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Improve Your Sleep Through Meditation

Meditation is an excellent practice that can help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of sleep. You may also find that meditation helps you feel more refreshed with fewer hours of slumber. The following practices will encourage better sleep and bring you more energy.

Practices to Do Anytime

1. Breathe deeply. Breathing fully from your abdomen gets more oxygen to your brain. You’ll have more energy all day long and feel more relaxed when night falls.

2. Scan your body. Get in the habit of paying attention to your body. When you notice an ache or pain, you can adjust your position or talk with your doctor so small discomforts are treated before they build up and interfere with your sleep.

3. Become more mindful. Focusing on the present moment will help to keep you calm and happy. Studies show that multitasking may erode your concentration and create stress that can contribute to insomnia.

4. Let go of judgments. Meditation also helps to develop a mind free from judgment. Learn to observe your thoughts and reduce negative self-talk.

5. Identify obstacles. If some thoughts recur as you meditate, they could be trying to tell you something. Those nagging resentments or fears may be issues you need to resolve so you can live and sleep better.

6. Try Yoga or Tai chi. Exercises like Yoga or Tai chi are especially helpful when you approach them as a mental discipline as well as a physical workout. These movements and poses encourage deep breathing, stress reduction and enhanced concentration.

7. Use meditation to complement sleep. People who go on prolonged retreats are sometimes surprised that meditating all day may dramatically reduce their need for sleep at night. Proceed at your own pace to find the right combination of sleep and meditation for you. You may someday find that your body requires less sleep as you meditate more.

Practices To Do at Bedtime and Upon Waking

1. Limit your screen time. Meditation works wonders but any activity that gets you away from the TV or the internet will help you fall asleep. Studies show that many Americans are suffering from sleep problems because of the mental stimulation and looking at a brightly lit screen just before retiring. Turn all your devices off at least an hour before bed.

2. Create a quiet setting. Silence is conducive to both meditation and sleep. Now that you’ve got the TV off, put your phone away too. Decorate your bedroom with an emphasis on restful colors and soft textures.

3. Take the pressure off. Getting anxious about falling asleep is enough to keep you up at night. By shifting your attention to more constructive activities, you’ll dispel these tensions.

4. Use guided imagery or phrases. While you may try to avoid mental sinking during your regular meditation practice, you can adapt some of the concepts to use when you’re going to sleep. Select any soothing image or thought and allow your mind to become fully engaged with it. You might think about a still lake or a line of poetry or prayer.

• If you wake up after falling asleep, return your mind to your object of meditation. At first, you may still wake up during the night. If so, return your thoughts to the image or idea you used to help fall asleep.

5. Wake up more gently. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time each day so you can wake up naturally without using an alarm clock. Easing your mind awake gradually will enable you to hold onto the pleasant sensations you experienced overnight.

Meditation is a safe and effective method for alleviating insomnia. These techniques will help you enjoy deep and restful sleep.

Brain Power Pro


One wonderful thing about life is that each of us has our own unique skills and areas of expertise. Maybe you bake better than anyone you know and you can wash a car in 45 minutes flat. Or perhaps you know how to install tile floors and can re-upholster chairs and sofas, too.

But chances are good that you don’t know how to do absolutely everything you need done in your life! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to trade your skills and knowledge with others who have different abilities than you do?

You’ll experience great satisfaction whenever you apply yourself to help others. After all, if you’re doing things you know how to do well or love to do, the work won’t be difficult. In this day and age, everyone needs guidance or assistance to get things done.

In return for your unselfish sharing and efforts, you’ll probably gain the benefit of their abilities and experience. Everybody wins when you and your friends decide to trade off skills, knowledge, and work with each other.

Get together with a group of friends or neighbors and follow these steps for a successful “swap meet” that you can all benefit from:

1. Make a list. Each person writes down what they know how to do. This can be anything from doing tasks in the house and the yard to completing heavier jobs, skilled trades, or projects.

2. Make another list. Next, each person writes down some things they want to have done. This might look like:

• Take up the old carpeting and lay new carpeting.
• Get a tune-up for the car.
• Paint the rooms in the house.
• Obtain help cooking dinner twice a week.
• Wash the car once a month.
• Find someone to babysit the kids for an hour or two, twice a week.
• Pressure-wash the driveway.

3. Swap lists! Now, everyone trades lists of what they want done. This way, everyone gets to see the needs of the others.

4. Evaluate. Which tasks are you willing and able to do for someone? Record your name beside the tasks on their lists that you can do.

5. Make your trades. Now comes the “swapping” part. What can they do for you? What can you do for them? If someone marked some tasks on your lists, the two of you can get together and talk about what you want to do for one another.

• For example, if your neighbor John agrees to take up your old carpet and lay the new carpet you purchase, what can you do for him that holds equal value? Maybe you can watch his son after school for a few hours a week over the course of the next six to nine months.

6. Schedule. Plan out when you’ll do your tasks for one another. To avoid one person feeling like they’re only giving and not receiving, you’ll want to both begin to do your part of the task at around the same time.

Helping your friends and neighbors is a deeply satisfying experience. And so is getting work finished when it needs to be done! Plan a skills swap in your neighborhood and see how much you can accomplish together.

The Power of Breathing


What’s On Your Life Wish List?

Keeping a Life Wish List can help you experience all the things you really want.

All you need is paper and pen or your smart phone to get your list going. One of the best and easiest ways to keep your Life Wish List is to use a spiral notebook. This way, you can keep the list going wherever you are and can review it often.

To get started, think about all the goals you want to achieve.

This includes short-term plans, plans that will take a few years, and ones that will span the course of your life. Record the date you place each item on your list as it will help you begin to actively work toward the goal. You might even want to write the date you achieved your objective as well.

Take a look at this brief sample of a Life Wish List:

1. Take the final training at work to speak more effectively. 7-02-10 (Done 8-15-11)
2. Plan a weekend trip with my sisters in 2012. 9-29-10 (Scheduled 02-01-12)
3. Begin saving $100 monthly in August 2012 for a trip to Sweden in 2017. 1-18-11
4. Schedule evenings out with friends at least twice a month. 9-27-11
5. Watch the top 100 Movies over the next 2 years. 11-10-11
6. Obtain a part time job 3 months every year to bank money for retirement. 1-12-12
7. Take an 8-week Yoga course at the health club. 2-17-12

Ponder these points when putting together your Life Wish List:

1. Reflect on the kind of life you want. Do you want to be married, have children, and keep the same job for 20 years? Perhaps you strive to live the simpler life out in the suburbs or on a farm in the country.

2. Consider where you want to live. Maybe you want to stay in your hometown until you’re 55, then move on to the retirement place of your dreams. Or maybe you wish you could move out of the colder weather and live somewhere with a more temperate climate.

3. Do you want more education or training? You can avail yourself of the knowledge you’ll need, whether your ultimate goal is to earn more or just to excel at what you do.

4. How good is good enough? Speaking of excelling, maybe you want to be one of the best sales people at the store or office where you work. Being the best cook in the neighborhood could be your heart’s deepest desire. Consider what you need to do to achieve your dreams. Then, put your steps to your goal on your Wish List.

5. Make your home your sanctuary. Maybe it’s time to paint, re-arrange the furniture, or pick up a new piece of furniture to complete your mental image of your dream home.

6. Do you dream of a special vacation? Have you always wanted to go to London to see Buckingham Palace? Perhaps you wish you could cruise the Caribbean for a week. Whatever the destination, your dream vacation should be on your list.

7. Have fun! Consider activities you want to do just for personal enjoyment. Include plenty of these types of items on your Life Wish List. For example, maybe you want to learn how to paint with watercolors or how to play golf.

Keeping a Life Wish List is one of the most self-motivating things you can do. You’ll open your mind to all the things you want to participate in, see, and achieve. Plus, you’ll be consistently compelled to move forward to fulfill your desires and accomplish your goals. Start your Life Wish List today to live the life you truly want.

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Over the last few years, there have been some fascinating studies done to determine what makes people happy. If you’re wondering how you could increase your happiness, here are some strategies suggested by the research:

1. Give to others more often. Research indicates that people who give even a small amount of money, even just $5, are happier than those who spend money only on themselves.

• Even more fascinating is that when researchers evaluated how people who buy for themselves feel, it was discovered that purchasing new items had no real effect on one’s happiness.

• Maybe the reason you want to go shopping all the time is that, no matter what you buy or how much, it’s not really doing anything for you. Buying things doesn’t actually make you happy.

2. Have children after you’re married. Another unexpected fact discovered in the research is that having children did actually pump up happiness, at least if you’re married. In terms of gender, a married father’s happiness increased less than a married mother’s.

3. When you’re younger, go for excitement and adventure. Young people often reported their definition of happiness as “excitement.”

4. As you age, strive for peacefulness. As individuals age, they indicate that happiness means having a “peaceful” life.

5. Get some exercise. A Harvard study looked at people in their 50s and found that those who exercised regularly were happier when re-evaluated again at age 80 than those who didn’t exercise.

6. Maintain a healthy weight. In the same Harvard study, weight was also a factor that could either make or break your level of happiness. Those who are overweight or underweight experience less happiness than those who keep their weight in the average range.

7. Spend time often with your best friend. Go out and do things with your friends frequently or just hang out together. Having strong social supports will increase your happiness. Go ahead and call them right now for an immediate boost to your mood.

8. Meditate. According to the National Institute of Health, those who meditate regularly improve levels of happiness indirectly by increasing character traits that contribute to happiness, such as conscientiousness and empathy.

9. Experience more and buy less. Another fascinating take away from the research is that you’ll be happier from having more experiences in life than you will from having more material goods.

• Research indicates that people feel happier about their memories of events than they do about a recent purchase. After all, how often can you say to yourself ten years after buying something, “Wow, that new sweater really changed my life!” A canoe trip with your friends, on the other hand, is bound to create some great memories!

10. Engage in activities that make you happy. Regardless of what others tell you about how to spend your time, if you take part in activities of your own choosing, you’ll be happier. Think about your friend who says, “Cleaning my house makes me happy. I really enjoy doing it.” You might have said, “Ugh, are you kidding?” The key is to do what you enjoy.

• If you’re curious about acting in a play, take a local acting class. If you’ve always wanted to grab a pair of binoculars and go to the closest national park to go bird-watching, do it.

• When you do all the things that spur your interests and satisfy your curiosities, or things that simply make your heart sing, you’ll feel happier.

This newest research regarding what makes people happy might help you in your own quest. Take advantage of the information presented here and increase your happiness. Go ahead, make someone happy: you!

The Master Blueprints


Revealing Your Inner Warrior

Have you ever wanted to do something but your fear kept you from going for it? Or maybe you just felt like you didn’t have the time or energy. Do you wonder what it would take to enable you to muster up the strength and courage to go after your dreams?

Thankfully, you can pursue whatever you want in life by putting some simple strategies to work that will reveal your inner warrior!

Use these strategies to help you create the life you desire:

1. Get acquainted with your physical strength. Pumping some iron will help you recognize your physical strength, which is an important step to revealing your inner strength. If you love aerobics, get your heart pumping and do them with a vengeance, as long as your doctor approves.

• If you’re interested in improving your balance and flexibility, practice yoga to strengthen those. The point is that feeling physically strong will help you go after your dreams in other aspects of your life. Think of yourself as a warrior-in-training.

2. Know that you can do it. Just like the children’s story, “The Little Engine that Could,” so, too, can you do what you desire. You must know and believe, deep down inside yourself, that you can achieve your greatest dreams.

3. Keep your focus. Sure, you’ve got to go to work, raise your family, and live your life in the here and now. However, stay focused on your dreams by keeping reminders in your car, bedroom, living room, and briefcase or purse. Make a vision board with images and words about your goals and dreams and hang it on a wall where you’ll see it often.

4. Refuse to let anyone or anything stop you. If you’re 35 years old and you still want to go to college, start taking courses one at a time during your off-work time. If people say, “You’re too old for that” or, “You’ve already got a job. There’s no need for that,” just ignore them. A warrior is single-minded, and isn’t deterred by others’ perspectives.

5. Educate yourself thoroughly. Do you want to move to California so you can surf on the weekends? Read everything you can about the California coastline, the cities and towns found along the ocean, and the locales for the best surfing. Study it. Learn all there is to know about the area. The more you know, the more you can do.

6. Allot time in your week. Take small steps each week. For example, if your dream involves visiting all 50 states in the US, start by planning time to create a budget that allows you to visit 2 states a year: one relatively close by and the other further away.

• Also, schedule time to research the 2 states you plan to visit this year. This strategy is closely related to keeping your focus (#3) because if you’re regularly allotting time to work toward your goals, the minutes you spend on doing related activities will bring you closer to the dreams that are your focus. A wise warrior plans ahead.

7. Share your goals with your friends and family members. They’ll most likely be interested and thrilled that you’re going after what you want in life. They might even be inspired to try to fulfill their own dreams.

8. Love yourself. A concept that sounds simple yet is incredibly complex, loving yourself will help you see that you’re truly worth the time, effort, trouble, space, and money to stay focused on whatever you seek in life. A warrior is truly proud of what he can achieve.

You absolutely have the right to go after your dreams. When you follow these steps to uncover your inner warrior, no person or situation can stand between you and achieving your dreams.

Although it will take work and practice, revealing your inner warrior just might turn out to be the greatest adventure of your life!

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How to Become an Extrovert

Many of us are diehard introverts and have no desire to change. There’s nothing wrong with that! But some introverts long to be comfortable in social situations and enjoy a richer social life. If this is you, the great news is that you can become more extroverted with only a little time and practice!

What’s true of social styles is true of most things: when trying to attain a goal, there’s always a certain degree of motivation and resistance. You can think of the motivation as the motor in your boat and the resistance as the wave you’re trying to power over. If you can reduce the size of the waves, the journey is much easier.

Conquer common challenges to becoming an extrovert with these strategies:

1. Social skills that need polishing. Many introverts would be thrilled to be part of group social activities if they only felt comfortable about what to say and how to behave. But having a conversation with a stranger and feeling comfortable about it is something that anyone can learn to do.

• The key is to attend these social events repeatedly, then evaluate yourself. Strive for progress, not perfection.

• Remember to only compare your results to your previous results, not to the results of other people. Consider that perhaps they’ve had a lot more practice, or have been in environments that helped them cultivate those skills.

2. Small or nonexistent social circles. If you’ve largely kept to yourself for the last 10 years, you’re going to have to brainstorm. Ideally, seek out people who share the same interests. Join a basketball team at the YMCA. Join a book club. Use the online personals and say, “Hey, I’m just looking for a new friend.”

• There are plenty of lonely people who would love to have a friend or activity partner. You might even meet another introvert like yourself, and you can learn the ropes together and share a lot of mirth about it along the way! And there are plenty of active social groups that would love to have another person.

3. Spending too much time online. Socializing online is not the same as socializing with real people. In fact, studies have shown that the users that spend the most time on sites like Facebook report the highest levels of loneliness.

• Unplug and get out there. Ten years from now you’ll remember the canoe trip you took, not the online chat you had. You’ll also find that if you have more meaningful relationships in the “real world,” you’ll have far less interest in spending time online.

4. Fear. People are almost universally lousy at assessing risk and reward. Consider the amount of fear the average man has just walking up to a beautiful woman and saying ‘hello’. What’s the risk? There is no tangible risk. He will be safe pretty much regardless of what her response happens to be. And what’s the potential reward? Nearly unlimited.

• Almost all of us are uncomfortable in similar situations. Sometimes you can gain a lot by stepping back and intellectually examining your feelings. Then you can go ahead and do the thing that frightens you.

• After experiencing a few “failures,” you’ll quickly learn that it’s not unlike being afraid of the dark. When you turn on the light, there’s nothing there.

Being a lifelong introvert doesn’t mean your social future is set in stone. Changing yourself is always a little uncomfortable, but if you believe you can change, you’re halfway there.

Focus on all the benefits you’ll receive and the ways in which your life will improve. Even if you take small steps, as long as you continue, you can accomplish almost anything over time.

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When we tackle new goals, we often under-apply our resources. Perhaps you think about what is needed to succeed, and then allocate what you perceive to be the minimum amount of time and effort necessary. If you follow this pattern, are you surprised when you have trouble meeting your goal?

What if you choose to apply far more energy than you think is needed? Do you think the outcome might be different this time?

This is known as meeting a challenge with “overwhelming force.” This concept originates as a military term. Essentially, if you think a mission requires 200 soldiers and three tanks, then send 500 soldiers, ten tanks and two planes. Victory is all but assured and things go much more smoothly.

By over-committing resources and time instead of under-committing, you practically guarantee success. Then it actually takes bad luck to fail instead of good luck to succeed.

Example: Preparing for a Marathon

Let’s look at an example: completing your first marathon, starting out with zero training. Here are some areas in which you may want to focus your overwhelming force:

1. Time

• Under whelming: There are books that claim you can run a marathon in 4 months starting from a point of zero running experience. And it might work, if everything goes perfectly. But this sort of quick-and-dirty training is more likely to lead to injury or failure.

• Overwhelming: Give yourself 9 months or more. Commit to a long-term plan and then execute it.

2. Bodyweight

• Under whelming: Get bodyweight down to 180 lbs.

• Overwhelming: Get bodyweight down to 145 lbs. Really push yourself!

3. Diet

• Under whelming: Eat a healthy diet.

• Overwhelming: Eat a diet that supports long endurance sports. Be very specific in your food choices and adhere to your regimen.

4. Long run

• Under whelming: Become able to do a long run of 15 miles and hope that race day will carry you through the last 10+ miles.

• Overwhelming: Do long runs once a month of at least 23 miles. The best preparation for a big task is to practice as close as you can to the real thing.

5. Shoes

• Under whelming: Get a pair of running shoes.

• Overwhelming: Go to a store that specializes in running shoes and get a free gait analysis and professional shoe advice.

Developing Your Own Overwhelming Force

There are many more aspects of completing a marathon than are listed in the example above, but you get the basic idea.

Simply go above and beyond at every opportunity. Think of yourself as a customer service professional, only you are your own customer. How can you “wow” yourself in each area of focus?

Do you run into challenges and come up short on your goals? This is because, whether you realize it or not, you’re planning only for optimal conditions. You have no backup plan. The challenge is that conditions are rarely optimal and unforeseen situations invariably occur.

If you’re prepared to completely dominate your goal, then you will be successful, no matter what obstacles occur along the way.

To develop your overwhelming force, follow these guidelines when embarking on any project:

1. Time. Ask yourself how much time it should take, then add in a buffer of at least 25%.

2. Cost. Do your research and then add 25% to the expected cost.

3. Assistance. How much help are you going to need? Ensure you get more assistance than you think you’ll require.

4. Learning / Expertise. Gather more information than you’re likely to ever need.

5. Extras. Consider all the resources you’re going to need and then play it safe. Having some extras of everything in reserve is much better than coming up short in some critical area.

Imagine being successful with all of your goals on the first try. Success tends to breed more success. If you can get things right the first time, you’ll increase your confidence in the future, which will in turn help you be more capable. By meeting each challenge with overwhelming force, your success is all but guaranteed.

Think Faster, Focus Better, Remember More


Security is one of the most basic human needs. Most people value security because feeling secure feels good. But is it possible that your need for security is actually inhibiting the fullness of your life?

If we look at most of the successful self-made people in the world, we’ll see that many of them had to endure what would be considered a large degree of insecurity. For example, according to studies, the average self-made millionaire went broke more than 3 times on the way to their monetary goals.

Most of us crave financial security, yet how many of us would be willing to put ourselves in situations where we might end up broke, just to achieve that security? Do these successful people have less need to feel safe? Perhaps they simply see security differently.

Here’s their secret…

Most very successful people feel secure the majority of the time. They’re secure in themselves and in their abilities. They always have those two things available to them, regardless of their external events. Not having enough money is just a nuisance. While not ideal, it’s nothing to get bent out of shape about.

Risk vs. Reward

Most of us would feel more secure with $250,000 in the bank, a house that’s paid off, a stable job, and health insurance. The problem is that by the time most of us achieve all of these things, we’re nearly out of time. No one lives forever.

So to achieve the things that make us feel secure, the fastest path is usually to take action that might create a feeling of insecurity in the short-term. Taking some risk may be necessary to create a life that’s full of security. As with many things, security frequently comes down to risk vs. reward.

Starting your own business might be “risky.” You might go broke. You might have to sleep on your friend’s couch. But is that really the end of the world? Did you know that Sylvester Stallone was completely broke and his wife was pregnant when he was trying to sell his script for Rocky?

He even turned down $200,000 for the script because that particular film company wouldn’t let him star in the movie. He ultimately took less for the script, just to be able to be in the movie because he knew it was worth the risk. Stallone is now worth over $275 million.

Would you have taken the same chance? If your sense of security came from within you, then yes!

Inner vs. External Security

So, how can you change so that your feeling of security comes from inside you rather than from the outside? First, you need to simply decide that you’re going to perceive things differently. You also need to believe that you have the capacity to handle any bumps that occur along the way. That’s it! Just those two things are all you need.

Avoid letting your need for security undermine the achievement of your dreams.

If you feel the need to wait until all of your needs for security are met before you chase your dreams, you’re likely to run out of time first. Ask yourself if you really need all of those external things to feel secure. Then go get some real security.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

~ Helen Keller

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Healing Yourself After a Trauma

From time to time, we all experience unfortunate events, situations, and traumas. Although traumas might involve physical injuries and damage, they can also be emotional. If unaddressed, the results of these emotional experiences can last for years.

Today, we’re focusing on the emotional aspects of trauma and what you can do to expedite your recovery. Take some time to look back at your life and see if there are any old hurts that could use your attention. You can also use this as a guide the next time you experience an intense situation that leaves you emotionally smarting for a while.

These trauma coping strategies will help you heal:

1. Compliment yourself on making it through. You’re here and you’re alive. Whether your trauma involved only emotions or physical injury as well, the fact is that you’re strong enough to have survived.

2. Allow time to recuperate. You may not be completely recovered by next week. Healing from emotional trauma takes time and rest. In the evenings after work, allow yourself some time to relax.

3. Take it easy on yourself. Depending on your emotional trauma, you may still be going to work and carrying out your everyday life while you’re healing. Maybe you didn’t finish every task you wanted to complete while at work. Remind yourself that you’re doing what you can to get better and will soon be as efficient as ever.

4. Think positive. Long known to conquer many afflictions, thinking positive thoughts will help you speed up your healing. When you’re thinking troubling thoughts like, “I feel so sad today,” remind yourself, “I’m taking important steps each day to feel better.”

5. Find moments in each day to do what you like to do. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes a day, sit outdoors and watch the birds, work on the bookshelf you’re building, or check out your social media websites. Staying in touch with the things you love will speed your recovery.

6. Let yourself cry. If you feel emotions building up inside you, it’s quite natural to want to release them by having a good cry. Crying will provide some relief and help you leave some of your pain behind you. Go ahead and cry.

7. Listen to the music you love. Nothing brings joy to the soul in quite the same manner as music. Your prescription is: listen to music each day for at least 15 minutes. Some days you’ll find yourself extending that time a bit and maybe even singing along. Music will help you heal.

8. Pamper yourself. If ever there’s a time to indulge in the creature comforts you love, it’s whenever you’re healing from trauma. On your day off, lie on the couch and read a book. Play games all day with your kids. Take a nice long walk with your best friend.

9. Watch situation comedies on television. Laughing is good for your emotional healing process. You’ve probably seen a few comedies that you find humorous and entertaining. Now’s the time to ensure you watch a few every week. This is a bit of healthy escapism.

10. Incorporate physical movement into your day. Provided the doctor says it’s okay, engage in some physical activity each day. Go for a swim. Lift weights, or get on the treadmill. Physical exercise releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormones.

11. Surround yourself with the people you love. Play with your kids. Talk to your partner. Call your best friend. Invite your brother over for a visit. Remind yourself of all the positive people you have in your life and take advantage of their loving care and support.

12. Recognize when you need professional help. Allowing your emotional injuries to prevent you from living a full life is unproductive, at least after the initial few weeks or months. Instead, call a local mental health professional to help you sort through your challenging times.

Healing emotionally after a trauma takes time, patience, and effort. Put the above strategies into action to speed your emotional recovery. Trust that you’ll be better soon and discover the rich, full life that’s waiting for you.


Embrace the Positive Side of Compromise

The ability to compromise makes our lives and relationships run more smoothly, even if the concept sometimes seems challenging to implement. Here are some of the advantages of compromising as well as some techniques for finding middle ground.

Good Reasons to Compromise

1. Advance the greater good. Making reasonable concessions paves the way for finding solutions to difficult conflicts. For example, if you’re a parent with physical custody, be generous about accommodating your ex-spouse’s schedule so your kids grow up with two loving parents.

2. Facilitate cooperation. Teamwork flourishes in an atmosphere of trust and respect. By demonstrating your commitment to the common good, you make it easier to work together at the office and at home.

3. Strengthen your relationships. Cultivating our relationships is usually far more valuable than coming out ahead on any particular decision. Build good will by welcoming your mother-in-law’s help in the kitchen even if you think it would be faster to do a task yourself.

4. Feel happier. Our happiness depends more on the way we view events than on the events themselves. As you practice accommodating others, you’ll find that becoming more flexible and generous feels good.

Techniques for Making Constructive Compromises

1. Uphold your core values and needs. Distinguish between compromising and copping out. Bullying is destructive for both parties, so preserve your own integrity and set healthy boundaries. Be firm and respectful about communicating your rights and desires.

2. Prioritize issues. Save your energy for the stuff that really matters. As long as your son is getting good grades and staying out of trouble, maybe you can live with him coming home from college with an eyebrow piercing.

3. Gather facts. Try bolstering your position by doing the research to back it up. If your boss tends to resist change, he may be more receptive to approving a new employee benefit if you document how it saves money and improves employee retention.

4. Empathize with the other person’s position. When you’re asking someone to meet you halfway, try to put yourself in their shoes. Listen closely to their concerns and goals so that you can address them.

5. Consider all your options. We all attach different values to the same things. If you and your partner have different standards for house cleaning, you may be able to work things out by hiring a cleaning service.

6. Express appreciation. Thank people for being willing to make trade-offs. Acknowledge the concessions they make and their contribution to creating more positive outcomes. For example, if your employees work through the weekend to meet a production deadline, ensure it gets noted in their annual review and encourage them to take compensating time off.

7. Stick to your word. Think carefully before making a serious compromise so you’ll feel confident that you can live with it. Proceeding slowly is better than making promises you may later regret. On the other hand, your loved ones will usually be willing to rethink an arrangement if it’s undermining your wellbeing.

8. Take accountability for your decision. Once you spell out the terms you can abide by, assume responsibility for the choices you’ve made. This will help you to avoid becoming resentful.

9. Wield power wisely. Even if you have the upper hand in an interaction, it’s usually best to seek an agreement that’s acceptable to everyone involved. Future situations are likely to run more smoothly and you’ll enjoy more peace of mind.

Learning to give and take helps everyone to wind up with more in the end. Stay true to yourself while being open to making accommodations that create better solutions in our private and public lives.

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