Thursday, 24 December 2015

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

By Charlene Decesare

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items
A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven't used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgemental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don't worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right
Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you canchoose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don't procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a colouring book

Mandala colouring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Common excuses made by traders and why they are so dangerous

Making excuses is what is holding you back from achieving your full potential – not only in trading, but also in life in general. 

Traders are experts in coming up with excuses on a daily basis. But making excuses does not only keep you from growing and becoming better, it will also lead to even worse trading and more mistakes as we will see.

On the other hand, a trader who knows how to avoid making excuses can become profitable much faster because he can avoid making the expensive mistakes amateurs regularly make.

Why traders make excuses

We make excuses for a number of reasons and after the following examples it will become obvious why making excuses is so popular.

Fear of failure.
No one wants to admit that he is failing. Excuses let failure look like it’s not a big deal and that success is just around the corner.

Fear of embarrassment. It is very embarrassing having to admit that you have done something wrong or even repeated the same mistake again.

Fear of change. Knowing that YOU are the one who is causing all the problems can be challenging because it means that you have to change who you are and how you do things. Nobody likes change.

Fear of responsibility. Traders who use excuses give away the responsibility. They blame unfair markets, disadvantages and other outside circumstances. Not using excuses and taking full responsibility would mean that you are the one who is the cause of all your problems.

Excuses lead to…

Making excuses is just one part of the equation. A person who is constantly making excuses for the previously discussed reasons lives in a dangerous mindset. Excuse-driven traders cannot become profitable because of their beliefs and actions.Making excuses will inevitably lead to the following:

Lack of responsibility and no growth. A trader who blames outside circumstances doesn't look at how he can overcome his challenges. Even worse, such traders don’t even think that their bad trading performance is their own fault.

Self-limiting beliefs. Traders who are always looking for excuses don't think that they can do anything to change their status-quo. Once a trader starts believing his own lies, he will not be able to look for ways out.

Massive regrets. Would have, should have and could have are common terms used by traders who are controlled by excuse-driven trading. Regrets and a wrong use of hindsight is a bad place to evaluate your performance from. It always makes things seem much worse than they actually are.

A state of pessimism. Personal growth isn't possible when you come from a state of pessimism. Making excuses and blaming outside circumstances makes trading and the financial markets look like a bad place. If you always believe that you have a disadvantage or that the markets are rigged, it is impossible to live up to your full potential. Good traders operate from a state of passion and optimism.

Paranoid trader. This ties in with the previous point. Believing that the markets are against you and that trading is an unfair undertaking creates fear. Fear is what holds you back and making good trading decisions becomes impossible.

Locked in your comfort zone.
Excuses have the purpose to make everything look better than it actually is. Thus, it signals that there is no need to change anything. As we have said before, change can be intimidating.

Avoid proactive thinking and blocks creativity.
Excuse-driven traders only look for the next best trading method, instead of looking at what is really holding them back.

Common excuses traders make

The following excuses show the thoughts and actions of the average trader. Take a good look so that the next time you are about the make a trading decision and justify it with an excuse, you know better.

“Trading is unfair” – The trader who believes that HFT, insider trading and his broker is keeping him from trading success.

“I was busy doing something else”
– Traders who don’t follow a strict routine and just flip around time-frames and markets like maniacs often miss profitable trades.

“I don't have the time with my job”
– The trader who is not ready to put in the work. He still sees trading as a hobby and isn't fully committed.

“My system isn't good enough.” – After a loss, the trader blames his system instead of looking at himself.

“I was just unlucky” – After a loss, the trader believes that he almost ended up with a winner but he was just unlucky.

“I have no control over what happens”
– The helpless trader who believes that he is just a victim and has no control over the outcome.

Excuses during trades

Traders also use excuses to justify bad trades, staying in losing trades longer than they should and to make bad risk management decisions:

“I don't want to get out for a loss”
– The trader who widens his stop loss because he believes (hopes) that the market is almost ready to turn.

“I will get out for break even when it turns around”
– The trader who violates his stop, justifying his lack of discipline by wanting to cut his loss at break-even.

“I will add to this position to get out faster” – The trader who is in a losing position and adds to his trade, hoping to get out faster by averaging down.

“On the daily time-frame it still looks good”
– The trader who makes a trading decision on one time-frame and then justifies staying in a losing trade after looking at a different time-frame.

“Just this one time” – The trader who justifies breaking his rules by believing that it will be just this one exception.

“It is against my rules, but it has a good reward-risk ratio” – The trader who justifies breaking his rules by choosing a potentially large reward.

Quote for the day

“Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.” - Gautama Buddha