Stress, And Your Body Thinking It Might Die

You have a headache, an upset stomach, problems getting to sleep, elevated blood pressure and chest pains.

If you looked this up on WebMd.com you’d probably think you were dying from some sort of horrifying disease. But in fact, these are the symptoms of a much more common health problem affecting almost all of us.

Stress

In the same way that pain isn’t all bad because it lets you know the difference between a warm shower and scalding yourself with boiling water, stress isn’t always a bad thing either.

Stress responses in your body during life threatening situations signal your body to stop all non-life-saving functions and focus on getting you out of the burning building, or running away from the man eating lion.

But the problem with stress is that your physiological responses to non-immediate stresses are largely the same as when you’re fighting for survival.

In other words, your body will react roughly the same way whether you are stressing over a cell phone bill, or a meteorite heading towards the earth.

With that in mind it is easy to understand why people under stress can feel like they might die, because their body is reacting that way.

Relieving Stress

So your body thinks every homework assignment, messy kitchen, or job interview that stresses you out is going to kill you.

After a while of building up this stress you need some sort of relief. Stress that continues without relief leads to a condition called distress, which is where things can get really bad.

Distress can cause high blood pressure, heart problems, depression and anxiety among other things.

So what do you do when you are stressed out and need relief?

1) Complete A Repetitive Task

Studies have shown that completing a repetitive task can help your mind unwind.

When everything is piling up around you and you feel like you can’t tackle any of it, completing something as simple as doing the dishes can give you a much needed sense of accomplishment.

It also puts your focus on the task at hand, rather than the prospect of your cell phone bill killing you.

The next time you are feeling stressed, throw yourself into some easy housework. Fold your laundry, vacuum your room, or sort out your loose change.

You can find whatever simple and repetitive task works for you, then use it as your go-to stress reliever.

2) Take A Warm Bath

A warm bath or shower will boost your mood.

Studies have shown that the sensation of warm water triggers responses in the body and brain similar to those of emotional warmth.

When you are in the shower or bath, try to focus on the comfort you feel and keep your mind off of the things that are stressing you out. This will relieve your stress and prepare you to deal with future stress with more ease.

3) Treat Yourself To Endorphins

There are many ways to get those happy chemicals pumping in your brain that will relieve your stress. Here is my quick go-to list:

  • Pet a cat
  • Eat some dark chocolate
  • Enjoy a nice smell (spearmint and lavender have proven effects)
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Have a good laugh
  • Get some exercise

We all know that you can’t avoid stress entirely. Whether a meteorite is heading to earth or you have a job interview, you are going to be stressed out at some point.

With these tips you will be able to relieve some of that stress, so that you don’t actually die.
Because that would really be stressful.

The Most Helpful Guide To Being Likable (25 tips)

I was a shy kid when I was younger.

I wasn’t exactly normal. I had a blood disorder and I had a special teacher in class because I had trouble learning and fitting in.

Also, I had ridiculously curly hair, it was an afro.
Why did my parents let me have an afro!?

The worst part is that hair would be so awesome right now.
I was ahead of my time.

Needless to say, I just wanted some love… Or at least some like.

We all want to be liked, right? These days people generally like me, but sometimes I still feel like that weird kid with the curly hair. I’m still hoping to be liked every day.

So that is what I’m here to do today, help all the weird people become more likable… Okay, normal people can read this too.
Who am I kidding, NO ONE is normal!

So here it is: The Most Helpful Guide To Being Likable.
These tips are in no specific order. Let’s go!

1) Smile!

Everyone is happier around people who smile. If you smile more often, guess what? People will smile back. You will brighten up their day a little bit and they will like you more because of it!

70% of communication is non-verbal and when you smile you show that you are happy, confident, and attentive. This is key in becoming more likable.

2) Eye Contact!

Studies have shown that people who maintain higher levels of eye contact appear to be more likable, stable, confident, trustworthy and attractive, among other qualities.

Not only that, but maintaining eye contact shows that you are fully engaged in the interaction instead of thinking about tomorrows breakfast. People like being valued over breakfast foods, trust me.

3) Offer Compliments!

We are all insecure, and if you say you aren’t insecure then that means that you are not secure in your insecurities! So what should we do to help each other out with these pesky insecurities?

If you have something nice to say, SAY IT! A compliment can turn someone’s day around completely and they will like you more because of that.

4) Keep Promises!

No matter how small a promise is, it is still a promise. If you can’t keep to your word then no one will trust you. If people can’t trust you then how can they like you?

In this age of ditching plans and forgetfulness, reliability is a rare quality. If you keep promise people will remember.

5) Don’t Speak In Monotone!

Imagine the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s day off. Would you want to hang out with that guy?

bueller

No one wants to listen to someone who sounds like a robot. Use different tones and volumes in your speech to keep the other person’s attention.

6) Use Names!

We all like hearing our own name, it’s like a sweet song to us. It let’s us know that the person talking to us sees us as an individual and that they care enough to remember us.

This works even better if you remember someone’s name the second time you bump into them. It creates familiarity and comfort, which everyone likes.

7) Laugh!

There is something called the “law of state transference.” It states that if you are showcasing a certain emotion or state, that people around you are more likely to experience that emotion as well.

Can you remember the last time someone very sad was around you. It probably made you feel a little awkward, and sad as well. Even if your jokes aren’t the greatest, if you are genuinely laughing, the other person will be much more likely to laugh as well. Try it out!

8) Slight Touches!

We all like human contact. It releases small doses of the chemicals in our brain that can cause us to feel love. That doesn’t mean that if you touch someone they’ll turn into a love zombie for you, but a slight touch can cause someone to be more endeared towards you.

Just make sure they are very slight touches in safe place. Don’t reach below the belt. Keep it to the shoulders, arms, or upper back and do it in a joking and playful fashion.

9) Open Body Language!

70% of communication is non-verbal. When you stand with your arms crossed and your head slightly down you will be subconsciously conveying to everyone that you are not open to conversation or other people.

Open yourself up, lean back, uncross your arms and smile. All signs of openness will show people that you are ready to engage, and people will like that.

10) Pay Attention!

attention

Use your listening skills, stay off your phone and show the people around you that when you are talking to them, they are your highest priority. No one wants to repeat themselves, and no one wants to talk to someone who doesn’t even value them enough to give them their attention.

11) Show Confidence!

When you are confident, people will gravitate towards you. If you seem awkward people will assume that any interaction with you will be awkward. And who wants that? Not me, not the cashier, and not even your grandmother.

12) Exit Small Talk ASAP!

Small talk is needed to start off a new relationship, but you will never leave any sort of lasting impact on people if you only ever engage in small talk.

Use my guide to get from small talk, to deep relationships and you will never have to spend twenty minutes discussing the weather again!

13) Find Common Ground!

Most of the time people enjoy talking about things that they enjoy. Who would have thought?

If you want someone to enjoy your company more and like you more, find some common ground that way you can both enjoy the conversation. This will create a snowball effect of enjoyment.

14) Provide Value!

If you can teach someone something, they will be more likely to remember and like you. It’s even better if it’s something that pertains to them. Providing value isn’t just for business, it’s for relationships as well.

15) Groom Yourself!

If you are smelly, people might not like being around you, sorry. You can’t change who you are but a general rule is that you should try not to be too offensive to the senses.

Groom yourself, shower, put a little effort into your style and you’ll instantly be more likable.

16) Be Positive!

Don’t be a Negative Nancy, a Debbie Downer, a Pessimistic Paul or a Gloomy Gary.

As we’ve learned you’ll end up bringing others down through the law of state transference and they won’t like it, or you, very much at all. Stay positive, people will like you more and you’ll like yourself more.

17) Tell Stories!

story

Nothing is better than a good story, and nothing is more painful than a bad one. Through good stories you can make people happy, make them laugh, teach them something, leave them in awe, or cause a whole spectrum of other outcomes.

Humans have communicated through stories since we could speak, and maybe even before that. Become a better story teller and all of your relationships will improve.

18) Tell a Secret!

Studies have shown that when you tell someone a secret, even a small one, it will make them trust you more. This is probably a similar effect to state transference, if someone trusts you enough to tell you a secret, then you are more likely to trust them.

And as we’ve said before in the promises section, a base level of trust is a requirement for likability. Secrets create familiarity as well, making you seem closer to the person you entrust your secret with.

19) Mirroring!

In the same vein as finding common ground, we like people who share similarities to us. A known way of creating that feeling of similarity and familiarity is to slightly mirror the person you are speaking with.

Standing in a similar stance and using similar hand gestures can help in creating this perceived similarity, but don’t focus on this to much or you won’t be paying attention. Which is point 10.

20) Ask a Small Favour!

The Benjamin Franklin Effect is the idea that when we do someone a favour, we justify it to ourselves by thinking that we did the favour because we like the person. If you ask someone for very small favours, they will oblige and then like you more. Plus, you will get the opportunity to thank them and they will feel good about themselves. It’s a win-win.

“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.”
-Benjamin Franklin

21) Be Humble!

While you should be confident enough to strike up conversations and hold your own, don’t brag too much and try to impress people. No one likes a ‘one-upper’, someone who always has to outdo every story that people tell.

Just be comfortable in who you are, and show some humility.

22) Don’t Judge Anyone!

You don’t want people to judge you, so why would anyone enjoy being judged by you.

judgemental owl

Even if you aren’t judging the person that you are talking to, if you are judging others around them, they will assume you judge them when they are not around. If you show that you are an accepting person they will feel much more comfortable around you and like you a lot more for it.

23) Ask Questions!

Asking genuine questions will lead to deeper conversations and show people that you have an actual interest in them as a person. Don’t make the conversation all about yourself, ask some good questions and you will find so much more beauty in the people around you.

24) Acknowledge Everyone!

When you are walking down the street, nod at people and smile at them. Ask your cashiers how their day is going. Acknowledge as many people as you can and everyone will like you more. After a while of doing this, you will become more confident and you will naturally radiate a positive, open energy.

25) End on Good Terms!

The first impression you make on someone, and the last impression you make before leaving are important. When you are done talking with someone, take the time to tell them that you enjoyed the conversation.

This will put the law of state transference into effect and they will probably say that they enjoyed talking to you as well. This is a compliment, a sharing of mutual enjoyment, and a great way to leave a good impression for next time.

Well, those are my tips.

I still feel like that weird kid sometimes, but I try to follow these tips so that I can have the best possible relationships with everyone around me because you know what?

We all have weird people inside of us who just want to be liked.

I like you, and I hope you like me too!

The 3 Rules For A Good Life

What is a good life? Without getting too philosophical, I think a good life is only based on a few rules.

There are too many rules in life. I’m told to stand up straight, act a certain way; don’t use the salad fork for the steak.

What do you mean?

A FORK IS A FORK!

Amidst all the criticisms how do you live a good life? To be honest, I don’t know. But, here’s where I start:

1) Laughter

Every single day, I insert a reason to laugh. As children we laugh about 300 times a day. As an adult, that number is reduced to a meager 7.

SEVEN.

How did we go from 300 to 7?

Did we cross some bridge of agony and now here we are: Mindless drones that wake up, go to work, participate in office gossip, watch Breaking Bad, and then sleep and die?

Laughter is really hard as an adult. It must be, right? Going from 300 to 7? There must have been some sort of life-changing traumatic event that occurred between childhood and adulthood.

We need to get back to our childhood roots. We need to laugh more. Start here:

Standup – Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K. Gabriel Iglesias

T.V. Shows – Blue Mountain State, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Office

Movies– Anchorman, Happy Gilmore

YouTube – Our Own Gentlemen’s Corner (no list would be complete without it)

2) Be Grateful

Start your day with gratefulness. Before I get out of bed, every morning, I say ‘thank you.’ The simple-ness of living often gets taken for granted.

“But I’m drowning in debt. I have no friends. My family hates me.”

Even if it seems like you have nothing to be grateful for, there is always something. You can still breathe. You can still come up with ideas. You can still walk and eat and live.

In a previous post, I mentioned the importance of being grateful. You can check that out for more information.

Grateful-300x300

3) Never go to bed angry

I seldom get angry, but when it happens I make sure to deal with it immediately. Address it with the other and with yourself.

Your ego will not let it escape your thoughts. Cast your ego away. Allow those angry thoughts to float away into the wind.

Ask yourself, ‘how much does this matter?’

More often than not, it doesn’t.

Ending the day with anger sets the tone for your next day. Those thoughts fester in your sleep and you wake up with them, fresh in your head. Those thoughts will weigh you down.

Apologize or let it go completely. It’s not worth wasting your life over any problem.

For me, I know everything will be fine if I follow these consistently. And maybe, I can laugh, be grateful for the advice and shrug it off the next time someone tells me that I’m using the wrong fork.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

The Dark Cave

I wouldn’t consider my job the greatest in the world, but it’s decent. I have lots of free time and I’m able to pretty much govern myself.

I’m a operations coordinator. I oversee peoples’ parties, make sure things go smoothly and clean up. Pretty much, I’m a glorified janitor.

Hmm, doesn’t sound as glamorous as ‘operations coordinator.’

People book party rooms for all sorts of happy events: Birthdays, weddings, baby showers and retirements (are retirements happy?). These are all pinnacle moments in peoples’ lives.

Ideally, the hosts should be ecstatic to be celebrating with their family and friends.

Instead, I see the opposite. I see grumpy, anxious hosts enter, spewing a flurry of curse words like some sort of pirate.

But wait; isn’t this supposed to be a happy occasion?

It seems to me, the hosts forgot what they’re celebrating. They choose to be miserable because something wasn’t set up properly.

These little problems ruin their entire occasion. They are forever flustered about everything.

They’re trapped in this dark cave from which everyone eventually emerges.

I’m reminded of the last time I let little things bother me. It sucked. I was flustered and anxious. It was pitch black in my cave. I didn’t know how to deal with everything.

Little problems are just that…

Little. When you make small things into big things, you forget about the important things. You forget to enjoy the present moment. You stop looking for laughter and enjoyment and focus on that insignificant issue of a table being set up wrong.

They Ruin You

Like an apple left out to oxidize, you slowly start to turn. You steer your attention towards more insignificant problems. This process is gradual. All these little problems compile.

They add up, brown. Before you know it, like the gradual process of the apple, you’re spoiled, core out.

Choose Freedom

When in doubt, shrug it off. Don’t let these little problems affect you. When you let it get to you, your life gets affected.

You won’t be able to think and act properly. You start giving in to your vices. You may chomp on your nails. You may smoke or drink. You may want to punch a wall or hurt yourself, or worse, someone else.

These things will weigh on you, like you’re carrying a hundred-pound sandbag. If you let it affect you, you’ll be forever weighted and hindered.

To Learn or Not to Learn 

I like to think of these problems as miniature hurdles, each trying to teach you a little something as you jump them. These problems are a test for you to overcome, to help you progress, to make you stronger.

If you don’t learn from your problems, you’re bound to repeat it. There will only be darkness.

Here lies the pinnacle choice. Do you squander your time complaining and getting angry or do you utilize this moment and seek a way to make your life better.

Every single situation has a good and a bad. What do you choose to focus on? Who will you be after you come through that dark cave?

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Dark_cave

How To Do Heroin Legally

When I got laser eye surgery, the specialist gave me Percocet for the pain. Percocet is an opiate and similar to heroin.

I was in a happy glaze. I felt like I was floating without a care in the world. Then two things happened. First, the Percocet wore off and I felt everything, all in one painful surge.

Second, I called the optometrist and demanded more Percocet. “It’s extremely addictive,” he said. “Don’t worry about that,” I said. Still though, no more Percocet.

Percocet, like heroin, releases endorphins (shortened term for endogenous morphine). Endorphins are basically heroin, but it occurs naturally. No need for needles, pills or anything.

Percocet is terrible for liver, but this endogenous morphine. It’s interesting. It’s considered a ‘happy’ hormone, so imagine releasing it progressively throughout the day.

The Approach

There always seems to be some mention of a girl in my articles. This particular girl I’ve seen at the gym. She’s beautiful and Spanish. All week, I convinced myself to talk to her and backed out at the last moment.

I kicked myself in the ass. Finally, on Friday I talked to her. We had a great conversation, but with my bad luck, this was her last day in Canada (she was trying to learn English), and she was moving back to Costa Rica FOREVER (I got her Costa Rican phone number).

Even with the terrible news, I came out of that situation with a high. I’ve never done heroin (I hate needles), but, after the conversation, it felt euphoric. I found myself in the same happy daze that the Percocet gave me.

Were these endorphins? Most likely. I love that feeling. That feeling of accomplishment, of worthiness, of confidence.

p01n9b5z

That feeling is still in my body, several days later. I still feel like I am on a high.

Apparently one way to trigger endorphins is under extreme stress. Endorphins are released and produce a high that reduces stress. For instance, you can survive in the jungle when the lion is chasing you.

The same phenomenon occurs for “Runner’s High.” You start running or exercising and just before the point of exhaustion, you get a sudden burst of energy to keep going.

So how do you naturally produce heroin:

A) Stress yourself out with a timeframe

Put a time limit on the stress factor. The final moments before I actually approached the girl, I said to myself, “I will talk to that girl in five minutes!”

As the seconds passed, the stress increased. But on the fourth minute, I felt a warm energy circulating around my body. I felt like a different person, a more energized person.

So next time you have to ask your boss for a raise or ask that girl out or speak in public, set a timeframe. Endorphins are released when you stress out. Stress with a time frame and you will feel a surge.

B) Exercise

Exercise releases all your stored energy (glucose) in your body. When you run out of that stored energy, Runner’s high kicks in.

The satisfaction of exercise has amazing benefits to the body (not just in a physical way).

C) Avoid Grains

I’m not going to tell you what to eat. You can eat whatever you want. Personally, I avoid all grains. Grains are essentially glucose, so reduce the grains, reduce the glucose.

If you go to the grocery store, probably 90% of the products have some sort of processed grain product in it.

Since runner’s high comes when you deplete the body of stored glucose, one way to release consistent endorphins would be to reduce the amount of glucose and be more active. Less sugars, less grains, and a little bit of exercise.

D) Sex

Have you noticed when you have some sort of pain that you don’t feel it when you are having sex? Sex is an amazing way to release endorphins.

The people who release happy chemicals during sex are the ones who have sex more.

E) Laughter

It’s not surprise that laughter releases endorphins. Laughter is even sometimes called “inner jogging” (runner’s high). The more you laugh, the more natural heroin in your body.

I watch at least an hour of comedy (usually standup) everyday for that high.

F) Socialize

This used to be hard for me. I wasn’t a very social person. As a kid, you run and climb the jungle gym and play. You scream and laugh.

As an adult, I don’t do that anymore, but I need to start. Socializing releases endorphins.

It makes sense. Who is more likely to catch the lion in the jungle? The individual or the group of people who can work together?

In fact, we started moving up the food chain because we developed social skills. We were given the ability to gossip. Jack could tell Jill that Steve was an okay guy. Suddenly Jack and Steve could hunt together even if they didn’t know each other – simply because Jill was a gossip.

Socializing doesn’t mean going to work-related meetings and networking. Personally, it means playing, sharing, talking, and laughing.

The good thing about endorphins is that it’s completely natural. No needles. No pills. No addiction necessary. What can go wrong if you laugh, play, have sex, socialize, exercise and avoid grains everyday?

Note that money is not mentioned on this list. Money is a byproduct of a healthy life. The way to obtain money is to ensure that everything else is operating at full capacity.

Ergo, more endorphins, more money.

Consistently releasing endorphins will make you happier person overall. You can ignore all the other self-help porn if you just do the above items and release endorphins everyday.

For me, I will continue to talk to girls to preserve this amazing feeling.

Be bold, be free, and love on.