You wrote a killer resume, aced your interview and secured yourself a new job. Congratulations! Now what?
Lately, there has been a massive shift in the workforce with people moving to new companies and, in some cases pursuing different careers entirely. This can be exciting, especially if you love new beginnings like me.
But, starting a new job in a new work environment can be stressful and scary to some extent. You don’t know what the new colleagues are like and you wonder if the people there will like and accommodate you.
These tips will help you smoothly transition into the new work environment.
Even if your job title is still the same and you undertake the same responsibilities, the two work environments are different and should be treated in that manner.
Be open to learning or unlearning some things.
Almost every office has something juicy going on, and some people are always in the mood to discuss those hot topics.
It can be hard not to get caught up in the gossip, especially if it happening around you, but use everything in you and resist the urge to engage in gossip. If someone tries to get your opinion about someone else, avoid the conversation.
Although you are starting in a new work environment and don’t really know the people around, don’t just glue yourself to your computer in silence.
If someone offers you tea/coffee, say yes. Hang out with your colleagues over lunch and relax in the breakroom with others. This will help you fit in and get to know your colleagues.
Now that you know what not to do, here is a list of what to do.
This might seem a bit embarrassing, but there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
The 1st few months are for you to learn, so be curious and don’t be shy to ask any questions you might have.
As you are at a new job, brace yourself for the change that is heading your way.
Things won’t be the same as they were at your old job, so be comfortable and ready for the new changes.
If you’re like me and you enjoy your Twitter or any other social media platforms, you might need to understand where your company stands regarding employees’ behavior on social media.
Some companies are strict about employees posting or engaging on social media during work hours, while some don’t really care as long as you do your work on time.
Other companies prohibit employees from posting, tweeting, retweeting, sharing or engaging in material that goes against what the company stands for. So, ensure you understand your new company policies before you get a friendly reminder from HR.
Also, you might need to go through all your social media friends and followers so that you know who is watching your content.
You wouldn’t want to post about how annoying your new boss is when they can see your posts.
Always get to work early.
In some cases, this means you might have to adjust your sleep schedule so that you wake up on time. Remember to pick your outfit the evening before so you don’t waste time choosing what to wear in the morning.
The first few months are for you to learn and adjust to the new company.
Ask your supervisor and fellow colleagues how you are doing, and be happy to adopt their tips on how you can best improve. Remember they have been at the new company for longer than you have been.
Asking your colleagues things like the best spot for lunch or anything like that will help you cultivate new friendships.
Make sure the non-work-related questions you ask are not awkward.
This is probably the most important tip on this list.
Be nice to anyone and everyone despite their job title. Just because your paycheck has more zeros than someone doesn’t mean they do not deserve to be respected. Be kind and respectful.
On average, people change jobs every 4.2 years. This change is associated with career growth and personal development.
While these advantages exist, new jobs are stressful. There is so much uncertainty.
Simple tips like arriving to work on time, being curious, being nice and interacting with colleagues can help make this daunting and overwhelming transition better for you. Remember to do your research and know as much as you can about the new job.
Let me know of any tips/points that I left out that you found helpful when you started a new job!
Ever get a bit too stuck in your own head? You think you’re right, even though everyone might be telling you you’re wrong.
This might come down to a self-awareness issue.
Lacking self-awareness means you might struggle to look at a situation and your actions objectively. Inevitably, this can lead to a lot of conflict in your work and personal life.
Below, we dig into all the nitty gritty details.
Basic self-awareness starts at an early age.
Yet, a more complex level of self-awareness begins around 12-18 months of age and develops as time goes on. This was noted by researchers who studied children around this age of development.
These researchers placed a red dot on the child’s nose and placed them in front of a mirror. If the child touched their own nose rather than the mirror, researchers saw this as a positive sign that they were more self-aware.
Self-awareness is usually understood in two forms; public self-awareness and private self-awareness.
With private self-awareness, you react less and instead approach your feelings with curiosity. For instance, when you feel angry or sad, you might get curious about why and try to understand what is going on instead of acting on them.
Meanwhile, public self-awareness opens you up to better understand your interactions with others and how you can treat others in respectful and courteous ways. In many instances, this involves societal and social norms, which are generally accepted by most.
And this brings us to… why does it matter in the first place?
Self-awareness has many benefits, including:
It’s no secret why the concept of “self-awareness” has become a hot topic as of late. Its’ importance for living a happy and fulfilling life isn’t to be ignored.
Lacking self-awareness happens due to various reasons, including:
These fears can be deep-rooted from childhood or a traumatic event. Additionally, they may arise from general beliefs or societal norms. Yet, it doesn’t mean you can’t break through them!
Self-awareness is very closely linked with emotional intelligence.
To gain increased emotional intelligence, you need greater awareness. And this all comes down to 5 key components.
This means exactly as it states; Self-concept is your own perception of yourself.
These derive from your own experiences, your beliefs about yourself, and what you want in life.
If you’ve ever studied (or used!) CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, concepts, you’ll know that your thoughts impact your feelings.
Thus, taking the time to get to know your thoughts, why you’re having certain thoughts, and how you can change them can help in leaps and bounds when it comes to awareness.
Feelings are linked to thoughts.
When you feel a certain way, it’s worth exploring the thoughts around it. At the end of the day, feelings are real, but they don’t always reflect the truth of the situation as a whole.
This refers to physical sensations associated with feelings and reactions.
It takes increased self-awareness to note that your heart is racing, and you’re sweating. It takes even greater awareness to link this to anxious feelings and why you’re feeling those anxious feelings.
Knowing your emotional state before entering a situation makes you more aware of your own reactions and feelings (and can help you from acting on any that might not be appropriate!).
Related Article: Newsflash! Being Vulnerable is One of Your Greatest Strengths
So, you’ve decided you want to improve your self-awareness!
But how do you do that? Like anything, it will take some practice. Yet, with time, you can gain greater self-awareness, which will lead to greater happiness and better relationships in your life.
With that in mind, here are a few tips:
Self-awareness improves your relationship with yourself and others.
What’s not to love? It can further help you figure out where you want to be in life and make that ultra-clear.
And don’t be afraid to crash through your previous beliefs.
As award-winning author Vironika Tugaleva once said,
“To know yourself, you must sacrifice the illusion that you already do.”
Generally speaking, with more self-awareness, you’ll feel less lost and more self-assured. You’ll know how to act accordingly in specific situations and even be able to control the outcome positively. If that isn’t a superpower, we don’t know what is!
“Procrastination is the thief of time.” — Charles Dickens
If you’re reading this, you probably already hate how much you procrastinate. You hate that you can’t just hop to it and get stuff done. You want to be that go-getter, that person who checks off tasks like it’s no big deal. But it’s just not happening.
And maybe you’ve swung at yourself a few times during the whole procrastination process.
You might end up on a negative thought spiral—and let’s cut in right here. We both know this whole downward spiral isn’t doing you any good. So, what if your procrastination tendency wasn’t because you were “lazy” or “not as smart as others”?
What if your procrastination comes down to a lack of emotional regulation? (Let that sink in for a second.)
So, how can we get a grip on this?
How can you finally stop procrastinating?
And what else should you know?
Do any of the below sound familiar?
What is your procrastination meaning?
Check out the categories below regarding common reasons for procrastination.
This type of procrastinator uses procrastination to cope.
This person might have severe anxiety with the thought of starting, working through, or even finishing the task at hand.
This type of procrastinator simply rather do anything else besides the task they need to get done.
Everything else becomes that much more exciting (even doing laundry for some!). It just doesn’t make sense to start that one task now when there are more fun things happening.
This is the person who can’t bear to start something when the deadline is oh-so-far away!
So, they put it off, then put it off, and eventually this comes back to bite them in the butt.
This procrastinator is never happy with their work.
It’s never up to their standards. Thus, they fear doing the task over producing low-quality work or failing altogether.
Related Article: 70 Highly Inspiring Motivational Quotes to Start Your Week Strong
Procrastination comes down to many issues.
In fact, some experts argue it might even be a self-regulation and self-discipline issue, which comes back to regulating one’s emotions.
But what else is going on here? Why do so many people suffer from the procrastination problem?
As mentioned above, most people fall into the four categories of procrastination.
Thus, it can be really difficult to stop procrastinating, especially when most people have a legit reason why they are putting off the specific task.
At the root of all procrastination, on the other hand, is fear, disorganization, and perfectionism.
In some cases, yes!
Many individuals who struggle with procrastination have cognitive distortions, particularly about the task they need to complete. They may believe they need to be in the “right” mood, but that mood never happens to arise.
They may believe they have all the time in the world later, which doesn’t end up being the case. Or they may feel they “need” motivation.
Here’s the thing: You have to make the right mood come about. Motivation won’t come from anything external. In fact, you don’t even need it to complete a task or chore. It’s the hard truth, and this all comes down to how you manage and regulate your emotions.
We love pleasure and happiness over pain and suffering.
This is an innate human drive. Thus, it’s no wonder we tend to procrastinate, especially when our beliefs and emotions tell us it's the right thing to do.
But we know better. We know it’s better to get that work task done than face the wrath of our boss down the road. We know it’s a good idea to do laundry now rather than later when we have no clean underwear or socks left.
So, what can you do about all this to stop procrastinating?
Use the four types of procrastination above to help yourself get to the bottom of it all.
Usually, it’s because we are delaying a negative emotion we don’t want to experience. But it’s important to know what that emotion is and acknowledge it.
Once you acknowledge it, you can figure out a way past it.
Okay, we get it. It’s hard to fully jump into a task you really don’t want to do.
But what about if you just dipped your toes in? What if you just planned a little bit ahead and broke that big task down into smaller tasks? Before you know it, you’ll be done (actually!).
Maybe you can’t do that fun thing until you’re done with this task.
Or perhaps you’re going to celebrate being done the task by hitting up your favorite restaurant. By doing something like this, you give yourself an incentive to get to it and get it done.
In addition to breaking down the tasks into smaller pieces, you can set deadlines for each small piece.
For example, if you have to write a big paper, you can plan to write the intro by a certain date, the next section by another date, and so on until it’s completed.
Sometimes, to get stuff done, we need to literally trap ourselves in a room and just do it (Nike knows what we’re talking about!).
Eliminating distractions is an essential piece of halting procrastination, especially if you’re prone to shiny objects!
When things come up, just get them done.
Or if tasks take less than 5 minutes, do them as they pop up. This can prevent a lengthy to-do list from piling up and halt your procrastination in its tracks.
It’s not working for you but against you (but you probably already know that).
Finding the reason why you’re putting things off can help you thwart it. And yes, this can be tough to face. But not having the stress of various tasks hanging over your head is entirely worth it.
Have you tried guided journals yet?
I’ve journaled for many years, and looking back, it’s wonderful to see the growth I’ve achieved along my life’s journey.
Back when I first started, there weren’t many creative journals out there. I started with a simple notebook when I was in high school.
Over the years, there have been many new additions to the journaling niche. From bullet journaling to guided journals, there’s something that appeals to most anyone.
Guided journaling is my favorite way to journal.
What is a guided journal? It’s a journal that offers questions, or prompts, that get you thinking. You simply ponder the questions and jot down your answers.
One thing I love about guided journals is that there are ones that cater to different areas of life, such as self-love, self-care, shadow work, inner child healing, wealth, health, relationships, and more.
Just doing one guided journal is wonderful, but I challenge you to try various ones by different authors. The following are some of the best guided journals that I’ve found. There are more, or course, but these I can vouch for.
Even if you’re not into Zen, this guided journal can be helpful in bringing you into more peace and joy.
Beginning in the season of spring, the questions will help you reflect, contemplate, and do some digging into your mind to see areas that are blooming and areas that could use some tender loving care. As you journal, you’ll likely enjoy a sense of peace and a growing feeling of contentment.
This guided journal is great for doing some digging into the mind and facing negative thoughts, mindsets, or old wounds that have been hiding.
You’ll find an introduction to shadow work as a tool to gain more self-awareness, self-care, and self-love.
There are 365 journal prompts, allowing you to dedicate a full year to this type of inner healing work if you desire. If you’re new to inner healing work or exploring your mindset, this is the perfect guided journal to start with.
It’s divided into six sections that help you gain insight and clarity:
As the author of this guided journal, I can say that it’s a helpful tool to get to know yourself better, begin digging up and healing inner wounds or negative emotions, and increase your self-care and self-love.
This is a guided journal that inspires pace, joy, and simplicity.
In a world where it seems we get busier and busier, this journal points you in the direction of slowing down, creating dreams, and appreciating all the good in your life.
I find the journal prompts easy to understand, as well as easy to answer. This would also make a great gift for others. The journal also includes various Scriptures and inspiring quotes.
If you struggle with anxiety, this is a great little journal that can help you manage or decrease that anxiety.
What I enjoy about this is that it includes worksheets, mood trackers, a place where you can log any symptoms, and it can also help you identify various situations they may trigger your anxiety.
This is great for those who like to track their emotions and fill out worksheets. There aren’t as many prompts as other journals, but plenty of lined pages where you can journal whatever you wish. You will also find gratitude prompts, quotes, and illustrations.
There is power in offering gratitude regularly.
With this gratitude journal, you’ll be able to exercise your gratitude muscles every day. There are several prompts that you can answer daily that will only take you about five minutes.
It may seem like it’s repetitive, but when you get into the habit of living in a grateful state, it can change your life for the better. Give it a try and watch how much more positive and grateful you become as you habitually offer gratitude for everything in your life.
Guided journaling has become very popular in recent years because those who put pen to paper answering the prompts admit that the insightful work helps them.
Whether it’s becoming more self-aware, confident, peaceful, insightful, spiritual, etc. the benefits truly are worth the effort.
If you haven’t tried guided journaling yet, give it a try for yourself. You may even find guided journals that will make great gifts for your family or friends.
You’ve probably heard this one before: Putting yourself first isn’t selfish.
Yet, the way some people have taken this concept and ran with it makes this point entirely debatable. On the edge of this COVID pandemic, many people have seemingly taken the “focus on yourself” mantra of the last few years and twisted it to mean “I am more important than everyone else.”
So, let’s redefine the concepts of self-love and self-compassion.
You can focus on yourself, without becoming arrogant or self-centered and without letting others down (for real!). Don’t let others’ twist the idea of “self-care” and “self-love” cause you to turn your nose up to it.
You can show self-compassion in a humble and graceful way. So, let’s walk this line a little further. What should you know?
How can you show yourself a little more compassion and love (without coming off as selfish)?
Loving yourself is no easy feat.
It’s hard to let go of those people-pleasing tendencies and even harder to not feel like an incredibly selfish person for needing time for yourself.
But there’s a fine line between compassion for others and compassion for self. For some reason, it’s way easier to show compassion for others than for ourselves.
Some experts speculate that this may be the case due to the difference in purpose between self-compassion and compassion.
Compassion is more closely linked with social well-being, which makes sense considering our ancestors relied on being socially accepted in the tribe to survive. Simply put, you had a higher rate of survival within the tribe, rather than out on your own.
Meanwhile, self-compassion doesn’t exactly offer the same survival mechanisms. In fact, just because someone is compassionate towards others, it doesn’t mean they show themselves a ton of compassion.
Self-compassion is associated with greater personal well-being, rather than social well-being. This means that it’s about the individual experience, rather than the group experience.
Yet, individuals with high self-compassion tend to be mentally healthier and experience less depression. In turn, this could contribute to even better relationships and overall health.
When you show yourself compassion, you steer away from judgment of the self. We offer ourselves the same compassion we would a dear friend. This doesn’t involve critique, but acceptance. It further offers a window to understand yourself further.
Some self-compassionate examples include telling yourself it’s okay when you fail or make a mistake rather than beating yourself up or giving yourself a pep talk before that big speech.
Meanwhile, general compassionate examples include offering your seat to a pregnant lady on the bus or taking a moment to listen and let your friend vent.
Research proposes that a lack of self-compassion can arise due to group values, practices, and norms. Yet these external factors aren’t the only reason why someone might not be able to show themselves self-compassion. Other reasons include:
Inevitably, there are many more circumstances that can lead to self-compassion. The main takeaway here is that if you feel you are lacking self-compassion, exploring “why” can help you take that first leap toward showing yourself more of it.
Sometimes, it can help to talk to a professional who can guide you through any past trauma or limiting beliefs.
Related Article: Release Your Guilt: 8 Practical Ways to Stop Feeling Bad
The three qualities of self-compassion include self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Below, we explore these more in-depth.
As a self-compassionate individual, you recognize you aren’t perfect (no one is!).
“To be human is to suffer.” - Bill Ayers
The shared human experience involves different layers of suffering. In many ways, you can look at this with gratitude, as proof that you are alive and human. Recognizing that this is part of life is important.
Negative emotions can quickly take over. Yet, practicing mindfulness and being able to mentally observe them and not engage is all part of being more self-compassionate.
If you find yourself snowballing down a spiral of negative emotions, remember, perspective is everything! Don’t over-extend your identity and wrap it all up in this one incident in your life.
As with anything in life, self-compassion takes practice. Plain and simple.
But once you start flexing this muscle more, you’ll want to keep it up. Life is so much better when you can treat yourself with gentle care and understanding.
Here are a few tips to become more self-compassionate:
While having close relationships is undeniably important, at the end of the day, you have to take care of you.
Self compassion is part of this. It allows you to treat yourself as you would treat any friend. It doesn’t mean selfishly skipping out on your friend’s big event because you need to get your hair done (or something similar!).
And most importantly, self-compassion allows you to fully take in the human experience, something we all only get one shot at.
It would be hard to avoid hearing about the wonderful, healing benefits of meditation and mindfulness in this day and age. It seems like everyone is talking about it, promoting classes, clothing and special music to guide you on your journey.
But have you ever tried it? Maybe you think, "How can sitting in a quiet room help me feel less stressed?" That's ok, most of us have felt that way.
Did you know meditation and mindfulness go hand in hand?
In most conventional practices, you’ll see a separate category of meditation known as mindfulness meditation. But in reality, the connection between the two is indistinguishable.
If you’re bothered with how life has been treating you, mastering the art of mindfulness through meditation might be the answer to your despair.
If you just stumbled upon us while looking for how to master meditation, there is a slight chance you might not know what mindfulness is. Don’t worry because we don’t take any chances.
The term ‘mindfulness’ sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. It’s simply your ability to be present in a situation, without your mind wandering everywhere.
Now, that might sound simple enough. But let’s rewind a little.
From the moment you started reading this post, how many other things have crossed your mind?
We don’t want you to answer. Rather, we want you to realize that it’s completely normal to think about a million things at once.
But sometimes, bringing your mind to reality is just what you need to make your day a little bit better. And that’s what mindfulness is all about.
In the journey to understand how to master meditation, you needed to understand the effect before the method.
Now that you have a good grip on the concept of mindfulness, we can move forward.
The idea of mindfulness seems very straightforward. Anyone could bring their mind to present and stay there, right?
In most cases, achieving mindfulness is something that doesn’t come easy to us. The busy lives we lead in the 21st century are partly to blame. Our minds are scattered all over the place, thinking about hundreds of things at once.
In the long run, that’s not a good practice for your mental health.
Even if you’re swamped with problems in your relationship, your work, family, or finances, you can stay happy and relaxed just with the practice of mindfulness.
That’s where how to master meditation comes into play. Meditation is simply the process of trying to achieve mindfulness. It might happen easily for you. Or, it might take substantial practice.
In my yoga practice, I had the hardest time giving in to the meditation part. I had a busy job, a husband and puppy at home and was doing school part time in the evenings. I committed to my yoga practice mostly because of how it strengthened my body.
My mind was constantly racing with what I was going to do next. But over time, as I learned how to give in to mindfulness, I looked forward to yoga because of how calm and relaxed I felt afterward.
The best trick I can relay to you is about letting thoughts barge in while you meditate. Every time something popped into my head, a deadline, a social commitment, groceries I needed to remember, I just thought,
"I don't need to think about that now. It will be there when I finish the class. This time is only for me and for yoga."
It took some practice (Which is why it's called a practice, you will likely not be very good at it at first.), but eventually, the thoughts would drift away. I would focus more on how deeply I could breathe, and my mind would empty.
The important thing is, you should start practicing now.
The concept of meditation goes back thousands of years. Ancient monks practiced meditation and yoga for their physical and mental fitness.
With time, there have been thousands of renditions of meditation.
So, we are not going to take the conventional approach toward meditation or mindfulness. Rather, we’re going to blend the two.
As a result, you should be able to calm your mind and think deeper than you ever could. Without breaking your patience, let’s get some of the tips you can follow and actually learn how to master meditation.
If you have a habit of reading case studies, you can find two major schools of thought regarding meditation.
For some, it was just what they needed to improve their life. And for the rest, it’s all hocus pocus. At the end of the day, it comes down to you. And to test your abilities of mindfulness, you need to set aside time.
For a lot of people, meditation doesn’t work just because they consider it a chore. They might rush home quickly after a long tiring day to meditate, just to realize that their stress levels didn’t decline at all.
Meditation and mindfulness are supposed to calm you down. So, don’t think of it as something you must attend to.
Just make sure you get some ‘me’ time. When no one’s going to bother you. When you can truly dive deep into the realm of your mind.
The majority of the meditation practices ask you to select a quiet room with dimmed lights. They might even ask you to have control over the temperature.
Sure, if you have easy access to all of these, go for it by all means while learning how to master meditation.
But don’t go out of your way if it’s going to increase your stress levels. Mindfulness is all about being in the present. Observing your surroundings with your inner eyes.
So, if it’s noisy, focus on the noise. Try to understand what’s going on. Submerge yourself in the noise.
If it’s quiet, enjoy the tranquility. Listen to the subtle sounds made by the insects on the lawn or a car crossing by the distant highway.
If it’s hot, feel the temperature. Feel the gentle breeze touching your skin while you concentrate. Remember, awareness is the biggest strength of mindfulness.
The human mind works in a mysterious way. It’s almost impossible to always stay present in the current moment. And that’s not how to master meditation.
So, don’t be so harsh on yourself if other things cross your mind. Embrace the thoughts with grace and return to the moment.
The practice of mindfulness is all about returning. If you could stay at a certain level of calmness at all times, there won’t be any need for mindfulness.
Let your mind go where it wants to go. Take notes of the things you feel. Enjoy a faded memory. And come back. As long as you come back and realize your surroundings in detail, your session is successful.
By now, you should have a clear idea of how you can achieve mindfulness. It won’t happen the first time you do it. It might not happen the 100th time you do it. The key is to stick to the practice. Success will come.
Now, let us share some of our insights on how you can make your mindfulness meditation better.
The more stressed we are, the stronger our gaze tends to be. Start with relaxing your eye muscles. All you need is a soft gaze.
If your gaze starts to stiffen as you progress through the meditation, don’t worry. Keep note of it and practice again the next time.
Most guides on how to master meditation will ask you to lie down flat on your back or sit straight on a chair.
But the ultimate takeaway is to be comfortable. If you’re not comfortable on your back, be in a position that you are. It’s hard to concentrate on your surroundings when you are in discomfort.
The classic technique used for thousands of years. You might ask, why do we have to breathe gently for meditation? What special powers does it have?
Well, you might be disappointed to know that breathing doesn’t have any special powers. Rather, it’s used to anchor your thoughts. Breathing is the only natural bodily function that goes on a rhythm, 24 hours a day.
And that’s why it’s easier to use breathing to tie things to. Also, the longer breaths increase the oxygen level in the blood, bringing the heart rate down and relaxing the muscles.
Many people can’t concentrate on their breathing when just starting out. It’s completely normal. Just like everything, learning how to master meditation takes practice.
So, if you’re having trouble keeping track of things, you can go for guided meditation. There are millions of recordings on the internet that will take you through the process.
However, guided meditation takes away the edge of mindfulness. Because the goal of mindfulness is being present in the moment. When you’re listening to an audio, it becomes hard to focus on anything else.
For beginners though, guided meditation is a great way to ease into the feeling of mindfulness and calm. Once you see how great you feel afterwards, you will even start to look forward to your practice! It's hard to know what you are supposed to feel if you haven't felt it yet.
Get a taste with a guided meditation and eventually, you can go out on your own. When you grasp the idea behind meditation, go solo. As you have the basic understanding of how to master meditation, mindfulness will come in no time.
The answer is mindfulness. And the art of mindfulness comes with the practice of meditation.
And for meditation, you must get comfortable.
If you’ve been meditating with no results so far, try the tips we shared. Remember, all of it is to calm your mind and give you a stronger sense of reality.
Bothering over what is supposed to calm you down won’t be helpful. Accepting who you are and how you are will.
Make the effort to learn how to master meditation and the art of mindfulness.
On average, how many relaxing activities would you say you do each week?
If you find yourself feeling drained at the end of your day, you may need to prioritize some refresh and recharge time.
Running on empty can certainly catch up to you eventually – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Life has its busy times, for sure. However, if you’ll take just a bit of time regularly to relax, you’ll just feel better. You’ll be more eager to face your days, rather than dread them. And, you’ll have more to give those you care about.
"You can't pour from an empty cup."
You've probably heard this saying - and for good reason! It means exactly what it sounds like - when you have nothing left in your tank, you have nothing left to give, whether to yourself or to others.
Self-care (Or refilling your cup) doesn't have to be difficult, or take a lot of time from your already busy days. But even adding a few relaxing activities into your day or week can make a huge difference to your overall energy and stress levels.
While you engage in these relaxing activities, from something as simple as taking a bath, using aromatherapy and going to bed early, take some time to check in with yourself. How do you feel, generally? What do you need? What is weighing on you, what do you feel proud of?
Treat yourself to a relaxing massage, as they are truly a wonderful investment. Along with feeling wonderful, your lymphatic system will be stimulated, which will help your body release toxins.
Pamper yourself in a relaxing bath. To set the “refresh mood”, light some candles and/or play some calm music. Or, enjoy peace and quiet. Use bath salts or essential oils too, as the aromas can help soothe you. Just sink into your warm bath, focus on full body relaxation, and enjoy peace and quiet.
You can boost your energy levels by adopting a healthy diet. If you’ve been off track lately with lots of sugary or unhealthy foods, cut them out and replace with nutritious foods. Start with a fresh fruit salad, or eating some fresh veggies. Drink lots of filtered water too.
Yoga can help you relax and recharge nicely. If you’re not sure how to do it, check out the many YouTube videos for various types of yoga. There are also community yoga classes you can attend if you prefer group activities.
There are plenty of essential oils that are known to help people feel relaxed and refreshed. Try lavender, pine, frankincense, rose, sage, patchouli, or lemon balm. You can diffuse the oil with a diffuser or apply them to your body. Note, however, that some oils must be mixed with a carrier oil before applied to the body.
It’s easy to get into the habit of staying up late watching television shows.
But over time, you tend to pay for this in terms of lack of adequate sleep. Not getting plenty of sleep can add stress to your life. It can also make for a grouchier version of yourself, so be sure you’re getting around eight hours of sleep each night.
Take a short time away to enjoy a vacation alone or with loved ones.
Head off into the mountains, find a beach, or enjoy somewhere that evokes calming and peaceful feelings. If you can’t spare a weekend timewise, just take one full day to leave the world behind to go off on an adventure.
Do your best to practice mindfulness throughout your day.
This means staying aware of the present moment, rather than being preoccupied with the past or future. Focus on your breath moment by moment, as this will help calm your mind.
It’s easy to get so caught up in doing things you “have” to do in life, that you forget to actually do things that you truly enjoy.
Each day, do at least one thing that you LOVE to do. This will help balance you out when it comes to work vs. play.
Spending quality time with loved ones can boost your energy and mood.
Be sure you’re doing things with family and friends that you enjoy regularly.
Learning to quiet the mind can bring you much more peace and energy.
Take at least five minutes each day to sit quietly in meditation. When you can shut the world out and go within, you can calm your nervous system down nicely. You give your mind and body time to recharge.
If you can, meditate in the morning and a few minutes here or there throughout your day. It’ll make a difference.
If you’re not paying attention to your energy or stress levels, you may end up feeling burned out. It helps to take time daily for any type of relaxing activities to become mindful of how you’re doing, and to feel more refreshed in general.
Make it a habit to check in with yourself to see how your body feels. See how relaxed and refreshed you feel. Make daily relax and refresh time a habit. As you do, you’ll be more apt to go about your days feeling more peaceful, happier, relaxed, and energized.
Editor's note: This article was originally published October 30, 2020, and has been updated to provide additional information on the topic.
It’s no fun to go around day to day feeling about a hundred thoughts swirling in your mind at the same time. Confusion, frustration, anger, negativity and fear can certainly put a damper on your mood. Over time, all that dense energy may even affect your health.
If you answered, "yes," to any of these questions, take heart! There are things you can learn to calm your mind down and enjoy some wonderful peace and quiet.
Mindful living is a good start.
Sometimes when you’re just about ready to experience a breakthrough or a new season of your life, confusion and chaos will show up.
Have you ever experienced that?
It’s like all mental heck breaks loose and you think you’re going to lose it. You’re thinking, “What did I do to deserve this?”
But then, as suddenly as the chaos started, it ends. You’ve broken through and you get to enjoy clarity and peace. Look back on your life and think about how you made it through so many things!
Mindful living simply means experiencing your life in a higher, more intentional state of awareness. You pay attention to more things. You are aware of your senses, your surroundings, your words, the people around you, etc.
Mindfulness: "the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis." - Merriam-Webster Dictionary
This is part of where the calm comes from. By living mindfully, we are paying attention to the present moment. Much of our worry comes from anticipating what is to come, or regretting, re-thinking or being triggered by what has passed.
Anxiety often comes from the fear of what will happen, but of course we still worry about how we handled something, or what we will do if that something pops up again.
Part of overcoming stress, worries and anxiety is learning to see our thoughts as just that - thoughts. We don't have to attach meaning to all of them, especially the negative inner-voice ones.
Practicing living in the moment, and only paying attention to what is happening right now can give us some space from the weight of our worries.
There are many, many opinions on how best to start living a mindful life. At the end of the day though, it's really about a few key things:
Being more aware of everything will start to guide you toward areas of focus. If you find yourself coming back to the same thing over and over again, like a conversation, or a memory, or a task, write it down (More on this later), record it, and go back to the moment for now.
You will be surprised at what you learn when you listen without agenda. And then about how much everyone enjoys being heard. It will deepen your relationships, as well as provide understanding.
When you're out on a walk, look at the birds. Smell the air, laugh at your dog or partner, notice how the grass is starting to grow back. When other thoughts invade, go back to the beginning. No multitasking. Do one thing at a time and really focus on the experience. This is where enjoyment comes in!
It doesn't have to be the same time, the same amount of time, or a long time. Just carve it out and protect it. Do it every day.
(from the book: Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.)
These are more to do specifically with mindfulness meditation, but for those of us who like structure around what we are doing, these serve well as areas to ponder and shape our experience.
While humans have certainly become good at judging everyone else, we still are most often our own worst critics. That ugly, negative voice in your head? That's probably some version of yourself, being hard on you.
Practicing mindfulness means you learn not to listen to that voice. Or at least - to listen without reacting. If you have the same thoughts popping up over and over again, yes, you need to get to the root of where it comes from, that you may overcome it.
But learning to be an observer, or just to witness and be aware of your thoughts is a powerful lesson in mindfulness.
We often feel like we are just racing along at breakneck speed from one thing into the next - which is really the opposite of mindfulness. Why are we doing this? What are we working towards?
There is a saying that anything worth having is worth waiting for, and that requires our patience. We can't have everything as soon as we want it. We must give ourselves the space and time to improve, to grow, to practice. And, to believe that what we are working towards will happen in good time.
Don't forget that most habits - good or bad - take time to build!
Think of how little kids react when they are learning about something new, or experiencing something for the first time. They are amazed, curious, ask lots of questions. Why? Because their minds are open to this new idea. They know nothing about it, and feel no issue or worry about being beginners.
This is the mindset for mindfulness. Too often, we get stuck in a rut of our own making because we think we know how things are. This can block us off from how we think things are vs. the reality of what they actually are.
Being open to life as though everything we do is for the first time again makes us more receptive to other perspectives - and you may be surprised at what you learn when you get the hang of it.
For some reason, many of us have stopped trusting ourselves, our guts, our own feelings. Part of mindfulness is to regain that trust in ourselves, our own intuition and authority. We will make mistakes along the way, but if we trust our own selves and our ability to make decisions and accept accountability, we will be able to grow.
Meditating or practicing mindfulness is about being in the moment. There is no goal, no achievement, no medal waiting for you at the end. You don't have to do anything, other than be in the moment. It's about being yourself, and existing right now.
This is often why people have such a hard time practicing meditation - many of us simply don't know what to do when we have nothing to do but sit still. That's the point! Your goal is to be yourself.
Sit in the moment. Focus on yourself. How do you feel? What is your body telling you? How do you feel after you've shut everything else out?
This one lies around the idea that we often try to deny things we just don't want to accept as real, or fact. We try to force things to be what we want, instead of what they are. We have to accept ourselves as we are in order to grow and change.
It's not about tolerating bad behavior, or not wanting to improve, rather just saying, "OK, this is me. I have good things and bad things. I see things as they really are."
This is a natural extension of acceptance. Once we accept how things are, we can loosen their hold on us. Sometimes we let an idea, a comment, a past mistake gnaw at our poor brains until we feel frantic and really down on ourselves.
There is power in knowing what we have a hard time letting go of, be it a person, a feeling, a memory. Exploring why we are holding onto it can tell us what we need to do to let it go and become observers, rather than live within it.
Now that you have some basic tenets of mindfulness, it's time to just practice. This is the key. There is no finish line. There is no 30 day guarantee. You practice every day, make it your own, and pay attention to what works for you. All of us will have a different experience.
To be mindful means to live in the present moment. It means to be aware of the now, rather than thinking about the past or future.
You may be in a season of inner or outer chaos now. The mental chatter may be incessant, but don’t lose hope. In fact, believe that as you keep your faith (whatever that means for you), there are some important things happening deep within you.
Do your best to focus on your breath moment by moment. Whatever you’re doing, do it mindfully, with your attention right there on your tasks. Your choice to live mindfully as an optimist will pay off.
You might be tempted to get frustrated or depressed. You might want to say, “This is ridiculous and taking forever!”
Resist the urge to swim in the negativity sea.
Rather, take some time to get quiet with yourself. Take a few slow, deep breaths and relax. Continue to focus on your breath – the inhale and exhale. Mentally, recite things like, “I am peace,” or “All is well”.
Know that clarity and a breakthrough will come in due time. Trust the process.
When negative emotions arise, such as sadness, frustration, grief, or fear, take a little time to embrace the feeling. There is a reason that a negative emotion has risen. It may have an important message for you.
It’s easy to feel the intense emotion and get right into fear. If that’s what you’re used to, then it might take some time to break this habit.
There’s a phrase that’s common in therapy circles. “You have to face it and feel it to heal it”.
Do you have racing thoughts in your mind? Are most of them negative?
The next time this happens, do these 4 things.
“Hey fear. What is it? What message are you trying to get to me? Oh, you need me to create a safe inner space? Take some time every day to shut the world out and go within? Ok, fear. That’s what I’m going to do.”
“Hey confusion. I see you. I hear you. You’re worried I won’t make the right decision. I get it. But I want you to know that I am doing all I know to do to make the right decision for me. I’m showing up as a responsible adult, and I’m taking some silent time to gain some clarity. You can step down confusion. I’ve got this.”
You get the idea.
Practice mindful living. Acknowledge and embrace the emotions momentarily and then let it go. Let them float away like the stream. Trust that whatever decisions you make will be the right ones for you at this time in your life.
Practicing mindfulness and meditation are great ways to help calm the mind.
However, if you’ve been there and tried them to no avail, consider reaching out for professional help. You don’t have to stay stuck with racing thoughts dominating your mind.
There are professionals who are qualified to help you gain some clarity of mind and freedom from negative emotions. Consult with a therapist, Life Coach, mentor, etc. for help. Give yourself permission to receive assistance.
It takes time to learn how to calm the mind and experience mindful living. There are neural pathways in your brain that are fairly set in their ways. However, you can learn to rewire them with some time and effort.
You might not experience complete peace of mind overnight, but that’s alright. Learn to be patient and trust the process and your path in life. Do what you can and let the rest come incrementally. Enjoy each day living mindfully – in the moment.
Trust that things are working out for you. That you’re becoming more peaceful. That as you commit to living mindfully, you will be able to experience peace, harmony, and serenity.
Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher, once said,
“Knowing others is intelligence. Knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is a true power.”
Even thousands of years ago, the great minds of the world were diving inwards and trying to truly understand themselves so they could be better and do better.
In the chaotic world we live in today, reading up on personal development topics has never been more important. With so many distractions, it’s easy to lose your way and lose touch with yourself. In fact, having a consistent self-growth plan can help you reach your full potential — and achieve success in all aspects of life.
So, what should you be reading? What are some bestsellers to get you started?
Alright, you’ve decided you’re ready for growth. You want change. You feel you could be happier. And, arguably, getting started is the hardest part. Yet, with this book list, you’ll get off on the right foot and be able to start making actionable changes in your life. So, what titles should be on your wishlist?
Changing your day-to-day habits is seriously tough. And let’s throw away the idea that you won’t mess up (because chances are, you will. We all do!). However, Atomic Habits simplifies the whole habit-change process.
It’s not about drastic lifestyle overhauls or career changes. It’s all about doing that 1% each day to get you closer to your goals. It’s about failing forward, while creating good habits and shedding the bad habits.
Now, James Clear breaks this down in many different ways. Primarily, he focuses on “hacking” each stage of the habit loop, including cue, craving, response, and reward. He offers up multiple ways to change your habits for the better, helping you finally create good habits and make ‘em stick.
For all my fellow naturally socially awkward friends, this is a must-read. In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie’s advice has stood the test of time.
First published in 1936, the major takeaway of this book is kindness, and knowing that kindness actually works! Everyone wants to feel appreciated and important.
If you want to avoid conflict and overcome personal or business hurdles, the pages in this book are filled with actionable bits of advice that apply in various situations.
It’s basically the handbook on how to treat people, creating win-to-win scenarios again and again. There are also loads of examples, which can help make these ideas that much more concrete and applicable.
In today’s modern society, stress is rampant.
In fact, it’s likely you’ve been under some degree of stress today, whether that’s worrying about a conversation you had this past weekend or worrying about the incoming tasks of today.
It’s safe to say, we could all worry a little less. And worrying, sometimes, is 100% not useful. On top of this, we all know holding grudges never does us any good. Yet, we all tend to do this from time to time anyway.
Let That Sh*t Go attempts to flip your perspective and help you see the world through an entirely new lens. You can find that state of calm in your life. It’s entirely possible, especially after you read the advice and wisdom jam-packed in these chapters.
Related Article: How to Let Go of Unpleasant Things in Life
If you’re set on changing your habits, grab this book and a copy of Atomic Habits. With these two in hand, you’re almost unstoppable.
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey simplifies the path to success. If you find yourself overwhelmed and never actually achieving your goals, this is another must-read.
As far as self-improvement topics go, this book will flip your perspective and paradigm upside-down. You’ll learn simple principles that make all of life’s tasks easier, and that will make you more productive and successful.
A great way to learn more about why many of us behave the way we behave or have an innate desire for certain things is by looking backward in time. Sapiens outlines what we know about the history of humankind. Understanding our joint history is a broader way to understand your own motives and reasoning.
For example, there’s a reason we all want to belong. Back in the day of tribes and hunters, if you were rejected from the tribe, there was a very low chance that you would survive. This innate need is still present in modern-day humans.
In Sapiens, there are so many more of these takeaways. But we’ll leave the rest for you to find when you read this incredible book (take your time though! It’s a lot of information, and is best consumed in small doses.).
If you’ve learned about or dabbled in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), you might enjoy this read. The Happiness Trap outlines the techniques of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy).
This book further dives into how the hunt for happiness tends to lead to more unhappiness, and why. It also will help you unravel the true path to happiness using ACT and avoiding more stress and anxiety.
Alright, this one might not be for everyone. But if you’re growing more and more tired of your 9-5 job, you might want to give The 4-hour Work Week a serious read. It’s all about automating and delegating for those business-savvy individuals amongst us.
And hey, even if you aren’t business-savvy per say, this book might offer up ideas to help you optimize other aspects of your life, helping you get stuff done.
If you’re ready to get vulnerable, Brene Brown discusses the courage behind it, helping you lead, love, parent, work, and teach better. Vulnerability attaches meaning to events or interactions in our life. It brings more purpose into our lives. It creates more meaningful and deep relationships.
Without vulnerability, you end up standing on the outside. You never immerse yourself in your life. Yet, this book offers ways for you to do just that and take that courageous step forward, living your life in the most meaningful way possible.
Move over toxic positivity, Mark Manson offers useful and practical tips for making your life better. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck addresses life head-on. Sometimes, there’s going to be stuff you don’t want to face and it’s going to suck. At the same time, you get to choose where you invest your attention.
The takeaway? Choose wisely. Pick the things that truly matter and make a difference in your life. Mark Manson is ultra thought-provoking, breaking through the commonly accepted barriers that society has created.
Love stories and learning? This one is right up your alley.
This book is based around four characters that live in a maze. These characters are examples of the risks and rewards associated with being adaptable.
If you always find yourself searching and searching for something but unwilling to change to get there, this is the story you will want to pay attention to! With lessons woven into a relatable and easy-to-follow story, Who Moved My Cheese? offers ways to help you deal with change in both work and life.
We’re not done yet! Personal development topics are almost never-ending (this list could actually go on forever!). But we couldn’t leave it without a special mention here.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo might be just what you need if you’re drowning in clutter or struggling with organization. Marie Kondo provides a simple way to de-clutter and transform your house and home.
There’s no better time than right now. Whether you want to achieve personal goals in your life or you simply want to feel better, you’ll find what you need in the pages and chapters of the books above.
From learning about letting things slide off your back to allowing yourself to become more vulnerable and make new habits, you are already well on your way toward transforming yourself into the person you need to be for the next chapter in your life. So, it’s time to get reading and start implementing!