5 Ways To Lower Work Related Stress

Everyone doing the nine-to five grind has to deal with similar issues at work, the office politics, the great or not so great boss, hierarchical challenges, conflicts of interests, and miscommunication.

Expectations, deadlines, achievements, and goals can all add up to a bucket full of stress, more than you’d like to be carrying.

Choosing ways to reduce the load is a great way to work smarter rather than harder. Here are five ways you can reduce the pressures at work to lower your stress levels:

5 ways to lower work related stress_
Quick Navigation

Recognize What You Can And Can’t Control

The well-known Serenity Prayer can be useful for all, whether you are a recovering alcoholic or not! “God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference.” Being able to discern the difference between what you can and what you cannot control removes a lot of unnecessary stress. You can immediately stop stressing over all the things you cannot control. This frees up energy to focus on what you can control.

How To Deal With Criticism Pt 1

The fact of the matter is, no matter what you do in life, you will be criticized on it.  Whether you're a writer, an artist, a designer, a chef, an executive, it doesn't matter.  No matter what career you choose, there will always be criticism.

How to Respond, Not React to Criticism

Now if you are not the best at receiving criticism or if you are the type of person who is easily offended by criticism, this could really hurt your career and ultimately your ability to develop as a person.  Often times, when we are upset by something, we, as humans, have a tendency to react, sometimes overreact. 

Ultimately though, with criticism, it is much better if we can reach a point in our lives that we have the ability to breathe, think on it and then respond, not react.  There are three very simple steps that you can practice in your life and then put into action when it comes to criticism. 

Number one, love what you do.  Seems simple enough, right?  The truth is, if you really love what you do, then your work will reflect that.  And if you truly love what you do, then you will find yourself becoming more open to outside criticism.  If your work is nothing more than a hobby or something you do just to make money, it will be much harder for you to receive criticism. 

Number two, believe in what you do.  You should only do something that you truly believe in.  If you have strong convictions about what you do, then someone's criticism of your work will fuel those convictions, not dismantle them.  Plus, you will be able to not only receive the criticism graciously, you will actually be able to have conversations about it!

Number three, find the positive in everything.  Unfortunately, criticism inherently carries a negative connotation.  There are not many people who hear the word criticism or critic and think, "Oh how wonderful!  I am being critiqued today."  So with any criticism, it is imperative to find the positive aspects of it, no matter where or who it comes from. 

Let's face it, you are going to be criticized by people in all facets of your life.  But if you can integrate these three very simple steps into your life, you will find that that terrible feeling will begin to go away, and you will be able to respond, not react, to the comments being made.  Over time, you will actually welcome criticism.  It may sound crazy now, but give it time.  It really can happen for you!

Eye-Opening Criticism

Think about a time in your life when someone criticized something you did and it really affected you.  Perhaps it came at a time when you were already feeling down, and it really hurt you.  You probably said to yourself, "Why would someone say that?  That's just mean."  Perhaps you will even allow it to fester and make you angry.

But what you may not realize is that how you react to criticism can change your life, either for the better or for the worse, and it can even change the lives of those around you.  If you allow criticism to upset you, then you will, eventually, become a very angry human being.  This really doesn't do any good for you and it doesn't do any good for anyone around you either.  If you allow it, negativity will do nothing but breed more negativity.  And who wants to live like that?

Instead, try to take that very moment, when you receive the criticism, and tell yourself that from every negative critique comes positive change in your life.  If you can keep an open mind, that negative critique has the power to have a positive impact on you in more ways than you could ever imagine.  It can make you smarter, it can make you stronger, it can make you a more patient person, it can help you develop better personal skills, it can help you see your work from different angles, and really, in general, you will be a much happier person.  If you can do nothing else, at least take that negative and turn it into what fuels you to do better. 

The most exciting part of criticism is that it can actually bring ideas and people together.  It can even change the course of history.  Think about people like Nelson Mandela.  What if he decided to give up?  What if he let all the negative criticism around him, from the citizens in his country, from the media and from politicians, pull him down and make him angry and violent?  Do you think the same outcome would have occurred in South Africa?  No way! 

Sometimes criticism can be the key element that ends up opening people's eyes to see an injustice.  It can open people's eyes to a different way of doing something, and not just in the political world.  How do you think art movements like Impressionism, Surrealism and Modernism came about?  How were strides made in terms of new technology?  Do you think those people were surrounded by only positive feedback?  Of course not!  But look what they were able to create and how many lives they impacted!

Criticism as Appreciation

You know, people hear the word criticism and they almost automatically flinch.  Their heart beats a little faster and they prepare themselves for the worst.  It's a pretty safe bet that those same people never looked up synonyms for the word "criticism."  If they did, they'd see words like appreciation, appraisal and observation; none of which carry the same negative connotation.   

Who doesn't want their work to be appreciated?  There is great value in the appreciation of a work.  Think about the art world.  If someone said they appreciate your work of art, would you cringe?  Of course not, because even though they didn't tell you what they appreciate about your work yet, you assume it's a good thing.  And your assumption is based solely on your interpretation of the word. 

Why can't we see criticism the same way?  In today's society, people are so afraid of the word criticism.  Why doesn't it offer the same happy feelings that the word appreciation gives?  If someone tells you that they love your work, don't you want to know why?  If someone says they hate your work, don't you still want to know why?  There is so much that you can learn from someone's opinion or critique of your work.

Let's go back to the appreciation of your work of art.  Let's say that person explained to you that what they actually appreciate about your work is the fact that it reminds them of a sad, very emotional time in their life.  Your assumption just hit a brick wall.  Your work is supposed to represent the most joyful moment of your life and here this person feels sad just by looking at it.  But this is their opinion. 

This is their critique of your work based on their life's experiences.  No one on this earth has had the same experiences.  We all see things differently and therefore we all have different reactions.  And this can be applied to every facet of life.  People have different experiences and those experiences create different reactions.  Now since when did that become a bad thing? 

 Instead of hearing the word criticism and immediately cringing, try to think of it in a different light.  You are gaining knowledge.  You are gaining an insight into someone else's world.  They are sharing their experiences with you in the form of their critique of your work.  They are showing an appreciation of your work based solely on their own experiences.  Not so bad anymore, right?

Criticism and Language

Criticism, for many people, carries the same meaning as judgment.  In fact, one of the top synonyms of criticism is judgment.  And one of the top synonyms of critic is judge.  No wonder people have such a hard time with this term!  Who wants to be judged?  Obviously, people get defensive when it comes to being criticized.  They can't see the benefits, because the judgment side of it is so overpowering.  And in today's society, the word judgment doesn't exactly carry a good connotation.

But if you go back in time, a clearer picture of why those two words are synonymous with words like judge and judgment begins to form.  In the English language, we often forget that our words have a social and historical context to them.  Language develops out of culture, and it affects how we perceive the words we use.  There can be so many connotations to a word, and if we don't look at the historical and social context, we can miss the whole point. 

Let's take just two words as an example.  First, the word "awful" used to mean something that was inspiring.  Today, awful means something bad or terrible.  Quite a difference, right?  Complete opposites really.  For the second example, take the word "thongs."  Thongs used to refer to a pair of flip-flops, but we all know very well that that is not what people refer to now when they say, "I want to buy thongs."  In fact, I can just imagine the reaction of a teenager who overhears that sentence, especially if it's their grandmother who says it.

Judgment and criticism have also suffered the same, although not as comical, misconceptions.  A judgment was the opinion of a person of high regard.  It used to carry the meaning of a belief or opinion based on study and higher education.  Today, we often think of a judgment as an opinion based in ignorance, not education. 

The word judge has gone through even more changes.  In Jewish history, judges were leaders.  The word had a positive connotation of strong, protective individuals.  Then, judges became those who bore the responsibility of sentencing those who committed crimes.  Again, not meant to have a negative connotation, but perhaps during the years of slavery, that all changed.  Today, we tend to think of judges more so as those on American Idol or The Voice.

The point being, we need to take a deep breath and a step back when we think of the words criticism or critic.  Although they have been distorted over the years, they truly do represent concepts that mirror our idea of positive feedback, which is only meant to help you develop in your area of expertise.

Criticism & Success

Nowadays, criticism has such a negative connotation that most people automatically react poorly to even just the term itself, without even thinking about its benefits.  People think that the phrase "constructive criticism" is just something people made up so they could put a positive swing on bashing your work.  What happened to turn such a positive form of communication into a hated and feared concept?   

Perhaps our upbringing has tainted our idea of criticism.  Could it be that people took this term and used it to justify their judgments on your life's choices?  Perhaps you heard one too many times that they were just giving you "constructive criticism" and you shouldn't take it so personally.  Perhaps in school you weren't the strongest in one subject and the teacher made fun of you and called it criticism. 

But criticism really should be one of the best forms of helping others succeed.  Criticism is meant to come from experts in the field.  It is meant to be positive, despite what it has become over the years.  And although for many, it feels like a personal attack, maybe there can be a way for us to see how it is a learning experience for not only the person being critiqued, but for the critics themselves. 

For the person being critiqued, it is a way to grow in their field.  There is so much to learn from someone who is experienced in your profession.  Everyone has experiences in life and in the business realm, and criticism is a great way to share those experiences with others.  If you're a writer, you will become a better writer through criticism.  If you're an artist, you will become a better artist through criticism.  Someone will open your eyes to another perspective and your work will evolve into the best work you've ever done.

And criticism benefits the critic just as much as the person being criticized.  The critic is learning, at the same time, a new perspective.  They are learning the perspective of the writer or the artist, and they can, in turn, use that perspective to help them develop their own work.

A true critic is meant to first put themselves in the shoes of the artist.  Next, they should look at the work from the public's view.  Then they should look at the work from their own view, from their own experience in the field.  Think about it.  If you are getting advice from someone who just looked at your work from three different angles, that's three different angles than your own.  Think about how much you could learn, and think about how much that would help you grow as an artist or a writer.  The possibilities are endless!

Finding Your Ikigai

Many people in the world today are suffering a crisis of identity. The modern world is not at all conductive to a sense of purpose. Families live apart from each other. Marriage and relationships are not expected to last, or to produce descendants. We work to put food in our mouths, not for joy or out of a sense of duty to our fellow man. We buy and consume all manner of products in a desperate attempt to feel as though we're part of something, using clothes, phones, and cars to symbolize our status, or our belonging to a particular social group. We skip from hobby to hobby, always consuming, never learning skills or developing ourselves intellectually. We have lost faith in religious order, government, and our fellow man.

But it turns out the problem isn't in what we pursue in our lives as a nation, but as individuals. Many of the things mentioned above bring purpose to individual people's lives, just not to everyone. One person may feel their life is full of meaning when they have two children, whereas another may find that children distract them from their love of the arts. Likewise, in every possible source of meaning they are a million and one variables. One person who finds meaning in rearing children may be a parent, another may adopt or foster, another may become a teacher, another a pediatrician, another a writer for a children's show or magazine. Someone who finds meaning in the arts may be a creator, a historian, or even a collector or patron. No pursuit in life is automatically meaningful, no matter how deep and important it may seem to you, or to the people around you. No pursuit in life is automatically meaningless, no matter how aimless and idle it may seem to you, or to the people around you.

So how do we find meaning in our lives, when the things we believe will bring meaning, and the things we are told to do, may not be meaningful at all for us?

The Japanese have a concept called Ikigai

The word is a combination of the words “iki”, meaning “life”, and “kai”, meaning “result”, or “worth”. The idea behind it is that there is something in your life, or something which could become a part of your life, that brings value to everyone and everything around you: yourself, your family, your community, and your environment. This is your life purpose, your Ikigai, and when you find it you will have a reason to get out of bed in the morning, something you enjoy more than anything else during the good times, something to help you through the hard times, and something to provide a feeling of satisfaction at the end of the day, letting you rest well in your bed at night.

Many people find their Ikigai eventually, usually by accident. They become a parent, land a dream job, start travelling, write a book, find religion, or create an invention, and suddenly realize that this is what they needed to do all along, that this is what they want to live and die for, that this is their contribution to the planet. For most of these people, however, this discovery comes after years of soul searching, or even decades of aimless wandering. The vast majority of them will not find their Ikigai until they are in their forties or older, sometimes leading to unwanted commitments and a deep sense of regret about the past. And those are the people who find it. Many more people never find their Ikigai, and struggle every day to find meaning in the little things around them, which often do not provide the sense of purpose they need.

 So how do we find an Ikigai? Well, first we need to start by finding the four meanings.

The four meanings of life are: love, talent, usefulness, and profit

These four meanings are the cornerstones of your Ikigai, and all four need to be present. However, it is not as simple as leaping out and picking something with all four meanings. This is because each meaning needs to be discovered separately, being unique to the individual and their environment.

Discovering what you truly love, the Kondo method for life

If you have investigated purposeful, meaningful living, you have likely come across minimalism and the Kondo method. If you have not, then quite simply the Kondo method is a way of de-cluttering. You take every item in your home, ask yourself if it truly brings joy to your heart, and if not, you get rid of it. Discovering the things you truly love is a similar approach. You write down a list of everything you are grateful for in life, then you go through with a fine tooth comb and ask yourself “could I live without this?” Naturally, you can live without many things. But if the idea of going without something or someone tugs at your heart, then you love it.

Discovering what you do well, using your time efficiently

This one involves a habit which is dangerous when not done consciously: comparing yourself to others. You need to consider everything you do and scale it based on how well you do it. The point scale goes:

Can't Do – Worse Than Average – Average – Better Than Average – Better Than Most

The things you can do average or above are the most important, as these are things which you have the potential to develop into fine skills. However, the longer you have been doing something, the more likely it is your limit. Something you do averagely after a week is therefore more likely to be a talent of yours than something you do better than average after a decade.

Discovering what the world needs, the charity that builds civilization

This one involves stepping completely outside your own personal interests. To discover what is useful and lacking in the world. Some things are lacking but not needed. Some things are needed, but available. Some things are lacking but we cannot provide them. The point is to write out a list of things which are needed right now, whether or not you believe you can help them come to fruition. This is important on two levels. Firstly, it tells us what sort of a world we live in and what may be expected of us. Secondly, it tells us what gaps there may be in the market for people with our skills and interests. Which leads us to...

Discovering what you can profit from, sustaining yourself

This covers all possible sources of employment. Just log onto any job hunting website and read the listings in your area, even the ones which do not apply to you. These are the ways people can make money in your little corner of society. These are the ways in which you can sustain your own life. You won't be able to do all of them. Not all of them will be truly necessary, and therefore not all will be stable. Not all will be enjoyable. But that is what is available right now in terms of ways to support yourself.

So what can we do with these four life meanings? We must combine them, to find something greater than the sum of its four parts.

Action: the combinations of twos add value to our lives

Each of those individual lists of meanings is completely pointless without action. The refrain goes: “You are what you repeatedly do.” But you can't repeatedly do something just because it is nice, you're good at it, it's needed, or it makes money. Very few of these things we can actually do. In fact, the only one we can actually do at all is what we are good at. We cannot do something we love but can't do, we cannot do something the world needs if we can't do it, and we can't make a profit from something we cannot do. And if being able to do something is all it has going for it, we will not be able to keep it up. Imagine repeatedly doing the same thing over and over without anyone using it, without getting paid for it, and without enjoying it. Over time these pursuits become completely stale to us. So the only things we do are a combination of two or more meanings. The Japanese theory breaks down the combinations into a mere four, not a full six, but the other two still exist and could be defined as the four virtues.

The four actions

The four actions defined by the concept of Ikigai are passion, mission, profession, and vocation.

PASSION is the combination of talent and love. When we combine talent and love, without use or profit, we find something that we can do, that we enjoy doing, but which does nothing for us socially or economically. It brings us joy and uses our skills, but nothing else.

MISSION is the combination of love and use. When we combine love and use, without talent or profit, we find something that we enjoy, that is needed, but which we cannot deliver upon. It is not of a high enough standard to help others, nor to make a profit for ourselves to live on.

PROFESSION is the combination of talent and profit. When we combine talent and profit we find something which we can do very well and make money off, but which brings us, and those around us, no joy. It has no security and no pleasure behind it.

VOCATION is the combination of profit and use. When we combine profit and use we find something which is needed and which we can live off, but which we do not enjoy and are not skilled at. As such we are unlikely to develop the skills in this field and are likely to quit or be replaced by someone more dedicated.

The two virtues

Secondarily, we have the combinations which we cannot always act upon, but which represent the ideals that civilization is built upon. These virtues are important for our emotional and spiritual health.

SELFLESSNESS is the combination of talent and use. Selflessness is a virtue because it connects us to others and brings society together. Nobody is useless to society, but not everyone is useful and capable all the time. For example, Stephen Hawking is an amazing mind, but without the support of others we could never hear his thoughts. Or an intellectually different child may bring profound joy to her parents, but will always need the support of those around her. By supporting each other, even if we gain nothing from it, we allow everyone the opportunity to give something to civilization, which benefits us indirectly by preserving our great societies.

SELFISHNESS is the combination of love and profit. Many people believe selflessness to be a virtue and selfishness to be its polar opposite, a hateful, hurtful behavior. However, selfishness is better defined as self-care. If we were selfless all the time, we would use all our time on charity, give away all our goods, and starve in a ditch. There is always more need than we have resources to offer. Selfishness is that line in the sand where we provide for ourselves first, where we put on our own oxygen mask before helping others. And this virtue allows us to continue helping others for longer, to multiply our usefulness to society, and to build a society according to our own ideals.

However, neither the actions nor the virtues are your ikigai. They are good pursuits to have around the sides, but none of them is a good reason for living. Your ikigai has to add even more.

Our emotions: many people get stuck when they come to a combination of threes

A combination of three meanings is often a plateau for people seeking a sense of purpose, and the longer it takes to get there, the more likely you are to stop at this final hurdle. These four combinations are so difficult to overcome because they genuinely bring us deep joy by stimulating our four positive emotions. However, we must move beyond the four positive emotions if we are to find our Ikigai.

The four emotions

Positive emotions can be so hard to create that when we find one, we may think of it as the Holy Grail and become highly defensive of it. Although all of these combinations are good for us, none of them provide a sense of true purpose or peace. It is important to find them, because they are essential to reaching our Ikigai, but we must not stop when we get here.

SATISFACTION is the combination of love, talent, and profit. When we do something we enjoy, are good at, and make money from, we tend to feel satisfied after a day's work. However, the downside of this emotion is that it comes with uselessness. As your actions are not needed, it is possible that your profit will be lost some day, setting you back to a passion. This uselessness leaves us seeking something more to connect us to humanity as a whole.

COMFORT is the combination of talent, profit, and use. When we do something we are good at, can make money from, which is needed, we tend to feel comfortable. However, the downside is that our life has little fulfilment. We do not enjoy what we do, we just wake up every morning and do it, because we have grown used to it and because we are afraid that it is the best there is. This lack of fulfilment means that you are not happy, and this action cannot be your ikigai.

THRILL is the combination of profit, use, and love. When we do something we can make money from, which is needed, and which we love, we tend to feel excited. However, the downside of this emotion is that because we are not good at what we are doing, our future under this action is deeply uncertain. We cannot rely on this action to sustain us forever. This uncertainty means that you are relying on luck to continue this action for your life, and it cannot be your Ikigai.

DELIGHT is the combination of use, love, and talent. When we do something which is needed and we love, and that we are good at, we feel a genuine joy, a natural high at being connected to our own wellbeing and that of others. However, the downside is that we cannot profit from these actions, so we have no wealth. This leaves us in the position of relying on others, of not putting in as much as we take out, eventually building resentment on both sides: on theirs because you do not contribute, and on yours because you have no wealth.

The one and only Ikigai

The reason so many people get stuck at the emotional hurdles presented by the combination of threes is because of how much hardship and sacrifice it takes to get there. We have learned throughout our lives that we discover meaning through trial and error. We find a profession, or a passion, but we have to give them up because they do not provide us with all that we need from life. It can be very disheartening to find something satisfactory, or comfortable, and to realize that it still leaves a little void in our sense of purpose. However, this hurdle is actually the easiest to overcome.

Whereas in the case of meanings we cannot stick to one meaning on its own, and in the case of actions and virtues we cannot improve upon them, and must leave them behind, when it comes to the combination of three which leads to emotional fulfilment we don't need to throw it out the window and try again. Discovering our Ikigai is not a case of doing something completely new, but of tweaking and specializing combination of three to add the final meaning to it.

For example, a teacher may love her work, be paid for it, and be good at it. But if her service is not needed it can lead to instability. She must therefore find an aspect of teaching which is needed, for example special education, private tuition, or simply teaching in an area where her skills are necessary.

Or a sculptor may be talented, providing creations that the world needs, and be paid for it, but feel empty as the art the world wants and needs is not what they wish to create. He must therefore find a client for his more personal, intimate works, someone who will buy the art he loves creating.

When you are that close to your Ikigai, it takes literally a single step to reach it. So don't settle for a pleasant emotion. Take that last step and find fulfilment.

11 Tips For Becoming A Morning Person

Research shows that the early bird actually does catch the worm. Early risers are inclined to better grades in school, more productivity, faster career advancement, less stress, and a feeling of greater happiness than their late-waking counterparts...

11 Tips For Becoming A Morning Person


Research shows that the early bird actually does catch the worm. Early risers are inclined to better grades in school, more productivity, faster career advancement, less stress, and a feeling of greater happiness than their late-waking counterparts. Unfortunately, studies also reveal that your late-sleeping or early-rising inclination may be genetically hardwired.

About 1 or 2 in 10 people are natural morning birds, or Larks. Night Owls comprise roughly 2 or 3 in 10. The rest are Hummingbirds, arising early sometimes, late on other days, flitting back and forth between Night Owl and Lark status.

If your sleeping habits are pre-destined because of your genes, is it possible to reset your biological clock? Sleep researchers have proven you can. To reap the many benefits of getting up early, follow these tips for a transformation from Hummingbird or Night Owl to morning Lark.

1 – Set a Waking Schedule... And Stick to It

Natural early risers get up at the same time every day, even on holidays or weekends. You should do the same. Your internal clock is just like a mechanical one. It can be programmed. You can't change your natural sleeping and waking inclinations overnight, but you can do so over time. You may find yourself, from time to time, staying up late. Regardless, don't sleep in the next morning.

You have to aggressively set a waking schedule for early in the morning and stick to it. You may find this process difficult at first. Going to sleep earlier than usual could lead to sleepless nights of tossing and turning. If you find yourself tired in the mid afternoon, treat yourself to a 20 or 30-minute nap. Only do this as long as your nap-time does not leave you foggy and drowsy.

2 – End Your Sleep with Sunlight

Night owls and hummingbirds can become morning larks by sleeping with their blinds or curtains open. When you let daylight awaken you naturally, this gentle process can help slowly reset your biological clock. You should still set an alarm, timing your alarm to go off when the sun rises.

3 – Go Outdoors Early in the Morning

As soon as possible after waking up, go outside. Take your dental floss or cup of coffee outside to add part of your morning process to this new routine. Exposing yourself to daylight in the morning helps make you alert. You can trick yourself into getting up early by having someone set your clock ahead. Don't watch them do it.

This way, you don't know if your clock is 5, 10 or 15 minutes fast. This gives you a small and simple safety net that guarantees you are up early enough to enjoy a morning outdoors. If weather or some other reason keeps you from going outside upon rising, head for the sunniest window in your home. You can alternately buy daylight bulbs that effectively reproduce artificial sunlight.

4 – Kick the TV Out of Your Bedroom

You have to understand that your bedroom is for sleeping. This means removing your television, any electronics with LED displays, excess furniture, clothing and any other items that don't promote a sleep-friendly environment. Don't kid yourself, saying that you are only going to watch TV for "a few minutes" before bedtime. Just 10 or 15 minutes of watching television, texting on your smart phone or checking in on Facebook alerts your brain and all of your senses. This makes it very difficult to fall asleep.

5 – Read a Good Book Before Bedtime

Reading somehow lends itself to sleep-promotion, unlike watching television. So does listening to soothing music. However, you should limit the amount of time you spend on either one of those activities. If you decide to read or listen to calming music before you shut your eyes at night, do it for the same period of time every night.

You will notice that routine and repetition are mentioned throughout these tips. That is because your brain responds best to consistent and repetitive action when you are trying to break an old habit or adopt a new one.

6 – Prep for the Morning the Night Before

Night owls are usually rushing around in the morning because they hit the snooze button several times and are running late. You can help your early morning rising by making it relaxing and easy on your nerves. The night before, set out the clothes you're going to wear the next day.

Pack your lunch if you take lunch to work. Prepare your kid's lunch boxes, program your coffee maker to go off automatically in the morning, and do as much as you can for your morning routine the night before.

7 – Use Mood Lighting at Night

Only use dim lights at night in your bathroom. If you have to answer the call of nature in the middle of the night, a blast of bright lights can make it difficult to go back to bed. The same is true for your pre-bedtime rituals. Brushing your teeth or removing your makeup should be done with minimal lighting, and the lighting you use in your bedroom at night should also be soft and sleep-friendly.

8 – Stop Hitting the Snooze Button

People who hate getting up in the morning tend to do it several times. That doesn't make much sense, does it? A night owl is blasted awake by his morning alarm. He dreads the thought of getting up, so he hits the snooze button for 5 more minutes of rest. 5 minutes later, the alarm goes off again, and the whole feeling of hating to get up is repeated.

Morning people arise immediately upon hearing their alarm. You should do the same. You actually make yourself more tired and cranky by trying to catch several 5 or 10-minute snooze button naps before you decide to finally, begrudgingly get out of bed in the morning.

It will be difficult at first, but after a few weeks you will have programmed yourself to live without your snooze button. If this process means immediately enjoying a cup of caffeine-rich coffee in the morning so you can stay awake, that's fine, but don't overdo it with more than 1 cup.