Breaking Free of Bad Habits

One important point in stress management that you also have to consider is the habits you apply in managing stressful tasks. For instance, if you are faced with a difficult undertaking, how do you usually go about it? Do you procrastinate? Do you leave it and wait to work at the last minute? 

These bad habits of yours will never fix the problem, the worst is that they will just give you more stress when the time comes. Therefore, it is very important that you break your bad stress habits as soon as possible. 

But what are habits, and how do you break your bad habits for a less stressful life? 

What Are Habits?
From a psychological standpoint, habits are a fixed way of thinking, willingness, or feeling gained through previous repetitions of a mental experience. In simple terms, habits are routine behaviors that are done without too much thought. They become part of you and just come up naturally and spontaneously without you even noticing them. 

One example of a bad stress habit is leaving ―open loops‖, the tendency to put off doing the things that are perceived to be stressful for the moment. For instance, you are tasked to give a report, but since it is difficult and it will consume some of your time, you decided to leave it until later. Few days before the submission, you are to face huge stress, which could have been avoided if you don’t practice the bad habit of leaving open loops. 

Tips To Break Stress Habits Close Open Loops
Leaving open loops will not only lead to greater stress at the end, it will also somewhat burden you as you go with your other activities 

because at the back of your mind, you know that there is something that needs to be done. 

It makes more sense therefore that you close open loops as soon as possible. Don’t wait for deadlines. If you have trifling tasks that are causing stress, do them at the first opportunity. This way, you will be carrying less weight as you move forward.

‘Promodoro’ Technique
Have you encountered a time when you really wanted to do something yet you don’t have the energy to work. During this time, you easily find yourself distracted, however, you still want to persevere. You are caught in a tug of war between doing and not doing; you are not being fully productive but you are not getting the welfare of rest either. 

One way to solve this problem is by using the ‗Pomodoro’ technique. This technique involves the segregation of time into a short burst of productivity and a short burst of rest. 

Especially helpful to battle procrastination during work, the ‗Promodoro‘ technique allows you to use your energy and time efficiently. 

Here is how this technique works. Let‘s say you have 8 hours to finish a project. You can set a timer and break down your time into a 25 minutes working period with 10 minutes of rest in between. In this way, you can anticipate that there will be breaks when you can rest, but for the moment, you have to work hard and use time effectively. 

Reward Systems
Though the ‗Pomodoro’ technique is very popular among many people, there are some lines of work where it is not fitting. You would relate to this if you are working on a project that depends on a state of flow. A writer or an artist for instance who rely on flow states for 

productivity will do amazingly once they are zoned, however, once they are interrupted it would be very hard for them to go back into the flow. 

People who need to grasp a state of flow can use the reward system approaches to avoid the bad habit of procrastination. Unlike the ‗Pomodoro’ technique, which breaks time into intervals, the reward system works by breaking the tasks at hand to be more efficient. For instance, when writing, you might want to complete 1,000-word content before you can reward yourself with a cup of tea, a 10-minute break to sit and rest, or to check social media.

The key to making the reward system working is to come up with anything that doesn‘t work a reward. You want to check Facebook or watch YouTube? You can do that only until you finished you have reached 1,000words of the book you are writing. 

Whatever your reward, you will find out that this will not only break your work into periods of productivity and relaxation, but it will also motivate you to do more and avoid the stress of piled up 


Body Language and Dressing for the Life You Want

When you change what you wear, you instantly change the way you feel about yourself in that moment. This is what helps you to access all the right implicit memories. You’ll be reminded of times you felt powerful, successful, and attractive.

A sharp suit can immediately make you look better. By investing time and money into your appearance, you demonstrate to your others and yourself that you care about your appearance and thereby that you value yourself.  What’s more, is that you look more attractive by emphasizing your shape in a positive way, and by adorning yourself in high-quality materials.

The result? People think you are successful and confident, which in turn means you instantly become more attractive both as a dating prospect AND someone to hire and promote. This changes the way that other people react to you, they may be more likely to offer you job roles or to ask your opinion.
From your perspective, both the positive experience of catching yourself in the mirror AND the way others treat you will make you feel good. Even the feel of the higher quality material can have this effect.

Power Positions and Body Language

Another way to help others to think you’re more confident is to change your body language subtly. Placing one arm on a door frame can help you to look as though you believe you own the space. Likewise, spreading out more, in general, suggests more dominance and confidence.  Being still and calm also exudes confidence and makes you look like you are cool and in command.

The aim is not to be aggressive, but by recognizing when you are doing the opposite (curling into a ball and generally shrinking, shaking, and biting) and to cut out those behaviors. And next time you walk into a room, boost your chest up as you enter the door and “beam.”

What’s more though, is that the right body language can even drive the production of feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters that actually make you more confident. Standing in a victory pose (arms in a V shape) in the bathroom before an interview can elevate testosterone and help you to be more effective in that interview!

Just Smile!

We all think of smiling like a good thing and something we should do more and we realize the benefits it can have on our popularity and on the moods of the people around us. However, what we maybe don’t realize as much is what it can do for the other areas of our lives – how simply smiling can actually make everything a lot better and even advance our careers, here I will go into that in a little more detail and look at just how impressive the power of a smile is (without wanting to sound too cheesy…).

What a Smile Does for Our Mood

First of all, thanks to something called “facial feedback’, simply smiling can be one of the very best ways to improve your mood.  Simply by smiling it is possible you see to actually improve your mood as it causes your body to release more positive hormones – in fact, any expression that you pull has been shown to have this facial feedback effect. Next time you are feeling lethargic and tired then, simply try smiling and you’ll find it improves your mood to no end.

At the same time, because you are producing positive hormones and endorphins, rather than damaging ones like cortisones, this can then have a strengthening effect on your immune system and generally help you to become more resilient against illnesses and other problems. Of course, it can also help with motivation and psychological well-being no end.

What a Smile Does for Us Socially

If you thought that facial feedback was an impressive effect, then you will likely be more impressed still with the “mirror neurons” in our brain which fire when we see someone else pull an expression too. This then means that the expression you see someone else pull can also cause you to produce the respective hormones and to alter your mood.

That then means that when you smile at someone, it automatically causes them to produce endorphins and to feel happier too. This then means that if you smile every time you see someone, they will then feel happier every time they see you too.

This in turn then means that you can essentially create an association where they see you and then think of feeling happy and good about themselves. This association of course will then ensure that they are more likely to want to spend time with you and that will boost your social life, aid your career and help you to become more likely to succeed generally.

At the same time, because you will look happier and more confident this will also lead people to believe that you are both of those things. And when you seem more confident and happier, people tend to assume you’re more successful (which would be the reason you are feeling confident) which in turn ensures that they think you are more likely to be highly capable.  Again this can help you in relationships and certainly in your career as you have an aura around you of someone who is successful and who you would want on your side.  As you can see, changing the way you look and act can make you become the person you want.

Don’t just dress for the job you want… dress for the life you want!


4 Effective Ways to Become More Persistent

One of the most admirable characteristics a person can possess is persistence. Without persistence, no great achievement is possible. Everyone can set goals and make plans for success; however, only a few succeed in achieving their goals. Developing persistence is a way to ensure that you will reach your goals and achieve success. Here are four practical ways that you can become more persistent and accomplish your goals.

Identify What You Want

Before you can begin to develop your persistence, you have to know what it is you want in your life. Take some time to think about what you want and write down your answers on a sheet of paper. Really think about how you would like your life to be and what you need to do to get there. Write everything down, no matter how big or small the goal. 

Figure Out Your Motivation

To build persistence for accomplishing your goals, you have to have motivation. If you know the deep-down, the reason for doing what you’re doing you will have more energy to keep moving forward toward your goals. Figuring out what is motivating you is a fundamental aspect of becoming more persistent. 

Outline Your Plan

When you’ve identified what you want and have figured out your motivation for achieving your goals, you need to develop a plan for how to achieve the success that you desire. Creating an outline of your plan, that includes specific action steps, will help you know how you will be able to achieve your goals. When you know the steps it will take to get what you want, reaching your goals will become easier. Be specific and detailed in each step and identify at least two ways that you can ultimately achieve your goals.

Shift Your Mindset

The road to success is never easy. In fact, you will face numerous roadblocks and challenges along the way. Everyone, from time to time, can get stuck in a negative mindset, succumbing to the negative thoughts and fear of failure. To develop persistence, however, you have to work to maintain a positive mental attitude, regardless of the situation. Strive to keep your thoughts focused on continually taking action toward your goals and try to avoid the negative thoughts and emotions that can destroy your focus and persistence. 

Accomplishing your goals and achieving success isn’t an easy path to follow. You will run into countless obstacles and face numerous challenges, but with the right plan in place and enough persistence, you’ll realize your dreams in no time.