Do you wish you could learn to be more easy going? Are you a type-A personality or workaholic who’s struggling to figure out a work-life balance? This article offers tips on how to create a more laid-back atmosphere and reduce overthinking and stress.
Here are 6 habits that will teach you how to be a calmer and happier person, develop inherent chillness and learn to be more in the moment.
Take breaks from your tech
You’re not really resting or relaxing if you’re constantly checking emails and social media feeds. Unless you turn your phone off or leave it in the other room for a moment, you’ll never be fully present in that moment. To focus on you, the people around you, and your environment, sometimes it’s necessary to take a moment out of your day, stop “doing”, and just “be”.
Turn your phone and laptop off, make yourself a tea/coffee, drink, or your favorite snack or comfort food. Find a comfortable spot in your home and learn the art of “lounge”. Try laying on your couch or bed and just doing nothing for 20 minutes. Take some deep breathes, allow the thoughts that pop into your mind exist but don’t react or act of them. Instead, put your feet up, read a book, listen to your favorite music, or just do nothing. Try cozying up in a blanket and pillow and just enjoy this moment of zen.
The art of lounge is the process of disconnecting from work and responsibilities guilt-free so you can re-focus your energy on your body and self. Your technology offers you quick access to information and helps with proctivity and communication with your work or loved ones, but it can also create anxiety, overwhelm, and obsessive thinking if you don’t allow yourself a break from the constant scrolling and DMing. Ask yourself, what will really happen if I disconnect for 20 minutes? The answer is, nothing. Everything can wait while you do this one thing for you.
Embrace simplicity and minimalism
What if you only owned the things you actually need and use. What would your living and work spaces look like then? We all do it, we collect our life in boxes over time, thinking we’ll use this or that later. We attach worth and memories to material things without ever truly using them, thinking “One day maybe I’ll use this”. The reality is that 70 % of your boxes do only one thing, they clutter your life.
The next time you have a few days off, go through some of your shelves and boxes, throw out what you KNOW you’ll never use or need again. Be ruthless when it comes to things like clothing and books. Take pictures of your important documents and shred the originals (unless of course they’re part of your income tax paperwork for the past 6 years). Need inspiration? Watch Mary Condo’s Netflix series and give that junk the proper send off and thank you it deserves. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it for over a year, you probably won’t use it is the future and don’t really need it.
Having fewer things will open up the space and make room for you to breathe and assess your inner knowing like intuition for example. Decluttering will give you a sense of where you truly are in life and bring you back to the present moment. Keeping things simple around the home can also reduce stress in your family and personal life and helps reduce some of the mental clutter you might have. This gives you more time to focus on what really matters.
Learn new skills and develop your creativity
Doing things that allow you to use your creativity can give you the mental break you need to disconnect from your work or other stressors for a few hours. It can also help you exercise the creative side of your brain, leading to better problem solving skills and innovative thinking. Solving problems helps eliminate stress from your life.
Scan the recipes on YouTube, pick your favorite, and make a shopping list. Then, walk to the grocery store and buy the ingredients you need. Enjoy the process, try cooking your dish while you enjoy some music or a drink. When you’ve finished, set the table as though you were inviting a guest over, or better yet, invite someone to join you. Enjoy the good food, the company and experience.
Learning to prepare new foods can give you a chance to create what you want, what you like, and how you like it. It can help you become more in tunned with how you want to live your daily life and bring in more things that make you happy. It can also be a comforting experience to just focus on you for a change, and if you turn this into a social event, there’s nothing more therapeutic than spending time with someone you care about and having a great conversation.
Turn your bedroom into your sanctuary
Sleep is probably the most important thing you can do for your health and productivity. If you don’t invest in rest, you accumulate everyday stress and can become less and less productive over time. You also risk burnout and health issues.
Tidy up your bedroom and create a dream-like comfortable haven in your bedroom that you can just fall into at night when your day is done. Use your favorite colors and textures to decorate and make the experience more enjoyable. This allows you to reclaim your space.
Keep clutter off of surfaces, especially your bed. A bed is made for two things: sleep and being intimate with a partner. Consider moving your television and work desk out of your bedroom. You brain associates your desk with work, making it more difficult to disconnect and relax when you go to bed at night. This means you’ll think about work right before going to bed and as soon as you get up. And, as for the television, well…it goes without saying that there will be less umm distractions and more time to focus on enjoying the moment and sharing it with your partner. Setting these boundaries in the most personal room in your home will help rebalance your energy and life.
Accept what is
People who’ve mastered the ability to have chill and balance work and life tend to be less easily angered or disappointed. They accept what is and recognize what they can and can’t change about a situation. While this is somewhat of a personality trait some people are just born with, it can also be learned. Take life as it comes rather than wasting time worrying endlessly about what hasn’t happened yet and may never happen. Do the work necessary to let go of past regrets and pain. This will release negative thoughts and energy and open you up to positive change and growth.
The next time you come across a situation that isn’t quite going the way you’d hoped, use one of these phrases: “That’s fine, I’ll get another chance soon enough.” “It wasn’t meant to be this time.” “It’s not a big deal, these things happen.” ”No worries, it happens sometimes.”. Then ask yourself how you can refocus and reset.
Being easy going in difficult situations can help reduce the tension around you and within you. This doesn’t mean you’re being passive, it just means you’re seeing things for what they are in that moment and accepting them for what they are. Something has ended? You’ll find another opportunity. You lost something important to you? Remind yourself that life is constantly changing, and nothing is permanent. This takes practice but the long term results will help you live a calmer, happier life over time.
Say what you mean
Chill people don’t stop themselves from saying something that’s on their mind when they’re unhappy or happy for that matter. They don’t bother lying or hiding things because they’re fine with the outcome one way or another. Self aceptance is key to learning to focus on your own needs and limits rather than being hyperfocused on others and what they might be thinking. You are responsible for you. They are responsible for themselves. This is not to say that you should be selfish and oblivious to others’ feelings or needs. It simply means developing a strong sense of self which means getting to know and trust yourself so that the life you’re creating is always the right one for you. Doing this can eliminate feelings of social anxiety and self-imposed pressure you may be putting on yourself to make others happy or in response to what you think they expect. Being more authentic and respecting your own limits will help people understand who you are and in turn they will respect you for it.
The next time you disagree with something or someone, are feeling guilty about not being enough, or anxious about not meeting their expectations, write down what you’d like to say to them. Take a minute to identify your feelings and the source of your anxiety. Read what you want to say out loud. The next time the same thing happens with that person, test the waters and tell them what you really think. The first time is always the most uncomfortable but over time, your openness will become comfortable.
It takes practice to learn to speak your truth and it’s easy to worry about the outcome, especially when you care about someone or something. But with the right audience, your views and needs will be respected, and you’ll feel more heard. It might take time to learn which audience is a safe one to do this with, and which one isn’t. It takes time to establish new habits and personal limits.
Not taking the time to relax and enjoy life can lead to negative emotions and even health problems. These 6 habits are meant to support you in shifting your focus so that you can make your wellbeing a priority.
Copyright Authentic World Inc 2021, Michelle Thompson 2021
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Michelle. I have over twenty years of experience as a group facilitator and public educator. I’ve helped thousands of people re-imagine their lives and create concrete plans for self-improvement. I’ve facilitated dozens of workshops and support groups on topics like stress management, mental health and wellness, goal setting, grief counselling, safety planning, and confidence building. I’m a former social worker and non-profit consultant, and after struggling for years with feelings of anxiety and uncertainty about who I was and what I wanted, I did the work and learned how to get out of my own way and create an authentic meaningful life for myself. Now I teach others to do the same. I created Authentic World Inc, to offer a supportive space for learning life skills. To find out more about my life coaching program and courses, click here.
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