1) Increase Your Self-Control
To immediately increase your self-control and feel calmer and more confident: slow your breathing down to 4-6 breaths per minute (10-15 seconds per breath). It is easier to do this if you pretend you are breathing through a straw, with pursed lips, and exhale fully. Don’t hold your breath, which will only increase stress. Do this for 2-3 minutes.
This works (according to Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal’s book The Willpower Instinct) because it “activates the prefrontal cortex and increases heart rate variability, which helps shift the brain and body from a state of stress to self-control mode.” I’ve tried it, and it works, though it makes me feel a little out of it if I’m already tired.
(Note: as Zach Garrett warns, make sure to adhere to the 2-3 minute time limit, as this is well below the normal respiratory rate of approximately 12-20 breaths per minute and can cause an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the blood. This is an issue because carbon dioxide in the blood is a leading factor in affecting blood flow to the brain, which could explain the “feeling out of it.”)
Practice loving kindness meditation before you go out to a party or enter a stressful social situation (e.g. a difficult conversation or a tense meeting). I’ve found that when I do this before a party (and supplement it by silently wishing “Be well” to people as I walk by them on my way to my destination), I show up feeling incredibly confident and open to connecting. A free less-than-10 minute guided meditation is available from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
3) Low Back Pain Exercises
Struggled with back pain for days after sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress, tried a dozen suggestions online to cure backaches but none was as effective as doing a set of the above exercises. You might think you need rest and some of them might look like they could cause you more pain, but they don’t and personally I could feel the difference in just a few hours and my pain completely disappeared after I repeated the set at the end of the day.
Placing pillows under the knees while sleeping on your back and between your knees while sleeping on the side, drinking lots of water and taking a warm water bath can help too!
4) If You Want to Convince Somebody of Something, Speak in Their Right Ear
If you want to convince somebody of something, speak in their right ear, and touch their arm. Studies of someone asking for a cigarette from strangers showed something like a 45% increase in compliance when the asked leaned in on the right.
5) Resetting Your Body Clock
This is particularly useful to counter Jet lag. You can change your sleep cycle by fasting for about 16 hours before your intended wakeup time. Most people usually need only 12 hours.
You can train your brain of whatever you want to do while sleeping. All you have to do is think about it before you sleep
- Realize this: Every time you move during your sleep you will first be half awake.So before you sleep, set to your mind that you will sleep and relax all those n hours. Learned this after realizing I kicked my guitar out of bed in my sleep when I woke up in the morning. Now, even if I doze off with my laptop in my lap on a couch or somewhere else, my laptops’ still in one piece! yay! Whatever position I sleep in will be my position when I wake up.
- You’re not totally defenseless when you sleep. You can sleep like a rock, but be alert as a soldier in the battlefield at the same time. When your body is subjected to dangerous situations, your brain will jump start your body and before you realize it, your body is ready enough to tackle the situation at hand. Learned this by myself from a 4 day trek to a mountain, i later learned that your sense of hearing is still active while sleeping. I guess this is true for the sense of touch too because i tested this myself, i slept while holding on to a bread, every time my grip from the bread is loosening, i half-awake and re-grip it so it wouldn’t slip.
- This one I want to learn next: Some people can sleep full straight 7.5 hours while standing! Now that is amazing, I wish I could do this someday, i have an uncle who can do this.
- Christian Relleve is correct, you can control your dream, you can even control what to feel in your dream as if you’re really feeling it while awake, you can also control all the succeeding scenarios of your dream, who will appear and will they do. I used to do this a lot and test what else could I do in my dreams in my late childhood to early teen days.
7) The Shangri-La Diet.
1) Buy some extra light olive oil. (ELOO)
2) Go one hour without eating or drinking anything that has any flavor or calories.
3) Swallow 2tbsp ELOO (you get used to it. I keep mine in a sipper bottle.)
4) Go another hour without eating or drinking anything with flavor or calories.
5) Repeat steps (2)-(4) 2-3 times a day, for a few days.
6) Notice that your appetite is much reduced, you want to eat less often, and when you do eat, you feel full much sooner. If not, uh, you’re doin’ it wrong.
7) Repeat steps (5)-(6) until desired body weight achieved, or you get bored.
When studying or doing something that requires sustained mental focus, the best music to listen to is that of Johann Sebastian Bach. The reason is that J.S. Bach tended to compose pieces at a tempo that roughly approximates your pulse rate (50 – 60 beats per minute), helping to keep you alert but not overexciting your brain.
9) Water Into Your Ears
Many times while bathing or swimming you might get some water into your ears which refuse to come out. Annoying it is and also causes a drumming effect inside your head when you move.
The simple solution is to tilt your head so that the affected ear faces up and pour some more water into it. Immediately flip your head and you will see that all the water comes out.
I am not sure but I think initially water stays in due to its surface tension that holds it inside the ear canal, capillary effect. So when you pour in some more, your are increasing the weight of the water in the canal, so much that the surface tension cannot hold it anymore.
10) Stress Relief:
If you’re under a high level of stress:
Head out to your car
Sit in the drivers seat and make sure you have some legroom
Take a deep breath
Simultaneously: Grab and squeeze the steering wheel as tightly as you can, flex every muscle in your body as hard as you can, and scream as loud and as long as you can at the top of your lungs until you are completely out of that breath
While it sounds counter-intuitive to relieve stress, the intense exertion will calm you down, it’s like a 60-minute workout in 30 seconds.
Once you are a master, it’s fun to do at red lights, especially when you have people in traffic next to you.