It’s been so long I don’t even remember the last time I sat down to write. I must say I really miss it.
As you can probably tell from the first line, I’ve taken some time off from the blog to think about my life right now and where I want to be in the next 5 years. Believe me, it was a lot of thinking. LOL🙂
But first, let me tell you that so much has happened since last summer, here are a few highlights;
I moved to a newly renovated house in June of 2019. Between packing and organizing the new place, I was exhausted at the end of each day, there was no chance to write a blog post.
I took a 6-month leave of absence from my 7-3 corporate job as I was so unhappy with the work, the company and the lack of support. I had been thinking about leaving for quite some time and knew I had to stop thinking and start doing. After 19 years of service, I had to finally get out of my comfort zone, cut the cord and move on.
During my leave, I worked hard on another personal project, this time to become an online marketer. I took some courses, joined marketing groups, watched tons of videos and started a new site, an affiliate marketing site. More on that another day as I’m still working on it. 😉
I did find another job (before quitting the other one) and the transition was smooth. I’m now part of an awesome team, I can work from home occasionally and I feel validated and supported. It was a great change for me, I’ve learned a lot of new things and I continue to look forward to new challenges.
During the transition between jobs, I took some time to get clear on what I really want to do for the next 45 years.
I made a list of the things I want to do and accomplish and started working towards those things.
Since I started practicing meditation (to relieve stress), I feel like I’m more in touch with my inner being, more aware of my thoughts and paying more attention to what makes me happy. I started exploring my spiritual side a bit more and I love it. There is so much to learn in this lifetime! I’m so excited for what is yet to come.🙂
My plan is to get back in the flow and write more for the blog. I’ve come across some amazing tools and resources that I want to share on future posts.
I think you are going to like it.
Thanks for reading and remember:
You can never get real progress if you don’t take action.
Anxiety is something many of us deal with on a daily basis. However, there are individuals who are incapacitated with constant thoughts of anxiety; so much that the daily activities of life are impacted. These people cannot find peace of mind and need to actively try and get their anxiety controlled.
Are there any ways to calm anxiety?
There are a number of treatments for anxiety disorders, including different kinds of therapies and medications. Depending on the patient’s condition and on their personal preferences, they may receive one of these treatments, both of these treatments, or neither of them.
Some people who suffer from anxiety disorders avoid seeking treatment or avoid seeking medication because they are afraid of what kind of impact the medications will have on them.
While starting a new medication can be scary, knowing more about common medications for anxiety disorders may help those suffering from anxiety disorders to make more informed decisions about their treatment or about whether or not to pursue treatment.
Speak with your health care professional if you think you might have anxiety. While medication is available to help with anxiety, it should not be the only line of treatment you seek out.
Let’s explore a few other options to more natural ways to calm the anxiety;
Meditation should be the core of a natural strategy to manage anxiety since it helps to ground your irrational fears. While we all have an apprehension of the future, meditation helps us to take each moment at a time.
The goal of meditation is not to block out negative emotions, but help us learn to not linger on them. Get started first thing tomorrow morning – just sit peacefully for 5 minutes at the beginning of your day, let thoughts enter your mind freely, but do not let them linger.
The end goal is to have control over your thoughts and not letting them negatively ruin your day.
Lack of sleep causes your brain to go haywire, playing all sorts of tricks on you and decreasing your emotional tolerance as a whole. You may find that following even just one night of sleep loss your performance will decrease, and you will be prone to anger and agitation.
Strive for a minimum of 7 hours nightly to keep your brain chemistry on point. Meditation just before bedtime is a great idea. It gets your mind ready for peaceful sleep and even helps you feel better the next morning.
Exercise is one of the best medicines we have at our disposal, as there are few things that are comparable to the range of health benefits it offers. Exercise, similar to sleep, helps to naturally manage anxiety and depression, by increasing levels of feel good and stress-busting chemicals known as endorphins.
Anxiety if partially worsened by high levels of adrenalin, and even though exercise does temporarily increase these levels, the endorphins temper its effects and leave your mood on a high for hours afterwards.
If you are not a big fan of the gym, try a 15 to 20 min walk, do a Yoga class in your living room, go for a bike ride to explore the neighbourhood. The point is to get the body moving.
Eat Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has numerous benefits on health and is not your typical sugar-laden variety. Dark chocolate is particularly effective in reducing the impact that the stress hormone cortisol has on our body, including precipitating anxiety.
Its mode of action of unique, as it relays relaxation from the stomach to the brain. Similar to the way that you feel the nervousness in your stomach, a never named the vagus can be exploited for soothing anxiety too.
Try To Get Sunlight Daily
People in colder climates have been observed to develop a condition known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder), which comes on during the winter months when sun exposure is limited.
Symptoms of SAD include depression, irritability and increased anxiety, all of which resolve upon exposure to sunlight. If you do live in such a climate and are unable to get exposure to the sun when winter comes, artificial light therapy also helps improve symptoms.
Consume More Omega-3 Fats
Omega-3 fatty acids are strong anti-oxidants and may help to stem the cause of your anxiety. Typically, the two hormones that are elevated are cortisol and adrenalin, both of which respond negatively to the influence of oxidation.
Omega-3 fats combat excessive oxidation and are anti-inflammatory, helping boost production of serotonin and dopamine, and helping keep your anxiety response normal.
Don’t forget the Vitamin D3
Deficiency in vitamin D3 has been linked with anxiety, depression, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
The body makes its own vitamin D as a response to sunlight exposure, and it is also found in eggs and fatty fish. It is also important for immune function, bone health, and heart health, along with protecting against cancer.
Journaling is a very therapeutic exercise and the consistent practice of it has been shown to help calm the mind, get rid of negative thoughts, decompress from the daily stresses and work through my anxious feelings to start focusing on what’s important: Live a better, calmer life.
Journaling is a process, it gets better the more you do it. It’s for anyone that can write, and it offers many benefits to your mental health.
Anxiety is exhausting, and coping with it is a never-ending learning process. Don’t get discouraged!
Finding the root of anxiety is the first step in overcoming it. How else can you truly recover from something if you don’t know what is truly causing it? These exercises are something you can repeat as often as you want and the more you do it, the better you get at it and you will soon realize we can train ourselves to feel better and live better, one day at a time.
How about you? What techniques do you use to calm your everyday anxiety?
Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear about it!
Whether you have an anxiety disorder, know someone who has an anxiety disorder, or just want to be able to offer an informed opinion, knowing about anxiety disorders is important. That means knowing the misconceptions about them as well.
Some common anxiety misconceptions occur because of changing beliefs or practices in the medical community, while others come from people not understanding anxiety disorders well enough.
In either case, knowing the truth can help to make the world a better place for people suffering from these conditions.
1. Anxiety Disorders Aren’t Real
The myth that anxiety disorders aren’t real largely comes from the fact that they haven’t been in the medical vocabulary for very long and the fact that more and more people are seeking help for anxiety disorders.
Of course, these two things are related in that few seek help for problems that nobody recognizes. As anxiety disorders become better understood and more recognizable, more people are able to get help for them.
That doesn’t mean that people are making up their symptoms or that anxiety disorders aren’t real. They aren’t growing in popularity, they’re growing in terms of awareness.
When the healthcare community told us that epilepsy wasn’t because of demons and polio wasn’t the wrath of God, we believed them. So, why should anxiety disorders be any different?
2. Feeling Anxiety Means That You Have A Disorder
On that note, there’s something a misconception that each of us can address in order to make the previous misconception rarer.
We need to start talking about anxiety disorders like the serious conditions that they are.
Everyone experiences feelings of stress and even feelings of anxiety, but these common feelings and even experiencing a panic attack don’t necessarily mean that you have an anxiety disorder.
Too many of us talk about our feelings of stress as “anxiety” and every time a healthy person claims to have an anxiety disorder it removes credibility from someone who really does.
People with anxiety disorders may have feelings of severe stress virtually all the time. Alternatively, they may have feelings of anxiety when anyone else would, but their feelings are so severe that they become debilitating.
They may also have sudden feelings of overwhelming when nothing is apparently happening to cause it.
In short, there is a very real and significant difference between experiencing anxiety and living with an anxiety disorder.
If you think you have an anxiety disorder, don’t self-diagnose and don’t use it as an excuse to self-medicate.Talk to your healthcare provider and trust their diagnosis and prescription.
3. Anxiety Disorders Are Just Chemical Imbalances
On the topic of prescription, another common misconception about anxiety disorders is that they are entirely because of chemical imbalances in the brain and that this is why medication helps.
Anxiety disorders are primarily caused by the mental processes of the person who experiences it. This means that anxiety disorders are not just chemical imbalances, but it does not mean that anxiety disorders aren’t real.
Medications can make people with anxiety disorders feel better but more importantly, they make people with anxiety disorders more receptive to therapy, which is the only real way to permanently solve their problems.
Many people with anxiety disorders opt to see a therapist but not to take medication.
If you are on medication for anxiety but are not attending therapy, talk to your healthcare provider and ask for a referral. This referral will make it easier for you to find a therapist that is right for you, and it may help your insurance to cover the cost of your therapist, depending on your insurance provider.
4. Medication Changes Who You Are As A Person
A similar misconception about anxiety is one that is experienced by people with anxiety disorders. This is the misconception that medications will change who you are as a person or otherwise alter your personality.
The medications prescribed for anxiety do work on the brain, but they work in very specific pathways, usually to help to control the stress response while doing little else.
People who are on most anxiety medications do not notice other emotions being altered and they are still able to experience healthy stress in normally stressful situations, though medication does keep them from experiencing anxiety all the time or in non-stressful situations.
For people without anxiety disorders, avoiding these misconceptions can help to be more supportive of the members of the community that do have anxiety disorders.
For those who are suffering from anxiety disorders, understanding these misconceptions can help to foster healthy communication with the larger community and to get the best possible care.
Let me know what you think about these misconceptions, I would love to hear your opinion.
There are many things you can do to empower yourself and promote personal wellness. Reading uplifting books is often neglected as an important part of a self-care routine.
I love to include reading a book as part of my self-care routine, there is something special about taking time for myself and sitting down to enjoy a good book that will enrich my life, it’s one of the options I usually go for!
What is Self-Care?
For a lot of people, it isn’t always easy to know that they are experiencing the negative effects of self-care. It can happen very easily to anyone when they have life elements like children, financial issues, feelings of inadequacy, or physical problems.
The time and energy that these various obstacles take to overcome can leech the energy of the most resilient people. Fortunately, the mind and body have a lot of built-in tells that alert you to the fact that there’s some kind of deficiency.
Self-Care is the time you take for yourself, to recharge and nurture your own health. It’s you taking action to protect your own well-being and happiness.
Signs & Symptoms You Might Need to Self-Care
Here are some signs and symptoms to keep an eye on, they usually mean self-care is in order;
You’re Irritable Often
You’re Late Often
You Have Panic Attacks
You Struggle to Relax
You’re Irritable Often
When you’re in need of more self-care, it’s a lot easier to be upset or disgruntled. This is because the toll of going without what you need is beginning to weigh in on you, and the resentment that you feel has begun to slowly carve itself into other areas in life.
Being mindful of what is actually bothering you will help you to focus on correcting the problem. This can be especially true of long-term romantic relationships.
You’re Late Often
The tendency to be late can be caused by two main things, which are: the need to squeeze too much into an unreasonably short period of time or the need procrastinate because you never feel as if you rest completely. One example of this can be seen in the habit of waking up with less time to get ready and trying to complete projects that required more time to plan.
If you are the kind of person who listens to the alarm more than once, then you could be doing serious damage to your restfulness because you are waking up every few minutes instead of sleeping without interruption.
You Have Panic Attacks
Stress can build up in the body and cause it to have strange symptoms. If unchecked they can manifest into more serious conditions over time. Panic attacks are often the result of a lot of stress carried for long periods without relief or any sort of outlet.
You Struggle to Relax
How good at relaxing are you? If you have trouble relaxing, it could mean that you need to spend more time relaxing. It can also mean that you have a lot of open projects going on that doesn’t seem to have an end. Try to designate a day where you take actual time to not have to do anything. Try meditating! It does wonders for your mind.
Make it your time to sit without having to worry about completing anything. Self-care at it’s best.
Books That Are Great For Self-Care
There are many things you can do to empower yourself and promote personal wellness. Reading uplifting books is often neglected as an important part of a self-care routine. There is something special about sitting in a comfortable chair to read a book and take time for yourself.
The following books are great for self-care:
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Don’t let the title of this book fool you. The Artist’s Way isn’t a manual for oil painting. Julia Cameron wrote this book over 25 years ago in an effort to help creative people focus on their wellness. The great thing about the book is that you don’t have to be an artist to benefit from Cameron’s wisdom.
Cameron advocates setting aside personal time for journaling and for what she calls a weekly “artist date.” Her conviction is that individuals must learn how to reconnect with their imaginative inner child. What she suggests makes sense. As we grow older there is a tendency to let adulting overwhelm us to the point that we sacrifice joy.
Personal Power by Anthony Robbins
Tony Robbins has become the premier motivator of our modern society. His rise to fame began with Personal Power, a book that still forms the core philosophy of Robbins’ motivational seminars. It is a complete course in learning how to shift your mindset into a positive direction that will help you achieve important goals.
The right mindset is an important part of self-care. In this classic book, Robbins discusses his own take on neuro-linguistic programming or NLP. Robbins adapted the principles of NLP into his own system which stresses taking personal responsibility for one’s growth and development.
Reading the book might not inspire you to make the firewalk that is a staple of Robbins’ seminars, but it will challenge the way you think about how you are mentally framing your life experience.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Dr Stephen R. Covey was a master on the art of self-care and left behind an impressive literary legacy when he passed away in 2012. This book was his most important work. Covey walks the reader through a list of seven things that become habits of those who succeed in life.
One of the best things of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is this book can teach us how positive habits are cultivated and formed. Covey not only explains the principles of success but gives a detailed explanation and action plan that will help the reader create the habit. The book also reinforces the notion that successful people share common traits. As Robbins also suggests, modelling those who have mastered the art of living is an effective way to proceed on one’s own life journey.
Taking a few moments each day for reading is something YOU deserve. It will help you to realize that working on your wellness should be a priority.
Start small if you must and read for a few minutes. Work on lengthening your reading sessions each day. Reading can also help you disconnect from things like social media and television in order to cultivate stillness of mind.
Now, that’s self-care!
How about you? What do you do to self-care?
Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!
As part of my therapy to recover from severe generalized anxiety, it was suggested that I created a new habit and it was to start writing down my thoughts and feelings daily. I was introduced to journaling to overcome anxiety in 2015 when I had major nerves break down due to stress.
So what is anxiety?
When most people say that they have anxiety, they are usually using shorthand to describe a condition that they have been diagnosed with.
The truth is that anxiety isn’t a condition, it is a feeling. It can be symptomatic of a number of different conditions including but not limited to a group of disorders called anxiety disorders. On the other hand, it’s a natural emotion that is normal and healthy to feel from time to time.
How do you know when your anxiety is abnormal or unhealthy and what do you do from there?
Understanding anxiety requires understanding something called the “stress response” or the “fight or flight system.” This is a natural body process that prepares you, mentally and physically, to deal with challenges. It starts with a stressor, usually some kind of perceived threat. This triggers the release of hormones, one class of the “messenger molecules” that help different parts of your mind and body communicate with each other.
These chemicals lead to a number of changes in the way in which your body works including changes that you probably don’t notice, like slowing down your digestion and changes that you probably do notice – a faster heartbeat and faster breaths. The faster breath helps more oxygen get into your blood and a faster heartbeat helps to circulate that oxygenated blood through your body, especially to your muscles.
Usually, these symptoms come on somewhat gradually due to something that you have good reason to worry about. It usually isn’t scary, and it may even help you to do what you need to do to resolve or leave the situation.
Sometimes, however, it comes on quickly. It may be brought on by fears of things that aren’t likely to happen. Those changes to your heartbeat and breathing may be so severe that they cause chest pain and lightheadedness. You may even feel like you are going to die. This is called an “anxiety attack” or a “panic attack,” and it’s a major sign that you might have an anxiety disorder or a related condition.
Does Having an Anxiety Attack Mean that a Person Has Anxiety?
Having one panic attack doesn’t mean that you have an anxiety disorder, and having an anxiety disorder doesn’t mean that you are always having a panic attack – or even that you have them often. Above we discussed the physical aspect of anxiety but those physical aspects are brought on by emotional feelings of anxiety.
These feelings are usually worrying about or being afraid of things. As the physical aspects of anxiety, the emotional aspects of anxiety is normal and healthy if it only happens from time to time when there is actually something to worry about. (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition suffered by people who experience high levels of stress or anxiety over a legitimately frightening event like combat, violent crime or abuse, or even bad traffic collisions).
People with anxiety disorders, however, experience these feelings of stress, fear, and anxiety most of the time, even when nothing stressful or scary is happening. These feelings may be so severe and so constant that they interfere with the way that people live their daily lives. The physical symptoms of prolonged stress can also lead to health problems.
One of the main differences between anxiety disorders has to do with what kinds of events or fears trigger the feelings of anxiety. General feelings of anxiety that don’t seem to be caused by anything characterize “Generalized Anxiety Disorder,” while fears of very specific things are called phobias. These are some of the most common anxiety disorders but there are others as well.
What to Do if You Think You Have Anxiety? How to Overcome Anxiety?
There are a number of quizzes and symptom checkers online that you can use to try to determine whether you have anxiety. None of them are substitutions for the diagnosis of a medical expert, however.
There are no real tests for anxiety, so the diagnosis of anxiety disorders and related conditions is usually based on the symptoms that a patient describes to a general healthcare provider or mental health expert. You should definitely consult your doctor if you have any of the trademark signs and symptoms.
Treatments may range from prescription medications to talk-therapy, to diet and lifestyle changes. These will depend on the nature and severity of the disorder and on the preferences of the individual.
In my specific case, I used all of the mentioned treatments and one, in particular, is what I want to talk about here today. It is Journaling. I use Journaling to Overcome Anxiety.
I must say that I always liked writing when I was in school, so the idea of writing was not too much out of my comfort zone. Except, this time, in full blown anxiety moment, I had to write about my own anxious thoughts and feelings. All had to be about myself and that’s when I immediately started to feel a wave of emotions came up before I even started. Did I mention I have anxiety?
I couldn’t grasp the idea of writing about myself in details, without feeling stressed. I was really sick at the time, so everything was overwhelming to me, to say the least.
Journaling is a very therapeutic exercise and the consistent practice of it has helped calm my mind, get rid of negative thoughts, decompress from the daily stresses and work through my anxious feelings to start focusing on what’s really important: Live a better, calmer life.
At each therapy session, we would go over my notes from the previous week and we would talk about the situation, thoughts, fears and feelings I had written down.
The best part of it all is when you go back and read your own notes a week later, you will notice that whatever worry you had in the past had either sorted itself out or maybe it was not that big of a deal after all anyway. This simple exercise helps you get a different view on things, a different perspective and as a result, you start feeling better, knowing that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
There are better ways to deal with negative thoughts and emotions, we just need to be willing to pay more attention to catch ourselves doing it.
Self-awareness is key here and once you have that step figured out… the rest is just practice.
When you have a negative thought, stop and redirect your attention to something positive. Change the direction of the thought. It takes practice, but it really works.
Daily journaling is a wonderful habit that can transform your life, but you have to be willing to do the work required to experience the transformation.
Journaling works best when you create space for it in your life.
I know there could be a bit of resistance at first, you might feel silly having to write what’s on your mind, but once you get over that first negative thought and give it a try, if you stick with it, you will understand the freedom that comes with this practice as you enter the journey to discover who you really are.
Some people prefer to journal first thing in the morning so they can start their days feeling energized. Others prefer the quiet of early afternoons or late nights. I have to be in a quiet room, away from distractions to be able to fully concentrate on my thoughts, especially when I’m feeling anxious.
Whatever your preferred time to write is, choose a time that feels right to you and set aside 20-30 minutes to write your thoughts and feelings.
Keep in mind that your journal is a judgement free zone. Just write what’s on your mind. I’m sure you will have lot’s to write about once you get started.
It’s OK if you misspell a word, use a run-on sentence, or even forget punctuation altogether. It’s your journal, you can do whatever you want. You are not writing to impress others or earn an “A” on your report card. Don’t stress over it.
You’re writing for yourself and you’re the only one that will ever read these words.
“A day thinking about what could happen, should happen, or what might have been, is a day missed.” – Headspace App
If you think you don’t know what to write about, start by asking yourself some questions, then writing the answers down. It shouldn’t be complicated, Here are some examples:
How do I feel at this present moment?
What happened that made me feel this way?
Does feeling this way help solve the problem or issue?
And so on…
And to make the journaling experience even more relevant to you, I’ve created a document that you can either print to fill it out later or do it right from the document itself, as it is a fillable PDF file, then save it to your computer for future reference.
There are so many known techniques that can help you manage stress and anxiety. This simple journaling technique helps me overcome my anxious feelings every time!
Journaling to Overcome Anxiety is a process, it gets better the more you do it. It’s for anyone that can write and it offers many benefits to your mental health.
Are you happy with how much you accomplish every day? If not, mindfulness practice might be the key to better productivity. These five mindfulness practices can help you check more things off your to-do list on a daily basis.
Mindfulness can be cultivated through mindfulness meditation, a systematic method of focusing your attention. You can learn to meditate on your own, following instructions in books or on tape. However, you may benefit from the support of an instructor or group to answer questions and help you stay motivated. Look for someone using meditation in a way compatible with your beliefs and goals. Source: https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/benefits-of-mindfulness.htm/
I follow these simple yet effective mindfulness practices every day and the benefits are incredible! Using mindfulness to build a better life is a proven technique to improve the emotional and physical well-being.
Here they are;
This post contains affiliate links, for more details on the affiliate disclosure, click here.
If you visited my site before, you know by now that I’m a huge fan of meditation!
Meditation is a common mindfulness practice for a reason: it works. And while regular meditation produces more advantages than sporadic meditation, even a beginner can reap impressive benefits from taking a few minutes to sit down and clear their mind.
If you don’t currently meditate, start small. Five to ten minutes is a good starting point for most people. Get away from distractions, close your eyes if you want, and focus on clearing your mind. Your attention will probably wander a little at first, which is normal.
Over time, though, you’ll have an easier time clearing the clutter from your thoughts, and this will lead to better focus throughout your workday. This mindfulness practice will give you amazing results.
Spending time in nature is great for your mind. It boosts your mood, banishes stress, and helps you refocus your attention. Aim to get at least fifteen or twenty minutes of fresh air every day, preferably in a green space like a park or even your backyard.
Take a Few Deep Breaths
Feeling scattered? If you don’t have time for a meditation session, pause to centre yourself with a few slow, deep breaths instead. Deep breathing lowers your stress levels along with your blood pressure by stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system. The end result?
You end up feeling calmer, more present in the moment, and more prepared to get things done.
Unplug. Yes, unplug!
Gadgets like smartphones and laptops are very convenient, but they can be terrible for your state of mind.
If you’re in the habit of checking your phone every five minutes, you’re probably living in a state of constant distraction, instead of focusing on the present moment. You don’t have to give up your electronics completely, but your mindfulness – and your productivity – will improve if you limit your gadget use.
Designate specific times of the day to check your email and surf the web, and turn off your electronics outside of those times.
You will notice how liberating it is to have a few hours without any dings, rings or notifications! I turn all my notifications off and I only look at the phone when I have the time or want to.
Write in a Journal
Journaling is a simple and useful way to track your thoughts, reflect on events, and bring your mind into the present moment. Take a few minutes every morning to jot down what you’re thinking and feeling, as well as what you hope to accomplish during the day.
Use a physical notebook and pen for this – typing on a computer doesn’t bring the same mindfulness benefits.
This post contains affiliate links, for more details on the affiliate disclosure, click here.
Here is a link to my favourite Journal, for when you are ready to start Journaling. The one I love the most is from DailyGreatness, it combines a yearly diary, goal and appointment planner, and daily tools for self-mastery.
Mindfulness practices can make you happier, less stressed, and more productive. In addition to formal meditation, you can also cultivate mindfulness informally by focusing your attention on your moment-to-moment sensations during everyday activities. This is done by single-tasking—doing one thing at a time and giving it your full attention. As you floss your teeth, pet the dog, or eat an apple, slow down the process and be fully present as it unfolds and involves all of your senses. Source: https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/benefits-of-mindfulness.htm/
If you want to get more done on a daily basis, try making these simple mindfulness practices part of your regular routine and start creating a better life!
Did you enjoy these tips? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!
If you feel you’re working more yet you’re getting less accomplished, you are not alone.
The world is constantly busy, constantly working, and still many people feel as if they aren’t as productive as they were in the past. It turns out too many people are trying to do too much at once, and it’s only making it more difficult to get anything done at all. It’s time to learn how the art of mindfulness is useful in boosting productivity to make life easier.
Stop and Breathe
One way to become more productive using mindfulness is to use the basics of this practice.
Being mindful means being aware of what is going on in your life. It means being aware of what’s going on around you, in your mind, and in the moment. Take a few moments when you’re feeling overwhelmed and unproductive to stop and breathe.
Breathing slowing and deliberately clears your mind and enables you to focus.
Notice What You’re Feeling
You’re not feeling productive, but why not? Are you doing too many things at once and feeling lost in the process? Are you rushed? Are you feeling as if you’re never going to get it all done and that’s making you feel upset? Figure out what you’re feeling and write it down.
Now you can see what’s really bothering you and making you feel this way, and you can check that off your list immediately by handling it. For example, perhaps you have to leave for the evening in a few hours and you have a long to-do list you can’t seem to finish because you really want to come home to a clean house.
You can’t focus on your work until your house is straightened up. Stop what you’re doing and take a few moments to wipe down the counters or start some laundry.
Once it’s off your mind because it’s done, you have more time to focus on the things you were doing.
Multitasking is often a mindfulness killer. You’re barely aware of what you are doing because your mind is juggling half a dozen other projects simultaneously. This is not the path to productivity and progress.
A better approach is to go all in on a single task. If you could only accomplish one task today at work, what would it be? Once you are aware of your highest priority for the day, set yourself to work on that task.
Close the door, shut off your phone and take a deep breath. Then dive down into that work and don’t come back up for air until it is complete.
Accept Things You Can’t Control
You can’t do everything, and it’s time to accept that.
When you’re mindful of the fact you can’t control something right this second for whatever reason, you’re able to let it go and focus on what you can control. It helps with work, it helps at home, and it helps with your productivity.
Make a list of everything you’re doing and separate it by what you can control and what you can’t. That tangible reminder helps you feel more motivated to handle what you can.
Mindfulness is not always easy to practice unless you take the time to make it stick. Your mind and body know what you want and need, but you need to learn how to focus on that rather than focusing on everything else.
Take the time to be present and learn how to make your mindfulness routine more productive.
Now, I found an amazing deal to help you set up your Productivity Goals and since I love using these hacks, I thought I would share them with you.
This post contains affiliate links, for more details on the affiliate disclosure, click here.
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The Ultimate Productivity Bundle was created and curated by people with real-life responsibilities just like you and me: they have families, work part- to full-time jobs or run businesses, don’t have personal assistants or the budget for hiring lots of extra help. They want to help you (and themselves) conquer your to-do list, free up more time for yourself, and reach your goals.
With your bundle purchase, you unlock access to the private members’ area where your shiny, new digital library awaits. Your bundle collection will be available to download for up to one year from date of purchase and can continue to enjoy for years after.
Well worth the investment! Discover topics and goals that matter most to you. Check it out here!
Here is my pick for Productivity Tools to help you get organized and get more done in less time!
Just click on the picture below or hereto learn more!
How about you? What do you do to stay mindful and productive?
Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!
I’m always learning something new! And I love that!
Learning is the process of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values or preferences.
If you think about it, learning does not stop when you finish school or university. Learning presents itself in everyday activities, in engaging with people at work, in reading an article online or in the newspaper, a good book, or having great conversations with friends & family. We hold the power of learning something new!
We can always learn something new from a situation or from someone’s point of view.
It’s through learning that you get in touch with who you are, you discover what you are capable of and you realize how much potential you have to grow, expand your views, experience new things and help others along the way.
It’s an amazing feeling to learn something new, whatever that new thing might be and be able to share it with someone else.
Spend some time with yourself and learn from your own experience!
Perhaps you want to create new habits, get rid of the old ones that don’t serve you anymore!
Get rid of the fear of starting something new, invest in yourself, you deserve it!
Don’t let yourself live in “I don”t know”. If you really don’t know, create a plan to figure it out. When you live in “I don’t know”, you stay stuck. The cure to being stuck is taking action.
Learn something new! It’s an amazing experience!
Ulrich Boser says:
“Learning is a learned behaviour.”
“Many people mistakenly believe that the ability to learn is a matter of intelligence. ”
“A growing body of research is making it clear that learners are made, not born. Through the deliberate use of practice and dedicated strategies to improve our ability to learn, we can all develop expertise faster and more effectively. In short, we can all get better at getting better.”
Today I want to share with you a few things that I’ve been learning from 3 amazing speakers I follow on social media.
Their stories are fascinating and their love for sharing their knowledge to help other people is captivating. They share the struggles, the tricks, what works, what doesn’t work, and the ways that we can live a better life, a more fulfilling life.
I follow these mentors on Instagram and YouTube and I can honestly say my views on a lot of topics have expanded tremendously since I started learning from these incredible human beings. They are truly an inspiration!
One of the best habits I’ve picked up while recovering from severe depression & anxiety is reading. I’m a huge fan of self-help books and like with anything else you do, if you are willing to take the time and do the work offered in these books, amazing things can happen.
Also, there is something special about finding that quiet spot to sit and read a book. It’s amazing to feed your mind with uplifting content that will enrich your life for years to come. Reading is essential to achieve knowledge on a subject that you are passionate about, to get more insight, to improve a certain aspect of your life or just to better interact with others.
It’s a convenient alternative to old-fashioned reading. You can listen to a book while you are commuting to and from work or while jogging or sitting at your kid’s soccer practice.
Never underestimate the power of reading. Your future self will thank you for it.
Here are my picks for your reading pleasure in 2019.
This post contains affiliate links. More information and full disclosure are provided by clicking here.
The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything
In his new book The Happiness Equation, Pasricha illustrates how to want nothing and do anything in order to have everything. If that sounds like a contradiction in terms, you simply have yet to unlock the 9 Secrets to Happiness.
If you are an over-thinker, like me, you will benefit from this book. You will learn to live in the now and not stress about the past or worry about the future. You will encounter moments of peace through this reading and be reminded of how important it is to live in the moment and not get distracted by all the things happening around us.
The Power of Now serves as an excellent guide to overcoming ego consciousness.
I had to get this book after I read the review from Oprah Winfrey. She said: “This book is a wake-up call for the entire planet, one reader at a time. It helps us to distance ourselves from our egos . . . and to open ourselves to a higher self. . . . It helps us to stop creating our own suffering and obsessing over the past and what the future might be, and to put ourselves in the now.”
This is a great self-development book and I’m taking my time reading it, as I have to stop and reflect on things before I can continue. Very inspiring and transformational.
Feeling overwhelmed and struggling with anxiety? This book offers easy to follow instructions on how to free yourself from negative thoughts and start the journey of self-development. This book is easy to read and it summarizes effective methods for immediate results.
Steps to start living a better life are easily explained in this book. An important reminder that small changes can create a huge impact on our lives and the lives of others around us. Easy to read and you can easily apply the techniques offered to improve our lives.
I’ve heard a lot of awesome reviews about this book so I asked my hubby to get it for me for Christmas. I’m loving it.
“The Secret contains clear principles on how to live your life in accordance with the natural laws of the Universe, but the important thing for every person is to LIVE IT.
Now, with The Secret Daily Teachings, Rhonda Byrne takes you through a year of teachings, sharing wisdom and insights for living in harmony with the laws that govern all human beings, so that you may become the master of your life.
Building upon The Secret’s powerful truths, your knowledge of the law of attraction is about to expand far beyond what you can imagine. More joy, more abundance, more magnificence – every single day of the year.” – Amazon
How about you? What books have you read lately that made an impact on your life?
Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!
I’m always reading about new techniques that will help me reduce stress on a daily basis.
I love learning about how stress affects our daily lives and I enjoy finding ways to reduce the impacts of stress.
From finances and health concerns to lengthy to-do lists, there are numerous sources of strain in the lives of most people. We are living in this era of constant new technology and fast-paced evolution, it’s no surprise we are always overstimulated, constantly plugged in and stressed.
We need techniques to help us decompress and regain focus on our well-being.
According to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 68% of people feel stress on a weekly basis and 32% are stressed every day. Women, in particular, are impacted, as 25% surveyed reported experiencing stress multiple times a day. Chronic stress can lead to or exacerbate mood disorders like anxiety, depression, bipolar, cognitive & behavioral issues.
So what can we do to help minimize the impacts of stress in our daily lives?
A surprisingly simple way to relieve stress is not a new gadget or an app, it’s not a new drug or a new type of exercise. It’s simply flowers.
I love flowers! As you see I have lots of pretty photos of flowers on this site, they make me smile and feel happy and I wasn’t even aware of this new research until today.
New research from the University of North Florida’s Department of Public Health shows that living with flowers can significantly alleviate daily stress.
These findings follow decades of behavioral research studies conducted by researchers at universities including Harvard, Rutgers and Texas A&M that demonstrate flowers’ ability to make people happy, strengthen feelings of compassion, foster creativity, improve your mood and even provide boosts of energy.
The study, titled The Impact of Flowers on Perceived Stress Among Women, concludes that adding flowers to indoor environments results in a statistically significant and meaningful reduction in stress.
“There is a growing body of research that illustrates how environmental design positively impacts health,” said the lead researcher Erin Largo-Wight, Ph.D., associate professor of the University of North Florida’s Department of Public Health. “Now it is both intuitive and scientifically known that adding elements of nature, like flowers, to interiors promotes well-being.”
The specific results include:
The average reduction in stress among women who received and lived with flowers was minus-5.5 points on the perceived stress questionnaire, a significant statistical decrease in stress.
Flowers are a unique gift with the proven potential to reduce stress among women, likely because flowers provide the opportunity for nature contact, an established health-promoting environmental exposure.
Participants who received flowers overwhelmingly reported that flowers improved their moods.
“Our findings are important from a public health perspective because adding flowers to reduce stress does not require tremendous effort to generate a meaningful effect,” Largo-Wight said. “When life seems to be in a constant state of frenzy, flowers can provide a much-needed moment of calm.”
For more information about the study, along with tips on relieving stress, visit aboutflowers.com
I always enjoyed admiring pretty flowers, big or small gardens with different types and colors of flowers and little did I know that by doing this simple task I was improving my well-being.
It’s been proven and it actually works! What a nice habit to keep!
Have you stopped to enjoy the flowers today?
Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!
I’m a wife, a mom to 2 amazing boys, and I work full time at a Communications Company here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where we live. My hubby, Christopher, is a busy Contractor, he works long hours making sure his clients have a beautiful home. We also have an adorable Jack Russell Terrier, named Pitu (10).
Life is pretty busy with 2 young kids and working full time, so needless to say things can get pretty hectic at times and it’s while experiencing these not so calm times that I turned to mindfulness and meditation.
However, initially, meditation wasn’t the natural choice for me, I didn’t grow up around people who practised it. I didn’t know anything about meditation, until…
I had a major nervous breakdown and my husband urged me to go see our family doctor.
I was going through stressful times at work as well as with my mother. I was deeply sad, experiencing all of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. I had no energy for anything, all I wanted to do was sleep and hide inside my own house. I took a complete break from social media, I was not engaging with my friends, I was avoiding eye contact with everyone, in case they wanted to start a conversation that I was not prepared for. I didn’t leave the house unless I really needed to, I was a mess.
I lost my appetite and consequently lost a lot of weight and I couldn’t even get out of bed without crying for 20 min first. Although I was depressed, my mind was never quiet, my mind was always going 100 miles per hour. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t focus on a task, I couldn’t work at my job or at home, I couldn’t cook or clean. I was pacing back and forth and feeling so stressed! I was so worried about everything, but I couldn’t get anything done. I had panic attacks. I cried and cried some more, every day.
Not at all what I had planned for my life.
My doctor immediately took me off work (thank goodness for work benefits) and sent me to go see a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist. I needed help and I wanted to get help and get better!
I had to take my life back. Giving up was not an option.
I saw the Psychiatrist first, we talked about my symptoms and I was given medication to start my healing process. While I waited a couple of months for my Psychologist appointment, I went through a roller coaster of starting medication and having to stop them due to side effects. One made me too sleepy, the other made me eat too much, the other made me dizzy all the time.
I went through 3 or 4 types of medication until we found one that started to work. Everyone’s system is different, that’s why it took so long to find the right type that would work for me. I had weekly follow-up appointments to track my symptoms and I followed the doctor’s instructions to a T.
I wanted to get better for myself, for my kids, for my husband.
It was with this determination and dedication that I slowly started to feel better. But somehow I knew that medication alone was not going to resolve everything. I started therapy sessions with the Psychologist and quickly realized that if I wanted to make a good recovery I was going to have to embrace a new way of dealing with my emotions, thoughts and actions. It was only after this moment that things started to get better.
I was introduced to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as Meditation and I slowly started to change my life for the better.
I had to complete daily exercises, meditate every day for 10 min and I was asked to start writing about my emotions, about scenarios that caused me stress, to keep a journal of my thoughts and how I was reacting to them.
Everything had to be written down, not typed in, but written with my own hands. I learned so much with the Psychologist! She was amazing and made me feel comfortable talking about everything that was causing me so much stress. CBT was an essential tool for my recovery and I started to perk up a bit after a couple of sessions. I was getting back to being myself.
I went back to work after 5 months of intense therapy, journaling, meditation to calm my mind, research and self-awareness.
I learned about depression, anxiety and how the brain works. I learned more about why I think, feel & react, the way I do. I learned to self-assess and identify my triggers.
I learned to meditate to calm my mind and although it felt strange at first, the benefits of those moments of pause to breathe and quiet my mind were incredible! I couldn’t get enough of it, I felt so good after each meditation that I couldn’t wait to do it again. I did Yoga and loved it. I reconnected with my closest friends, I talked about my feelings more often and I got better control of my emotions.
My behaviour and my attitude changed. I created new habits, they became a new routine that I continue to follow until this day. I learned that I can’t control what’s happening, but I CAN control the way I respond to what’s happening. I’m able to identify what stresses me and apply the techniques I’ve learned before things escalate.
I haven’t been depressed or overly anxious for over 3 years now and can honestly say I’m living a better life.
Last year I discovered blogging. I wanted to learn a new skill and since I love the online world, I completed a few online courses to learn how to start my own blog and I fell in love with blogging. The learning is ongoing. I decided to learn all the ins and outs of the online world and I embarked on the blogging journey with the same determination I tackled my depression & anxiety. And I’m so glad I did. I’ve discovered a creative side that I thought I didn’t have. Blogging has allowed me to express my creativity and it’s teaching me so much about myself.
I’m always looking for ways to live better, save time and money, reduce stress & anxiety and I love sharing the things I learn with other people.
This blog’s main focus is to share helpful information with YOU, my special audience! If I can help at least one person out there who is struggling, I will be so incredibly happy!
TMN is a small place online, where I share lifestyle notes, strategies to live a better life, personal stories and my view on different topics. I enjoy fashion, travel, good food, lifestyle-related articles & everything there is to learn about mindfulness and meditation to reduce stress and anxiety.
Please be reminded I am not a qualified doctor and what you will read on this site are my own opinions unless otherwise specified.I share the techniques that have worked for me for my particular situation. If you feel that you are depressed or have anxiety, please consult your family doctor. It’s the best advice I can give you if you are struggling.
If you enjoy what you see on this blog, let me know by sharing it, commenting on the posts, on the contact page or sending me a direct message on any Social Media links below.
I’ll try my best to respond to you as soon as I can.
I do a lot of research on Mindfulness and Meditation, primarily because I have dealt with Depression and Anxiety before and Mindfulness and Meditation were suggested to me while I was in therapy, but also because you can get truly amazing results from practicing it.
When I first started to meditate, it felt strange, I didn’t really know if I was doing it right, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, how can this benefit me? Being the busy bee that I was, trapped into the worry cycle about everything, I couldn’t understand how taking a moment to breathe would help me.
But after a few tries, I was hooked! I became more involved in the process of calming my mind to control my anxiety and started feeling the benefits of it almost instantly.
What mindfulness does is create some space in your head so you can, “respond” rather than simply “react.” It creates a sense of calm and it’s exactly what I need to stay in tune with myself.
Now, I enjoy the moment of calmness and clarity, I practice it every day and can honestly say that learning this technique has changed my life.
I’m still learning more about the topic but I would like to share with you some of the basics of Mindfulness and Meditation. I’m sharing my findings in hopes that you too will benefit from a calmer mind, reduce stress from the daily routine and live with greater ease.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment while acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations and the surrounding environment.
Mindfulness is a way of meeting our experience with the presence of mind to respond skillfully to life’s challenges, rather than reacting based on intense emotions.
Mindfulness is simple, but not easy. It is a skill that we need to practice. When we practice it, mindfulness allows us to live with a greater sense of calm, balance, and ease.
I like to sit straight up on the park bench with both feet firmly touching the ground and my hands resting on my thighs. This open up your airways and helps you to feel solid, but still comfortable.
Then I find a single spot on the lake to focus my eyes and begin to breathe deeply in through my nose and out through my mouth, paying close attention to the breath as it fills and empties my lungs and stomach. Any random thoughts that pop up are briefly accepted and then immediately tossed aside.
Next, I ask myself, “What am I feeling right now?” Whatever the emotion rises to the surface (which is usually something like anger, guilt, anxiety, frustration, or annoyance), I acknowledge it by saying, “It’s ok to feel this way now, everyone feels this way. I don’t have to figure it out. I can accept that it is there.”
Gathering up all of this fully received emotion, I imagine it is a pebble, rock, or even boulder and picture throwing the stone into the lake. In my mind eye I watch the ripples created by the impact spread across the water, and then absorb into the lake and disappear. I usually repeat this exercise until the emotion I’m feeling is instead relief, joy, happiness, peace, or satisfaction.
To wrap up the little ritual I refocus my breath, say good-bye to the lake, and walk away.
This simple yet powerful practice creates a sense of calmness and clarity.
Another amazing way to start meditating, if you have never done it, is by listening to a guided meditation.
I particularly enjoy this type of meditation. I like having the guidance, it helps me relax even more as I follow the narrator’s instructions. I find it very powerful.
Guided meditation is when you are guided, by a narrator, to elicit a specific change in your life.
You are first guided to relax your body and mind, to help you reach a deep meditative state before going on a journey, in your mind, to reach a specific goal.
There are many studies that show that practicing something in your mind is almost as good as practicing it in real life.
The beauty of a guided meditation is that you can bring about change in your body by using your mind, and that means activating muscles, changing your biological state, and even changing the way the cells in your body work.
Meditation is the simple way to reframe stress, bringing you calm and balance to your life.
With guided meditation, you don’t need to know how to meditate.
All that’s required is that you listen, and you’ll move effortlessly into the renewing waters of your subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind has control over the 37.2 trillion cells of your body, and also regulates and connects all 12 systems that keep you alive and functional, including the cardiovascular (heart), endocrine gland, respiratory, nervous, immune, circulatory, digestive, lymphatic (detoxing), musculoskeletal, reproductive and urinary systems.
That is truly impressive and should never be taken for granted.
Among many benefits, here is a small list of a few of the benefits you will find after a mindful meditation session.
It quiets the voices in your head, makes you appreciate the present more, decreases your anxiety over the past and future, and makes you a better person. It helps you focus on the things that matter the most to you improving your overall wellbeing.
Alleviates anxiety, depression, and negative attitudes
Reduces fatigue and exhaustion
Puts you in touch with your confidence, joy, enthusiasm, and self- worth
Improves brain function and actually lights up your mind
Brings you back to being heart centered and lovable
These are just a few of the many powerful benefits of a 15 to 20 minutes of daily practice.
Guided Meditation and deep relaxation will help you to train your brain to slow down, enjoy life, and accept yourself.
So take back your power and get control over yourself and your life!
It is the most important investment you can make in yourself.
Gratitude can be simply defined as appreciating the good things in your life.
It doesn’t always seem simple, though. When things are hectic or stressful, finding the silver lining can be challenging.
However, learning how to embrace gratitude can significantly boost your happiness.
Life gets easier when we are happy.
Being grateful offers a host of other benefits you’re probably not aware of. Let’s take a closer look at the concept, the ways it can improve your life and how to practice it.
There are many definitions of gratitude.
Some people believe it’s a feeling or emotion and others look at it as more of a mood. Some folks believe gratitude is a personality trait a person exhibits. These can all be correct.
In essence, gratitude elicits satisfaction and appreciation in a person through feelings, actions or even inherent qualities. However, even those of us who may be more inclined to feel grateful on a regular basis through our glass-half-full-optimism likely need to work on evoking such an outlook.
Gratitude can be viewed as a practice or something you perform regularly. Most people practice something because it benefits them.
This is true of gratitude. As with other practices, you’ll get better at demonstrating gratitude the more you work at it.
Benefits of Embracing Gratitude
There are many benefits of gratitude; many of them have been scientifically proven.
Once you begin to understand these, chances are good that you’ll see why it’s so important to develop a grateful mindset.
Gratitude can have a positive effect on both physical and mental health.
Research has shown it to improve relaxation, sleep quality and energy levels.
Being thankful for your blessings can enhance your emotional wellness.
You’ll deal better in crisis situations and find you’re more resilient when you’re able to look on the bright side.
This can contribute to better relationships, too.
Appreciating the positives in life can simply make you feel happier.
Ways to Practice Gratitude
Recognizing your blessings may not come easily at first, but there are some ways to help make it a habit and a regular part of your routine.
Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the most convenient and impactful methods for cultivating appreciation. In this practice, you’ll write down three things each day that you’re grateful for, which makes it easier to notice and recognize those good things. It helps to say them out loud too.
Meditation has also been shown to help. Meditation is an active practice that involves deepening our concentration and returning to the present moment. Be more present, live in the now.
Thank someone each day, for even the smallest thing, opens your eyes and heart to abundance.
Giving back and doing good for others can provide tremendous perspective, as well.
Here is a quick exercise you can do to get started on your Gratitude practice:
5 Minute Guided Meditation for Gratitude
Now you have a better idea of just what making a concerted effort to count your blessings can do for your life.
Embracing and expressing gratitude are more important than many of us realize.
What are you grateful for today? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!
It can be easy to become negative and cynical toward the world without even noticing. With the continuous exposure to tragedy and injustice that we are exposed to daily, we can quickly start to experience our own heartache and distress.
Not only is this negative attitude preventing you from enjoying your life fully, but it can also have a significant impact on your health and environment.
Here are five powerful ways that you can begin to cultivate a positive mindset and change your life.
1. Keep a Gratitude Journal
There are times when a single event can ruin your entire day, and an unpleasant interaction can overshadow the enjoyable parts of your day.
With this awareness in mind, you can intentionally focus on the good parts of the day by keeping a gratitude journal. Every night, before you go to bed, write down five things that you’re grateful for and see how your attitude changes.
2. Reframe Your Challenges
You have to get into the mindset that there are no dead ends, only re-directions.
Don’t let uncontrollable events render you helpless. Learn to control the effort you put in and have fun with challenges that you encounter. Embrace challenges as a new adventure rather than attempting to resist an experience for growth.
3. Use Positive Words to Describe Your Life
The words you use have a lot more power than you think.
How you talk about your life is how your life will be. Your mind hears what you say about yourself and your life. If you describe your life as boring, hectic, chaotic, that’s is exactly how it will be. However, if you use the words familiar, involved, or lively, you will see your life in an entirely different light.
4. Don’t Get Dragged into Other People’s Complaints
A study conducted by the Warsaw School of Social Psychology determined that complaining leads to lower moods, negative emotions, and a decrease in life satisfaction and optimism.
Don’t let other’s pessimism bring you down. If you don’t join in with the complaining, others will start to complain less as a result.
5. Create a Morning Mindset Routine
The outcome of your day can be directly affected by your thoughts and actions when you wake up.
Mornings set the mood for the day, which makes it imperative to create a mindset that is positive. Start your day with excitement and enthusiasm and see how it affects the rest of your day.
A shift in your mindset from negative to positive can have a dramatic impact on your life. Not only does a positive mindset trigger optimism, but it can help you achieve your goals.
Start cultivating a positive mindset and watch how your life changes for the better.
You won’t regret it!
Let me know if you found this list useful, I would love to hear from you!
You’ve probably heard of both meditations and affirmations, though you may be uncertain of just what they are and how they work. They may even seem a bit too new age for you, but don’t underestimate their power just yet.
These two practices are actually quite simple to add to your routine or even to use in a particularly stressful moment to gain perspective.
Take a look below to learn about how to use gratitude meditations and affirmations to boost your spirit anytime.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is really just a practice of taking some quiet time to be mindful and focus your attention on a particular thought or issue.
It’s a moment of silent reflection that focuses you on the here and now.
Gratitude meditations involve focusing your thoughts on being grateful for the particulars of your life or situation, even the ones that may not seem so positive.
Your gratitude journaling can be considered a meditation. Any contemplative, purposeful time spent focused on being grateful can fall into this category.
What Are Affirmations?
Affirmations are short, concise and positive sentences that are meant to purposefully affect the ways in which we think and feel.
These can be in both conscious and unconscious ways. What we think greatly influences how we feel and behave. Introducing these positive messages into your life on a regular basis can help you to internalize them and begin living accordingly.
Gratitude affirmations focus specifically on being grateful and appreciative.
How to Use Them
Both meditation and affirmation are easy to put into practice.
They can be practised almost any time and anywhere. When you think of meditation, a long, intensive ritual may come to mind. In actuality, you don’t need to spend a lot of time meditating in order to reap the benefits.
Simply sitting quietly for a few minutes, 5 to 10 min, and contemplating on what you’re grateful for can help to center you and to provide a new perspective, which often will lead to feeling better.
If you want something more structure or have more time, you can look up guided gratitude meditations online or grab a meditation app to try.
When it comes to affirmations, a good practice might be to combine them with your gratitude journal. Write down positive messages that apply to your life and help to inspire or motivate you.
Perhaps you want to keep them in a separate journal or store them online. Then you can pull out your collection of affirmations for a pick-me-up when you need one.
Gratitude meditations and affirmations are simple tools that offer a big return. They take only a few minutes a day to practice, and you really don’t need any special equipment.
I absolutely love the videos from Les and Sarah Raymond, they are the founders of The Mindful Movement. I’ve been following them for a while now and I love their work in helping others live a more mindful life, deepening their awareness and sense of gratitude.
Give them a try when you feel you could use an injection of gratitude into your life.
How do you boost your spirit? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!
Let’s talk about forming new habits. But first: What is the definition of a habit?
A habit is a routine of behaviour that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. Habit formation is the process by which a behaviour, through regular repetition, becomes automatic or habitual.
I’m sure you will agree that there are so many areas in our lives that could be improved and made easier if we just created new habits. We all have times in our lives where we intentionally want to change our behaviour for the better and create new habits for ourselves.
This could be getting in the habit of eating healthier, getting up earlier and drinking more water. Or it could be moving more and taking the dog for a daily walk. Or it could be work-related, or spiritual, or…
We seem to acquire bad habits without any effort, but getting into a “good” habit can be a little more challenging. A good habit is a key to achieving health, success, financial stability, retirement and whatever you dream of achieving.
Getting into the habit of doing something is often easier said than done. Doing the work requires discipline.
Robin Sharma says: “It takes 66 days to install a new habit before it becomes automatic.” 66 days! Can you believe it?
Some people develop a new habit in 30 days or less, but the important point is, it’s no joke, it takes time and repetition to develop a new habit.
You need to have the can-do attitude to make a change.
If you are serious about creating that change for the better, then you are in the right place. I’m about to show you the 3 easy steps I follow to create change in my life.
Now… Let’s break down these 3 steps to make it even easier to follow until we’ve internalized the new behaviour and made it a true habit – something we do automatically without having to think about, like brushing our teeth.
1. Decide What You Want To Do
The first step is to decide what you want that new habit to be. What do you want to change? Be as specific as possible.
We all have behaviours we want to improve. Think about that one thing that you want to change, remember to be specific. Don’t just tell yourself you want to exercise more, that’s too broad. Instead, say something like “I will go for a 30-minute walk every single day” or “I will get up at 5:00 am every morning”.
Deciding what your new habit will be and committing to when and how you’re going to do it, is half the battle.
2. Remind Yourself To Get It Done
You’re motivated and excited to get this done. Sticking to your new habit isn’t an issue. But a few days in you’ll notice that it’s easy to slip back into old habits. Do you know why? Because it’s easier to do what you have always done!
If you always do what you have always done, you’ll stay the same way.
Change is hard, it requires patience and persistence! Don’t give up! I know all the excuses, believe me, I’ve used these many times too. Maybe it’s raining and you don’t really want to go out and walk. Or maybe your day just gets too busy and you don’t feel like doing the new thing.
This is when it’s important to have a daily reminder. Set an alert on your phone or add the new habit to your daily to-do list for a while.
Remember WHY you want to create this new habit, focus on the end goal! Stop making excuses! Excuses prevent you from living the life you want. Just do it!
3. Make It Part Of Your Routine Until It Becomes A Habit
It takes some time before a new behaviour becomes a true habit. Until then, a routine will work to your best advantage.
Even before the new behaviour becomes automatic, a routine will help you get it done without having to spend a lot of willpower or relying on daily reminders. Make that daily walk part of your after-dinner routine, or change from grabbing a snack at the vending machine at work at 10:00 in the morning to packing a healthy snack. Do what it takes to create the change!
For me, getting up early in the morning is something I routinely do, it has become a habit. I’ve been waking up early for so many years, even when I want to sleep in, I can’t and instead of being annoyed I just embrace it. I love that!
Decide to create the new habit, practice the routine until it’s second nature and you’ll be well on your way to forming a new good habit.
It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s fun!
Say that to yourself out loud a few times and I’m sure you will get all pumped up to start creating new positive habits. LOL 🙂
What new habits would you like to create starting today?
Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!
Here are six simple hacks that will make it a little easier. Use them until you’ve internalized the new habit and don’t need them anymore.
1. Schedule It And Put It On The To-Do List
Sometimes we forget to do that new thing we were trying. Maybe we forget that we’re supposed to be having eggs for breakfast instead of a stack of waffles, or that we need to get that daily walk in.
Schedule your new habits or make them part of your daily to-do list until they become something you do automatically.
2. Make It Public and Be Accountable
Let family and friends know what new habits you’re trying to establish. They will call you out if you don’t stick to your plan and get you back on track.
You may even go as far as sharing it publicly on Facebook or write a blog about your new journey. Knowing that others read it and know about it might be just enough to keep you going when you feel like throwing in the towel.
3. Piggyback On A Habit You Already Have
Whenever possible, add the new habit to the one you already have.
For example, if you fix a cup of tea or coffee at 4 pm, and you want to get in the habit of taking a daily walk, make the new ritual to go for your walk and then come back and enjoy your tea.
It’s much easier to amend an existing habit or ritual than creating an entirely new one.
4. Make Slipups Costly
Here’s a fun idea. Put a jar on the kitchen counter and each time you slip back into your bad habit or forget to stick to the new one you have to put five dollars in the jar.
It will quickly help you remember to skip that sugary food and motivate you to go out for that walk.
For extra motivation donate the money to charity at the end of the month or hand it over to your spouse to go spend on him or herself.
5. Find A Partner and Help Each Other Along
Find someone with the same or similar goal.
This could be a workout partner or a diet buddy. Keep tabs on each other and encourage each other to keep going.
It’s much harder to skip a walk if you know someone else is depending on you being there.
6. Make It A Group Challenge
If one accountability partner is good, a whole group is even better. And they don’t even need to be local.
Find a supportive group online and challenge each other to stick to your new habit for the next 30 days or so. Not wanting to be the first one to give up will keep all of you going until you establish that new habit.
Give these simple little hacks a try.
Keep using the ones that you find helpful until you have made new habits you can stick with without the help of any tools or support.
These hacks will help you get started on your journey to living a more balanced, stress-free life.