7 Apps for Self Improvement

The road to self improvement and self betterment can be long and arduous, but with a little commitment and with the help of some of these apps and websites, you can try to improve some of those daily habits;

irunurun - Alternativemindsets recommendation
irunurun – Alternativemindsets recommendation
  • HabitRPG – Keep yourself on the right track with this app that turns your life into an RPG where you earn gold by doing your daily tasks.
  • Chains.cc – Helps you improve your habits by tackling one day at a time. It is a popular way of tackling change and habits and can also be used for positivity.
  • HabitBull – Keep track of a number of habits by breaking the old ones and building on the newer better ones. (Only on Android)
  • Habit List – Similar to HabitBull but for iPhone.
  • irunurun – With a focus on recurring behaviours, this app looks to create a routine in your positive behaviours.
  • Pomodoro Challenge Timer – This app is about is challenging you to work harder at work and change your habits. This is a subject we will be exploring more in further months as to be happy at work means you are more likely to be happy at home.
  • Wunderlist – A list maker, but it helps you capture ideas and is a place for you put a note about all the things you’d like to. Great for writing about your aspirations.

Many of these apps will look to put pressure on you to achieve your daily tasks, they can do so through encouragement through crowds and by sharing across social media. Do you have any tips for gadgets for self improvement?

Bringing Energy to Remote Areas

Not just any energy renewable energy! With a lot of the worlds most remotest destinations still unable to get an internet connection, there is still plenty of work to be done to create a level playing field for everyone on the planet. There are many different advancements being made across the globe, with Google purchasing solar powered drone makers as a method to provide internet access, and Facebook’s foray into investment of this nature shows there are steps being made to provide everyone with access. However, this MIT startup aims to go one step further and provide renewable energy and wifi across Alaska using their enormous helium-filled wind turbines. They are soon to float over the city of Fairbanks and should produce enough electricity for around a dozen families living off the grid. Just have a look at the video and imagine the potential for remote families, disaster relief and sustainable energy across the globe. These turbines can access high-altitude winds, they generate roughly double the energy of standard ground turbines. In addition to generating lower-cost energy for remote areas, the turbines could serve as sources of internet connectivity and cellphone service. The flying turbine transfers the energy through cables that tether it to the ground. The obvious issue is with the rising cost of helium, how sustainable will this be? How do you think it compares to Google and Facebooks versions?

Renewable energy by air
Renewable energy by air

Unemploment

Unemployment is a dirty word.

You don’t work hard enough.

You are lazy.

You have no desire and aspirations.

 

These are the themes we are treated to on a daily basis, forced down our throat by corporations to make us work longer hours. Longer hours toward a goal that is not our own.

Every our you spend working is working towards someone else’s aspirations.

 

We are a complex society and why is it that so many ours of our waking lives are spent repeating tasks.

 

George Carling (R.I.P) said it best;

Unemployment is a dirty thing to be, but eventually, shouldn’t we just…enjoy ourselves? And I don’t mean when we’re 65 years or older. People SHOULDN’T have to work so much to have an enjoyable life, that’s just the way the world is right now, but why not try to change it at least a little? Could you imagine what the world would be like if 20 hours a week at work was considered ‘killing it’? What you would do with that time with your families, with your own ambitions?”

There are theories such as Guaranteed Basic Income that look to allow this. Giving every human an income enough to survive upon, then what you do above that is up to you. There are a lot of advocates and a lot of futurology theorists that talk about this as a necessity for progression as a species.

 

Being unemployed isn’t a sin, it doesn’t dictate who you are as a human. As long as you have aspirations and you make steps to achieve those aspirations, the rest can provide for itself.

Until society shifts and people realise the benefit they can give to their communities then I feel we will be doomed to continue working the 40+ hour weeks toward pointless endeavours.

Until next time, don’t work too hard.

/A

You’re Never Too Old To Try Something New

How many times have you caught yourself saying, “Oh no, I’m too old for that now” or “That’s a young person’s game!” Some of the most interesting people around are the ones that do not let their age hold them back in any way. The Grannies that book a travelling holiday around Asia or the older gents who will try a new sport even though their knees maybe against them – variety is what keeps us young!

If you keep in the same stagnant routine for year in year out without trying or doing anything new, this is bound to affect your mental outlook. Even if you are happy with your life, it’s always good to jazz things up again to keep it exciting and give you a fresh perspective.

Below we have listed a few hints and tips to help you on your path to new self-discoveries that will lift your mood and lead to a happier you!

Take Up a New Hobby

Ever fancied Salsa classes? Taking up Karate? Even synchronised swimming? Well why not stop what you’re doing and sign up today!

Life is too short to think you will do all these things tomorrow, so why delay any further. Grab your partner or a few close friends and learn a new skill together. Not only will you have lots of fun trying but you also be sneaking in some enjoyable exercise (if that is what your new hobby includes), which will do nothing but benefit you and your mood overall.

New Career

Have you been stuck in the same job for years? Was it meant to be a bridge gap but you somehow stayed for longer? Take that leap and look for a job that actually makes you happy or a job in something you’ve always wanted to try. It’s never too late to train if you have a passion for your work, so do not stay in that dead end job if you do not want to – explore every talent you have to its potential!

Move Away

Been in the same area of the world all your life? Thought about moving but thought it would be too much hassle? Don’t delay further and get those bags packed! Although it’s nice to keep the family home, if you’ve always wanted an adventure elsewhere – what better time to do it when the children have flown the nest?

A change is as good as a break and when you have minimal responsibilities why not take full advantage and take yourself off to that Spanish villa you and your partner have always dreamed of?

If you are feeling low or just fed up of the same-old routine, changing a few things in your life or trying something new will guarantee to brighten your outlook on everything as a whole. Nothing but positive repercussions will filter through, so don’t be scared to take that initial leap – change something in your routine today for the better!

Ray Kurzweil Tells Us To Get Ready for Hybrid Thinking

Robots are getting closer to replicating and understanding language and the way our brain works. World leading futurist Ray Kurzweil explains how hybrid thinking (and nano technology) will be able to be called upon in the not too distant future.

What becomes of conversation when we can refer to all data ever stored for every rebuttal?

Super Healthy Equals a Positive You

Yes, we’ve all read the countless celebrity tips and tried their diet fads on how to look younger and sexier – but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to feel good on the inside too.

Often with such diets you can feel worse mentally if anything, due to the radical change in food intake or over supplementing in one particular food group. Although you may lose weight, you may notice you don’t FEEL any better – and after all isn’t that the point? What’s the point of looking like Britney Spears if you don’t feel as positive and happy as her?

It all starts from the inside out. If you want to start looking better, you’re going to have to start feeling better as well.

Below we have highlighted a few tips to help you on your way to a more “positive thinking” you. We’re starting from the ground up, so make sure you have the patience and time to let your body repair and rejuvenate itself – you’ll be happier and it will be worth it!

Eat Better

It’s no good starving yourself all day or living off the bear minimal. As mentioned previously this may help you lose weight but it will start to affect your health as time goes on. Headaches, muscle pains, mood swings and dehydration are all effects from fad diets that are just not healthy for anyone.

The aim should be to be healthier not to be slimmer – as if you really concentrate on being healthy the weight loss will go hand in hand. Make sure you are eating three square meals a day that consist of all the major food groups and get down as much fresh fruit and vegetables as you possibly can. Not only will you look better but you will begin to feel better on the inside too, which will only add to your happiness levels!

Here are some great resources to help eating;

Childrens Food Trust – Help in ensuring kids get nutritional foods

Eat This Much – Help in automating your diet with free meal plans and guides

Exercise smart

Be honest with yourself – if you’re not used to exercising start off slow as if you push yourself to hard at first you won’t enjoy the exercise and will be more inclined to give up.

Try things like a gentle jog around the park for 10 minutes with the dog, as time goes by build that up to include some running with an increase in time. You’ll soon bring your body up to speed and be able to take on another activity. After a few weeks you will begin to notice the difference in your health and also your mood overall.

There are some great resources out there to look at improving your exercise regime, everyone is different so keep look at official guides for your specific needs or speak to a personal trainer.

Meditate

Positive thinking as we mentioned in the beginning really starts from the ground up and meditation is a wonderful way to really relax ones soul and whole being. Whatever little stresses or daily niggles you may have, you can always take 15-30 minutes a day out for yourself and let all that worry just dissolve away.

You may find it silly at first, but just lying in a quiet room before work and concentrating on your breath will have you feeling centered and on track for the day ahead.  Try it for 2 weeks and you’ll see the difference.

Beginners Guide to Meditation

Meditation is a great way to calm and clear even the most stressed or troubled of minds. Just taking that time out each day for yourself can really benefit you in so many aspects for your life – you’ll wonder how you came to get along in your life without it.

People can be put off meditation as they think they’ll feel silly doing it or that they won’t be able to concentrate etc. However, meditation can be as easy as taking 10 minutes out of your day to focus on your breathing – by doing this you’re homing in on the present moment and giving your mind the chance to clear itself, which can do nothing but benefit you overall. You don’t just have to be a devout monk meditating constantly to reap its benefit.

The beauty of meditation is that it is completely personal to you and your individual path. Everyone’s is different and you can take your meditating as far or as slow as you want – it entirely up to you.

Below, we have laid out a few key steps when it comes to doing your first few meditation sessions. These points are only a beginner’s introduction, so if you find you want to take meditating more seriously, simply build/research upon what you have read here:

Environment

When it comes to meditating you need a quiet, relaxing and comfortable places to do it in. Make sure it is free from distractions and a place that you associate with being happy and content.

Such places as a quiet spot in your garden, the beach, the forest or local park would be good area to start out your meditating. Places of nature are the best for meditating, as the natural sounds can help you fall deeper into your meditation.

Clothes

If you’re planning to have a session of meditation at the office or during work hours, you may want to remember a change of clothes. The most important thing for you to get the most out of your meditation is to be comfortable.

Loose, light clothes such as jogging bottoms, hooded tops and baggy t-shirts are great for meditating in and removing shoes and socks will help you get into position better.

Positioning

Ok, so you have your quiet little haven away from the world and you have your favourite comfy joggers on – it’s time to get into position.
For those of you familiar with yoga, most people find it easiest to meditate whilst in the “lotus” or “half lotus” position. This involves being sat up right in the crossed legged position with either the heels of your feet tucked into your thighs or simply resting on the floor. The palms of hands are resting in your lap or on the edges of your knees – now you’re ready to go!

Meditate

Your all set, now finally to meditate! As this is only an introduction, for your first few attempts at meditating simply focus on your breathing and clearing your mind of distracting thought.

Whilst in lotus position, close your eyes and really focus on your inhaling and exhaling. Breathe at your normal rate but be really conscious and aware of every breath you are taking into your lungs and then expelling out again. After doing this for 5-10 minutes you will slowly hear all the normal chatter the mind puts out fade away and your mind will begin to relax – as will you.

CBT and PMA – Depression, Frustration and Enlightenment in daily life

Introduction to Sophie

This blog is an outlet for me to deal with my over active emotions and for anybody who is depressed, frustrated or contradictory to this enlightened. I am eager for people from all perspectives to share life stories so we can teach and boost each other and be grateful for the lives we have been given.

I will tell you about my struggle with depression which started in my early teenage years and which still rears its ugly head at 26 and more about myself in the next blog. I must note I have made progress by myself and with the help of a 6 week counselling programme and with a knowledge that this depression is not me and it is not you. It is a relentless bully that needs to be challenged. As we know Mental Health issues never fully go away but this is a chance to explore the mind a bit more and see to what extent we can heal ourselves. Here goes …..
So the path to eternal happiness has never has been an easy one. Ok, we get that….. but what steps can we take to try and feel a bit more fulfilled or at least stop with the moaning (I am a chronic moaner trying to go cold turkey). I will also openly admit that I am someone that suffers with what I call depression (on and off) and low self esteem (for another blog). For me I describe my depression as the common feeling I have had since 13/14 when on paper there is nothing wrong in my life, but an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness takes over my mind and makes my existence feel pointless, insignificant and doomed. This leads and has lead to negative thought, dangerous thoughts, sadness, tears, lethargy, laziness, self loathing and can often affect my everyday life. Not the most inspiring or motivated feeling as you can imagine but the important thing is that I WANT to change. Hense this blog and the fact that I am not ashamed to say it as no one should ever be. Sometimes I wonder whether this is a hormonal imbalance which has been passed down genetically (as my close family members are sufferers) or environmental (because they were depressed and negative I adopted this learnt behaviour and way of thinking). The old Nature/Nurture debate. Or is this purely and simply being a human and some people deal with such thoughts and feelings better than others.
There is now a term coined by the Daily Mail that describes depression sufferers that still manage to function on autopilot every day and go to work. These are known as the ‘Smiling Depressed ’ and I have been in this bracket before when it was very bad. It is when you can scrape the energy to go into work everyday and seem fine to others but in reality you are not fine and you have not been ‘fine’ for a very long time. You will often reach a moment where you cannot go on anymore and you want to hideaway or escape, but then the alarm rings for 6am, your body defies your mind and you arrive at the office forgetting your journey there.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2044877/Could-YOU-victim-smiling-depression.html

The culture we live in today has been labelled the selfish culture. Children have been told that we can have everything and do anything. Careers, travelling, experiences, relationships and children. The latter also being last on the ‘life list’. We are the ones that have had every door opened for us and it is coming to light from my experiences that the breeze from those open doors can be ice cold at times. Maybe we are ungrateful? but it is as if we are trying to live in the present without actually living in the present moment. I often find myself decision making with the thought process of … ‘As on old lady, what would I want to look back and say I have experienced?’.

Is this good because I am are trying to avoid having regrets or does over thinking things take the true spirit, heart and spontaneity away from the experiences themselves. …. Or maybe that’s just me … overthinking again…..my personal strongest addiction as Eckhart Tolle would say.

What do you think? Are we too self absorbed or rightfully trying to get the most out of life now that we have the opportunity? I am writing from the perspective of a 26 year old woman living in England. I have all this opportunity and still I get frustrated. Do I just need a slap round the face and a cold hard reality check? Or do I have good reason?

I have read many a self help book to deal with the selfish and ungrateful thought process which I call my depression. (Please note that this does not mean I do not sincerely believe or empathise with others that suffer from depression) however with positive thinking (of course) my aim is to take responsibility, be productive and try to ease my own restlessness with some alternative ways of thinking and I am lucky I have reached a stage where I can try and think of it in this way. The official term is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This is when one tries to control their own thoughts by way of logically thinking and almost overriding initial negative or counterproductive thoughts that often plague them. I will be trying and testing CBT techniques as well as drawing from popular and maybe obscure self help books and as aforementioned alternative ways of thinking. I have read the books but never really whole heartedly put them into practise because I have been too busy surrendering and behaving as if I have no control over my life, which if we use these methods correctly, we will find we do and that we have had control all along. Meaning we didn’t need the book, the methods or anything! Coming full circle so to speak.

Anyway, before I go, I leave you with the most over used, some may say cheesy and most frustrating and life saving truth out there that is noted in each and every self help book I have read. This is that only you can make yourself happy. If all the writings and teachings are true then no one person or thing can fully make you happy and the more you attach that happiness to material things and other people the more you will be disappointed. The only thing that you know for sure and have is your own conscious mind. Happiness, has to come from you and your inner self ….apparently. So I am going to give this thing a try …

For the next two weeks I will concentrate on Susan Jeffers ‘Feel the Fear and Do it anyway’ which I have downloaded on audio book.
Thanks for reading my ramblings.
Speak Soon.
Sophie
xxxxxx

Ps. If anyone has come full circle and has any books, methods or practises that you would recommend please post them and I will research into this.
Pps. Also note that I am not currently on any medication and previously sought a 6 week counselling programme when I was at my worst. If you are having struggling or having intrusive thoughts that involve the harm of yourself or others I urge you to seek help from your G.P/doctor and also remember that you are not and in no way alone

Welcome to Alternative Mindsets

Welcome,

There’s not much here at the moment; we will soon introduce our pages that can unlock the door to leading a happy life.

Our guide to having a Positive Mental Attitude will inspire you with a new way of looking at your everyday activities.

Our Resources for Spirituality will help you find new ways to reflect and react.

We also must look to the future to try and make sense of what is going to become of this world we inhabit, and see where technology, science, politics, and religion are likely to take us, and our guide to futurology will provide a resource so you can stay up to date in looking forward.

We look forward to regularly posting the best information we can provide and helping you anyway we can.

– All here at AM