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10 Things You Should Give Up To Boost Happiness

10 Things You Should Give Up To Boost Happiness

Happiness is not a goal, but a state of being. People forget that though its true that you feel happiness when you reach your goals, DAILY happiness is an experience. Achieving your dreams does give happiness, but does not replace sadness. In fact, I would say that feeling happiness while reaching for your dreams is one of the most important keys in reaching your goals in the first place.

So if happiness begets more happiness AND success, how will someone get there if they don’t feel very happy right now? Luckily, there is a simple answer to this. All people would need to do, is give up on certain negative things that drag them down. There is a lot of baggage that people carry around and that prevents the experience of joy. Think of these things as blockages to the well of happiness that exists within everyone.

People can and have succeeded in their attempt to remove these harmful things from their lives. And everyone can do it. As long as he or she knows what baggage to give up, he will surely rediscover the happiness he always had.

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To help out, I list here 10 common things to give up to be happy:

1. Give Up Jealousy

Some people think that comparing themselves to others is good. It could be, if the purpose of is to compete. To give oneself a goal to aspire to. But it starts being harmful when the achievements of others bring about envious feelings. Give this up, and you’ll have more time focusing on what you could achieve instead of what others achieve.

2. Give up the Fear of Change

Most of the time, even if the current situation is like hell, a lot of people just refuse to budge. They know that they aren’t comfortable where they are. It’s just that they fear new things more! Shedding this feeling from their lives would open up new worlds for them to discover. Being able to decide to change and facing it head on is the most exhilarating feeling someone could experience.

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3. Giving up Control

Though many people want the power to control how their lives (and perhaps the lives of others) play out, not everything can be controlled. Sometimes, no matter how hard they try, not everything turns out the way they wanted it to. However, once people start recognizing that certain things and events are just really beyond their control, they can start to be more accepting of what life gives them.

4. Give up Overwork Time

Professional achievement drives a lot of businessmen and entrepreneurs to work long hours. I know it’s to achieve our dreams, but we need some balance in their lives in order to be happy. Achieving worthy goals is good, giving some time to other important parts of life (family, friends, hobbies) is better.

5. Give up Blaming

Sometimes, things go wrong. Whether its in the job or some other area of life, people feel the need to give blame to something or someone when this happens. It’s like a coping mechanism: people just don’t want to feel responsible for anything bad that happens. By giving this up, people can instead focus on finding solutions and getting out of a bad situation.

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6. Give up Complaining

Constantly complaining people not only ruin their own happiness, but the happiness of others too. The one thing that people could surely control is their reaction to unhappy events. One of the best things people could do is to stop their complaining and start looking at problems in a new light.

7. Give up the Need to Be Right All the Time

No one is possessed with the power to know everything there is to know. So why do some people insist that they are right all the time? Even if they were, would it have been worth it to argue with others because of it? Sometimes its just better to put the relationships you have over being right.

8. Give up Limiting Beliefs

Still some others feel that they just can’t achieve their dreams, or even some form of it. The feeling of lack, the belief that their ability is limited, is one of the BIGGEST obstacles to happiness. By giving this up, the world will start revealing unlimited possibilities.

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9. Give up Bad Friends

People are easily influenced by their peers. Humans are such social creatures that we adopt the habits and values of the people around us. Bad friends who influence people  to be less than what they could be will prevent them from experiencing the happiness they deserve. Instead, people should surround themselves with others who inspire them and drive them to live their lives to the fullest.

10. Give up the Past

Admittedly, the past is filled with experiences, good and bad. But these experiences are meant to build people up. The past should not be a recording of regrets that people look back to most of the time. The past should be a source of wisdom, to push people to become their better selves and continue to live the happy life they deserve to have.

Featured photo credit: Happiness/Farrukh via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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