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The 7 Habits of a Peaceful and Productive Mind | Nick Wignall

https://nickwignall.com/the-7-habits-of-a-peaceful-and-productive-mind/

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The 7 Habits of a Peaceful and Productive Mind | Nick Wignall
Essential Skills to Declutter Your Mind, Reduce Chronic Stress, and Do Your Best Work All too often our minds can feel like a cluttered workspace: Piles of thoughts here, disheveled scraps of emotion over there, jumbles of worry and regret strewn about all over the floor.

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A cluttered mind

A cluttered mind

It can make navigating even the most basic parts of our day exceedingly stressful and frustratingly inefficient.

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Mindfulness

Mindfulness
It is the habit of being aware of and noticing our own minds and the world around us, without judgment.
It strengthens 2 essential mental muscles: metacognition (watching our own minds at work) and attentional shifting (the ability to deliberately refocus our attention away from one object and onto another).

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A Consistent Organizational System

A Consistent Organizational System

It is an external strategy for keeping track of what we need to do and accomplish.

By creating and maintaining a reliable organizational system, we give ourselves the best possible chance of efficiently processing the day-to-day Have-Tos, so that we have sufficient time and energy to focus on the Want-Tos (the things that really matter to us).

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Assertiveness

Assertiveness

It means being direct and straightforward in what we say and do, setting effective and healthy boundaries and asking for what we want or need.

When we aren’t able or willing to be assertive we end up living other people’s lives rather than our own.

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Deep Work

Deep Work

It is the ability to perform valuable, cognitively-demanding activities in a distraction-free state.

It allows us to operate at or near the upper bounds of our cognitive potential—which is essential to doing our best work. 

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Emotion-focused Journaling

Emotion-focused Journaling

Simply write about and articulate whatever is going on in your life emotionally, big or small. The key is to write continuously without any censoring or editing.

You'll be more aware of your emotions, and able to acknowledge and validate them rather than impulsively reacting so as to avoid them.

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Deliberate Worry

Deliberate Worry

It is a practice for training our minds out of the tendency toward automatic worry and rumination. The basic idea is to schedule a short amount of time every day to worry on purpose.

By creating a consistent time and space for our brains to worry, we discourage them from worrying intrusively during inopportune times throughout the day.

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Essentialism

Essentialism

It is based on the idea that only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.

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Worrying about the future

Worrying is the mental habit of trying to solve a problem that either can’t be solved or isn’t really a problem. 

It gives us the illusion of control. Worrying about i...

Isolating yourself

When we hide our pain and isolate ourselves, we throw away the most powerful antidepressant: loving support from people who care about us.

You don’t need coping strategies when you’re sad discouraged, or helpless. You need people. You need support. You need someone to give you a hug and listen carefully to your story.

Keeping quiet

Most of us hesitate to push back and stand up for ourselves because we’re afraid of being perceived as aggressive or rude. And so we default to being passive.

But there’s a middle road between being passive and aggressive: You can be assertive. It means standing up for your own wants, needs, and values, in an honest and respectful way.

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Stressing about sleep

Before a stressful work event, we tend to worry about what will happen if we don’t sleep well:

  • We worry that we’ll be physically tired.
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Sleep mistakes

... we make when it comes to sleeping well before a big day:

  • We try too hard to sleep and we end up making it harder to fall asleep.
  • We overestimate the negative consequences of poor sleep.

Sleep restriction

It's a technique for improving the quality of your sleep by using the power of Sleep Drive (the body’s natural need for sleep). Sleep Drive is built during the day: the longer you’re awake the stronger your need for sleep. 

Sleep Restriction temporarily restricts the quantity of your sleep so that you’re awake longer and therefore build up more Sleep Drive.

Worry

... is an attempt to mentally problem-solve something that either isn’t really a problem or isn’t a problem that’s solvable.

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Worry ‘Tastes’ Good

  1. Worry feels good because it gives us something (rather than nothing) to do. And this makes us feel a little less helpless and out of control.
  2. Like the body craves calories, the mind craves control. When faced with a fearful situation that we can’t actually do anything about, we give ourselves the illusion of control (and relief from helplessness) by engaging worry.

How to Cure Worry

In order to stop running away from the feeling of helplessness, we have to train ourselves to be okay with feeling helpless and out of control.

When you worry, try to identify the cause or trigger for the worry and notice how it makes you feel emotionally. Be willing to just feel and be with your uncomfortable emotions.