Life Improvement

25 WAYS TO ACHIEVE INNER PEACE

Ahhh, the elusive inner peace… in today’s crazy busy world, how do you achieve bliss? How can you unplug and be happy amid the chaos?

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1. Unplug! If you’re attached to the umbilical cord of your smartphone, you are at anybody’s beck and call, you are overwhelmed with information (some important, some not at all) and you are constantly interrupted. You deserve some time to devote exclusively to yourself, to your relationships, to your work and to your passions and goals.

2. Listen to music that makes you feel relaxed and happy. Whatever your genre, music is soul food!

3. Run it off. Exercise, especially outdoors, is a way to promote peace of mind. Not only will you get the endorphins flowing but when you’re focused on a sport, you can’t be immersed in your worries. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do. Just do it.

4. Breathe! Anytime you bring your attention to your breath, your mind can’t think about all of your worries. Try this: count each breath and try to get to 10 without allowing your mind to wander, even for a second. This is much more difficult than you might imagine!

5. Clean your space. Declutter, organize and get rid of anything you don’t use, need or that you don’t love. Clutter only reminds you of things left undone and it creates more work for you. Commit to a 15-minute daily cleanup and you’ll never have to sacrifice a weekend day to clean your home.

6. Play! Play with pets, kids and/or friends. Be silly. Frolic. Goof off. Be a kid. Romp. Inject a playful attitude into boring chores and let your inner child come out and play.

7. Be in nature. The soothing sounds of birds or flowing water will do wonders for your soul. Traffic noise and other manmade sounds can be so incredibly jarring (like your alarm clock) and a little time in nature will soothe you.

8. Love yourself! Treat yourself with love and respect:

Excellent nutrition, daily exercise and enough rest
Kind and empowering self-talk (don’t trash-talk yourself)
Stand up for yourself (learn to say NO) and be assertive with your needs
Accept yourself and learn to like and love yourself unconditionally
Be true to yourself. Understand your values and act according to them.
Don’t beat yourself up about past mistakes and failures. Learn from them!
9. Be here now. Mindfulness, or present-awareness, is a difficult thing to master. Our thoughts are always racing ahead to the future or wallowing in the past. Become more acutely aware of the information gathered by all five of your senses in any given moment.

10. Smile and laugh! Find the humor in life, and both smiling and laughter are proven mood boosters.

11. Make – and work on – goals. Goals are the carrots that keep you moving in the right direction for YOU. If you aren’t happy with the way things are, don’t complain or worry. Set your sights on something better and work toward it. Make it happen.

12. Accept what you can’t change. There’s really no point in worrying yourself sick if there’s nothing you can do. If you can do even a little (even if it feels like a drop in the bucket) do it. If there’s nothing you can do, it’s more productive to set your sights on making your own contribution in your own way, even in some area that’s totally unrelated. Any and all positive contributions are necessary.

13. Don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Be more flexible and be open to the fact that your way is not THE way. Become interested in alternative points of view and different approaches.

14. Love, all the way. Unconditionally. Freely. Be vulnerable and love without fear. Enter a relationship with NO expectations – just love the person for the person they are, without ever expecting them to fill any “holes” in your life. You are complete as you are. You were born complete and you don’t need anyone to fill any imaginary voids.

15. Focus on the best-case outcome. Worrying is just a habit. You can just as easily turn your imagination to what might go right instead of what might go wrong. Practice this daily and reprogram your mind to think in terms of best-case outcomes.

16. Let it go. It’s not easy to cut ties or cut losses, but why go down with the ship? Think of it this way: you’re just turning the page and moving on to a new chapter.

17. Be grateful. This may be the single most important element of inner peace. Focus on everything in your life that you’re grateful for. Deliberately look for the blessings and lessons.

18. Reach out. Share your life with others. Even if you’re very shy, you can be part of something if you volunteer.

19. Find healthy ways to express negative emotions. Never suppress or deny negative emotions (they come back with a vengeance) and don’t self-destruct because of them. Instead, exercise, play music, do art, practice martial arts, meditate, write… it’s often said that an artist’s best work comes from their “blue period.”

20. Slow down! What’s the rush? Why does everything need to be instant? Challenge your own impatience and that of others. We may live in a world that encourages instant results, but try telling that to a bottle of wine. Everything in its own good time.

21. Don’t compare yourself to others. You are you. Who cares what “everybody else” is doing? Who cares what is trending? Do you have to be a “sheeple”? No! Follow your own heart, do what you want to do, walk your own path. Be you.

22. Stop worrying about what other people think. You may think they’re judging you, but most of the time, people are only concerned with themselves. They are spending time thinking about themselves and what other people think about them, much more so than they are spending time thinking about you.

23. Be kind! Kindness feels good. The inner peace you get from helping someone out is profound.

24. Challenge the norm. We all think in terms of what we should and must do. How many of those “shoulds” and “musts” ring true to you? How many are your ideas of what constitutes a great life, and how many are society’s? How many are hand-me-down ideals from your parents? “Must” you get a college degree? “Should” you buy a house? When you follow your heart and do what you intuitively know is right for you, you’ll enjoy inner peace.

25. Simplify. Less is more! Just think about how much you have to work in order to be able to buy, store, repair, insure and maintain things. If you have less things, you can work less and play more.

Stress can start to feel so normal that we hardly notice it anymore. But once you start practicing these methods to achieve inner peace, you’ll probably see just how chronically stressed you used to be. But no more!

Read more at http://www.the-open-mind.com/25-ways-to-inner-peace/#8qTPWFhpmETMVKee.99

Seven Ways How Music Benefits your Health

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“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” ~ Billy Joel

I remember the time I gave birth to our son, the doctor played some relaxing, soothing tunes that helped ease the process of giving natural birth. Music can have dramatic effect on the human mind and the spirit, no matter your condition.

From reducing stress levels, to elevating your current state of consciousness, or taking you in a state of trance – it opens the doors to newer dimensions – dimensions which can only be accessed in a certain state of mind.

Music seems to be part of our biological heritage, because infants have excellent musical abilities, that’s why many to-be mothers sing to their unborn child, because they respond/dance to different types of music.

No human culture on earth has ever lived without it: Music has been used across different cultures for healing purpose. In ancient Greece, music was used to ease stress, promote sleep, and soothe pain. Native Americans and Africans used singing and chanting as part of their healing rituals, like the shamans. Even the Chinese character for medicine includes the character for music. Music and healing goes hand in hand.

Lets see the effect music can have on a physical/ mental and psychological level

Early music training benefits a child’s development

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1) Improves your visual and verbal skills

Early music education stimulates a child’s brain, leading to improved performance in verbal intelligence. This was suggested in a study among 4-to 6-year-olds who received only one month of musical training. It included training in rhythm, pitch, melody, voice and basic musical concepts, and this proved to have a “transfer effect,” enhancing their ability to understand words and explain their meaning.

Another study among 8 to 11-year-olds found that those who had extra-curricular music classes, developed higher verbal IQ, and visual abilities, in comparison to those with no musical training.

Even one-year-old babies who participate in interactive music classes with their parents smile more,communicate better and show earlier and more sophisticated brain responses to music.

The four ways sound affects us

2) Affects the heartbeat, pulse rate and blood pressure

music-helps-to-recover-from-heart-diseases

music-helps-to-recover-from-heart-diseases

As Nietzsche, said, ‘We listen to music with our muscles.’ Studies have proved that music can not only strengthen the heart but also improve the recovery of patients suffering from heart disease.

No matter the genre of music, listening to one’s favorite music releases endorphins in the brain that improves the vascular health. (Opera, classical and other types of ‘joyful’ music were more likely to stimulate endorphins as opposed to heavy metal)

At Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, men and women who listened to music soon after undergoing cardiac surgery were less anxious andreported having less pain than those who just rested quietly.

At Massachusetts General Hospital, a nurse-led team found that heart patients confined to bed who listened to music for 30 minutes had lower blood pressure, slower heart rates, and less distress than those who didn’t listen to music.

The rhythm, the melody and harmony, all play a role in the emotional and cardiovascular response.

3) Improves sleep quality in students

Young or old, we all face sleep problems, in some cases, regularly, in other cases, when we’ve had an overactive day. Listening to soft music is indeed relaxing, hence improving the quality of your sleep.

Research shows that music can help reduce several factors known to interfere with sleep (including stress and anxiety), promote physical changes that support more restful sleep (such as lowered heart and respiratory rates), and aid in treatment of Insomnia.

4) Makes you Happier

Music affects our emotional state, making you feel happy, ecstatic or even sad. According to a study, your brain releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical, when you listen to tunes that move you. Sometimes you also experience feeling of shivers or chills while listening to a particular track, this shows that brain releases large amount of dopamine, that gives you happiness and pleasure. So listening to music gives us the same hit of happiness that we would get from a piece of chocolate, sex or drugs.

While another study shows that Music with a quick tempo in a major key, brought about all the physical changes associated with happiness in listeners. In contrast, a slow tempo and minor key led to sadness.

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benefits of music on human health and mind

Even when we listen to happy music with the intention to feel happy, it always works as opposed to simply listening to music without attempting to alter our mood.

5) Boosts your immune system and reduce Pain

Music has been found to reduce the levels of stress hormone, cortisol, which can weaken the immune system and is responsible for many illnesses. If you like to dance to uplifting music, then you are definitely on a path to better health. Scientists found that after listening to just 50 minutes of uplifting dance music, the levels of antibodies in participants’ bodies increased.

Different types of music might have different effect, but it also depends on your personal preference and what tunes resonate with your soul. What resonates with the spirit, does have a healing effect.

6) Reduces Depression and Anxiety

Listening to music has much more effect on the human mind and psyche. Researchers say that it can helpease anxiety among cancer patients, have positive effects on their mood, pain and improve quality of life. Researchers from Drexel University found that cancer patients who either listened to music or worked with a music therapist experienced a reduction in anxiety, had better blood pressure levels and improved moods.

7) Keeps an aging brain healthy

Having musical training could help keep the brain healthy as people grow older. Any kind of musical activity in life serves as a challenging cognitive exercise, making your brain sharper and more capable of dealing with challenges of aging.

Even someone with brain damage or dementia can recover memories through listening to music. It is ingrained in our deepest core of being, no matter the language, the sound and the rhythm resonates deep within. Like Kahlil Gibran puts it, “Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.”
Here’s another video on Music and the Brain

Image source

Music and children

Effect of Music

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7 Habits of Incredibly Happy People

In our day-to-day lives it is easy to miss the forest for the trees and look over some of the smaller, simpler things that can disproportionally affect our happiness levels. Luckily, we can go off more than just our intuition; there are lots of studies that aim for finding the right behavior that leads to a happier life. Below, we take a look at some of the more actionable advice.

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1. Be Busy, But Not Rushed
Research shows that being “rushed” puts you on the fast track to being miserable. On the other hand, many studies suggest that having nothing to do can also take its toll, bad news for those who subscribe to the Office Space dream of doing nothing.

The porridge is just right when you’re living a productive life at a comfortable pace. Meaning: you should be expanding your comfort zone often, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed. Easier said than done, but certainly an ideal to strive towards.

Feeling like you’re doing busywork is often the result of saying “Yes” to things you are not absolutely excited about. Be sure to say “No” to things that don’t make you say, “Hell yeah!” We all have obligations, but a comfortable pace can only be found by a person willing to say no to most things, and who’s able to say “Yes” to the right things.

You should be expanding your comfort zone often, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed.

2. Have 5 Close Relationships
Having a few close relationships keeps people happier when they’re young, and has even been shown to help us live longer, with a higher quality of life. True friends really are worth their weight in gold. But why five relationships? This seemed to be an acceptable average from a variety of studies. Take this excerpt from the book Finding Flow:

National surveys find that when someone claims to have 5 or more friends with whom they can discuss important problems, they are 60 percent more likely to say that they are ‘very happy’.
The number isn’t the important aspect here, it is the effort you put into your relationships that matters. Studies show that even the best relationships dissolve over time; a closeness with someone is something you need to continually earn, never treat it as a given. Every time you connect with those close to you, you further strengthen those bonds and give yourself a little boost of happiness at the same time. The data show that checking in around every two weeks is the sweet spot for very close friends.

3. Don’t Tie Your Happiness to External Events
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. —C.S. Lewis
Self-esteem is a tricky beast. It’s certainly good for confidence, but a variety of research suggests that self-esteem that is bound to external success can be quite fickle. For example, certain students who tied their self-esteem to their grades experienced small boosts when they received a grad school acceptance letter, but harsh drops in self-esteem when they were rejected.

Tying your happiness to external events can also lead to behavior which avoids failure as a defensive measure. Think of all the times you tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter that I failed, because I wasn’t even trying.” The key may be, as C.S. Lewis suggests, to instead think of yourself less, thus avoiding the trap of tying your self-worth to external signals.

4. Exercise
Yup, no verbose headline here, because there is no getting around it: no matter how much you hate exercise, it will make you feel better if you stick with it. Body image improves when you exercise (even if results don’t right away). And eventually, you should start seeing that “exercise high” once you’re able to pass the initial hump: The release of endorphins has an addictive effect, and more exercise is needed to achieve the same level of euphoria over time.

So make it one of your regular habits. It does not matter which activity you choose, there’s bound to be at least one physical activity you can stomach.

5. Embrace Discomfort for Mastery
Happy people generally have something known as a “signature strength” — At least one thing they’ve become proficient at, even if the learning process made them uncomfortable.

Research has suggested that mastering a skill may be just as stressful as you might think. Researchers found that although the process of becoming proficient at something took its toll on people in the form of stress, participants reported that these same activities made them feel happy and satisfied when they looked back on their day as a whole.

As the cartoon Adventure Time famously said, “Suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something,” and it’s true, struggle is the evidence of progress. The rewards of becoming great at something far outweigh the short-term discomfort that is caused earning your stripes.

Struggle is the evidence of progress.

6. Spend More Money on Experiences
Truly happy people are very mindful of spending money on physical items, opting instead to spend much of their money on experiences. “Experiential purchases” tend to make us happier, at least according to the research. In fact, a variety of research shows that most people are far happier when buying experiences vs. buying material goods.

Here are some reasons why this might be, according to the literature:

Experiences improve over time. Aging like a fine wine, great experiences trump physical items, which often wear off quickly (“Ugh, my phone is so old!”). Experiences can be relived for years.
People revisit experiences more often. Research shows that experiences are recalled more often than material purchases. You are more likely to remember your first hiking trip over your first pair of hiking boots (although you do need to make that purchase, or you’ll have some sore feet!).
Experiences are more unique. Most people try to deny, but we humans are constantly comparing ourselves to one another. Comparisons can often make us unhappy, but experiences are often immune to this as they are unique to us. Nobody in the world will have the exact experience you had with your wife on that trip to Italy.
We adapt slowly to experiences. Consumer research shows that experiences take longer to “get used to.” Have you ever felt really energized, refreshed, or just different after coming back from a great show/dinner/vacation? It is harder to replicate that feeling with material purchases.
Experiences are social. Human beings are social animals. Did you know that true solitary confinement is often classified as “cruel and unusual” punishment due to the detrimental effects it can have on the mind? Experiences get us out of our comfort zone, out of our house, and perhaps involved in those close relationships we need to be happy.

7. Don’t Ignore Your Itches
This one is more anecdotal than scientific, but perhaps most important.

When the Guardian asked a hospice nurse for the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, one of the most common answers was that people regretted not being true to their dreams:

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
As they say, there are seven days in the week, and “someday” isn’t one of them.

 

Source

 

 

Beauty and Its Beastly Secrets: The Toxic Truth About Cosmetics

Sure, most women use makeup. But the more Linda Sharp finds out about what’s in the stuff, the more horrified she gets.

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Labels on cosmetics and body care products are a tough code to crack. The industry is so shockingly unregulated that it’s usually impossible to trust the claims that manufacturers place on their products. A word such as “natural” can be used by anyone for anything. Even “organic” is misleading. Companies are supposed to use an organic label only if all ingredients are certified-organic, but they can also say it’s “made with organic” if it contains a minimum of 70 percent certified-organic ingredients. Regardless, 30 percent still leaves a lot of room for toxins.

The whole industry has a “innocent-till-proven-guilty” approach to ingredients. Unless a chemical used in beauty products is proven to cause harm to human health, it is classified as GRAS, or “generally recognized as safe.” This classification is upheld by the U.S. FDA and hardly has the best interests of consumers at heart.

The best thing we consumers can do is read ingredient lists carefully in order to avoid chemicals that are known to be harmful, even though they continue to be widely used. Here is a list of the top 20 toxins to avoid, according to Gillian Deacon’s 2011 book There’s Lead in Your Lipstick: Toxins in Our Everyday Body Care and How to Avoid Them.

Coal Tar: A known carcinogen banned in the EU, but still used in North America. Used in dry skin treatments, anti-lice and anti-dandruff shampoos, also listed as a colour plus number, i.e. FD&C Red No. 6.

DEA/TEA/MEA: Suspected carcinogens used as emulsifiers and foaming agents for shampoos, body washes, soaps.

Ethoxylated surfactants and 1,4-dioxane: Never listed because it’s a by-product made from adding carcinogenic ethylene oxide to make other chemicals less harsh. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found 1,4-dioxane in 57 percent of baby washes in the U.S. Avoid any ingredients containing the letters “eth.”

Formaldehyde: Probable carcinogen and irritant found in nail products, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, shampoos. Banned in the EU.

Fragrance/Parfum: A catchall for hidden chemicals, such as phthalates. Fragrance is connected to headaches, dizziness, asthma, and allergies.

Hydroquinone: Used for lightening skin. Banned in the UK, rated most toxic on the EWG’s Skin Deep database, and linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.

Lead: Known carcinogen found in lipstick and hair dye, but never listed because it’s a contaminant, not an ingredient.

Mercury: Known allergen that impairs brain development. Found in mascara and some eyedrops.

Mineral oil: By-product of petroleum that’s used in baby oil, moisturizers, styling gels. It creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.

Oxybenzone: Active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight.

Parabens: Used as preservatives, found in many products. Linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity.

Paraphenylenediamine (PPD): Used in hair products and dyes, but toxic to skin and immune system.

Phthalates: Plasticizers banned in the EU and California in children’s toys, but present in many fragrances, perfumes, deodorants, lotions. Linked to endocrine disruption, liver/kidney/lung damage, cancer.

Placental extract: Used in some skin and hair products, but linked to endocrine disruption.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG): Penetration enhancer used in many products, it’s often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both known carcinogens.

Silicone-derived emollients: Used to make a product feel soft, these don’t biodegrade, and also prevent skin from breathing. Linked to tumour growth and skin irritation.

Sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate (SLS, SLES): A former industrial degreaser now used to make soap foamy, it’s absorbed into the body and irritates skin.

Talc: Similar to asbestos in composition, it’s found in baby powder, eye shadow, blush, deodorant. Linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems.

Toluene: Known to disrupt the immune and endocrine systems, and fetal development, it’s used in nail and hair products. Often hidden under fragrance.

Triclosan: Found in antibacterial products, hand sanitizers, and deodorants, it is linked to cancer and endocrine disruption. Avoid the brand Microban.

Source: http://www.treehugger.com/

 

6 Toxic Behaviors That Sabotage Your Success: How to Recognize Them in Yourself and Change Them

The six most toxic behaviors are:

Taking everything personally: In the powerful little book The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz talks about the importance of taking nothing personally. I teach this in my coaching programs and my book Breakdown, Breakthrough as well, and there is so much pushback. “Really, Kathy — don’t take anything personally?”

People are toxic to be around when they believe that everything that happens in life is a direct assault on them or is in some way all about them. The reality is that what people say and do to you is much more about them, than you. People’s reactions to you are about their filters and their perspectives, wounds and experiences. Whether people think you’re amazing or believe you’re the worst, again, it’s more about them. I’m not saying we should be narcissists and ignore all feedback. I am saying that so much hurt, disappointment and sadness in our lives comes from our taking things personally when it’s far more productive and healthy to let go of others’ good or bad opinion of you, and to operate with your own heart, intuition and wisdom as your guide. So yes — don’t take anything personally.

Obsessing about negative thoughts: It’s very hard to be around people who can’t or won’t let go of negativity — when they dwell on and speak incessantly about the terrible things that could happen and have happened, the slights they’ve suffered and the unfairness of life. These people stubbornly refuse to see the positive side of life and the positive lessons from what’s transpiring. Pessimism is one thing — but remaining perpetually locked in negative thoughts is another. Only seeing the negative, and operating from a view that everything is negative and against you, is a skewed way of thinking and living, and you can change that.

Treating yourself like a victim : Another toxic behavior is non-stop complaining that fuels your sense of victimization. Believing you’re a victim, that you have no power to exert and no influence on the direction of your life is a toxic stance that keeps you stuck and small. Working as a therapist with people who’ve suffered terrible trauma in their lives but found the courage to turn it all around, I know that we have access to far more power, authority and influence over our lives than we initially believe. When you stop whining, and refuse to see yourself as a hapless victim of fate, chance or discrimination, then you’ll find that you are more powerful than you realized, but only if you choose to accept that reality.

Cruelty — lacking in empathy or putting yourself in others shoes: One of the most toxic and damaging behaviors — cruelty — stems from a total lack of empathy, concern or compassion for others. We see it every day online and in the media — people being devastatingly cruel and destructive to others just because they can. They tear people down online but in a cowardly way, using their anonymity as a weapon. Cruelty, backstabbing and ripping someone to shreds is toxic, and it hurts you as well as your target.

I had a powerful learning experience about this a few years ago. I came into the house one day in a nasty mood and shared a mean, sniping comment to my husband about the way a neighbor was parenting her child through one of his problem phases. In less than 24 hours, that very same issue the parent was dealing with came home to roost in my house, with my child. It was as if the Universe sent me the message that, “Ah, if you want to be cruel and demeaning about someone, we’ll give you the same experience you’ve judged so negatively, so you can learn some compassion.” And I did.

If you find yourself backstabbing and tearing someone else down, stop in your tracks. Dig deep and find compassion in your heart, and realize that we’re all the same.

Excessive reactivity: An inability to manage your emotions is toxic to everyone around you. We all know these people — men and women who explode over the smallest hiccup or problem. Yelling at the bank teller for the long line, screaming at your assistant for the power point error he made or losing it with your child for spilling milk on the floor. If you find that you’re overly reactive, losing it at every turn, you need some outside assistance to help you gain control over your emotions and understand what’s at the root of your emotionality. There’s more to it that appears on the surface. An outside perspective — and a new kind of support — is critical.

Needing constant validation: Finally, people who constantly strive for validation and self-esteem by obsessing about achieving outward measures of success are exhausting to be around. Those men and women who get caught up in the need to prove their worth over and over, and constantly want to “win” over their colleagues or peers, are toxic and draining.

Overly-attaching to how things have to look and be and to achieving certain milestones and accomplishments rather than going with life in a more flexible, easy manner, can wear you out and bring everyone else around you down . There is a bigger picture to your life, and it’s not about what you achieve or fail at today or what’s in your bank account. It’s about the journey, the process, the path — what you’re learning and applying, how you’re helping others and the growing process you allow yourself to engage in.

Stop stressing over the particular outcomes like, “I need that promotion now!” or “My house has to be bigger and more beautiful than my neighbor’s.” Your desperate need to prove your success and build your self-esteem through outer measures of success is (sadly) apparent to everyone but you, and it’s pushing away the very happiness outcomes you’re longing for.

 

Source: huffington post

30 Brilliant Psychological Life Hacks That Successful People Have Been Using Forever

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30 Brilliant Psychological Life Hacks That Successful People Have Been Using Forever

By: Maia McCann

These 24 psychological life hacks have been practiced by successful people for years, and it’s time you took advantage of these mind tricks that can vastly improve your life. These small shifts will give you greater control of potentially important outcomes, from everyday situations to stressful job interviews. I’ve adapted these awesome pieces of advice from an AskReddit thread on the topic.

1. Primacy and recency: people most remember the first and last things to occur, and barely the middle.
When scheduling an interview, ask what times the employer is interviewing and try to be first or last.

2. If you work in a bar or in customer service of any kind…
…Put a mirror behind you at the counter. This way angry customers who approach you will have to see themselves in the mirror behind you and the chances of them behaving irrationally lowers significantly.

3. Once you make the sales pitch, don’t say anything else.

interview

This works in sales, but it can also be applied in other ways. My boss at an old job was training me and just giving me pointers. I was working at a gym trying to sell memberships. He told me that once I got all the small talk out of the way and presented the prices, that the first person to talk will lose. It didn’t seem like a big deal but it actually worked. Often there were long periods of awkward silence as the person tried to come up with some excuse, but usually they bought.

4. If you ask someone a question and they only partially answer, just wait.

If you stay silent and keep eye contact they will usually continue talking.

5. Chew gum when you’re approaching a situation that would make you nervous like public speaking or bungee jumping.
If we are eating, something in our brain reasons ‘I would not be eating if I were danger. So I’m not in danger’. Has helped calm me a few times.

gum

6. People will remember not what you said but how you made them feel.
Also most people like talking about themselves so ask lots of questions about them.
7. When you’re learning something new, teach a friend about it. Let them ask questions.
If you’re able to teach something well, you understand it.
8. If you get yourself to be really happy and excited to see other people, they will react the same to you.

It doesn’t always happen the first time, but it will definitely happen next time.

9. The physical affects of stress – breathing rate and heart rate – are almost identical to the physical affects of courage.
When your feeling stress from any situation immediately reframe it: your body is getting ready to be courageous, it is NOT feeling stress.

10. Pay attention to people’s feet.
If you approach two people in the middle of a conversation, and they only turn their torsos and not their feet, they don’t want you to join in the conversation. Similarly if you are in a conversation with a coworker who you think is paying attention to you and their torso is turned towards you but their feet are facing in another direction, they want the conversation to end.

11. Fake it till you make it; confidence is more important than knowledge.
Don’t be intimidated by anyone, everyone is playing a role and wearing a mask.

12. If you pretend to be something for long enough, you will eventually become it.

13. Not to be creepy, but if you want to stare at someone unashamedly, look directly past them and wait for them to try and meet your eyes.
When they fail to do that, they’ll look around (usually nervously for a second) they won’t look at you again for some time. This is your chance to straight up stare at this person for at least 45 seconds.

14. Build a network.
Become their information source, and let them be yours. Even grabbing a beer with a former colleague once a year will keep you in the loop at the old office. Former coworkers might have gotten a new position in that office you always wanted to work in, great! Go to them for a beer, and ask about the office. It’s all about connections and information.

15. If you are angry at the person in front of you driving like a grandmother…
Pretend it is your grandmother, it will significantly reduce your road rage

road

16. Stand up straight
No slouching, hands out of pockets, and head held up high. It’s not just a cliche — you literally feel better and people around you feel more confident in you.

17. Avoid saying “I think,” and “I believe” unless absolutely necessary.
These are phrases that do not evoke confidence, and will literally do you no good.

18. When feeling anxious, clean up your home or work space.
You will feel happier and more accomplished than before.

19. Always buy the first pitcher or round of drinks.
You’d be surprised how long you can drink on the phrase “I bought the first one.”

20. Going into an interview…be interested in your interviewers.
If you focus on learning about them you seem more interesting and dynamic. (Again, people love to talk about themselves.)

21. Pay Attention Parents: Always give your kid a choice that makes them think they are in control.
For instance when I want him to put his shoes on I will say ,”do you want to put your star wars shoes on or your shark shoes on?”

22. Your action affect your attitudes more than your attitudes affect your actions.

27. When a group of people laugh, people will instinctively look at the person they feel closest to in that group.

28. If you want to build rapport or gain someone’s trust quickly, match their body posture and position.
If someone is sitting with her legs crossed cross your legs. If they’re leaning away from you mean away from them. If they’re leaning towards you, lean towards them. Mirroring and matching body position is a subconscious way to tell if someone trusts you or is comfortable with you. If you’re sitting with your arms crossed and you notice someone else is sitting with her arms crossed, that is a good indicator that you have/are successfully built/building rapport with that person.

Sources: http://www.stumbleupon.com