- Improve willpower and self-control (study 1)
- Improve social confidence (study 2)
- Improve problem-solving and creativity (study 3)
So how do you get started?
Simple. Click here to open the PDF file.
Every day, choose ONE affirmation from the category you wish and recite it over and over again during the meditation session. It’s all about the repetition of affirmation until you believe it on a subconscious level.
Another reason it works is what psychologists call the self-fulfilling prophecy.
You can use some meditation session to accept something/someone. For example, accepting the past, the uncertainty of the future, the present situation, yourself and others.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
Change your script to this: Something happens; you feel bad; you get curious about what you need; you find a positive solution.
Identify a situation in which you feel bad today and instead of feeling bad about feeling bad, find out what you need.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
Every time you feel a strong disruptive emotion, take deep breaths and check if your basic needs are met – are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? (use HALT acronym to remember)
Hungry? Grab a healthy snack. Angry? Take some time out. Lonely? Connect with someone. Tired? Get some rest. If it’s something else, try to fulfill that need.
Here’s a list of needs you can explore: https://designepiclife.com/list-of-needs/
To deal with your needs, consider asking yourself these questions:
- What am I feeling?
- When did first notice this feeling?
- What’s the primary cause of this feeling?
- What are the possible secondary causes of this feeling? (little things add up)
- How should I respond to this feeling?
- Should I just wait for the feeling to pass?
Now create an ‘if this, then that’ plan for a common scenario you face in life.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
Click the following link to take it: Emotion Regulation Questionnaire[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
But today, you’re better than that. Fortunately, there are ways to regulate your emotions instead of suppressing. Let’s explore the first method today.
It’s called cognitive reappraisal. You see, words have power. What we tell ourselves in our heads change how we think about anything. One reason we don’t do the good habits we’re supposed to do is that we associate them with pain. But what if you associate pain with pleasure? What if you tell yourself “this pain is all I need to become the greater version of myself” (or something else along that lines).
Some other examples: Turn anxiety into excitement, worry into humor, and fear into courage.
What you don’t want to do is hold your feelings in or numb yourself with addictions like of alcohol, games, social media, etc. If you do so, ask yourself – what are you escaping from?
Once you know the root, make peace with it. Usually, the cause is a fear of something.
Now it’s your turn. Use cognitive reappraisal for at least one thing in your life by changing your mental script.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
So let’s take a self-compassion break.
Next time you feel uncomfortable emotions, just sit and observe for a few minutes – without
trying to change them, analyze them, or even do anything about them. Watch emotions come and go as you’re watching a movie.
As you observe, you can also say things to yourself like this:
- “This is the moment of suffering” or “This is the moment of stress.”
- “Suffering is part of life, I’m not alone, everyone experiences it.” (replace “suffering” with “stress” or whatever you’re feeling in that moment)
- “May I be strong”, “May I be patient.”, “May I accept myself and this situation.”
- “I know life is uncertain and circumstances are not perfect, but I know universe has got my back and I trust my ability to figure things out as I always have.”
Don’t run away from feelings or hold on to them. It’s not about being immune to them, it’s about bouncing back by accepting and letting go.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
- When you’re angry, do something kind instead
- When you feel afraid, face the fear and do it anyway.
- When you’re feeling sad, get up and do something that brings joy to you (even if you don’t feel like it because emotions will follow your actions).
- When you feel ashamed, be open about it and share it with others.
Use escapism when you’re not hiding from a situation and when you’ve already accepted a situation. Some ways include:
- Taking a nap/sleeping
- Watching movie/series or reading fiction
- Talking a walk in nature or working out
- Talking a shower
- Listening to music you like
- Socializing with a friend
Gratitude is a skill. Those who develop it, live a happy life. Those who don’t, suffer in every situation.
Gratitude requires you to wear a lens to find the good even in the worst situations. So how do you develop it? The best way is to think or write at least one thing you’re grateful for every day. And you don’t just have to write it. You got to feel it. Because the magic is in the feeling. Don’t believe me? Try it now. Do any or all of these things:
- Write everyday small things you’re grateful to have in your life
- Write a “negative” event you’re grateful that happened in your life (which eventually resulted in a positive outcome)
- Say “thank you” to 5 people today.
- Name 5 people you’re grateful to have in your life.
- List the skills or features you’re grateful to have. (that make you your unique self)
- Write something you’re grateful to get rid of from your life.
- Imagine something you love and then imagine your life without it. Now come back and be grateful for it.
- When you feel unlucky, think of the worst thing that could have happened. Now, be grateful for it didn’t happen.
As I said, gratitude is a skill. The more you practice it, the easier it comes to you. Keep flexing every day. ?
On that note, I’m grateful you’re reading this.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
I’m serious. Worry not only shortens people’s lifespan, but it sucks out the ‘life’ from their lives while they live.
Just like gratitude, managing worry is a skill that contributes to happiness.
While living a worry-free life is impossible, here’s what you can control:
- Keep a worry log and schedule worry breaks. In those breaks, just write out everything that worries you. When you schedule a time to worry, you’re less likely to dwell on it at other times.
- Focus on solutions instead of problems. Ask yourself – can you do anything about it? If yes, what and when will you do it?
- Always keep this in mind – Will this matter in 1 week, month, year or decade?
Ban worrying as soon as you notice it. Choose peace.
(Optional) Further reading: How To Stay Peaceful When Life Is Insanely Busy And Stressful
(Optional) Further reading: How To Handle The Thoughts That Keep You Up At 2AM[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
Before you label stress as bad, here’s what I want you to know:
All stress is not bad. Acute stress (eustress) actually helps us perform well and thrive. However, when we are chronically stressed over a long time (distress), we got to do something about it.
Learn to recognize the signs of stress/burnout so you can better manage it. Take an objective look at your workload, burden, pressure or changes in your lifestyle. When you do, take a step back and practice relaxation (which we’ll talk about in the next mission).
(Optional) Take this burnout quiz: https://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bIyvugrlqPIkzMV?Q_JFE=qdg
(Optional) Further reading: 7 Simple Ways To Stop Living An Overwhelmed Life[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
We all have our own methods of relaxation. Choose what works for you. Just make sure it’s healthy. If your current method is unhealthy, replace it with something.
- Say ‘no’ to obligations
- Deload / declutter
- Take breaks
- Listen to music
- Meditate or perform deep breathing
- Go on a walk/move/stretch
- Unplug from social media
- Talk with a friend
- Write in your journal
- Do something you love (hobby)
You know what works for you. Now, give yourself permission to do it often.
(Optional) Further reading: How I Dealt With Burnout And Felt Alive Again In Just One Day
(Optional) Further reading: How To Have Fun As An Adult – Are You “Play Deprived”?[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
I get it. I have been there and I’m not perfect. I too make emotional mistakes.
But one thing works far better than others things, especially in those heated moments.
It’s a technique called “fast forward”.
It means that whenever you’re in a situation where you feel emotionally charged, immediately think of the consequences on your relationships or on yourself over the next days, weeks, months, and even years.
Then do the thing you can be proud of. Imagine if your actions were to be the headline of tomorrow’s newspaper. How would you act?[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
So today, do your best to not do any of those things. And if you do those things, catch yourself doing it and stop.
It doesn’t mean you won’t have negative thoughts entering your mind. The purpose of the exercise is to simply retrain your mind to think in positive ways. In ways in which you take responsibility (instead of blaming or complaining) and think positively more than you think negatively.
Go make it a positive day.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
When it comes to managing oneself, your energy is as much (if not more) important to manage than your time.
There are four angles of managing your energy:
- Physical energy
- Emotional energy
- Mental energy
- Spiritual energy
You can optimize physical energy by moving, sleeping, eating well and drinking water.
Emotional energy is about how you absorb and react to the emotions you feel. If you surround yourself with trusting and loving friends and family, your emotional energy will stay high. Another way to recharge is to spend time in solitude (especially for introverts).
Mental energy about managing cognitive load. Make sure you use the time when you feel most focused to be productive or for learning. Give your mind rest when it needs it. Mindfulness and meditation is the one of the best ways to recharge your mental energy.
Spiritual energy is filled by finding meaning and purpose. When you do the things that matter or the things you enjoy doing, you feel fulfilled and satisfied.
Notice how all the four aspects of your energy fluctuates throughout the day and then take actions to manage or optimize it as per your needs.
(Optional) Further reading: The Ultimate Guide To Managing Your Energy On Purpose So You Can Thrive At Work And Life
(Optional) Further reading: How To Upgrade Your Mental State For Daily High Performance[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
Now, let me give you the wild card strategy that works like magic.
I call it the “absolute bomb strategy”.
So here’s the ultimate way to break of a negative state any time.
Here it is:
If you want to change your emotional state instantly, you can do that by changing either of the two things:
- Changing your physiology
- Changing your focus
“Okay, sounds good but how do I do that?”
To change your physiology: use power poses (pose of a superhero) or move your body. Taking a cold shower also works wonders. You may also use your voice to get in a peak state.
To change your focus: Ask yourself positive questions and then feel those answers. For example, think of a time you were extremely proud of yourself or think of one thing you’re exceptionally grateful for.
Sometimes, all you need is a different state. These two ways are the gateways for that.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]
Here’s what you do:
- Set a timer for 20 minutes
- Using either a notebook or computer, write about your emotional experiences from the past week, month, or year.
- Don’t worry about making it perfect or readable: go where your mind takes you.
- At the end, you don’t have to save the document; the point is that those thoughts are now out of you and on the page.
In the past, you would have to burn the letter but now you don’t have to find a paper or light a fire anymore.
The best part is that you can even do it for short-term emotional disturbances.
Suppose you’re upset with someone. Just write them a letter and hit delete. It sounds stupid, but it works!
Go give it a try.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]