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When You Start To Do These 20 Things Today, Your Life Will Be Greatly Improved

When You Start To Do These 20 Things Today, Your Life Will Be Greatly Improved

Life can at times be difficult, boring, or just not quite what we envisioned for ourselves. We get stuck in a rut, a never-ending circle of bad habits, obligations, laziness, and fear of failure. We keep spinning our wheels in place and there never seems to be enough time to do anything about it. Well, I can assure you, there can be plenty of time if you decide to make it. I’m going to assume that initial spark of motivation to change , no matter how small, has brought you to this article, so in a sense, you’ve already made the first tiny step. Now it’s time to make some grown up steps towards self-improvement, and you can start by doing the things listed below.

1. Do a quick warm up and then stretch for about 15 minutes in the morning or during the day

Stretching at home

    When you get out of bed or any time during the day when you feel cramped, do a quick 5 minutes of light running or aerobic exercises to warm up the muscles and then stretch from head to toe for about 15 minutes. This will improve blood flow, make you feel fresh, prevent minor aches and pains, and make you less likely to injure yourself during physical activities.

    2. Start doing a fun form of cardio that lets you blow off steam

    Cardiovascular exercise is great for the heart and can help you blow out all the pent up adrenaline and anger you have. Just choose something that you find fun – for some it’s running long distance, for some it’s sprinting, some like dancing, some yet swimming or punching a heavy bag. Some 3-6 times a week should be enough.

    3. Develop a healthy sleep pattern

    Set a particular time when you want to go to sleep and a time when you wish to get up, and set up your alarm clock to wake you up at the same time every morning. Before going to bed, have a short wind-down ritual – showering, brushing teeth and turning off the lights – and make sure the room is free of all noise and lights.

    4. Cut down on sugary drinks and high-calorie foods with few micronutrients

    If you can’t just quit altogether, try to eat as little fast food as possible. You can switch to diet soda or home-made juice, drink plain black coffee and water. Consumption of anything that is deep fried, full of trans-fat and has no micronutrients or fiber has to be minimized for the sake of health and your figure.

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    5. Start eating more fruit and vegetables

    fruit and veggetables

      Speaking of micronutrients, plenty of vegetables with every meal and a few good servings of fruit each day will ensure that your body has what it needs to feel fresh, focused and ready for anything. It will also help you avoid catching most of the common pesky diseases or feeling sluggish.

      6. Do intense strength training 2-4 times a week

      This will make your muscles grow, but it will also strengthen bones and connective tissue, which will make you less injury prone, improve your aesthetic appeal and boost your confidence through the roof. Regular exercise will also improve your sex drive and help balance out your hormones.

      7. Try to be nice and polite to people throughout the day

      Not only will being polite and generally nice make people like you and more likely to help you out, it will also put you in a positive mindset and help you stay out of trouble. Many a fight has broken out because of a few harsh words and many friendships have started because of a few kind ones.

      8. Work on controlling you anger and letting go of grudges

      Serious fact: road rage and screaming outbursts in bars have gotten many people stabbed, shot and beaten. Grudges and easily hurt pride have ended countless relationships. Work on cool-down tactics like deep slow breathing, and apply them as soon as you feel you’re getting angry. Try not to stay angry with someone over a small thing for more than 10-60 minutes, and then just let it go.

      9. Learn how to protect yourself and those you love

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      back off

        Knowing how to protect yourself and those around you will lower your risk of getting assaulted, but it is about more than just knowing how to throw a punch. You need situational awareness, an understanding of how criminals work, an understanding of how violent people think, knowing what happens during dangerous situations, knowing the legal difference between a fight and self-defense, knowing how to secure your home, knowing what not to do avoid getting attacked, knowing how to be assertive etc. You’ll need to read up on all of these things or get some first-hand instruction, before working on your hand-to-hand combat and 200 meter dash skills.

        10. Devote an hour a day to reading books

        You can read just about anything from classical literature, art and history to books on gardening, staying safe or home DIY. Try to diversify your interests and read both fiction and non-fiction. You will become much more interesting because of all the new things you’ve learned and a lot of the information can come in handy.

        11. Dedicate some time to learning useful skills

        With some things it’s not enough just to read about them – you have to keep practicing to get better. The good news is that you can get good enough at doing small household repairs, cooking or using a piece of software in a few months of active practice. Find the skills that would be most beneficial to you and take 20-60 minutes out of your day to practice them.

        12. Come up with a schedule

        All this exercising, reading, practicing, meditating and anger management will require some spare time on your hands, and the only way to stay on top of things is by making a schedule. Fit in work and family time, but be sure have plenty of little tasks throughout the day and week that will help you improve instead of scheduling four hours of Netflix time.

        13. List the biggest problems you have and work on fixing them one by one

        There are always a few things that we keep in the back of our minds and that keep eating away at us, making us anxious and killing our focus. Make the list of the biggest problems in your life that you would like to solve and bad habits that you would like to change, and then direct most of your energy on one thing until you have solved it or at least made it a smaller problem. Then move on to the next, constantly trying to diminish their hold on you. Ditching bad habits is not easy, but it can be done and it will do wonders for your mental health.

        14. Take 10-20 minutes to meditate each day

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        Meditating to relax

          At the end of the day or whenever you feel stressed, just slip into something comfortable sit down with your back straight, and close your eyes two thirds of the way down and start drawing long slow breaths. When a thought enters your mind, acknowledge it and just let it pass over, like saying no thank you to a Jehovah’s Witness at your door. This will help you control your emotions and reduce stress.

          15. Name your biggest fears and insecurities and face them

          This can be done every day. Name all that you fear and that makes you anxious and insecure, and then address these issues one by one. Say out loud how some of these are irrational, overblown or can be and will be overcome in specific ways. Convince yourself that you are strong, charming and smart enough to overcome all of it, and push yourself outside of your comfort zone from time to time, so you can learn to handle challenges.

          16. Clean up your house

          Some people are slobs that thrive in chaos, but even they can find a method to the madness. Cleaning the room you spend most time in is essential – throw out the trash, dust, vacuum, let some air in, put things in their place, put away the pile of clothes on the chair in the corner, move all the junk off the floor and make some space. A clean home has a more professional feel to it and can keep you motivated and make you more efficient.

          17. Buy some new clothes that you look stunning in

          Looking good means feeling good and the right attire can take care of both those things. If you have no fashion sense, take someone who knows their stuff with you and get yourself a few new items that really bring out your best features. Trust your “stylist” and don’t worry, a lot of great clothes can be very affordable due to sales and if you look for quality rather than brand names – it’s all made in third-world factories anyway.

          18. Get out more and meet new people

          People having fun

            A lack of social life and a bit of variety when it comes to friends can lead to depression, close-mindedness and plenty of missed opportunities. Nothing will happen to you if you stay at home all the time or hang out with the same people in the same places. Not only will you get new experiences and learn new things, you may actually get some great job or career-building opportunities.

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            19. Focus more time and energy on improving your love life

            Going out is fun and all, but a lot of people are missing out on that great feeling of meeting someone new and having plenty of stress-reducing and endorphin-pumping human contact. So, make it a mission to approach cute and sexy people and get more comfortable around someone you like. If you are in a relationship make an effort to keep things hot and exiting, and don’t skimp on little gifts and fun dates.

            20. Start saying “No”, “Sorry” and “That’s interesting, go on” more often

            Saying “No” means knowing what you want, establishing boundaries, not letting people take advantage of you and not succumbing to peer pressure. Saying “Sorry” means you know you can make a mistake sometimes, that you care about other people’s feelings and that you care about keeping the peace more than you care about stroking your ego. The last one is all about letting others speak and listening to what they have to say – you’ll remember a lot of useful information about them and come off as a good friend. All of these will reduce stress, nip problems in the bud and strengthen relationships.

            I know this seems like a lot at first, but if you start making an effort right now, and begin doing these things regularly you will improve your life significantly within the next year.

            Featured photo credit: Amy Clarke/Never a frown, with golden brown via flickr.com

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            Ivan Dimitrijevic

            Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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            Last Updated on August 20, 2019

            How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

            How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

            Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

            Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

            I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

            You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

            Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

            When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

            I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

            Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

            Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

            Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

            1. The Inner Critic

            This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

            • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
            • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
            • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
            • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

            The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

            Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

            2. The Worrier

            This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

            The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

            3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

            This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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            This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

            The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

            4. The Sleep Depriver

            This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

            The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

            • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
            • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
            • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
            • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

            How can you control these squatters?

            How to Master Your Mind

            You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

            Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

            There are two ways to control your thoughts:

            • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
            • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

            This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

            The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

            Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

            For the Inner Critic

            When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

            You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

            For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

            You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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            “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

            If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

            • They rile up the Worrier.
            • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
            • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
            • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
            • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

            Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

            Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

            For the Worrier

            Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

            Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

            You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

            • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
            • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
            • Muscles tense

            Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

            If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

            Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

            “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

            Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

            If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

            Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

            Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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            For example:

            If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

            “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

            Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

            “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

            Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

            For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

            Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

            The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

            • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
            • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
            • Muscles tension

            I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

            Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

            Breathe in through your nose:

            • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
            • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
            • Focus on your belly rising.

            Breathe out through your nose:

            • Feel your lungs emptying.
            • Focus on your belly falling.
            • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

            Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

            Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

            One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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            Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

            For the Sleep Depriver

            (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

            I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

            Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

            1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
            2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

            When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

            From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

            For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

            If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

            You can also use this technique any time you want to:

            • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
            • Shut down your thinking.
            • Calm your feelings.
            • Simply focus on the present moment. 

            The Bottom Line

            Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

            You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

            Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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            Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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