If you’re looking for some of the most effective ways to relieve stress and minimize feelings of anxiety then this post is for you.
It is not unusual to get stressed out occasionally. Whether you are a student or you have entered your professional life as an adult, there will always be something that will give you anxiety and cause you stress.
It is virtually impossible to live a life without feeling anxious, especially these days. Fortunately, this is not all bad. It’s not all bad because stress also serves the purpose of pushing us to do better. For instance, if you don’t feel stressed about that next exam, meeting, or date, you may not bother to prepare for it, and that lack of preparation may lead to unfavorable results.
So, the key is to not eliminate stress & anxiety completely from our lives, but rather, to keep it from reaching unnecessarily high levels.
Here’s why, when your stress exceeds a certain limit, it becomes unhealthy. Getting stressed out on the smallest things will slowly cause chronic anxiety, which will affect your physical health as well.
What Can Cause Stress?
Causes of stress can be unlimited. Stress also has several types. These can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Some of the main reasons for stress are typically financial, social problems, physical illness, or related to a history of stress in the family.
Symptom of Stress
You can detect when you are worried or anxious. But how do you know that you need to do something about your stress? There are certain signs and symptoms of stress that affect your body function. When they begin to show, it means that you need to start taking it seriously. Here are some of the common symptoms.
- You are distracted most of the time.
- You experience mood swings and feel annoyed.
- You feel tired all the time.
- You suffer from Irritated Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
- You get occasional chest pains.
- You have a fast heart rate most of the times without realizing.
- You often get anxiety/panic attacks.
While these symptoms can occur once or twice in your life, they should become frequent. So how do you manage stress and prevent it from affecting your daily life and health? Here are some tips with which you can relieve your stress and anxiety!
BEST WAYS TO RELIEVE STRESS
1. Do Things You Enjoy
The obvious and easiest way to relieve your stress is by doing things that you enjoy. It can be anything from painting to reading books to hanging out with your friends. As long as the activity is not harming you in any way, it could be anything. Because you are trying to relieve your anxieties, it is important to nullify it by doing healthy tasks.
Some people like to eat their favorite food when they are stressed, and it can boost their mood. While there is no harm in doing that, you should be careful that the habit does not cause an eating disorder.
2. Try Natural Remedies
You can choose to fight your negative emotions with anti-depressant medications or natural remedies. Choosing natural herbs and plants, in this case, is always better because they have minimal side effects and can have the same effects as any prescription medicine.
There are herbal teas that people drink to help soothe just as there are essential oils you can use topically in head or back massage.
Cannabis, or marijuana, is one of these naturally found plants that can help decrease your anxieties. There have been many scientific studies, and they have all come to the same conclusion. Everyone needs to know about marijuana edibles and its benefits regarding your mental health.
Nature can prove to be therapeutic if you give it a chance, but it will only work once you surrender yourself to it completely. One common reason for stress is the extensive use of electronic gadgets. It is something that not many people realize.
For many people, most of their day revolves around sitting in front of laptop/computer screens. The ultraviolet rays from the gadgets can cause strain on your eyes, which in turn, results in a headache. Slowly, without you realizing, these habits can take a toll on your mental health.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, you should disconnect from your mobile/laptop and go outside. Taking a small break, away from the electronic devices can recharge you. A better way to get your energy back up is by planning a day out every other week. Leave all your electronic devices and relish in the beauty of nature by going camping etc.
4. Adopt a Healthy Diet
Most people think that your diet only has effects on your physical health when that is not entirely true. Just as healthy food can impact your physical health; it can have a positive effect on your mental health as well.
The right nutrients can benefit your hormones and the chemical composition of your brain. It is possible to stay physically and mentally healthy if you can add the right foods in your diet.
It also means getting rid of all the unhealthy habits. For example, cut off the alcohol, smoking and junk food from your life. These are the things that people turn to when they feel stressed out and end up being more depressed than ever. That is because instead of battling your negative emotions, alcohol and smoking can actually contribute to it.
So, if you want to relieve stress fast, you can easily start with watching what you eat.
5. Do Exercise
Exercise lowers mild symptoms of stress or depression. You feel more confident in handling what life throws at you. It is also a form of meditation in motion. Most importantly, the reason why you feel pumped up afterwards is that it releases endorphins. These hormones are essential for you to be happy.
Exercise does not necessarily mean that you have to join a gym and do push-ups and stay for hours on end . It can be anything that includes moderate physical exertion. For instance, you can do exercise at home on a treadmill, a recumbent exercise bike, or a bowflex. Or, you can simply go for a walk, and that would have a positive effect on your mind and body. If you love to ride a bicycle, do it every day for an hour at least. The truth is, it doesn’t really matter what you do, so long as you get your body in motion.
6. Get Proper Sleep
If you have a routine where you don’t get enough sleep, it could be a major reason for your persistent anxiety. You need to sort out your sleeping schedule. Having enough sleep does not mean that you can sleep at any time. Our body has its own biological clock. The only way you can feel refreshed is by sleeping at night, and not during the day. Science has proven that sleeping at night is much healthier for your brain as compared to sleeping in the day.
Every person at least needs to get 8 hours of sleep every day. If you can, take a nap of half an hour in the afternoon. Short naps also play a role in reducing stress.
7. Listen To Music
Music can calm you and make you happy. But it will only work if you listen to music that relaxes you instead of making you gloomier.
As such, you’ll want to choose music that is soothing and that brings you peace. And you may want to even moderate how much heavy metal, rap, or high energy house music you listen to.
Take some time out and listen to music so you can think more clearly. Slowly, you will feel a reduction in your stress and a boost in positive energy!
8. Write It Down
Something as simple as writing can sometimes be more powerful than you can imagine. Many experts recommend patients to keep a stress diary. Whenever you feel worried, take out your diary and write down everything that comes in your mind. Don’t hold yourself back because you have to get rid of all the negative thoughts.
Once you write down what is bothering you, it becomes easy to find a solution to it. If you can’t do anything about it, the diary will help you let it go!
9. Seek Counseling
This is very much like writing down in a diary. Seeking counsel is something that should be appreciated and encouraged.
A therapist or a counselor can give you an insight on matters, and that can help the way you perceive things. It is also very similar to talking to a family member or a friend, except a counselor is able to give expertise.
Relaxing activities specifically target your stress and negative energy. Meditation and yoga is an example of these activities as they strengthen your mind as well as body. Stress is usually the result of overthinking.
Meditation provides the counter treatment by enabling you to control your thoughts and deal with them. Meditating or doing yoga for 15 to 20 minutes can have positive effects on your aura.
Have you ever loved a smell and the way it made you feel? Some people like the smell of flowers and some people love to hang out in book stores. Your senses are hardwired into your brain. The right smell can make you feel relaxed, and that is why aromatherapy exists. In aromatherapy, you use essential oils such as lavender scents. These scents have a positive effect on reducing your stress.
12. Try Breathing Techniques
Once or twice each day, try breathing techniques to relieve stress. The purpose of these exercises is to remind you to breathe normally. When you are stressed, your heart rate rises, causing shortness of breath. Most of the people don’t realize that their heart rate is inconsistent and a breathing exercise helps get their breathing on track.
As you exhale and inhale, try to unclench your jaw and shoulder muscles. We tend to hold stress by unconsciously clenching our jaw. Sometimes we don’t realize how stiff our neck muscles are. Breathing deeply can help you relax, and it will only take a few minutes.
13. Take a Long Walk
This next method for relieving stress and reducing anxiety is one of the simplest, but it is very effective. The next time you are feeling stressed try taking a long way.
The walk will give you time to think about your issues, or you can use it to get your mind completely off your issues. Either way, taking a walk can reduce feelings of anxiety and stress very quickly.
So, the next time you’re feeling stressed out, put on your walking shoes and take a little walking adventure around your neighborhood.
14. Take a Road Trip
Taking a road trip to remove stress may seem counterintuitive at first glance, but it can prove to be an excellent method for reducing stress.
Sure, the planning and readying for a long trip can be stressful for some, but you don’t have to take an overnight road trip to reap the stress-relieving benefits of a road trip. Just choose a destination in your region that could be fun to check out, and then hit the road.
The long drive, believe it or not, can prove to be a form of stress-relieving therapy. So, if you’ve tried all the other stress-reducing methods and you’re looking for something novel, a road-trip may be just what the doctor ordered.
There you have it, the best ways to relieve stress and reduce anxiety in this crazy world of ours. Here they are again as a quick recap:
- Do Things You Enjoy
- Try Natural Medicines
- Unplug and Get Out In Nature More
- Adopt a Healthy Diet
- Exercise More
- Get Enough Sleep
- Listen To Soothing Music
- Write Out Your Thoughts
- Seek Counseling
- Try Aromatherapy
- Use Breathing Techniques
- Take a Long Walk
- Take a Road Trip
These tips are simple, as well as beneficial. Try them out, and you will feel a positive change in your life!
Till next time,
PS – One of the best ways to relieve stress and reduce anxiety is to build confidence in yourself, and this resource can help you do just that.
7 WAYS TO UPGRADE YOUR MORNING ROUTINE FOR SUCCESS STARTING NOW
Looking for ways to give your productivity an edge that can set you up to achieve more? Want to make some positive changes that can dramatically improve the quality of your life? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then this morning routine for success is exactly what you need.
Now most people’s routines consist of shooting up from bed to silence a blaring alarm, sliding into the shower, and grabbing coffee as they rush out the door to fight traffic. All of which are oftentimes done with a gnawing pit in their stomach as they dread the day ahead.
A morning routine is grounded in rituals can help give you the structure you need to support a positive mindset and the beneficial physical habits to transform how you approach your day. “Rituals” may have the connotation of ceremonies with singing bowls and gongs, but you can design your own to fit the life you want to achieve.
Let’s dive right in and learn how to implement the best morning routine for success, so you can crush every day from the start.
BEST MORNING ROUTINE FOR SUCCESS
1. Exercise Your Demons (No Priest Necessary!)
Do you wake up with a smile on your face and a song in your heart? No? Neither do most people. If your heart sinks the minute the alarm goes off, then you need to move your body first thing in the morning. It’s the quickest and easiest way to improve your mood and your outlook. Exercise causes the release of endorphins, the hormones that relieve pain and reduce anxiety.
You’ve heard it before that working up a sweat is phenomenal for stress relief, but making it a priority at the start of your day has many more benefits than that. Upon rising, you are still in a fasting state which makes exercise more effective, allowing you to burn twice as much fat.
Another benefit of rising early to get a workout in is increased focus. Sure, there are fewer distractions when you’re out early in the day, but exercise can help improve your focus overall. In fact, morning exercise can help your attention and improve your better decision-making capabilities.
Also, Newton’s first law of motion tells us that a body in motion stays in motion. If you’re already making the effort to move, you’ll feel more inclined to keep that momentum going.
Related: Fitness and Success
2. Dry Brush To Get Your Blood Pumping
Using a stiff brush on dry skin first thing in the morning can increase blood circulation and help with lymphatic drainage. Not only does it feel good by stimulating your nervous system, but it can even help unclog your pores and help your body to eliminate toxins.
Brushing the skin also helps to remove dead skin cells which can leave your skin with a brighter appearance and more even in tone.
Dry brushing is also fairly simple. Find a long-handled brush with natural stiff bristles and use it just before you shower. Start at your feet and move up to your ankles in fluid strokes. Continue to move upwards towards your heart, going easier on your more sensitive skin.
3. Breakfast of Champions
This may seem like an obvious one, but it bears repeating since it’s commonly sacrificed in the rush to get out the door for work. Those who skip breakfast are more inclined to smoke, drink more alcohol, and exercise less.
Not only will making sure to eat a nutritious breakfast lead to healthier habits and choices throughout the day, it will also provide you with more energy and focus.
While we all love to greet the day with a donut or a bagel slathered with cream cheese, eating these simple carbohydrates will lead to a sugar crash. If you want to keep your energy up, go for a mixture of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs. Oatmeal is a great choice because it has plenty of fiber to keep you full. Adding a hearty fat like almond butter and berries for their antioxidants will keep you satiated.
4. Drink Salted Water (So You Can Say You Did It First)
Sure, it’s important to drink water, but there are some ingredients you can add to make it work harder for you.
Salt is responsible for proper muscle function, nerve impulses, regulating blood pressure, and even relieving muscle cramps after a workout.
Therefore, adding salt to your water in the morning is a great way to not only keep you hydrated, but as a way to recover from your morning workout by replenishing the minerals you’ve lost by pushing yourself to run that extra mile.
Now what kind of salt should you be using?
Regular table salt has been refined to remove impurities that can strip it of beneficial minerals.
Pink Himalayan salt, however, is minimally processed and estimated to have up to eighty-four trace minerals. In fact, the iron found in it is what gives this salt its special pink color.
Of course, like anything else, salt should be used in moderation as too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.
5. Reading By Dawn’s Early Light
English poet and playwright, Joseph Addison, once said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” To which you may respond, “Really, Joe? Read before work, you say? Who has time for that?”
Well, if one is indeed looking to make meaningful changes to supercharge their morning routine for success, and to ultimately upgrade their life, one had better learn to get out of bed before dawn. Yes, dawn.
Sure, reading is the best way to boost your vocabulary and become a better and more interesting communicator. However, it also has the added benefit of keeping your mind young and your brain healthy as it forces you to think and prompts your imagination.
You don’t have to be a voracious or high-brow reader to reap the benefits. Pick a book that speaks to you and read just one chapter a day. No more, no less.
6. Strategize Your Day Like You’re Going Into Battle
There is nothing more satisfying than being able to cross something off your list.
So, before you hit the road for work, take a few minutes to sit down and think about your day. Write down everything you want to accomplish and prioritize those tasks according to importance and time sensitivity. Use a handwritten list or get fancy and use a work management program like Asana or Monday to track your progress.
Use whatever works for you as long as you get things done. Chances are that you won’t finish everything you want to do, but as long as you’re making a dent in the list, you’re well on your way to making progress. Progress is better than perfect, right?
Pro-tip: be sure to include both work and personal tasks in order to keep a healthy work/life balance.
Related: Keystone Habits
7. Make Your Bed
Perhaps you’ve already successfully integrated these morning rituals and things are going extremely well for you. Your internal clock wakes you up before your alarm goes off and you dramatically throw off your covers in anticipation of bringing the world to its knees.
However, there may be days when the only knees that buckle are yours.
Without failure, we can’t have success and there will certainly be times when everything gets bungled beyond belief. Everyone messes up from time to time, and often times we must also endure the screwups of others. It doesn’t matter of it’s global circumstances beyond your control, or local ones, sometimes your life will just be thrown into turmoil.
Whatever it may be, there is one thing that you can control: making your bed. There is comfort in this small action because you know however awful the day was, there will be a fresh start and high thread count goodness waiting for you at home at the end of a day. So make your bed, because it’s a promise to yourself that you can begin again the next day in regardless of what the world throws at you.
Till you find the success you’re after,
PS – If you enjoyed this article on the best morning routine for success, then you’ll likely also enjoy these supporting resources to help you create the morning routine that suites you best:
10 WAYS SCARCITY MINDSET IS LIMITING YOUR SUCCESS + HOW TO OVERCOME IT
What comes to mind when you think of pursuing your life’s true calling? Does it excite you?
Or do you feel anxious, uncertain, or overwhelmed at the idea of finding greater joy and fulfillment in your life?
You know what you need to do to get ahead.
You know in your heart that you were destined for greatness, but you have no idea what that is or how to get it. Or maybe you get off to a good start, but something limits your success and you just can’t seem to break through.
When we don’t know what will happen in the future, a scarcity mindset can make you think and act in ways that hold you back from seeing how successful you can be.
You might feel like you do not have much knowledge, like you don’t have the means, or like you aren’t good enough to go after your goal.
You might wonder, “Who am I to follow this dream?” If this describes you in any way, know that you are not alone; everyone feels this way sometimes. I’ve even felt and thought this way multiple times throughout my life.
My name is Omar Deryan. I’m the CEO of OJ Digital Solutions, an agency that has made me $1.5M net in the past 4 years. I still don’t consider myself “successful” as that’s subjective and a big word. But I struggled with a scarcity mindset for too long, and it was until I started working on my mindset that I began truly seeing results in my entire life, including my business life.
In fact, success is not an event that happens when you “find” winning tactics or secret methods. Success is more of a process that you live, and that happens only when you change your mindset.
That said, if you’re ready to learn how you can work on your mindset to achieve greater things, then read on.
What Is Scarcity Mindset?
A “scarcity mindset” was first introduced by author Stephen Covey in his famous book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
A scarcity mindset comes from believing there’s never enough. This toxic view poisons our thoughts and self-talk.
People with a scarcity mindset are conscious of the gaps in their lives, which leads to counterproductive thoughts, especially when they consider the accomplishments of others.
Someone with a scarcity mindset believes that opportunities are few; they look at other people’s successes and feel like failures.
A scarcity mindset could ask, “Why should I try to achieve my goals? I’ll never be as successful as those who came before me.” Or they may believe, “All the opportunities have passed me by, so I have none.”
The truth is that fresh opportunities come up daily, waiting for the right person to grab them.
This is referred to as having an abundance mindset.
- Envious of others and having a carefree attitude. (I had that too much)
- Not hopeful that situations will improve.
- Never pleased with the accomplishments of a sibling, friend, or relative. Subconsciously, you wish for others’ failure.
- Keeping your expertise to yourself because you believe your team members or those in the same profession might outperform you.
- Don’t believe in the possibility of a win-win situation. When you win, you feel like you’ve beaten everyone else.
- Constantly comparing yourself to others. (Still happens to me to this day)
- When other people acquire new possessions, you feel like you can’t afford them – it’s only for the “chosen few.”
10 WAYS SCARCITY MINDSET IS LIMITING YOUR SUCCESS
1. Makes One Feel Fearful, Uncertain, and Overwhelmed
If you have a scarcity mindset, you tend to focus on negative feelings like panic and fear.
You worry that maybe you won’t earn enough if you follow your passion, or you assume that anyone who pursues their dream will end up in a financial crisis.
These ‘voices’ might cause you to feel afraid of failure. If you pursue your purpose, then you could fail or not succeed. You may also fear rejection because people may not understand why you’re doing something that is “not like you.”
The following steps may be hazy when you first discover your purpose. You may have no idea where to go or what to do next.
Worry and panic can quickly become an endless cycle. Fear of failure will paralyze you from taking any steps towards pursuing your purpose. You’ll still feel like a failure if you don’t take action that will reaffirm that you are not good enough.
When you feel overwhelmed, you can’t do anything because you don’t know what to do. This means you won’t move towards your goal and remain where you are. You’ll start to believe you cannot move forward.
2. Leads to Self-Doubt
A scarcity mindset leads you to believe that you’re not good enough. You start feeling overwhelmed and incapable of achieving what you set out to do. Your confidence wanes, and you start doubting yourself.
Imposter syndrome is when someone feels like an impostor because they think they aren’t worthy of success. They may feel like a failure because they haven’t accomplished everything they wanted.
They might feel like they’re not intelligent, talented, or experienced enough to succeed. Imposter syndrome may remind you of previous failures and mistakes when you start pursuing your calling.
It whispers you’re not good or smart enough to succeed, nor do you have enough knowledge or money to venture into your calling. It will remind you that you are time-barred and will never be ready.
It can prevent you from living your purpose because it leads you to think that you need more in your life to find fulfillment. That you need another qualification or certification, or that if you don’t get more money, you’ll fail.
Sometimes, you may feel the need to return to school, especially when moving into a new career requiring a different skill set.
However, suppose you’re always enrolling in online courses and buying more books without taking action towards your purpose. In that case, you’ll continue to believe that you’ll never learn enough to succeed.
3. A Scarcity Mindset Prevents You From Taking Risks
A scarcity mindset won’t allow you to take bold steps towards your goal.
Our minds get scared when we move out of our comfort zones.
Our mind tells us all the horrible things that would go wrong if we step out of what we are accustomed to, such as “everyone will laugh at you” and “you are wasting your time and energy.”
Keep in mind: a comfort zone is a good place to be, but nothing grows there.
4. You Are Continuously Playing Small
You will never grow if you don’t explore what is outside your comfort zone.
Fear and overwhelm will have you stuck for years on a job you hate or do not live the life you were meant to.
If you let negative thoughts control you, you’ll never think you deserve a better life.
You are capable of so much more. A scarcity mindset causes one to play small because you think it’s safer. But then you wonder why you can’t get ahead or can’t experience success.
As Marianne Williamson says, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”
5. There’s Nothing Unique About Me
You may think you have nothing unique to offer compared to others in your field. This idea can kill self-confidence and identity.
Don’t be discouraged. You have something special to give to the world.
Your unique background and life lessons can be of great value to someone else.
You can be an invaluable asset to others without even realizing it.
Maybe you went through a difficult time and overcame it. You can help others going through the same experience.
Or maybe there are milestones that you achieved that others are striving for.
Even your appearance, culture, or ethnicity plays a massive role in making you unique.
People usually relate more to individuals who look like them.
As Dave Grohl says, “No one is you, and that is your power.”
6. Comparing Yourself With Others
Social media makes us consciously or subconsciously constantly compare ourselves to others.
You might feel you are not good enough because someone else is doing better than you or “looks like” they are doing better than you.
But the reality is that no one is perfect.
Every one of us was gifted with a distinct character, unique skill sets, and life story.
So instead of focusing on how better someone else is doing, focus on what makes you “you.”
You might be surprised at how much you have accomplished in life.
And don’t forget to always celebrate your wins, no matter how small.
7. Constantly Evolving Technologies Will Render You Obsolete
We live in a fast-changing world where today’s latest discovery is outdated tomorrow.
For some people, this can be discouraging because it makes them feel like the time they spent getting that expertise was for nothing.
Curiosity, excitement, and openness to change make you use your skills and knowledge in ways that people who don’t have your background wouldn’t think of.
8. Giving up After Failure
If you’ve had a string of failed ventures, you probably think you are a failure, and if you think you’re a failure, you’re unlikely to try anything that would make you feel horrible about yourself again.
Don’t give up on yourself because you didn’t get the desired outcome.
The key is to stop telling yourself you’ve failed and look at it as a learning experience and stepping stone to success.
9. I’m either Too Young or Too Old
Who told you there is a minimum or maximum age for pursuing your goals?
We make assumptions about ourselves and the way things work.
These assumptions limit us because they keep us from reaching our goals. By letting go of these limiting beliefs, we can achieve what we set out to do.
10. I’m Not Yet Ready
A scarcity mindset says, “I need enough information, or I need to be completely ready to open a new business.” A period of time passes with no action. You can never be prepared 100% for what lies ahead.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment to act; start with the imperfect and improve from there.
HOW TO OVERCOME SCARCITY MINDSET
1. Stay Away From Negative People
Avoid being in the company of negative-minded people. The people we spend time with influence us in one way or another.
Spend time with positive-minded people; within no time, their influence will rub on you.
Practicing gratitude improves both mental health and well-being. Start a daily gratitude journal where you list at least five things you are thankful for.
When you focus on one issue, you ignore others. Change your mindset to address problems instead of letting them get to you.
Instead of thinking how bad the problem is, change your thinking to ‘How can I solve this problem?” or “What the solution here?”.
By doing this you’ll not only feel better about the situation, but you’ll put yourself on getting footing to create positive change in your life.
4. Change Your Thought Pattern
When times are tough, try to take a step back and consider how things could get better.
Reminding yourself that “there’s no such thing as not enough” can help you reframe your thinking so that you can accept that the idea of “lack” is just a mental illusion.
Loneliness increases the risk of mental illness, including depression, suicide, substance abuse, and more. A good support network can help you bounce back from stressful situations.
When moving out of a scarcity mindset and into abundance, find a group of friends who will hold you accountable. They’ll keep you grounded and remind you that you’re not alone.
To varying degrees, we all struggle with some form of a scarcity mindset.
The solution of course, is to become aware of the moments when that scarcity mindset influences our thoughts and actions, so you can steer clear of the negative results having one can bring to your life.
So, when you start feeling disoriented, stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you already possess all the skills, resources, and attributes necessary to succeed.
Then, get back to work doing what you do best.
Till you reach your aims,
PS – If you enjoyed this post on overcoming a scarcity mindset, then this post on the power of positive thinking will help you create empowering habits of thought that will lead you to positive life changes.
Here are additional articles you’ll enjoy related to mindset:
5 SIMPLE SELF-AWARENESS PRACTICES THAT WILL BRING YOU MORE SUCCESS
Self-awareness is the wisdom of being aware of your true self and living in complete peace. Self-awareness is the only door, mindfulness the only window to your success.
Understanding yourself is a fundamental piece of being human. It’s additionally a driver of expert and individual achievement. Mindful people are stronger, more desirable and reliable. They know their qualities and constraints, their pluses and minuses. Also, the self-aware pioneer knows when to depend upon others and when to ask for support.
Self-aware people are more joyful and increasingly effective. Knowing one’s self prompts more noteworthy character and greater legitimacy. While lacking self-knowledge can be very painful and difficult. How can we be able to better understand ourselves?
Why Self-Awareness Is Important?
Being self-aware can help you define your success, because the definition of success can be different for every individual. For instance, someone, having a luxury car is a triumph. Yet, for another, designing a car is success. Various individuals would likewise have various approaches towards success.
The reason behind this is that we all are different. We differ in our strengths, weaknesses, inspirations, and thoughts of disappointment. What’s more, we respond distinctively to specific circumstances. The more you think about these parts of your life, the more you can adjust to the conditions that we face. Knowing these traits that make up ourselves can assist us with breaking down how we can learn and improve.
We must thoroughly know about our feelings. Some may feel that feelings are an obstacle to our legitimate reasoning, which is fundamental to achieve success. But still, we can’t absolutely kill feelings. In addition, they are one of the most significant highlights of being human.
Our capacity to control our feelings and emotions can assist us with acting properly in specific circumstances. Dealing with one’s feelings is realizing when and how to communicate them.
In this manner, rather than investing energy to dismiss our feelings, self-awareness encourages us comprehend them more. By seeing how we feel, we can even more oversee it successfully.
As noted before, self-awareness improves our confidence, communication skills and performance at our workplace.
Self-awareness can prompt best results in the working environment, as better self-assessment normally prompts improving the arrangement between our activities and our principles, bringing about better execution.
At the point when we take part in self-assessment, we can consider to whether we are thinking and believing and going about as we “should” or observing our measures and qualities. This is alluded to as contrasting against our norms of rightness. We do this day by day, utilizing these norms as an approach to pass judgment on the rightness of our considerations and practices.
Utilizing these norms is a significant part of rehearsing poise, as we assess and decide if we are settling on the correct decisions to accomplish our objectives.
Now that we have realized that it is very important to learn self-awareness to grow and develop. So, how would you do it? What did our experts do to rehearse self-awareness?
How To Practice Self-Awareness?
There are numerous approaches to assemble and rehearse self-awareness, yet here are probably the best self-awareness practices that you can start today:
- Understanding your personality.
- Recognizing Your Strengths And Weaknesses.
- Practice Meditation.
- Live In The Moment And Analyze Your Emotions.
- Keep A Journal.
Let’s look at these 5 self-awareness practices in a bit more detail:
BEST SELF-AWARENESS PRACTICES FOR SUCCESS
1.Understanding Your Personality:
Attempting to consider yourself to be who you truly are can be an exceptionally troublesome procedure, yet in the event that you put forth the correct attempts, becoming acquainted with your genuine self can be very fulfilling.
At the point when you can see yourself dispassionately, you can figure out how to acknowledge yourself and discover approaches to develop yourself later on.
That said, a good way to understand your personality is to spend some time taking a Myers Briggs test. The Myers Briggs test will help you understand your personality traits and how you can leverage those traits for more success with people and work.
Here’s a good free version of the personality test.
2.Recognizing Your Strengths And Weaknesses:
Becoming more acquainted with yourself is tied in with building up a genuine image of who you are, including the parts you are glad for and the parts that you battle with every now and then. Direct a stock of your qualities and shortcomings, beginning with your qualities. Consider what you like about yourself, and furthermore which parts of yourself reliably evoke the best criticism. For instance, maybe you’re regularly being informed that you are very patient with others, or you realize that you have an extraordinary creative mind.
With regards to distinguishing your shortcomings, ask yourself whether there are basic topics in your disappointments or in disillusioning scenes of your life. Likewise, consider whether you are regularly approached to take a shot at a particular part of your character. For instance, maybe your managers routinely feature that you don’t shout out during gatherings, showing that a potential shortcoming is an absence of fearlessness.
Meditation can truly assist you with focusing on being increasingly mindful. At the point when you ponder, you are in a quiet and lovely perspective, where you can truly concentrate on being available. This might be through your breathing or just by envisioning while you are reflecting.
With meditation you can begin to work on getting mindful of any musings and sentiments you have. You could consider things you have done that have influenced your emotions or practices.
Through meditation, you can build up a more clear comprehension of yourself and your feelings, making it simpler to build up your mindfulness.
4. Live In The Moment And Analyze Your Emotions:
At the point when we figure out how to live right now, we additionally figure out how to quit stressing over the future or the past.
At the point when you decide to live in the moment, you can concentrate on any feelings and emotions you are having around then. You would then be able to live right now and work on any negative sentiments and feelings you have and turn out to be progressively mindful of them as you are not pondering whatever else at that point.
5. Keep a Journal:
If you can keep a diary or log ,this can truly help you when attempting to comprehend your perspectives and activities. There are numerous ways that you can keep a diary, however maybe the most effortless is to write in every day your considerations, sentiments, and activities such that you can comprehend.
You would then be able to glance back at your diary on significant dates, for example, another year or your birthday. You can consider what you have composed and chip away at improving whatever should be changed.
This is an extraordinary method to build up your mindfulness as it is the most effortless approach to look into certain circumstances you may have overlooked.
Conclusion on Self-Awareness Practices
To wrap things up, here’s a quick summary of they key self-awareness practices to focus on. Repetition is the mother of skill, so once more here they are:
- Understand Your Personality
- Recognized Your Strengths and Weaknesses
- Practice Meditation
- Live In The Moment
- Keep a Journal
At last, accomplishing self-awareness is actually a matter of stripping one’s self down deeply. But, it is also very important to remember that this effort needs to be undertaken optimistically, because constant hope of improvement is required, regardless of how terrible reality may appear.
So, stay optimistic and consistent in your self-awareness practices, and before you know it, your success will arrive.
Till next time,
PS – If you enjoyed these self-awareness tips, then may also enjoy this article related to improving your mindset and improving your life.
DECISION FATIGUE: HOW TO OVERCOME THIS SECRET PRODUCTIVITY KILLER
Mark Zuckerburg is one of the richest men in the world, yet he’s known for wearing the same grey t-shirt into work almost every day.
Aside from being one of the most revolutionary entrepreneurs of our time, Steve Jobs was famous for sporting his iconic black turtleneck into work every day.
And some of the last few Presidents of the United States have been known to limit their wardrobe to only two or three colors.
These types of habits from these high-achievers may seem odd. However there is a method to their madness, and it’s all based around decision fatigue.
In this article, we’ll dive into decision fatigue and discuss how it hampers your ability to make productive, rational decisions that improve your life. Additionally, we’ll dive into some practical ways that you can overcome it through some slight adjustments to your daily routine.
The Courtroom Study
Perhaps the most famous study involving decision fatigue was conducted by Jonathan Levav of Columbia University and Shai Danzinger of Ben Gurion University.
Assisted by a team of psychologists, Jonathan and Shai reviewed more than one thousand court decisions made by judges over a ten month period. The judges had been tasked with sitting through parole hearings and making a determination as to whether or not a prisoner should be released.
As the team delved deeper into these decisions, they made a startling discovery.
Prisoners who appeared before the judge early in the morning were granted parole 65 percent of the time, whereas prisoners who appeared before the judge late in the day were only granted parole 10 percent of the time.
These findings begged the question — why the drastic difference in parole rates from the morning to later in the day?
Being a parole judge means using a lot of brainpower. It requires thorough examination of case files, personal background, and several other factors that are vital to deciding whether or not a prisoner should be released.
Each day, the judges had to expend significant mental energy in order to make judgements about the fate of the prisoners. The researchers concluded that as their reserve of mental energy depleted, their decision making was negatively impacted.
In this specific study, denying the prisoners parole is simply the equivalent of taking the path of least resistance.
It turns out that after a long day of making complex decisions, your brain will naturally start looking for ways to conserve energy later on in the day.
- You’ll start to look for excuses to procrastinate on important work.
- You’ll avoid going to the gym even though you committed to lift weights earlier in the day
- You’ll opt for an unhealthy snack in the pantry because you don’t feel like making a healthy dinner.
In summary, you’ll tend to stick with the status quo because your brain is tired of making decisions.
What Is Decision Fatigue?
Decision fatigue is simply the slow deterioration of your ability to make rational decisions as your brain fatigues throughout the day
Studies like the one above highlight the fact that your willpower is like a muscle — it gets fatigued each time you have to use it. Just like your biceps fatigue after a set of curls at the gym, your willpower gets fatigued each time you make a decision.
The link between decision making and willpower goes both ways: Decision making depletes your willpower, and once your willpower is depleted, you’re less equipped to make decisions.
In the courtroom study, each judge started the day with plenty of mental energy to analyze each case on its merits. However, as their energy started to fade, sticking with the status quo seemed like the easiest option, so that’s what they did.
Decision fatigue is one of the main reasons why we procrastinate. It’s why we give into bad habits and make decisions that sabotage our long-term goals.
And while there’s nothing we can do to eliminate decision fatigue completely, we can significantly reduce the impact that it has on our lives.
HOW TO OVERCOME DECISION FATIGUE
Before we get into some practical tips, you must realize that it’s impossible to completely eradicate decision fatigue from your life. No matter what you do each day, your capacity for making rational decisions will decrease as the day progresses.
However, you can shield yourself from these significant decreases in willpower by implementing a few lifestyle changes which we’ll get into right now.
1. Set Your Clothes Out Before You Go to Bed
One of the first decisions that we make each morning is choosing the outfit that we’re going to wear for the day ahead.
If you take a few minutes the night before and lay out what you’re going to wear the following day, you won’t have to spend any time pondering the outfit that’s going to look best on you.
Instead, you’ll walk right over to the dresser and throw clothes on without even thinking about it.
For some of you, this might only save a couple of minutes each day. For others, this one time action may save you 5-10 minutes of indecisiveness each morning.
Regardless, removing a decision from your morning routine will help you conserve mental energy for the day ahead.
2. Leverage Time Blocking To Structure Your Day
Time blocking is one of the best ways to combat decision fatigue because it sets a clear agenda for the day ahead.
When you’re armed with an agenda for how you’re going to spend your time on any given day, you bring clarity and structure to your life. And perhaps more importantly, you remove the fuzziness that many people experience while going about their daily decisions.
Making plans requires a significant amount of mental energy. So if you don’t have one when you wake up in the morning, your brain will have to come up with these plans on the fly.
In other words, you’ll have to constantly make decisions about where to focus your attention at any given moment. And the more energy you waste thinking about what to do, the less energy you’re able to devote towards getting things done.
Time blocking will ensure that you don’t waste any of your precious mental energy making plans, and it’s actually quite simple to implement. Here’s a quick guide for implementing time blocking into your life:
- Open up Google Calendar/Outlook (whatever digital calendar you use). If you’re old school, then take out a sheet of paper.
- Starting from after your morning routine, plan out your day in 1-2 hour blocks and set a focus for each of these blocks.
- If you need to create a 15 minute block for smaller tasks that still need to get done, feel free to do that.
- Set a hard stop for when you will stop working and don’t schedule anything after that.
Just so you have a reference, here’s what my schedule looks like as someone who runs a blog while also working a full-time sales job.
- 6:30 AM – 9:30 AM: Blogging
- 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM: Find new accounts to prospect
- 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Check email + schedule out prospecting emails in advance
- 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch
- 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Hold for client meetings
- 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: End of day admin tasks + prep for tomorrow
- 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM: Blogging
Now does this mean that every single day looks like this? Absolutely not.
Meetings get scheduled, laziness and procrastination kick in, fires come up that need to be put out, etc. All of that is beside the point.
The point is that at each moment of the day, I know exactly where I need to be spending my energy. I don’t need to exert any brainpower to figure out what to work on because my daily priorities have already been established.
So if you find that your days seem to lack structure and clarity, try to reduce the burden on your brain and give time blocking a shot.
3. Do The Hard Stuff First
Many times, you’ll hear people say that they struggle with knocking the high-priority tasks off of their to-do list. Usually, these are the tasks that require the greatest amount of mental energy to complete.
As a result, people tend to make the mistake of starting the day by knocking out minor tasks in order to get some quick wins under their belt. When it comes to maximizing productivity, this is a huge mistake.
Because usually by the time they get around to the high-priority stuff, they don’t have the same level of energy and willpower they possessed earlier in the day. Unfortunately, It’s been sapped due to the thousands of decisions that they’ve already made.
As a result, it becomes easier to choose the path of least resistance and procrastinate the stuff that needs to get done.
Remember the courtroom study from the beginning of the article?
At first, the judges were exercising their brainpower to make rational decisions about the fate of prisoners. As the day dragged on though, the judges started defaulting to the status quo because it didn’t require much effort.
Now for you, the status quo may not be denying parole:
- It might be binge-watching Netflix instead of working on the presentation that you need to get done
- It might be sitting on the couch checking social media instead of forcing yourself to the gym
- It might be checking emails instead of prepping for an important call that you have coming up.
The bottom line is that all of these activities detract from the kind of work that significantly moves the needle towards your most ambitious goals.
In order to combat this, you must put the tasks that you’re most likely to procrastinate at the very beginning of the day.
At the start of the day, your willpower and motivation are at peak levels. This means that it’ll feel a little easier to exert some self-discipline and complete your most cognitively demanding tasks.
Now what defines high-priority work is different for everyone.
For me, it’s writing content for my blog. That’s why it has a three hour time block on my calendar which starts immediately after my morning routine.
For you, it could be hitting the gym, or planning for calls with clients, or spending time educating yourself about your industry.
Whatever it is, get it done first. You’ll undoubtedly experience a surge of positive momentum that you’ll carry with you as you work through the rest of your to-do list.
Decision fatigue affects everyone, whether it’s Mark Zuckerburg or the janitor at your local high school.
We often underestimate the effect that seemingly insignificant decisions have on our willpower and motivation, but the truth is that they do have a compounding effect on our decision making.
Although you can’t eliminate decision fatigue from your life completely, the best way to combat it is by planning ahead. By applying the suggestions provided in this article, you’ll reduce the burden on your brain and find it easier to maintain focus as the day progresses.
PS – If you enjoyed this article on how to overcome decision fatigue, then you’ll certainly enjoy this supporting resource that showcases the keystone habits you’ll need to crush decision fatigue for good.
10 BEST PRODUCTIVITY BOOKS TO READ IN 2022
It doesn’t matter if it’s the beginning of the new year, end of the summer, or the beginning of Q4, it seems like everyone is trying to find ways to get more productive. But what exactly is the definition of productivity? Applying productivity to our lives isn’t exactly the same as applying it to economic contexts. However, it’s core meaning still applies. Essentially, we want to be doing the most we can with the least time and effort.
In saying that, being productive doesn’t mean working all the time, it means being smart with your time and making the most of it. These 10 productivity books will help you explore productivity in different ways; with each giving valuable insight into how you can succeed. Part of becoming more productive is learning about what tools and methods work the best.
So, without further ado, here are some of the best productivity books you can find that will definitely be able to help you…
10 BEST PRODUCTIVITY BOOKS THAT YOU SHOULD READ
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1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
If there’s one book you have to read to help you with productivity, its Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This book is a classic in the self-help category. Despite being published decades ago in 1989, Covey’s lessons remain relevant today. Some of the concepts in this book may seem pretty obvious. For instance, prioritising and putting what’s important first or having a vision for the future.
However, Covey provides a lot of insight into productivity. His book has also introduced useful tools such as his time management matrix. Essentially, this involves creating a two-by-to matrix with the tiles “Urgent” and “Not Urgent” across the top, and “Important” and “Not Important” along the side.
With this time management matrix, you’re able to categorise your week’s tasks into 4 categories; Urgent-Important, Not Urgent-Important, Urgent-Not Important, and Not Urgent-Not Important. The first category being the most important, the second being tasks that matter in the long run but with no immediate benefits, the third being the interruptions that take up our time and the last being the things we do when we need a break.
The lessons and tools in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People will allow you to become more aware of how you’ve been spending your time. As a result, you’ll be in tune with which tasks you should focus more of your time on and which you should be trying to eliminate in order to be the most productive.
2. Grit by Angela Duckworth
Grit is a slightly different kind of productivity book where Angela Duckworth explores how passion and perseverance are the true markers of success. Duckworth has studied the psychology of success by examining all kinds of people that are typically deemed “successful” such as army cadets and telesales executives.
Duckworth argues that people are not necessarily predisposed to succeed but instead get as far as they do because of “grit.” Essentially, “grit” is a blend of commitment, overcoming setbacks, wanting to improve and being willing to do unpleasant things in order to succeed. By knowing your passions and being able to follow through on them, you can get to where you want to be.
So how does having “grit” link to productivity? With so many distractions threatening to take up our time, being resilient is crucial in trying to be productive. Having a clear vision and being able to take the steps to reach with passion and perseverance will do wonders for improving your productivity.
3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is another book that may not seem to directly related to productivity. However it teaches incredibly valuable lessons if you’re looking to take control of your personal finannces and find financial freedom. Making money work for you will mean you can spend less time working for money.
Robert Kiyosaki explores the stories of his own father and the father of his best friend, both with opposing views on how to deal with finance. One of the book’s foundational ideas revolves around the fact that you need to educate yourself financially. If you spend your extra money on an improved lifestyle, you’re guaranteed to lose all of it. If you spend it on investments, even if they were high risk, there is only a chance of losing it all.
Having made the majority of fortune through real estate investment, Kiyosaki offers a unique view on money and assets. He teaches you that in order to save and invest, you should manage risks rather than try to avoid them. By being productive about your personal finances, you can get one step closer to financial freedom.
Again, this book belongs in our list of best productivity books because it provides invaluable insights that will help you use your money in a way that help you live a much more productive life.
4. The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey
Chris Bailey originally started off writing about productivity on his blog. After running productivity experiments, interviewing experts and looking through research, Bailey came out with The Productivity Project to document the lessons he’s learned. Though his book is relatively new and not an established title, he introduces many valuable ideas on productivity.
The core message in The Productivity Project is the idea that productivity is made up of three factors; time, attention and energy. Rather that productivity being just about how we manage our time, Bailey suggests that productivity is also largely about how we manage our energy and attention.
In order to be productive, all three factors have to be in tune. Learning how to manage your time can be done by practicing how to organise your priorities. In terms of energy, you have to manage health aspects such as diet and sleep. Bailey also coins the phrase Biological Prime Time. By tracking your hourly energy levels over a couple weeks, you can determine which time of the day you’re most productive. Finally, your time and energy will be used up based on where you decide to direct your attention. Hence, it’s important to not pay too much attention to distractions.
Bailey also dives into multiple other lessons. For instance, the Rule of Three is a principle where you determine the 3 tasks you want to complete each day. Another practice to consider taking on is a weekly review on the key categories of your life such as relationships, health and career. The last lesson that comes from The Productivity Project is to make a “Waiting For” list, separate from your normal to-do list, with all the tasks you can’t do until someone else gets back to you.
5. Deep Work by Cal Newport
Deep Work by Cal Newport is another relatively new addition to the productivity book space. This book is perfect for the modern generations who have found themselves spending too much time on social media and email. Newport explores the difference between shallow work and deep work, highlighting the importance of making time and energy for deep work.
Deep focus and deep work seem to be lacking in the 21st century workplace. Deep work is a concept that allows you to develop the ability to grasp hard concepts, and to produce work with quality and speed. The key to high productivity is to increase the time you can work on a task without interruptions.
In order to make the most of our limited willpower, Newport suggests we schedule deep work blocks into your calendar. Focus on the critical tasks, track your new behaviours, keep a scoreboard and stay accountable for maintaining this continual process. Often, we’re used to checking our phones even at the potential of boredom. Hence, Newport also introduces the idea of scheduling breaks in order to give into our boredom and distractions.
In terms of the things we should stop doing to achieve deep work, Deep Work implores readers to quit social media and any other tools where the negative impacts on your professional and personal life outweigh the positive impacts. Newport proposes that you attempt consciously staying away from social media for 30 days without deactivating. Afterwards, consider whether you were greatly inconvenienced and whether anyone cared.
6. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, is a well known title in the productivity space. Though there are criticisms surrounding the book since some of Ferriss’s ideas aren’t completely practical, most people can agree that The 4-Hour Workweek offers useful insights that anyone can benefit from, even if you don’t completely take on his approach.
One of the most popular concepts explored in Ferriss’s book is the 80/20 principle. Essentially, the principle suggests that 80% of your productivity comes from 20% of your tasks. Hence, you should focus on the 20% of tasks that produce the most output. At the same time, you should eliminate the 80% of tasks that only produce 20% of your productivity.
As mentioned early, the ideas in The 4-Hour Workweek aren’t practical for everyone. However, if you’re an aspiring business owner, the book might be able to teach you a few lessons. Ferriss suggests that you must validate your business ideas by ensuring you can profit. Even if an idea can solve a problem, it might not be solving a big enough inconvenience for people to pay money for it.
The bulk of Ferriss’s book is based on four steps. First, you need to define your goals by asking yourself what you really want. Then, you need to eliminate distractions, the 80% of tasks that only make up 20% of your productivity. Thirdly, you should automate your cash flow by outsourcing any menial tasks and by creating a business that can run on autopilot. Finally, Ferriss implores readers to liberate themselves from the traditional expectation of a 40 hour workweek by designing your job around mobility.
All in all, you can’t go wrong with this classic productivity book, so don’t hesitate to give it a go.
7. The STRIVE JOURNAL
The final suggestion for top productivity books is The Strive Journal. This resource is more of a workbook than an actual book. However, it does contain a short motivating story about the power of persistence.
The main reason this resource makes the list is because of it’s unique layout and built-in daily activities that lend to increased productivity, especially as it pertains to reaching your daily to dos and quarterly goals.
So, as a best practice, you should consider reading these first six books on productivity, and then utilizing this goal planning resource to help you manage your productivity for the next 365 days.
8. Extreme Productivity
If you’re looking for a productivity book that will show you how to harness a laser-like focus so you can get the most done in the least amount of time, then this book is for you.
Written by one of the business world’s most productive and successful business leaders, Robert C. Pozen, you’ll get a good dose of productivity insights and mindset shifting tips. By the end of the book, you’ll be ready to put your newfound efficiencies and productivity to the test, and chances are you’ll like your results.
So, give Extreme Productivity a read if you’re ready for some next-level productivity hacks.
9. Getting Things Done
David Allen is one of the most widely recognized experts on personal and organizational productivity. He’s also one of the most highly rated executive coaches who’s been coaching and researching on productivity for over three decades now.
Needless to say, he knows his stuff when it comes to productivity and getting things done. So, if you’re looking for one of the best books on productivity, ‘Getting Things Done’ delivers.
Without a doubt, this book will add structure and consistency to your productivity efforts, and will get you on the right track towards being more productive. Some say it’s a long dry read, and that you only need to read the first third of the book, but we believe regardless of how much you read, you’ll walk away with insights that will help you become your most productive self.
10. The 5 Am Club
Robin Sharma is the best of the best when it comes to high performance coaching. He’s been coaching, educating, and inspiring billionaires and business icons for over two decades now, and he shows that he still has tons of life-changing insights left to share with this book.
Sharma’s ‘The 5 Am Club’ will show you how a few simple adjustments to your life can dramatically reduce your stress, increase your focus, improve your creativity, and give you the foundation to skyrocket your productivity in business and in life.
You really can’t go wrong with this book, it delivers on its promises.
There is no better time than now to take a deep dive into reading. These 10 productivity books are definitely worth the investment if you’re looking to take control of how you spend your time. With a better understanding of productivity, you’ll be better equipped to tackle any projects or goals you’re currently working on.
PS – If you enjoyed our top list of productivity books, then you’ll likely also enjoy these additional productivity supporting resources:
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