take a non-sticky oil such as almond oil and massage your legs starting from your toes moving upwards to your calves. Next massage your hands starting from your fingers moving up to your elbows. You will experience a restful deep sleep.

7. Laugh

Laughing out loud slows down the production of stress hormone, cortisol, in your body and in turn secretes endorphins into your brain thus making you feel good. This helps coping with stress much better. Read jokes, share funny anecdotes with friends and family or watch a funny sitcom. Just laugh, let go and relax.

Featured photo credit: ES.mond via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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