5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Overall Happiness

You’re reading 5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Overall Happiness, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

In 2015, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, was declared the happiest person in the world. This was based on a study by the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience in Wisconsin, where Ricard’s scores were sometimes off the charts. Being a monk is a life calling that not many of us will pursue, and being in the “regular” world does have a different set of challenges you may argue. But surely, attaining happiness should be possible for everyone. Happiness is a state of mind so like any other state of mind, it can be adjusted. However, we get so caught up in how miserable we are, that we do not have the ability to see that being happy is as simple as – well, being happy!

Here are 5 proven ways to increase your overall happiness today:

Find your purpose and follow it

A lot of the unhappiness in our lives comes from doing what doesn’t make us happy, every single day.

This definition of insanity is very applicable here. If your work doesn’t satisfy you, if you go in there every day thinking that today will be better, then you might be an optimist. But you are also unhappy and according to Einstein, insane. Think back on what you did naturally, what you were drawn to do, when you were a young child. How did you occupy your days? Did you have a fascination with making plans and executing them? Or were you always designing something new and wonderful, or planning the next big thing that can make you money? In these juvenile past-times might lie the key to your true purpose, that one thing that you enjoy above all else. Find your purpose and follow it. It is essential to your long term emotional health.

Eliminate negativity from your life

Negativity has never harboured happiness. By listening to and participating in negative conversations, you only take on more negativity. Some people love to complain, about anything and everything. Don’t spend time with these people, they drain your energy. Surround yourself with positivity and you will also be more positive. Make it a state of mind. When a negative thought comes up, don’t entertain it. And when you catch yourself saying something negative, rephrase it to turn it around. Soon you’ll notice that the world is a much better place!

Find joy and spread it

There is joy to found everywhere around us, and often it is in the small details. Like the person who allows you cut in front of them in the traffic, or savouring that early morning coffee while everything is still quiet and calm. Learn to recognize the joy in the everyday and you will start to see it everywhere. Equally important is bringing joy to others. A small favour, or a bigger-than-accepted tip, a kind word or a compliment. The little things all add up to make life happier for yourself and for those around you.

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness”.

Charles Spurgeon

Stop Talking and Start to Listen

We tend to spend our days spreading our opinion and trying to matter. And a lot of that conversation is in our heads. Stop the constant chatter, inside and out, find a quiet spot, and listen. The happiest people in the world are those that have learnt to listen – whether it is meditation, prayer, yoga or another practice. In the silence, that which what acclaimed life coach Martha Beck in her book, Finding Your Own North Star, calls wordlessness, we often find peace, answers and happiness.

Sleep well, eat well, live well

Your body is a very real extension of what is going on in your mind. Look after your body by feeding it the right nutrients, by getting enough sleep and by purposefully taking time for physical activities. Not everyone loves doing sports, but even playing with your kids or dogs or choosing to walk to the corner shop instead of driving will make all the difference in your mood.

With these simple tools to increase your overall happiness, go and seek out happiness all around you – because it is there!

“If you want to be happy, be.”

Leo Tolstoy

Photo credit: Brandi Redd

You’ve read 5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Overall Happiness, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2h0TSJJ

5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Overall Happiness

You’re reading 5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Overall Happiness, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

In 2015, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, was declared the happiest person in the world. This was based on a study by the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience in Wisconsin, where Ricard’s scores were sometimes off the charts. Being a monk is a life calling that not many of us will pursue, and being in the “regular” world does have a different set of challenges you may argue. But surely, attaining happiness should be possible for everyone. Happiness is a state of mind so like any other state of mind, it can be adjusted. However, we get so caught up in how miserable we are, that we do not have the ability to see that being happy is as simple as – well, being happy!

Here are 5 proven ways to increase your overall happiness today:

Find your purpose and follow it

A lot of the unhappiness in our lives comes from doing what doesn’t make us happy, every single day.

This definition of insanity is very applicable here. If your work doesn’t satisfy you, if you go in there every day thinking that today will be better, then you might be an optimist. But you are also unhappy and according to Einstein, insane. Think back on what you did naturally, what you were drawn to do, when you were a young child. How did you occupy your days? Did you have a fascination with making plans and executing them? Or were you always designing something new and wonderful, or planning the next big thing that can make you money? In these juvenile past-times might lie the key to your true purpose, that one thing that you enjoy above all else. Find your purpose and follow it. It is essential to your long term emotional health.

Eliminate negativity from your life

Negativity has never harboured happiness. By listening to and participating in negative conversations, you only take on more negativity. Some people love to complain, about anything and everything. Don’t spend time with these people, they drain your energy. Surround yourself with positivity and you will also be more positive. Make it a state of mind. When a negative thought comes up, don’t entertain it. And when you catch yourself saying something negative, rephrase it to turn it around. Soon you’ll notice that the world is a much better place!

Find joy and spread it

There is joy to found everywhere around us, and often it is in the small details. Like the person who allows you cut in front of them in the traffic, or savouring that early morning coffee while everything is still quiet and calm. Learn to recognize the joy in the everyday and you will start to see it everywhere. Equally important is bringing joy to others. A small favour, or a bigger-than-accepted tip, a kind word or a compliment. The little things all add up to make life happier for yourself and for those around you.

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness”.

Charles Spurgeon

Stop Talking and Start to Listen

We tend to spend our days spreading our opinion and trying to matter. And a lot of that conversation is in our heads. Stop the constant chatter, inside and out, find a quiet spot, and listen. The happiest people in the world are those that have learnt to listen – whether it is meditation, prayer, yoga or another practice. In the silence, that which what acclaimed life coach Martha Beck in her book, Finding Your Own North Star, calls wordlessness, we often find peace, answers and happiness.

Sleep well, eat well, live well

Your body is a very real extension of what is going on in your mind. Look after your body by feeding it the right nutrients, by getting enough sleep and by purposefully taking time for physical activities. Not everyone loves doing sports, but even playing with your kids or dogs or choosing to walk to the corner shop instead of driving will make all the difference in your mood.

With these simple tools to increase your overall happiness, go and seek out happiness all around you – because it is there!

“If you want to be happy, be.”

Leo Tolstoy

Photo credit: Brandi Redd

You’ve read 5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Overall Happiness, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2h0TSJJ

10 Liberating Tactics to Unshackle Yourself From the Slavery of Choice

You’re reading 10 Liberating Tactics to Unshackle Yourself From the Slavery of Choice, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

We are all slaves to choice. We’re overwhelmed with it in shops, online, with reviews, with dating apps, on TV, with online music streaming – the list goes on!

Choice is an evil master who peddles the dream of unimaginable freedom. At the same time, he grinds us down, plays on our weaknesses and emotionally manipulates us. He passively aggressively screws us out of our hard-earned cash.

Choice brainwashes us into believing that he is offering self-expression, autonomy and the right to be an individual. In his cloying kindness he tricks us into believing that the more options we have the better and that if we are willing to put the time in, we can find the perfect solution to every problem and every want or desire.

Choice plays to our fears in that he always promises that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. That, if we just look a little bit harder, we’ll be able to find something better, at a keener price or with more unique features. He knows that we’re weak and easily seduced by the new and shiny. Rather than nurturing our acceptance of our lot, he offers upgrades and options that will suck us dry. He knows our insatiable quest for something meaningful to fill the bottomless pit of our consumerist vacuum lives.

Choice is like a sweetly smiling benevolent granny who gives in to a petulant child’s every whim. Who stuffs them full of candy, constantly buys them toys and feeds them as much junk food as they can devour whilst slyly squandering every last penny of their pocket money as they are distracted, gorging themselves in their gluttony.

Choice even goes as far, and how sick is this, as pretending to recognize our pain, pretending to be sympathetic. He tries to pretend he cares and nurtures us by saying “I know that this is all a bit overwhelming, here let me help you” and, in a perverse display of shallow self-serving piety, offers us “suggest” options. “You liked this so you may like this”, or “other people who chose this chose this”. “Because you listened to/watched”……..

And you know what, choice will only suggest nice safe options that won’t challenge you, stimulate you or widen your horizons. It’s in choice’s best interest to keep you in a box, to offer you unchallenging, familiar titbits because he knows that you will almost inevitably take the line of least resistance. If he offers you anything too new or different he’s scared you won’t take the bait and he won’t get paid.

F*ck you, choice.

I don’t want to waste my time with you, get stressed with you and fill your pockets without any benefit to myself. I don’t have to feel the inevitable creep of your paralyzing, overwhelming fingers every time I need to make a decision. I don’t need you to tell me what the hell I might like or not like based on you shoe horning me into a damn box and slapping a label on me. I don’t need you making me feel inadequate, playing to my fears that there may always be something better. I don’t have to always feel slightly disappointed with my decisions because there were 800 other options and the chances that one of those would have been better.

We are all only capable of making so many decisions per day. After we reach our limit we become simply “choiced out”. Why would we waste our resources being forced into making trivial choices all the time when we need to save our brain power for the important decisions each day? Steve Jobs basically wore the same clothes every day to eliminate the stress of making decisions about the small things in life so that he could concentrate on the bigger picture.

Here are some suggestions of ways to relieve the burden of decision making.

1.Do you really need to make the decision? If you think you need something or you need to replace something, think again. Have you really explored and used the old version to it’s fullest extent? What difference will getting a new one really make? Will it really improve your life and make you happier in the long term?

Shopping for new things and indulging in choosing is like riding a sugar high, it’s addictive and short-lived and is followed by a slump. The most exciting part of a new purchase is the anticipation. Most of the time, a week later, and after having paid for it, the new item is all but forgotten.

2.When making a decision always keep the end objective in mind and try not to be seduced by things that you don’t really need. Be ruthlessly focussed at all times. Ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve by making the decision and always try to focus in on the benefits that will help you achieve your objective.

3.If you are really struggling with too many choices then go back to your core values and see if you can narrow down the options by aligning the decision with what you truly believe in. You might be extremely environmentally conscious for example, which might help in your decision, or perhaps love a particular style or era.

4.Decide if it’s a small or a big decision and grant it attention accordingly. It can become so easy to spend far too long and far too many resources on relatively trivial decisions purely because there are so many options available. Similarly, don’t be rushed into making big decisions. It’s easy to become emotionally involved and to make choices in the heat of the moment. If possible step back a while, take the heat out of the situation and choose objectively.

5. Give yourself a time boundary for choosing. Before you even begin, think objectively about how much time you are reasonably willing to invest in making the decision and stick to it.

6. Accept that you are not going to get 100% perfect. Release yourself from choice’s terrible claws and accept that 70 – 80% of perfect will be fine. After all, that’s probably 70 – 80% better than you have now. We are gradually becoming conditioned to strive for perfection, it’s incredibly stressful, debilitating and bad for our self-esteem. Perfection isn’t necessary or realistic in most circumstances and it can be liberating to accept this.

7. Start by eliminating the bad options. The one’s that obviously won’t work for you leaving you with at least a reduced list of possibilities. It can be really tempting to look at every single choice, just in the fear that you might miss something. It’s such a waste of time doing this.

8. Grab a piece of paper and a pen, divide into two columns and list pros and cons for each possible option. It’s a simple but powerful exercise and often getting things out of your head and onto paper can help clarify your thinking and be far less stressful.

9. Get someone else’s opinion. Often you can become so caught up in choice paralysis that you can’t see clearly. Just verbalizing your options and chatting them through with a trusted friend will help.

10. Think into the future and imagine your life after making each of the choice options. To a certain extent, you might feel that they will have little long term impact which will help put things in perspective a bit but try to think about what your life will be like depending on each of the choices you make.

And finally, my own particular bugbear.

Don’t follow “suggestions”. They are a sanitized reality and will only lead you down an unfulfilling pathway of sameness. We need to explore, try new things and experience things we don’t already know so that we can form opinions and grow. Be your own person, make your own decisions and don’t blindly follow an algorithm that pretends to care for you but just wants your money. We are all explorers, sameness is comforting but dull and stagnant. Try to tap into how you are actually feeling and decide what you feel you would benefit from watching or listening to.

Remember you should never be a slave to choice. In fact, choice should be subservient to you, take control, trust your own judgement, let go of the fantasy of perfection and enjoy the freedom!


Andrew Hind is a Dad to three teenage girls, photographer and musician as well as a keen cyclist. He is also the blogger at http://ift.tt/2riWwxz a blog about cycling, life and thriving. You can also connect at http://ift.tt/2v1LEXV

Photo credit: Alison Donovan Rouse

You’ve read 10 Liberating Tactics to Unshackle Yourself From the Slavery of Choice, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2vUAX5T

10 Liberating Tactics to Unshackle Yourself From the Slavery of Choice

You’re reading 10 Liberating Tactics to Unshackle Yourself From the Slavery of Choice, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

We are all slaves to choice. We’re overwhelmed with it in shops, online, with reviews, with dating apps, on TV, with online music streaming – the list goes on!

Choice is an evil master who peddles the dream of unimaginable freedom. At the same time, he grinds us down, plays on our weaknesses and emotionally manipulates us. He passively aggressively screws us out of our hard-earned cash.

Choice brainwashes us into believing that he is offering self-expression, autonomy and the right to be an individual. In his cloying kindness he tricks us into believing that the more options we have the better and that if we are willing to put the time in, we can find the perfect solution to every problem and every want or desire.

Choice plays to our fears in that he always promises that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. That, if we just look a little bit harder, we’ll be able to find something better, at a keener price or with more unique features. He knows that we’re weak and easily seduced by the new and shiny. Rather than nurturing our acceptance of our lot, he offers upgrades and options that will suck us dry. He knows our insatiable quest for something meaningful to fill the bottomless pit of our consumerist vacuum lives.

Choice is like a sweetly smiling benevolent granny who gives in to a petulant child’s every whim. Who stuffs them full of candy, constantly buys them toys and feeds them as much junk food as they can devour whilst slyly squandering every last penny of their pocket money as they are distracted, gorging themselves in their gluttony.

Choice even goes as far, and how sick is this, as pretending to recognize our pain, pretending to be sympathetic. He tries to pretend he cares and nurtures us by saying “I know that this is all a bit overwhelming, here let me help you” and, in a perverse display of shallow self-serving piety, offers us “suggest” options. “You liked this so you may like this”, or “other people who chose this chose this”. “Because you listened to/watched”……..

And you know what, choice will only suggest nice safe options that won’t challenge you, stimulate you or widen your horizons. It’s in choice’s best interest to keep you in a box, to offer you unchallenging, familiar titbits because he knows that you will almost inevitably take the line of least resistance. If he offers you anything too new or different he’s scared you won’t take the bait and he won’t get paid.

F*ck you, choice.

I don’t want to waste my time with you, get stressed with you and fill your pockets without any benefit to myself. I don’t have to feel the inevitable creep of your paralyzing, overwhelming fingers every time I need to make a decision. I don’t need you to tell me what the hell I might like or not like based on you shoe horning me into a damn box and slapping a label on me. I don’t need you making me feel inadequate, playing to my fears that there may always be something better. I don’t have to always feel slightly disappointed with my decisions because there were 800 other options and the chances that one of those would have been better.

We are all only capable of making so many decisions per day. After we reach our limit we become simply “choiced out”. Why would we waste our resources being forced into making trivial choices all the time when we need to save our brain power for the important decisions each day? Steve Jobs basically wore the same clothes every day to eliminate the stress of making decisions about the small things in life so that he could concentrate on the bigger picture.

Here are some suggestions of ways to relieve the burden of decision making.

1.Do you really need to make the decision? If you think you need something or you need to replace something, think again. Have you really explored and used the old version to it’s fullest extent? What difference will getting a new one really make? Will it really improve your life and make you happier in the long term?

Shopping for new things and indulging in choosing is like riding a sugar high, it’s addictive and short-lived and is followed by a slump. The most exciting part of a new purchase is the anticipation. Most of the time, a week later, and after having paid for it, the new item is all but forgotten.

2.When making a decision always keep the end objective in mind and try not to be seduced by things that you don’t really need. Be ruthlessly focussed at all times. Ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve by making the decision and always try to focus in on the benefits that will help you achieve your objective.

3.If you are really struggling with too many choices then go back to your core values and see if you can narrow down the options by aligning the decision with what you truly believe in. You might be extremely environmentally conscious for example, which might help in your decision, or perhaps love a particular style or era.

4.Decide if it’s a small or a big decision and grant it attention accordingly. It can become so easy to spend far too long and far too many resources on relatively trivial decisions purely because there are so many options available. Similarly, don’t be rushed into making big decisions. It’s easy to become emotionally involved and to make choices in the heat of the moment. If possible step back a while, take the heat out of the situation and choose objectively.

5. Give yourself a time boundary for choosing. Before you even begin, think objectively about how much time you are reasonably willing to invest in making the decision and stick to it.

6. Accept that you are not going to get 100% perfect. Release yourself from choice’s terrible claws and accept that 70 – 80% of perfect will be fine. After all, that’s probably 70 – 80% better than you have now. We are gradually becoming conditioned to strive for perfection, it’s incredibly stressful, debilitating and bad for our self-esteem. Perfection isn’t necessary or realistic in most circumstances and it can be liberating to accept this.

7. Start by eliminating the bad options. The one’s that obviously won’t work for you leaving you with at least a reduced list of possibilities. It can be really tempting to look at every single choice, just in the fear that you might miss something. It’s such a waste of time doing this.

8. Grab a piece of paper and a pen, divide into two columns and list pros and cons for each possible option. It’s a simple but powerful exercise and often getting things out of your head and onto paper can help clarify your thinking and be far less stressful.

9. Get someone else’s opinion. Often you can become so caught up in choice paralysis that you can’t see clearly. Just verbalizing your options and chatting them through with a trusted friend will help.

10. Think into the future and imagine your life after making each of the choice options. To a certain extent, you might feel that they will have little long term impact which will help put things in perspective a bit but try to think about what your life will be like depending on each of the choices you make.

And finally, my own particular bugbear.

Don’t follow “suggestions”. They are a sanitized reality and will only lead you down an unfulfilling pathway of sameness. We need to explore, try new things and experience things we don’t already know so that we can form opinions and grow. Be your own person, make your own decisions and don’t blindly follow an algorithm that pretends to care for you but just wants your money. We are all explorers, sameness is comforting but dull and stagnant. Try to tap into how you are actually feeling and decide what you feel you would benefit from watching or listening to.

Remember you should never be a slave to choice. In fact, choice should be subservient to you, take control, trust your own judgement, let go of the fantasy of perfection and enjoy the freedom!


Andrew Hind is a Dad to three teenage girls, photographer and musician as well as a keen cyclist. He is also the blogger at http://ift.tt/2riWwxz a blog about cycling, life and thriving. You can also connect at http://ift.tt/2v1LEXV

Photo credit: Alison Donovan Rouse

You’ve read 10 Liberating Tactics to Unshackle Yourself From the Slavery of Choice, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2vUAX5T

Take Charge Of Your Emotions: 9 Ways To Never Let Your Emotions Run or Ruin You

You’re reading Take Charge Of Your Emotions: 9 Ways To Never Let Your Emotions Run or Ruin You, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Human beings may experience a wide range of feelings within a day. Sometimes, the emotions we feel can get the best of us, causing us to say or do what we will later regret.

Most emotions can be reeled in by bringing awareness to what you are feeling and using practical strategies to overcome them.

Therefore, to be able to control your emotions, below are important sectors to focus on:

  1. Identify what you are feeling.

Your emotional experience is broken down into three elements; body language and behaviors, visceral reactions, and thoughts. Sometimes, you may clearly feel one emotion, while, at other times, you may experience a spectrum of emotions. Consider some common emotions with their three associated elements to determine how you are feeling right now.

  1. Pinpoint which situations cause you to get emotional.

If you are experiencing strong emotions, you need to figure out the stimulus that caused these feelings. This is especially true if you find yourself getting upset often. Think back over the last few hours or days, consider the people you have talked to and the topics of the conversations you have had.

  1. Become aware of your thoughts about the situation.

Once you target which person/people or topic is stimulus, write down your feelings about this person or topic. Write out these emotions as ”I am disappointed because…” This exercise can give you some insight into what’s driving your emotions. You may not have even been aware of these factors before now.

  1.  Verify if your thoughts are realistic.

Once you have written what’s driving your feelings down on paper, you can then check this statement for accuracy.

For example, if you wrote ”I am disappointed because Friend X did not buy me a birthday present,” you need to consider the variables that surrounded Friend X’s behavior and your own.

Did you explicitly tell Friend X that you didn’t want a gift this year?

Do you generally feel dissatisfied by the previous presents Friend X has brought you?

Is Friend X going through financial difficulties and couldn’t purchase a gift?

If you can find at least one shred of evidence that shows Friend X’s behavior was warranted, then you have proven that your response (i.e. disappointed) was illogical.

Understanding this will not only help you emotion-wise, it’ll help you a great deal career-wise in the sense that it’ll make you slow to conclusion, slow to give up, and it’ll make you understand that no business or career idea is the last of its kind — just as different theme platforms were developed on the basis of giving web platforms like WordPress a different, unique user interface.

  1. Develop an adaptive substitute behavior.

After you have closely examined your thought patterns and behavior in your interactions with others, try to devise a plan to demonstrate healthier responses in the future.

Methods of Relieving Extreme Negative Emotions

  1.  Engage in extreme mindfulness.

Mindfulness practices such as meditation can be helpful in overcoming strong emotions such as sadness, fear, anger and even jealousy. As soon as you notice the physical cues of a strong emotion approaching (i.e. racing heart, clenched fists, etc), you can step aside and practice a few seconds or minutes of deep breathing to retain your sanity and peace.

  1.  Exercise.

It may be especially hard to motivate yourself to engage in physical activity when you are experiencing strong emotions, but the benefits are worthwhile. Just as regular exercise provides amazing benefit to your physical health, it can also benefit you mentally. Exercise reduces the level of body’s stress hormones, and increase the production of endorphins, which elevate your mood and act as natural pain killers.

  1.  Do progressive muscle relaxation.

If a strong emotional state causes you to feel tense in your body, take a few minutes to try this relaxation technique. Progressive muscle relaxation involves gradual contracting and releasing of different muscle groups in your body. It functions as a way of relieving stress and makes you more aware of tensions in your body.

  1.  Know when it’s not a good time to have a serious discussion.

There’re few circumstances when it’s best to postpone a discussion until later to avoid our emotions from getting out of control. If you are about to talk to someone when tempers are already flaring or extreme emotions are already involved, consider the acronym H.A.L.T. It represents hunger, anger, loneliness, tiredness.

In conclusion, overcoming negative emotions, in some cases, is very difficult, but not impossible. Inculcate the above tips to your everyday life and you’ll gradually become fully in charge of your emotions in due time.


Joseph Chukwube is an experienced content writer, link builder and SEO specialist. He is the Founder and CEO of Dream Chase Achieve, a rapidly growing lifestyle and self-improvement blog.

Photo credit Harry Knight

You’ve read Take Charge Of Your Emotions: 9 Ways To Never Let Your Emotions Run or Ruin You, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2uXvJtC

Take Charge Of Your Emotions: 9 Ways To Never Let Your Emotions Run or Ruin You

You’re reading Take Charge Of Your Emotions: 9 Ways To Never Let Your Emotions Run or Ruin You, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Human beings may experience a wide range of feelings within a day. Sometimes, the emotions we feel can get the best of us, causing us to say or do what we will later regret.

Most emotions can be reeled in by bringing awareness to what you are feeling and using practical strategies to overcome them.

Therefore, to be able to control your emotions, below are important sectors to focus on:

  1. Identify what you are feeling.

Your emotional experience is broken down into three elements; body language and behaviors, visceral reactions, and thoughts. Sometimes, you may clearly feel one emotion, while, at other times, you may experience a spectrum of emotions. Consider some common emotions with their three associated elements to determine how you are feeling right now.

  1. Pinpoint which situations cause you to get emotional.

If you are experiencing strong emotions, you need to figure out the stimulus that caused these feelings. This is especially true if you find yourself getting upset often. Think back over the last few hours or days, consider the people you have talked to and the topics of the conversations you have had.

  1. Become aware of your thoughts about the situation.

Once you target which person/people or topic is stimulus, write down your feelings about this person or topic. Write out these emotions as ”I am disappointed because…” This exercise can give you some insight into what’s driving your emotions. You may not have even been aware of these factors before now.

  1.  Verify if your thoughts are realistic.

Once you have written what’s driving your feelings down on paper, you can then check this statement for accuracy.

For example, if you wrote ”I am disappointed because Friend X did not buy me a birthday present,” you need to consider the variables that surrounded Friend X’s behavior and your own.

Did you explicitly tell Friend X that you didn’t want a gift this year?

Do you generally feel dissatisfied by the previous presents Friend X has brought you?

Is Friend X going through financial difficulties and couldn’t purchase a gift?

If you can find at least one shred of evidence that shows Friend X’s behavior was warranted, then you have proven that your response (i.e. disappointed) was illogical.

Understanding this will not only help you emotion-wise, it’ll help you a great deal career-wise in the sense that it’ll make you slow to conclusion, slow to give up, and it’ll make you understand that no business or career idea is the last of its kind — just as different theme platforms were developed on the basis of giving web platforms like WordPress a different, unique user interface.

  1. Develop an adaptive substitute behavior.

After you have closely examined your thought patterns and behavior in your interactions with others, try to devise a plan to demonstrate healthier responses in the future.

Methods of Relieving Extreme Negative Emotions

  1.  Engage in extreme mindfulness.

Mindfulness practices such as meditation can be helpful in overcoming strong emotions such as sadness, fear, anger and even jealousy. As soon as you notice the physical cues of a strong emotion approaching (i.e. racing heart, clenched fists, etc), you can step aside and practice a few seconds or minutes of deep breathing to retain your sanity and peace.

  1.  Exercise.

It may be especially hard to motivate yourself to engage in physical activity when you are experiencing strong emotions, but the benefits are worthwhile. Just as regular exercise provides amazing benefit to your physical health, it can also benefit you mentally. Exercise reduces the level of body’s stress hormones, and increase the production of endorphins, which elevate your mood and act as natural pain killers.

  1.  Do progressive muscle relaxation.

If a strong emotional state causes you to feel tense in your body, take a few minutes to try this relaxation technique. Progressive muscle relaxation involves gradual contracting and releasing of different muscle groups in your body. It functions as a way of relieving stress and makes you more aware of tensions in your body.

  1.  Know when it’s not a good time to have a serious discussion.

There’re few circumstances when it’s best to postpone a discussion until later to avoid our emotions from getting out of control. If you are about to talk to someone when tempers are already flaring or extreme emotions are already involved, consider the acronym H.A.L.T. It represents hunger, anger, loneliness, tiredness.

In conclusion, overcoming negative emotions, in some cases, is very difficult, but not impossible. Inculcate the above tips to your everyday life and you’ll gradually become fully in charge of your emotions in due time.


Joseph Chukwube is an experienced content writer, link builder and SEO specialist. He is the Founder and CEO of Dream Chase Achieve, a rapidly growing lifestyle and self-improvement blog.

Photo credit Harry Knight

You’ve read Take Charge Of Your Emotions: 9 Ways To Never Let Your Emotions Run or Ruin You, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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5 Ways To Help Manage Your Energy

You’re reading 5 Ways To Help Manage Your Energy, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

In today’s digital era our pace is rushed and relentless. We’re wired up and connected at all times, and in the same moment, we’re melting down and crashing hard. Time management is no longer a viable solution. How can we keep our energy to endure high performance at work as well as maintain our health, happiness, and overall life balance?

In my coaching sessions, one of the comments I hear most is “I’m tired.” Trust me; I get it. The market is moving fast, and there isn’t much time to get all of the items on our lists done, let alone time to rest. At the same time, taking time to rest and recover is critical to success.

In the book The Power of Full Engagement, authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz discuss the concept of managing our energy and not our time. This is quite a different concept for most of us. Many of us believe that time doesn’t change and we can’t control it. Our response and the energy we put into our time is what we can control.

They write,

Balancing stress and recovery is critical in all facets of life. When we expend energy, we draw down our reservoir. When we recover energy, we fill it back up. Too much energy expenditure without recovery leads to burnout and breakdown. Too much recovery without use or sufficient stress leads to atrophy and weakness.

There needs to be balance between the two: equal work and recovery. Here are some tips to help you manage your energy:

1. Take a time-out each day. Are you asking, “How and when?” This doesn’t have to be a long break—even just twenty to thirty minutes to step away from the phone and computer. You can open a window and breath in the air, listen to music, call a friend for a fun talk. Just step away and shut your mind down. The world will not fall apart in twenty minutes.

2. Eat better. It’s true. Eating less fast food and a more balanced diet will give you better energy to face the day. If you’re on the run, put a cooler in your car with some fruit, water, and snacks to allow you to grab a quick refuel when you need it.

3. Work with the “right” people. You don’t need to work with everyone. Take time to make sure you are choosing to work with the right people— those you can help, who want your help, and who value you. Nothing can drain a battery faster than working with the wrong client.

4. Give yourself a break. No one is perfect. Neither is life. You can have the best-laid plans for the day, and they can change in an instant. That’s okay. Try your best. If you get off track, just breathe and get back on the routine as quickly as you can. At the end of the day, review and reflect on your daily activities. If you did your best, celebrate! It isn’t about being perfect; it’s about doing the best with what you have.

5. Ask for help. I know this is hard for many—me included. This is a busy and crazy world, and we need to support each other. We can’t be in two places at once, and it isn’t fair to ourselves, our families, or our clients to try to be. If you need help, ask for it. Find a friend, mentor, or guide.

I know all of this seems like common sense, and it’s easy to sit here and give advice. So I’ll tell you from my heart that I’m working hard to live these tips. It isn’t easy, but every day I get up, get focused, and commit to doing my best. I no longer punish myself if I don’t get it all done. I just do my best.

Give it your all, and take time to celebrate you. You work hard; give yourself some grace.


This article was adapted from Clara Capano’s new guidebook Find Your Focus: 52 Weeks of Clara-ty, now available on Amazon and other major booksellers. For more information on Clara Capano and her work, please visithttp://clara-ty.com

Photo credit: Louis Moncouyoux

You’ve read 5 Ways To Help Manage Your Energy, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2ukqUHM

5 Ways To Help Manage Your Energy

You’re reading 5 Ways To Help Manage Your Energy, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

In today’s digital era our pace is rushed and relentless. We’re wired up and connected at all times, and in the same moment, we’re melting down and crashing hard. Time management is no longer a viable solution. How can we keep our energy to endure high performance at work as well as maintain our health, happiness, and overall life balance?

In my coaching sessions, one of the comments I hear most is “I’m tired.” Trust me; I get it. The market is moving fast, and there isn’t much time to get all of the items on our lists done, let alone time to rest. At the same time, taking time to rest and recover is critical to success.

In the book The Power of Full Engagement, authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz discuss the concept of managing our energy and not our time. This is quite a different concept for most of us. Many of us believe that time doesn’t change and we can’t control it. Our response and the energy we put into our time is what we can control.

They write,

Balancing stress and recovery is critical in all facets of life. When we expend energy, we draw down our reservoir. When we recover energy, we fill it back up. Too much energy expenditure without recovery leads to burnout and breakdown. Too much recovery without use or sufficient stress leads to atrophy and weakness.

There needs to be balance between the two: equal work and recovery. Here are some tips to help you manage your energy:

1. Take a time-out each day. Are you asking, “How and when?” This doesn’t have to be a long break—even just twenty to thirty minutes to step away from the phone and computer. You can open a window and breath in the air, listen to music, call a friend for a fun talk. Just step away and shut your mind down. The world will not fall apart in twenty minutes.

2. Eat better. It’s true. Eating less fast food and a more balanced diet will give you better energy to face the day. If you’re on the run, put a cooler in your car with some fruit, water, and snacks to allow you to grab a quick refuel when you need it.

3. Work with the “right” people. You don’t need to work with everyone. Take time to make sure you are choosing to work with the right people— those you can help, who want your help, and who value you. Nothing can drain a battery faster than working with the wrong client.

4. Give yourself a break. No one is perfect. Neither is life. You can have the best-laid plans for the day, and they can change in an instant. That’s okay. Try your best. If you get off track, just breathe and get back on the routine as quickly as you can. At the end of the day, review and reflect on your daily activities. If you did your best, celebrate! It isn’t about being perfect; it’s about doing the best with what you have.

5. Ask for help. I know this is hard for many—me included. This is a busy and crazy world, and we need to support each other. We can’t be in two places at once, and it isn’t fair to ourselves, our families, or our clients to try to be. If you need help, ask for it. Find a friend, mentor, or guide.

I know all of this seems like common sense, and it’s easy to sit here and give advice. So I’ll tell you from my heart that I’m working hard to live these tips. It isn’t easy, but every day I get up, get focused, and commit to doing my best. I no longer punish myself if I don’t get it all done. I just do my best.

Give it your all, and take time to celebrate you. You work hard; give yourself some grace.


This article was adapted from Clara Capano’s new guidebook Find Your Focus: 52 Weeks of Clara-ty, now available on Amazon and other major booksellers. For more information on Clara Capano and her work, please visithttp://clara-ty.com

Photo credit: Louis Moncouyoux

You’ve read 5 Ways To Help Manage Your Energy, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2ukqUHM

The One Secret to Becoming Smarter (Hint: It’s not what you think)

You’re reading The One Secret to Becoming Smarter (Hint: It’s not what you think), originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

We all want to know the one secret to becoming smarter, don’t we?

If you search for “ways to become smarter” on the internet, you will get a lot of crazy suggestions. Maybe some more than others. After all, do you really think that a pill will make you more intelligent? Rather use these search results as a test for your preexisting intellect. Looking closely at what you find is the first step to understanding that it is BS.(over-generalizing)

The secret to becoming more intelligent is nothing special, yet it has been overlooked in the past times.

joseph-chan-256778

The absolute secret to being smarter is READING.

“Wow, you’ll say. Thanks for sharing this novel information. Where do I exit this article?”

But before you go, stop for a minute.

If you truly were clear about the effects that reading has on your intellect, why would you have clicked on this article? You already knew the ultimate secret, didn’t you?

Here’s the catch: Many of us know that reading does wonderful things to our intellect, yet we do not really know where to start. Oftentimes we even try to read as much as we can, but never really end up taking anything from it. We end up as a smart as we were before. We might as well use our time for something else.

Yet, why is this the secret of every successful and bright person on earth? Why do others take so much from reading and we don’t?

The thing is we do not think about what we read.

You’ll find thousands of blog posts and YouTube videos on reading faster, but fewer about how to think about what you read.

After all, we do not read for the sake of reading, but because we want to learn something.

Three ways to be a better reader:

Understand that it will take time. Invest it.

We are too often misguided by the illusion that we can read fast and still make use of what we are reading.

I am not saying you have to read as slow as one book in two months, yet you have to be willing to stop and reflect.

If you simply rush through a book, what will you have taken from it?

When you are only reading for pleasure, you could easily read one novel in one day (Or however fast you read.).

However, it looks completely different when you are reading non-fiction for self-improvement.

Do your truly believe that by reading a non-fiction book in a day, you will be able to significantly improve your life? No, improbable.

So why do we still do it?

Because we want to seem smart and boast of all the books we have read.

But what does it actually serve you, if you only take a fraction of the book’s benefit with you?

Nothing. If you are out for skimming through a book you might as well not read it.

You have to be willing to invest the necessary time to read a book.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot read it in one go. You could read the book once and then once you are familiar with the content and the principles, you can go back and further engage with it.

So how do we think about what we read?

First and foremost, if you want to unlock the secret to becoming smarter, you need to know some of the basics. It is critical that you make the information you read, your own.

Paraphrase it, write it in your journal (if you don’t journal, you might as well start now!).

Then try to transfer the information onto your life.

How does this apply to me? What can I use this for in my life?

By making information more personal it is ‘categorized’ as relevant to our brains and is then stored, thus making us remember it better.

And why would you want to retain information better?

When you retain the relevant read information you can apply the theories and suggestions. So you take the maximal benefit from any book you are reading.

This goes right into our next tip:

Apply the information to your life

Spoiler alert: Potential to change your life!

By applying information from the book to your life, you make use of the book. Books are there to help us improve our lives. They are supposed to help us learn a language, a principle or a strategy. Why wouldn’t we use it?

Think about it this way: The author has most likely put years’ worth of experience and knowledge into this book. He has enough skill to be accepted to publish it. He has invested time into writing and publishing.

The content is probably highly valuable, so why wouldn’t you use it to improve your life, based on other people’s experiences?

Through books, we learn to live a thousand lives in one lifetime.

Every time you see that a proposition is outlined, a strategy you could apply, take notes and then create a step-by-step action plan for how to apply it to your life.

You’d be surprised by the outstanding effects this has on your life!

You won’t understand why you ever read in another manner!


If you are applying these ways to your reading and make them a habit, you’ll soon be the smartest person around.

Why? Because rarely anyone will read as thoroughly as you do.

Seek challenges every day. Read consistently and make something from it. Use reading as a matter to the means.

Interested in reading more about becoming a smarter and more proficient you? Then head on over to my blog and subscribe to the newsletter.

You’ve read The One Secret to Becoming Smarter (Hint: It’s not what you think), originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2uFjotz

The One Secret to Becoming Smarter (Hint: It’s not what you think)

You’re reading The One Secret to Becoming Smarter (Hint: It’s not what you think), originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

We all want to know the one secret to becoming smarter, don’t we?

If you search for “ways to become smarter” on the internet, you will get a lot of crazy suggestions. Maybe some more than others. After all, do you really think that a pill will make you more intelligent? Rather use these search results as a test for your preexisting intellect. Looking closely at what you find is the first step to understanding that it is BS.(over-generalizing)

The secret to becoming more intelligent is nothing special, yet it has been overlooked in the past times.

joseph-chan-256778

The absolute secret to being smarter is READING.

“Wow, you’ll say. Thanks for sharing this novel information. Where do I exit this article?”

But before you go, stop for a minute.

If you truly were clear about the effects that reading has on your intellect, why would you have clicked on this article? You already knew the ultimate secret, didn’t you?

Here’s the catch: Many of us know that reading does wonderful things to our intellect, yet we do not really know where to start. Oftentimes we even try to read as much as we can, but never really end up taking anything from it. We end up as a smart as we were before. We might as well use our time for something else.

Yet, why is this the secret of every successful and bright person on earth? Why do others take so much from reading and we don’t?

The thing is we do not think about what we read.

You’ll find thousands of blog posts and YouTube videos on reading faster, but fewer about how to think about what you read.

After all, we do not read for the sake of reading, but because we want to learn something.

Three ways to be a better reader:

Understand that it will take time. Invest it.

We are too often misguided by the illusion that we can read fast and still make use of what we are reading.

I am not saying you have to read as slow as one book in two months, yet you have to be willing to stop and reflect.

If you simply rush through a book, what will you have taken from it?

When you are only reading for pleasure, you could easily read one novel in one day (Or however fast you read.).

However, it looks completely different when you are reading non-fiction for self-improvement.

Do your truly believe that by reading a non-fiction book in a day, you will be able to significantly improve your life? No, improbable.

So why do we still do it?

Because we want to seem smart and boast of all the books we have read.

But what does it actually serve you, if you only take a fraction of the book’s benefit with you?

Nothing. If you are out for skimming through a book you might as well not read it.

You have to be willing to invest the necessary time to read a book.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot read it in one go. You could read the book once and then once you are familiar with the content and the principles, you can go back and further engage with it.

So how do we think about what we read?

First and foremost, if you want to unlock the secret to becoming smarter, you need to know some of the basics. It is critical that you make the information you read, your own.

Paraphrase it, write it in your journal (if you don’t journal, you might as well start now!).

Then try to transfer the information onto your life.

How does this apply to me? What can I use this for in my life?

By making information more personal it is ‘categorized’ as relevant to our brains and is then stored, thus making us remember it better.

And why would you want to retain information better?

When you retain the relevant read information you can apply the theories and suggestions. So you take the maximal benefit from any book you are reading.

This goes right into our next tip:

Apply the information to your life

Spoiler alert: Potential to change your life!

By applying information from the book to your life, you make use of the book. Books are there to help us improve our lives. They are supposed to help us learn a language, a principle or a strategy. Why wouldn’t we use it?

Think about it this way: The author has most likely put years’ worth of experience and knowledge into this book. He has enough skill to be accepted to publish it. He has invested time into writing and publishing.

The content is probably highly valuable, so why wouldn’t you use it to improve your life, based on other people’s experiences?

Through books, we learn to live a thousand lives in one lifetime.

Every time you see that a proposition is outlined, a strategy you could apply, take notes and then create a step-by-step action plan for how to apply it to your life.

You’d be surprised by the outstanding effects this has on your life!

You won’t understand why you ever read in another manner!


If you are applying these ways to your reading and make them a habit, you’ll soon be the smartest person around.

Why? Because rarely anyone will read as thoroughly as you do.

Seek challenges every day. Read consistently and make something from it. Use reading as a matter to the means.

Interested in reading more about becoming a smarter and more proficient you? Then head on over to my blog and subscribe to the newsletter.

You’ve read The One Secret to Becoming Smarter (Hint: It’s not what you think), originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2uFjotz