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The Primacy of the Felt Experience

Hello again,

I find it amusing and a little bemusing to think that we human beings come delivered, pre-packaged, with everything we need to live a contented, peaceful and purposeful life, and then pretty quickly we adopt everything we need to fuck it all up.

Others have said that more eloquently, no doubt. But however it’s put, it’s the crux of this very human condition we’re all experiencing.

Which is to say that all experience is rooted in sensations. There are no exceptions to that rule. If we’re lucky enough to be healthy then what we come pre-packed with is a range of sense organs whose function it is to perceive sensory data to give us sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, as well as the lesser-considered senses like proprioception, interoception, acceleration, pain, balance, agency, familiarity, and, even, time.

Our reality is being continually created in every moment by the confluence of our senses.

What am I seeing, what am I hearing, what am I tasting? And so on.

This is the primacy of the felt experience.

At this level of experience there is no good or bad, no right or wrong, no judgment, no prejudice, no expectation, no success or failure. There simply is what is. And in that wide expanse of momentary being, everything slows to the natural rhythm of existence, everything remains open to the potential of the connecting moment, everything is perfect as it is.

But then, because we’re such advanced and crafty apes, we add to this primary layer of experience the layer of cognition. And in doing so we form interpretations and make meaning from the sensory data we perceive.

And it is in this secondary layer that we, invariably, fuck it all up.

Because all disturbance to our contentment, peace and purpose, all mental dis-ease, is rooted in thought. There are no exceptions to that rule.

As soon as we enter the thinking realm, our brains have already kicked in with a variety of ingenious software plug-ins like prediction and bias, which are based on past experience to save us time and keep us safe and functional, but the algorithms of these plug-ins can’t help but tint and distort present reality.

You’re standing in the socially distanced queue outside Sainsbury’s, for example, and the guy in front has his eyes glued to his phone and isn’t noticing when the queue moves forward and so keeps holding up your progress. And it’s beginning to really piss you off and you quietly stew in anger and you mutter under your breath about what a selfish prick this guy is and when is he gonna learn some civility, the massive bell end, and I’d like to rip his stupid phone out his hands and ram it up his…Except you’re not actually responding to the present reality, the primary sensory experience, of this guy on his phone. You’re reacting to your thoughts that automatically kicked in about him. Your brain came up with a (quite plausible) story. A story about him being selfish and uncivil, and so on. But you’ve made that story up from a limited set of data which you’re now reacting to. You’re not actually reacting to him at all. You’re reacting to you.

The primary sensory experience of this situation might go something like, “I’m seeing a man in front of me who’s looking down at his phone and so isn’t noticing when the queue moves until a little after it has moved.” That’s all. There’s no meaning attached. No interpretation. Simply the objective observation of what’s taking place.

Him being selfish and uncivil is the story you’ve attached to the sensory data. And it might be a correct story. But you couldn’t be sure unless you asked him. Because what if he was texting his mum who’s badly ill at home who needed something from the supermarket and he’s in a panic about her and he’s worried sick and he’s quite understandably distracted? Would you still think he was selfish and uncivil or might your story change?

I’ve just spent an entire weekend in the neurosomatic psychotherapy training I’m doing, practising almost nothing but sensitivity. In other words, doing almost nothing but observing and communicating the primary data of my senses. And let me tell you it’s really, really, really difficult.

But it’s also really beautifully simple. It’s what my dad used to call coming into the back. It’s dropping back from the narrative-making prefrontal cortex into the innate observer we all have within us who is connected directly with our wisdom.

And when we do that—when we focus on our senses rather than on our thoughts—life simplifies. It can go from feeling overwhelming to manageable, from boring to interesting, from dulled to alive with potential.

This happens because of and for a number of reasons but the main one is that we can only properly focus on one sense at a time. And in doing so we begin to regulate with whatever we’re sensing. In other words, we begin to regulate with our environment, and we find equilibrium.

So if we’re in a state of heightened stress or anxiety or overwhelm, for example, we can re-regulate ourselves, our entire organisms to our environment. We find balance and harmony with the natural order. Our heartbeat normalizes, our breathing slows, our muscles relax, we ground, we become alert, awake and conscious, and suddenly life becomes perfect exactly as it is.

And all we have to do, in any given moment, is return to our senses.

Makes sense, no?

Love, Jake x

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Crowded House – Jake Russell – Cobsalad

A couple of thousand years ago or thereabouts the Roman Stoics practised a mental exercise (as in, for the mind; not as in, my mate Jonny puts ketchup on everything—he’s so mental) as an antidote to what’s much more recently been termed ‘hedonic adaptation.’

We’ll return to the Stoics shortly, via an age-old fable, but first, hedonic adaptation is, essentially, the phenomenon of wanting something new, getting it, and then pretty quickly getting bored of it.

It’s something I’m sure everyone’s familiar with.

Wanting a new car/house/job/relationship/whatever.

That whatever becomes the object of your desire, the answer to your prayer, the moly to your holy grail:

The shiny new Mercedes; the 4-bed semi with kitchen side return; the Marketing Director promotion; the beautiful woman who stirs your loins and emotion. And sometimes you’re lucky enough to get what you want and it’s every bit as good as you’d hoped.

The car eats up the tarmac like a beast; the galaxy of stars displayed through the symmetrical skylights of your swanky side return has never seen such successfully presented soirées; as the Marketing Director you have an assistant who brings you coffee and respect; the beautiful woman who stirred both your loins and emotion isn’t only beautiful, she’s also the first person to truly, finally, get you.

Ahhhh, at last, life is good…

And then, comically quickly in fact – absurdly so given the force of importance previous placed on the attainment of the object of desire – you start to notice:

The little rattling sound coming from the rear panel when you accelerate that makes you think I bet that doesn’t happen on a Porsche; a polished concrete dinner table that’d suit the new space much better; that the Managing Director gets croissants with her coffee, goddamnit, that’s true respect; that I do like my new girlfriend, but I wish she wasn’t so patronising with her assumptions about who I am.

And so on.

And on and on. Never, ever satisfied.

But it need not be so, said the Stoics. They twigged this bug in the human system, this forever-wanting mind, and they figured out some ways to counter it, to drop the constant wanting and to feel contentment and tranquillity instead.

One such way is the mental exercise of negative visualisation. The idea with this is to periodically consider what your life would be like if conditions were worse than they currently are. So, for instance, rather than getting frustrated that your mid-range Mercedes isn’t a Porsche, consider what your morning commute would be like on the bus; instead of coveting the polished concrete table, imagine if your house were flooded, ruining your whole ground floor; rather than coveting croissants with your coffee, imagine if some terrible trauma took away your ability to swallow; instead of wishing your girlfriend were different, consider how lonely you were before.

And so on.

And on and on. Little by little becoming more content and satisfied with things exactly as they are.

The idea of negative visualisation is rather nicely, if inversely, illustrated by the fable of the crowded house. Credit must go to LS who told it to me recently and who I can only hope won’t mind my remixed version:

A man lives in a small, cramped dwelling and his lack of space is making him miserable. So he goes to the local Wise Woman and says, “Look here. I’ve got a tiny little shit’ole of a house and it’s not half getting me down, old Wise Woman. What say you to that?” And Wise Woman says, “Get a chicken.”

Bit weird, he thinks, but she’s not been wrong yet, so he gets a chicken. Now it’s him and a chicken in his tiny hovel and the chicken’s squawking, shitting and shedding feathers and the miserable man feels even more miserable than before. He goes back to Wise Woman and he says, “I got a chicken like you said but it’s made things even worse.”  

“Get a goat,” says Wise Woman.

This bint’s lost the plot, he thinks, but he gives her the benefit of the doubt and gets a goat. Now it’s him and a goat and a chicken and the goat’s an angry, spitting bastard and the chicken’s still fowling (geddit?) up the place, and the man’s even more miserable again. He goes back to Wise Woman in a right old huff, and he says, “I got a goat to add to the chicken but now I’ve got even less space!”

“Get a cow,” says Wise Woman.

You nutty old broad, he mutters to himself as he walks away, but still, he follows her counsel. Now it’s him and a cow and a goat and a chicken inside his little shack and the stink and racket and chaos is quite literally driving him up the walls. He goes back to the Wise Woman, his eyes mad from lack of sleep, his hair on end, all covered in animal crap and he says, “Now you listen to me, Wise Woman, I got the chicken, I got the goat, I got the cow, all like you says, and not only am I not less miserable, I’m the most miserable I’ve ever been!”

“Now get rid of them,” says Wise Woman. So the man gets rid of them.

And never has he loved his dwelling more. 

As I say, credit goes to LS. Since I’m in the credit-giving mood I’d like to give my mum her due credit for trying to get me to think this way while I’ve been unwell. Things could always be worse. Be grateful that they aren’t. Sorry mum if I was grouchy when you tried.

And since, one paragraph later, I’m still in the credit-giving mood, I’d like to point your attention in the direction of someone else who deserves a whole load of it. My friend, Tom Lawton, is an inventor, an inventor with movie star looks no less, and his latest project, Wonder, is a thing of sheer beauty and artistry. It’s a “kinetic, ethereal, meditative sculpture” which took its inspiration from my dad, and Tom’s good friend, Stephen, practising Qigong. Tom has a Kickstarter campaign going here, with a beautiful short film about it, and I’m sure he’d be grateful for any pledge you can afford if it takes your fancy. And if you feel like reading more about the whole idea, Tom’s story of Wonder is here.

And with that I wish you week of chickens, goats and cows. And love and wonder.

Jake x

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300 – Jake Russell – Cobsalad

Hello again.

You’re probably aware of the 10,000 hours “rule” made famous by Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. Practise something for 10,000 hours, the theory goes, and you become a master. Well, it turns out, a little disappointingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, to be a big old oversimplification.

Ten thousand hours of practise doesn’t guarantee mastery.

Not for everyone, anyway, and so while it’s a nice, neat sounding number, it’s not a rule. And when you think about it, how could it be? We’re all so different from one another, wired so differently, informed by such diverse experiences and environments that one simple number simply can’t apply universally. It’d be like saying we all sneeze 47,000 times.

Which isn’t to poopoo the point of practise. I love the idea of dedicating yourself to something. And if that something calls you to practise for ten thousand hours then whether you emerge a master or not seems secondary to me. Because if you’re fortunate enough to be called, to find a calling, then you’re already winning, you’ve already won.

To be called to practise in this manner requires diligence and humility, and it is, by necessity, ego-transcendent. Dedication to the pursuit of practise and improvement, no matter the skill, gives you no choice but to get out of your own way: To make mistakes, to repeatedly fail, to repeatedly try again, to know that however good you think you’re getting you’re never the finished article – and to know, as the practise develops, that that isn’t the point anyway.

Because, really, there is no finished article. But there’s always the beginnings of one.

And for some, simply beginning is where all the trouble seems to lie.

If beginning is your problem then consider this other, far more palatable, number: 300.

Forget 10,000 hours and becoming great and all the rest and focus on 300 instead.

Because, the neuroscientists figure, it takes roughly three hundred repetitions of something new to form its corresponding neural pathway. In other words, it takes just 300 reps of anything to start becoming reasonably good at it. Or, put another way, it takes 300 repetitions to begin, quite literally, to embody the practise. And when you’ve begun to embody something – taken an externality and integrated it – then those 300 reps may turn into 10,000 hours yet.

So, a happy 300 to anyone thinking of beginning.

Jake xx

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Gibberish and Neep – Jake Russell – Cobsalad

I can’t remember now if he preferred to call it gibberish or gobbledygook – I’ve gone with the former because I like how it makes my title sound like a fancy beverage or an incompetent law firm – but my dad, Stephen, liked to conduct full conversations in nonsense.

We’d be sitting on the tube rattling under London, the decibels from travelling through tight tunnels at speed all but drowning everything else out, and so he’d lean into me and rather loudly and in perfectly recognisable intonation, say, “Eshplag torria tiahnshaama florrgstahias?” or something to that effect.

And, under the covering din, I’d respond – a little sheepishly, but happy to play nonetheless – “Aflushgorriatia berrifycaca.”

“Huh,” he’d return, as if genuinely considering my response, “Tihbdu jrereh adghetrefrvm spludge.”

And so it would continue, this back and forth of made up alien gabble punctuated with real laughter, him testing the limits of how loud and expressive he could take things, me not being nearly so brave, until the tube began to slow as it approached the next station, and I could all but pray he’d quieten down before the decreasing clatter and clang of carriage on track revealed to our fellow passengers that he – and reluctantly I – were completely, utterly nuts.

He came to meet my last girlfriend for the first time and gave us a lift in his car, and he turned to her, not an hour after meeting, and asked if she spoke Gibberish.

“Gibberish?” she asked.

“Waftherzlip agshdathgwa,” he responded, deadpan.

“Quicjdhjdteb hcbnvsfdarwpqqs agqtrwben” she wholeheartedly concurred.

And for the next 15 minutes they conversed like a pair of merry loons while I prayed for a sinkhole to appear up ahead.

His other, perhaps primary, calling card was Neep. Maybe the oddest little sound you’ve ever heard. It was a bit like the “Ni!” that the Knights Who Say Ni from Monty Python say, but more nasal, deeper, a little more resonant, and so peculiar that when he said it – which was always entirely out of the blue, for no discernible reason whatsoever – you wondered whether you’d heard anything at all.

And he actively enjoyed saying it in precisely the most inappropriate places.

Like a packed and self-consciously quiet lift. Or in that moment of pregnant silence at the cinema just before the film starts. Or in the Whispering Gallery at St Paul’s Cathedral.

And every time he’d do it, it’d take me (and, presumably, everyone) by such surprise that I had to channel my entire point of focus into not exploding with laughter. And although I could never look up at him to check, because if I did it’d surely send me over the edge, I’m pretty certain he was watching to see how funny I found it, smiling.

I wish everyone a lovely, laughter-filled week, with love,

Jake x

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5 Ways to Declutter Your Mind

5 Ways to Declutter Your Mind

When it comes to decluttering your home, there’s a simple solution: put everything on eBay (this is a bit oversimplified, but it’s possible, isn’t it?). Yet, when it comes to decluttering your mind, it’s not really possible to unload your thoughts onto eager internet buyers…or is it? Here are a few ways to declutter your mind.

#1: Declutter your space. We are what we eat…and what we see. While people may argue about whether or not violent movies can raise a generation of messed-up, angry kids, let’s just err on the side of caution and declutter the space around us. With less things in our field of vision, we have less garbage to stew over and worry about…freeing up the space in our mind.

#2: Declutter your schedule. Another thing that can drive us crazy is the constant rush from one activity to another. Take a look at your schedule and start eliminating things that aren’t necessary. All they’re doing is adding stress to your day and giving you more food to throw into the ever-sprilaing mental stew of stress.

#3: Unplug from the party. Would you be able to sleep and rest easily if you were attending a party of several thousand people—say, like Times Square on New Year’s Eve? That’s pretty much what’s going on with your smartphone, tapped in as you (probably) are to several social media networks. The pings, dings, and rings from various contacts, along with the thrill of finding a new message are all adding small but unhealthy doses of stress to your day.

#4: Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about engaging with the present in a fully, alive way. There are lots of ways to practice the skill of mindfulness, from meditation to just staring at an object (like a candle) and contemplating its existence. Mindfulness will help you learn how to push relevant concerns out of your conscious thought process, leading to increased concentration and a decluttered mind.

#5: Let go. Remember that scene from Titanic where Kate says to Jack, I’ll never let you go? Well, sometimes it’s best to let old memories die. From broken relationships to diabolical bosses, we tend to have a whole lot of backstory spinning in the back of our mind. Just let it all go, and like a computer that suddenly operates faster, you’ll find your mind in a much more free and easy state.

Until Next Time

Dominus Owen Markham

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Love Actually – Jake Russell – Cobsalad

Hi everyone,

This week’s piece has been on my mind for a while. I’ve known I wanted to write something to mark the year since my dad died, but I haven’t known what. The temptation is to go all Richard Curtis and sentimental. And he’d have liked that. He couldn’t resist a bit of schmaltz.

But what comes to mind today as I think about things, about these sad, mad, but not all bad 12 months, is something that’s been slowly circling through my mind for a few years now and has gained a certain solidity since this time last year.

It’s a really quite simple observation, nothing ground-breaking or show-stopping, and I’m not the first to have it, but it feels important to say today. It’s that pain – or, perhaps to be more precise, the suffering that comes from pain – is simply the other side of love. It’s the denial of love, the refusal, the rejection, the absence of love. It’s that wherever pain exists, love is what’s missing.

And that therefore, just as hot is to cold or light is to dark or Curtis is to Cubric, the cure – perhaps the only cure – for pain, is love.

And therefore, furthermore, that if we’re all, as I think we all are, beings in pain – to some degree or another – we’re all also capable of being in love.

I’m sure there are a few cave-dwellers dotted atop some mountains who’ve been meditating almost constantly for 35 years that exist in a state of blissful free awareness, unattached contentment, but for anyone who wants to live in society, with people, in relationship, performing tasks and ventures, objectives and adventures, pain, it would seem, is an unavoidable part of the deal.

But I’m convinced, completely, that wherever pain is found, then below its surface, maybe just below or maybe hidden deep, is a well of love waiting to be tapped.

And in that, as some great philosopher-filmmaker once wrote, love actually is all around.

There you go pops, that one’s for you.

 

Jake xx

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What Are You Thinking?! – Jake Russell – Cobsalad

Do you ever think about how much time you spend thinking? Or to be specific—how much time you spend thinking without thinking you’re thinking?

Because when we begin to examine it, we quickly see that we get so lost in thought we don’t even know we’re thinking.

Which has got me thinking.

That whether we’re engaged in fully conscious thought or lost in the fast current of unconscious cogitation, our thoughts materialise from somewhere just off camera, just beyond our frame or field of awareness. We don’t direct them into existence. There’s no central subjective Self, some Mini-Me of the mind, sitting somewhere just behind the eyes, pulling all the strings and levers of our faculties.

That might be a troubling thought to think: that we’re not in charge of our thoughts.

You would’ve thought, wouldn’t you, if there was anything at all we were in charge of in these infinitely complex lives of ours, it’d at least be the content of our noggins.

But as anyone who’s spent even just a minute in meditation will tell you: not so.

If you sit and close your eyes and attempt to focus on your breath, you’ll inevitably, invariably and almost instantly be buffeted and bombarded by thoughts. Try it.

All manner of thoughts will come. Some might even feel quite relevant like, “I’ve never noticed how hard it is to stay focussed on my breath.” And before you know it you’re thinking when thinking was exactly what you didn’t have in mind.

So yes, when you get down to it, it’s really quite clear that we have pretty much zero say in our thinking.

And again, that might be a troubling thing to contemplate.

Because it leads, in one direction at least, to the question of free will: If I don’t control the thoughts I have, and if all action is the manifestation of mind, then what exactly, if anything, am I in charge of here?

But since free will, it seems to me, seems to be one of those rarefied dinner table conversation topics, like voting conservative or going vegan, that provoke heated debate then ire, I’ll leave it for another day (a decision which to some will prove the existence of my free will and to others will point to its absence since I didn’t author the thought or feeling that precipitated the decision…). As I said, best left for another day.

Not having control over the thoughts we think isn’t the same as saying we don’t have control over what we believe or say or do or don’t do. We might not control the moment-to-moment thoughts that arise in our mind’s eye, but we can choose our response.

This, I think, is the level of consciousness in which our agency exists.

And it’s in this agency that (whether or not we have true free will), we truly do have freedom. And in it’s in this freedom that we can choose to make our lives, and the lives of others, as pleasant as can be.

It’s a little like the weather. We can’t help it if it rains or shines, we have no say in the matter at all.

But we can take an umbrella and choose a lovely pair of boots.

And with that I wish you happy thinking.

Love, Jake x

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Help, Again – Jake Russell – Cobsalad

Way back in the summer (remember then? It was, genuinely, remarkably, somehow, a simpler time), I used this weekly piece to offer a free coaching session to anyone who wanted one. The response surprised me delightfully, and I was honoured and fortunate to speak with a considerable number of people and I’ve felt even more honoured and fortunate to continue working with many of you.

And now, as we shift into a new year, a new time, I’d like to make the offer again. So, to anyone who didn’t respond then, or did and we didn’t manage to connect, or we did connect but only did one session and for whatever reason didn’t carry on, or to anyone reading this anew, if any of you would like a free session, my offer stands again. If you’re reading this on cobsalad.com you can contact me here otherwise just reply to this and we’ll arrange it.

Here’s a bit about me and how we might work together.

I’m training to become a psychotherapist – I began a few years back, took a break, and I’ve returned to it to train in a modality that goes by the name of Neurosomatic Psychotherapy. The approach combines neuroscience, physiology and psychotherapy to help people gain emotional insight and alignment by understanding the body and the brain’s contributions to the processes of living in relationship to oneself, the world, and others.

To bridge the gap to the time that I qualify, I’ve trained and gained certification in a form of coaching that predominantly uses a cognitive-behavioural approach to helping people form and work toward goals and to surmount the inevitable obstacles that rise up along the way.

The work of therapy and coaching is, in large part, to uncover or recover those things in life that are of greatest value to you and to understand how to attain and maintain those things of greatest value, both spiritual and material.

When we begin to gently clean away the surface layer of psychological defence and protection, what’s revealed is pure and near universal: I believe what most, if not all, of us truly want is greater tranquillity of mind, connection, contentment and compassion; less anger, sadness, isolation, hatred, blame and regret.

The work of counselling and coaching is to orient oneself further away from the latter and further toward the former. It’s to prioritise what matters most while we’re still alive.

It’s to learn how to stand again from inevitable setbacks and to roll and rise with the vicissitudes of living, to win the things of greatest and deepest meaning to you.

It’s to see or frame our setbacks from a new perspective. To understand that the list of things in daily life that we have no control over is long (like, for instance, running out of milk for your coffee when all you want is a milky coffee, or, I don’t know, a massive bastard of a pandemic), but what we do have control over is our response to the setback. Admittedly, thinking philosophically in those moments of crisis is difficult and the difficulty increases linearly or perhaps exponentially with the severity or longevity of the setback itself. But it is precisely this that’s the work of living meaningfully and well.

It is the work of transforming oneself from victim to Stoic, from prosaic to poet, from helpless to heroic. And watching, as we do so, how life flourishes and becomes beautiful.

Living well isn’t easy, nor is it, I believe, a permanent state. It requires continuous practise. And the way to get good at something, to become successful, is to do it repeatedly and thoughtfully.

Successful people do difficult things often and routinely fail. And it is their willingness to risk failure that leads to reward. Their “failures” become sources of fuel for renewal, to go again stronger, wiser, kinder, more open, more flexible, and with greater resilience, and it is the repetition and thoughtfulness – the conscious practise – that leads to success.

Success doesn’t necessarily mean fame or fortune or lots of milk. Success, simply, practically put, means finding good solutions to the problems that present themselves; to experience life as it comes and to work creatively with it (to minimise anguish, anxiety, unnecessary suffering). In short, to live a life worth living. To live fully.

Many people avoid doing hard things precisely because the fear of failure is too great. The work of coaching or therapy for a client is itself hard. It’s why it’s work. But it’s why it works. It’s an opportunity to take risks. To try new things, to speak, to open up and expand, with a companion, in the safest of environments without fear of judgment or recrimination, but with support, trust and enduring empathy. And thus, to begin to succeed.

If you’d like to give it a go with me, I’d certainly like to go with you.

Contact me here or reply.

With love,

Jake x

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Reorient Forward – Jake Russell – Cobsalad

As we reorient ourselves once more to face forward, looking up at 2021 as it forms before us, it may well feel daunting, it might’ve already floored us, But give me time, it implores us, because 2021 might turn to adore us.

Right now, admittedly, that feels, at best, imaginary. But if we first don’t imagine, how can we make any single thing happen?

Imagine then act and imagination becomes fact.

Not always, maybe not even often, but enough for our failures to recede and soften.

Enough to climb from the canvass and go again like a badass. Because the bell’s just rung for 2021.

A new round of the adventure has begun.

So, stand strong and tall, guard up and mindful, active not idle, with imagination switched to kind and beautiful.

Now, keep stepping forward.

And however implausible the thought is, this might be a year to reward us,

Love, Jake xx

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7 Relaxation Methods

7 Relaxation Methods

We face new challenges each day, especially in this current COVID-19 Age and in the long run these challenges contribute to high stress levels. Stress can affect our well being and reduce our productivity. When we let pressure build up we can end up harming others, making irrational decisions, and in extreme cases we vent out our stress to others. Therefore it is vital that we find a way to reduce stress levels.

There are various ways we can unwind and here are 7 Things you can do to relax.

1. Do Some Yoga or Learn To Meditate

Find a quite room and do some yoga. Yoga helps your body and mind relax. You can lookup brief yoga routines on YouTube and practice them. Yoga will help you release all the pressure that has been building up in your body and it is also beneficial for your body.

2. Listen to your favorite genre of music

Listening to music lets you get loose. As you get to listen to favorite musician you forget what is troubling you which in turn reduces your stress levels. A good thing about music is that you can plug in your earphones and separate yourself from the stressful environment.

3. Take a walk

You might opt to walk or jog into the park and enjoy what mother nature has to offer. If you leave in a noisy neighborhood find a quite place to walk. This lets you organize your thoughts and you get to view things from a clearer point of view. Find time in your busy schedule and enjoy the walk.

4. Play games

Computer games or physical games can do. If you love staying indoors then computer games will help you vent out the stress that has been building up in your body. You can play board games against your friends and it will hep you focus on something new other than your problems.

5. Hit the gym

The gym helps you relieve all the mental and muscle tension that builds up during the day. Your job could be demanding that you stay seated for a long period of time and this is bad for your health. Weight lifting will help you reduce all this tension that has been building up. You also get to socialize at the gym which is very healthy.

6. Watch movies

Watching movies lets you forget what has been stressing you . Take sometime off and watch a movie on netflix or in a cinema. Movies are enjoyable to watch and we can dedicate weekends to watching movies. You can also watch documentaries if you are not a fan of movies and you will learn new things.

7. Travel

Visiting new places is one of the best stress relievers. And whilst at the moment, travel may seem an impossibility, planning your next vacation can give you a positive future goal.  You can save for a vacation and to get your mind off the things currently stressing you. On vacation you get to interact with new people and learn their diverse cultures. Traveling helps you reduce tension in your life and you can take your family with you.

Until Next Time

Dominus Owen Markham

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