The other day I was watching a tourism TVC in which a woman was putting clothes in the refrigerator while talking on the phone. It was a perfect advertisement which I could relate myself to.
With work, household chores, usual errands and running a marathon with my kids, I was going totally berserk. Even on weekends I was occupied. And, just like the woman in the ad, I desperately needed a break. I was eagerly looking forward to these summer holidays.
Summer vacation is that time of the year which I wait all the year round. I, with my brother and cousin sisters, have decided to meet every year so that our children also get to know about the bonding between cousins, just like us. With the pampering parents and the endless talks, summer vacations are a bliss for us. It’s a delight when the three generations get together. We have a gala time visiting places and spending quality time with each other.
Watching our kids playing and fighting with each other, we see our past in them and it’s a real treat to the eyes.
Towards the end of our reunion our spouses also try to join in, taking a break from their offices – adding to the unlimited fun.
This particular summer break is special for me because after ages I am able to spend jovial time with my husband along with kids. As we both are managing our long distance relationship, these holidays were a boon for us as we are together again. Though we only get weekends to freak out, we make the most of it.
Whether it’s summer vacation, or any other time of the year, with spouse, family or with friends, going on a trip helps to lower the stress levels.
Everyone needs a break from the normal monotonous routine and going on a long vacation really helps to relieve stress. As the saying goes – a change in the latitude will help my attitude! Similarly, a temporary change in your ordinary schedule will help in relaxing your body and soul.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, go on a holiday and make memories.
A page from my routine: I had to pick up my daughter from crèche between 12 noon – 12:30 pm. It was 12:20 pm already and I was still at metro station at one end…nervously checking my phone every two seconds to check the time and waiting for the arrival of train. When I finally reached the place, I was just two minutes late but the journey kept my heart racing and brain churning for entire 30 minutes. In short I was in “Tension”. Recalling those 30 minutes now makes me ask a question or two – what would have happened if I was late? Perhaps they would have kept my daughter for five extra minutes that’s it! Why the hell was I so worried about it? We come across many more such incidents where we constantly combat or at least try to combat our fears and insecurities. We live by time frames and targets; swear by results and get obsessed by achievements.
So indulged we are in the race to outdo others and sometimes ourselves that we have mortgaged our inner peace. Broken relationships, anxiety, skewed balance of life, depression and an entire array of emotions that mark an unhappy individual are the bonus that we are accumulating everyday.
What to do now? I tell you, just relax! Make it a point to have a time of yours, spend time with yourself where you explore yourself and understand yourself. In short “Meditate“.
Take a deep breath and “Meditate”. Open the doors of your brain shutting out all the negativity and letting in the positive energy, focus and channelize your energies to something more productive and something more meaningful i.e. your mental peace. Because it’s your inner peace that could help you see more clearly both sides of an issue, take better decisions and eventually grow as a person be it on emotional front of relationships or success in profession. Meditation should be a part of our lives which could give us “Me Time” in the otherwise hustling and bustling world around.
How to define Meditation: To sum up simply it is detoxification of brain.
How to Meditate: Does Meditation means sitting at one corner with crossed legs and closed eyes precisely? I would prefer to say “No”. For me personally it is nearly impossible to concentrate that way. It’s not my kind of thing 😊. One would meditate to let the agitating self mellow down, let the brain to breathe, to focus and stop worrying about literally anything and everything around. And this is only possible if one gets the much-needed medicine of happiness, the real one. How to attain that? What are the alternatives to the general idea (perception) of Meditation? Here they are:
Gardening: It definitely gives immense happiness to see something grow out of your fingers (now don’t take it too literally, I meant touch). Being close to nature, getting your hands stashed with mud, sowing seeds, watering and finally see the yield – a different sense of achievement, isn’t it? Don’t be amazed if you meet people who actually spend time talking to plants as if they are individuals and evolve along with them. Try it yourself.
Cooking: I am not joking because for many it is just a boring routine chore. How can it be a way of relieving the stress? If you cook with love (may be for yourself 😉), try to experiment ( not necessarily to please others) without feeling the pressure to meet the On-Table Demand then you can actually shut the negativity out of chimney along with the smoke.
Long Drive: Now don’t go to fetch your mean machine from the garage (save it for your routine schedules), I am talking about your long-lost, forgotten companion – bicycle. When was the last time you rode it? Wasn’t it fun? Why don’t you take it along again and spend some quality time. Feel the whip of air on your face, sweat in your palm and emptiness in your head (I mean devoid of all the frustration and negativity). Physical fitness + clean environment is a bonus, what say?
Put on your dancing shoes: Shut the world out and dance. Dance your brain out and let your hair down. It’s a great stress buster (believe me, tried myself quite a few times).
Practice any art: When I say “Any” I mean “Any”. If your heart is in love with any form of art and for any reason it couldn’t be your profession well that could be the reason for your frustration in life ( there is a possibility) but at the same time that could give you a getaway from your tensions. Pottery or poetry whatever it is, give it a chance to escape from the wheel of monotony, release your agonies and anxieties be new you!
Reading: Well I am not an avid reader but for those who are, there can never be a best companion than a good book. Pick from the lot and switch on your “Oblivious To The World Mode“. Just see how well it works.
These are few possible ways to beat the stress and renew your energies – my way of looking at things. Whatever activity we choose the underlying factor should be Happiness at the end of the day.
Always be happy and do share your thoughts on this.
What a perfect time to write about Rest and Relaxation! Summer vacations have just ended for a few and have just begun for a few. This is the time when almost everyone takes time out for some or the other form of relaxation.
But why do we need such time? Have you ever noticed? – If the computer is behaving erratically or if the Wi-Fi is down, and it seems the modem is not working. The first bit of advice that we get is switch it off count till 10 and switch it on again. And 90% of the time it works. The following quote explains the whole thing.
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… Including you. – Anne Lammot
We are all busy making something out of our life for it to mean something. We get involved in it so much that at times we forget to give ourselves a break. And stress of our daily life mounts on us. That is where rest and relaxation comes in. So, my dear friends never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.
Is there a difference between rest and relaxation? Yes, even if we take a few minutes off from some strenuous work it is resting. Sleeping is resting. It gives our body some time to rejuvenate. We have all studied in Biology our body uses the sleeping time to rebuild. Many illnesses like body aches and pains and mild fever etc. are cured by a good night’s sleep.
Wherein relaxation is like meditation. It helps us unwind our mind, reduce the stress, pressure, anxiety etc. Many a times it is possible to rest without relaxing. When people have difficulty sleeping, or are restless during their sleep it is because their mind is so wound up and knotted that they are not able to relax or let go.
Coming back to our work after proper rest and relaxation increases our work potential and the quality of our output. Like they say ‘A field that has rested gives bountiful crop’.
Going on an exotic vacation is an obvious way to relax. Seeing new places, meeting new people and having different experiences gives our mind a perfect way to break out of our monotonous routine and stress of our daily life. But it is not always possible to get enough leave from work or afford an expensive getaway.
So, what are the other means to relax? I would personally recommend that we should have a regular relaxation routine instead of depending only on our annual vacations. It should be something that so completely occupies your mind that there is no space left for our niggling worries and tensions.
Playing a sport is one such activity. Because we need to concentrate so much on our game we tend to block out all other thoughts from our mind. So, playing while being an excellent exercise for our body becomes a very relaxing activity for our mind.
Same is the case with music. Singing or listening to music or playing an instrument also has a very calming effect on us. All the agitation or stress inside us just flows out of our body.
There are many other such activities. Like any kind of hobby, taking a walk in the greens, getting a massage, even doing social worketc. etc. I would look forward to hear from you all what is the most relaxing activity that you do.
Different things work for different people. For example, I hate spending time in the kitchen. I spend only the bare minimum time in kitchen that is required for cooking the daily food. But for my mom – in – law…she loves cooking and making different dishes. So, what is stressful for me is a very relaxing activity for her.
Look around and find the activity that makes you forget all your worries when you are at it. And make it a part of your regular routine.
If nothing else works the most tried and tested one is meditation and prayer. Be thankful for the things you have and give your worries to God, blank out your mind and start with a clean slate.
Rest, Relax and be thankful.
As I was sitting here thinking about what to write, my cousin found some old photo albums and we began going through them. As we laughed and looked at the pictures, I realized something…we are Always reinventing ourselves if you Really think about it. We go from being a daughter or son, to a sibling and, as time goes on, we become young adults. We are constantly changing or reinventing ourselves to fit in with that moment in time. I became an adult, taking on a job, paying my rent and bills.
Then the day came that I became a wife! Now here I was in a lifetime partnership with another human being that was not blood related and once more, changes or reinvention is needed. It was not easy to be sure but somehow we muddled through. Then we became PARENTS. I think that was one of the most wonderful and scariest things of all. And we had to reinvent ourselves yet again.
It has taken me a long time to get here, a very long time indeed, 8 years and still going …
I have feeling of missing something, I am unhappy. Good job, loving family, friends.. Then what is daunting me?? I need to find out what would make my life better.
That was the time when I was in constant quest and this needed to be addressed, But, the million dollar question was “What am I searching for ?”…
Being an engineer, the term “reverse engineering” came to my mind – If I have to figure out what is missing, may be I should first know, a few years from now, what is that I would regret not doing ?
Quickly, I made a list of all those small and big things I want to do. The list was neither small nor huge. Then I started to categorize these and finally arrived at a priority order.
There is a catch, your priority order may not match with resources you may find to fulfill those dreams. So, its an art of beautifully placing your dreams into those groves that work with time or resource availability.
Surprisingly, a few days after I made this revelation, I started to find ways to fulfill my dreams or rather I would say the ways became more apparent, because I knew I had to do something based on their availability. Then, there was no stopping. I went ahead and cherished doing each one of those activities, I longed to do.
It’s been a few years I did this exercise, I am quite happy and glad to say that I have ticked nearly 70% of my initial list. The list keeps changing – additions, omissions and modifications are very much allowed.
I slowly started to see a positive change in me.I was successfully able to change course of certain paths of my life. I am more happy and those positive vibes are helping me take better decisions and making my life a celebration.
Oh Boy! Did I say celebration ? Yes, indeed life now seems a celebration..
From childhood majority of us were given some tags… Intelligent, introvert, smart, computer nerd, social animal, book worm and so on.
Sounds familiar ?
Many of us don’t really look beyond what society or family or friends perceive us as. Their expectations more or less made us what we are, mainly because we have been ignorant about what we really want to be. This may have also happened because of our own unwillingness to try something new. We rarely feel the need to bring a change…
Everyone has a routine, good or bad. It’s in our nature, to spend all our energy primarily on our today’s immediate concerns. After a few years, suddenly it may so happen that we don’t like our life. It is as if, LIFE IS ON AUTO-PILOT.
“Reinventing Self” – It does sound like a significant amount of change that we may want to bring into our lives. But, in reality that may not be completely true. It can be as simple as trying a new hair cut or changing your wardrobe to adapt to a new style or growing a mustache.
We need not have to dwell and figure out what our passions are to start with. Let’s do it in baby steps and take it easy even if we fail to maintain the rhythm.
- Fitness freak – Start walking your dog instead of hitting the gym.
- An introvert – Start talking to people openly, if not directly, use social media.
- Computer nerd – Plan for a surprise vacation using your friend, the computer.
- Unromantic – Take a day off to be with your significant other at home, spend quality time and tell them how important they are in some way.
These are just a few examples. We may not like doing the same thing for longer duration. Be innovative and find new ways.
“Breaking the routine is the key to re-invention of self.“
On the contrary, if you want to make a big change in your life, like shifting to a new career option, or quitting your job for higher studies, starting a new business, bringing a behavioral change in self, that’s possible too. Be brutally honest with yourself to figure out what you want to achieve and what are your steps would be to achieve your dreams .
Discipline and dedication can do wonders.
CHASING YOUR DREAMS is the MANTRA and CHANGE is the only way for RE-INVENTION.
Author’s Bio: Aastha, a young, agile & talented techie who has an immense passion in writing. She writes from her heart and is a person who loves to connect with people through her write ups. Her disciplined and organised lifestyle have made it possible for her to write articles in her busy schedules. She can be contacted and visited at her blog: PenningEnigma.
Lesson 1: The most important rule of writing your goals down is that you must follow if you want to achieve success.
Most of us already know that it is vitally important to write your goals down.The simple mechanical act of writing makes your goal visible and tangible.That’s no longer just a thought! Now it’s a commitment. But there is one rule you must follow to succeed that very few know.
It’s not enough to write your goal down…
… You have to describe it in complete detail!
Make it as specific as possible.
Compare: “I want to buy a new home” and “I want to live in a new two story gorgeous Victorian style home with 4 spacious bedrooms, luxurious living room with a fireplace and hardwood floors. I will enjoy my large backyard with swimming pool and patio…”
“I want to make a lot of money” is not the goal. It’s just a wish.
“I want to make $10.000 monthly with my business by July 1st.” Now that’s the goal.
After writing your goal down in complete details don’t forget to make it visible! You can write it on a yellow note and stick it on your computer. Or even better-print it so it would fit 4×6 picture frame, then frame it and put it on your desktop. You can also print it on your business card and put it in your wallet. Try to surround yourself with little reminders. This will help you to stay focused on your goal and create a clear mental image of what you want.
Lesson 2: The one question you must answer before you take action.
There is one question you must answer before you start achieving your goal. Failure to answer that question will result in lack of motivation and failure to follow the plan. Take a piece of paper and answer this question in writing:
WHY do you want to achieve your goal?
No, not just because “I want”. There are reasons behind your dreams, usually dozens of them. And if you realize why you want to reach your goal, you’ll be most likely to follow your plan till the end.
For example, why would you want to lose 15 pounds in 2 months?
- To look good
- To feel good about yourself
- To fit in your favorite dress
- To impress your spouse
List every single reason. Try to imagine all the benefits. The truth is that the longer the list, the stronger your motivation will be. Read your reasons first thing in the morning. Even better, frame them and hang them on the wall. It will keep you focused and motivated.
Lesson 3: How to trick yourself to finally get started working on your goals and stay on track until the goal is accomplished.
I’ve heard this hundreds of times.
“Dream Big Dreams!”
“Make Your Goal As Big As You Can Imagine!”
So, okay… I’ve written down my BIG, almost out-of-reach goal. After all, I don’t want to underestimate myself. I know I can do this but…But often after a full day at work I’m just so exhausted…to start working on my big goal. I don’t have enough energy for BIG goals. So I make a dinner, watch TV, do the homework and think “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
But tomorrow never comes.
Every evening I’m too tired to work on my goal. Day after day I’m feeling more and guiltier. As weeks pass by I’m getting more depressed….Have you ever been in this situation? If yes, there’s a small trick that will help you to get started no matter how big your goal is. Every night write down a small task for the next day. Make it as tiny as you can. Something that would take 10-15 minutes. Let’s say your goal is to lose weight and you decided to work out every day for 30 minutes. You could write down your assignment: “Do one exercise for lower abs 10 times.”
Yes, just one exercise, just 10 times. It would take you about 3 minutes. The secret is that the most difficult thing is to get started. Once you got started you’ll 95% most likely finish the whole 30 minutes work out! Even if you just do one exercise for 10 times, it is better that nothing. You wouldn’t feel guilty and depressed you’ve fulfilled your assignment! And if you do more you’ll feel even better! The trick is to give yourself a really small task: To make a phone call, or to read one page of a textbook. And once you get started you will actually find out that you won’t mind doing more than you planned!
Remember, set big goals, but make your tasks small.
Lesson 4: One simple yet powerful technique that drives you into action every day and helps overcome procrastination.
Unfortunately very few recognize the astonishing power of personal success journal. It takes only 10-15 minutes a day to write down your achievements and the tasks you’ve accomplished. But these 15 minutes a day have the power to transform all your life.
Success journal motivates you: By writing down your achievements you will be able to feel the progress. You will see how by small steps you’re moving closer and closer to your goal.
Success journal eliminates temptation: It will be easier to resist temptations since you know that you have to write down what you have done tonight.
Success journal simplifies your life: Things become much simpler when they are written down. A journal makes you more tolerant of life’s distractions.
However you should be aware of three rules of keeping a success journal:
- Write only what you’ve done: Don’t write what you still haven’t done and what you have to do tomorrow. List only accomplished tasks and achievements.
- List even small things: Everything counts! A phone call, a chapter of a textbook or your decision to pass by the chocolate cheesecake…
- Make it a daily habit: Don’t skip days! Even if you’re exhausted make sure you write at least 1-2 sentences in your success journal. Even if the only thing you did was thinking about your goal.
I urge you to take a notebook and start to list all your completed tasks. In 30 days you wouldn’t possibly be able to live without it.
Lesson 5: The secret formula that helps you define the perfect moment for working on your goal.
Are you waiting for a perfect moment to work on your goal? Are you sure you will be able to recognize the perfect moment when it comes? There is one simple formula that instantly tells you the perfect time to start achieving your goal.
The perfect moment = NOW!
Yes, right now, this very second is the ONLY perfect moment to start working towards your goals. No, it’s not tomorrow or Monday or the first day of the month. Right now. Don’t waste your life waiting for a perfect conditions or perfect opportunity. They don’t exist. Use what you have, start right now, never ever procrastinate! Have you ever noticed that all the successful people are very dynamic? They don’t lie on the couch…waiting for the perfect time to start doing something. They get up and DO it. If you’re still trying to put things off and make excuses to do it later, in the next lesson you will learn how to overcome procrastination and become a person who loves the thrill of getting things done.
Lesson 6: How to stop putting things off and convert yourself from procrastinator into productive, effective person who loves the thrill of getting things done.
Are you the person who always puts things off and promises himself to do it later?
Then this technique is for you. Next time you catch yourself trying to put important tasks off, take a piece of paper and answer three simple questions.
- Where you are?
- What do you want to do?
- How you will feel while doing it?
While writing down what do you want to do you will already imagine yourself doing it. And it won’t be very difficult for you to get up and do it.
Let’s say you’ve been putting off organizing your closet. You always find more important tasks to do and it’s never enough time to clean it and put everything in place. Just sit down, take a piece of paper and begin writing: “It’s Saturday, 3:45pm. I’m sitting in the living room couch, drinking tea. I want to organize my closet. It will only take me about 1 hour and I will feel energetic and satisfied that I finally got it done. My closet will be clean, everything will be sorted and in place….” Just as you’re writing it
you feel the desire to get up and do it. Because you want your closet organized, you want to feel satisfied and you’ve already imagined yourself doing it.
Remember, all you have to do is to answer three questions. Where you are, what do you want to do, and how will you feel while doing it. It’s a very simple technique but it works like a magic!
Lesson 7: The one simple technique that will make any boring task a pure fun and increase your productivity by more than 125%!
Do you know how to turn monotonous boring task into fun? Make a game out of it!
For example, time yourself and keep trying to improve your time. Let’s say you have to peel 20 potatoes. Challenge yourself! Set a record of how many potatoes can you peel in 3 minutes. Then try to beat your own record. Or you can time yourself to see how long it takes you to peel one apple. And beat your record again! The good thing is you will always be a winner. You can turn any boring task into fun game. Just use a little imagination! This simple trick has proven to increase productivity by more than 125%! Use it and you’ll notice that you’re getting more work done in a less amount of time.
So that’s all from my side in this edition. Enjoy your weekends, achieve your goals, and don’t forget to have fun!
Author’s Bio: Sulagna Dasgupta has been writing about self-improvement and relationships for more than 5 years. Her website “www.loveinindia.co.in” is India’s first dedicated relationships & marriage blog, also offering FREE unlimited anonymous relationship counselling. Her mission is to facilitate more open thinking about love & relationships in India in the long run.