Posted on

Smart Choices, Eating Out And Social Events On The TLC Diet

During the first couple of days of your TLC diet, you may be under the impression that it is difficult to follow. However, if you stick at it for longer than a fortnight, it’ll become easier and easier for you to follow, eventually becoming a habit. As we mentioned earlier in the book, there may be times when you’re too busy, or you may be going out with friends to a restaurant. During this time, you may be tempted to let the diet go. The key to sticking with the diet is to prepare yourself for every possible situation you can think of. It is important that you try to make sure you always have access to healthy food, regardless. As long as you have healthy foods available at all times, you will be able to eat healthily.

This means you should take part in smart shopping, know how to cook your food and you should know exactly what to eat when you’re eating out and attending social events. Once you are able to handle all of that, it will be easy for you to eat healthily, regardless of where you may be. You’re not going to have any excuses to run to the nearest fast food chain or eat chocolate. The way you cook is a big influence on how healthy your food is going to be. The right cooking technique can make a health ingredient even healthier. On another note, the wrong technique can make things a lot worse. Take deep frying as an example – you’re taking a vegetable and turning it into a giant sponge of fat. If you want to stay healthy, then you need to learn healthy cooking techniques.

Cooking Techniques

Cook using low-fat methods. Avoid using too much butter and oil. There are certain techniques that are preferred by advocates of the TLC diet.
These cooking techniques include:
• Grilling
• Steaming
• Boiling
• Roasting
• Baking
• Poaching
It is okay to sauté or even do some light frying, but keep your use of oil and butter low. You may want to invest in a good non-stick pan that will allow you to cook without using butter.

Eating Out On The TLC Diet

What you choose to eat during your outing all depends on the type of restaurant you choose.
If you chose to eat out at a Chinese restaurant, stay away from the fried rice and go for food that doesn’t contain MSG. Chinese cuisine consists of a lot of vegetables. Thankfully, on the menu, you’ll be able to find barbecues, roasted and steamed food. If you chose to eat out at an Italian restaurant, don’t eat too much bread. When you choose bread as a side dish, it can be easy to overindulge. Eating too much, however, can do more harm than good. If you chose pizza, go for ones that are packed full of vegetable toppings and choose half the amount of cheese. Sometimes, these restaurants overload the pizza with processed meat like pepperoni, bacon, and sausage. If you’re going for pasta, choose the red sauce because this is healthier than any cream.

Posted on

Gluten-Free Living For The Whole Family

If you’re able-bodied and able to look after yourself, gluten-free living is still very testing. If you are unable to do so, however, it becomes even harder than ever. Children, for example, are unable to buy and prepare their food, so they rely on their parents or guardians. A child with gluten sensitivity, therefore, will require even more care and attention. Seniors who are perhaps not as able-bodied as they once were, will also need catering for if they are unable to consume gluten. It may be challenging at first, but once you’ve got the hang of it, preparing food for family members, young and old, who cannot consume gluten, is actually a breeze.

Here are some useful tips to help the whole family live gluten-free

Always Wipe Down Surfaces

Whether it’s a chopping board or a kitchen work surface, when you prepare food of any kind, always wipe down work surfaces once you’ve finished. Use a good quality anti-bacterial cleaner, along with hot soapy water.

Always Prepare Gluten-Free Food Separately

It might sound like a bit of hassle, but gluten-free meals should always be prepared separately to regular meals. Again, this is large because of cross-contamination. Even if you are sure you’ve adequately cleaned up, you should never prepare a gluten-free meal directly after a regular meal.

Be Very Strict When It Comes To Cross-Contamination

Cross contamination is one of the biggest headaches when it comes to preparing gluten-free meals. Wiping down food preparation surfaces is a good start, but you also need to be wary of the cloths you use, the knives, chopping boards, where the food is being stored, and much more besides.
You also need to be careful when it comes to pots, pans, and oils. Ideally, it is best to purchase separate chopping boards, cloths, knives, cutlery, oils, pots, and pans that you use exclusively for preparing your gluten-free meals only. This way, the chances of cross-contamination happening are reduced exponentially.

Store Gluten-Free Ingredients In A Separate Cupboard

Another very useful tip when it comes to going gluten-free is to store ingredients in a separate cupboard. This cupboard will, therefore, be used purely for gluten-free ingredients. You could even go a step further and install a mini-fridge/freezer to store frozen gluten-free products such as meat, fish, and frozen veggies.

Try Plenty Of New Foods

Gluten-free diets are now more heavily catered for than ever before, meaning that there are all kinds of delicious, weird, and wonderful ingredients for you to try. You can buy gluten-free pasta, gluten-free bread, gluten-free flour, and much more besides. Why not get creative in the kitchen and try new things? This ensures that the lucky family members that get to eat the foods will have plenty of variety to choose from.

Posted on

Tips To Eating Out A Gluten-Free Diet

We aren’t here to sugar coat anything, so, unfortunately, we must inform you that dining out when you cannot consume gluten is certainly going to be tricky. While testing at times, it is certainly not impossible. To help make your life even easier, we are now going to be sharing a series of tips with you, based around gluten-free dining out.

Eat Earlier Or Later Than Usual

Restaurants are generally busier at certain times of the day, and indeed, on certain days of the week, and that can be challenging if you cannot consume gluten. When restaurant staff are busy and rushing around, they are more likely to make mistakes and forget about any special requests you may have made. If for example, you need to request that your fries be cooked in oil that has not been cross-contaminated, you can clearly and concisely tell the waiting staff, who can then inform the kitchen. If things are busy, this request could potentially be overlooked. Try to find out when the busiest times are, and maybe arrive an hour earlier, or later, to avoid the rush.

Read The Menu

As we’re living in the age of the internet, we can now browse a menu in the comfort of our own homes. Before you leave for your meal, look at the menu of the restaurant in question and find out what they offer that would be suitable for a gluten-free diet, and see if they have any specialty gluten-free options.
More and more eateries now cater to gluten-free diets, so you can now even order battered food made from gluten-free flour, that has been fried in gluten-free oil.

Choose Carefully

When deciding on a restaurant, it may be wise to choose a restaurant with plenty of gluten-free options. This not only means you can have more variety and more to choose from, but it also means that the staff will likely be qualified and experienced to deal with gluten-free diets and requests. This again minimizes the risks of mistakes happening, or cross-contamination.

Be Clear On What You Need

If possible, speak to the chef or the manager of the restaurant and be clear on exactly what you need. Remember, restaurants often share preparation surfaces, knives, cutlery, fryers, grills, pans, and so on.
This is why cross-contamination is so important. Even something as basic as the chef washing their hands before they prepare your meal will make a massive difference. If a chef is preparing fish and chips, for example, they won’t wash their hands after each individual fish they prepare. They wash their hands when the fish has been floured and dipped into the batter. If they were to then prepare your gluten-free version, even though there would only be small traces of gluten, this would still be enough to trigger a reaction. Washing their hands would, therefore, make all of the difference.

Ask Questions

Finally, before you tuck into your meal, be sure to speak to the server and ask them to confirm it is gluten-free. If there’s a salad dressing, or a sauce, even on the side, that you don’t recognize, again ask the server. If they aren’t sure they’ll ask the chef, who will then confirm that it is, or is not, gluten-free.

Thank Them Generously

While we aren’t here to tell you when to tip and how much, it is worth noting that kitchen environments, and restaurants themselves, can be stressful places to work at the best of times. As a way of thanking the kitchen staff and servers for going the extra mile for you, you may want to do the same for them to show them your appreciation. If you plan on eating there again, they will also likely remember and look after you, which is certainly not a bad thing. Well, hopefully, these tips come in handy when you have to dine out. Any little thing you can do to continue living gluten-free will greatly improve your results and your health!

Posted on

History Of Gluten & How It’s Affecting Our Health

Wheat and other similar grains are considered by many to be godsends. Ever since we became self-sufficient, and discovered farming and agriculture, we have utilized wheat and grains in a wide variety of different ways. From bread and pasta to beer and wine, what is seemingly the gift that keeps on giving. There is, however, a downside to being self-sufficient. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade or so, you’ll have noticed how more and more people seem to be adopting a gluten-free diet.
Initially, people thought it was just a fad, or a trend set by Hipsters looking to standout and rebel against society. It turns out, however, that gluten-free diets were not just fads at all, and that, in actual fact, they are able to provide a wide range of health and wellness benefits to those that follow them.

But why do people feel the need to adopt a gluten-free diet and lifestyle in the first place? Well, in order to obtain an answer to that, we need to go back in time more than a million years.
The Caveman Diet
Back in the Paleolithic era, back when our caveman ancestors roamed the earth, we had no farms, no convenience stores, and no pizza delivery services. In fact, the food we used to eat back then had to be found, foraged, or killed. Cavemen would hunt wild animals, they’d snag fish if they could, they’d eat nuts, seeds, berries, and anything else deemed edible that grew in the wild. Nowadays, paleo diets are hugely popular. The common misconception about these diets is that they are for weight loss. They aren’t. They’re primarily to help people avoid common food allergies and intolerances, and the nasty side effects that go with them. You see, back then, cavemen were not obese, they didn’t suffer from food allergies, and they didn’t need to use prescription medications to control and regulate a wide range of different health issues based primarily on the modern Westernized diet. Granted, life expectancies back then were very low, but causes of death were deemed to primarily be natural back then. Though wheat and similar grains did grow in the wild, back then we had no idea that they were edible, so we stayed well clear.

Farming, Agriculture, And Gluten

Around 10,000 years ago, give or take a few decades, something changed. We went from hunting and foraging our food to being self-sustainable. Yes, we discovered farming and agriculture, and we discovered that grains could be grown in the ground, harvested, and processed to make edible items like primitive types of bread. That means that evolutionarily speaking, we have only been eating gluten for around 10,000 years. That seems like a long time, but considering the other foods like those followed on paleo-based diets, have been consumed for more than ten times that amount of time, you can see that our digestive systems may not have actually had time to catch up.

It is believed that we first began harvesting wheat around 8800 BCE. Primarily it was harvested in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Assyria. Around 5000 BCE however, many other parts of the world were also harvesting wheat. During the Bronze Age, spelled became a staple ingredient in diets all over the globe.
By the 15th Century, the New World was regularly harvesting and processing wheat and similar grains to make all kinds of delicious creations. By the 19th century, brewing and bread-making techniques really improved, and things continued to grow and expand from there.

How Is Gluten Affecting Our Health?

Gluten comes from the Latin word for glue. This is because it is able to hold grains such as wheat together and bind them. This protein is responsible for giving grain-based products such as bread and pasta, their soft and chewy texture. Now, a lot of people can quite happily eat gluten to their heart’s content, so surely, it’s harmless enough? Well, not exactly. Some people suffer from some form of gluten intolerance. As more and more research is being conducted on gluten and the potential health risks it presents, scientists are finding more and more evidence to suggest that to some individuals, gluten does appear to be more harmful than others. Experts believe that, if we were to go back to how we initially farmed and processed grains, we’d be much healthier than we are now. They believe that most grains consumed today have been so heavily processed, altered, and modified, that they are very different to the ones we ate thousands of years ago.

Posted on

Living Gluten-Free

Hello and welcome to our short, beginners guide on living a gluten-free life
As you may or may not be aware, we are currently in the midst of an obesity epidemic that has reached epic proportions. Life expectancies are on the decline, weight-related illnesses are on the up, and our health, in general at least, is deteriorating by the year. But why is this? With all of the advancements in modern technology, science, and medicine, surely we should be fitter and healthier than ever?
Well, we should be, but we aren’t. We aren’t, because we are obviously doing something very wrong. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out where we’re doing wrong either. We’re slipping up because we’re leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles, we aren’t getting enough exercise, and we’re eating the wrong foods.

The modern Westernized diet is far from ideal. In fact, it’s downright awful as far as a lot of people are concerned. You see, nowadays, food and drink is produced, not with health and wellness in mind, but rather, with speed, profit margins, and convenience in mind. Foods are heavily processed to within an inch of their lives and as a result, by the time they reach store shelves, they contain a mere fraction of the nutrients that they held before the processing took place. When foods are processed, they lose much of their nutrient content.

As well as that, they are also then often combined with artificial chemical ingredients to help promote taste, color, and shelf life. Bread is a fine example of this. As you probably know, wholemeal bread is considered to be a far healthier bread than white bread. This is because it undergoes far less processing.
One ingredient hiding in bread, however, that we’d like to talk about today, is gluten. You may have heard people talking about gluten allergies and intolerances but what precisely is gluten and is it really as bad as some people claim?

Gluten is a type of protein that is found within grains such as barley, rye, and wheat. That means that gluten is found in any products which contain these ingredients. Bread is a prime example, though there are, of course, many other foods made from these products and containing these products.
Now, the thing to remember here is that gluten intolerances and allergies are not the same as celiac disease. Celiac disease is a form of the immune disease which results in irritation and damage to the small intestine after gluten has been consumed. In actual fact, gluten is such a troublesome little critter, that there are 5 different problems people can face when it comes to consuming gluten. These are:
• Celiac disease
• Non-celiac gluten sensitivity
• Gluten intolerance
• Gluten ataxia
• Dermatitis herpetiformis

Many people also claim to have a gluten allergy. In reality, there is no such thing as a gluten allergy. What there is, however, is a wheat allergy, and that is what many people confuse with a gluten allergy. So, basically, it is impossible to be allergic to gluten, but it is not impossible to be allergic to wheat.
Those dealing with any of the aforementioned gluten-related conditions will often suffer from a wide range of symptoms – all of which happen to be very similar. These include:
• Bloating
• Distended stomach
• Stomach cramps
• Stomach pains
• Headaches
• Dizzy spells
• Tiredness
• Nausea
• Mood swings
• Weight loss
• Skin rashes and problems
• And more…

Well that’s a brief intro how gluten affects your body and into what we’ll be covering in this guide. In the following chapters, we’re going to focus on the different aspects of Gluten-Free Living and help you develop a plan to get the most out of everyday life.
Are you ready to begin?… Let’s dive in!

Posted on

Paying It Forward

Paying it forward simply means doing the same favor you’ve received from someone else to other people. For instance, someone did a small, kind favor for you today. Instead of paying back that person, you do the same kind of favor to someone else. Paying it forward is a very powerful concept. One random act of kindness has the power to change someone’s day for the better. Imagine if everyone in the whole world practiced this concept. One good deed can touch millions of people! While we can only dream about living in a much better world, paying it forward can truly make a lot of people’s lives better. Your generosity and your kindness are going to make others happy. But will it make you happy as well?
Well, research says yes. Giving makes you feel good about yourself. You may have hurt a lot of people in the past, but when you do a good deed for a stranger, you think there may be hope for you yet. It gives you a rush that’s unlike any other. It makes you feel fantastic you did something that helped somebody, and made them happy in the process!

Being kind has a lot of tangible benefits.

Here are some of the top ones:
It makes us happy Some people say kindness is overrated because it sets you up as an easy target for abuse. This may be true, but then again, there’s no rule book that says you have to be kind to everyone. Not everyone deserves your kindness. The moment you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, just move on from that person. Don’t let a few rotten eggs turn you off from helping others. There are plenty more people who will appreciate your help and will be more than willing to pay your kindness forward. These are the people you should strive to help out. With that said, when you help people who truly need your help, you’ll feel a deep sense of happiness and accomplishment that you’re not going to find anywhere else.

It improves relationships

We naturally gravitate to people who exude positivity, that includes the people we view to be good and kind. While it’s true you should only help someone because you want to help, not because you’re expecting anything in return, the fact remains that being kind has a few side benefits.
These include making others feel ‘close’ to you. They’d feel like you’re a kindred spirit, someone who understands their struggles and is willing to help them out in times of need.
No matter how angry or upset you may be at someone if they do a good deed that benefits you, it ultimately makes it easier for you to ‘forgive’ them. In short, kindness can mend and improve relationships.

It improves our lives

Try doing a random act of kindness every day for a few weeks, and see if that doesn’t turn into a good habit. When you’ve made kindness a habit, your self-satisfaction is going to be at an all-time high.
The people whose lives you’ve touched in one small way or another are going to be grateful to you. You’ll make new friends. You’ll be happier. You’ll be a more positive person. You’ll be a joy to be around with.
Don’t expect anything in return though. If the people you’ve helped continue to pay it forward, you’re making your community – and the world – a much better place. No matter how small or insignificant you think your act of kindness is, continue doing it. You may not know it, but all these small things are going to add up, and your kindness will come back to you when you least expect it. It’s how karma and the universe works.

Your happiness begins with you. If you’re in an unhappy state right now, look deep within you for answers. Figure out why you’re unhappy and from there, look into improving yourself and building more positive relationships with others. Learn to love yourself and make yourself happy first. It’s going to be hard making others happy if you can’t even be happy yourself. Make the right choices and the right decisions. Start by replacing your bad habits with positive ones. Make an effort to be happy and learn how to maintain that happiness in the face of trials and tribulations – your road to ‘happily ever after’ has just begun

Posted on

The Right Choices In Life

We make decisions throughout the day. Most don’t require much thinking; you just know exactly what you’re going to do. But in many cases, you need to stop and take some time to mull over your decision where you weigh the pros and cons of all the options available to you. When the stakes are higher, and you stand to lose something valuable, making the right choice is of utmost importance. Losing is never fun, especially when it means sacrificing something important to you. For example, if you make the wrong decision, your job, your relationships, your happiness, or even your life could be at stake.
In some decisions, you know what the outcome is going to be right away, it’s clear-cut. For example, you’re trying to decide if you’re going to go to work today. If you choose to go, you’re going to get paid. If not, then you’re not going to get paid. However, for some decisions, the outcome won’t be known until a certain period has passed. For example, you’ve invested in your friend’s business. You know your friend has some business savvy, but you won’t find out until months or even years later if your investment was a wise decision.

So, how do you know you’re making the right choice in life? Here are 3 signs you’re making the correct call:

Your instincts say it’s the right choice

You’ve probably made decisions before where deep inside you absolutely know you’re doing the right thing (even though your mind says you’re making a mistake). And it turned out that you were right! In most cases, you probably didn’t even know why you made that choice, you just know that deep in your heart it was the right call. Some superstitious people may say it was your guardian angel or some higher, invisible power telling you what to do. But for those who believe in science, they say it’s a combination of past experiences and knowledge. Our brains somehow connect the dots and interpret the data to tell us what to do. There are countless stories of people who’ve listened to their intuition and lived to tell about it. They’ve somehow managed to avoid accidents, disasters, bankruptcies, and other equally life-changing (or life-ending) events. So, if you’re faced with a difficult decision right now, try listening to what your gut says.

You’re proud of your decision

If your decision is something you can live with, then it’s a good sign you’ve made the right choice. But if you’re going to be ashamed of it, then obviously it’s the wrong one. Here’s an example: you find yourself attracted to someone, but you know they’re already married, and this person also confessed they feel the same way about you. Should you pursue a relationship or not? If you can live with the idea of ruining someone’s marriage, then that’s your choice. But if your morals and your values tell you that doing so is wrong, then you need to do the right thing. In the end, you’ll be proud of yourself. You can sleep soundly at night knowing you didn’t cheat and destroy your marriage.

You’ve weighed the pros and cons

Big decisions need analysis. In some cases, listening to your gut instinct probably isn’t going to do you any favors. For example, moving to another country isn’t a small thing. Leaving everything familiar behind can’t be easy. But you know that there’s a better opportunity waiting for you abroad.
Your gut instinct will probably tell you to stay, but your logic may tell you to go for it. Whatever the case may be, write down the pros and cons of each option. Then sit on it for a few days and come back to it when you’ve thought things through. In the end, what’s important is that you go after what’s going to make you happy. You may ask other people for their input, but remember, it’s your life, and your actions will impact you more than anybody else.

Posted on

Learn To Love Yourself First

Loving yourself is a prerequisite to creating a life of happiness. This is because you can only be truly happy and at peace with the world if you love yourself. Likewise, you can’t fully love another person if you don’t even appreciate yourself to begin with. With that said, how do you know if you love yourself enough?

Here are a few tips:

You love what you see in the mirror.
You don’t need to have the most beautiful or the most handsome face in the universe to appreciate your looks. You also don’t need to have a supermodel’s body to say you look sexy. We can’t all be so fortunate to win the genetic lottery. But, the truth is, even those we think to look ‘perfect’ have insecurities as well.
We think that making ourselves look perfect is the only way to appreciate what we see in the mirror. But when we’re constantly comparing ourselves to somebody else, and we’re always spotting imperfections even when there are none, then it’s never going to stop, is it? You’ll never be satisfied with your looks and yourself. You’ll always find something to criticize.

Sure, cosmetic technology may have come a long way, and you can now transform your physical appearance to your ideal one, but at what cost? Cosmetic surgeons don’t exactly do pro bono work, so expect to spend a lot of money. Unfortunately, not everyone has that kind of cash lying around, so they’re left with no choice but to totally avoid the mirror. But do you really need to do that? The good news is you absolutely don’t have to. You just need to work on accepting yourself for who you are, which includes your looks. Whether you like it or not, it’s the face you were born with. Learn to look beyond the physical. Sooner or later, you’ll be comfortable in your own skin, and the mirror will finally become your friend.

You prioritize yourself above everyone else

Prioritizing yourself over others is not a sign of selfishness, it just means you love yourself more than others. However, if you take to an extreme, that is, if you step over others to get what you want, then it’s a different story. But, if you’re not hurting anyone, then it’s okay. The problem with most people is that they’re too afraid to hurt others’ feelings. They follow their parents’ wishes, their spouse’s demands. They easily bow down to peer pressure even though they know what they’re being asked to do goes against their values. Giving in to people you like and love is okay, but don’t make it a habit. Your so-called friends can easily exploit your trust. If you don’t learn to stand up for yourself and fight for what you believe in, they can easily manipulate you to do their bidding. Letting others walk all over you is not a sign of selflessness. It’s a sign of stupidity, for lack of a better word. You’re a breathing human being. You have your dreams, your goals, your own life to live. Don’t waste your time making others happy if you yourself aren’t happy, to begin with. If you want to devote your life to making others happy, you need to be in a position of loving yourself fully first.

You take care of your body and your health

Nothing says self-loathing louder than letting your health go to waste. The old cliché is true: your body is your temple. If you don’t take care of your body, then it means you’re not taking care of your temple.
You don’t need to sign up for a gym membership right now. Neither do you need to buy all organic food from this point forward? Taking care of your health simply means paying attention to your body and its needs. Make a habit of eating healthy food and stop feeding yourself junk food. Stop doing anything that basically degenerates your body. Things like smoking and drinking and taking drugs aren’t cool. Sure, these may give you a short-term burst of happiness, but in the long run, you’re going to suffer big time.
Learn to listen to your body. When you’re stressed and tired, take a nap. Take a day off. Go away for the weekend. Sometimes, you may also want to do nothing at all for the whole day. Binge-watching Netflix isn’t ideal if you do it every day. But if it’s just once a week or once a month, then it shouldn’t be a problem, especially if it helps you take your mind off stressful things like work.
Give yourself some room to breathe. As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. You not only get to have fun, but you also give your body a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine.

Posted on

Say Goodbye To Your Bad Habits

If you want to create a life of happiness, then it’s imperative that you start working on getting rid of your bad habits, and replacing them with positive ones. However, doing this isn’t as simple as it sounds. It’s because bad habits take time to build. It doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it occurs over a period of time until it gets to a certain point where you do the habit out of rote. You don’t need to think about it; you just do it. That’s when you know you’ve formed a habit.

Bad habits have the undesirable effect of making you unhappy in the long run. Sure, it may bring you some form of satisfaction while you’re doing the routine or habit, but it’s not going to be good for you or your health as time goes by. For example, smoking. You feel good when you’re smoking. The act of inhaling and exhaling cigarette smoke helps you diffuse your stress levels to manageable levels. But on the flip side, smoking has a lot of negative side effects, especially on your health. Long-term effects of smoking include cancer, brain damage, emphysema, tooth decay, and so much more. Even the people inhaling your second-hand smoke are at risk of these diseases, too. So, you see, smoking is only going to bring you temporary satisfaction. In the long run, it’s HARMFUL to you.
Now, breaking bad habits will likewise take some time. You’d need to really work on it and have the self-awareness to know when you’re doing the habit. Then you need self-control and self-discipline to be able to put a stop to it.

Here are a few strategies you can use to help you say goodbye to your bad habits:

Know your cues or triggers

Experts say habits have three parts: a trigger or cue, a routine, and finally, a reward. For example, in a smoker’s case, one possible trigger could be eating. After you’ve eaten, you feel a strong urge to smoke. Or, it could be that stress is your trigger. When you’re stressed, the need to smoke becomes stronger.
Knowing what your cues or triggers are is the first step to overcoming a bad habit. Study your bad habits, analyze when you feel the need to carry it out. If you’re trying to quit drinking alcohol, then stop buying alcohol. When you’re socializing with friends, feel free to tell them you’re trying to quit. If you’ve got good friends, they’ll support you and help you achieve your goals, so they’re not going to offer any alcohol to you. If your friends still pressure you to drink, then perhaps you should start spending less time with them and find others who’ll be more supportive.

Reduce your stress

Sometimes bad habits form in response to various stressors in our life. You pick up the habit of smoking when you’re stressed. You pick up drinking when you’re overworked or when you have problems at home. You pick up procrastination when faced with a mountain of work. When you’re trying to beat deadlines, you drink tons of coffee to give yourself a mental boost.

These are but a few examples of bad habits that people pick up when they become stressed. If you find yourself responding negatively to stress, then it’s time to do something about it. How? By trying your best to reduce your stress levels. Figure out what makes you stressed, and try to find a way to avoid these situations to make your stress levels go down. In most cases, living a stress-free life isn’t going to be possible, so you need to face it head-on and learn to control or manage your stress.
With that said, it’s important to note that stress isn’t really such a bad thing. In fact, many experts say some stress is necessary for our lives. It releases hormones that trigger our survival instincts. It helps us perform our tasks more efficiently and more effectively. It only becomes a bad thing when you let it take over your life, that is when you allow yourself to get stressed constantly.

Anchor your bad habits to new and positive ones

One of the easiest ways to break a bad habit and replace it with a positive one is to use an ‘anchor’ system. This is how it works: every time you catch yourself starting to do the bad habit, you do the new one instead. For instance, you’re trying to break the bad habit of, say, biting your nails. Let’s say this bad habit is triggered by stress. Now, you also want to build a more positive habit of reading or listening to inspirational content to help you grow as a person.
Every time you catch yourself biting your nails, you stop, and then you pick up a good book nearby and read a few pages. Or you can go on YouTube and listen to your favorite motivational speakers. After a few weeks of doing this routine, you’ll be able to remove nail-biting from your list of bad habits, and end up more inspired and less stressed in the process.

List all the reasons why you should quit the habit

There’s a reason why bad habits are called ‘bad.’ They have undesired effects that may or may not manifest immediately. For example, drinking. You know that when you drink in excess, you end up with a terrible hangover in the morning. You’ve probably puked a few times in public. Perhaps you notice your friends are no longer inviting you to social events and parties because they’re afraid you’ll have too much to drink and cause a scene. Write all these negative consequences down and use it as your “why” for why you should stop drinking. Make your descriptions as detailed and as graphic as possible. Every time you make a mistake and you go back to your old ways, look up this list and make a promise to do better next time. Re-examine your life from time and time and assess if you have any bad habits left that need to be stopped. Of course, it’s entirely possible you’ll pick up some other bad habits in the future, even if you end up turning your life around and live a happy existence. That’s okay. No one’s perfect. Just pick up where you left off and never stop working on making yourself a better person each and every day.

Posted on

Embrace And Welcome Change

You want to be happy, right? Then do whatever it takes so you can experience true happiness! It’s as simple as that. But, of course, nothing ever plays out that easily in life. It’s so much easier to say you’ll change than to actually do it. There are two kinds of change: positive and negative. It may not always be evident at first, that is, you’re not sure if the change you are embracing will lead to good results or bad results. Sometimes, you need to take a leap of faith and just do it.
When dealing with change, you can initiate it or you can wait for it to happen. The good thing is if you initiate it, you’re in a much better position to control it rather than just reacting to it. It’s also easier for you to adapt to the change because you’re expecting it. As such, you’re not going to feel like it came from out of nowhere and blindsided you.

Though change is often painted negatively by naysayers, there are actually plenty of benefits to embracing change. Here are some of them:
• You can discover new opportunities
It’s true that there are opportunities everywhere. When you’ve braced yourself to embrace change, it’s easier for you to uncover hidden opportunities. Some people may even say, the opportunity will reveal itself to you. This is because when you embrace change, you open your eyes as well. Where everybody else is running away from the change, you’re walking towards it with eyes wide open. This makes it easier for you to spot new opportunities.
• You’ll grow as a person
Failure to embrace change means you’re going to get stuck doing the same things over and over again. There’s literally no room for you to grow and improve as a person. You can change your bad habits and replace them with new ones. When you move from one place to another, you broaden your horizon. You adapt to your new surroundings, and you learn new things. Often, the only way to progress is by welcoming change with open arms.

• You’ll discover your strengths (and weaknesses)
Accepting and embracing change will allow you to discover your strengths and even your weaknesses. For instance, if you get assigned to a new role at your job, you may realize that you’re better suited to the new role than your old one, and your productivity is going to be at an all-time high. Likewise, if you dive head-first into a new business, you’ll discover the areas you’re good at and where you’re better off delegating to someone more qualified and more skilled than you are.
• You’ll learn new ways to solve problems
When you don’t resist change, you’ll eventually figure out new ways to solve problems. Getting exposed to new environments help you think outside the box. In short, change can bring out your creativity. It enables you to seek new solutions more efficiently and effectively. But, if you refused to accept change in the first place, you’d be stuck troubleshooting the same old problems.
Creating a life of happiness means embracing change. It means stepping out of your comfort zone. Ask yourself, what can you change in your life right now that will lead to your ultimate happiness?
Do you need to change jobs? Do you need to take up a new hobby? Do you think about moving to another city or even another country is necessary for you to achieve happiness? Only you know the answer to this question. The important thing to remember is that seeking and embracing change should be on top of your list if you really want to achieve true happiness.