Life As An Orange

On frequent occasions throughout the day, we encounter situations that make us frustrated, angry and resentful.

During these times, we blame the other individuals or external forces. We feel they are the source of our ill feelings. They made us feel this way.

We often think, without these people in our lives, we’d be better off.

Oranges.

When you squeeze an orange, naturally orange juice comes out. Why does it come out? Because that is exactly what is housed inside that delicious rind.

Let us think of our bodies as individual little oranges.

When people take jabs at us, poke us and make us feel frustrated, resentful or angry, it isn’t them that make us feel those feelings.

Like the orange, we already hold those feelings inside ourselves. The jabs from the world accentuate the feelings we inherently possess.

We allow feelings of frustration, anger, and resentment to live deep within us and lay dormant until the world is able to poke it out of us.

So then, how do we remedy our internal feelings? How do we take charge of our thoughts, feelings and actions and explode with happiness rather than anger?

We’ve come up with a few techniques to train our body and mind, shedding away any ill feelings that lay dormant.

A) Cancel Rule

In our many life experiences, we have encountered many jabs and pokes. In most cases, these scenarios are largely unavoidable. Sometimes, the people we spend the most time with are the worst for us.

While we advocate ways to change our circumstances, there are alternate methods without drastically cutting people out of our lives.

In our next dicey encounter, let us remember the Cancel Rule. When someone takes a jab we must rapidly and repeatedly yell ‘cancel’ inside our heads.

We cannot let their words penetrate our fleshy rind.

We must train our brain to cancel out their negative thoughts. We must never internalize them or let them sit inside our bodies.

Allowing such a scenario only adds to our pot of ill feelings. Use the Cancel Rule as a method to avoid internalization.

B) Deep Breathing

Our brains chase the easiest method to any scenario. When we encounter a less-than-stellar situation, we often get flustered and our breathing gets shallow.

Shallow breathing is a reaction when we’re angry or frustrated. The primary muscles, which facilitate breathing—diaphragm, abdomen, chest, and neck—are tense which limits free-flowing unconscious breathing.

As our negative thoughts continue to circle around our heads, our breathing inadvertently becomes shorter and quicker, only increasing the ill feelings.

When the world pokes at us, let us stop and think of our breathing. Let us fill our bellies up fully and slowly till our angry orange juice subsides.

Live long enough, and we’ll encounter our share of tough times. That’s okay. We all experience this from time-to-time. Ill feelings are relatively natural within us.

But imagine if we could control our thoughts, feelings and actions? Imagine if we could truly harness our ability to choose happiness over anger.

Well, we can. We believe this goal is relatively simple to achieve.

Through some diligent actions and positive thoughts, we are able change our internal orange juice.

Until next time, my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free and love on.

orange-quote-frank-sinatra

6 Easy Tips To Simplify Your Life

Is your day-to-day life full of stress and chaos?

Are you scrambling for a brief peaceful moment in the day just to relax? There is just too much each day to worry about, keep track off and deal with.

Everyday, we’re plagued with the trials and tribulations of life. We’re put to the test and forced to deliver. If we don’t, we disappoint someone, or worse, ourselves.

Amidst the chaos, it can be hard to find a peaceful moment. So then, what is the solution? It is quite simple – simplify your life.

We’ve compiled some of our best tips to help you simplify your life. We use these on a day-to-day basis and it grants us perspective and allows us some quiet in the chaos.

1) Believe in Yourself

You are your own worst critic. You are your own judge and jury. What you think about yourself directly affects how you feel and act.

Strive for a positive mindset. Look for the good in every person and every situation. Sometimes it’s hard to find. But the harder it is to find, the greater the reward.

However, at the same time, realize that you are just human. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself when you don’t accomplish a goal. There is no perfect person.

Instead, call it day and reset tomorrow. Every day is a new day to start believing in yourself again.

2) Be Grateful

Something we do on our worst days is a ‘Be Grateful’ list. We list all the things that we’re glad to have in lives. We usually aim for 10.

Sometimes it is hard to find things to be grateful for.

But, even through our worse times, there is always something. Dig deep and search. When we have a questionable day, we write down anything that comes to mind.

Here are a few for today. I’m Grateful for:

  • The ability to breathe
  • The ability to think and feel
  • The sunshine that gives me energy and life
  • Clean water

We often take for granted the simple things in life. These simple ‘gratefuls’ are often overlooked but they matter the most.

We don’t miss something until it is completely gone. We never know when we’ll lose the ability to breathe or think and feel the sunshine. So, let us cherish it while it’s still in our lives.

3) De-clutter Your Life

Naturally we are simple beings. We grew up knowing only the simple pleasures. It’s not until recently that the latest cellphones and biggest televisions consumed us.

Now, we’re consumed by physical trash. We’re surrounded by more and more clutter that prevents us from every feeling truly happy.

We start to attach our happiness to frivolous items that fade. As the item fades, our happiness fades along with it. Then. we purchase more clutter to attach and sustain our happiness.

In order to achieve some clarity in our lives, we must first de-clutter our space and then de-clutter our minds. We must shed the attachment to shiny items.

We must reduce, cut back and simplify. Throw away anything you haven’t used in the last 6 months.

You’ll start to realize that the less you have, the less you’ll want.

4) Use Everything in Moderation

One time I ate too many oranges (because they are good for you) and I got a sore throat for 2 weeks. Even vitamin c is bad is large doses.

Too much of anything – good or bad – will wear us down. Whether it’s work, socializing, eating, shopping or television, eventually it will take its toll on us.

Practice self-restraint and you will achieve some piece of mind. When we go overboard with anything, the consequences are always negative.

5) Limit Complaints

When were you on the tail end of a chronic complainer? No matter what seems to happen, this person has something to complain about. How did you feel hearing all of his/her complaints?

Complaints are always a negative reaction to a situation. Complainers are chronic negative people that can’t see the positive.

Limit your complaints, or better yet, avoid it all together. Try to avoid complaining for an entire day. When you catch yourself, stop and change the topic.

You can be one of two people: a problem person or a solution person. Are you going to whine about your issues or are you going to deal with or fix your problem?

6) Self-Reflection

Almost everyone has a few moments when they’re laying in bed at the end of the night. But how often do we get lost in our own thoughts.

Use these last moment of the night to reflect. Ask yourself questions about your day:

  • Was I the best I could be today?
  • Could I have helped someone more?
  • Did I do something of importance or significance?

Spend some time today constructing your own meaningful questions. If you fail a question, strive for it the next day. Always aim to improve.

Aim to feel happier, be more fulfilled and grow endlessly.

Until next time, my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free and love on.

the-simple-life-live-for-what-matters-most1

1 Indisputable Way To Overcome Bad Days

We all have bad days. They are inevitable. Sometimes they are life-changing and devastating. In my last article, I said that change is necessary. Change is important for personal growth.

It is necessary because life wants to test your limits. It pushes you to your limits. And in that ‘make it or break it’ situation is where real growth occurs.

That being said, you still have to overcome the bad day. How do you conquer something when everything around you collapses and just nothing goes your way?

Well, yesterday my laptop died. Just two weeks before one of the biggest changes in my life, it dies and extra expenses occurred. But, worst of all, there goes all my data.

All my articles, journals, school assignments, and ideas, gone.

Poof.

Note to self: Excessively back-up everything from now on.

I wouldn’t find out for five hours if anything could be recovered. Waiting five hours were like standing on upright needles, holding a pink elephant above my head.

I screamed and cried. “Why does this always happen to me?” I affirmed. I even prayed.

I lost everything.

But then, I stopped. I dug inside myself. I began to come to terms with it. I started to rationalize.

Did I really lose everything? Well, no. I’m still here. I’m still breathing, walking, thinking, and feeling. To me, that is a miracle.

You are always alive

No matter how bad the situation is, if you are able to share your experience, thoughts and feelings with anyone, even yourself, there is still something to cling on to.

I found solace in that thought.

Data is nothing when it’s compared to your own life, your own humanity. In fact, very few things are considered devastating when you compare it your existence.

Next time something dramatic happens, sit and think:

“Well, what else? Can I breathe, feel, and think? Can I walk? Can I depend on someone? Am I able to come up with ideas? Can I be grateful?”

If you can say a resounding ‘yes!’ to even one of those, then you cannot be shaken.

“I cannot be thrown off the block during this challenge. This bad day does not define who I am. It will not throw me off my course.”

That is my mantra. Try it. Repeat it yourself out loud, over and over again.

When something devastating occurs, there is nothing that can pull you out but yourself. Social circles, family and prayer will definitely help, but in the end, it lies within you.

You possess the unbridled power to change how you feel and how you react to any given situation. Introspection can do wonders when you’re having a terrible day.

Nothing is as bad as it seems when you compare it to your humanity.

As for my data, I recovered it and, through it all, I didn’t lose my sanity standing on upright needles, holding a pink elephant above my head.

Until next week my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free, and love on.

HOW TO MASTER JEDI MIND CONTROL

buddha what we think

Over the last couple of years I have become fascinated with the idea that everything in your life is a result of what goes on in your mind.

If there are two twins that are the exact same in every way, except that one is relentlessly positive and the other is endlessly negative, their lives would be completely different.

They could encounter the exact same scenarios and obstacles but they would perceive them in different ways. The positive person would see them as a chance to grow, and the negative person would see them as evidence that you can never succeed.

With this in mind I am convinced that learning to skew your mind towards the positive and the useful is the best way to completely transform your life.

Here are the three steps to learning to control your mind like a Jedi.

1) Observe your thoughts.

In order to start controlling the endless chatter in your mind you first have to get rid of the idea that you are your thoughts.

We tend to think that the chatter in our mind is who we are and that is it, but that is just a part of who you are. You are your whole body from top to bottom and your entire subconscious, not just your conscious thoughts.

Now what you need to do is to step back from your thoughts and observe them. Start keeping track of when you are thinking negatively. The next time you find yourself upset, step back for a second and think “Wow, I have a lot of negative thoughts right now.”

Doing this will help you catch yourself in these useless reflexive thought cycles. Nothing good comes from beating yourself up or feeling sorry for yourself so the more you start to catch yourself, the quicker you can implement my next step.

2) Cancel your negative thoughts.

Now that you are starting to keep an eye on what you are thinking instead of just letting the chatter go on, you can start to pull yourself out of these habitual thought patterns.

Your brain doesn’t like using a lot of energy, so if you are a person who naturally reacts negatively, your mind will jump to that first because it is easy. Doing something outside of the norm requires conscious effort, something your brain would rather avoid.
Yeah, thanks evolution, we really appreciate that…

My favourite way to pull myself out of my bad habitual thought cycles is to use an “interrupt mantra.”

An interrupt mantra is something that you start repeating over and over once you realize that you are in one of these cycles. It will replace your useless thoughts with the exact opposite and more useful thoughts.

If you are someone who has problems with procrastination, once you realize that you are thinking “Man, I hate doing this work, I just want to relax and watch some Netflix” you have to switch to your interrupt mantra. It could be something like “I am energized and ready to take on anything. I’ll conquer this project with ease and energy to spare.”

Repeat that as many times in a row as you have to and after a while of canceling your negative thoughts, your mind will start to reflexively jump to the positive and more useful thoughts.

It only makes sense that your procrastination will naturally shrink when your reflexive thoughts are that of being energized and ready to conquer the obstacles ahead of you.

Interrupt mantras can work for any negative thoughts. If you have negative thoughts about your confidence interrupt them with “I am an amazing and confident person. I am going to start giving myself the credit I deserve.”

If you have problems with willpower interrupt those thoughts by saying “I have tons of willpower to spare. I am a strong person who can beat any temptation with ease.”

Rinse and repeat as many times as needed whether it be ten, twenty, or thirty times in a row.

3) Meditation.

This step isn’t required, but it will make the whole process ten times easier. When I started meditating I didn’t realize just how impactful it would be. I also didn’t realize how many of my favourite celebrities and great thinkers meditated.

Everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger, to Katy Perry, to Oprah Winfrey and more credit meditation as a key part of their success and ability to stay balanced.

We could discuss meditation for hours, the spiritual aspects, the physical effects it has on the brain over time or even just the calming effect it can create instantly. But for now there is one plus side to meditation that I want to share with you.

It allows you to step back from your thoughts.

With the type of meditation I do the point is to focus on your breath so intensely that your thoughts cease. Now, during meditation you are sure to have thoughts pop into your head. In this case you just allow them to surface without analyzing them, and then get back to focusing on your breathing. If you get an itch on your leg, you feel it, but then immediately bring your attention back to your breath.

This will train you to be able to have a thought or emotion surface without allowing it to pull you into its rabbit hole. This way when something happens in your daily life that aggravates you, instead of stewing over it for hours and ruining your whole day you can step back and say “is this really a useful thing to focus on? Do these thought patterns improve my life in any way shape or form, or do they just serve to steal energy and happiness from me?”

Armed with this ability to step back and question these reflexive thoughts, you can truly start to control your mind and use it for your own self improvement.

A quote that has been repeated by many of the great minds of the world, and is very close to my heart is: “The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.”

This quote perfectly explains the two different relationships you can have with your mind.

Either you control it, or it controls you. The decision is yours.


With love
Steven Farquharson, 2HelpfulGuys

Seven Methods To Deal With Your Worries

I’ve been running around like a headless chicken. This last week of school has been agony. It has been sucking my soul. Today has been one of those days where nothing seems to click. I woke up worried.

I woke up thinking about all the assignments I have due over the next few days. I even forgot to write an article for today. I feel like this article is rushed. These worries are taking over.

It happens to everyone, but this isn’t a side of me that I like very much. It’s dramatic, but when you get caught up in the moment it can feel like you’re drowning. All you want is a breath of fresh air.

Today I want to focus on solutions rather than problems so let’s ignore the thousands of hours I could spend figuring out the why, and instead, focus on the how. How am I going to get rid of these worries? Here’s what I came up with:

1) Write it down and throw it away.

I find it incredibly therapeutic to, first, be able to physically look at my worry, and then proceed to throw it out.

Throwing away your worries and stresses can have a profound effect. The physical act of writing down your negative thoughts and then throwing them away can be a mental cleanse.

2) Cancel rule.

I find this method extremely effective. The next time you worry and find yourself lost in your thoughts, start repeating ‘cancel’ to yourself.

Repeat the word ‘cancel’ over and over again, until the word itself means nothing. You will have derailed your negative train of thought and you can start to focus on something else other than your worries.

3) Confide in someone.

“A trouble shared is a trouble halved” – Chinese Proverb.

Sharing your worries with another person allows you tackle that stress with someone who may have encountered the same problem. Everyone is human and they have the same worries that you do.

You’re not alone in this. Their guidance and objective perspectives could lead you to a revelation that you would have never reached otherwise.

4) Write your grateful list.

You don’t have to be surrounded by family eating turkey to be grateful. You will beat up, tired, lonely and heartbroken throughout this life. During these times being grateful for whatever you do have can be the only thing that saves you.

I jump to this tip as soon as I feel even a slight funk coming on. Write down ten things you are grateful for, or twenty, or thirty. As many as you need to remember that there is always something in your life worth feeling good about.

The worse off you are, the deeper you will have to dig. But if you find something to be grateful for at rock bottom, you’ll never have to worry about falling again.

5) Go for a walk.

Being in nature is calming – but even looking at an image of nature can decrease worry levels and increase positivity.

I love walking outside. The sights and smells have a very calming effect on my brain. Sometimes, I take the beauty of nature for granted. When you stop everything and go for a walk, you really start to appreciate the beauty around you.

That energy is transferred to me and leaves me with a renewed sense of vigor.

6) Breathe deeply.

Few people breathe properly. They have breathing that is shallow and faint because it’s left to the unconscious mind. Pay close attention to your breathing. Focus on your breath and feel it deep within your stomach.

It allows your body and brain to get a burst of oxygen, relieving any worries. There are a lot of little problems that can be worried over. The key to managing worry comes from ignoring these little problems and just taking a couple deep breaths to calm down.

Take thirty seconds to stop what you are doing and breathe. This always helps me. No matter what you are doing, you always have thirty seconds to spare. 

7) Ten-year trick.

I imagine myself ten years in the future, at a bar with friends. Everyone is laughing. We are talking about how funny it is that we used to think everything was such a big deal.

Then I break out my story about the current situation I am in and how trivial it really was. Of course everyone dies of laughter because the future me is hilarious.

Imagine what a funny story your current situation is going to be a couple years from now. This will help you keep things in perspective and move on from your worries in a more graceful fashion.

8) Reset tomorrow.

I lied. Sorry. But, I came up with one more.

Sometimes I am in a funk, I’ve tried everything, and there is no way out. At this point I remind myself that this is just a feeling, not who I am. Maybe today is a write off, but tomorrow is a new day.

Every morning begins anew. Focus on restarting tomorrow. Everything will be fine. Worries come and go, and no matter how big or small they are, there is always a resolve. The more you worry, the bigger it becomes and the longer it stays at the forefront of your mind.

They won’t go away unless you stop thinking about them. The more you think about your problems, the more your problems will multiply. Think positive thoughts and put on a brave face. If all else fails, reset tomorrow.

Thank you readers for helping me figure out my worries. I’m glad you’re on this journey with me.

Be bold, be free, and love on.