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Seven Ways to Slow Down - Mindful

Focus on personal achievement

... rather than status.

It's more fulfilling to focus your time and energy on something you really care about, even if that’s a more quiet type of success (for example, learning how to play guitar).

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Seven Ways to Slow Down - Mindful

Seven Ways to Slow Down - Mindful

https://www.mindful.org/seven-ways-to-slow-down/

mindful.org

8

Key Ideas

Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton

“What registers as anxiety is typically no freakish phenomenon; it is the mind’s logical enraged plea not to be continuously and exhaustingly overstimulated.”

Relationships: quality, not quantity

The many relationships we foster are valuable and enrich our lives. But the pressure we put on ourselves to maintain these relationships can, at times, be damaging. 

When you feel overextended, it’s important to learn to just say no to a dinner out or a weekend work trip.

Get good sleep

When you're feeling unfocused, before trying to make big changes in your life, to fix things, press the reset button and put yourself to bed.

And if you have trouble getting to sleep, try a sleep meditation.

A break from the information cycle

In the past news came to us slowly (through letters, gossip from the neighbors or the printed newspaper). 

But today, with the entire internet in the palm of our hands, we are tuned into everything at once. And it’s messing with our mental health. 

Practice mindful eating

Pay attention to your meals and begin to savor each bite, in order to feel more full and satisfied for longer.

Because if you work or check your phone while eating, you miss out on all the mood-boosting benefits that come with it.

Check in with your emotions

When you don't take the time to pause and notice how you really feel and even worse, you bury your emotions, you put yourself at greater risk of burnout.

Practice mindful journaling to check in with your thoughts as often as possible.

Focus on personal achievement

... rather than status.

It's more fulfilling to focus your time and energy on something you really care about, even if that’s a more quiet type of success (for example, learning how to play guitar).

Cultivate a healthy environment

You can always create an environment that fosters a sense of peace and contentment in your daily life.

For example, try tidying your room, repainting it or adding plans to your desk at work.

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Why We Worry

The motivation for your worry often comes from past events.

Alain De Botton explains that this is due to traumatic events from our childhood that were never properly processed.

How to move on from worry
Once you recognize the source of your anxieties, you can replace worry with reflection.

“Appreciating the childhood legacy of worries, we also stand to realize that we can adapt and improve on how we respond to what alarms us.”  -- Philosopher Alain de Botton.

Weight-loss interventions

We make more than 200 food decisions a day, and most of these appear to be habitual, which means we eat without thinking about what or how much food we consume.

A new study found weight-l...

Ten healthy habits
  1. Keep a meal routine: Eat at roughly the same time each day.
  2. Go for healthy fats from nuts, avocado, and oily fish instead of fast food.
  3. Walk off the weight: Aim for 10,000 steps a day.
  4. Pack healthy snacks when you go out.
  5. Always check the labels for fat, sugar, and salt content.
  6. Use smaller plates, and drink a glass of water and wait five minutes before going back for seconds.
  7. Break up sitting time.
  8. Choose water and limit fruit juice to one small glass per day.
  9. Slow down and eat while sitting at a table.
  10. Always aim for five servings of vegetables a day.
A Child's Mental Health
A Child's Mental Health

Various studies conducted in the U.S. population indicate growing anxiety towards a possibly grim future. Political turmoil, gun violence, global plagues, changing power structure and a widening ri...

Antidepressants And Opioid Epidemic

Pharmaceuticals are playing a major role in the deterioration of mental health among young people. There is a link between teen suicidal thinking and antidepressant use, along with a link being seen in actual suicides among the young and the use of opioids in their families.

Smartphones and Social Media

Across age groups, social media is potentially hazardous, with its tendency to amplify the social divide.

There is a strong relationship between anxiety/depression and the use of smartphones, particularly social media usage among kids, though the data also seem to show the positive effects of staying connected with their peers. Online distractions also make youngsters give up their offline life, leading to isolation and further depression.

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Anxiety is rewarding

Each time we worry and nothing bad happens, our mind connects worry with preventing harm:

Worry → nothing bad happens.

And the takeaway is, "It's a good thing I worried."&nbs...

Beliefs about worry
  • If I worry, I'll never have a bad surprise.
  • It's safer if I worry. We believe that the act of worrying itself somehow lowers the likelihood of a dreaded outcome. 
  • I show I care by worrying. We need to distinguish between caring about a situation and worrying needlessly and fruitlessly about it. 
  • Worrying motivates me. We need to differentiate between unproductive worry and productive concern and problem solving.
  • Worrying helps me solve problems. Extreme worry is more likely to interfere with problem-solving. 
Tools to assist us with worry
  • Calm the nervous system with guided muscle relaxation, meditation, and exercise. 
  • Notice when you're worrying and any beliefs that reinforce worry.  Awareness of the process gives us more choice in how we respond.
  • Embrace uncertainty. Most of the things we care about in life involve uncertainty. It takes considerable practice to begin to embrace it.
  • Live in the present. Practice focusing your attention on the present in everyday activities like taking a shower, walking, or talking with a friend, as well as in more formal practices like meditation or yoga.
  • When we face our fears head-on, they tend to diminish. Deliberately accept what you're afraid of: "It's possible I'll miss my flight." 
Journaling: A Time To Reflect
Journaling: A Time To Reflect

We need time to grasp and internalize what is happening to us in our daily lives. Even if we cannot get over something bad or negative, we would be able to successfully soothe our minds by journali...

Choosing Paper Is Better

Having a physical ‘thought notebook’ is many times better than using a PC or iPad to pen your thoughts. Words take longer to form in paper, making us process them, and understand ourselves in a better way. Written thoughts ground us, make us come to the present moment, and take us out of the world-bubble for a while. Having an appealing notebook also makes us open it daily.

An Observant's Point Of View

Writing down your situation, event or problem provides us with a different perspective, while mapping it for us to see from an observant point of view. 

When we see it penned in front of us, we discover new details that were not visible when the problem was just in our minds.

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Routines

A routine is a series of regularly followed actions. There are few things that impact your daily productivity, career trajectory, and overall well-being as much as your routines. What’s i...

'Copying' famous routines

Not everyone consciously crafts their routines to maximize their time. That’s why people are interested in the routines of successful people: we think following the same steps will bring the same results. But blindly following someone else’s routines won’t make us as successful as them.

Rituals

Rituals are repeated behaviors (like routines). However, they’re deeply personal and are imbued with deeper meaning beyond just a sequence of actions. They mark a change, a switch in task or moment of importance.  And it’s those symbolic actions performed at key moments that help us move through the day smoothly.

Mindful Wakeup
Mindful Wakeup

First thing in the morning:

  • Close your eyes and connect with the sensations of your seated body.
  • Take three long, deep, nourishing breaths—breathing in through your nose and out ...
Mindful Eating
  • Breathe before eating. 
  • Listen to your body and measure your hunger.
  • Eat according to your hunger. You can more mindfully choose what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. 
  • Practice peaceful eating. It’s not easy to digest or savor your food if you aren’t relaxed.
  • If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. Make a mindful choice about what to eat based on what you really enjoy.
Mindful Pause
  • Trip over what you want to do. If you intend to do some yoga or to meditate, put your yoga mat or your meditation cushion in the middle of your floor.
  • Refresh your triggers regularly - add variety or make them funny so they stick with you longer.
  • Create new patterns. You could try a series of “If this, then that” messages to create easy reminders to shift into slow brain.

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Dealing with difficult times

We may wonder if it is even possible to thrive during difficult patches in our lives. 

The word difficult could mean something different for every person, but the constant is our commitm...

Keep the big picture in mind

What you're going through is just a chapter of your life. The rest of the story is still unwritten. Once you emerge from a difficult period, a blank page will await you to change the record.

At the moment, everything feels confusing, but hindsight will be 20/20 vision. 

Define your success

Define your success. It is critical in order to know yourself. Success could be your health, career, friendships, being a good spouse or parent.

Difficult times in life require us to redefine our objective, to modify them to fit our new situations. What does betterment look like to you? Is it better health, better grades, healthy relationships? Write down your priorities and work towards them daily.

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Get More Sleep

Sleep deprivation makes you weak and tired. It has a direct impact on your focus and decision-making, whilst slowly exhausting your source of energy.

Sleep between 7.5 and 8....

Meditate

Meditation improves your attention, focus, self-awareness, and lower your stress levels.

Meditating for even just a few minutes every day will help you to clear your head while activating the areas of your brain related to decision-making and emotions.

Develop Good Habits

When we are stressed, we tend to unconsciously fall back on ingrained habits, whether they are helpful or harmful.

Creating good habits helps you get through stressful situations without affecting your willpower.

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Make "power down" time a priority

Shut down those activities that stimulate your mind, such as work, emails, internet browsing and even watching TV. 

Try reading a book,

Try a brain dump

Dump it all out. Write some lists, or simply use the "worry diary" technique and jot down all of the things you’re stressing about. 

Do this before your "power down" time. This helps your mind let these things go. Once they're written down, you can relax; there's no chance you'll forget them.

Eat, drink and move mindfully

If you’re experiencing sleeping problems: 

  • Cut back on caffeine (particularly after midday). 
  • Avoid eating a particularly heavy meal late in the evening.
  • Meditation and supplements can also affect sleep so it’s best to get educated about what you’re taking.
  • Intense exercise late at night isn't recommended.

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