I have a lady friend, about 40 something. She’s very intelligent and good looking; great pair of legs too. She dresses elegantly and comes from a wealthy family. In short, she would have been the kind of woman my daughter would love me to have a relationship with.
But a small voice in the back of my mind is shouting, “Hold on, buddy!”
She’s separated from her husband for reasons I didn’t delve into. But I have some ideas.
Every day, 7/7, she sends me text messages exhorting me to be better, to be more than what I am, to do things I have never done before.
To these, my curt reply is always, “Thanks and have a nice day. How are you?”
Today is an exception. I think this virtually “broke the camel’s back.”
She wrote: “There’s an old saying, ‘If you want to know how to live your life, think about what you you’d like people to say about you after you die…and live your life backwards.’”
All these years I’ve accomplished much, gone to places not many of my contemporaries have gone, installed a cutting-edge technology production process in my former job, trained people who became managers in their subsequent companies, brought up two wonderful kids who are now successful on their own terms, and I am doing what I am so passionate about – writing.
All these I did by being me; all these years I lived my life the way I believe I should live it.
I don’t need to know what others would want me to be and most certainly, I want to live whatever is left of my life forward, not backward.
So I texted her back, “Not that I care, but I live being me, not what others would want me to be.”
Deepak Chopra wrote, “You already are what you truly are. To fully know that and make it the functional center of your life, you need to take your attention beyond all the things you aren’t and let your core Being know itself by itself.”
We are all born unique. No other person in the entire humanity was born to be your double. Even your twin (if you have one), may look like you but he/she is definitely not you. You may be affected by the same stimulus but your reaction to it will never be the same. There will always be differences in your likes and dislikes, in your ways of doing things.
That’s individuality. And we are obliged to live our lives according to who we are, our uniqueness, not what others want of us.
You cannot be what you are not, but you can be the best of who you are.
Finding yourself and living it is, however, easier said than done.
From a piece of rock to an expensive piece of jewelry:
Think of yourself as a piece of rock at the moment of birth.
This piece of rock will go through countless processes to be transformed into a diamond. And this piece of diamond will again go through countless processes to be transformed into different jewelry pieces, i.e., a ring, necklace, earring, bracelet, etc.
You were once a piece of rock, now you are a diamond. You went through countless metamorphosis to become what and who you are today. But deep inside you remain the same rock when you came into this world.
Find that rock and you find yourself.
In an article in The Mayo News, titled, Why Being Yourself is Important, Regina Cunnan wrote, “One of the most common regrets of dying people is the wish they had the courage ‘to live a life true to myself and not the life others expected of me.’”
Don’t wait until you are in your deathbed to find yourself. Do it now!
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“Smile,” is what Intipon Somdee, my very lovely friend from Thailand, would say each time we meet. Then she would add, “If you are happy today, tomorrow will also be happy. If today is good, tomorrow will also be good.”
I admire her optimism but I don’t totally share it. Maybe I was born with the “worry” genes or think too much of the future, which is futile because the future is more impenetrable than a meter-thick slab of lead. But old habits die hard.
So back to the question, “Why do we smile?”
Instinctively our answer will be, “We smile because we are happy.”
In a deeper sense, aish.com writes that we smile because “Smiling is at the root of who we are as human beings.”
Animals don’t smile. Human beings do. What we take as a “smile” from chimpanzees is probably their way of saying, “Humans are a funny lot.”
Then it adds, “Smiling is a symbol of our willingness to open ourselves to others.”
Aha! I like this one. Unless a person is a hard-core anti-social or hopelessly engrossed in self-pity or self-adulation, experience tells me that a warm smile given to a person, a stranger even, will reap a warm smile in return.
It melts away boundaries of suspicion or distrust and establishes a bridge for social interaction.
- Makes you look beautiful:
This is no bull. Psychologists have found out that smiles can make a person look beautiful. You can always pick the beautiful people in a crowd by the readiness of their smiles. And they attract people like butterflies to a flower.
Consciously or unconsciously, their smiles open up doors for a good conversation.
- Makes you look happy:
Have you ever seen a sad person beaming from ear to ear? Definitely not!
Try it. Look yourself in the mirror when you are feeling blue and smile at yourself. I am sure it will drive away the hardest frown from your face (if you don’t feel stupid by doing so).
- Drives away feelings of being worn down:
We all have ups and downs in a typical day. Sometimes we are in Cloud 9, in others, we are down at the dumps.
It is easy to grin from ear to ear when things work our way, but a real drag when nothing seems to go right.
We are stressed, and disappointed. We begin to doubt our capabilities and entertain thoughts of giving up. We want to pull our hair off for good measure.
Relax. Go for a walk with a cup of cold water with you. Then take a deep breath and SMILE.
If it doesn’t work the first time, do it again and again until your brain starts making those tiny little things that are responsible in eliciting happy feelings from within.
- Makes you look healthier and younger:
A smile makes the brain release endorphins (the body’s pain killers) and serotonin (the happy hormones). They help your body relieve stress and pain.
They are your body’s natural defenses against the darts and arrows life throws at us every now and then.
A smile is like an instant facelift because the muscles you use in smiling literally lifts your face, making you look younger.
The other night, while having dinner with my daughter and her husband, my former General Manager walked into the restaurant with his wife and daughter. We haven’t seen each other for a long time, so we greeted each other profusely.
With a bit of surprise on his face, he abruptly said, “You look good!”
With a very big and hearty smile, I replied, “Of course I look good.”
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In the foothills of the Mt, Kitanglad, in Bukidnon (one of the major provinces in southern Philippines), is Dahilayan Gardens and Resort.
And if I may indulge in a little bit of hyperbole, it could well be what the Garden of Eden was like.
Sitting on top of a low hill almost a kilometer above sea level, the air is clean and crispy cold that sitting outside at night is comfortable only if snuggly wrapped in a warm blanket.
It is bounded by mountains on all three sides except the north which slopes down to Dahilayan village. Far to the east is Brown Hotel and to the west are Pines Groove and Forest Part resorts – each offering amenities for guests of different tastes and preferences.
Far removed from the reflected community lights, the evening sky is clear, giving a picture-perfect outline of the moon and the twinkling of the stars; its tranquility broken only by the occasional noise from visitors’ vehicles and the motorcycles used by the staff.
The place is so peacefully quiet you can hear the throbbing of your heart.
Dahilayan Gardens and Resort has very few amenities, which makes it perfect for someone hungry for nothing but moments of perfect solitude.
It has a pavilion for weddings, a glass-walled dining room, a tent-covered space for special functions, a pond for fresh-water fishing, a water slide and a modest camping grounds.
It has no wifi connection to the outside world.
But there are lots and lots of space for walking and exploring amid countless flowering shrubs of varying shapes, colors and sizes and rows and rows of 7-year old needle pine trees standing tall and erect like soldiers in formation with their arms outstretched heaven-ward as if to pay homage to God for sparing such an oasis of happiness and fitness from the destructive activities of Man.
It has three cottages, all named after flowers, for long stays. We stayed at the Amaryllis (a genus of small flowering bulbs common to South Africa). It is a 7.5 x 4.5 meter cottage built with distinctive American/European influences, yet with the unmistakable Asian touch.
There are three beds, i.e., one double-sized, one single and a pull-out single, to accommodate four people. It has a gas stove for cooking, kitchen sink for washing and a large refrigerator. The bathroom room is clean with warm water for bathing.
On the front door is a small patio for lounging and on the west side is a barbecue grill. It is surrounded with a wooden fence, painted white to give it ranch-house look.
Dahilayan Gardens and Resort is definitely a serendipitous experience for people like me, i.e., elderly, undergoing some changes in life, in search of answers to questions affecting one’s well-being, to recharge body, mind, and soul long weary from city life, or simply to get away from it all for a change.
Getting there isn’t easy. It took us more than two hours in a rented van from Cagayan de Oro City over roads which, though well-paved for most parts, are bumpy in some. But as the saying goes, “You ain’t seen nothing yet,” Dahilayan Gardens and Resorts is a sight to behold and experience. It is well worth the trip.
I wouldn’t be far off to say that I spent an evening in Paradise. And you will, too.
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It is said that if you put a hard-core atheist in a foxhole, with bombs falling all around, bullets whizzing by and his comrades are either wetting their pants with fear, wounded, dying or dead, he will learn how to pray.
Nobody is exempt from praying if faced with an imminent danger that threatens life or limb. We take it as a waste of time when we are flying high, everything is working in our favor and we feel so invincible that nothing can bend our knees in humility.
Then when disaster strikes, and no matter how hard you try, everything you do turns to dust, you’ve run out of friends to seek help from and everything around you spells of more bad things to come, you turn your gaze Heaven-ward, stretch out your arms and ask, at the top of your lungs, “Why me?”
Without missing a beat, and sooner than you think, the answer comes with a resounding, “Why not?”
When that happens, you know it is time to pray. I mean, really, really pray.
No, not the mumbling of the lips kind of prayer but of establishing an honest and sincere connection with whom you are praying to. Reciting one of those canned prayers we were fed as a child is emoting, not praying.
A good prayer is to have a “conversation with a friend,” kind of thing. A tete-a-tete, if I may call it.
Why do we pray?
We pray for a variety of reasons and ways. Some take prayers as a band aid or first aid kit, to be used only in emergencies, while others make prayers a necessary part of their lives. Some say a prayer of thanks for a meal while others only when the world is about to cave in on them.
I am not a hard-core atheist in a foxhole, nor is my world about to fall around me. But I am facing an imminent loss of direction brought about by the changes in my life. Changes that can either make me live like a zombie or productively and fruitfully till my last days.
I need some answers, a guidance if I may call it.
For this I find the first stanza of the song, The Prayer, appropriate for my intentions.
I pray You’ll be our eyes,
And watch us where we go.
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know.
Let this be our prayer when we lose our way,
Lead us to a place,
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.
Will He answer my prayers?
He will. Maybe not today, tomorrow, next week or next month. But He will.
Maybe not in the form or manner I asked for but In a manner that removes any doubt where or whence it came from. It may come like a Divine guidance or from an ordinary moral like you and I.
How do I know? That’s faith.
Didn’t He say: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours? – Mark, 11.24
A prayer is not an arrow that you shoot into the dark not knowing where it falls. It is like an email you send to a very reliable and trustworthy friend, a friend you can always count on, with no CC or BCC.
If you are frequently sending emails to people who hardly know you, why not say a prayer to Someone who knows you?
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Their Mom would have been euphoric had she been alive today. After all, isn’t it every mother’s dream to see her children married well? I mean with all the choreographed frills and multiple sponsors that come with planned weddings.
Me? Of course I am happy. But I am more excited of the possibility of another marriage in the family – mine!
What? You find this yukky? Not as much as you think, buddy.
I am bachelor, and both my children are starting their own lives leaving me alone and lonely at home all the time. Besides, I am an elderly widower who, according to studies, are inclined to have another chance at love, or falling in love or simply making love.
Preposterous? Not quite! In the June 6, 2006 (that old, uh!) issue of The New York Times is a very long article titled, “Widowers are Eager for Another Whirl.” And if you have time to spare, Google the words widower and remarry. Definitely you will find a store of articles and studies confirming the urge of most elderly widowers to give it another try.
Lucky me, I am a poor student of anything and I always temper the opinions of others with what I think, believe in or feel strongly about. That makes me an odd man out, see?
Not that it hasn’t crossed my mind on several occasions. All my friends suggested it and my daughter, in a spurt of thoughtless affection, like she does so often by rubbing my patience raw, asked, “Why don’t you marry again, Daddy?”
My answer is the same emphatic, “No,” with a big chill inside as if a bucket of ice-cold water is poured down my spine.
Me remarry? Yes, it is yukky for the following reasons:
- I love my freedom:
My wife’s death still grieves me. But, at the same time, I have learned to love my freedom.
Not that her passing away altered my life 180 degrees. Old habits die hard and I still basically do the same things I did while she was alive. But these are things she accepted as being a part of my being me.
Things which a new woman in my life may not be comfortable with or I, comfortable with hers.
In any case, that would be a curtailment of freedom for both of us.
- Companionship is not togethership:
It’s nice to have coffee and good conversation with a female companion. To see a movie or be passionate with. And I get to have these when urge and circumstances conspire to meet.
But I can’t envision being together with another woman in my home, in my bed. These are still so full of memories of my departed wife. They still connect me to her and I don’t want anyone to cut that connection.
I welcome and love the temporariness of companionship, not the permanence of togethership.
- I have a hair-thin budget:
Another woman in my life is not just someone to touch and to hold, to have good conversation, or have sex.
She is another mouth to feed, another body to cloth, to buy a bottle of perfume or other toiletries women can’t live without. She is someone I need to buy another mug of coffee each time I go to my favorite coffee shop, or another bottle of beer when I indulge myself every Saturday evening.
Cheapskate? Yes. And you will, too, if you are a retiree, with no income and living off a hair-thin budget.
Unless she is sexy, brainy and wealthy, then I might give it some thought.
- I don’t have to remarry to have sex:
In the years I was married to my wife, I wanted to write a book of excuses as a self-help guide for philandering husbands as I was.
While I took my erring ways as some sort of macho adventurism then, they have haunted me since my wife passed away. Late feelings of guilt, you may call it.
Now I don’t want to have additional burden for the rest of my days.
No, I won’t refrain from having sex. But I am not going to transgress against some sacred and solemn agreement should I do so. And I most certainly will should an opportunity present itself.
I say a prayer of thanks each time I wake up in the morning and a prayer to be able to hang on for as long as I can. I watch the closing horizon of my life and take a peek of what I left behind. Taken all together, I daresay that I don’t have much to be regretful about.
Well, maybe some embarrassments difficult to forget or some stupid things that have forever made a mark on my soul. But who doesn’t?
I have been a widower for more than 5 yrs. I don’t know how many more years are left till I join my wife. What I know is that she will be there to welcome me when my left foot is in the next world even as my right foot has not lifted off this one.
When that happens I want to be able to tell her that I lived well.
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That’s a tough question for a lot of us who are in the second half of our lives. After working for the better half of it, we are now at a stage where it is a good excuse to say “I’ve seen that, done this and that, been there…” to do nothing, to fall into lethargy and be a couch potato.
But is there nothing else for us to do after our “productive” lives are over?
Bill and Melinda Gates operate a foundation “dedicated to improving the quality of life of individuals around the world…” It hopes to be the catalysts for human promise everywhere.
“That’s no big deal. They can afford it,” you might say. Well, think again.
My cousin is financially broke and sick. He is living with relatives, subsisting on a meager monthly allowance from his daughter in the U.S. He has had a stroke, a severe case of varicose veins that makes walking a painful activity, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.
Is he complaining and bitching about from his misfortunes? No! He found peace and joy from his church work as a lay minister. Each day he helps people in their spiritual journey.
He has also become a living testament that you need not be a Bill and Melinda Gates to make a difference in the lives of others; to live a life of significance.
You can make a difference:
According to newsmax.com, (Dec. 27, 2010)) starting January, 10,000 baby boomers will retire each year. And this trend will continue for the next 19 years.
Among them will probably one or two who will rise up to the stature of Bill and Melinda Gates. A significant many will be like my broke and sickly cousin..
In between will be the vast majority. They will founder, coast along aimlessly until sickness or death will overtake them. They will have their curtains fall down on them without the opportunity of saying their last hurrah.
It’s not that they are totally averse in doing something for others; in paying back society. They just don’t know what or how to go about it.
Finding your core value:
Paying back society, to do something for others starts with knowing your core values.
“Core values are things that you believe are fundamentally important in the way you live and work. They are the foundation upon which your Self is built. They shape how you see the world and acts as an internal compass that guides your life…”
They are in you, a part of you. They may have been lying dormant in the face of other things you need to do, things you deemed more important. But they are there, waiting to be sorted out.
You can sort them out by following these steps:
1. Go over a list of core values common to people;
2. Pick out 20 that are important to you;
3. Narrow down your list to 10;
4. Narrow them down to 5;
5. Rearrange the 5 according to importance – from the most to the least
Have you got it?
Now you have a compass to set the direction you should take to find more meaning and satisfaction in the remaining days of your life.
Let it be your last hurrah!
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Both are about the same age and were engaged in the furniture business. During its heydays, both amassed much wealth, bought properties and became socially well-known and well-respected in our community.
Let me call them Friend A and Friend B. By any standards, both are successful.
When things went south, business-wise, Friend A sold his furniture business and went into cargo handling and forwarding. Friend B, on the other hand, started getting rid of his properties. “I want to have cash so that I can enjoy life while I still can,” he always says.
Beneath the surface, they have very divergent circumstances.
Friend A has a very solid family, his children are doing well on their own and he goes home to his wife and family at the end of each day.
When he is not busy with his business, he and his family spend time with their advocacies. One is on evangelization, the other on community projects in collaboration with the local government.
Friend B, on the other hand, though still married, is supporting another woman with whom he has an illegitimate son. His wife lives in their family house, his mistress in an apartment he is paying for, and he lives alone in one of his houses.
He, too, is busy. If he is not trying to find buyers to some of his remaining properties, he is sidling up to some politicians to land shady deals; if he is not busy paying off the enormous gambling debts of a son, he is out with some girl young enough to be his granddaughter. .
While both are successful, Friend A is living a life of significance.
See the difference?
What is living a life of significance?
I chose to write about them because both are in their second lives; they are both well over their 60s.
They are still active at a time when most people retire to some corner in the house and spend countless hours watching TV while munching on high calorie, high fat finger foods.
The difference between the two (and we can easily belong to either one), can succinctly be what Bill Gates meant when he said, “The first half of life is a quest for success; the second is a quest for significance.”
To put it in the simplest terms, “Success is measured by the money and name you’ve made. Significance is measured by the difference you’ve made.”
Success is getting, significance is giving back.
Leo Rosten, a Russian journalist wrote, “I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.”
What do you intend your second life to be?
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My strategy was simple. To take up the financial slack from my loss of a monthly income I invested a third of my separation pay in an investment, cum, lending institution, and to sell life insurance.
Then indulge in whatever I’ve always wanted to do with the seemingly unlimited time now available to me.
It looked great in concept. But as fate would have it, the investment company folded, carrying my money with it, in three months. I sucked at selling insurance and found out, to my chagrin, that I really did not know what I’ve always wanted to do, nor did I have unlimited time at my disposal. Nothing was added to the 24 hours a day I always had.
Meantime the sands of time was steadily flowing, carrying with it what is left of my retirement chest.
Are you headed the same road I once took? If you are, slam on the brakes, pull over to the side and closely examine what is out there before you exchange your working gloves for a retiree’s gloves.
What will your second life be?
According to Newsmax.com, starting January this year, 10,000 Americans a day shall be hitting the age of 65, and this trend shall go on for the next 19 years.
Called the “baby boomers,” they, in their youth, revolutionized everything from music to race relations. Now with their youthful zeal gone, they are faced with the hard question of “What am I going to do with my life after retirement?”
The question needs to be pondered and meditated upon very carefully for there is no clear cut answer. It depends on who you are what you really want to do when you leave your first life and enter the second.
I left my job in a rush because I think I’ve had enough of office politics. Whereas I may have had a valid reason for leaving, but I did not have a very clear definition of where I was going.
You can do better.
10 ways to live your second life:
Assuming you are covered for retirement, here are some things you can pursue upon retirement (taken from an HSBC survey of American employees, usnews.com):
- Spend more time with family and friends;
- Improve your home’
- Keep working;
- Do volunteer work;
- Reward yourself;
- Experience another culture;
- Write a book.
You are blessed if one of more of the above is up your sleeve when you retire. They can keep your mind occupied, happy and healthy. .
But should they make you feel constantly unfulfilled and unhappy, try looking for something else. Something that gives your life more meaning.
In this respect, I would gladly add another one:
- Be of significance to others.
(more next post)
Not the least among these changes is our sleep patterns. In fact, it is commonly believed, but debunked by science, that old people sleep less.
No, we normally get the same amount of sleep, and we should, each night. But we do undergo some physiologic changes as a result of aging, or be prescribed drugs, or simply thrown out of sync by some traumatic experiences in our lives that can cause us some sleep problems.
If you are having sleep deprivation, consult a sleep doctor who can, with much hope, give you a few tips on what helps you sleep like a baby each time you put yourself to bed at night.
But should you think that sleep problems are not worth the effort of seeing a sleep doctor and would rather dig deep into your self-help medicine cabinet, try looking at what you normally eat for dinner.
When it comes to sleep, some foods are better than others. Some will make you toss and turn until the wee hours of the morning, while others take you to dreamland in a wink.
Here are a few common foods that help me sleep well. They should have the same effect on you, barring other factors.
This unassuming tropical fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals that the body needs. Among them are potassium and magnesium – nutrients that double as muscle relaxant.
It also contains tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin and melatonin in the brain. Serotonin promotes relaxation and melatonin promotes sleepiness.
It is so easy to get that no dining table should be without it. I take at least one after every meal and before bed time.
I take a glass of warm milk when I really have a hard time closing my eyes. This is from the ancient wisdom of my late mother.
According to Dr. Donald Hensrud, chairman of the division of preventive medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, a glass of warm milk will encourage sweet dreams.
Like banana, it is full of tryptophan. It is also full of calcium which helps regulate the production of melatonin.
Oatmeal or cereals:
A bowl of oatmeal is full of sleep-inducing nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and potassium.
Go easy on the sugar, though. Too much sugar can cause sleep problems.
Peanut or peanut butter:
This is full of niacin which helps increase the release of serotonin in your blood.
You may need to control this as it also has high levels of fat and cholesterol which could cause havoc on your overall health and well-being.
I munch on peanuts every computer break. Don’t over-indulge on it before bedtime. I once did and it and had to rush myself to the ER of a nearby hospital for severe constipation the morning after.
Almonds belong to that special group of foods never lost in the list of weight watchers.
It also contains just about the right amount of protein and a solid dose of magnesium to promote muscle relaxation and sleep.
Munch on a handful before going to bed or spread almond butter on a slice of toast. Wash it down with ample amounts of water to avoid constipation.
Sleep problems or not, grapes is still an all-time favorite fruit among a lot of people. It is mine, too.
My indulgence with it has nothing to do with any sleep disorder, though. But for people who have sleep problems, grapes is the only fruit that contains the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.
If the food you eat affects your sleep and your sleep affects your over-all health and well-being, need I expound the logic behind the saying, “You are what you eat?”
This question rings similar to the questions, “Why do we eat? Or drink or make love?”
And the answer is the same for all – we need it for our overall health and well-being.
Unfortunately, many people, maybe you among them, are denied the benefits of a good sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, roughly 40 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic sleep disorders and 62% of American adults experience sleep problems a few nights a week.
I am not among them, though. Not because I am not American, but because I sleep like a baby, according to my daughter. No, I don’t sleep with a pacifier in my mouth and a diaper for bed-wetting. But I never have sleep problems.
How I do this is a matter of habit developed through years of self-discipline.
Discipline? Oh, oh! The mere mention of the word makes a lot of us cringe in distaste. It gives people a boot-camp feeling where there is a rule for everything and the “Don’ts” far outnumber the “Do’s.”
Sleeping like a baby is not really difficulty – one you get the hang of it.
To do it requires learning some routines, which, over time, become habits. It varies from person to person. But according to sleep doctors, they all fall within the following “best practices” for a good night’s sleep:
- Set a sleep schedule and follow it:
The brain is infinitely more wonderful and powerful than the latest i-phone. Among its myriad functions, it stores and retrieves data without punching a key.
This includes sleep schedules – when you put yourself to bed and when you wake up. When you stick to this schedule often enough, your brain stores it. Very soon you won’t be needing an alarm clock.
When I started taking a nap after lunch years ago, I took note of the time I lied down and time I woke up. Now my brain wakes me up after 45 minutes – give or take five minutes.
The same thing goes with my evening sleep. I am always up and about by 5 a.m.
- Make your bedroom sleep-friendly:
This is ambiance or the character and atmosphere of your bedroom. .
Unless you have an affinity with pigs, I assume you don’t like to sleep in a pig sty. So take a look around your bedroom. Is it a place where you want to, not just have to, sleep?
Rearrange, remove, improve, or change anything that affects your evening sleep. This includes your bed, pillows, bed sheets, light noise intrusion, access to your bathroom, etc.
Everything in it must induce, not hinder, you to sleep like a baby.
- Psyche yourself to sleep:
Among adults, roughly 42% have sleeping difficulties due to things that occupy their minds, i.e., problems during the day, stress, relationships gone sour, financial difficulties, family, etc. And they are difficult to shake off. .
Psyching yourself to sleep is to let go of these mental concerns so your brain can relax. You can do this by meditating or reading mind-relaxing books. No TV. Some TV shows increase your anxiety level a little bit, get your adrenalin pumping.
Read biographies, especially of very dull people, or motivational and self-improvement books. I find the Bible to be tops.
When you lie down, lie flat on your back, relax your arm, leg and head muscles and empty your mind of everything. Make it blank. This requires some effort at first, but practice makes perfect. Before long you will fall asleep without your knowing it.
Psyching yourself to sleep also includes making sure you are neither hungry nor full when you go to bed.
Hunger pangs make sleep impossible and being too full gives your stomach a hard time digesting the food you ate. This could result to heartburn – an irritation of the esophagus caused by stomach acids.
Heartburns can be very discomforting and can be mistaken for heart disease or a heart attack.
- Be grateful:
Gratus, the root word for ‘grateful’ is a Latin word which implies pleasure or something pleasing. To be grateful, then is to be full of pleasure.
Nothing makes you sleep better, sleep like a baby, than to be grateful of having had a full day – no matter what it was.
Being alive, no matter how stormy or problematic your life may be, is a privilege not given to all. You should rejoice in having lived through it, and happy at the thought that tomorrow is going to be a little bit better than today.
To be grateful when you put yourself to bed will not only put a smile on your face as you sleep, it is also good for your health, as shown by studies.
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