Anxiety is considered as a psychological and physiological state, it is also a disagreeable emotion and considered as a Normal reaction to stressful situations.
when Anxiety it becomes very excessive become an Anxiety disorder
Although this is a normal reaction to stress, it can take the form of the pathological disease and the person who suffers for a long time can develop other mental health disorders such as depression, etc..
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
Common Psychological symptoms
Common physical symptoms
.Fatigue .Sleeping Troubles
.Headache .Irritability .Phobia( Feeling Fears for small or big things) .Panic Attacks .Heart palpitations ( fast heartbeats )
.Choking sensation .Excessive sweating; .Hot flashes or, on the contrary, chills .Muscle tension .High blood pressure .Chest Pain and tightness .Body tremors generalized to the whole body; .Nausea .Diarrhea .Numbness
What are Natural treatments of anxiety (disorders)
Meditation is a type of relaxation that has strong soothing and calming properties. Few minutes in a quiet place are enough to chase the anxieties.
There are several types of relaxation that will help you feel better and avoid stress. Some type of relaxation are professional others are general, classic practices such as :
Music and art therapy
Healthy eating habits will help you feel better and be in a good mood.
Rest is an ally of good health and has immediate positive effects on brain and body function
Sleep at least 8 hours (adults) Children need more hours depending on age.
Toddlers 1-2 years 11 to 14 hours
Preschoolers 3-5 years 10 to 13 hours
School-aged children 6-13 years 9 to 11 hours
Teenagers 14-17 years 8 to 10 hours
Avoid the consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
Surround yourself with positive relationships, privilege constructive conversations with friends, family members, colleagues regardless of your social background (Work, School, etc …)
Get involved in social activities, sports, leisure.
Avoid staying alone for too long ( avoid isolation).
Discover activities, a recreation that makes you feel good.
Be Involved in community activities and build a social network.
It is very necessary to ask the help of a mental health professional if the anxiety becomes much more excessive.
Support from family members is important for complete healing.
Often Evoking Mental health problems is synonymous with judgment, rejection, and condemnation, yet everyone can find themselves in a situation of anxiety disorder regardless of age, sex social status.
Let’s be kind, help those who suffer from it.
One thing that most middle-class people don’t know is that many wealthy people started out just like them. Most of them worked hard at a job they probably didn’t like, to make ends meet. It was through this hard work along with smart decisions that most made their wealth. For many in the middle-class, the thought that they too could be wealthy has never occurred to them. We often get so caught up in life that our perception becomes our reality. Today, I am going to show you wealth secrets that the rich don’t want you to know. Now, in all honesty, they probably don’t care that you know. Some of them are so simple that you might already know them. Knowing their importance is the next step.
Keep a journal
Now, why would something like this be important? The answer is simple: accountability. When I go over my fact-finding questions with a prospective client I always delve into what their short, medium and long-term goals are. Often, they have never thought about them. For many, it never occurs to them that they should have goals. These can include family, financial, career or personal goals. Having them is the first step, writing them done is the second. Keeping track of them is important because as time goes on you will push them to the side, or even forget about them. You absolutely can’t do that. You don’t want to be 80 years old thinking about them and not be able to do anything about it.
Your money should be working for you, not the other way around
Conventional wisdom says that you must get a job and work hard to build wealth. There’s truth in that, but if your only means of income involves trading time for money, then your income potential is limited by the number of hours in a work week. The wealthy know that making money doesn’t always require hard work, and they take every opportunity to generate new sources of passive income.
Passive income can come from several sources, including rental properties, royalties on creative works, or investing. You don’t need a lot of money to start investing, but it’s important to keep your portfolio diversified so you don’t expose yourself to too much risk. Don’t try to time the market by selling when you think it’s at a peak or buying when you think it’s at rock-bottom. That approach is almost guaranteed to lose you money. You’re better off buying quality investments and holding them for the long term.
It’s important to understand the costs associated with all of your passive income streams. For example, if you run several rental properties, there may be maintenance costs that eat into your profit. Similarly, when you invest, there may be costs associated with your investment products, like fees for each trade or expense ratios on mutual funds. Try to keep these low to help maximize your profits. Index funds are a great choice for investors who want a cheap way to diversify their portfolio and earn substantial returns.
Value trumps cost
The middle-class often worry about the cost of an item or service, and rightfully so. The problem lies when you worry about cost so much that you forget about the value aspect of any transaction. If I told you that you had to give me $500 and in a few weeks, I will give you $2000, would you do it? Hell yes, you would do it! What if I was an accountant? You see, wealthy people understand that hiring professionals saves you money. Seeking the advice of those in the know may cost money, but ultimately is a bargain at the end. The poor always focus on sticker shock for items that cost a good amount of money, often neglecting that there is probably a reason they cost that much money. Meanwhile, they are bled dry by small transactions. Always analyze the value, not cost.
Keeping up with the Joneses will cost you every time
Most people think the rich live lavish lifestyles, and while some of them do, many of the wealthy got where they are by living frugally and investing a big portion of their earnings. Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett still lives in the home he bought in 1958 for $31,500, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — currently the richest man in the world — still drove his old Honda Accord for years after becoming a billionaire. It can be difficult to avoid the temptation to spend beyond your means, but it’s crucial that you resist. Otherwise, you could find yourself in debt, which will hamper your ability to save for the future even more.
Set a budget for yourself, if you haven’t already, and strive to set aside at least 20% of your income for savings whenever possible. When you get a raise, raise your monthly savings amount before doing anything else. And if you’re already in debt, take steps to pay it down. A balance transfer card is a nice option for tackling credit card debt. You could also try a personal loan.
Time trumps money
Nothing, I mean nothing, is more valuable than time. The reason that is so is that time cannot be replaced, almost everything else can be. When I look back at my 20’s I think of all the bad money decisions I made, and it definitely bothers me. What bothers me the most, however, is the amount of time I wasted. I cannot make up those years. I can, and will, make up the money, but I can’t make up the time. One thing people need to understand is that every day you waste is one less day you are wealthy. The rich understand this, which is why they have extreme urgency when it comes to goal-obtainment. I hear it all the time. I will pay that off when I get a better job. Or I will start saving when the summer is over. I am sure you are reading this now and thinking about things you are putting off.When you put things off you have discounted your time, and your time is the most valuable thing you own.
Time is your most valuable currency
When it comes to investing, your most valuable asset is time. The money you contribute earlier in your life is more valuable than the money you contribute later, thanks to compound interest. At first, you’ll just earn interest on your initial contributions, but over time, you’ll also begin to earn interest on your interest, helping your balance grow much faster. Consider this: If you invested $10,000 when you were 25, it would be worth over $217,000 by the time you turned 65, assuming an 8% annual rate of return. But if you waited 10 years to invest that $10,000, it would only be worth $101,000 in the end.
Even if you can’t afford to invest much money today, your small contributions could still grow into a large sum over time, so you’re better off starting now rather than waiting until later. Automate your investments whenever possible so that you don’t have to worry about remembering to set aside the money on your own every month.
Trading time for money
One thing the wealthy the wealthy understand is that you will never become rich if your only method of making money is trading your time for money. What that means is that you must have passive forms of income to create wealth. What are passive forms of income? These include investment income, rental property income, ownership income and anything that makes you money without using your time and effort. What’s better than 1 million in the bank? The 70K a year in interest a year you could earn would be far better in my opinion. If you focus efforts on creating a passive income stream, you will be wealthy. Even something as small as $500 a month can really add up.
Be your own boss
There is a fear of going out on your own. The fear is often justified but what needs to be known is that you will never earn your full worth unless you work for yourself. The reason is simple, capitalism isn’t structured for paying people their full worth. If everyone got paid their full worth, then no one would own anything, because there would be no point. While it is impossible for everyone to be self-employed, understanding worth and potential are important. If you work at a job where you know for a fact that you are severely underpaid, you must address that. If you work at a job where you know for a fact that you have reached your earnings potential and it is capped, you must address that. Owners do what they must do to stay in business and turn a profit. You must do the same except for your goals and dreams. Make sure your potential is never capped.
Rapper Drake said, “You Only Live Once, YOLO,” and people took it and ran with it. In fact, it got said so much it lost its meaning. Drake can say YOLO for one simple reason, he’s rich. YOLO has been used to justify being an idiot whereas it should be used as it was intended, to live a better life. While you might die tomorrow, chances are you will live a long time. What that means is that you must have a long-term outlook when it comes to life. Living life in the now is for rich people and hippies. You must make decisions based on what will better your life in the long-term. This includes saving and investing your money. Thinking long-term will help your money grow and enable you to achieve major goals like retiring wealthy. If all the choices you make are to get through the month, all you will ever do is get through the month.
Another important topic is panic. People have lost more money panicking throughout history than in any other way. I have a few clients that were paid extra compensation from their employers with stock options. Every payday they would buy a share of their company’s stock and the employer would match that share and give them one for free. Over the past 20 years, there have been 2 major stock market declines, the dot.com bubble in the early 2000’s and the crash of 2008. Each time, people with company stocks got hit hard and lost much of the value of their portfolio. Those that sold missed out on a huge windfall, whereas those that held on made all their money back and much, much more. There are no absolutes in investing, but one thing is tried and tested. You never make money by buying high and selling low. Panic will destroy your bottom line and even prevent you from obtaining your goals. It could be the difference between retiring early, or not at all.
While I appreciate the concept behind the “Latte Effect,” (the Latte Effect states that if you save small amounts consistently you will become wealthy over time) I believe it is not the greatest problem. We live in a throwaway society and sadly one of those things we throw away is our money. There are certain establishments that destroy your bottom-line with markup. The leading culprit is restaurants. Think about it, they buy a beer for $1.50 and sell it to you for $5. They buy a chicken breast for $1.00, cook it, and sell it to you for $12. The wealthy know that spending too much time dining out will crush your bottom-line. Treating yourself with a $5 latte here and there is nothing compared to $100 nights out, once a week. Remember that if you spend more money every month on pizza and wings than you save, you have messed up. Big time.
Ignore the bullshit
There is a whole industry of bullshit that exists. Much of it is contained with the media we consume. Here is a list of things that don’t matter:
What celebrities do, ever
What politicians are doing, for the most part
What some “expert” thinks about any subject
What the people who don’t live in your home think
What is on the news, for the most part
The reason these things are not important is that they don’t better your life at all. Celebrities do not care about you and by paying attention to them you are indirectly making them richer. Politicians are not in the business of saving you. It is idiotic to think they will ever make your life better. What they can do is try to not make your life worse and institute programs that help those who need it. Experts are important when it comes to planning, not when it comes to predictions, like how the stock market will fair. If an expert could consistently predict the market you would never know, because they would never tell anyone. People outside your door will think what they want about you, just like you do about them. We all have biases, so it is important to understand other people’s opinions are meaningless to your life. Lastly, the news is in the business of staying in business. They stay in business by getting you to watch. They get you to watch by sensationalizing almost everything. If we all focused on what was important to us and our families as much as we did about everything is, the world would be a better place. The wealthy focus on the things that matter to them, the poor focus on what everyone else is doing.
It’s best not to go it alone
Wealthy people don’t always know the most about finances or investing, but they do understand the value of expert advice from a professional. While some people might balk at the cost of hiring a financial adviser to manage their money, the wealthy understand that, with an adviser’s help, their money could grow faster than it would if they were managing it on their own.
A financial adviser may be able to suggest investments and strategies that you hadn’t considered to achieve your financial goals more quickly. It’s crucial that you choose a fee-only adviser, though. Unlike fee-based advisers, fee-only advisers don’t earn commissions on the investment products they sell to you, so you don’t have to worry about any potential conflicts of interest.
Wealth rarely comes overnight, but by being responsible with your money, seeking out new and greater sources of income, and asking for help when you need it, you can steadily grow your net worth over time.
A tried and tested strategy to obtain wealth is to focus on efficiency. The wealthy know that there are obstacles in their way as they attempt to obtain wealth. These obstacles are taxes, interest rates, fees, and their own habits. As a rule, they try to pay as little tax as possible, eliminate high-interest debt, save on fees, and develop wealthy habits. Many people complain about taxes and yet never do anything to lower their taxable burden. Many more complain about the wealth of large institutions yet make them richer by paying absurd interest rates on debt. Even more, still complain the world is out the get them and yet it is their habits that ultimately do them in. Eliminate debt, save your money, invest for the future and pay as little tax as you can along the way. That is an efficient machine that will lead to wealth. It is not brain surgery, it is common sense. The wealthy use this only a daily basis and it dictates how they run their lives.
As you probably realize, these secrets aren’t secrets at all. They are a simple, straight-forward approach to becoming wealthy. If you apply them, the possibilities are endless. The wealthy attempt daily to lessen the effects of the things they can’t control and magnify the things that they can. At that point, it is all about making sound decisions. Do that, and you will be wealthy indeed.
“The only question with wealth is, what do you do with it?”– John D. Rockefeller
It’s not that communication techniques are inherently bad. The better ones are like better diet tips (eat less, move more)
— Speak respectfully, listen attentively. But they’re unhelpful because people communicate primarily by emotional states, not words. Brain imaging shows that we make judgments about what a person is saying based on the emotional tone
— Body language
Facial expressions, eye contact, level of distractedness, tone of voice
— Before the part of the brain that interprets the meaning of words is active.
If you feel that something your communication partner does is “stupid,” describing the behavior in the kindest language will not hide your true feelings, although it may well make you seem disingenuous or manipulative. Think of your gut reaction when someone uses “communication techniques” on you. Do you feel respected and valued or manipulated and patronized?
If It’s Important, Know Your Goal
Be clear on your goal in speaking with your partner.
Do you want to:
Get your partner to do something or stop doing something?
Express yourself and be heard?
Justify your negative feelings?
In intimate relationships, most people identify number 4 as the ultimate goal of communication. Yet their body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, and eye contact almost always indicate that their goals are numbers 1-3. What seems to them as failures to communicate are really failures to manipulate, broadcast, and justify.
The problem with goal number 1 is that it requires submission, and human beings hate to submit. People will almost invariably resist what seem like attempts to control them. When they do submit, they do it resentfully. Accumulative resentment destroys relationships.
You don’t want submission in a love relationship; you want cooperation which means you must show value. (It’s a simple formula: The valued self cooperates; the devalued self resists.) But you can’t just express value in words. Unless you feel it, the expression will be hollow and do more harm than good.
The trouble with goal number 2 is that strictly speaking, we can never express feelings without changing them. Mental focus amplifies and magnifies, creating a psychological equivalent to the observer effect in physics. Moreover, the brain loads into implicit memory other times you’ve experienced the feeling you’re trying to express. This gives historical meaning to your feelings that go beyond the current situation. Your communication partner will be focused on the situation (loaded with their own personal history) and will be unlikely to give the same meaning to the feelings you’re trying to express.
In intimate relationships, feeling heard is never enough. At those times when you felt heard in your relationship – when your communication skills worked – did you then feel closer, more connected, more valued? Did you feel more loving, caring, kind, and compassionate? If not, your partner probably felt on some level that your “communication” was part of an attempt to manipulate or control.
Goal number 3 falters because it’s difficult to justify negative feelings in a relationship without sounding accusatory, regardless of what communication techniques you employ. Justifying feelings is subject to confirmation bias
– you will only consider evidence that supports the emotional state while overlooking everything else. Your focus will amplify and magnify the negative, making everything and everyone else less important, which is why you almost always get reactive rather than validating the response.
A connection is basically the attunement of emotional states. Though it doesn’t have to be positive (you can be attuned to your spouse at the funeral of a loved one), attunement cannot exist in a state of emotional reactivity, when a negative feeling in one causes chaos or shut down in the other. It is extremely difficult to regulate emotional reactivity with words. Even when there is no hidden Motivation to convey how the other is failing or defective, merely attempting to translate the emotional experience into words runs a high risk of sounding artificial or, worse, manipulative or dishonest.
Positive attunement occurs through interest and caring, that is, one has to be interested in and show sympathy for the other. Interest and caring, like all emotional states, are conveyed primarily by facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice, not by words or communication techniques.
Bottom line: Change your emotional state and the words will follow, but it won’t work the other way around.
How Communication Techniques Can Make Intimate Relationships Worse
When people are emotionally disconnected, the use of communication techniques makes them feel manipulated, and not just because the most popular ones are patently unnatural, more suited for a therapist’s office than a living room, kitchen, or bathroom. There is almost always a hidden agenda in the use of communication techniques – goals 1-3 above.
There no need for making the mathematic Equation . Communication between you and your partner must be clear and honest.
Building a home in Vancouver, British Columbia often comes with a lot of questions like how much is it going to cost you, where can you find land, how to keep costs low and stay on budget and why not just buy an existing home?
First, why not buy an existing home and skip the hassle? Buying an existing home comes with its own set of problems and solutions and it doesn’t mean you’ll avoid any hassle.
When you build your own home, you get exactly what you want from the size of the house and the number of rooms to the color on the walls and finish on the floors. Unlike when buying an existing home you have a say in the finished product.
However, while your dream home might already be finished to perfection in your mind, you have to start from the bottom up and consider every cost associated with building a home before you can get what you want.
The typical cost per square foot to build a house in Vancouver, BC runs between $200 and $350+dollars per square foot. Some prices are even as high as $500 or more per square foot. The larger the house, the more expensive the build. Higher end finishes will also cost more. Home building prices in Vancouver vary wildly.
The average cost to build a house can range from as low as an average of $300,000 to $350,000for a 1000 square foot home to double, triple or even quadruple that amount. An average sized 2500 square foot house, for example, will cost anywhere between $500,000 and $875,000 to build based on these price considerations. Higher end finishes will increase the price dramatically.
It’s important to note that the price per square footage doesn’t encompass the total cost to build the home. Factors including land prices and other services should also be included in your estimate to get a final idea.
All costs for building your home should be reflected in your contract, but your building contract may not include additional services such as project manager fees. If you are already starting to feel confused, this is where your contractor and project manager comes in.
They help you figure out all the costs before you even begin. If you haven’t researched land for building yet, they will help you with that as well.
Finding and Surveying Land
Land prices are based on many different factors including land quality, desired location, square footage or acreage, and current market conditions. Since prices can range from anywhere in the low thousands to well over a million dollars, you’ll want to factor land costs into your budget and try to stay within your range.
For this article, we will focus on average land costs. In most cases, you’ll also need to include the following expenses:
Fees for a Land Surveyor who determines soil conditions, topography, and bearing capacity. A land full of rock and stone will be harder to carve into, but building on soft or marshy land will require more support and precautions to prevent foundation cracks from excessive moving or settling.
Fees for Zoning Requirements include the maximum size house that’s allowed and other property restrictions. The assessor will tell you how far back from the street your steps need to be and how much front yard space is required by the city. Every area has its own set of restrictions so don’t assume that one piece of land is the same as the next.
Other considerations when finding land include whether sewer and water come via city pipes or private wells and septic systems need to be installed which affect costs associated with building on the land.
Rural land further away from civilization and city amenities are less likely to have city sewer and water and more likely to require wells and septic systems.
Land closer to the water or city will cost more than rural land, however not all rural land is buildable. If land already has running water and electricity, that is a bonus since you’ll save on some costs.
Knowing the neighborhood you want to build in is important as well. When buying a home already built, realtors will consider prices of other homes nearby to determine the best value for your property.
This should be considered when building your home as well. If all the homes in your neighborhood appraised at an average of $450,000 you will lower the value of your own property if you build a house that appraises in a higher price range, $650,000 for example.
Land prices will vary based on location. In North Vancouver, for example, land and building prices are much higher than they are in the more rural eastern parts of Vancouver. West Vancouver also offers higher priced land, but you can typically find parcels to build on for under $300 per square foot.
Architectures, Engineers, designers, and contractors
Your estimated budget for your dream home should include the cost for architectures, engineers, designers, and other contractors. Contractors offer various services from building the home to running the entire project with project management or cost consulting services. Architectures can be included in this process or consulted with in advance of hiring a contractor or project manager.
If you aren’t familiar with the planning and follow through for building a house, like many new home builders, you will want to consider hiring a project manager. Once you know where you want to build your home and have factored in the associated costs, you’ll want to decide if you want to pay for both an architect and a designer.
While an architect designs the house using engineering, design theory, and creative invention they often provide project management services. Though they use engineering concepts in their designs, often an engineer is still needed to consult on structural and mechanical elements.
Designers, on the other hand, are helpful for interior space planning and organizational flow. Often all three are needed to create the best home layout and avoid any unexpected surprises during the building phases.
What are the benefits to cost consulting and project management?
Everyone involved in the building process from the architecture designing your house plans and contractor building your foundation to the painter putting on the finishing coat of that must have, in-style color and the landscapers who seeds your brand new lawn should be included in the project to gauge an accurate price.
Project managers specialize in managing the process from start to finish preventing surprises from popping up outside of expected contract prices.
Cost consultants are there to make sure you pay a fair price for services rendered. Since costs vary widely from one service to another, from one contractor or business provider to the next, a consultant can help you choose the right services within your budget and help you get the best value for your money by providing real time data and estimates.
What’s in a contract?
The contract includes all costs associated with building your home from material costs with contractor markups and trade labor fees to contingency amounts that allow for overages or unexpected cost.
The contingency amount, also known as the escalation allowance, is usually a percentage price and keeps you from coming out-of-pocket in the event of issues or additional unknown needs. Contracts are broken down by the following:
Permits and Additional Fees
Inspection and Survey Fees
Construction Costs: Soft Vs. Hard
Construction costs include hard costs and soft costs. Hard costs are controllable, fixed costs like time and labor, various trade’s contract prices—for example, the painter will get a fixed price of $10,000 to paint a 2500 square foot home, and materials excluding extra’s that may be required due to surprises popping up during the build.
Hard costs only change according to the price of the finishing materials used in construction. High-end materials, for example, will cost more than the lower end equivalents.
Soft costs fluctuate depending on the contract. These costs cover everything not included in the hard costs such as:
Land related costs
Architectural, engineering, and legal fees
Insurance and bond coverage
Design consulting services
Additional Cost management or project management services
Realty taxes, land surveys, and environmental testing
Appraisals and inspection fees
Construction trailer and equipment
Energy consumption fees
Finishing Touch Factors That Affect Costs
Besides land prices, architecture and design services, labor and materials, building permits, fees, insurance coverage, and additional equipment needs, the end cost to build your new home will increase or decrease based on whether you use high-end or low-end finishes or require additional equipment like bobcats and cranes.
This lists some factors that will increase or decrease the cost of your project.
Your desired home size, square footage, and the number of stories and rooms you want will all determine a higher or lower price when building your home. A larger home requires a larger foundation, additional building materials (more planks, more drywall, more beams, additional windows), and a longer build process which also increases labor costs and time associated with the build.
Your home’s shape also makes a difference. Square homes are typically easier and faster to build than say a circular home that would require custom building materials and mechanical’s to be installed.
Your roof matters as well. There are different shingle materials and the slope and accessibility of your roof will cause the price to fluctuate. A gambrel, for example, has many gables and eaves, which mean more cutting and specialty pieces to lay roof on.
Materials include everything from the beams used in your foundation and drywall that you’ll hang your pictures on to lighting and faucet fixtures. Determining price range is almost impossible until you know what type of materials you’ll use. Counter tops, for example, come in many different options and price points as do cabinets and paint colors.
Appliances are another consideration in building prices. Your basic appliances include an oven and stove and a fridge. However, your newly built home might need more like a new washer and dryer for your awesome laundry room. Appliances range in price from a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars for high-end products.
Mechanical Systems. You’re heating, air conditioning, water, septic or sewer systems all come in high-end or low-end options as well. You’ll want to consider the cost of all mechanical equipment as well. For some materials, it is worth it to spend more.
Design features include your finishing touches such as crown molding, paint colors, bathroom vanities, counter tops and cabinet materials and colors. The number and location of your bathrooms, size, and location of closets, and if you want additional organizational features.
Landscaping design and planning. Cost increases come from options like running an outdoor speaker system, creating ponds or garden areas, adding trees or structural features like porches, patios, and play sets, or putting in a pool.
Security systems are a hot topic and should be considered in today’s digital market. Features for home security include apps that allow you to control it from your phone, anywhere which help protect your home. These features can be installed when the home is built.
Building a home requires multiple contractors and services to come together to create the finished, livable piece. While the average price per square foot to build a home comes in at around $250 that doesn’t include all the price considerations mentioned above.
When determining the cost to build your new home, don’t forget your line items for building permit costs, structural engineering and architectural needs, and survey and inspection fees.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when considering all the factors that come into play when building your home.
The best way to make sure you get the right result for your money and time is to start with knowledgeable experts who answer all your questions and guide you through the process.
With a busy schedule and sometimes working late into the evening, building a healthy morning routine has been a challenge for me. In the past when I’ve developed a morning routine, I often felt I was sacrificing sleep. I’ve experimented with meditation, morning exercise, gratitude journals, intermittent fasting all with the goal of creating a healthy morning routine, in order to feel energetic and grounded for my day. Often, I found myself not being able to stick to the routines, since the time demands were too great. I ended up sprinkling in these activities when there was time, but never really sticking to one thing.
During my commute to work one day I was listening to the Podcast Works for Me – “How to Make Yourself a Morning Person” with the hopes of finding inspiration on how to build a healthy morning routine. The podcast discusses the outcomes of the podcast author challenging herself to a new morning routine, with the help of scientific research. The morning routine is called RISE-UP, a method developed by Alison Harveyof the Golden Bear Sleep and Mood Research Clinic. She is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. The real take away that I got from the author of the podcast – Francesca Levy, was how she got the feeling of time to herself. In the podcast, she described how having a young child and a busy work schedule left her feeling that she didn’t have any time to herself. This feeling having no time or time to yourself seems ubiquitous in our culture and can lead to frustration, anxiety, and burnout. Creating this morning routine is really about creating time for self-care (Smullens., 2015).
RISE UP METHOD
The RISE UP method aims to help those suffering from severe sleep inertia, also known as morning grogginess. Harvey describes sleep inertia as “the technical term for the normal and natural transitional state of lowered arousal and impaired performance following sleep.” Sleep inertia can last for a period of 5 to 20 minutes of grogginess, this includes the feeling of heavy eyes, body pain and a desire to go back to sleep. Harvey describes sleep inertia as a normal transition from sleep to being awake and recommends it’s best to get up and start moving. So that strong impulse to hit the snooze button is a natural impulse but snoozing doesn’t improve alertness or sense of being awake during the day (Kaplan et al., 2018). Part of this may be due to the fact that snoozing, starts another sleep cycle, but doesn’t allow you enough time to complete a sleep cycle, which typically lasts from 90 to 120 minutes (Natural Patterns of Sleep).
RISE UP Steps Refrain from snoozing – Avoid hitting the snooze button on your alarm Increase Activity – Perform physical activity within the first hour of waking Shower or wash your face and hands – Shower or wash your hands and face with cold water Expose yourself to sunlight – Expose yourself to natural sunlight first thing in the morning Upbeat music – Listen to upbeat music, since taste in music is so subjective, choose music that makes you feel energetic and upbeat Phone a friend – To make this easier, suggest this morning routine to a friend, who you can call to in the morning and they can offer you accountability and vice versa.
Research on the RISE UP method
Refrain from snoozing – Pressing snooze extends sleep inertia/grogginess by delaying physical activity and the physical stimulation that comes with physical activity. Snoozing also affects the sleep-wake cycle, which increases sleepiness (Kaplan et al., 2018).
The sleep-wake cycle or the circadian rhythm is a daily pattern that signals our body when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to be awake. For most people, the sleep cycle is seven to nine hours and our time awake is 15 to 17 hours (Natural Patterns of Sleep).
These cycles are controlled by a set of hormones, one of them being adenosine. Adenosine is nucleoside, a chemical that our bodies naturally produce, which is important in energy transference and is also a neuromodulator. Adenosine begins to be released and accumulates once awake, the levels continue to accumulate throughout the day, when it binds to specific receptor sites, it causes an inhibitory type action, leading to drowsiness. Which is why the longer you stay awake the sleepier you become. Caffeine and adenosine belong to the same chemical group called xanthines, caffeine can readily bind to the adenosine receptor in the brain. When caffeine binds to the adenosine receptor in neurons of the brain, there is no effect on the receptor, but it does block adenosine from binding. Which is why
caffeine promotes wakefulness, but only temporarily. Once the caffeine is cleared from the body, the adenosine is still there and the feeling of sleepiness will likely return (Urry et al., 2014).
Increase activity for the first hour – Studies has shown that exercising at night can decrease the feeling of sleepiness, and may cause difficulty falling asleep as well as sleep quality. Exercise increases your core temperature, releases adrenaline and increases your heart rate, which promotes wakefulness (Kaplan et al., 2018).
Shower or wash your face and hands with cold water – Cold water applied to the skin causes vasoconstriction, which is the constriction of blood vessels. Cold water causes reduced blood flow in the skin and studies have found that vasoconstriction in the hands and face reduces subjective sleepiness (Krauchi et al., 2006)
Exposure to sunlight – Morning bright light turns off melatonin production and promotes an increase in cortisol levels. Light exposure upon waking can reduce morning grogginess and reset the circadian rhythm (Kaplan et al, 2018).
Upbeat Music – Studies have shown that upbeat music can decrease subjective sleepiness (Kaplan et al, 2018).
Phone a Friend – Greater social contact has been found to reduce subjective sleepiness. A study of flight crews found that when crew members took short breaks that involved socializing, this could mask their sleepiness (Neri et al . 2002).
Practical Tips and My Experience with the RISE UP Method
When living in the pacific northwest, relying on sunshine can be unpredictable, especially in the winter months. One way to ensure that you have exposure to light in the morning is by using a sunrise-simulating alarm clock. I’ve been using the Philips HF3520 Wake-up Alarm Clock. This alarm wakes you up by simulating a sunrise, where the light gradually gets brighter, and if you aren’t awake yet, the sound of soft chirping birds begins. In the beginning, I mainly woke up to the sound of chirping birds but eventually began to wake up before the wake-up time I had set.
Rather than a shower right away, I woke up and washed my face with cold water, then went out for a run with my dog, followed by some stretching. This allowed me to get natural light exposure and exercise within an hour of waking. I really enjoy the quiet in the morning, it almost feels as though you have that little part of the world to yourself. I live by the Fraser River and I noticed that the birds are calm, some still sleeping, the river is calm, almost still and it’s so quiet that the clanging of the tags on my dogs’ collar seam
ed to be the loudest noise on the walkway.
I opted to not play upbeat music in the morning. Personally, I found the upbeat music too stimulating in the morning, I prefer to take that time in the morning as more of a meditation on the natural world, where I listen to wildlife, the river and the rustling of the wind. The last, step is phoning a friend, honestly, I did not do this step. Mainly since who wants to be called at 5:30 am? I did make sure to talk to my partner in the morning, but I didn’t find that conversation made me feel more or less sleepy.
What were my personal results of taking 4 out the 6 steps of RISE-UP? The first thing I noticed is how much I enjoyed that time in the morning that felt like my own, previously it felt like as soon as I woke up, I was on the clock so to speak – making breakfast, putting lunch together, feeding the dog and cat breakfast, etc. Now it feels like I have 30 minutes plus, that are mine, where the world is still and quiet. I also noticed that I had more energy in the morning, so I found myself more productive earlier in the day, although I did find my energy fading at around 4 pm, so those days that I work late into the evening, I found a little challenging. I also found myself sleeping better since I was quite tired and ready to sleep earlier at night.
My dog also benefited from this morning routine, he was more attentive during our walk/run, he also had a calmer demeanor in the evening, rather than the usual boisterousness right after his dinner.
This routine is easy to get in the habit of and you can make it your own by adapting the exercise activity. You can do yoga on the balcony, go for a run, do tai chi, whatever you enjoy.
The other nice part is that it can be as little or as much time as you need, as long as you cover the main steps.
I encourage you to give it a try, throw some cold water on your face, go outside, get some sunshine, get some exercise and set yourself up for an amazing day!
“Natural Patterns of Sleep.” Healthy Sleep, healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/science/what/sleep-patterns-rem-nrem.
D.F. Neri, R.L. Oyung, L.M. Colletti, M.M. Mallis, P.Y.Tam, D.F. Dinges “Controlled breaks as a fatigue countermeasure on the flight deck Aviation Space & Environmental Medicine, 73 (2002), pp. 654-664
Smullens, SaraKay. Burnout and Self-care in Social Work: a Guidebook for Students and Those in Mental Health and Related Professions. National Association of Social Workers, 2015.
Kaplan, Katherine A., et al. “Rise and shine: A treatment experiment testing a morning routine to decrease subjective sleep inertia in insomnia and bipolar disorder.” Behaviour Research and Therapy, vol. 111, 2018, pp. 106-112.
Urry, Emily, and Hans-Peter Landolt. “Adenosine, Caffeine, and Performance: From Cognitive Neuroscience of Sleep to Sleep Pharmacogenetics.” Sleep, Neuronal Plasticity, and Brain Function, 2014, pp. 331-366.