By Nishtha Shukla December 2002 Change for the better this New Year. You can begin with small things that together make a big difference. Kickstart 2003 by resolving to pave way for success, better health, emotional well-being and spiritual awareness 1 Act as if “Act as if you are and you will become such,” said Leo Tolstoy. So choose one trait or habit that you would like to change; for example, negativity. Promise yourself that for one week you will act like you are a positive, upbeat person. Try to say what an optimistic person would say, do what he would do, act how he would act. At first, it may feel strange and forced, but if you stick with it, you will find that by the end of the week you actually feel more positive. 2 Age is never a barWhen we let our age dictate our lives we miss out on a lot of opportunities and do things even when our heart isn’t in it. For example, a woman of 18 only 100 years ago was considered an old maid, a poor soul likely doomed to a life of loneliness and poverty. Maybe it’s time to stop acting your age, and start acting and behaving the way you feel. If you feel old, maybe you should work on your mind-set! 3 Aerobic activities Fun can be derived from natural aerobic activities and from exercises that follow the body’s natural movements-like walking, jogging, swimming, the inch-step. Natural aerobics celebrates the body and its form. When you cultivate a playful attitude towards your exercise, your mind and body will move with fluid flexibility towards a state of quiet, humming vitality. 4 Amiability The happiest people are those who are able to avoid constant arguments, let go of resentments and therefore build close relationships. But being agreeable doesn’t mean being a doormat. It means trying to be amiable and understanding others’ points of view. If you already consider yourself agreeable but still have a hard time getting close to others, you need to examine your trust level-another thing that has been found to be closely linked with happiness . Try to attribute good motives to people and assume that they’re being nice to you because they’re caring, not because they are manipulative. 5 Anchors There are times when everything we could count on, everything that we identified ourselves with (job, relationships, hobbies, home, surroundings) seems disturbed. This is when you feel as if you are floating without a real connection to your former self and life, you are anchorless. The waves of change rock you so that even you don’t know where you are headed. When we rely too heavily on certain things in our lives for our identity, we run the risk of crashing hard if we lose that thing. The way out is to work on being as well-rounded as possible and paying attention to many ‘anchors’ that we can drop when one piece of identity drifts away. Put in the time to build a few quality relationships, take up meaningful hobbies, develop a latent talent, explore different sides of your personality. They’ll remind you of who you are and help you keep your eyes on the horizon. 6 Anger control There are many ways to cool it. Here are some easy ones that don’t rely on ideas of restraint, controlling, cleansing, etc. Drink Panna (a cooler made from the pulp of raw mangoes) or drink coconut water. Wash your face with rose water. Apply sandalwood paste on your forehead. Avoid oily, spicy foods like pakoras, parathas and samosas. Try to stay away from the colour red because it is too invigorating and might make you angry. 7 Ask for help Most of us forbid ourselves from seeking help. Asking for help when you need it will only help you reach your goal faster. The capable and the successful around us are usually more than willing to assist when told we would appreciate their help. Friends, gurus, counsellors, teachers, consultants and advisers are definitely some people you can approach. Admit to yourself that you are not perfect and could lack something for which you might require help. Admitting to this need enables others to identify with you and boosts your self-esteem in the process. In fact, confessions make you a more honest and likeable person. 8 Beauty tips from yore · Italian: They applied a paste made of the white of an egg, rosemary and powdered milk on the face to erase telltale lines. · Spanish: They used to rub lemon juice on their face at night. · English women dropped belledona herb juice in their eyes to enlarge their pupils. · Egyptians: They heated a lotion of lanolin, castor oil and glycerine mildly until blended together and then let it cool. It was applied to acne and pimples. · Persians: They applied onion poultice on their face at night to remove freckles, acne and pimples 9 Body rhythms Are you a morning butterfly or a night moth? If you are a morning person you probably are the beloved of the family-introverted, functional and non-adventurous. If you are a night person, you must be dark and unfathomable (in many societies) and given to aesthetics. Test your natural affinity by taking your temperature every four hours and alertness levels every four hours (on a scale of 10). Morning people, whose temperature begins to plummet before 8 p.m., are anatomically inflexible, reaching their body temperature and alertness peak on the dot in the early afternoon. Night people are more adaptable and able to conquer the demands of the body. They tend to fall asleep when their body temperature is on the decline and wake up when it begins its material escalation. 10 Breaking the rulesOne of the simplest ways to get new ideas is to see what ideas have already been thought of, and then tweaking these to come up with new ones. “Breaking the rules” technique challenges the rules set for something, to come up with something else. To be creative, you must know that what is perceived as impossible is not always the case. It is about getting over stereotypes and messing with things that others have not thought of, are apprehensive about considering, choosing instead to ape the tried and tested than experiment. 11 Broaden your horizons There are so many ideas we get in our heads from such a wide variety of sources (our parents, the media, our own experiences) but being conditioned, it’s not easy to pull away from our pre-set beliefs and take a hard look at them. It can feel almost painful to give up an idea we have clung to for years. But this is what learning and growth is all about-dusting off the cobwebs in our heads and pondering over new perspectives. Making assumptions resulting in prejudice can be a dangerous thing. It is like closing doors to change and development. 12 Cash flow Cutting down on your entertainment expenses can prevent being broke before the month is out. Curtail your outings-Saturday nights can also mean sitting with friends at home. Cut down on the number of movies you see or the potboilers you buy. Television is good when guided by judicious discretion. Otherwise, it can be a passive and debilitating use of valuable time 13 Chew It may sound hackneyed, but chewing well each of your food morsels holds truer today when we eat on the run all the time or in front of the telly or the comp. The more you chew the better because it causes a strong secretion of saliva, which decreases the formation of mucus and helps prevent over-eating. Proper chewing releases the nutrients locked within food. This reduces strain on the stomach, making digestion easier. According to the Vedas, one should chew each mouthful 36 times. 14 Communicate with your body It can tell you what is good for you and what is bad, if you constantly talk and listen to what it has to say. All by yourself, in a quiet environment, you can use your body as a pendulum to sway gently in a yes or no fashion in response to questions. Initially, you need to tune in and ‘feel’ the response rather than expect to visually see it. Get in touch when it is sending out subtle messages before it resorts to drastic measures of chronic pains and illnesses. 15 Child within Keeping the child within alive will enable you to enjoy the little pleasures that come your way. It is about recapturing the magic of childhood, which is usually the happiest period of life. Recall what it felt to be blissful, happy, wholly alive. Whatever you are doing, if it is agrecable you, it will be able to put you in that state. 16 Computer friendly Now since it has become an indespensible part of our lives, we’d better learn to protect ourselves from the harms of extensive computer use. Use a wrist support to elevate the bottom of your wrists to at least the level of the front of the keyboard. Also, use a device either on yourself (say anti-glares) or on the monitor to neutralize the negative impact of the electromagnetic radiation. Also, take a break every 40-50 minutes-get up, take a walk, get fresh air, take a few deep breaths, look at something far away. Mind your posture too, sit erect. 17 Creativity You are creative when you are using both the left analytical brain and the right sensory brain together. Experts have identified five stages of creativity. The first two and the last need left brain skills whereas the third and the fourth need the right brain. · Preparing: Collecting information and defining the problems and clarifying the goals. · Focussing: Disciplining yourself to do away with distractions for better focus on the immediate activity. · Sleeping over it: Synthesise, collate, let the subconscious mind do the work. It knows best. · Sudden insight: Let a spontaneous new insight-an expert mix of visuals, sounds and intuition-blossom at the culmination of the incubation process. · Weighing up: Analyze and see the feasibility of a concept in its entirety. Plan a sequence of steps t
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