Returning to the Present Moment

Do you ever catch yourself getting lost in moments that happened weeks, months or even years ago?

Maybe you can’t stop thinking about that job opportunity you turned down…

Or maybe you wish you shared more in-depth feedback during that last meeting…

If we aren’t careful, it’s so easy to get lost in those “should have”, “would have” thoughts. 

Now, our past does play an important role in both our future and present. 

Every single event, both positive and negative, can teach us so many things. The only thing is, when we spend so much time thinking about the past, we can forget to focus on the present.

These tips can help you live in the moment and appreciate every day.

Start Small 

Do you ever catch your mind wondering while doing day-to-day activities such as cooking or cleaning?

If you answered yes, you are not the only one. In fact, it happens to us too!

Now, we all have household chores we don’t love doing, and that’s completely okay. 

But there are plenty of ways you can make those household chores more fun. As time goes on, you may even look forward to them.

It’s all about implementing little things you already love into the activity.

You can play your favorite song on full blast in the background or chat with your best friend on speakerphone.

Add Spontaneity to Your Routine

Ever notice how you always take the same route to work?

Or how you always gravitate towards that blue mug in your cabinet?

When we do the same thing for so long, we often do it without even thinking about it. It’s basically like living on autopilot.

Adding a little spontaneity here and there can encourage creative thinking, boost productivity and help us get out of our own head.

Take a brand new route to work, visit a new grocery store, or read a book by an author you’ve never heard of.

Try it out and see how it goes.

“When you’ve had a life of overthinking, you have the same reaction time and time again.” – Joel Annesley

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4 Techniques To Help Minimize Stress

We may not be able to completely avoid stressful events.  But we can minimize its intensity in healthy ways.

Keep on reading to learn more. 

Gratitude Lists

The next time you catch yourself feeling overwhelmed or anxious, hit pause, sit down and say five things out loud you are grateful for.

Don’t take too much time to think about this list. Just say the first 5 things that come to mind. 

Not sure where to begin?

Here are some examples that can help get you started.

1) A beautiful sunny day.

2) That first sip of coffee in the morning.

3) Your best friend.

4) Your favorite comfy socks.

Okay – now it’s your turn! 

Call a Friend

When you’re stressed about something, sometimes the best thing you can do is call a friend to vent or chit-chat. We are all so different and have our own way of looking at things.

Your friend may be able to help you look at what’s bothering you in a new way.

Listen To Your Body

Your stress may be a result of running on a low battery for too long. 

It’s so important to listen to what your body is trying to tell you. 

If you feel like you’ve been working too many hours or feel a sense of unbalance, you may need to change up your routine.

There is nothing wrong with going to bed an hour early or declining an event if you don’t feel up to it. 

Identify Your Stressors

We may not be able to control every stressful event that happens to us.

But if you take some time to identify your main stressors, you may be able to dial down the intensity.

For example, if you find your email inbox overwhelming you can unsubscribe from emails that no longer deliver value or only check emails during business hours.

Give it a try and see what happens!

“No one knows your body like you do. Listen to it. It will tell you what to eat, when to drink, how to sleep and which exercises you need to do. Let your own body be your most trusted personal trainer.” –  Toni Sorenson

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Creating Healthier Relationship With Your Screens

So many of us are guilty of checking our phone first thing in the morning and right before bed.

Sometimes it can feel like notifications never end.

With that being said, everything is okay in moderation and you can develop a healthy relationship with your screens. 

Practice Self Care Away From Your Screen

Sure, social media and gaming apps can be fun, but there are other ways you can pass the time. 

Try exploring different activities that give the same carefree feeling. 

You can dive into a good book, go on a walk or bust out some old board games. 

Switching it up once in a while is a great way to keep things interesting. 

Set Personal Boundaries 

Now you may be thinking to yourself, “I wish I could spend less time in front of the screens, but my job requires lots of screentime.”

Even though it could be tough, there are ways you can work around this.

You can turn your phone and computer off during breaks or challenge yourself to screen-free weekends.

Setting some time to unplug regularly can help you relax and check-in with yourself. 

There is no rule book. It’s all about figuring out what works best for you. 

Get Your Daily Dose of Quiet Time

When was the last time you sat down and let your mind wander freely?

Having some quiet time is just as essential as connecting with others. 

When we’re waiting for water to boil or a friend to call back, it’s so easy to scroll through social media to pass the time.

But that is not the only option. Feeling bored is not a bad thing. Some of our best ideas can come to us when we least expect them.

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Become Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

“The more you seek the uncomfortable, the more you will become comfortable.” – Conor McGregor

Challenge Your Thoughts

When we’re afraid or nervous about something, it’s common for negative thoughts to show up uninvited. 

Just because a negative thought makes its way into your mind doesn’t mean you have to listen to it. 

Whether we realize it or not, we all experience fear and question our thoughts from time to time.

Am I on the right track?

Was that decision wise?

Do people like me? 

Just because you think something doesn’t make it true. Sometimes our thoughts/worries can be confusing and make us feel uncomfortable. 

When something becomes a habit (like worrying) we can often do it without even noticing.

Now, you can’t change a habit you aren’t even aware you have. The first thing you’ll want to do is acknowledge your negative thoughts and question them.  

Why do you think those thoughts entered your mind in the first place? Do you have any proof that whatever you are worried about will happen?

Embrace Uncertainty

Even the most well-thought-out plans don’t always go our way, and that’s okay!

Leaving your house 30 minutes before the grocery store closes doesn’t guarantee you’ll get there on time.  

Studying your textbook inside and out doesn’t guarantee you’ll ace that test. 

There are several things we can do on a day-day basis that can help get us closer to our final goals. 

But even if you do everything by the book, nothing in life is guaranteed. Instead of trying to plan your perfect day, try planning your perfectly imperfect day and see what happens. 

Stare Down Your Fear

When was the last time fear held you back? When was the last time you said no to something you really wanted to do out of fear?

Facing your fears is not something that happens overnight. Depending on the intensity, it can take weeks, months or years to eliminate a fear.

You’ll want to start out doing activities that may make you feel a little uncomfortable, but deep down, you know you can handle.

If you’re afraid to start journalling, write down 25 words.

If you’re afraid to go back to school, spend 15 minutes a day researching programs. 

When in doubt, start small and work your way up. 

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” – Babe Ruth

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How to Conquer Perfectionism

Those who constantly strive to be perfect tend to focus more on what’s missing instead of what they have.

It can be tough to feel proud of your accomplishments when you are constantly looking to be perfect.  

Wanting to better yourself and grow is not a bad thing. It all comes down to how to approach it. 

Here are three helpful tips to keep in mind…

Start First, Edit Later

Do you ever find yourself procrastinating on projects because you feel like you just aren’t ready? 

The thought of actually getting started on something can often be scarier than the project itself. 

It’s time to push aside those intrusive thoughts of “I’m not good enough…” and launch right into action.

Keep in mind, no matter what it is you want to accomplish, you don’t have to complete everything in one sitting. Take your time and edit as needed. 

Setting The Bar Too High

It’s great to set the bar high and set healthy challenges for yourself. 

But at the same time, it’s important to listen to your instincts and be realistic. None of us can do everything, and we all have unique strengths and weaknesses. 

We all make mistakes – but we don’t have to let those mistakes define us.

Instead, we can let them shape us. 

Find Meaning In What You Do

If you are ready to embrace imperfectionism try looking at yourself through a different lens. 

The need to always be perfect can cloud you from finding the meaning and joy in what you do. 

Just because you didn’t paint the perfect picture doesn’t mean you didn’t enjoy the moment.

What are you waiting for? Today is the perfect day to start embracing all your wonderfully imperfect parts.

“Life is not always perfect. Like a road, it has many bends, ups and down, but that’s its beauty.” – Amit Ray

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Saying Yes to Yourself

Are you someone who has a hard time saying no? Do you feel like you constantly put others before yourself? 

Now, being generous, caring and kind are all fantastic qualities to have. 

However, saying yes to everyone around you can have you feeling emotionally and physically exhausted.

When you are constantly running around and doing things for everyone else, you can often forget to leave a little kindness for yourself. 

Only Take On What You Can Handle

The challenge with putting other people’s wants and needs ahead of your own is that you’re often the last on your list. 

If your friend asks you to edit their essay but you’re busy working away on your own – take time to reflect before responding. 

Will helping your friend prevent you from finishing your essay on time? 

If so, you may have to politely decline or offer to help once you’ve finished your own work. 

It’s okay to take a step back and be honest about what you realistically can and can’t handle. 

Practicing the art of saying “no” can get you more comfortable with saying it more often. 

Your Feelings Are Valid

Being told you are “wrong” is not a great feeling. 

Just because someone doesn’t see eye-eye with you doesn’t mean you are wrong. It just means you have a difference of opinion. Your feelings are valid and nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. 

Accept The Hard Times

It’s okay not to be okay! 

Sometimes when times are tough, we just have to roll with the punches and remind ourselves that this too shall pass. 

No matter what you say or do, conflict will arise at some point or another, and going out of our way to avoid it can be very exhausting. 

The more you practice, the more natural it will become to put yourself first. 

“If you try to please all, you please none” – Aesop

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Limiting Your Daily Screen Time

How many times do you think you check your phone a day? 

This includes checking emails, texts, social media posts, and even your weather app. 

Chances are, you check it more than you think. 

So many of us tend to have our smartphones on hand or in our pockets most of the day. 

Phones help us stay in touch with the people we love, read, study and more! 

But they can also prevent us from living in the moment and enjoying the little things in life. 

If you’re ready to keep your phone faced down more often and limit your daily screen time, keep on reading. 

Take it Slow

Getting any task done with your phone right in front of you can be very distracting. 

Every single notification can pull you away from the task at hand.

Even if you don’t answer a text or reply to comments on social media right away, just having the thought in the back of your mind can throw you off course.

Setting aside 30 minutes or an hour of phone-free time a day is a great place to start. 

Be Present in Conversations

Have you ever checked to see who liked your newest social media post while video chatting with a friend?

When something becomes a habit, we tend to do it without even thinking about it.

Even if checking your phone mid-conversation wasn’t your intention, it happens.

A great hack is to put your phone in a different room or turn it off while chatting with friends and family.

Out of sight, out of mind!

Remind Yourself That You Are Not Missing Out 

Being the first one to like an interesting post on social media or the first to watch that new video can be fun, but it doesn’t have to be your #1 priority.

When you’re participating in phone-free activities, it’s so easy to feel like you’re missing out on something, but you are not!

You are only one person with only 24 hours in a day. 

And the truth is, no matter how much time we spend planning our day or trying to be more productive, it’s impossible to get everything done. 

There will always be a few things each day you wish you could have tackled, and that’s completely okay. 

Instead of thinking to yourself “Well, what if I miss something important?”

Remind yourself that those notifications are not going anywhere and will be waiting for you. 

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Optimizing Your Creativity

Sometimes, we need to step outside our usual routine and shake things up a bit.

All it takes is a little creativity. 

Scribble Or Doodle 

Pull out a piece of paper and start drawing whatever comes to mind – really let your creativity flow.

Scribbling or doodling is a great way to channel any worries, stress, goals etc. 

Sometimes certain feelings can be hard to explain or comprehend using words. Drawing them out is an excellent alternative. 

Move Your Body

Sitting down for hours on end can be quite draining.

Even if you’re feeling tired, moving your body in any way, shape, or form can help give you a boost of energy and inspire some great ideas.

Sitting down at a desk determined to come up with a great idea can bring on a lot of unnecessary pressure. 

Going on a walk around the block or practicing some light stretching can help us brainstorm ideas in a relaxed and calm setting. 

Let Your Imagination Take Charge

When was the last time you let your imagination guide you?

When we’re overwhelmed or out of ideas, a little visualization can go a very long way.

Here’s all you have to do.

Take some time to think about the one place that relaxes you the most. 

Alright. Once you have landed on that place, sit down somewhere quiet and imagine yourself there. 

Imagine everything from the smell to the sounds to the temperature. The more details the better. 

Changing up our environment can be very inspiring. However, it isn’t always realistic.

Just because you can’t visit the beach in the blink of an eye doesn’t mean you can’t visualize yourself there. Our mind is a very powerful tool. 

Just Start Writing 

Have you ever put off journaling because you didn’t want to write the wrong thing? If so, you are not alone.

The one thing that makes journaling so great is that it’s for your eyes only.

There is no need to worry about typos, grammar or flow. Writing down your thoughts, fears, and goals can be very freeing.

The first few times may feel a little tough. 

Once you get the hang of it, it’ll become second nature. 

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Not All Decisions Are Easy – And That’s Okay

“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary” – Jim Rohn 

Whether we realize it or not, every single day, we make thousands upon thousands of decisions.

Some are pretty simple such as what to make for breakfast, while others can be a bit more complicated such as which job offer to accept.

When we have so many potential decisions to make, landing on one can be very difficult and make us question our instincts. 

Thoughts such as… “What if I end up regretting this?” or “I’m not sure if this is a good idea.” can stop us from going after what we want. 

When it comes to making decisions, of course, you want to feel like you made the “right” one. 

Too often, we can let the fear of the unknown impact or delay our decision-making process.

Sure, in life you may regret a few choices – but you know what? That’s how you grow!

We may not be able to predict what will happen next week, next month or next year, but we can be ready to deal with any potential obstacles and learn how to trust our gut. 

Here’s how…

List All The Pros And Cons

Making a tough decision means considering all sides – the good and the bad.

Break down the options and think about how each side will work out best for you in the long run.

It also can’t hurt to think about how each choice aligns with your personal values.

Think About Other Factors 

Ask yourself, “Who else is there to consider?” 

Think about how each decision can impact not just you, but potentially the people around you.

If you were considering taking a job in another country, that choice might also impact your close friends and family. Don’t be shy to reach out to your network and ask what they think. At the end of the day, the decision is your call, but it can’t hurt to get new insight. 

“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” – Denis Waitle

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