Do Breathe by Michael Williams is about balancing life amidst stress, anxiety and pressures. Right balance helps one to achieve one’s dreams. This book explains how to maintain balance through deep-breathing, eating and thinking. Williams also discusses ways to manage the problem of information overload and why 40% of decisions are made unconsciously.
Reasons for stress can vary for each person; however, the body reacts the same way. It releases cortisol hormones which increases blood pressure and heart rate. Deep breathes enables the body to relax. Longer exhalation accelerates the parasympathetic nervous system which promotes rest and digestion along with a calm control over the stress.
Avoid using multiple apps, multiple calendars, multiple email addresses. These apps and calendars are meant to improve productivity through organization. However, multiple apps can thwart peak productivity. Keep a single app or email address and cancel the others. Mute all unnecessary notifications. Information overload can induce stress. It can be reduced by using a single information input instead of multiple ones. Optimize the to-do list by specifying the task and its context. This can break the tasks into smaller steps, making it easier to execute, thus, reducing stress.
Face Your Fears
People tend to sideline their dreams due to fear of failure, humiliation and embarrassment. Face the fears that prevent one from achieving their dreams. Changing your mindset is the first step in facing fear. Have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Fixed mindset helps to focus on the result. A growth mindset focuses on the process, examines positive challenges and considers mistakes as learning opportunities. Do not attach expectations to the new goals. It is important to have a growth mindset as fear of failure does not come into play. To have a growth mindset, one must do something that scares you every day, which helps to chase one’s dreams.
Live In the Moment
Rather than worrying about the future and regretting about the past, focus on the present. Letting go of your past mistakes and anxieties about the future helps to have a calm and focused life. Mindfulness helps to focus on the present. It is being aware of yourself and your thoughts in the present and accepting the present without anxiety. Focus on your surroundings, thoughts and feelings to practice mindfulness. This awareness helps to exercise acceptance. Accept reality through mindfulness, and then make a decision. Incorporating mindfulness into daily routines helps in the long run.
Healthy Body Is the Path to Healthy Mind
In a busy world, people neglect their body. Sleep deprivation, coffee and sugary drinks are unhealthy. One has to take care of the body to have a healthy mind. Physical and mental exhaustion goes hand in hand. Sleep is essential for both mental and physical energy. Try power naps if you are still tired. Avoid coffee and sugar for energy. Instead, use whole grains and vitamins that help the brain to have energy. So eat and sleep well. Relax yourself through meditation, reading, long walks.
Attention and focus is an important resource. Laser focus is one mode of focus where we focus like a camera. One can focus on smaller details or on the overall idea. Focusing does not mean ignoring all distractions. Think about the reason for the distraction and solve that issue. If distractions prevent one from focusing, use a time management technique like Pomodoro strategy. Set a timer for 25 minutes, at the end of 25 minutes, take a 5 minutes break. This helps to remain focused and be free of distractions. Yoga meditation also helps to stay focused.
Flow is the optimal creative state. A state where one is completely absorbed in work and lose track of time. It brings out the best work. Challenges and struggles create a flow where one pushes the abilities he/she has. The first step to manifest flow is by finding your struggle. Turn challenges into opportunities. Then struggle towards release. Also, remember that flow is a self-contained experience. Let go of the preconceived notions that prevent you from finding the flow.
Break Away From Bad Habits
Researchers estimate that 40% of our daily actions are habitual or autotelic. This is great for good habits; however, less positive for bad habits. It is possible to change bad habits into good by dismantling the habit loop. The loop consists of a cue that triggers the brain into the habit. It contains a reward, most often the satisfaction of doing the habit. By starting with the cue, one can dismantle the loop. For instance, read a book instead of using the phone. Look at your habits critically and replace the bad ones with healthier habits.
Life can be complicated. When you feel stressed, go back to the basics for focus. Strike a confident physical stance.
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