Relax At Home – 4 Stress-busting Techniques

Many people assume that relaxation techniques can only be learnt and practiced by joining an evening class such as yoga or meditation. However, there are many resources available for you to access from the comfort of your own home. Techniques can then be incorporated into your life on a daily basis, rather than just at your weekly class. At home it’s very easy to relax by sitting in front of the tv, which is fine to a certain extent, but a small amount of time allocated to relaxation per day will have long term health benefits, as the negative effects of excess stress will be counteracted.

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Relaxation techniques help you refocus on to something calm, which helps the stresses and strains of daily life drift into the background. Your breathing becomes slower and regular and you become more aware of your own body in the here and now. There are various techniques to follow, this article aims to a explore a few.


The techniques used in mindfulness are very current at present, mindfulness is currently a “buzz” word in the field of relaxation. In basic terms mindfulness involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing in order to bring your minds focus to the “here and now”. Sometimes an object is used to focus on such as a flower, by focusing on the minute detail on the flower your mind is in the present. Mindfulness is said to be an excellent technique for sufferers of anxiety and depression. You could even practice mindfulness “on the go” by downloading apps to your smartphone.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a low impact exercise, focusing on a series of slow, flowing body movements. It is possible to learn the principles of Tai Chi online, such as by following Dr Paul Lam’s Tai Chi Lessons. During Tai Chi movements your mind concentrates on the task, therefore reducing stress and anxiety. Attention is focused onto slowing down your breathing and as with meditation, grounding you to the present.  

Guided imagery

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Guided imagery techniques are practiced by focusing on an image that you find soothing, the images can be imagined in your own mind or there are apps providing soothing scenes you could choose from. You then visit the location in your mind and focus on what your five senses are telling you, for example the sounds from water, smell of flowers, feel of the sand, taste of sea spray. Once you feel fully relaxed you slowly bring your mind back to the present. Guided imagery has been shown to ease the side effects of cancer treatment, relieve headaches and reduce anxiety.  

Deep breathing

Deep breathing is beneficial as it can be practiced in any situation or location. It can be done prior to stressful events such as giving a presentation or whilst in situations that cause stress depending on the individual. Deep breathing is a simple, but powerful technique. Taking a few deep breaths counteracts stress by reducing blood pressure and lowering your heart rate. Deep breathing is incorporated into the other relaxation techniques discussed here, tai Chi and meditation, but its benefits definitely deserve a paragraph of its own.

Is It Time To Start Taking It Easy?

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The modern world is one that is pretty much always moving. It can often feel as though things never stop and as soon as you’re finished with one thing, another pops up to take its place. This applies to everything from work to relationships to your social life to the chores at home. And most of the time, keeping on top of those things isn’t too difficult. Sure, you might have to be organised to fit it all in, but most people get by okay. However, things can sometimes get to a point where you start to feel as though the sheer amount of stuff going on in your life is taking its toll. With that in mind, here are a few ways that you can start to take things just a little bit easier.

Stop putting pressure on yourself

Everyone wants to do well at their job, that’s just a natural part of being a person. However, there’s a difference between being dedicated to your work and putting so much pressure on yourself that you end up exhausting yourself. Sure, putting in a little extra effort to get things done is great, but if you’re constantly working overtime then you’re going to miss out on important time for yourself, and you’re going to start to feel resentful of your job as well. The key is to stop putting so much pressure on yourself and learn to maintain some kind of balance between your work life and your home life.

Reexamine your lifestyle

Everyone likes to have a good time every now and then. Whether it’s spending time with friends over a few drinks, going out and dating people, heading to gigs and concerts, or doing whatever else you enjoy in your spare time. However, there does reach a point where that kind of lifestyle runs the risk of taking over your life entirely. Sure, a few drinks every now and then are fine, but if you’re out late every single night, then that could be a problem. The best thing to do is to take some time off from the partying for a while. If it’s really serious, then you could always reach out to a rehabilitation service for help. Of course, that’s only if things have gotten really bad.

Ask for help

If you feel like there’s too much pressure on your from all sides in your life, then there’s no reason why you can’t ask for a little bit of help from those around you. Whether it’s friends, family, your employer, or anyone else, reaching out for help is totally understandable and something everyone needs to do every now and then.

The only person who really knows where the line between happily busy and totally overwhelmed lies is you, so make sure that you keep an eye on your own wellbeing and try not to put quite so much pressure on yourself to be able to fit everything in. Remember, it’s okay to say no to things sometimes, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

Will Freelancing Make you Free?

When you’re staring at the clock every two minutes or you dread getting out of bed in the morning, it could be a sign that you’ve got a bit stuck in a rut. That’s why more flexible working could be the answer – a fresh approach should help you reignite the passion you have for your job, plus it will give you more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.

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You’re the Boss.
One of the best bits about working flexibly is you’re in charge and you can say when enough is enough. You can also avoid all the stress and politics that come with a full-time job. Working for a bad boss can have a number of negative effects, such as depression, sleep problems, high blood pressure and weight issues.

You decide when you want to work. One of the great things about being a Freelancer is that you can make your own schedule. The downside is you won’t get paid for holiday, but the upside is you’ll never have to miss out on a holiday, if your finances allow you to do this, of course. Lots of people are now shying away from the everyday 9-5 so they can enjoy everything that is on offer to them. Try printing a free personal planner to help you stay on track.

Be a go-getter.
Nothing is handed to you on a plate when you’re a Freelancer. So you have to put your proactive hat on to ensure you’re always moving forwards. Take a look at some really useful advice for being proactive.

Get out and about.
Working for yourself can make you feel quite lonely. With so many social media sites, it’s very easy to think you’re socialising when you’re not. So get out and chat to people at the coffee shop or even just strike up a conversation with the neighbours during your lunch break – it will make you feel so much better.

A helping hand.
Always ensure you have the help of others – there are lots of staffing and recruitment companies out there. If you’re a physician looking for temporary work, for example, locum tenens physician staffing can help you find a variety of opportunities, from short-term weekend assignments to long-term positions lasting a number of months.

Earn more.
As you don’t work regular hours, you won’t get paid a regular wage. Depending on the company, you can also choose which parts of the benefits package you think you’re entitled to.

Work abroad.
In an average job, you won’t get to see much more than your desk and its surroundings. However, if you choose to not take the full time path you can work wherever you want and experience new cultures and sights. Anywork Anywhere offer some great seasonal and temporary opportunities for you to showcase your skills abroad.

Time for a change.
It’s very easy to get comfortable in a job, but a different job in a different place can keep your motivation up and the monotony down.

So ultimately, yes, freelancing will make you feel more free and with some focus and productivity, more and more people are now realising it’s the best way to enjoy the perfect work, life balance.

Make 2018 The Year You Become The Person You’ve Always Wanted To Be

Self-improvement” and “becoming a better person” are phrases which have almost reached a cliché level of being overdone, and very often people just discredit whatever is associated with it due to that reason alone. Rehab programs or counselling has been completely invalidated in many people’s lives to the point where they are often seen as some sort of stigma, but the truth is that there are many things out there which are willing to help you out with improving your day-to-day life in a way you might not have even expected. Without sounding overly preachy, let’s just say that if you ever felt the need to improve and become better but always put it off for “somewhere down the line” then it would be safe to say that it will never happen, and if you do not take action, nothing is going to change. It’s effortless to tell ourselves that we will get around to something “soon” and are willing to promise the world as long as we don’t have to do it right now, and we can procrastinate for that little bit longer. Without further ado, let’s look at some general advice on how to finally start introducing some change into your life, and becoming the kind of person you’ve always admired.

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Wisdom is meaningless until it is applied in practice

Everyone knows that leaving things “for the last minute” is not a good thing, much like everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, and alcohol can have terrible effects on both your physical and mental health, but unless you actually act on it, you might as well not know this at all. If anything, knowing it probably impacts your mental health negatively because you are going to be repressing those thoughts while you go on with your day as usual. But we all know that while ignorance is bliss, it is a rather short-lived bliss which generally stems from an overwhelming amount of laziness. The world belongs to the doers, not the dreamers, and while the two are not mutually exclusive, it is easy to find yourself heavily on one side of the spectrum, losing that ever so necessary balance we need in everyday life.

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You don’t have to do this alone

If you simply cannot get out of your bad habits with force of will alone, then some help may be in order. Again, this might sound cliche as well, but some christian counseling might help you on your way. You don’t have to be Christian or heavily believe in Christian teachings, but the words of wisdom in almost any religion ring true for centuries on end, and the way of life which they teach is often nothing short of positive.

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Kick procrastination to the curb

Even if we have good intentions, procrastination often gets the better of us, and we end up in this limbo-like state of not doing anything we want to because we know we should be doing something else, but we don’t do that thing we need to do either. It is absolutely wasteful and detrimental to you on every level, and yet, it is so hard to get away from. The main piece of advice on getting rid of procrastination, is that the change has to come from within, because no amount of managers sitting next to you with a whip is going to make you want to do things. If anything, it will only grow resentful of it. Take time to calculate just how much time procrastinating takes from you on a daily basis, see how much you could have done in the meantime, and how far you could already have gotten. After a few moments of realisation, you will not want to procrastinate ever again, and while it might certainly happen from time to time, you will most definitely be on your way to having a much more productive and self-fulfilling existence.

Be A Go-getter: How To Be More Proactive

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There are two types of people – those that sit around hoping for good luck to strike, and those that make their own luck. Many of us belong to the first group of people. Waiting around for good luck to strike requires far less effort and might be more tempting, but it’s also less effective. What if luck never goes your way? Those that go out and create their own luck – proactive people – often have to face difficult challenges but are rewarded with much more happiness in the long run.

If more of us were proactive, many more of us would achieve our dream goals, whether it’s landing that dream job or finding that life partner or saving up enough money to travel the world. Everyone has the potential to become a go-getter and achieve their goals. Here are just a few ways that you can become more proactive and start living the life you want to live.

Don’t wait for fate to take it’s course

Many people are big believers in fate. They may believe certain things are going to happen to them in the future that are part of their destiny. Whilst it’s okay to have these beliefs, they shouldn’t take away your sense of choice. Even the most spiritual and religious texts tell us that we still have choice, otherwise we’d all sit around doing nothing. Symbols such as the 555 angel number should be used as warning signs that change is about to happen and should urge us to prepare for change, rather than waiting for that change to happen. This is essential for anyone wanting to be more proactive.

Stop relying on others

Just as you shouldn’t let your idea of fate take away your sense of choice, you shouldn’t let other people take away your sense of choice either. If the people around you are making all the decisions for you, it could be time to start trusting your own beliefs and opinions and taking charge. Non-proactive people often wait for other people to sort out problems, whilst proactive people rise to the challenge. Of course, proactive people still seek out help from others, but it’s help that they want themselves and not help that’s being forced upon them.

Focus on solutions, not problems

Proactive people don’t sit around moaning about the things that aren’t going well in their life. Instead, they come up with ways to make things right again. Next time you’re faced with a problem, start thinking up solutions. This is a key ingredient to not just being proactive, but being positive. Proactive people may also be able to encourage other people to focus on the solution rather than the problem.  

Set goals and micro-goals

Proactive people don’t just focus on the end goal. On top of an end goal, they consider the steps needed in between and treat each step as an individual goal. By thinking this way, each small step completed becomes an accomplishment. Non-proactive people don’t focus on these micro-goals, which puts them off chasing their dreams as the challenge seems to great.

Make plans there and then

Proactive people start planning the moment an idea gets in their head. In a discussion about possibly going on holiday, they might start Googling destinations and deals there and then. This stops things from being put off to a later date.

Don’t mistake being impulsive for being proactive

Being proactive isn’t the same as being impulsive. Proactive people put in planning and then rationally decide the best path to take. Impulsive people go with the first idea that jumps into their head. Both aim to get the task done as soon as possible, but proactive people get better results because they’ve considered all their options first.

Create A New You For A Great New Year!

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If you’ve done a lot of long, hard thinking, and have come to the conclusion that it may be time for a change, inside and out – Stray no further. Here’s everything you need to know in one place.

The style

If you find yourself wearing the same old clothes in the same old dull colours, it sounds like it’s time for a throw out and a shopping spree or two. Yes, it’s easier said than done though, as some people don’t know where to look, and more importantly, how to dress for their bodies. If this is your problem, then don’t worry, help is out there. You can find inspiration so many different ways nowadays, social media being one of them. Follow the fashion brands online, and anyone that you look up to, whether that be a celeb or your best friend. You can get so many helpful tips that way, and even incorporate many different things into one to make your very own style. It’s important to remember that just because one person may look great in high waisted jeans, doesn’t mean you will. This is why going out with a couple of your close friends and trying on a whole bunch of different styles is essential. Remember that you may look at something on the hanger and think ‘ew’, but then be forced to try it on by your girlfriend, only to realise you look incredible. It’s all about trial and error gurrrl.

The smile

A smile can so say so many things. It can be a greeting, or a thank you, or just a friendly gesture you give to passers-by. But yet the power of it can completely change someone’s day for the better. And not only that, but it makes you feel good! So if you haven’t smiled much recently, make a mental note to try harder. One reason you may not be smiling is because you don’t like the way your smile actually looks, and this might be due to your teeth. A common problem for people is the colour; whether it be from smoking, coffee, or just ageing, your teeth may no longer be the white they used to be. If that is the case, there are many different options you have to whiten them, be it yourself at home, or going to a professional.

If your teeth are crooked and out of line, there are now new procedures on the market like All-On-Four which is a technology advanced treatment that gives you a full mouth reconstruction that very same day. So no more hiding that smile of yours, you can be beaming in no time.

The hair

Do you ever look in the mirror and stand there for a good twenty minutes rearranging your parting, only to have tried over a hundred different ways, and result to what you first started with originally? If so, then it’s time for a hair revamp. This could be a minor change, like adding a fringe, some layers, or highlights. Or you may decide enough is enough, and get it all chopped off into a pixie cut and dyed pink!!! But, don’t feel you have to do that… It was merely a suggestion… But, why not? The fun thing about hair is that it grows back, so if you’re bored and want to feel reborn again, then book yourself an appointment at the hair salon and go crazy. Yes, you could do it yourself, but be warned, those perfect results in the DIY hair tutorial videos on YouTube aren’t always guaranteed… So to be on the safe side and not risk your hair falling out or turning a freaky shade of green – you should pay that little bit extra and let the professionals do their job.

The job

There are many different reasons why we go to work, but one of the main reasons that drags us out of bed every morning, is money. If we’re unable to make an income, then we’re unable to have nice things. Simple. But what about if you’re doing a job that you hate? Sure, money is one thing, but is it worth being sad and miserable for?

A lot of people hold back from applying for the jobs they really want. This may be because they don’t have the qualifications, or simply because fear is holding them back. But it’s important to remember that you’re never too old to go back to school. So don’t let that stop you. And if you’re scared; scared to set yourself up for failure – wipe that out of your mind right now. If you never try, you’ll never know. So take a breath, think about what you want to be doing as a career – something that makes you proud to go to work every day. And when you know, figure out how you can get there. And to anyone that already feels that way… Well done. You made it.

The happiness

What does it mean to be happy? – To be rich? To live in a big fancy house with an indoor pool? To have over 100K followers on Instagram? Or maybe, just maybe, none of that matters. What if being happy doesn’t come from the objects and materialistic things you may or may not have? But instead, it’s the family that are always by your side? The music that you’re able to listen to on repeat? Or even the look your dog gives you when he lays his head on your knee?

If you think you’re yet to find your happiness – go out and find it! You may decide to learn how to play the piano because you love how Clair de Lune sounds. – Your happiness may come the day all that practising starts to sound right. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to travel the world, but things kept getting in the way, holding you back. – Well, it may be time to take the moment, and run. Run and keep running until you’ve ticked Australia, India, and Tokyo off your list. Never stop doing what makes you happy.