How to Unplug and Give Your Mind and Body a New Freedom.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #43

Unplug

Such a simple thing to do but for so many of us it is impossible.  Remember the days before tons of technology. Many times we find ourselves indulged in the newest game or checking our Instagram and facebook status on the daily.  Technology is a great tool but we need to find that healthy and happy balance so that we don’t become computer zombies.  The next time you find yourself needed a technology detox here are a few ways to reawaken your body and your mind.

1. Create a nightly ritual

Nightly rituals are fantastic.  Take some time doing something other than looking at a screen.  Read a book that is so good you can’t possibly put it down.  Find some time for some light yoga practices or meditation.  Doing this right before bed can give you the best sleep of your life.  Start a journal and write about your day and what you have experienced.  If there is some stress writing it out on paper can help in dealing and will also help you get a better night sleep.

2. Learn a new hobby or skill.

Learn something new and have fun.  Whether it’s taking a class or take the time to practice something that you have been meaning to work on, doing this broadens your horizons.  Doing this helps you grow and can help move you forward into the future.

3. Exercise

Physical activity does a body and the mind well.  We are always so sedentary when we are dealing with technology and to be able to go out and get in some exercise keeps us healthy.

4. Spend time with those you love.

Spend time with family and friends.  They miss you and would love to be able to have your attention.  Go outside together for a walk or play a board game.  Go back to old school and enjoy each other’s company.

There are so many ways to get yourself unplugged.  Pick a day and renew your senses and relationships.  The good thing about technology is that it is always around tomorrow.  Remember life is to short to be plugged in all the time.

Keep Your Cool 100% Better with These 6 Steps

We have all been in a situation where we feel as though we will have a massive volcanic meltdown. Unfortunately, there are times that we actually do explode and may not behave or say these things we should. These times are tricky and it is always best to take the higher road when dealing with opposition. Try these 6 steps the next time you feel like you are about to blow your top.

1.  Breathe
When was the last time you took a nice long slow inhale and a nice slow exhale? Not only will breathing relax your last nerves giving yourself some time to breathe will improve your health overall. An exercise I practice is to breathe in through the nose nice and slow for 4 seconds and out for seven seconds through the mouth. I can feel my body calm down and it gives me time to think about what just happened.

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2. Time Out isn’t Just for Kids
Timeouts are awesome when you find your self in a confrontation. Sometimes you just need a break from the situation to think through what just happened and the best way to deal with the problem. Taking timeouts will save you in many situations and yes there will be times that this might not be an option but if you can do your best to step away and let yourself cool down.

3. Go to a Happy Place
Along with a timeout make sure to go to a place that brings you happiness. This can be any place like a park or maybe even your favorite little shop. Just give yourself time to reevaluate the situation. Happy environments bring happy energy.

4. If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say Don’t Say it at All
This is a hard one especially for me. I have had to really try and practice this very valuable lesson. Words hurt and can cause so much more turmoil than if you were never to speak, to begin with. Make sure to think about what you say and choose your words wisely.

5. People Are Human And so Are You
We are all humans and we all make mistakes. If you find yourself dealing with a situation that makes you react in a way that is not most pleasing make sure to apologize for your part. Own it and move forward knowing that this is a valuable lesson for the future. If someone has wronged you and did not handle their situation like they should make sure to forgive them. This helps you by not holding toxic resentment and it helps them by knowing that they can learn from their mistake and move on making better choices in the future.

make a move

6. Go For a Walk
Walks are wonderful things. They give you fresh air and exercise which is fantastic for the body. Walks can give you the time to think about what is important to you and help you make good judgments. The next time you find yourself going out of control walk out the door and soak in some fresh air and burn off some of that steam.

Life and interactions are not always easy. There are many times in our lives we find ourselves dealing with unpleasant situations. Instead of doing or saying something we will have to apologize for or regret later take some time and know that by doing this you are saving yourself and others from unnecessary distress.

5 Ways to Stop Wasting Your Time Hating Someone

Photo Credit: https://todaytesting.com

Fortune Cooking Life Lessons #35
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

Is there someone in your life that has wholly wronged you? Whether it be a family member, friend, or significant other something has happened that had created a fire inside you that you just can’t put out. I feel this is true for most people that one time or another we have come across the feelings of hate and discontent towards someone in our life. As time moves on we do move forward and these feelings will hide away for a time and every once in a while these feelings of anger that we had come creeping back to remind us of the knife we received in our back. But does hating this person help us in the end. If we stop to think about it hating takes a lot of time and effort on the part of the person that is angry. What if we could take that energy we have inside and put it to good use. Image all the awesome things we would be able to accomplish in our lives. Here are five ways to stop hating and use that energy for some good.

1. Don’t forgive for the person who hurt you forgive for yourself.
Forgiving someone who has hurt you is seriously a hard one to understand. When we learn about forgiveness, it is always about the other person but what we forget is that when we forgive those that have hurt us we are allowing ourselves to move on. The situation no longer controls how we feel or deal with that person and the control is lost. If we react to this person or situation negatively, it still has a hold of us if we move past it and forgive we are letting go.

2. We are all humans.
Humans are imperfect, and we will all make mistakes. Keep that in mind the next time someone does something that may hurt you. It is hard but what if the shoe was on the other foot. What if it was us that did the hurting. There will be individuals that don’t care about how people feel and know that you as a person can always do better regardless of how others may want to treat you.

3. Don’t bring up the past.
If you have completely moved on, you won’t be bringing it up anymore. Letting the situation go may take some time as time heals most wounds and when you are ready to move forward, you will be done reminiscing what happened. Moving forward also helps the person that has hurt you especially if they are seeking forgiveness because this shows you have completely forgiven them and moved on but if you keep rehashing what has been done there is unfinished business that needs to be addressed, and the problem never disappears.

4. Hating takes too much time and energy.
Hating someone takes up a lot of time and energy, and all it will do is exhaust you. A person can spend all day thinking about how much they hate someone but unfortunately, this waste of time and nothing will ever get accomplished. Instead of being angry and hateful take that energy and put it towards something that will make your life better.

5. Time will heal the wounds.
Time does heal wounds. Give yourself space from the person that has hurt you. Right now you need to process the hurt and taking a break can help you recover. Even if the relationship is unrepairable taking time off will help you to heal and find your peace in the situation rather than having to fight it all the time.

Being angry isn’t right for you or the people around you. Choose to do better and take that anger to a positive level. Forgive this person for yourself so that you can find your happiness again. Remember that human beings make mistakes and learn to let go of what happened. Don’t hate to long because it takes too much out of your life to do so and make sure to give yourself enough time to process what has happened.

If you are looking for a way to channel your negative energy, try meditation. It is a perfect way to relax your mind and spirit. A good forgiveness meditation is repeating the phrase ” The person I need to forgive is _______, and I forgive you for ________. Saying this phrase will help you put the situation in perspective and find happiness along your way.

Best Ways to Problem Solve Instead of Placing Blame

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #33
Think of how you can assist with a problem, not who to blame.

Blaming others for problems does not make you happy. I have learned this intensively through the years and have just managed recently to put this lesson to good use. It is so easy to blame anyone and not take responsibility for your part in the problem. When we blame others, we are attacking them and making them the direct fault for what is going on. Blamers reflect their issues on other people so that they do not have to take responsibility for their actions. The problem you face might be valid in placing blame, but you are also in this situation with the other party. If you have been hurt and have hard feelings to those that have hurt you the feelings you have are valid and essential but blaming that person keeps you controlled by that problem, and if you can give up the resentment, it will free you in the end. The next time you find yourself in a disagreement that places blame try these six steps so that you see yourself being a productive solution to the problem instead of adding to the negative.

1. Talk about what can be controlled
Many times we focus on what cannot be controlled, and that causes hostility in an argument. If you can come together to discuss what in the situation can be controlled, then you should be able to find a successful solution to the problem.

2. Make sure you are involved in a positive, productive discussion.
Negative conversations never get people anywhere and more than likely you will end up angrier than before you even started to discuss the situation. Positivity puts the argument in a better light and will leave you with a feeling of accomplishment when you are done.

3. Focus on the problem and how it can be fixed.
There are lots of ways to do this. You can have a sit-down and discuss what needs to happen to solve this issue. Many times it is a simple task and when you can communicate effectively more is going to get done.

4. What can be learned?
There is always a lesson, and most of the time it can be learned by both parties involved. Talk about what we can learn from this and sincerely take the experience into account so the problem can be avoided in the future.

5. Discuss how this problem can be avoided, so there isn’t a next time.
Most problems can be solved with a simple solution. Knowing how to prevent a problem is half of the battle, and when you both can figure out works best for you it makes the environment a whole lot easier to deal with in the future.

We can’t always control others reactions to us, but we can still control how we react to others. Being able to solve a problem positively gives you the benefit of being at peace with the issue. When in an argument discuss what can be controlled and make sure to use positive and productive conversation tactics, so the other party isn’t offended. Talk with the other person and focus on what the problem is and how to fix what is wrong. Discuss any lessons that can both of you can learn from in this situation and how to avoid it next time. Being able to do these things with help you to be a problem solver and not a problem starter.

How to be a Better Listener When It’s Hard to do

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson # 32
Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak.

How well do I listen instead of letting things come right out of my mouth? A long time ago this was extremely hard for me to do. I usually never heard what was being said and was always the one talking. I am more aware of my lack of communicating back then and have worked hard to try and fix this little indiscretion. However, this is not an easy task and takes some dangerous practice and in my case patience along the way. These five things helped me become a better listener and improved the way I communicate effectively with others.

1. I listen so that I can learn.
If we are always talking are we anything? To be able to learn efficiently you need to be able to listen to what is said. I started to recognize this and began practicing this in conversations, and I could not believe all the exciting things I learned about other people around me. I am sure that I would not have known if I was the only one getting a word in that conversation.

2. Ask questions
I never used to ask questions. I always thought that asking questions was a weakness and many times I either pretended to know what was talked about or would take over the conversation. Pretending to know what is going on absolutely does not work, and more than likely you will end up looking ridiculous. Asking questions shows a person that you are interested in what is said and not only that you will learn something that you did not know before and that is ok.

3. Make eye contact
If you want to show someone your undivided attention make eye contact with them. Eye contact was also a hard one for me to do because I was shyer and for some reason, eye contact was hard for me. Doing this makes the conversation more enjoyable and exciting. You are taking the time to acknowledge what is said and making eye contact shows that you are genuinely interested in the discussion.

4. Don’t Interrupt the other person talking.
Interrupting conversations was something that I always did, and I honestly did not understand how annoying it was until I started focusing on changing the way I listen. Not only is this rude but it shows that you are not valuing the other person in the conversation. Being able to stop interruptions in conversations is genuinely a hard habit to break and if you do accidentally innterupt make sure to apologize.

Why is it a good idea to be a good listener?

1. Listening can be a confidence booster.
People love a good listener merely because they are hard to find and being able to do this will make you certainly feel right about having this talent.

2. Acceptance
When you listen, you are accepting the person that is involving you in the conversation. Not only are you receiving them they are also accepting you by telling you what they think is essential.

3. Connection
As humans, we need relationships and listening can create a deep connection.

So the next time you are finding yourself in a conversation take a back seat and listen to what is said. Take time to listen, and you will undoubtedly learn something new about that person. When you get a chance to ask a few questions about what is being discussed make sure to keep good eye contact so that the speaker knows that you are engaged. Last but not least remember not to interrupt the one that is speaking so that you can have the opportunity to listen to all that is being said. Listening is a talent that few have and that many want to have around them.