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The Pandemic Helped Me Battle Test My Habits. These Are the Ones That Stood Out

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If you’d like to learn how to develop strong habits so you can improve all aspects of your life, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


Our habits can destroy us. Habits are a big part of who you are. Do something enough times and that is who you become. Smoke frequently and you are a smoker. Drink often and you become known as an alcoholic. Pray daily and you are known as religious. Study a lot and they call you nerdy.

The opposite of destructive isn’t constructive. The opposite of destructive is creative. And you can choose to adopt habits which help you create and build. Habits that make your mental, physical and spiritual muscles stronger.

Here are the ones that are helping me stay strong and avoid binging on bowls of ice-cream during this crisis:

1. Seeking Clarity

I have this habit of journaling about my thoughts, questioning why I feel a certain way, and peeling back the layers to get to the real problem. This helps me distil my thoughts to transparency. And just like peeling an onion, it makes me cry. 

Journaling also leaves me with a lighter conscious and a happier heart. It lets me tap into the oasis of compassion residing within me. In this crisis, it has allowed me to deal with my lack of personal space and my dwindling mental peace.

Journaling has enabled me to understand how I can create more happiness for myself and others, what my strengths and struggles are, and what I really need.

There is always a good reason and a real reason for doing something. Journaling helped me get to the real reason. I came out with a better understanding of myself, more compassion and more self love.

2. Investing In Myself

I love to learn. I read, watch, and listen to more things than I can remember but if I could get paid to learn, I would gleefully do it all my life! Learning, though believed to be a very good thing, gets in the way for me. It distracts me from what really matters. But this distraction has served me well in the last 6 weeks.

Since the time this quarantine started, I have finished reading ‘The How of Happiness’ by Sonja Lyubomirsky, ‘The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin, One Jack Reacher novel, and Things No One Can Teach Us by Humble The Poet. I have watched Liz Gilbert’s TED talk and finished over 7 previously ‘In progress’ courses on LinkedIn Learning.

This has helped me stay occupied, kill time outside of work, and kept my mind away from all the negativity and guilt which usually follows a netflix binge!

“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.” – Henry David Thoreau

3. Eating Healthy & Tracking My Food Intake

I come from a family of diabetics and also have family members who have died from cancer. Two of the deadliest diseases are in my genes so I need to be very careful about what I put in my body!

Working in an office that provides sumptuous food for free helped me build my mental muscle. Despite having access to some of the best food around daily, I choose healthy over delicious and in the last 45 days, it has made all the difference. Staying home, it is hard to resist the munchies but my practice for the last year and a half made resisting the nearest pack of chips a walk in the park. 

4. Meditation (AKA Writing)

Writing is my way to meditate. Like meditation, writing helps me reduce stress by taking my mind away from all the panic. It helps me control my anxiety because it slows me down and makes me think. In reducing my stress and controlling my anxiety, it makes me emotionally healthier and stronger.

At a time when I find it hard to focus for the majority of my day, writing lengthens my attention span, keeps me in the zone, and helps me stay focused! 

Most importantly, it quiets all the buzz in my brain and helps me get a good night’s sleep! I know this one because I track my sleep and for the last few weeks, the days I have slept the best, are the days where I have written — until I couldn’t write anymore.

“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” – Martin Luther

5. Working Out

The house I live in is small. Put four people in it and it becomes tiny! Plus by working from home, all I do is sit and work. Because of this, workouts became non-negotiable.

I have now been working out consistently for over 3 years. Just like brushing or showering, it now comes natural to me, and I don’t have to spend energy thinking about it.

And boy has that kept my waistline in check! If I am sleepy, stressed, or feeling lazy, I go work out. Workouts have helped me stay energized and at the same time tire me out enough to get a good quality sleep at night.

Which of your habits are helping you during this time? Share them with us in the comments!

Tuseet Jha is an ordinary boy next door who is trying to deconstruct and demystify life one thought at a time. He writes a weekly newsletter on happiness and in addition to it, writes about productivity, minimalism and success on his blog.

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Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

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