The following stress relief tips are simple and practical. They will swiftly ease your stress!
Step 1. Become Aware
In a relaxed position, with your eyes closed, picture yourself being stressed. In your mind’s eye, go through every stress symptom that you have.
Feel yourself being stressed. It is imperative that the visualization is very real with powerful emotions attached to it.
Now picture yourself becoming aware that you are stressed. You are now the Observer of your behavior. You see your symptoms but your perception of them is of something separate from you.
Stress is a part of most people’s lives. It is a reality that we all live with. This is why we need to have different mechanisms in place for coping with stress. Whether we are business executives or working in a hard physical job like home furniture removals, the challenge for most of us is actually being cognizant of when we are stressed. It is such an habitual state for us to be in, that most of the time we don’t even know when we are in it!
We all have distinctive and personal indicators that we manifest when we are feeling stressed. What are yours?
Steve Pavlina wrote this after having nothing but juice for the last ten days:
With each passing day, I can see more clearly how cooked food is used as a drug to create a certain kind of feeling in our bodies. We keep eating it because we’re addicted to it, not because it’s healthy for us. We confuse those addictive cravings for the experience of genuine hunger. Instead of making conscious food choices, we let our addictions dictate what we eat, how much, and how often.
I experienced a glimpse of this during day two of my own short live foods fast:
To get to this place, you had to make many changes. Some were small, some were large, some were trivial and some were absolutely life altering.
Now comes the job of maintaining those changes and keeping that goal alive in your life. You’re riding high right now, but what will happen when real life creeps back in (bad habits included)? What will you do when day-to-day pressures or complacency threaten your new found habits and lifestyle? You can plan ahead and come up with a maintenance strategy that will meet those challenges head on.
How are you standing in the way of your dreams and goals?
It’s time to stop telling yourself lies, stop making excuses and (gulp) take a long hard look at what role you are playing in your current situation.
If you’re willing to ask yourself the hard questions now, you can save yourself from facing them as even bigger roadblocks in the future. But if you skip this step, you’ll keep coming up against these same issues over and over again, no matter how hard you work.
Some of us have been angry for so long that we’ve forgotten what it’s like not to be angry anymore.
We’ve become so attached to our anger that we think it’s who we are. But it’s really no more a part of you than an old wound is, when it’s time to finish healing you just have to let the scabs fall. It might leave a scar, but even that fades with time.
You might have to change so much that you’ll have to become a different person. And that can be scary. The unknown usually is. But what is it that you’re so afraid of losing by hanging on to your rage? What will you lose if you let it consume you? And what will you gain when you finally move on?
Finding gratitude is a fundamental step in the self-improvement process. You can’t expect anything new to come into your life without first having a genuine sense of appreciation for what you have now.
Gratitude invites a sense of humility and a focus on what truly matters – which can be especially challenging in our materialistic society. It helps you to see that while you may not have everything you want, you do have more than everything you need. Gratitude brings everything into balance and gives you a proper perspective.
Who do you think of when you picture someone talking in monotone? I personally think of Ben Stein who did the Clear Eyes commercials a few years back. His voice remained at the same tone throughout the commercial. He did not show any excitement whatsoever in the product he was selling. He was just straightforward, to the point, and the commercial was over. Many people would probably describe him as boring.
So what did I get from 10 days of keeping absolutely quiet, without any books, TV, internet connection and writing materials, sitting in meditation from morning till night?
Without any external inputs and any way to output my thoughts, I was forced to observe. Forced to observe me, my own thoughts and feelings.
I saw the inordinate amount of rubbish that went through my mind every day, and I found a way to be aware of it and be pulled along unawares. I saw old mental patterns emerge and new perspectives on old misgivings. (more…)
While the days inside the Vipassana center blurred into each other, I remember that day 3, 5 and 7 were especially difficult for me.
While there were days of deep concentration and peacefulness, these were days when my mind’s old habits fought back to re-assert themselves. Doubts, agitation, aggression, my mind threw everything at me to rebel against this insistence on quietude and focus. (more…)
The next stage of my journey saw me heading to the Vipassana center in Prachinburi. After reaching Bangkok from Udon Thani, Paiboon and I parted ways as he was going to another Vipassana center.
While waiting for the bus, I wasn’t quite so sure what to expect. 10 straight days of meditation, starting at 4:30AM in the morning, without any books, music players, TVs or writing materials allowed â€“ not to mention no talking at all?
Christine Kane has a better way for you to start your year: choose a word.
Just one word.
And this word will be your guiding focus for the next 12 months.
Last year, I chose the word courage. Looking back, I think I’ve done pretty well. I faced my fear of talking to strangers over and over and even made friends with a few. I also kept stretching the boundaries of my comfort zone by doing new things like getting my driving license, and facing my fear of heights by jumping off trees.
I’ve been wondering lately about what decluttering really means. One of my favorite designers John Maeda, author of The Laws of Simplicity, says in his (ironically rambling) TED talk that the simplest definition of simplicity is that ‘simplicity is about living life with more enjoyment and less pain’.
That rings very true. So how do we get more enjoyment and less pain in our lives? The art of decluttering is obviously about removing all the unnecessary bits of our lives that cause us more pain than we need; the undone task lingering in the back of our minds for two weeks, the stiff doorknob we keep putting off oiling, the pile of old clothes we refuse to throw out.
Watching Spiderman 3 reveals a part of the Hero’s Journey that is not often seen; the hero’s downfall.
If you’re not familiar with the previous steps of the hero’s journey, download my free Hero’s Journey ebook. If you’re familiar with the 10 steps, you’ll know the Spiderman movies are wonderful metaphors for the hero’s journey (although the Lord of the Rings trilogy kicks so much more ass!).
The hero’s downfall can happen anytime after the Supreme Ordeal. After the hero’s faced down his biggest enemies, and possibly Claimed His Treasure, his ego gets inflated. Having had a taste of his own power, he mistakenly begins to think he’s the greatest thing to come along since sliced bread. He becomes an arrogant pain in the ass.
In 2004, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer, was diagnosed with pancreas cancer. The doctor told him it was almost certainly incurable and told him he no more than 3 to 6 months to live.
What would you do if you were told today you had less than 3 to 6 months to live?
The reality of death, limited time and chances is a very real one we have to face every single day. We tend to forget, and bask in the glow of our comfort zones, letting each day go by and conveniently forget that one day, this too shall pass.
I know, I’m 7 days late. Remember that rough patch I was telling you about? I’m still roughing it out, but I’m feeling better and better as time goes by. Some of you already know – I broke up with my girlfriend. Maybe one day I’ll share the lessons I learnt from that, but not yet.
Today, we kick-start your new year in the best direction forward – because it’s never too late to start a new year 😀 And I won’t be doing it alone, I’m bringing along luminaries like Steve Pavlina, Christine Kane, Senia and Tony Robbins to help you along.
How do you lead a life of fulfillment instead of disappointment?
By focusing on your human needs. Not human wants, like a brand new iPod, but human needs, and here is a method that helps you live a life of fulfillment and ignite the fire within.
Here Is A Powerful Method To Direct The Time Of Your Life
A time-tested way to manage the time of our lives is to compartmentalize the different areas of our lives into easy-to-manage, bite-sized pieces. You can think about these areas like career, family, health, finance, studies, relationships, the list is endless. (more…)
When I was coaching motivational workshops, I saw a lot of people who were ‘workshop junkies’; they’d be landing from workshop to workshop, seemingly learning loads, but never really producing fantastic results in their own lives.
While my fellow coaches and I discussed many reasons as to why, lately I realized another elegant way it could be explained using the metaphor of The Hero’s Journey.
In The Hero’s Journey, you travel through 2 worlds: The Ordinary World, and The Extraordinary World.
I’ve been living on a more micro than macro level the last couple of months, ever since being inspired by Adrian Savage’s The Simplest Path to Success post. Instead of asking myself, ‘what would go on my 10-year plan?’, I’m just asking ‘what’s the next best thing to do?‘ instead. I figure if I take the next best actions, the next best future would settle itself.
Ahem, disregarding the highly suggestive title of this post…
I’m going to tell you how to suck and still be on top…in a personal development sort of way. Only.
I got this idea from reading Death by risk-aversion on the always good Creating Passionate Users. While Kathy talks about risk aversion in the state of companies, you can also read it through as it applies to you, personally. (more…)
Today I met up with an old schoolmate of mine, we’ve known each other for nearly 9 years now and he’s one of the best friends I have.
We went to the Esplanade roof-top, a cultural building just besides the river. And as we both laid there on the wooden floor, just lazing and gazing up at the sky, he said; ‘how often do you get to just lie here on a monday afternoon on the roof of the Esplanade, watching the sky and looking at planes flying overhead leaving little cloud trails in their wake?’ (more…)
Oops…apologies again for being late! Been out late again 😉
Yesterday was an interesting day. I got to make a new friend recently and last night we went out for the first time. It was a new opportunity to make a friend and I’m really grateful for that, especially since one of my goals this year is to widen my social circle.
Yay, goal accomplishing! 🙂
What about you? What’s one goal or direction in your life that you’re grateful to have accomplished?
I apologize for being 2 hours, 40 minutes behind on the 5th day of gratitude…I’ve been out til late 😉
It was my friend Gabriel’s birthday earlier this week, and I met him today for some coffee and to pass him his birthday gift (one of my favorite books; Veronika Decides to Die). We had a nice chat, had dinner with his girlfriend and friends, and decided to go play LAN games afterwards (DOTA Allstars on Frozen Throne, one of my all-time favorites!). (more…)
Today is my brother’s birthday, and since I was staying at home, I got to watch my home lovingly prepare a wonderful dinner and cake for him.
I really love my mom.
She works so hard to take care of everything in the house so that the rest of us can do what we do. I don’t care what anyone else says, being a homemaker is as tough a job, and as important a job as they come, and it deserves the ultimate respect.
I’m very grateful to have such a loving person in my life. Today I’m grateful for my mom.
So today’s coach’s challenge to you is this, who is one person that you’re absolutely grateful to have in your life?
This may a little bit deviate from Alvinâ€™s theme on Gratitude. At the same time, from another angle itâ€™s really related because you should be gratified of all the challenges that are coming into your life.
And thatâ€™s reason why you should be comfortable coming out of your comfort zone.
If you remember the earlier post by Alvin on stretching, yes, stretching will get your comfort zone bigger and you should be comfortable with getting the stretch. (more…)
This 7 Days of Gratitude is going places I never imagined.
I’m typing this as it just happened, a few minutes ago. I was on my way home from the neighbourhood gym when I saw a downed motorcycle at the traffic light. I saw a few people rush over to help and so did I, and when I helped lift the motorcycle up I saw her: a little girl of 8 had been hit and was lying crying on the ground.
The men helped carry her over to the side of the road while I called for an ambulance. I noticed, however, that her mom wasn’t showing the usual high levels of distress or anxiety I’d expect…nevertheless, I made the call, and told her about it.
As I was having lunch I bumped into a good friend of mine who happened to be in the area, totally unexpected and out of the blue! It was a good chance meeting, and we had lunch together with his colleague, and afterwards they taught me how to buy the lottery, which I was intending to do but had no idea how (I normally don’t, but it’s a $10 million special draw for the Lunar New Year so I thought why not, keep my fingers crossed!).
On the 7 Days of Gratitude Challenge, I wonder if I could cheat a little and start yesterday, because I had such a wonderful day.
My friends and I were meeting at the beach for a nice group dinner, but a couple decided to meet earlier for a seaside jog. I’m not that keen into running, but I love cycling, and volunteered to carry their bags on my bike.
The weather was beautiful. All perfect for an afternoon jog. As the sun went down, I cycled onto a pier and watched the sea, and felt the cool breeze against my skin. I breathed in deep, and felt good to be alive.
Everyone will agree that a positive attitude is one that is essential for peak performance living. One of the key parts to a positive attitude that I outlined in 9 Keys to Overcoming Difficult Times is an attitude that allows us to acknowledge what is already going well in our lives and appreciate them for their value. I’m talking of course, about the attitude of gratitude.
Lately, I’ve had to deal with a lot of changes happening in my personal life. At first, describing them to my friends, I kept calling them endings, but afterward I began to feel as if it was a process of renewal. There is a Chinese saying that goes ‘if the old doesn’t go, the new cannot come’. Keeping that in mind, I’ve begun to view these difficult events as a shedding of things for me to grow forward, and so I’ve come to call them ‘changes’ instead of ‘endings’.
Difficult as it may, I know a friend who is also going through some tough changes of his own. This post is really for him because I want to share with him some tools I’ve found to be useful for me in managing my emotional state to navigate through the difficult times. I’m prone to worry and depression myself so I’ve had to learn how to pull myself through, and the beliefs and techniques from NLP and Solutions Focused Brief Therapy have helped tremendously.
The single most important principle I’ve learnt that has changed my life more than anything else is the principle of stretching:
Stretching is the act of doing something that you know is good for you and/or good for others and it scares you.
Imagine yourself at the centre of a circle. The edge of the circle is the edge of your comfort zone. It is everything that you know and are comfortable dealing with. Once in a while you might encounter an anomaly that hits the edge of your comfort zone, if it’s a little thing you expand to include it. (more…)
Since we’re nearing the new year I’m sure many of us will be taking this chance to reflect on the year past and renew on the year ahead. I thought this would be a nice time to make a distinction between setting goals, and setting directions.
What is a goal? Simply put, a goal is a target you set that is:
I visit China regularly, and my recent trip teach me something that I would like to share with you, it’s a “Hand Pump”
Have you use such the pump before? “I have never seen one in Singapore”. You might say. Yes, because this type of pump is only constructed in the location where drought is common. And Singapore is not known for drought area, anyway there is pipe water in Singapore. â€¦