Sleep Hack: ”A Simple Strategy For Better Rest In Less Time”

 

How to sleep better?

Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom. 

Desperate to enjoy a better rest, yet keen to reduce the number of hours you sleep?

When it comes to sleep, we’re own worst enemy. There’s always something that ranks higher on the scale than sleep. But the truth is, our choices are killing us. From long-term health to daily bodily functions to simple happiness, how much sleep we get (or don’t get) every night affects us innumerable ways. We can’t cut corners on sleep and not have it affect us.

When your mom told you to “sleep on it,” or to “get your beauty sleep,” she wasn’t kidding. A lot of what we know about the basics of sleep is common sense – but is it possible to hack a good night’s sleep? To fool your body into feeling better when the night before was less than stellar?

If you’re struggling through your day, sleep-deprived and grumpy, try these sleep hacks to navigate your way through your day. And then plan to get to bed early tonight!

We sleep for 26 years in total, so the ultimate productivity hack is undeniably improving our quality of sleep. Imagine if all your life, you thought breathing was best accomplished by inhaling through a straw. Improve your waking life by invalidating misconceptions; it’s that simple.

You’ll relate to this: You look at your alarm clock. It says 4:36AM. You’ve been trying to go to bed for the past 2 hours, and the longer you’re awake, the more you worry about having to properly “wake up” at 6:00AM. You can’t sleep because you’re stressed from being awake, and you can’t wake because you’re stressed from lack of sleep. We’ve all had nights like this.

 it’s almost a competition to see who can function the best with as little sleep as possible. Information overload is a very real problem in the 21st century. Sleep debt is getting even worse among the Millennial generation, and the alarm function on most smartphones is an inadequate solution.

Many studies have emerged that show the harmful effects of not getting a good night’s rest. Our bedtime is now measured by how long it takes us to get bored of browsing the internet. Side effects include anxiety, depression, irritability, poor health, and arguing over who snores the loudest.

So in an ever-connected world, how can we get a good night’s rest consistently?

How can we minimize the number of hours we sleep and get a better quality of sleep?

What are some different sleeping techniques? What if I can’t sleep?

The key to sleeping is to aim for quality, not quantity.

Environmental Factors

This is the easiest modifier and can have the greatest impact on the sleep-wake cycle. My bedroom, unfortunately, faces south, so every morning, I wake up to the sun glaring through my shades. We’re naturally meant to wake with the sun hitting our faces. It sets our internal clock and prepares us for the day as nature intended.

Light Psychology

This is why we’ve seen an appearance of specialized dawn simulators that exploit the role of the sun in circadian rhythm regulation. These clocks work by emitting a bright light in excess of 200 lux, which tricks us into thinking it is morning. Within a few days to a week, your body will start to wake up before the alarm itself actually goes off.

Just as there is artificial light, logically, there is artificial dark. If your sleep schedule has you waking up after the sun rises—delayed sleep phase disorder—then consider wearing a sleeping mask.

Wavelength of Light

Finally, the Psychology of light can be boiled down to its wavelength (color).

Blue is a terrible wavelength to be absorbing during the day; it’s just too calming. Likewise, warmer colors in the red spectrum are terrible for night-time browsing (unless you’re trying to stay awake).

This hack can be common sense, i.e., don’t paint your bedroom red, but this approach is a little more comprehensive than that. The color temperature of your backlit monitor affects your circadian rhythm. As you browse Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and Tumblr, all you see is blue!

Humidity

Apart from light, one might consider the humidity in the ambient air temperature. Remember how mom would always bring the Humidifier out of the closet whenever you were sick as a child? Well, why only use it when we’re sick? Especially in the winter time when you’re running the heater quite a bit, it tends to zap the humidity out of the air. This means your nostrils might become dry thus effectively making your body more susceptible to inhaling a virus. This is because the tiny hair follicles in our nose need to be wet in order to catch the viruses/bacteria we might inhale.

If you’re breathing in air with moisture, it helps your lungs and your breathing throughout the night.

Habits

There is only so much we can modify in our environment to make our sleep a little better. The largest part has to do with ourselves and the things we do leading up to sleep. We need to make quality sleep hygiene just as routine as brushing our teeth before bed

DO Figure out how to Stop Your Mind from Racing

This is one of the biggest drivers to people staying up at night. Ever go to bed and you can’t stop thinking? You can’t stop worrying or wondering what is going to happen tomorrow?

This is a form of anxiety that we all have but very few seem to recognize. This is partly why meditation is so important because it teaches you not only the awareness factor that this is occurring but also the tools you need to be able to tell yourself “NO.”

Make a conscious effort to stop your mind from racing and focus on a single thing, whether that is counting your breaths or the number of sheep in the sky.

Drugs

Now, I could call these supplements, but it’s important to recognize that these so-called supplements are just as many drugs as any other traditional kind of pharmaceutical and should be used with caution.

”Life’s Too Short To Be Busy All The Time”

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”It’s very important to take care of yourself. Everyone’s lives are so busy. Take at least an hour a day to recharge and do whatever makes you better. For grown-ups, whether it’s a spa, sitting in a park with a book, or coffee, take time for yourself.”

Ana Ivanovic

I think you’re a liar. You may not be a liar, but I suspect you could be. I’m also a liar, at least I think I used to be. What makes both of us liars is we constantly say we’re too busy. I’ve learned over the years that too busy is simply code word for either not interested or simply a means of not being able to manage your life correctly because you’re lazy. Therefore, you’re either a lazy liar who cannot manage your life correctly or you’re simply not interested.

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Still with me or insulted at this point? The last thing a writer needs to do is insult his audience. I’m here to offer an awakening because I fell culprit to the too busy syndrome and getting out of it gave me the potential to become aware, productive, and happy. It made me a human again.

I can easily relate this topic to exercise as a means of showing that too busy is a poor excuse to not work out. As it turns out, being too busy isn’t just a poor excuse to not work out, but rather a poor excuse in all facets of life.

Previously, I used to think the idea of being busy was cool. It showed me a great sense of confidence that I was wanted and requested by others. Being busy was a vanity thing. Telling clients how busy you are and how you don’t have any time for their requests is a means of winning their business because human nature is to want something we cannot have.

I would go whenever and wherever they wanted me and I’d give each of them their very own hour — sometimes more. I was miserable and in turn, professional service was compromised. I realized busy was not good.

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I realized life is too short to be busy. When you’re not busy, you have more time to think and play. More time to exchange ideas and experiences with friends and family. In turn, professional service for clients is never compromised.

Busy is just a false facade based on lies, laziness, and mismanagement that restricts performance and limits your mental capacity.

I know this because I experienced it. I claimed to be so busy that I had no control over my time. I used busy as a means of showing confidence I lacked to demonstrate to people that I really am worth it. And I used busy at the expense of limiting my professional performance with clients.

I’ve realized that it is only when you eliminate the idea of being too busy that you can finally open the door to being happy. Eliminating busy means you’re in absolute control of your life and your time management skills. Most importantly, you regain self-worth and confidence without using the word busy as a confidence-booster. Eliminating busy means you’ve got time to finally think and develop both personally and professionally.

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My idle time is more valuable than a busy time. When I’m not working, I don’t think about fitness, or in our analogy, lemonades and souvenirs. Idle time is time away from busy. It’s time for what makes me happy whether it’s time with friends or driving to a place I’ve never been.

A wise friend recently said to me, “Life is not something that happens to us, it is only responding to us.” Stop fooling yourself because you’re not really busy. You may be lazy and lacking confidence. You may also be a liar. But busy is something you’re probably not. You just need a better approach to managing everything — one that will give you ample time for all the things you really wanted to do including regular exercise.

”Time Heals All Wounds”

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”The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone. Time heals almost everything.”

I often hear of people giving bereaved people advice similar to “you just need some time, after all ‘time heals all wounds.’” It is as if these well-meaning people are saying: “Just sit back and in time you’ll no longer have the sadness, anguish, yearning, guilt, anger, and fear you’re feeling now. They’ll fade away, and you’ll be fine.” Wow! What an interesting concept! But wait a minute, that approach to grieving raises a couple of questions. First, how long is “some time” – two months, one year, two years, five years? The second question is why doesn’t this apply to the rest of our lives? After all, we have to look for a new job, search for the right house, study to get through school. Even if we want to win the lottery, we still have to buy the ticket. We have to take the initiative to do something to cause something else to happen. Is grief different? Can it really be true that time alone is enough for grief to go away? I don’t think so…

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Time teaches us to look into our past from a different perspective. The moment when something traumatic happens, we always feel like we are never going to get out of this horrible situation. Our conscience is paralyzed at this moment, unable to provide any healthy solution. Sometimes, we just can’t control our overwhelming waves of negative emotions. For days we can’t eat, sleep, or think properly. However, as time passes, we gradually understand that “the show must go on”; we have to pick ourselves up and keep going. We start looking at life through a more intelligent and practical perspective and we realize that slowly, that pain is starting to fade away.

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It is difficult to maintain the same intensity of emotions throughout life, regardless of what they are. We are humans and our emotions/mentality never stays at the same level; it’s just not possible. Our emotions are constantly changing, depending on the situations and the environments we are exposed to. So, it’s pretty much impossible to keep that same intensity of emotions, for any of those “hard” times everyone experiences in life. I think we can all remember a time where we cried for days and nights, but every day, it got a little bit easier. My mantra is while times can be tough and everyone goes through different things, this can be universally said: each day everything gets easier and time heals everything.

” Just Get in Shape When You Feel Lazy and Unmotivated”

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I know exercise is supposed to help me fight depression, but how can I find the motivation to work out when I’m depressed?

Depression definitely can make it hard to find the motivation for exercise (among other things) because a loss of interest in normal activities, along with the ability to enjoy them, is often one of the main symptoms of depression. But what does that mean in practical terms?

It definitely doesn’t mean that you’ll have to wait until your depression has cleared up before you’ll be able to start building up a regular exercise routine. In fact, it probably means just the opposite. You might need to stop looking for your motivation or waiting for it to appear before you start working out.  Instead, recognize that feeling unmotivated is part of the illness and that starting a regular exercise routine is an important part of the cure. It’s a lot like getting out of bed in the morning on a low day—you might not feel like it; but you know that if you don’t do it, things are only going to go downhill from there.
The good news is that actually starting an effective exercise routine isn’t as unpleasant or difficult as it seems. Just because you’re depressed doesn’t mean you’ll to have to spend weeks or months forcing yourself to do something you don’t feel like doing; you just have to start by taking the first few steps on faith. That’s because motivation is actually a mental muscle that works a lot like your other muscles—the more you use it, the stronger it gets. And just like there are good (and bad) ways to train your other muscles effectively, there are good ways to train your motivation so it gets stronger as you go along, and makes it easier for you to establish and maintain a good exercise habit. Here are a few good motivation muscle training tips to get you started.

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Focus on just a few things at a time.

We often create a big list of things that we want to do and achieve. Focusing on two or three things at a time will allow you to feel less overwhelmed. Instead, you will feel motivated, as your goals will now seem so much more achievable.

Out of the two sets of six-month goals below, which set gets you more motivated?

Learn to play guitar, do well at work, and get fit.

Learn to play guitar, do well at work, get fit, build big muscles, get better at singing, get top marks at school, learn how to draw better, and write a book.

When I see the second list, I feel overwhelmed. When my life looks a bit like this, I usually don’t know where to start or if I can succeed at anything I’ve set out to do.

People feel motivated when they feel they have a good chance of success.

This has been a big learning curve for me. When success seems like it is just around the corner, suddenly I get an amazing rush of energy where I feel liberated and excited to achieve bigger things.

Set yourself two or three easy to achieve goals at a time and you will notice that you will naturally gain inspiration and motivation.

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 Exercise.

Exercise is the simplest way to overcome laziness. A lot of the time, we feel lazy because completing a task seems too difficult. With exercising, you don’t have to figure anything out. You just have to make that one big decision to literally start moving your body (jump up and down, go for a run, or start doing lunges in your living room).

This has been a big revelation for me. Sometimes I get so fed up with feeling lazy and lethargic that I literally just start running. I have learned that if you can overcome physical laziness, your mind will naturally follow.

You will find that you will become more willing to think about complicated things, such as working on a project or doing something that you have been avoiding. Exercise will help you break through that barrier of inertia and will help you feel motivated and more willing to put in an effort.

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Allow yourself time to relax and do the things you enjoy.

Sound’s ironic, doesn’t it? Overcoming laziness by relaxing! But it works.

Often, we become lazy because a task seems too difficult. By relaxing and doing the things we enjoy, we allow ourselves to feel satisfied. When we are satisfied, we are more willing to take on bigger tasks and achieve bigger things.

By relaxing and enjoying yourself, you also allow yourself to think about things, reflect, and feel inspired.

For example, I often feel uninspired to write articles. I get a mental block. Writing and researching becomes an overwhelming task, so I retreat to laziness. I completely block out anything that requires hard work.

I have learned that as I relax and do things I enjoy, my mind is encouraged to reflect again. It is not scared of becoming overwhelmed because it knows that I am not going to push it to do something productive if it does not want to.

This is how I gain inspiration again. When I relax, I suddenly find myself thinking of all these great ideas and I regain inspiration and motivation.

Get organized.

Your physical surroundings have a big impact on how you feel. If your house is a mess, you are likely to feel even more overwhelmed—both because clutter creates a sense of chaos and because having to clean your house adds to your giant list of things to do in a ridiculously short amount of time.

Clean your house and organize your physical surroundings and you will naturally feel motivated to be more productive and active.

You will be making life simpler and easier to manage.

Once you’ve organized your home, you may feel motivated to get organized in other areas of your life and tackle tasks you’ve neglected.

As I mentioned earlier, laziness is often our attempt to avoid difficult or unpleasant tasks. Ironically, once you start tackling them, it will all feel less difficult and overwhelming and you’ll likely feel a lot less tense.

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Be aware of and monitor your internal dialogue.

Our internal dialogue (the way we speak to ourselves) has such a big impact on how we feel and what we do.

Anthony Robins, a world-famous motivational speaker, explains that if we want to feel ecstatic, all we need to do is adopt a point of view that creates that emotion.

For example, picturing in your mind the things that make you feel that way, change the tone and content of your internal dialogue and change your posture and breathing to create that state in your body.

This has become my personal motto, and I am genuinely amazed at how much more positive I feel just by choosing to have a positive outlook.

Every time I have a negative thought, such as “today is going to be a long, hard day at work,” I immediately challenge that thought by telling myself something like this: “I have so much to be grateful for and today is going to be fun and enjoyable!”

I then make a choice to get rid of my slouchy posture and tell myself that I have lots of energy.

Just thinking that way makes me feel excited and gives me a big boost of energy.

I once learned that we have over 50,000 thoughts a day. Even if only 10 percent of them are negative, it equals a total of 5,000 negative thoughts a day. When I heard this, I realized that we have way too many negative thoughts and it helped make sense of why so many of us struggle to feel motivated.

Being aware of and monitoring your internal dialogue is so important, and will inevitably impact on how lazy you feel and how easy it will be for you to overcome that laziness.

These methods have helped me incredibly and continue to help me every day. I am sure that if you apply them too, you will experience a big boost of energy and motivation in your daily life

”Shine Like A Crazy Diamond”

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”Look after yourself from within, and your beauty will shine through on your skin.”

Is the light you shine any less bright if no one notices or acknowledges it? Or is it possible to shine the light just because that is part of your life path? Those with the brightest lights are easier to see but their task is not to engage more people in the light, it is simply to shine their light in a more unconditional way. The light shines so all can see but not all do, not all want to, and not all need to. This doesn’t diminish the importance or value of the light. Its value is not measured by how many see, embrace, and embody it, but by how brightly it shines, even if it shines alone.

Those who shine most brightly are not burdened with lighting the greatest amount of darkness or bringing more people to the light, they become light beacons of the choice to embrace a higher frequency and vibration, not imperatives for change. Being an unconditional source of light means you shine brightly no matter who sees the light, it is there for all to see when it is their time and when they are ready.

Some have a journey of being in the darkness as encouragement for those who seek the light. They are also an important part of the foundation of light. Without shadows, light is invisible. And without light, there is no alternative to darkness. But there is no commandment for everyone to see the light, and there are no conditions on anyone, those who are in the light or in the dark, to become aware of the light, to embrace and embody it, and to also become a beacon of light for others.

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That does not make the work of those who shine less successful or valuable. In an unlimited, unconditional Universe, every potential exists, even that to remain in the darkness. Shining with unconditional light makes the light available for all, without the condition of acceptance or acknowledgment.

If the fear of the results of darkness become the reason for shining your light then you are acting with conditions and judgment. You may be tempted to shine more brightly so others can see, but the potential for seeing and embracing the light depends on frequency and vibration, which also depend on the will, the lessons, karma, and soul path of each individual.

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Just because you shine more brightly doesn’t mean others will want to see more light. Some may be blinded by the light and turn away because it interferes with their path. Others may use the light to make a choice to remain in their own darkness. The light you shine must be unconditional and you must shine from the joy of being in the light and in being a ‘being of light’, not because you believe you shine so others can see it and know the light for themselves.

The light is a path of joy, truth, and unconditional love, all as energies of higher frequencies. But the path of light does not include the need to become the force for the transmutation of darkness. Does the sun shine only because it is appreciated or does it shine because that is what it does? This is how you can find joy in your light as well, shine with the joy of the light and that you feel in your light. Having awareness of the light is your gift, so shine it for yourself, to light your own path. Don’t be discouraged if no one appears to see it because they cannot see what is not within their frequency or part of their life path.

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When you become an example of joyful, joy-filled, empowered, and fulfilled living through your light, you can become an inspiration for others. Not because you shine more light but because they see the example of your light in action. This is how you inspire others to consider the light as an alternative to darkness and when you shine with unconditional light, you make the light a potential and allows others to make it an empowered choice that they make through their own free will.  And when you find the joy in your light it no longer matters whether others can share in your joy today, you are in joy and that allows your light to shine even more brightly for yourself, for everyone around you, and for all of humanity.

”Pilgrimage of Desire: A path out of walking depression”

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“I once read that succumbing to depression doesn’t mean you are weak, but that you have been trying to be strong for too long, which is maybe a form of denial. So much of life happens somewhere in between being okay and complete breakdown—that’s where many of us live, and doing so requires strength.” ~ novelist Matthew Quick

Let’s play a little word association.

When I say someone is DEPRESSED, what comes to mind?

You might think of someone who:

  • Looks or acts sad most of the time
  • Cries often
  • Can’t feel any emotions (positive or negative)
  • Can’t get out of bed or leave the house
  • Can’t work
  • Can’t take care of themselves or others
  • Thinks or talks about suicide

That’s what severe depression can look like, and it’s a terrible and potentially deadly illness. Most people would notice those signs, realize something was wrong, and hopefully get some help.

But depression has many different faces and manifestations.

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I was one of the walking depressed. Some of my clients are too.

We have many of the symptoms of clinical depression, but we are still functioning.

On the surface, people might not know anything is wrong. We keep working, keep going to school, keep looking after our families.

But we’re doing it all while profoundly unhappy. Depression is negatively impacting our lives and relationships and impairing our abilities.

Our depression may not be completely disabling, but it’s real.

Walking depression can be hard to recognize because it doesn’t fit the more common picture of severe depression. But it can be just as dangerous to our well-being when left unacknowledged.

This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive or to diagnose anyone. But these are some of the signs I’ve observed in myself and those I’ve coached:

Nothing is fun:- You root around for something to look forward to and come up empty.

You can’t find flow:- Working on your creative projects feels like a grind, but you keep plodding away.

Your energy is low: –Maybe you’re not getting enough rest because you’re too anxious to sleep, or you’re trying to cram too many tasks into a day, or you’re punishing yourself by staying up. Whatever the reason, you are effin’ tired.

You feel worse in the morning and better at night:-I remember explaining this to a friend, who found it mystifying. In the morning I felt the crushing weight of all the things I had to do that day. In the evening I was temporarily free from expectations and could enjoy a moment’s respite.

You have simmering resentment toward others:-Sure, you’re still doing what everybody asks of you, but you stew in anger the whole time. You are jealous of and bitter toward people who look happier than you feel.

Your self-talk gets caustic:-You say nasty things in an effort to shock yourself into action. You use shame as a motivator.

You feel distanced from people around you:-It’s hard to have genuine, intimate conversations because you have to keep up this front that you are alright.

You deprive yourself of creative work time:– This helps you exert some control and stirs up feelings of suffering that are perversely pleasurable. Also, taking on new projects that prevent you from writing or making art lets you prove to yourself that you’re still strong and capable.

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Jen Lee has coined the term Dutiful Creatives to describe those who are inclined to take care of their responsibilities before anything else.

“If life were a meal, you’d consider your creativity as the dessert, and always strive to eat your vegetables first. Pacing and knowing how to say No are your strengths, but your creativity is more essential to your well-being than you realize.” from Jen Lee

You notice a significant mood change when you have caffeine or alcohol: –A cup of coffee might make you feel a lot more revved-up and optimistic. A glass of wine might make you feel really mellow and even ~ gasp! ~ happy. (That’s how I finally realized that I was depressed.)

You feel like you’re wasting your life:-Some people have a high sensitivity to the inherent meaning in what we do. Creativity coach Eric Maisel calls this our “existential intelligence.” If our daily activities don’t carry enough significance ~ if they don’t feel like a worthwhile use of our talents and passions ~ then soon we are asking ourselves, “What’s the point? Why should I keep going?”

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Why is it hard to admit that you have walking depression?

You may recognize many of these signs in your life but still be slow to admit that you are depressed. Why is that?

Because it feels presumptuous to put yourself in that category when you’re still getting by. You feel like it would be insulting to those who are much worse off than you. You may feel like you have no real reason to be depressed.

Because your pride and your identity take a hit. You have to admit vulnerability and allow that you are not the all-conquering superhero you thought you were.

Because you realize that you and your life need to change, which feels like more work piled on your plate.

Because you are admitting your own responsibility for your unhappiness and that can trigger self-judgment.

Because you might uncover grief or anger at those around you for not seeing and taking better care of you.

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What to do, what to do?

I’ve posted another entry about how creatives heal from walking depression, and here are the highlights:

  • Rest.
  • Make use of medication and other physical treatments.
  • Do therapy.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Make connections.
  • Reduce your responsibilities.
  • Spend time creating.
  • Change your thoughts.
  • Develop meaning practice.
  • Change your life.

These steps are simple to say, not easy to do, so make sure you get as much support as you can.

 

Pilgrimage of Desire: a path out of walking depression

My life’s work is to help writers and artists recognize their depression and find healing by making their creative work a priority.

As a young adult, I longed to make my mark on the world as a writer. But after university, I got sidetracked by all the demands of ordinary life.

Soon I joined the ranks of the walking depressed. I was working, volunteering, and looking after my family, but I was also desperately sad.

I found the path out of depression by following my desires—to write, to travel, to become a friend and a creativity coach. Eventually, I left ordinary life behind. I thought I’d found my happy ending, but there was more to the story …

”Stop Waiting For The Perfect Conditions To Start Really Living.”

”Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. – Dr. Seuss”

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At 27, I look back on my 20’s in an interesting way. I’m not yet out of my 20’s, but I’m old enough now that I’ve started looking back on the past 7 years with a lot of clarity. I don’t take any of it back, as regretting the past is as useful as placing your hands on a hot stove, but if I was back in my early 20’s again and knew wiser, there are so many things I would do differently.

Making the most of life isn’t as difficult as it might sometimes seem. You can have an amazing life right now if you give up doing these nine things:

 Settling for less than your worth:-

Whether it’s settling to be with someone you don’t truly love, deciding to just take that 50 hours a week job your friend offered you because you don’t think you’ll ever finish school, or turning your back on what you love, don’t settle for less than your worth.

The likelihood is, you’re worth far more than you give yourself credit for. By the time we’re young adults, we’ve been through so much in life that we can often think things like, “I’m not good enough” or, “I don’t deserve that”. But you are good enough, and you do deserve that.

One of the greatest fallacies in life is the idea that we’re incomplete. That we’re missing a screw, lacking something, or altogether messed up. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

You were born absolutely and completely whole, and you continue to be no matter what you go through. No matter how many mistakes you make and no matter who wronged you, you’re the same beautiful person you began life as.

Realize that you’re priceless, and stop settling for less than you’re worth.

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Changing for others:-

I was guilty of this myself. We act like someone we’re not to get the girl or guy we like, we do something unlike ourselves to impress a group of people we want to be our friends, and overall we give up what makes us “us” just so that others will like us.

But all this ends up doing is making us lose track of ourselves in the needs of others. We forget who we are, and when we “come to,” we realize all that time was wasted wandering around in disillusion.

Don’t change who you are for others. The people that are right for you will love you for you, not for who you’re trying to be.

Spending the day online:-

The internet is the future; it’s as simple as that. Everything you could ever want to know is on the internet, and a lot of the most popular forms of entertainment too. Oh, and you can make a living on the internet to boot. So it makes sense that we’d spend so much time online.

But to spend almost literally all day online is unhealthy, both with regards to your body and your mind. Maybe you’re a programmer or run a blog, and spend a huge portion of each day online. That’s fine, you’re making a living, or are working on making a living through the internet.

But even then, you need to get out and experience nature, talk to people face to face, and just plain have fun with all those things that life has to offer that you can never find or experience online.

Learn how to balance your life between time online and time fully experiencing the beauty of life while disconnected and you’ll be far happier and healthier.

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Thinking likes and followers = genuine friends:-

One of the biggest mistakes we make in our 20’s is convincing ourselves that Facebook friends, followers, +1’s, and the like are genuine friends. But genuine friendship is built upon the depth of the connection between two people. You can’t “go through things,” or experience life, with followers and Facebook friends. The most you can do is like the same post and occasionally say “What’s up!” or “Yeah, me too!”

Today, do a quick inventory. How many genuine friends do you have? If you’re having hard times, or something comes up unexpectedly, who do you have that you could turn to? If that answer is one or none, you probably need to get out and start building some genuine friendships.

Our relationships are the most telling factor in not only our ability to be happy but plays a big part in helping us thrive in all areas of life, so invest time in building friendships. It will serve you well for the rest of your life.

Sweeping problems under the rug:-

When we’re younger, we tend to push our problems aside or ignore them, often for endeavors that help us drown them out and forget about them altogether. But that won’t make them go away. They’re still there, waiting for their chance to strike.

Adopt the habit of taking care of things, whether regular responsibilities, serious issues, or surprise occurrences, head-on and as soon as they come up. Remind yourself that whether you take care of it now or later, you still have to do it eventually and that if you put it off it can escalate into a far worse problem than what it is now.

You’ll begin really living life the day you decide to face yourself. All your problems, whether big or small.

Decide today to lift the rug on all of your problems and shine a light, and you’ll discover how exhilarating and joy-filled life can be.

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Caring what others think of you:-

The number one fear that holds us back is the fear of what others may think of us. At one point or another, we all suffer from it. It’s only natural to feel this way. I felt this intensely from the time I was a young teenager all the way up into my 20’s.

This is probably most intense from high school on into our 20’s. A time where we often want to impress or, at least, not feel the critical eye of numerous groups of people from the other sex, groups of friends (or potential friends), to potential employers, and family.

But guess what? In a very real sense, while you might think that all these people are constantly looking at you and being critical of you, most people are never, if every, thinking about you. Once you realize this, it’s nothing short of a life changing realization.

Don’t believe me? Use yourself as an example. Are you constantly thinking about those around you, nitpicking and being overly critical of everyone near you? Or are you too busy being concerned with your own problems and aspirations to sit around thinking critically of everyone around you? The likelihood is, you don’t. And almost no one else does either. And those that do? Well…

Thinking you only have a few options:-

I grew up thinking I had to go to college to make something of myself. And while this is a respectable path, thinking this was my only option is just another example of limited thinking.

Don’t convince yourself that you have to take some specific path in life. This all comes down to not restricting yourself and thinking your only options are what you see everyone else doing, or what others expect you to do.

The world really is open to you and you have so many different options in front of you. Look around, use your creativity, and don’t take no for an answer.

Get out there and live your life, and don’t let anything hold you back.

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Living absent-minded:-

Truth be told, this isn’t a problem only 20-somethings have, but it is a critical ingredient to thriving in life and something which, if tackled now, will show huge dividends both immediately in your life now and for decades to come.

The way we usually live our lives, we’re pushed and pulled here and there based on a combination of responsibilities, impulses, and only the occasional moment of clarity. We live quite literally only half-awake to the moment in front of us, more often worried about the future and regretting the past.

Do this simple exercise: say to yourself, “I am awake. I’m here, right now, fully alive to the beauty of this moment.” As you say this, focus your attention completely on the present moment experience. Get out of your head completely, stop purposely thinking (thoughts will still crop up without you doing anything, this is OK), and be fully alive to this moment.

Your entire life is waiting for you, realize how amazing your life can be by simply becoming fully awake to the moment in front of you.

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Thinking you have all your life:-

Right now, it can seem like you have so much time that there’s little bother rushing to tackle anything of value. This is natural, and you shouldn’t rush around doing anything either way, but you need to live aware of the fact that life is a lot short than you think.

Before you know it, you’re going to turn around and be 30. And when this happens, you’re going to wonder where all the time you wasted went.

Create a “bucket” list, make plans, and get out there and do all those things you’ve always wanted to do.

As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do. – Zachary Scott

 

 Looking for “happily ever after”

Since we were little tykes, through T.V., movies, books, and stories of all kinds we’ve been fed the idea of “happily ever after.” That is when you can gain the perfect conditions for happiness and an overall great life, such as your special someone, your ideal house, a nice job, and the like, then the rest of your life you’ll remain blissfully happy.

This idea is never more present than when we’re in our 20’s, setting out in the world for the first time, searching for ourselves and striving for our goals.

But “happily ever after” isn’t at all true. Nothing will magically make you happy for the rest of your life. But this isn’t a bad thing, and it doesn’t mean we can’t find happiness.

On the contrary, you don’t have to wait 3, 5, or 10 years to find happiness. The conditions for an amazing life all exist right now within you. You don’t need to find “the one”, you don’t need to make more money, and you don’t need to get rid of your problems.

You can be happy right now in this very moment by fully accepting yourself, embracing your struggles, and realizing that it’s through these very things that you can see the beauty in life.

Stop waiting for the perfect conditions to start really living. Realize you can be truly happy right now by embracing life fully with open arms.