Monthly Archives: October 2016

5 Reasons Gratitude Is A Good Gateway To Release Stress

Some people shout at the top of their lungs. Some people hide in a corner of a room. Some take up kick-boxing classes. And some even beat themselves up to release stress.

Sometimes the tension growing below the throat is too much to bear. And we just let it out in whatever way we can just to provide a little relief to the tension we are feeling.

Yet some of the best way to release stress are intangible methods that have no physical form.

One of which is harnessing gratitude.

You might be thinking “What the hell does gratitude has to do with stress management? Do you think my anxiety is a joke?”.

Well where are some great reasons why having gratitude can often be a better tool than a stress ball.

1) Alienate stress

It’s not easy for the brain to feel 2 powerful feelings at the same time.

Putting a focus on gratitude can help distract and detach yourself from stress. Turning the tables on negative energy within you.

While this sounds easier said than done, you will  find it effortless to ignore stress with more practice.

2) Improved self-image

When you express gratitude, you are being thankful for the actions that others have done for you.

You can even be thankful for something as basic as having clean water from the taps. There are many countries around the globe that don’t have this luxury.

How can you not be thankful for these daily amenities?

By having gratitude, you are enhancing your own self-image. The way you see yourself.

The more you like yourself, the less stress will surround you.

3) Giving and taking

Have you ever been frustrated by people who only know how to take, but never gives anything back in return?

Gratitude is a form of giving back.

And for some reasons, giving creates a much more positive mood than taking.

4) Perspectives

In order to express gratitude, one needs to be able to see things from more than just one perspective.

So this also trains you mind to look at the bigger picture or circumstances in other angles other than your default.

Since stress can be caused by an inability to empathize, training yourself to see things from different perspectives can greatly alleviate stress and anxiety.

5) Building relationships

One day, you might realize that it is not about the number of friends you have to makes your social life valuable. It’s about the quality of relationships that makes all the difference.

There little point in having 500 friends on Facebook who you rarely (if ever) interact with.

Gratitude is one of those things that can really enhance your relationship with a friend or family member.

How would you feel if a friend thanks you from the bottom of her heart for something nice you did for her?

Put your ego aside

Too often in life, we feel gratitude towards others. Yet don’t find it within ourselves to express it properly, if at all.

Some of the reasons for this odd behavior are:

  • Fearing an awkward moment
  • Does not match up with the self-image you see yourself
  • Does not match up with the persona you put up when with friends
  • Fearing you might give away your power in social dynamics
  • Being afraid to look vulnerable
  • Being afraid that it might present a lack of masculinity

The biggest culprit of all is the ego. Maybe it’s time to put that aside? You are an adult after all.

With the technology available today, it is so easy to send a message to someone else. So there should be no excuse at all for not expressing gratitude towards something.

Go ahead and say thank. It doesn’t have to wait.

9 Tips To Developing A Better Sleep Routine

I recently came across a product that supposedly helps people wake up from sleep. The investors claimed that waking up properly is one of the biggest problems the average person faces each day.

I don’t know the research and facts behind that claim.

But if there is a problem that people face in general concerning sleep, it is about going to sleep. Not waking up from it.

Most of us face restless nights flipping and rolling around in bed from time to time. But for others, it is an extremely stressful nightly affair.

It’s not that sufferers live a nocturnal lifestyle. In fact many have to wake up early the next day for work. Yet they just cannot get to sleep!

The more they attempt to doze off, the more unable to they are, and the more stressful they get.

I have faced my out battles with insomnia. But it was never as bad as some hardcore victims are facing. Usually it happens to me when I’m still suffering from adrenaline rush brought over from the office during the day. Or when I have coffee from a place I’ve never went to before.

Yes! Trying out coffee from a new cafe can give me sleepless nights. Must be something to do with how the body reacts differently to different coffee!

Professionals in the study of sleep actually recommend following a sleeping routine so that the body can get into the zone when bedtime comes.

You will find it easily to get to sleep when you have “programmed” your body to sleep and get up at specific times. This stable sleep pattern can be a simple solution to those who are suffering from basic sleep problems.

Here are some tips to develop a successful sleep routine.

1) Bed

Ever wondered why you tend to fall asleep instantly in hotel rooms while not at home?

Well there are a lot of intangible factors like ambience, lighting, and a tired day out. But the single most important physical factor is the quality of the mattress.

You only have to pay a visit to the furniture mall to discover how much a difference in comfort a low end mattress versus a high quality one feels.

Oh just sinking into one can make you yawn…

This is no joke. Get a better mattress if the one you are using now feels like granite.

To maximize the physical effect your bed gives you when you lie in it, also use bedsheets, quilt covers, and pillow cases with high thread count.

They can feel so luxurious that you wouldn’t want to get up in the morning.

2) Sole purpose of the bed

To condition your mind to commence hibernation as soon as you lay on the bed, only use the bed for sleeping.

Don’t work on your laptop in bed and stop watching YouTube videos on your tablet in bed.

Your mind needs to associate being in bed with going to sleep. Any other activity on it would confuse the pattern that you are trying to imprint onto your brain.

The exception is of course, sex.

3) Meals before bed

Eating before bed is generally a bad idea when it comes to health.

But some people actually find it easier to doze off after eating. This probably have something to do with how the body expends more energy to digest the food, making an individual more tired, and therefore go to sleep faster.

But results can vary from person to person.

Since having a heavy meal just before bed is a bad idea, I suggest that you do not make this a commandment.

Anyway, food before bed can make you prone to heartburn.

4) Empty your bladder

I know that a lot of people don’t find it necessary to empty their bladder before going to bed. But maybe this is something that you should make a habit of.

I started practicing this when I’ve encountered a few annoying instances when I was woken up in the middle of the night to answer nature’s call urgently. And then… I cannot get back to sleep!

So I always to make it a point to release and detox each night before bedtime.

Limit your liquid intake at night.

5) Remove the television

The TV is a very big distraction. And it’s more than that.

When one is in the bedroom and you happen to wake up, you tend to wonder what’s on TV as you can’t go to sleep. And when you watch an interesting show, you could spend hours awake instead of minutes.

If you are not able to remove your television in the bedroom, use a TV cover to cover it at night. This means that you would need to put in extra effort to turn it on when in bed. An usually, this extra effort is enough to deter you from reaching for the remote.

6) Dark curtains

I sleep in total darkness. I cannot understand how people can get to sleep with day curtains.

But that is just me.

If you have never tried this before, and you are not afraid of the dark, use dark-colored curtains that block almost 100% of light coming in from the windows. Blinds will also do.

It could possibly be the easiest and most effective sleeping hack you can perform.

7) Cool down the room

Depending on where you reside, temperature can be a huge issue affecting sleep.

We tend to sleep better with cooler temperature compared to warmer temperature. This is what the air-conditioner is for.

Being in bed covered by quality bedsheets when the temperature is cooled can be a luxurious feeling.

If you are afraid of the cold too, you can set a timer for the air-conditioner to shut down automatically after a couple of hours.

The point is to create a pleasant environment for your body to go to sleep. Once you get there, having the air-conditioner shut down shouldn’t affect you as you are already asleep.

8) Avoid naps during the day

Naps can improve your productivity at work and refresh you during the day.

But if you are suffering from sleeping problems at night, maybe you should try not taking any naps at all during the day.

Depriving your body of sleep in the day can entice the body to sleep faster at night as it needs to rest.

So no more power naps at the office.

9) See a doctor

You might have a medical condition that is affecting your sleep.

Some common problems include

  • Diabetes
  • Muscle pain
  • Heartburn
  • Sleep apnea
  • Snoring
  • etc

It might be worth looking into your sleep problems more professionally if you are just not able to find a solution yourself.