A huge stressor in your life can be the feeling that you lack control. If many of your days feel like life is making the decisions and you’re just following, this will stress you out.
You have free will. But, once you become an adult, demands are placed on you and your free will. These demands are from society, from your employer, and from yourself. These stressors can burn you out, make you doubt your natural capabilities, and live in a state of constant stress.
Like all of us, you want to live up to your best self. But, how can you do that? And if you do, what can you gain?
These eight tips will start you on the road to becoming the boss of your life.
#1 Ditch the technology
Technology, for all of its amazing benefits, comes with downsides, too. Before technology became what it is today, workdays ended when the clock struck or the whistle blew. Off work was off work.
Now, smartphones and tablets accompany you wherever you go. Baby computers that they are, they keep you glued to your job. One way to eliminate this issue is to turn off notifications. Of everything. Whether these are incoming emails from work or social media. If you find you’re distracted by nonwork-related apps, like Facebook or Twitter, remove them to focus. Put the phone down during the day and you’ll find yourself a lot less stressed.
#2 Learn To Breathe
When you first wake up, it’s recommended to spend the first five to ten minutes mindfully breathing.
There are many apps available, such as MyCalmBeat, that can help you regulate your breathing.
This app was created by neuroscientists and allows you to change the timing and number of breaths each minute to strengthen your heart beat variability. As this variability strengthens, you’ll find yourself able to manage stress better. By monitoring your heartbeat, you will be able to notice when you are sick, stressed, or even dehydrated. Our hearts beat around 100 beats per minute, on average. They don’t beat in a consistent pattern but have heart beat variability (HRV). When you exhale, your variability will be longer and shorter when you inhale. Monitoring your breathing is an excellent way to ensure your heartbeat varies often, indicating a high HRV, which means that you are less stressed and have better health.
When doing these morning exercises it’s perfectly fine if your mind wanders. The basic goal of the exercises is to increase your awareness of your body’s reaction to stress.
Your HRV is just one of many ways to measure your health. It’s not the final say on how healthy you are.
#3 Plan Your Day First
When your day begins, you may have a huge list of things to do. To maximize your workday, plan out your most important tasks before starting work. This is beneficial because attempting to prioritize your entire day is a lot of stress on your brain. With your brain already fatigued from planning, you’ll be tired when work actually begins.
One trick you can use is to, write down the people you need to advance important projects, scan your email for those names, and then close your email. After this short task, start working.
#4 Important work first
Have you ever completed a task and then added it to your to-do list just to check it off? I have. This tip involves starting your day positively by completing the most important tasks first. Whether this is an ongoing project or a one-time task, set 30 minutes of focused effort aside to complete this project. With this done, your outlook on your day will be brighter.
# 5 Smile Often
In addition to using less of your facial muscles, smiling is a known mood enhancer. Whether you’re thinking of a funny joke or watching a short clip of ducks playing, smiling will instantly boost your mood. If you’re not quite in the mood for a real smile, a fake smile will also help. Just say “eeeee”, preferably in a high-pitched voice, and enjoy the benefits. The sound just might make you laugh.
#6 Pack Healthy
Before you leave your home make sure to pack a healthy lunch and snacks. This simple tip will help you find more energy throughout your day and reduce any regrets related to poor eating habits. Avoid candy and high carbs offered to you for maximum benefits.
#7 Assume Good Intentions
Often, we give ourselves a break for poor behavior because we know that our intentions were good. Equally as often, we judge others as having bad intentions. To take charge of your life spend your days assuming the best of others. Just like you, most people intend to do well but may fall short. This habit will boost your happiness and can be used to increase your network and friendships.
#8 Say No
Your body and mind can only take so many commitments. Politely decline any commitments that could become a burden for you. This will give you the time to do the things you enjoy and that advance your goals.
#9 Monitor Your Thoughts
Our brains are wired to find the negative in a situation. For every positive neural process, there are five negative neural processes. Yes, it’s true, our brains are geared towards negative thinking. So, it’s important to think about your thoughts. Look at them objectively and find the triggers that begin any negative spirals.
If you’re already stuck in a negative thought, pause all actions, because the negativity will affect those actions. This will give you time to change your thoughts and commit better actions.
Becoming the boss of your life is the key to living the life you want. When someone else, or circumstances, are calling the shots, you’ll feel powerless and have no need to affect change.
You are the only person who has control of your life, so no one else has the ability to run your life. Your free will is yours to do what you please.
By deciding to take responsibility for what you do, or don’t do, you are empowering yourself to make decisions, change situations you don’t like, and become happier.