Hi friends! Since we’re well into December now, I imagine many of you may be either starting or rounding out your holiday shopping. If you’re not yet familiar with Backpack Buddha, I highly recommend checking them out!
What I love about Backpack Buddha is that they not only offer beautiful fair-trade, eco-friendly products, supporting craftsmen and women in Nepal, they also donate 10 percent of their profits to a number of worthy causes.
Started in 2015, they base their entire business model on good karma, and it shows in how they operate.
Below I’ve shared a number of their products, starting with my personal favorite (which I’m currently using daily):
These come in four sizes, ranging from $27 to $57. I own the Himalayan Hemp #1, pictured here. Handcrafted from 100 percent Himalayan hemp and cotton from the foothills of the Himalayas, this practical day bag can carry up to two full mala strands in a dedicated Mala pouch, a laptop up to 15 inches, a standard sized yoga mat, and a reusable water bottle.
This unique collection of chakra crystals, jewelry, and tools includes a number of beautiful options including a 7-chakra dream catcher that’s currently hanging right next to my front door and the 108-bead chakra mala pictured above ($37).
As you’ll see if you click through to the site, each of the seven crystals corresponds with a different mantra, which can be a nice addition to your daily meditation practice.
Each mala comes with a 7-page eGuide to help you use your beads as a medium for mindfulness, tranquility, and contentment.
While the Everyday Enlightenment Journal is designed to help you calm anxiety, find purpose, and love your life in twenty-one days, the Everynight Enlightenment Journal can help you relax your body and mind and get better sleep—and it may also inspire positive dreams.
Above you’ll find the Prayer Flag Journal ($14), which I recently gave to my boyfriend as a gift. Made from Lokta bark paper—by hand, in a village with a 2,000-year history of making this special paper—this journal is covered in the five elements of traditional Buddhist prayer flags: sky, air, water, fire, and earth.
Blessed by monks from the Woechen Thuk-Je Choeling Monastary, Swayambhu Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal, these unique mala offerings include the conch shell mala above ($97).
These beautiful malas come with 108 om-engraved shell beads.
As a huge coloring fan, I’ve seen some pretty cool coloring books in recent years, but none by Jim Hensen’s cartoonist. World-renowned illustrator Guy Gilchrest had a hand in Fraggle Rock, Looney Tunes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tom & Jerry, and more, and has illustrated over sixty children’s books.
His latest offering, recommended for kids age five to twelve, is intended to foster positive emotional growth through concepts of compassion, gratitude, and love.
Kids will love following the adventures of Buddha Bear, whose goals are to be kind to everyone he meets, to breathe and stay calm when he’s frustrated, and to appreciate all his blessings.
I’m a huge fan of Backpack Buddha, and their founder Leif Harum, who’s been a pleasure to connect with. I hope you, or your loved ones, will enjoy their offerings as much as I have!
**Though this is a sponsored post, you can trust I only promote products and services I personally love!
About Lori Deschene
Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest book, Tiny Buddha's Worry Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.
The post Introducing Backpack Buddha: Meditation Tools and Spiritual Gifts appeared first on Tiny Buddha.
Hi friends! I hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season so far. Since I know a lot of us spend the beginning of this month looking for the perfect holiday gifts for the people we love, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to Tiny Buddha partner Buddha Groove.
A family-owned business, Buddha Groove was one of Tiny Buddha’s first sponsors many years back.
Buddha Groove partners with artists all over the world to offer products that feed the spirit, inspire the mind, and revive the body. Many of their designs originate from artisan traditions in places such as South America, India, Indonesia, Tibet, Nepal, Thailand, and several other world regions. Buddha Groove also partners with many independent artists across the U.S.
Their wide assortment of spiritual and wellness items and meditation gifts include…
Buddha statues, like this:
Meditation malas, like these:
Singing bowls, like these:
Spiritual jewelry, like these pieces:
Books and coloring books, like these:
Yoga gifts, like these:
Although I consider myself a minimalist, I know that creating a tranquil environment can go a long way in fostering a sense of inner peace. And I also know that it’s much easier to be mindful and consistent with my meditation practice when I have lovingly chosen tools to support me.
The same is true of the people we love. What better gift to give than a gift that aids in creating calm and comfort?
Buddha Groove offer free shipping within the continental USA and ships internationally through a third party company. They also offer no-hassle returns within thirty days on all items except media, books, cards, and products containing plants.
I hope you’ll enjoy browsing through their site, and also hope you find something that speaks to you for the spiritually inclined individuals on your holiday gift list!
**This is a sponsored post containing affiliate links. That means that a small percentage of each sale supports Tiny Buddha and helps keep the site going.
About Lori Deschene
The post Introducing Buddha Groove: Meditation, Yoga, and Inspirational Gifts appeared first on Tiny Buddha.
“Yeah, she is nice and all, but just not my type.”
Have you ever said that or had a friend tell you that as they considered a mate? Maybe you feel drawn to intelligent brunettes while your friend is all about the athletic blondes. You may have even determined that whomever you end up with long-term will have to fit into that type in order for the relationship to be successful.
On Finding Your Type
Most of us, at one time or another, has felt that we have a specific “type” when it comes to romantic partners. We assume that people who don’t fit our predetermined “type” are not likely to be a good relationship fit and that those who do will be. But is this really true?
Yes and no.
We are often drawn to people based on our own past experiences. Elements of familiarity make us feel more comfortable with and more drawn to people with certain attributes.
Those in our lives who have had a big and usually positive impact on us can influence what we think we want in a partner. You may think you just naturally prefer brunettes, but the truth is that you probably had a positive experience with a brunette. That’s why you became drawn to the qualities that they exhibited. Parents, teachers, and other role models can all be part of creating our “type” as well.
We also tend to look for partners that are similar to ourselves or have similar backgrounds. These shared experiences and values feel important when considering a long-term future with someone. They help to provide a common ground and mutual agreement on the importance of certain things in life.
So, the shy blonde girl who grew up in the suburbs may not feel that the long-haired hippy who spent his life living on a commune is the right fit for her. There likely will have never been someone like him in her life that made an impact before. And appearances tell her they have nothing in common and that he wouldn’t be a good match. But what if he is?
The Danger in Trying Too Hard in Finding the Right Person for You
There is a danger in relying too heavily on your “type” in determining whether someone will make a good mate for you or not. Just because they do or don’t meet your idea of the right type doesn’t mean you can determine with certainty their merit as a partner.
Becoming too focused on looking for someone who fits your idea means that you may be overlooking others who would actually be better matches for you in the long run. It also operates on the assumption that meeting your type criteria automatically makes someone a good match.
This simply isn’t something that can be counted on.
Not all athletic blondes have the mix of traits that will make a long-term relationship a good one. It doesn’t mean that you and that perfect match will be compatible.
Looking for love by relying upon your type as a guide can be a dangerous thing to do. It can set up an unhealthy dynamic. You may place unfair expectations on your partner based on what you believe they represented by meeting your type criteria. Or, on the other hand, if you end up with someone who doesn’t fall into your idea of the right type, you may subconsciously sabotage your relationship.
You may let your feelings settled and seep through before you have given that relationship a fair chance. Dating according to type could very well mean that you spend a great deal of time in relationships that are difficult and simply don’t work or leave you feeling lonely and unfulfilled.
Your best bet when dating or starting a relationship is to look for a person’s traits. Appreciate them instead of listening to the ideas you’ve created inside your head. It is undeniably more important to be honest, caring, and compassionate than it is to be blonde.
The kitchen is one of the most critical areas in the house. It’s the place where you cook, prepare meals and clean dirty dishes. It’s also known as the heart of the home. However, despite being one of the best areas of the house, it’s also one of the most unsafe places for children.
Keeping your children safe is your duty. That’s why creating a child-friendly kitchen must be a priority.
Check out these 7 proven safe and effective tips below.
Double Check Everything
When cooking, people get busy and tend to forget things. The oven and other cooking appliances that are not turned off are one of the main things that can cause your children to hurt or injure themselves. Children, in their early age, are more curious which can lead to accidents.
Making sure that everything is turned off and out of their reach is the best thing to do especially to those appliances that can cause significant injury. Stoves and water heater are just examples of devices that can put your kid’s life at risk.
Point It the Other Way
When cooking, always make sure that the handle of any cooking appliance is turned opposite to your children’s reach. Accidents like burns can happen when you don’t turn the handle the other way.
Using back burners can be helpful, too. Also, stove knobs that can be reached by your kids should be childproof with stove knob covers.
Classify and Arrange Everything
When you’re done cooking in the kitchen, make sure that everything is well-arranged and stored. Classify and separate harmful substances you have in the kitchen so that children won’t be able to reach them.
Harmful substances like pesticides should be separated and stored in areas that only the adults can reach. Some kids might think that it’s edible and they would try to mix it with their food or even in other people’s food. Instances like these can lead to poisoning.
Keep It Clean
After using the plates, always make sure that the dishes are clean. Don’t leave raw food or foods that might go bad in the sink or even on top of the plates you’ve already used. Leaving foods in the sink or dishes, especially raw ones, can harm the health of your loved ones.
Make it a habit to clean the dishes right away after you use it. Leaving foods in the kitchen sink or plates can cause bacteria to build up. Also, don’t let foods go bad. Spoiled foods can attract flies which carry disease. They can also have a very unpleasant smell.
The best thing you can do is to be alert all the time. No matter how many times you make your kitchen child-friendly, there will be no assurance that they won’t be hurt. Accidents can still happen. Being with your children, especially in the kitchen, is very important to prevent them from happening.
Always keep an eye on your kids since they can always reach kitchen utensils, such as knives. Also, always place a fire extinguisher near the kitchen because you might not know when you’ll be needing it.
Do It With Them
When doing renovation, try asking your children to help you so that they will know what places are off limits. If you have a baby, try installing a cabinet that they can reach so that they won’t be curious about what’s inside it.
Baby proofing or just making your kitchen safe is not that hard. Creating and designing a kitchen for kids can be fun as well. Try designing your kitchen while your child is around so that you can ask your kid what design he or she wants.
Keep Them Out
If your kids are still babies, the best things you can do is to build safety gates near the kitchen. Keeping them out can help prevent problems from actually happening.
By doing this, you won’t have to worry anymore about your kid wandering around the house since babies are curious when they see something that interests them. Some couples tend to forget their kids when they are so busy sorting things out, that’s why putting up one is a good idea.
Keeping your family safe is not an easy job nor a hard one. Dedication and patience are the only things you need for you to make sure the health of your family will not be at risk.
If you don’t have any idea on how to make your kitchen safe, you can try searching the web for effective ways on how to make your kitchen child-friendly. You can also ask experts so that you’ll know what other things you can do to keep your kids safe.
The post 7 Efficient Ways to Make Your Kitchen Child-Friendly appeared first on Dumb Little Man.
“Mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn
I started meditating and practicing mindfulness more seriously several years ago incorporating it in to my daily routine, initially to help with my anxiety. My practice certainly helped me by leaps and bounds in overcoming my anxiety, but an unexpected side effect has been the impact it’s having on my marriage.
We’ve not been married long, and as many couples before us have experienced, getting accustomed to this new dynamic can be at times… difficult.
Learning to communicate and compromise isn’t always a smooth ride. He cares about being on time (or early), I care about not being rushed. I like the kitchen cleaned after dinner, he couldn’t care less. He gets stressed when he doesn’t know the schedule in advance, I feel stressed when I feel boxed into a plan.
So we argued. And got mad at each other. And created these expectations for each other that we definitely didn’t always meet.
But slowly I started to notice a change. It began with a change in me, my stress level, my tendency to blame, my expectations of him. I found myself more understanding, better able to let go of things that didn’t go my way, and better at communicating when an argument bubbled up between us.
Then my husband started to change too. He’d noticed the changes in me and saw how much better I felt and how much easier communication was with me, and he started mimicking what he saw me do.
He wasn’t letting things bother him as much. In a situation where we would have had an ugly argument, he was now starting the conversation from a place of curiosity instead of finger pointing. But the biggest thing that I noticed from him was how he was willing and able to reflect on how he was feeling and dig into why he felt the way he did whereas in the past he would have become angry at me for making him feel that way.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment on purpose and without judgment. This can be done in day-to-day activities like driving, eating, and in conversation. It can also be practiced as formal meditation.
This simple practice can transform our relationship with our thoughts, give us new perspectives on life and even our own behaviors, and free us from the hold that our emotions can have on us when we identify with them.
Here are changes I’ve seen in myself from practicing mindfulness that have led to improving my marriage.
Stress is a salty mistress with eight in ten adults suffering daily. And anxiety is pervasive in our society, affecting roughly forty million Americans (including me for thirty-ish years). Practicing mindfulness is a time-tested and scientifically proven method of dealing with and overcoming the hold of stress and anxiety.
When we’re stressed, feeling down or angry, we’re on the lookout for anything to prove that life is stressful or crappy, or that we’re right and others are wrong. We notice the things that bother us like dishes left on the counter, a car driving too slowly in traffic, or the way your husband asks what’s for dinner.
And when we’re happy, we do the same—look for things to prove why life is great. You notice the nice things, the birds chirping, that your husband gets up without complaint on Tuesday mornings to take out the trash. It’s also easier to be more compassionate and forgiving from a happy place.
The less-stressed and no longer anxiety-ridden me is a much better wife and partner. From a happier place, I’m not only much more pleasant to be around, but things don’t tend to bother me as much.
I’m a better listener.
As a person with ADD, I’ve always found listening intently in conversations to be a difficult task. The mind wanders to other topics making it difficult to be fully present, take in what the other person is saying, and retain the information for later.
My mindfulness practice has drastically improved my ability to pay attention. It’s like brain training, building the ‘muscle’ that helps direct our attention at will.
I’m better able to fully listen to my husband when he’s sharing with me without always thinking of what I’m going to say next or what I need to do later. He feels heard, and we feel more connected to each other as a result.
I’m much more aware of how I’m feeling.
Not to say that I’m happy 24/7—I don’t think that’s possible, nor would I want that. We have a rainbow of emotions, and there are good reasons to feel them even for a brief moment.
The act of paying attention on purpose trains the brain to notice what we’re feeling. We’re so used to just feeling our feelings, and if it isn’t pleasant we either try to run from it, numb it, or lash out.
It’s more productive and much less stressful to look at our emotions with curiosity. Label them. Then ask questions. “Ah, I’m feeling irritated. What’s that about? What’s another way of looking at this? How can I change this situation or cope with it?”
I’m also better able to catch myself before emotions spike high. Once emotions hit their peak in an argument, the horse had already left the stable. It’s tough, if not damn near impossible to reel it back in once you’ve reached the crest of pissed off-ness.
At this point, your brain and body are in fight or flight mode where it’s impossible to access critical thinking skills and takes about twenty minutes to calm enough to think clearly to make sound, logical decisions.
Granted, those high negative emotions are drastically fewer and further between for me now with years of mindfulness practice under my belt. However, I’m only human and once in a great while I can feel those emotions rising.
Being more aware of how I feel has helped me resolve difficult or frustrating feelings internally and avoid arguments with my husband.
I’m much more aware of how my husband is feeling.
Mindfulness practice increases your ability to be present, and thus not be distracted by thoughts. As a result, you become more insightful, a better listener, and more observant.
This results in higher levels of emotional intelligence because you are able to see things from another person’s point of view to facilitate better communication. It becomes a powerful tool that makes you more effective in understanding other people, as well as contexts and situations.
When my husband seems upset, I’m better now at putting his behavior into context and empathizing with his emotions. For example, an angry outburst from him directed at me because we should have left five minutes ago, I can see is actually his frustration stemming from a lack of control over something he values—which is punctuality.
I don’t get upset in return anymore. Instead, I empathize with him because I better understand what is causing his emotions and don’t take them personally.
I’m able to forgive more quickly.
Pobody’s nerfect. Mindfulness teaches us to forgive ourselves and others as we are paying attention to the present moment non-judgmentally.
Using mindfulness techniques, a person is able to let go of or forget about the past and not dwell on what the future can be.
Mindfulness can be highly beneficial because we are able to let go of unrealistic or materialistic thoughts and just exist in the moment.
It can be used to accept the feelings of sadness, anger, irritation, or betrayal that you have and to move on from them. Your path to a freer you, begins with knowing what is hurting you the most.
Cultivating a greater capacity for forgiveness has brought me to a place in my relationships where I don’t hold grudges or dig up the past in arguments.
I’m aware of the stories I’m telling myself.
When something doesn’t go our way, it’s so easy to identify with the story we’re telling ourselves and label it as the whole truth.
Mindfulness has shown me the difference between me and my thoughts. They are not one in the same. Thoughts are ideas passing through our minds like clouds in the sky. They are fleeting. They change with context.
Because of mindfulness, when I’m upset I can more easily identify the story I’m telling myself that is making me upset.
For example, I was hurt after my husband didn’t get up and greet me enthusiastically when I came home from a week-long business trip. He stayed sitting on the couch absorbed with what he was doing.
I was upset and went upstairs to fume. Then I realized I was telling myself a story that my husband doesn’t care about me or love me enough. I know that isn’t true. There are a number of reasons why he didn’t get up.
When I came back downstairs he could tell I was still a bit upset, so he asked me about it. I said, “The story I’m telling myself is that you didn’t miss me because you didn’t get up when I came home. I know it’s not true, but I’m still feeling a little upset because I would have liked it if you gave me a big hug.”
He apologized and said he’d wanted to wait until I was settled to love on me. He was much more receptive to “the story I’m telling myself” than he would have been had I started in on him about what he’d done wrong. And I felt better when I stopped jumping to the wrong conclusion and allowed him to share his side while avoiding confrontation.
A few weeks later he calmly told me he was upset about something and started the conversation with “the story I’m telling myself is…”
That’s when I knew our relationship was improving because of mindfulness.
Being able to objectively look at my thoughts and feelings allows me to reframe any situation and gives me the space to respond thoughtfully instead of reacting impulsively.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this experience is that self-love and striving for self-improvement can have a ripple effect through your life affecting those around you for the better. The better me I can become—less stressed, more compassionate, healthier, happier—the better wife, friend, daughter, and coach I can be.
About Sandy Woznicki
Sandy is a stress and anxiety coach and mindfulness teacher helping women let go of worry, feel confident, gain control, overcome fear, and sleep better. Her coaching and free resources like the Stress Detox Course help women to live more fully and freely. She’s happily married to her goofy husband and loves connecting with nature in beautiful Maine.
A pillow or blanket made of 100% polyester fiber should be dry cleaned, if possible. But sometimes, you don’t have enough money to clean these delicate items professionally. If you are looking for the best tips in washing a 100% polyester fiber pillow and blanket, the list below should be able to help you out.
Gentle Cycle and Cold Water
Wash your pillow and blanket carefully. One of the challenges with washing a pillow is ensuring that the “delicate fill” is not damaged. Sometimes, when the interior material becomes wet, it won’t dry very well.
You can purchase a mesh bag for delicate items for under $10. This is a great option for silk, polyester, and cotton materials that could be damaged easily. Just place your 100% polyester fiber pillow and blanket in the wash bag.
It is important to wash these delicate items by themselves on the gentlest cycle possible. Hand washing would be ideal, if you have the time. Make sure you use cold water only and increase the amount of fabric softener you use.
Many delicate pillow materials, like feathers and small polyester fibers, clump together when wet.
Once the washing cycle is complete after the spin dry, you should carefully take the pillow and shake it out. You might want to punch the pillow to dislodge any clumps inside.
You could also allow the pillow and blanket to air dry. However, you must make sure that the area is warm enough to completely dry them. You don’t want mold growing inside.
When drying sensitive materials, you could use a drying bag or wrap the pillow in a towel. Set the machine to the most sensitive drying setting. You might want to put the dryer on the “Fluff” setting without heat. Once again, dry your pillow and blanket by themselves.
Make sure the 100% polyester fiber pillow and blanket are thoroughly dried, but not over-dried. Check the dryer regularly. Shake the bag to un-clump the filler material. Remove when the delicate pillow and blanket are completely dry. Remember, do not over-dry.
The post How Do I Wash My 100% Polyester Fiber Pillow And Blanket? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.
Everyone seems to be trying out online dating these days. With how common it is, you might think that it’s an easy process. The truth, however, is that online dating isn’t always ideal. Apart from the risk it poses to your security, you can also end up feeling disappointed and frustrated.
If you want to avoid those things, you should probably consider dating offline.
But first, let’s review a few tips to make it work.
Now that we got that out of the way, here are the best ways to find an online date:
Host a “White Elephant” party for singles
The idea is everyone who is invited must bring a single friend, preferably of the opposite sex. You can also have each invited person invite 5 other people to increase the numbers for your party.
Join a social/singles group in your area
Check the newspaper, yellow pages or online.
Start a social/singles group in your area
If you don’t have one in your area or want something different, start your own. Start small and build. It can even become a business down the line if you have success and decide to charge dues.
Ideas for events for your group:
Find singles magazines or newsletters in your area
Join their mailing lists and see if you can find anyone who interests you.
Check the “Local Happenings” section of your newspaper
Clip out the events that interest you and go. Bring a friend or go solo, but just remember to meet at least one new person when you go!
Take your dog or other pet to a dog/pet park
You can also search for pet meetups online according to dog breed or really any other interest you may have. Other places to use your pet as a lure: main street shopping areas, fairgrounds, and outdoor sporting events.
The ‘Ole Meat Market
Yes, you can meet someone in a bar. People do it everyday. Is it the best place? Maybe not, but you shouldn’t rule out any place where there is opportunity.
Join a club in an area that interests you such as astronomy, public speaking, gardening, books, or whatever. Check Google, local bulletin boards, or your local paper for ideas.
Take an adult education class in something that interests you
You’ll be surprised at the people you’ll meet there.
Go shopping in the opposite sex’s department
Ask a stranger for help in shopping for your relative.
Browse bookstores, libraries, and video stores
Go in the sections that interest you. Ask someone their opinion and see what develops!
Attend trade shows, conventions, specialty sales, and auctions for things that interest you.
It is the perfect place to talk to new people because that’s what it’s all about!
First know your employer’s dating policies and always use discretion. Many people have met their mate this way. Maybe it will happen for you, too.
Attend an event of another department. Let select co-workers know that you are looking. Maybe they will know someone you’d like to meet.
After hours shopping
Grocery shopping, the hardware store, and the like can be great places to meet someone just like you. If you’re shopping after 5pm or on a Saturday pay attention to check out more than just the produce and then take some action by saying hi and asking a question.
Attend a singles dating event
It can’t hurt. Bring a friend if you need a little confidence boost.
Go to those weddings, reunions, and other such events that you’ve been invited to.
Fight the urge to say “Ugh. Oh no.” Go. Have fun. Talk to people and see what happens.
Volunteer for a group or an area of interest for which you have a passion
What better way to meet someone that may be compatible with you? Looking for people in your area of interest is one way to make sure you end up with someone who has the same passion as you.
Attend art gallery and museum openings and functions
Culture, creativity, and dating potential, oh my!
Join a professional organization
And when you do, be sure to go to events and maybe volunteer to help out with some of them. Working on projects with others is a great way to get to know some new people.
Join a health club or a casual sports group
This includes softball leagues, golf, ski clubs, sailing, etc. And don’t rule out groups just because you’ve never done it before. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to sail, then join a group and learn. There’s always room for newbies.
Consider a singles vacation trip. There are many organization including Club Med that organize trips to any and all destinations you can imagine. Search the newspaper or online.
If you belong to a religious group, see if they have any groups that interest you. If they don’t maybe you could start one and then advertise it in their weekly bulletin or newsletter.
Music and Theater
Go see a band, a play, the orchestra or an opera. Expand your cultural horizons or simply go for some head banging. Just remember to meet some new people.
Attend a free seminar
Many businesses present free seminars to gain new clients such as brokerage firms, home improvement stores, and technology stores. Go get some learning and chat to some fellow attendees.
A little help from your friends and beyond
If you’re really looking, put the word out to a lot of people that you are open to introductions or invitations to events to meet people. Hand out your card with your number and email. Tell people what you are looking for. Then let it sit. If you do this consistently, you’re sure to end up with some dates.
What do you think is the best way to meet someone? What is your favorite conversation starter? What’s the craziest story you know of a couple and how they met?
Please share in the comments!
Written by K. Stone, author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. Popular articles are How to Write a Book in 60 Days or Less and Should You Start Your Own Work at Home Business?
Every human being needs to sleep to help the body regain energy. Sleeping is also vital since it helps the mind to relax and re-energize at the same time. The brain controls all the functions of the body organs, hence its need for rest.
However, some people find it hard to fall or stay asleep. This condition is called insomnia and it is a cause of concern among many affected individuals. It can affect your concentration and even cause fatigue.
Insomnia, however, does not always require medication. Natural remedies, like a change of lifestyle, can help you overcome this challenge smartly.
Unlike conventional medication such as sleeping tablets, natural therapies to treat insomnia are safe and have no side effects. As such, the following seven tips can significantly help you in beating insomnia naturally.
Maintain Sleep Hygiene
It is easy to treat insomnia naturally by maintaining a good sleep hygiene. There are simple rules that you should follow, like adhering to a consistent sleep schedule. If you choose to sleep at 10 PM, then you should maintain that time to condition your mind and body. It is also important to manage time for waking up every day.
The other important rule is that you should use bedtime for sleep and avoid other activities like exercising, reading or watching television. These will distract your sleep.
However, you can do them at least three or so hours before your rest. Exercise is essential during the day since it helps improve the flow of blood and it also makes the body tired.
When you go to bed, you can quickly fall into deep slumber since the body is ready to relax. If possible, you should try to avoid daytime naps or shorten them. It is also essential to take a bath a few hours before you go to bed to refresh your body and mind.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Lack of sleep is a result of a combination of different factors such as stress or anxiety, usually caused by negative thoughts and fear of the unknown. Thus, cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in treating primary insomnia.
A therapist can help you to focus on positive things while avoiding stressful thoughts. If you want to overcome the negative issues affecting your mental state of mind, you should think positively. You need to face reality and accept some of the things that you can’t change.
A positive attitude helps build confidence. If you think positively, you gain peace of mind which can help you rest at night.
Erase Sleep Myths From Your Mind
There is a full belief that a human being should sleep for at least eight continuous hours at night. This belief is not true since it is very reasonable for an average adult person to rest for about six hours or less. If you sleep less than eight hours per night, do not despair as it is normal.
The other myth is that you should wake up refreshed. Instead, you feel somehow tired immediately after waking up. After about 30 minutes, your body fully gains energy and becomes active. The inertia during wake time is typical.
Waking up during the night is also a regular thing. It’s a part of the sleep process and it should happen at least 30 minutes every night. You should also know that spending a long time in bed does not improve the quality of your sleep. Instead, it can lead to depression.
Share Your Sleep Problems With Others
Sharing your sleep problems with other people is an excellent way of solving them. When you talk to someone about your problem, you’ll realize that you’re not the only one dealing with it.
You can quickly get help from someone who experienced a similar condition. Also, you’ll gain confidence when you discuss your challenges with others as you stop keeping it to yourself.
Depression forums can also help you deal with your sleep problems. Such platforms consist of people who share similar interests and they also share helpful ideas about various issues. The good thing about these platforms is that your identity can remain anonymous, but you can freely interact with others online.
Meditation is probably the best method that can help calm your body. It involves a variety of activities, such as focusing on your breathing patterns which is effective in lowering your heart rate.
When your heart rate is fast, your mind is not settled and it may not be able to rest peacefully. Controlling your breath is an excellent form of meditation that helps to calm your body.
Meditation helps to calm the body and the mind. When the mind is relaxed, it can think properly and it can also rest peacefully at night. You should make an effort to relieve your mind of any negative thoughts since these may affect its normal functioning.
Bright Light Therapy
With bright light therapy, you sit for about 20 to 60 minutes in front of a therapeutic box with bright light. The light box should produce bright fluorescent light and its purpose is to reset the circadian rhythms. These are the body’s internal clock that regulates hormone production.
When the internal biological clock is not correct, it can give a wrong impression. It’ll make your body think that it’s still daytime when it is dark. This scenario affects the production of melatonin, a sleeping hormone.
When the mental clock is reset, you can experience normal sleep patterns.
Sleep restriction comes as part of cognitive behavioral therapy. The strategy helps you to limit the time you spend awake in bed. For instance, you can delay going to bed for 15 to 30 minutes but maintain a fixed wake schedule.
If your wake schedule is not affected, the sleep restriction strategy can help you to lower the time you spend awake in bed. Instead of waking up during sleep time, you would slightly delay going to bed and then sleep continuously without interruptions. This strategy only requires behavior change.
“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever; you just have to live.” ~Natalie Babitt
Once a month, I visit the local cemetery and walk around. I’m not there to visit anyone in particular. I’m there to remind myself of my own mortality.
And it always wakes me up.
I soak in the energy: I read the simple legacies on the tombstones, from young children to those who made it to 100 years old. I’m not morose. I’m not negative. I’ve simply found the greatest motivational tool in the world, and I assure you it’s not quotes on Instagram or Pinterest. It’s not the latest YouTube clip.
It’s one thing and one thing only: remembering we are all going to die soon.
How Many Summers Do You Have Left?
Seneca was a roman philosopher who lived 2000 years ago and a leader of the stoic movement. One of his essays, entitled On the Shortness of Life provides a reminder to all of us: our time here is nearly over.
And yet what Seneca argues, and does so brilliantly is that life isn’t really short. It’s how we waste so much of it on things that don’t matter: wondering what others think, getting caught up in gossip, wasting our lives on social media and the non-essential.
When this happens, it’s no wonder we’re lacking clarity and meaning in our lives. It’s no wonder we feel overwhelmed, overworked, and overstimulated on a daily basis. When we’re in this place, we don’t have the time or energy to think about death.
And yet, our time is running out. I like to think of it this way:
How many more summers do we have left? How many early June mornings with the sun barely making its presence known as we sip coffee do we have left? How many moments with our kids, family, and those who we love do we have left? How many times do we get to do what we love for yet another day?
We don’t know the answer to this, but I do know one thing: it’s much closer than we think, and every day is a gift. Let’s examine why remembering our own mortality is the best way to start living and how you can use it as leverage to live boldly today.
Ask the Tough Questions
Reminding ourselves of our mortality invites us to ask the tough questions from our lives. These are the questions we often avoid, yet are always running in the background:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Is this life for me?
Am I on my own path, or someone else’s?
Because they’re uncomfortable, they become easy to avoid through busyness, noise, and the endless demands of a 24/7 digital culture. Usually we don’t take any time to face these questions unless someone close to us experiences a crisis (or we do, too).
But within these questions lie powerful answers. They allow us to get honest with ourselves instead of giving in to the usual mental chatter we so often believe. By asking the tough questions, we start to achieve clarity around what matters… and we start discarding what doesn’t.
Release What Doesn’t Serve
When I moved from New York City to Phoenix, I experienced a wow moment. No, it wasn’t the awe-inspiring sunsets, although I love those. It was the moment I realized my walk-in closet was bigger than my old space in Manhattan.
And yet, I realized as time passed, with all this space, I started to accumulate a lot of stuff. One day, as I was preparing for a meditation (yes, my closet doubled as a brilliant meditation room), I realized: I had no space left. I looked around and noticed I barely used anything that was taking up so much space. I was overwhelmed.
Much like our lives, I had filled my space with the non-essential. Remembering our mortality allows for clarity around releasing what doesn’t serve us. These may be habits, mindsets, environments and yes, even people.
Even just doing this step often releases a heavy burden we feel in our lives: there’s too much going on, and it never ends. Once we have space, we feel lighter, clearer and more empowered to start figuring out what we really want.
Clarity Around Our Dreams
“But Tommy…I don’t know, I really don’t know.”
I sat there in a conversation with one of my clients and wasn’t buying it. She was here for a reason, and I wasn’t going to let her off the hook. Of course, I’ve said this before too, and deep down, I was afraid.
My belief is that, deep down, we all know what we want; it’s a matter of the layers we’ve stacked over the years clouding our honesty. This is where using our mortality as leverage truly shines: we get to be honest, unapologetic and share our truth.
Often, we’re afraid to declare what we want for fear of embarrassment, failure, or standing out too much. When faced with our mortality, none of that matters. There’s a dream deep within you waiting to be explored and declared.
The question, then, becomes: Will you have the courage to discover and declare it?
The Power of Urgency
Have you ever had a project due in three months, yet put it off until the last minute and somehow got it all done? We all have. This is the power of urgency, deadlines, and accountability: We get clear, focused, and set boundaries to ensure we finish.
But how often do we do the same with our own lives? Most people don’t operate with any sense of urgency in life; there’s always tomorrow, next week, or next year.
Until there’s not. The beauty of reminding ourselves our time is limited means we’re operating with high levels of urgency, knowing every day truly matters.
When this happens, we say no to the things we should. We tell people how we really feel. And we overcome the resistance on our dreams, the self-doubt, and uncertainty. We feel those yet move forward anyway.
Because the pain of regret hurts more than putting ourselves out there. When this happens, we start to trust ourselves and recognize our dreams are worth it. Best of all: we’re worth bringing them to life.
Integrating This into Your Life
Steve Jobs, in his riveting Stanford commencement speech, said it better than I ever could:
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
So, how do we use our mortality to make bold decisions and start to live our dreams today? You don’t have to be as extreme as I am with visiting your local cemetery, although I’d recommend it.
Here are some of my favorite ways:
Journal about your legacy.
Take yourself twenty, thirty, or forty years down the line. How do you want to be remembered? Write it all down.
Write a letter to your current self.
Again, fast forward to a time in the future when you’re on your last days. Write a letter to your current self, letting them know whatever you wish.
Do a guided meditation.
There are various meditations around visualizing one’s own death (and return back to Earth). These are beautiful ways to face reality and get in touch with what truly matters.
Spend time with older people.
Strike up conversations with people and even your own family who have been on this planet for a while. Often, you’ll find gems of wisdom within them.
Remind yourself of death once a day.
Every day take a moment and anchor yourself in the beautiful gift we all have. With this energy, ask yourself: What is one bold step I can take today?
It’s your time now.
Embrace your mortality, make the decision you’ve been putting off, and never look back.
About Tommy Baker
Have you ever gotten excited about a bold vision, yet woken up a few weeks later with little to show for it? Tommy Baker helps those with bold dreams reverse engineer their success and create a life they can’t wait to wake up for. He does this through his books, and top-rated podcast: Resist Average Academy. Learn more at http://resistaverageacademy.com.
The post Why Remembering You’re Going to Die Is the Best Motivator appeared first on Tiny Buddha.
Mark Twain famously said, “There are two types of speakers. Those who get nervous and those who are liars.”
It’s true that many of us are apprehensive about speaking in public and for good reasons. You feel emotionally exposed, vulnerable to scrutiny, and open to making mistakes. You fear rejection or ridicule.
Public speaking regularly pops up on the top of most-feared lists in the U.S. A few years ago, the annual Chapman University Survey of American Fears reported that 25% of responders reported being afraid or very afraid of public speaking.
Luckily, it is possible to significantly reduce your anxiety about public speaking while increasing your confidence. Some folks are successful at defeating the fear by incorporating easy-to-implement techniques, using preparation as a weapon or using CBD to relieve anxiety. But first…
What to Avoid When Speaking in Public
Speaking in front of an audience can be terrifying, especially if you already suffer from anxiety. We can be our own worst critics, magnifying our perceived mistakes and setting expectations way too high.
Here’s what you can try NOT to do:
• Expect yourself to be perfect. Allow some room for mistakes. Everyone makes them, even the most seasoned speakers.
Practical Tips for Overcoming Stage Fright
Blowing your audience away or at least tackling anxiety is possible with some preparation and organization. Basically, it’s about becoming a better communicator by listening and connecting.
Consider the following strategies:
Writing your speech down, videotaping yourself, and then reviewing with a critical eye or practicing in front of a friend for honest feedback can help you learn the material.
Organize your material
This is an essential part of the prep and can make or break your performance. If you know your topic, main points, the length of your speech, and who your audience is, it’s easier to grab and hold everyone’s attention.
Be flexible in delivery
Staying attuned to your audience can help you perceive your listeners’ mood, the level of their attention, and how well your message is being perceived. Adapting based on visual and emotional clues as you go can help you stay engaged and effective.
Engage your audience
Using effective gestures as well as clear and clean language, maintaining eye contact with the audience, and interjecting your speech with personal stories and humor can all improve delivery. They can definitely hold your listeners’ attention. Non-verbal communication is as important as verbal as are auditory and visual aids when used in moderation.
Make the nervousness work for you
Feeling nervous is just experiencing a form of energy. If you channel that adrenaline rush into feeling alert, it can help deliver a better performance.
Many public-speaking training courses recommend starting with an interesting quote, statistic or anecdote to grab attention. Closing with a powerful statement or a memorable summary will keep your audience with you until the end of your speech.
Breathing and Visualization Exercises That Empower
The Institute of Public Speaking emphasizes the power of good breathing when you speak in front of an audience. It helps to avoid shortness of breath and halting speech.
Physiological symptoms that come with ineffective breathing can be distracting and downright scary. The list includes increased heartbeat, sweaty palms, shaking, and tunnel vision. The good news is that a few breathing exercises can help alleviate anxiety.
Another helpful aid is a set of creative visualization tools. You can use them to replace the negative thoughts and expectations with positive ones. This could quiet the inner voice that sets you up for failure, creating a more realistic awareness in a safe space.
Reducing Public Speaking Anxiety With Cannabis
Unlike THC which can increase heart rate, anxiety, and paranoia, cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-psychoactive component of the marijuana plant. Studies show that taking CBD can calm the brain. It prevents it from firing off fear signals by naturally elevating an endocannabinoid called anandamide. This helps reduce the over-activity in your brain that’s causing the anxiety.
Thanks to CBD’s proven positive effect on brain chemistry, it could also potentially help with easing the symptoms of social anxiety and stress associated with the fear of public speaking. A 2010 study, for instance, showed that CBD can reduce the symptoms of social anxiety in people affected by social anxiety disorder (SAD). Results showed that people not only felt better and more positive, but their brains responded to anxiety in a different way, too.
A 2015 review of studies also indicated that CBD oil could be a promising form of short-term treatment for SAD, panic disorder, and general anxiety disorder. Another study dealing with anxiety about public speaking specifically showed that CBD relieved the symptoms.
Overcoming a fear of public speaking can seem like a daunting task in itself, but winning the room is possible for even the most timid among us. Next time you need to prepare to give a lecture, speech or even a wedding toast, try some of these practical tips to defeat the fear.