How To Stay In the Moment

Have you ever felt like your life is spinning too fast or out of control? Do you have difficulties relaxing, because your mind is filled with “what if-” and “if only”-thoughts? Or do you simply have problems being present in the moment with your family and friends?  If so, you could definitely benefit from practising mindfulness.

Put very simply, mindfulness is the art of staying in the moment – the art of accepting what it is.  Mindfulness was originally developed by Jon KabatZinn in order for him to assist and help individuals with a wide range of medical issues. The practise is based on Buddhist philosophy and involves meditation, yoga and stretching techniques as well as some principles of cognitive behavioural therapy.

So what is mindfulness? Well, contrary to popular belief mindfulness is not just about learning how to relax. It is a way of being, about learning to be in the moment – in the Now – with help of observation. By practising mindfulness you become aware of what you are experiencing with acceptance, not trying to change things as they are at any given moment – the way they are right now – for better or for worse. It might sound strange or difficult to practise, and at times it is. I’ve learned from experience that this applies especially for very ambitious individuals whom been thought that you need to do whatever it takes in order to get what you want. The ones who feel the need to have control over their lives and by trying to do so, sadly live their life days, months or even years ahead of the present moment while the years pass.

Mindfulness is not about letting go of your own responsibilities for your own life or to just let things be as they are. It is more about doing your best at every given moment and feel satisfied with and accept that. Mindfulness gives everyone the ability to live life to the full and everyone can have it. The only thing you need to do is to investigate your mind and harmonise your senses.

“Do not pursue the past.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is.
The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is.
In the very here and now, the practitioner dwells in stability and freedom.
We must be diligent today.
To wait until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly.
How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows how to dwell in mindfulness night and day,
‘one who knows the better way to live alone.”
Bhaddekaratta Sutta

 

 

Train Yourself to Be More Positive in 5 Steps

Today´s blog post is written by featured guest blogger, Zohaib Akhlaq, the founder of HowEntrepreneur.com

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We often come across tough times in our life where it’s difficult to stay positive.

When your job is miserable, money is tight and life is just generally challenging, it’s often easier to slide into a funk, thinking that things are never going to get better and you’re destined to be a grump.

But if you let that happen, you open yourself up to a whole host of problems, ranging from strained relationships (who wants to hang out with a Debbie Downer?) to serious health problems, including cardiovascular problems and substance abuse.

The good news is that you can take control of your thoughts and shift your thinking from “negative” to “positive.”

Try practicing a few of these behaviors the next time you catch yourself spiraling into negativity, and watch your mental and physical health improve dramatically.

1. Practice Mindfulness

In today’s always-open, 24/7 world, it’s easy to be pulled in multiple directions and feel like you need to keep multiple plates spinning all the time; however, constantly trying to pay attention to the messages coming in on the phone and the computer while you have a conversation and watch television is a sure fire way to cause stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.

Instead of constantly multitasking, take time to notice the world around you — pay attention to the sound of leaves rustling as the breeze blows or how the sun feels on your skin as you walk to work.

Focus on one thing at a time and be in the moment, and you’ll see your stress and negative feelings diminish.

2. Is This Real?

One simple trick that forensic psychology graduate programs recommend to immediately defuse negative thoughts is to ask a simple question: Are these thoughts true?

Many times, we get caught up in negative thoughts that aren’t really true. Perhaps you hear a voice saying that something terrible is going to happen or that you aren’t capable of doing something.

Before allowing that thought to take hold, stop for a moment and consider whether it’s really true. Unless there is a compelling reason for the thought to be true, dismiss it.

Turn it into something positive: “I’m going to try my best on this project” instead of “I’m doomed for failure.”

3. Make a Gratitude List

It’s quite simple: When you acknowledge and feel grateful for what you have, you don’t have time for thinking about what you lack.

And if you’re like most people, when you start listing everything good in your life, you’ll immediately start feeling better and more positive.

4. Help Others

Helping others accomplishes several things when it comes to shifting how you think.

First, giving back to those who are less fortunate — or even just easing someone else’s load — provides perspective.

You might be frustrated with your job and wish you had a bigger or nicer place to live, but spending some time volunteering in a homeless shelter can help you see how much you have.

Second, being kind and helpful to others increases the chance they will extend the same courtesy to you, helping you feel better and more positive about your life and the world around you.

5. Picture Your Safe Place

There’s no denying it: Maintaining a positive, upbeat attitude is good for your health. Multiple studies and anecdotal evidence have proven those who stay optimistic, even when facing setbacks, are generally healthier and less stressed.

Sometimes, taking a short “mental break” can help you get your thoughts back on a positive track. Taking a few moments to slow down and picture yourself in a relaxing place — whether that’s the beach, the mountains or simply a quiet room — helps you refocus your thoughts and clear out any worries or negative feelings that threaten to take over.

Focus on your breathing, and visualize yourself relaxing. Once you do so, you’ll feel the negativity floating away.

Conclusion

Some people are naturally positive thinkers and don’t have any trouble keeping a cheerful and upbeat mindset.

However, even the happiest and most positive people have rough days, so having some go-to strategies for stopping negativity in its tracks can stop problems before they start, and keep you healthy mentally and physically.

Biography

Zohaib Akhlaq is the founder of HowEntrepreneur.com where he teach entrepreneurs and startup owners something new daily. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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Shortcut To Happiness

happinessMost individuals need to feel that they are a part of something bigger. They want to care about – and feel cared for – by others beings.

Close relationships are one of the most meaningful factors in happiness, even more so than personal satisfaction or your view of the world as a whole. Research has showed that if you feel close to other people, you are four times more likely to feel good about yourself than if you do not feel close to anyone at all. Experiencing closeness with others actually explain about 70 percent of personal happiness according to the researchers.

So deepen your current relationships and expand your friendship base in the knowledge that it will not only increase your level of happiness but also others. And remember that relationships are built on mutual appreciation – there is no better way to show that appreciation than to tell someone how much you care.

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Does having plenty of money make us happier?

girl-204327_1280We all know that money can´t buy us love. Well, at least not the real kind. But can an abundance of money make us happier?

A Princeton University study provides some scientifically backed answers to that question. Princeton´s researchers analyzed 450,000 responses to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index and found that people with an annual household income of $75,000 (maybe surprisingly even in the most expensive cities in the country) are about as happy as anyone can get.

People with annual household incomes below $75,000 had lower levels of emotional wellbeing. But, those with annual household incomes above $75,000 did not show higher levels of emotional wellbeing. In other words, according to the researchers, having an annual household income of $75,000 is as good as it gets – money can buy happiness, but only up to about $75,000 a year.

If you want to learn how to create the life of your dreams – regardless of your income – then take a look at our courses and programs that we offer.

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1-Minute Playbook: Memorize 5-3-2 for Positive Thinking

sunglasses-635269_1280Did you know that three single numbers can make a big difference in how you view life? Memorize the numbers 5, 3 and 2 and become more positive.

Sounds like science fiction? It´s not. A scientist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA has developed an easy technique to help you become more positive, the 5-3-2-technique. This is how it works:

  • 5 stands for the five people in your life that you should think about – with gratitude for the being in your life – as soon as you wake up in the morning,
  • 3 is for the first three minutes of meeting your family and friends, when you should be nonjudgmental and
  • 2 stands for the first two seconds of meeting another person, when you should send them a loving ”I wish you well”-thought.

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1-Minute Playbook: Are You Happy With Your Life?

Happiness is one of life´s greatest pursuits. We all want to live a happy life.

We all want to feel joyful and live with a purpose. But how do we do that – how do we achieve happiness? Find out in today´s 1-Minute Playbook-audio.

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1-Minute Playbook: Face the Facts and Act

happy-man-692795_1280Many people put their dreams on ice and don’t move forward with fulfilling them because they are holding out for that “perfect” opportunity. However, deep down they know that that’s just an excuse for not acting on something that they are a bit fearful of doing.

To make matters worse, the anxiety that comes from not doing what you know needs to be done – and from managing the fallout from your poor decisions – drains the energy you could be spending on friends, family, and the outside interests that make life worth living.

It’s a common road taken to take the easy way out when something makes you uncomfortable. And it’s even easier to rationalize why you didn’t do what you really needed to do. It’s more comfortable to avoid taking action – at least in the short term-, but it’s also a sure path to mediocrity and stagnation.

Don’t let fear take control of your life. Have the courage to face the facts – whatever they might be – and act on your dreams. Live the life you’ve always wanted to live!

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Are you experiencing too much stress in your life?

mindfulnessThere’s help to get! Check out our team’s favorite mindfulness tools. Not only are they great for lowering your levels of stress, you also bring them with you wherever you go.

“Being mindful is a way of life.”

Mindfulness is basically training in being present in the now. Does it sound like something strange? It’s not really. Mindfulness is an eastern way of living that reduces worry and stress. It’s a way to live in harmony with yourself and others. Mindfulness is simply a way to improve your quality of life.

The purpose with mindfulness training is to practice being as aware as possible, moment to moment. Practicing mindfulness improves both mental and physical health. Research has showed that some of its effects are that it: – reduces stress, – makes you less prone to develop acute illnesses and infections; – aids your body’s ability to heal and – brings mental clarity,

Also, with mindfulness training we develop a healthier perspective towards our thoughts and feelings. You could say that we get a “filter” through which we learn to see, feel and choose how to react on our thoughts and feelings, rather than just act instantly. Mindfulness makes you freer to choose the life you want to live.

Our team’s favorite apps

There are many great mindfulness apps on the market. Here are some of our team’s favorite ones:

The Mindfulnessapp 
One of the first mindfulness apps on the market and it’s been downloaded over 900 000 times. Developed by the two Swedes Magnus Fridh and Martin Vikfalk, the Mindfulness app has recently been improved even further.

Headspace
This American app is like ”a gym for your mind”. It offers a free version with 10 mindful days, with different meditations. If you like the app, get a subscription and they’ll give an app for free to a person in need. We love that!

Meditationernas Spotify  
Omvana is one of the world’s most popular meditation apps. It’s like a Spotify for relaxation, stressreduction and meditation. As a member you get to create your own meditation and you’ve got so many choices that you’ll never run out of new options.

Simply Being
Meditations app developed primary for relaxation and stress reduction. Simply Being includes several different meditations with music or nature sounds. The meditations are 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes long respectively so they are perfect to use “on the go”.

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1-Minute Playbook: Your mindset is everything

ozzyA wonderful life begins with a wonderful mindset

Regardless of how it might feel sometimes, you are in control of your thoughts and your life. Your life is your own creation, be it great or not. That also means that you have the power to make it even better. One way to do that, is to shift your mindset into “gratitude-“mode.

As soon as you wake up in the morning, take a moment to think about and feel gratitude for all that you have in your life. Once you start to truly appreciate that you life is a blessing, I can assure you that it’s going to be improved even further.

The Road to Success: 10 Of My Favorite Quotes Of All Time

fitness-332278_1280All successful people get inspired and learn from others. Fuel your own creativity and be motivated to action by some of my own favorite quotes.

What you think, you become.”
– Buddha

The power of your thoughts is astonishing. Not only do your negative thoughts drain your energy but they also block your development. What you think about – where your focus is – is crucial to your success in life, and in business.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

– Marcel Proust

It is so easy to take the people closest to us for granted, yet they are the ones that makes life extra meaningful. Tell the ones you love how much they mean to you – and then show it in your actions.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Many roads may go to Rome but there’s only one foolproof road to success – preparation. There are no shortcuts.

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.”
– Harry S. Truman

If you want to be truly successful, drop your Ego and live from your heart. Be supportive and encouraging of other peoples achievements. What goes around comes around. Besides, do you want the acknowledgement of being successful or do you want to be (genuinely feel) successful?

“There’s no ‘ifs’ amongst believers. Anything can happen.”
– Jesus

Whatever you perceive you will achieve. There are no boundaries, no limits at all, to what you can create in your life. Anything is possible!

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
– Gandhi

The way we treat other beings says a lot about our true essence – more so than any external showcases of practicing religion. What you sow, you shall reap – that’s just the way it works.

“When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.”
– Vietnamese proverb

Remember that everything that you have in your life – and I know that you have a lot – you have simply because of someone else’s efforts and hard work. Acknowledge and be grateful for what’s in your life, be it things or beings.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
– Aristotle

If you don’t know your true self, how can you genuinely know someone else? It’s first when you know your deepest desires and dreams, that you can take the next step in achieving them.

“When we have nothing left but God, we discover that God is enough.”
– Unknown

There are many people who at some point in their lives got themselves into a situation where they ended up with absolutely nothing. I am one of them. It was through that situation though, that I – by the grace of God – managed to rise from the ashes like a phoenix. And it was with the comfort, security and knowledge that God is always within me and God is enough, that I moved forward with such success that I created a life beyond what I thought was possible. With God, all things are possible.

“The struggle ends when gratitude begins.”
– Neale Donald Walsch

Be grateful for what you have as opposed to focus on what you have not. Make a list of everything in your life that you are grateful for – don’t leave anything out. If you at any time still feel like you don’t have anything to be grateful for, take a look at that list. Show Gratitude for what you have, no matter how little, and God will provide you with more to be grateful for.

Do you have any favorite quote of your own? I’d love to know about them! Send me an email to gustolifegroup[at]gmail[dot]com and I might include them in a future post as your personal favorite quote (if you consent).