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Stop Existing and Start Living: How to Dramatically Change Your Life in Just One Week

Stop Existing and Start Living: How to Dramatically Change Your Life in Just One Week


    Okay, so your cubicle is boring, you haven’t had a good date in what seems like decades and every day is the “same old, same old” with nothing happening to make you feel revved up and excited.

    Clearly, that’s no way to live.

    But the key to getting the life you want is to make changes in your routine and kick it in the a** a little bit, so our days aren’t spent like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day” — experiencing the same thing over and over again, day after excruciating day.

    In less time than it took Murray to learn the life lessons of “Groundhog Day,” you can do the same, starting the ball rolling on a new, improved life that looks much brighter…no matter what challenges you might be facing.

    Erase negativity

    First of all, let’s admit that it’s finally time for that voice in your head to shut the hell up.

    Sure, it’s been through a lot of stuff. And of course, it remembers every single disappointment and failure. But it can’t see the future, so you can’t let it play a part in how you perceive what’s to come.

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    When the voice says, “No, I can’t,” unleash your inner actor and find a way to tell that voice “Yes, you can”. After all those years of thinking you’re not good enough, it’s time to stop. Build your confidence slowly. Set small goals and take on tiny challenges that allow you to build the confidence it takes to tackle the monster ones.

    Negativity harms you and keeps you from really living life. It doesn’t matter whether someone dealt with you unfairly or not. Harping on injustice (outside a brief period of venting) destroys your life and erodes precious time you could use to really start living. It’s best to decide or plan how to remedy the problem at the root of your negativity — and then take action to remedy it. Whatever you do, don’t stay in a negative or gloomy funk for long. Just start living.

    Take stock of the good things and be grateful

    You might not have the most challenging job, but in a troubled economy you do have a job — so that’s a blessing worth counting. And even though your romantic life might be as exciting as a trip to the dentist without Novocaine, remember that the good friends and great family you do have are special gifts, and their love will help see you through hard times.

    One of the best ways to take stock of what you do have is to start a gratitude journal. Every morning write exactly what you are thankful for on a daily basis. Then at night, write about what went well in the day. Focus on the positive and you will attract more of it.

    Recognize where you are lucky and you will create a sense of optimism that will spread into all other areas of your life.

    Most people have heard the expression “taken for granted”. Too often we take so many blessings in our lives for granted. We fail to take stock of the many good things. Instead we focus on the handful of items that are unpleasant or despicable. If you take a few minutes to make a list of the positives in your life, you’ll soon see that:

    • the negatives are greatly outweighed by the positives and;
    • you have so much to work with and live for.

    Take stock, be grateful, and start living.

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    Discover your purpose

    Whether we believe it or not, we all were put on this earth for a reason. Finding yours will be one of the first steps toward making big changes in your life.

    Think about the things you’re good at, the things that you feel passionate about, the things that you enjoy most and get the most satisfaction from doing. These things might be key to what will make you happy and give you a life that feels fulfilling.

    Say you love nothing more than riding your bike. You might not have the training under your belt to become a professional rider — but you could work in a bike shop, sharing your passion for the sport with other riders. If you love to read, find a way to surround yourself with books. If you always wanted to be a firefighter but thought it was impossible, sign up for a First Responder class and get started.

    Call to Action: What is one thing you can do right now that will have the most positive impact. What can you stop doing right now that has the most negative impact. Now go and do it!

    Finding a way to make our work feel like play is essential to true daily happiness. Discovering your purpose will make sure your life is on the right track and you’re headed in the direction of your own choosing. You’ll begin seeing the excellent opportunities in your present work — or you’ll start enjoying a type of vocation or work that’s more purposeful to you. Living your life according to your purpose makes for a very enjoyable life.

    One step at a time

    But remember that taking action is the vital key to the equation.

    If you dream of something bigger, it’s not likely it will come to you. You will have to go out and get it. It takes hard work.

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    And even if you do make that move, it might take time and lots of patience to reap the rewards of your initial act of bravery. Jenna Fischer, who plays “girl next door” Pam on “The Office,” made the trip from Missouri to Los Angeles expecting a great job within a year. The truth is, it took much longer for her to capture the attention of her new bosses at “The Office”, a high-profile gig that ultimately led to movie roles and producing. But she was patient…and her rewards finally came.

    Remember, if you’ve taken that first critical step, you’ve already done the hardest part. Don’t become overwhelmed by everything that has to be done. Just take one step at a time. With consistency, moving one step at a time will cause you to live and achieve the life of your dreams.

    Find your Zen

    To live a peaceful, happy life – and I mean truly live it – sometimes you have to do things that are totally against your nature.

    That means if you’re carrying around grudges that are filling you with anger, it’s time to let go and forgive those who have wronged you. The negativity harms no one but yourself, and letting go will be sweet freedom from pain that’s simply unnecessary.

    So how, than, do we forgive someone who damaged us and our lives?

    • Get away from the problem. While it might seem like running away, if you can move somewhere where troubled memories don’t follow you wherever you go, you open the door to a new mindset, and that, coupled with a new environment, can lead to better things that can turn a negative into a positive.
    • Get spiritual. While some are best served by attending church to find their introspective side, others can head out into the woods and find a sense of peace that is a good move toward thinking that isn’t done in anger, regret, or despair. Practice meditation. Personally, it has done wonders for me.
    • Use your bad experiences to help others. Share your story to prevent other people from making the same mistakes.

    Surprise yourself

    One of the best ways to jolt yourself out of a disappointing life is to do something completely different.

    Even if you think you might be terrible at it, give something new a try.

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    Whether it’s signing up for a ballroom dancing class or trying kick boxing, horseback riding, singing lessons or gymnastics, doing new things challenges us mentally and physically, and sparks a new interest in living by giving us a new reason to get up in the morning to a day that’s fresh and full of possibilities.

    Many people are afraid of trying anything new. Others feel as if there’s nothing new worth trying. And then there’s a whole different group of folks who say they “hate surprises.” What they’re all saying is they hate change and prefer structure. Structure is good; however, most people would be pleasantly amazed at how trying something new will add a real spark to their lives. Try something new, surprise yourself, and start living.

    Revisit that Bucket List…or rather, that LIVING List

    If you have a list of things you want to do before you die, don’t sit around waiting for a reason to do them. Try to find one thing on that list that you can accomplish if not today, then tomorrow.

    Order the classic movie you know you need to see on DVD, and start looking online for car rentals if you’ve always wanted to drive a Mercedes or Rolls Royce.

    If your list includes an exotic adventure, but you’ve been waiting around to become part of a couple before you take that tropical vacay because you don’t want to travel alone, rethink the plan. Maybe you have a good friend who’s been feeling the same way. And who knows? The love of your life could be planning the same vacation right now, and will be sitting on the same beach when you arrive. The thing is, you’ll never know unless you go.

    The best way to make life worth living is to find ways to ensure that you really are living. And making every moment that we live and breathe count – appreciating that we are indeed living and breathing — it the best first step.

    What can you do everyday that would make it impossible for you to have a bad day? Now go and start doing that….today.

    (Photo credit: Be Free via Shutterstock)

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    Justin Miller

    Healthy Lifestyle Architect

    Stop Existing and Start Living: How to Dramatically Change Your Life in Just One Week The Habits of the Highly Healthy How to Discover Who You Are And Then How To Behave Like It The Beginners Guide To Slacklining A New Way to Create a Bucket List

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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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