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  • Writer's pictureHai Xiang

Stare Into Your Fear So You Can Start To Beat It Down

Updated: May 5, 2020


@Atlanta City, Georgia, USA | 2016.07.28

1. Managing stress can be as simple as optimizing your breathing.

  • Your breathing isn’t just a reflection of your mental state – it can actively change that state too.

  • Mimicking relaxed breathing tricks the body into thinking you actually are relaxed.

  • Drawing long slow breaths for 60 seconds is enough to rid the bloodstream of the stress hormone cortisol entirely.

  • Breath in and out through your nose. Fill your belly and diaphragm with each breath. This will help center you and give you a sense of calm control. Breathe out longer than you breathe in.


2. The only productivity hack you will ever need is simplicity.

  • Limit the number of channels that information can reach you.

  • Go paperless.

  • Break task down into smaller steps.


3. Face your fear.

  • Fear of failure, embarrassment, humiliation, and fear of fear.

  • When comes to learning new things: (1) fixed mindset > fixate on the result. If you attempted a task and the result is unsuccessful, you will be more likely to label it as unachievable, where you will give up trying; (2) growth mindset > focus on process.

  • Do one thing a day that scares you.


4. Live at the moment.

Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of yourself and your thoughts in the present moment and crucially, accepting your present moment without judgement or anxiety.

"Mindfulness stems from awareness, and awareness stems from relaxed attention."

Once aware, you need to exercise acceptance > accept your current emotions and situations, no judgement. Anything can be used to practice mindfulness.


5. Your mental clarity is dependent on your physical health. Wholegrains, oily fish, and blueberries provide sustaining energy to your brain.


6. Mental focus is a muscle you can exercise.


7. Find flow by seeking struggle and then release.

  • Flow state: 100% focus and lose track of time.

  • Flow can generate peak human experiences.

  • Every flow cycle starts with a struggle, then work towards release.

  • In face of challenging work, don't be intimidated, take it as opportunities to create struggle. When you see the challenging task as entry point of your flow state, you can embrace it with enthusiasm.

  • Then, work towards release. Calm down and don't set destinations/goals at the end of the flow. Simply focus on getting the flow state will help you achieve deep focus and get things done.


8. Breaking bad habits isn’t as hard as you think.

  • The habit loop: notice what is the cause of your bad habit > say, it is boredom, then replace your phone with a book near your bed to replace that habit with something can kill your boredom and makes you satisfied.

  • Or identify the reward of your bad habit, reward yourself something else with healthy ones.

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