Sunday, April 30, 2017

Z - 5 steps to a catch some good Zzzzs!!


Sleeping well is quite important to our body. Doctors would tell you, that sleep supports your body’s circadian rhythm. When you sleep, certain body functions occur, which wouldn’t occur if you were to remain awake. Perhaps that is why it is important to sleep and wake up at the same time every day so that the body can perform to its maximum potential.
Repairing and relaxing the body happens during sleep and thus sleeping well is important to de-stress and rejuvenate your body. It is during deep REM sleep that our subconscious thoughts are manifested as dreams.
Here are 5 ways to help you get some great Zzzzs.
#1. Maintain a regular sleep cycle.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, so that the body’s internal clock falls into a pattern. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another, so choose your sleep hours according to your lifestyle. Having said that, the body needs 7-8 hours of rest each night- try to get adequate rest.
# 2. Eat a light dinner.
Heavy food, spicy food, and late dinners can make falling asleep difficult. Stick to a set dinner time, which should ideally be 3 hours before your bedtime. Eat light- preferably fill up on raw vegetables and fruits. Also avoid drinking too many liquids, especially alcohol and caffeinated drinks before bedtime.
#3. Limit technology at bedtime.
Limit your exposure to light at night-time. Bright screens interfere with sleep and body’s rhythms. So, avoid watching television or meddling with your smartphones and tablets late into the night. Keep away distractions at least an hour or two before bedtime. Use that time to read, or to listen to soft, soothing music.
#4. Relax the body.
Take a walk. Or better still, perform yoga. Shavasana or the corpse pose is quite a relaxing posture. All these activities relax the body and prepare it to sleep. However, avoid vigorous exercise before bedtime as it tends to have the opposite effect and keeps you awake.
#5. Create a proper sleep environment.
Before you jump into bed, draw the curtains to block out outside light from the room, light a scented candle or spray some sleep inducing fragrance like lavender or jasmine and switch on some light, soothing music at the lowest audible volume.


So, learning to sleep well is not really rocket science. Sleeping well is meditative and it can help your body to feel rejuvenated and be prepared for the next day. 

I think we'll all need this tonight!! 


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Y - 5 things to tell Yourself


I don’t know about you, but I talk to myself a lot. I’m sorry if I sound deranged but I believe we have two voices, the one in our head and the other in our heart. The rational head can give you tons of solutions but it based on what people say and how your previous experiences have been. And it is always peppered with doubt. On the other hand, the voice in your heart is full of hope. 

Here are 5 things you should tell yourself, i.e. things that your heart should tell your mind.  

This too shall pass.

Our life is full of ups and downs. But sometimes the bad phases are so painful and dark that it seems like we are stuck in that rabbit hole forever. But remember, that no matter how long the troubles last, it has to have an end. When the days seem dark and there’s no ray of hope, don’t give up yet. 

Tell yourself, This Too Shall Pass. Trust me, it will.


I can do it!

Often, we want to do something, achieve our goal, or take a risky decision. But there are people around you who tell you that you cannot, or you shouldn’t. Why, even your inner voice tells you, you cannot. When you are stuck with a decision, when in doubt about your ability, when the whole world seems to weigh you down, don’t give up on yourself yet. 

Tell yourself, I Can Do It. No one knows you better than yourself.


It’s my life.

Yes, it’s your life. You have the right to live it the way you want to. Don’t let other people influence or dictate how you should live, what you should do and what decisions you should take. Don’t let others tell you when or whether you should get married or have children, run a business, see the world, or paint, be in a homosexual relationship or a live-in one. Life is short. You don’t want to die with regrets, do you? When someone’s interferes in your decisions, don’t be forced to comply. 

Tell yourself, It’s My Life. I’m going to live the way I want to.


I don’t have to be perfect.

Are you trying to a perfectionist? Is the illusion of perfectionism making life miserable for you? There’s no perfect skin colour, there’s no perfect profession, there’s no perfect house, there’s even no perfect spouse or children! Similarly, you don’t have to be a perfect parent, perfect spouse, perfect child, perfect employee, perfect host, perfect yada, yada… No, you don’t.

Make it about gratitude and happiness than about perfection. When thoughts of perfection plague your mind and you feel you don’t have the perfect things or people to make life wonderful, don't fret.

Tell yourself, I Don’t Have To Be Perfect, neither do people and things around me.

I love you.

We always tell our loved ones that we love them. We pamper them, make them feel good, and make them feel loved. But what about you? Are you treating yourself well? Like they say, charity begins at home, love begins with self. Love yourself, keep yourself pampered and happy. Unless you love yourself how can you love others?

Tell yourself, I Love You. Every single day. 


Friday, April 28, 2017

X - 5 Xcess baggages you needn’t carry...



When you fly, the airlines specifies the weight of baggage that you can carry. Anything more than the specified weight, you end up paying an extra tax for it. As with the airlines, so it is with our lives. All our lives we walk around carrying a lot of xtra baggage. It does nothing except make us pay for it by eroding our own peace of mind. What are these xtra, xcess baggages?

Here they are-  

Expectations.

We all have expectations from people in our relationships. We do something for them, and we want them to remember what we did, and give it back to us when we need it. And when they don’t, it doesn’t go down well with us. Expectations in a husband-wife relationship, child-parent relationship, or in friendship, are quite common, but they end up ruining the relationship.

Don’t carry that xcess baggage of xpectations.

Do your deed and forget about it. If you aren’t likely to forget it, don’t do the deed. Don’t give yourself an xtra baggage to carry, by counting your favours. Karma has its own way of finding its way back to you and repaying you for all that you did, good or bad.


Anger –

Anger is like a piece of burning coal. The longer you hold it, the more it burns your hand. It will leave you charred and worthless. Yes, circumstances make us angry, people make us angry, and many a times we have no control over those umpteen things that make us angry.

But don’t carry around the xcess baggage of anger.

Instead, whenever you are angry, don’t react. Pause for a minute, take deep breaths and do nothing until you are calmer. An angry mind is prone to taking decisions that we might regret later. But also, remember not to leave the issue unresolved. Talk it over, take appropriate action, but resolve the matter. Otherwise, you will still be carrying that anger in your heart!


Feeling of hurt –

People have the ability to cause hurt to each other. They say or do things that leave us hurt and upset. The feeling of hurt is more when people whom we love and trust are responsible for it.

Don’t carry the xcess baggage of hurt.

If someone has hurt you, do this analysis. Is the person a loved one, someone who’s presence makes a difference in your life or is it some random person who merely has a passing presence in your life? If they belong to the latter category, there’s no point carrying the hurt. If they belong to the former category, ask yourself if you want forgive and forget, talk it over or give up on the relationship. You will know what to do. By carrying around the hurt and not doing anything about it, you are doing a great deal of harm to yourself.  


Past mistakes and feeling of guilt –

Who doesn’t commit mistakes? No one is all-knowing, or godly enough to have never committed mistakes in their life.

But don’t carry that xcess baggage of guilt.

It was a mistake, you realise it, you feel bad about it and swear to never repeat it again. Leave it at that. What’s the point in going over past mistakes, ruminating over it and killing yourself with guilt? What’s important is to learn from your mistakes and get on with life.  


Revenge –

Don’t hate someone so much that you wait to exact revenge from them for the misdeeds they have done unto you. Someone might have broken your trust, or tampered with your emotions, but is revenge the answer?

Don’t carry that xcess baggage of revenge.

Even if you succeed in taking revenge and destroying the other person, you aren’t going to feel better. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is the best revenge.



Whether it is an emotional baggage or moral one, xcess baggage is xcess. You have to stop continuing to carry it. Leave it on the ground, and save yourself the trouble and pain.
No matter who is responsible of the action, in the end, your response is about you. Make that count.





Thursday, April 27, 2017

W- 5 ways to stop Wasting Time


If there’s something that runs away in the blink of an eye, it’s Time. We often complain that we have no time but if we’d just pause and look at what we have been doing, we have probably wasted away ours when we had enough.

“Every day you waste is another day you won’t get back” ~ Anonymous

Here are 5 ways to stop wasting the precious hours of our life.


Get off social media.

Social media has become the biggest killer of time. Whoever named it the World Wide Web, knew what a web it was going to turn out to be. Like a fly caught in the web of a spider, we go round and round, unable to break free of the tangle. With smartphones notifying us of everything that’s happening around us, we don’t even need to be logged into our PC.

So, we are either going green eyed at that cousin who’s having a destination wedding and posting hourly updates, or getting into unwanted arguments posting our point of view on topics that are irrelevant and a total waste of time, or busy updating the world about what we ate and if we burped and whether our dog did potty. To add to it we are in umpteen groups on our phone and the poor thing keeps beeping the whole day delivering you useless forwards that you forward it again till it comes back to you!

How to stop wasting time on social media? The best thing to do would be to uninstall every dam**d app from the face of your smartphone. Impossible, right? I know! The next best thing would be to turn off notifications when you are completing your work or studies. Avoid looking at the phone every now and then to know who did what. Deactivate once in a while. It is a good detoxifying therapy. The world will not come crashing down if you don’t immediately like someone’s status or post pictures of the food that you are eating.  


Get off the endlessly long phone calls.

If social media is bad enough, the long duration phone calls are even worse. They sap your energy and time. But when it’s your best friend or close relative or the love of your life, you cannot just tell them off. Your parents or sibling might understand if you tell them not to call during working or studying hours, but friends often do not.

How to stop wasting time on calls? If you are studying for an important exam or are neck deep in work, the best thing would be to switch off your phone. If that’s not possible, let the calls go your answering machine. Put in a message that you are studying now or are working and will respond to their calls after a particular time, say after 7 pm.  


Stop procrastinating.

Putting off things that you can do today to another day is such a waste of time. Sure, it might not be urgent and it can be put off, but if there’s time today, the best thing to do is finish it off. Completed work equals that much less stress.


Don’t do unnecessary things.

Don’t go and clean your garden when there are more important things to be done. Don’t sit and gossip when you need to devote time to something else. Don’t watch back to back movies on Netflix when your attention is needed elsewhere. There’s a time for everything. Relaxing is important too, but relax in between work, not vice versa.


Make a to-do list.

A to-do list is an effective way to get things done. I stick three different colored papers on my board, green for work that needs to be done urgently in a day or two, yellow for work that can be stretched to a week and pink for work that does not need immediate attention yet needs to be done within a time frame. I keep ticking off the ones in green as I finish and move to the yellow and then to the pink.


What's your mantra? 


   


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V - 5 Valuable lessons I've learned from life..


I didn’t think I’d be able to write the ‘V’ post in time. But certain things happened that forced me into contemplation about life and the lessons it teaches us. Whether we learn from it or not is up to us.


Here are 5 Valuable lessons I’ve learnt from life-


Life is so very unpredictable.

We all know this, life can be so unpredictable, and therefore we can never be prepared enough. I met my close friend’s father on Saturday. He looked happy and cheerful and spoke to me for quite some time. But just day later, he developed a mild shoulder pain. He was even cheerful on the way to the hospital and chatted away with his family till they admitted him. He recovered enough by midnight and his family had just returned home to catch some sleep when they got a call that he had suffered a cardiac arrest. But unfortunately, his brain was deprived of oxygen for just a couple of minutes and he was declared brain dead.

In a matter of 24 hours someone who was alive was gone. Just like that. The uncertainty that looms over our lives is scary.


Set your priorities right.

Perhaps, that is why we need to get our priorities straight. Your boss, your job, your home, the car, these aren’t or shouldn’t be your priority. Your family, your friends, your passions, your health - these should be. You can always get another job or buy things, but there will never be another parent, or good health if you don’t pay attention to it. The sad part is the things that matter don’t really last. You have to care for it while they are there.   


Don’t hold emotions within.

We hold a great deal of emotions inside us, anger, revenge, stress, grief... why, even love and happiness. The heart cannot deal with so many emotions. Express it, vent it out, talk it over, but don’t hold them within. It eats you up from inside. I lost a cousin to stress. He was just 38, but was suffering from a great deal of work related stress. He just woke up one day and collapsed before anyone could realise what was happening. Sometimes, I wish he had spoken about it.


Don’t let ego and time eat up the relationship.

My friend said that her father had been coming down to meet her for the last three days before he passed on. But she had been busy ferrying her kids’ to summer camp and had been unable to meet him. She rues the fact that though she had the opportunity to talk to him, she didn’t, because she had been busy and now she wishes that she could have a few minutes with him, but can’t.

Life doesn’t wait for anyone. You will never have time - make time.  

Her brother had broken away from his family over some issues, but mercifully he came back a few months before his father passed on. The burden of not having time to say goodbyes, of not having the courage to mend relationships, can be too heavy to carry.

If that relationship is important to you, don’t let ego come in between.


Nothing is permanent, neither grief nor happiness.

Grief and happiness are like the spokes a bicycle. As the wheels rotate, so do happiness and grief, and come into our lives alternatively. When you are very sad, tell yourself that ‘this too shall pass’. We all suffer from pain – emotional or physical. That is not in our hands. But not letting the pain become a suffering – that is in our hands. Don’t keep scratching the wounds, let them heal.

When you very happy, be thankful for it, but don’t be sad when the wheels turn.   



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