How Failure Hones Your Awesomeness

FailureAre you the kind of person that sets your sights HIGH and then feels defeated, hopeless, and lost if things don’t work out? Sometimes, it seems downright impossible to get what you want. Failure hurts on many levels and we can all agree that it doesn’t feel good.

The good news is that failure is a natural extension of growing, changing, and expanding. It’s you, stretching and recoiling. You put yourself out there, took a risk, believed in an idea or project, and when it got tough and fearsome, you longed for your safe zone.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most influential people in history. Did you know Abraham Lincoln was defeated 8 times for elected positions in politics, lost a job, failed in business, and had a nervous breakdown prior to becoming President of the USA? What about Thomas Edison? You know, the inventor of the light bulb. His teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from two jobs for being “non-productive”, and he failed 1000 times before successfully inventing the light bulb. As for women changing history, Marie Curie was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize. Despite growing up in poverty, difficult political times, and a culture where women were mostly condemned to zero education, she didn’t give up. She went on to win a second Nobel Prize in another category and helped invent the x-ray machine.  What if any of them decided it was too hard?

They were unstoppable, and so are you. Take a moment to focus. Get your footing right. Discover what you need to fully embody all of your creativity, balance, and momentum. Here are 3 ways to rebound from the devastating blow failure…Failure

1. Do the research. Write two lists – One list names what you know about the challenge at hand, and the other names what you don’t know. This will help clarify the fuzzy, ambiguous nature of uncertainty. It gets the questions out of your head and onto an objective physical platform that you can explore. Discover answers to the unknowns. Cross them off as the mysteries are solved. Feel the power and lightness of knowledge.

2.Take stock of your strengths and talents. What do you do well? Build on those natural abilities and preferences. If you’re not sure what they are then, ask your friends and family what they love about you, take a personality inventory like the MBTI, or just count your accomplishments over the past year. You’ll be surprised by the qualities you take for granted that when properly honed, can get you to the next level.

3.Practice flexibility with yourself. So you made a few mistakes, it only means you’re still trying. This is a good thing. Face up to it and complete this sentence, “this failure experience is good because….”. There is a valuable lesson within it. When you take the time to reflect (not obsess!) on the causes of your situation, you’ll find the golden nugget of wisdom that empowers you to work smarter next time.

FailureConnect to the lessons learned, use that to inform your next move. Even though the success of others’ looks easy, it’s not. Find an inspirational figure. Who motivates you? Take a moment, but don’t give up. Share your gifts with the world. You’re not in this alone.

It’s Not Too Late! Set Your Goals for 2016

Heather Edwards GoalsWe’re still in the first half of 2016! But the fourth month & second quarter have begun. Where do you stand with your 2016 goals? If you didn’t write them down, draw them out, or mentally obsess about them, it’s not too late.

When you consider celebrating New Year 2017, what do you want to have accomplished? I heard a rumor earlier this year that 2016, according to numerology, is the year of personal development.  So I ran with it. I won’t bore you with my plans, but it helped me shape what is important to me.

If you’re still waffling, try out the following tips to start improving your life…

    • Choose one task to do differently each day. Yes, mix up your routine. My yoga teacher encourages this with our poses and breathing. When things become automatic, we do them mindlessly. We lose our passion and connection to them. Since we aren’t robots, practice staying engaged and thoughtful in the art of doing things – whether it’s exercise, drinking coffee, or petting your cat.
    • Go slow to go fast. Breathe. Take a moment to slow down and check-in with yourself. This gives you the space to clear your mind, and gain clarity and momentum. It’s paradoxical but it works. When your mind is racing, let it be your cue to focus on the basics. Take three deep breaths. Notice how it feels. Enjoy the 30 seconds of “me” time  you just found in your hectic day.Heather Edwards Goals
    • Be curious. Where curiosity ends, judgement, blame, defensiveness, and burnout begin. Wonder about stuff – textures, people, sensations, colors, sunsets, ANYTHING! Just wonder. It promotes an open mind and creative thinking. When you’re feeling stuck for an answer, pose a question. It opens you up to possibilities you might not have considered otherwise. The human brain can’t stand an unanswered question.
    • When you imagine yourself in your most peaceful and fulfilling place, what do you see? Notice the details of where you are, who’s with you, and what you look like. What do you feel, sense, and think about? Witness your life as you would like it.  What needs to change in your life now for you to be in that peaceful place? What is in that picture that doesn’t exist now? How did you get there? Identify one step you can take today to get the metaphorical ball rolling toward your future self. Spend a few minutes each day with that image.
    • Write it out! Putting your ideas on paper makes them real, observable, and tangible. When you do, they’re no longer just ideas swirling around in your head. When you can see them, clarity is gained, and actionable steps emerge.

Heather Edwards GoalsIt can be simple to get out of a rut. Spring is here! Summer is coming! Get outside. Notice your surroundings. Find something new to wonder about.

Breathe. Mix up your routine but stay grounded. Slow down to speed up. Spend a few minutes everyday focusing on what you want.

If you’re like most people, too much time and energy is spent on what you don’t want. They say that what you think about you bring about. Allow your mind to wander and revel in the possibilities. Get real about your goals. It’s not too late!

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” -Earl Nightingale

Audio Blog: Reclaim Your Life

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

 

Is ego, fear, or someone else’s vision keeping you stuck?

You are the expert, master, and keeper of your life.

What are your guiding philosophies?  Are you functioning from a place of blame, entitlement, lack, fear, and greed? Or from a position of responsibility, abundance, wealth, courage, and charity? And I’m not talking about money – but rather about strength, purpose and meaning.

Maybe your mind is scattered and unfocused, or it seems too late to change course now.

Maybe you forgot to ask questions and push back a little along the way. Perhaps what you want seems unobtainable. Maybe you’ve never been a lucky person, or there’s too much burdening you to see the possibilities.

Our perspective is much like a camera lens.

Sometimes we need to stop to adjust the filter, focus, or breadth of what we see. When the inner critic speaks louder than the voice of reason, self doubt sounds like the gospel truth. When hopelessness reigns as the Queen of your mental castle, it’s time to step back and adjust the lens.

1. Focus. Adjust. Zoom.Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

Switch the lens.

If what you want is to be happy, focus your energy and attention on the people, places, and experiences that lead you to feeling happy.  Doing this for just 30 seconds, five times per day, can change your brain structure and chemistry so that it’s easier to see the bright side of things.

If what you want is to be free, adjust the expectations, to-do’s, and beliefs that imprison you. What can you take off your plate, delegate or reprioritize?

If it’s love you seek, look at the bigger picture. Reach for the wide lens. You could be missing something, or someone, who’s right in front of you.

2. When you hear your inner monologue sweetly sabotaging your dreams, question it and correct it.

Ask, “What evidence do I have to support the idea that I can’t do it?” Then, flip it around and ask, “What evidence do I have that I CAN do it?”.  And, “What information do I need to make that dream happen?”.

3. Start with a top ten list.

Name your top ten most enjoyable activities – where you get lost in the flow, 10 people who inspire you – who you’ve learned from or have felt something change in your life because of them, and 10 things you can do so naturally that you can complete them without even thinking about them.

4. Identify your hidden values.

Notice overlapping activities, skills, or interests in your lists.  Cherish this crucial information as the foundation for beginning to reclaim your life. Now you are building, growing, grounding, and changing. Set one micro-goal for each day to get closer to your dream.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach5. Remind yourself you can do this.  Commit to staying THIS course.

When you commit to daily actionable steps toward your dream, you steadily move toward achieving them.  Envision your best self.  Embrace your unique strengths. Trust you have the drive and wherewithal to see them through. Clarify your intentions daily. Watch your life evolve.

“Your field of focus determines what you find in life.” T. Harv Eker

Start Your Day Right: 3 Tips for the Perfect Journal Entry

Heather Edwards JournalStart your morning right with a journal entry. They say the day is shaped by the tone of your morning ritual. So make it productive, uplifting, and grounding.

There are many benefits of journaling. It’s an emotional cleanse, a refocusing on the positive, and a reminder of your purpose and vision.  Try these tips to maximize the potential for your day and to keep you on target with your goals…

  1. How I’m feeling today: Take a moment to check yourself – emotionally, spiritually, physically.  What are you experiencing in this moment. This keeps you present and grounded in the moment – and real with yourself.
  2. What I’m grateful for: The power of gratitude is mind blowing – and expanding. Studies have shown that positive thinking changes your brain so that it becomes easier to naturally notice the good unfolding around you. Take stock of the many gifts you already possess.
  3. My intention for the day, week, next few months and years: This is where I sort out my to do’s, the nitty gritty, and indulge my dreams. It keeps me on track in a realistic way and allows me the mental space and freedom to explore something bigger.

Heather Edwards JournalJournaling gives you a safe place to express your feelings. We know that internalized emotions cause a variety of problems including inflammation in your body, aches and pains, high blood pressure, migraines, and exacerbation of current illnesses, just to name a few. It can also affect relationships, career, and mood. So release those emotions. Reflect on them objectively when you see them on the written page. Make needed adjustments.

Gratitude and hope affect the neural pathways responsible for a good mood. When we take a moment to reflect on what’s going right, we affect our chemistry in positive ways. It’s motivating, inspiring, and healthy. It distracts us of from focusing on disappointments and frustrations.  Give your brain a break.  Consider those moments of gratitude a stress holiday.

Revisiting your intention refreshes your vision and releases all the things you’ve committed to memory, to the page. The more information we store in our memory, the more stress we create. So free up your mental space and take action on your priorities. Begin closing “open loops”. Unfinished business slowly drains your energy and focus in a similar way open apps on your smartphone drain the battery.

Heather Edwards Journal WritingBeginning the day with a journal entry helps reduce the mind chatter. It sweeps the clutter from your seemingly endless to-do list. It sifts out the dust and presents the essence of what’s most important to you. It allows you time to reflect on what really matters. So grab a pen and paper. It can change your life.

 

photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by nuttakit, sira anamwong, tiramisustudio

5 Tips for a Juicy, Gorgeous Life

Heather Edwards Life Coach

Heather Edwards Life CoachLet’s face it! You’re bored with the status quo. You’re an adventure-seeker-happiness-freak-self-improvement-junkie.  (No offense intended. I’m one, too!) So, put the needle on the record. Let’s pump up the volume! Here are five tips you can start today to create the life you want…

  1. Shift your routine. The same ole only maintains what you already have.  Mix it up! Stir the pot. If you’re reading this blog, you’re ready for something new. Identify one action that could change the outcome of your day. Decide to get up 30 minutes earlier. Start your day with a journal entry, meditation, or work out. Unplug at a reasonable time. Whatever you choose to enact will change your trajectory.
  2. Embrace one goal that stretches you. See it through.  What area of your life do you most want to transform? Some want to advance their career. Others focus on relationships. Even more want to lose weight. Everyone wants to find their soulmate, if they haven’t already. Identify what you desire most. Decide to do something about it. You have the power to create a revolution in your life.
  3. Heather Edwards Life CoachSwear by the best case scenario. Believe it will happen.  According to metaphysics, the  type of energy we put out, is returned to us. If you’re affecting energy in a negative way then, negativity is what you receive. If you are projecting energy in a positive way, then relish it. It will create positivity around you and help move your life forward. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” -Henry David Thoreau
  4. Silence the mind chatter. Reframe negative thoughts into positive ones.  You are your biggest doubter and own worst critic. You notice more flaws and imperfections in yourself than anyone else. Shift your thoughts to the things you love about yourself. Notice the delicious possibilities for your future. Acknowledge your heart’s desire. 
  5. Abandon comparisons. Relish the goods that are you. There is no one else in the entire universe like you. That’s special. Most people fall into the trap of comparisons. For example, a lawyer might compare herself to a chef. A chef might compare himself to an athlete. An athlete might compare herself to a musician. A musician might compare himself to a doctor. …and all can feel less than worthy. Whatever the comparison, it equals self sabotage. Instead of looking for evidence of your shortcomings, (we all have them) practice gratitude. Imagine how much you would want the things you have now, if you didn’t already have them.

In the words of Fatboy Slim, “We’ve come a long, long way together, through the hard times and the good. I have to celebrate you, baby. I have to praise you like I should.”. Check out the video below for a lil’ pick me up.  Remember to celebrate you everyday!

 

photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by stockimages

10 Tips for Gaining Clarity on ANYTHING

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist Coach

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist CoachIf you’re anything like me you struggle with staying on task.  In this immediate-gratification-digital-world it’s a challenge to sustain focus on anything for any uninterrupted amount of time.

The average attention span is estimated to be about five minutes long for a two year old child, and up to 20 minutes in older children and adults.

Just guessing – but it will probably take you longer than 20 minutes of focused attention to achieve your dreams.  Try out these 10 tips for clearing and clarifying your mind..

  1. Establish a Morning Ritual:  What you do in the morning sets the tone for the day. Begin each day with 10 minutes of nurturing self care.  Stretch, breathe, meditate, or read a few pages of a self improvement book.  See how that “me” time can refocus your mind.
  2. Complete Any Unfinished Business: I LOVE this concept from David Allen in his book Getting Things Done, the art of stress-free productivity.  It applies to any area of your life.  The idea is that “open loops” running in your subconscious mind drain your energy.  Close them by completing unfinished tasks and increase your energy!
  3. Sleep. Eat. Exercise. Repeat.  Yes, you know it!  Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Eat healthy, balanced meals. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day five days per week. Strengthen your body and mind.Heather Edwards Coach Psychotherapy
  4. Create a Peaceful Place in Your Home or Office That Inspires You: When your space is organized and inspired, so is your mind.  Start reducing the clutter and clean up your space.
  5. Try Mind Mapping: This works especially well with creative types. Tony Buzan describes this in his book, The Mind Map Book – How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential. Using a combination of words, colors, diagrams, and pictures you can capture more of what’s on your mind and link it to actionable steps.
  6. Practice Gratitude Everyday: It strengthens the neural pathways responsible for positive thinking and an empowered attitude. Take 30 seconds a day to notice what you’re grateful for. Even better – write it down!
  7. Listen to Music:  A study at Penn State University demonstrated that listening to music improved mood, no matter what type of music was heard. Others have shown that upbeat music calms the heart rate, increases happiness, and reduces depression. A positive mood is a clearer one.
  8. Aromatherapy: Smells reportedly meet over 50,000,000 neural receptors located in the upper part of the nasal septum when inhaled.  They send messages to the limbic system via the olfactory bulb. This is the part of the brain that controls emotions, behavior, and basic thought processes. I use Lavender for relaxation and Wild Orange for feeling uplifted.Heather Edwards Coach Psychotherapy
  9. Structure Your Day: Having a schedule in your calendar reduces the amount of things you’re trying to remember.  The more you rely on your memory, the more psychological stress you create.  Once information is out of your brain and on paper, you can forget it until you need to deal with it. Now you can move onto other things.
  10. Manage Your Actions: Time management is a farce.  You can’t change time, but you can change your actions. Practice one or all of these tips and notice your clarity and productivity rise.  Make a choice each moment to engage with your world in an organized, productive way.  Own your choices.  Be empowered.

 

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net – Stuart Miles, samuiblue, Stoonn

5 Tips to Reclaim Your Life.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and CoachIs ego, fear, or someone else’s vision keeping you stuck?

You are the expert, master, and keeper of your life.

What are your guiding philosophies?  Are you functioning from a place of blame, entitlement, lack, fear, and greed? Or from a position of responsibility, abundance, wealth, courage, and charity? And I’m not talking about money – but rather about strength, purpose and meaning.

Maybe your mind is scattered and unfocused, or it seems too late to change course now.

Maybe you forgot to ask questions and push back a little along the way. Perhaps what you want seems unobtainable. Maybe you’ve never been a lucky person, or there’s too much burdening you to see the possibilities.

Our perspective is much like a camera lens.

Sometimes we need to stop to adjust the filter, focus, or breadth of what we see. When the inner critic speaks louder than the voice of reason, self doubt sounds like the gospel truth. When hopelessness reigns as the Queen of your mental castle, it’s time to step back and adjust the lens.

1. Focus. Adjust. Zoom.Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

Switch the lens.

If what you want is to be happy, focus your energy and attention on the people, places, and experiences that lead you to feeling happy.  Doing this for just 30 seconds, five times per day, can change your brain structure and chemistry so that it’s easier to see the bright side of things.

If what you want is to be free, adjust the expectations, to-do’s, and beliefs that imprison you. What can you take off your plate, delegate or reprioritize?

If it’s love you seek, look at the bigger picture. Reach for the wide lens. You could be missing something, or someone, who’s right in front of you.

2. When you hear your inner monologue sweetly sabotaging your dreams, question it and correct it.

Ask, “What evidence do I have to support the idea that I can’t do it?” Then, flip it around and ask, “What evidence do I have that I CAN do it?”.  And, “What information do I need to make that dream happen?”.

3. Start with a top ten list.

Name your top ten most enjoyable activities – where you get lost in the flow, 10 people who inspire you – who you’ve learned from or have felt something change in your life because of them, and 10 things you can do so naturally that you can complete them without even thinking about them.

4. Identify your hidden values.

Notice overlapping activities, skills, or interests in your lists.  Cherish this crucial information as the foundation for beginning to reclaim your life. Now you are building, growing, grounding, and changing. Set one micro-goal for each day to get closer to your dream.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach5. Remind yourself you can do this.  Commit to staying THIS course.

When you commit to daily actionable steps toward your dream, you steadily move toward achieving them.  Envision your best self.  Embrace your unique strengths. Trust you have the drive and wherewithal to see them through. Clarify your intentions daily. Watch your life evolve.

“Your field of focus determines what you find in life.” T. Harv Eker

3 Ways to Make the Law of Attraction Work for You

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach


Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and CoachYou got the inside scoop on The Secret.

You know that horrible dream where you’re in class and its exam day but you forgot to attend school all semester? You’re in a panic because you’re not prepared!  Well, you might feel panic now as you realize The Secret, on its own, doesn’t work. The universe isn’t manifesting your dreams without a little kick.

The Law of Attraction isn’t enough.

Hello, universe! You practice the Law of Attraction everyday – wishing, meditating, praying.  But you’re intentions haven’t manifested!  Well, it’s not surprising. What the experts didn’t tell you is that the Law of Attraction is only part of the better-life-equation.

There is power in positive thinking.

That’s been proven. It helps to restructure our brain and trigger the flow of feel-good hormones. No one can argue that! A positive mindset helps everything you do.

Neuroscience studies show that it prompts your body to function in ways that keep you healthy. Positive Psychology shows that being engaged in positive ways creates a sense of well-being and happiness. Both are necessary for success.

Awesome, right? But – where is your Corvette, book deal, or beach house??  Why isn’t  the universe delivering your intentions? You have clarity.  You called in very specific requests. But no one’s answering!

1. It takes more than belief – The Law of Attraction requires your engagement.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

Realistic anticipation. Planning. Action. Flexibility. There will be obstacles and pitfalls. Be ready for them. Troubleshoot. Problem solve. Adapt. Consider what could go wrong. Explore those possibilities and prepare.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” William Arthur Ward.

2. Stress keeps you moving forward.

Healthy stress keeps us motivated.  When we visualize our future selves with our goals attained, it feels good but it reduces the drive we need to persevere.  It’s necessary to know the details of exactly what you want and how you’ll feel when it’s manifested – but don’t get too comfortable in your future-self-perfect-life-fantasy. Use that uncomfortable edge to keep focused and choose an action everyday to inch closer to your dream.

“A man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” Hunter S. Thompson

3. The feeling is the reward.

Instead of focusing on the desired material, focus on the desired feeling. That thing you want might not bring you the feeling you want.

If you want happiness, focus on experiences and ideas that make you feel good. If love is what you want, focus your energy on gratitude for the loving people in your life and in the world. If freedom is what you want, notice when and with whom you can let your guard down and be yourself, completely. Brainstorm ways to manifest those situations and experiences.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach“There is no path to happiness; happiness is the path.” – Buddha

You have to believe to achieve.

The song, “When you wish upon a star” was written for Pinocchio.  Here are a few lyrics, “Makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires, Will come to you…Like a bolt out of the blue. Suddenly, it comes to you. When you wish upon a star, Your dreams come true…”

The sentiment is genuinely heart-warming.  But few can say they’ve received their heart’s desire by simply wishing.  Even Pinocchio earned his dream through acts of bravery, truth, and selflessness.

Now, back to class and the universe.  You’re not going to pass that exam, make Dean’s list, or get into grad school without preparation. That Corvette won’t manifest without realistic planning and actionable steps.  So get ready to actualize your dreams with the power of intention, persistence, and massive action. Go!

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Space by Stuart Miles, Choices by Renjith Krishnan, Countryside by Dan.

An Abundant Life – Embrace 2015 with a Ninja’s Focus

An Abundant LifeWhether you kicked metaphorical a** and took down names in 2014, or languished in distraction and misdirection, a fresh start for an abundant life is on the horizon.  In fact, that new opportunity is two days away!  Get ready for new beginnings and a new year.  Let go of the frustrations, pitfalls, or unexpected road blocks that occurred 2014.  If it was a good year, use your accomplishments – no matter how small or seemingly mundane – as fuel for a BREAKTHROUGH year in 2015.

EMBRACE intention.  BELIEVE that you can and will make steady gains toward a more fulfilled life.  Let go of anger, fear, and regret.  CHOOSE to focus on the good. Take your POWER back. CHANGE one thing today that will make tomorrow and next year better. START small but consistently.  Just start.  Use your ENERGY wisely.  Define WHO AND HOW you want to be.  DETERMINE your path.  ENJOY the journey.  If what Buddha said is true, “What you think, you become.”, then start thinking more positive and inspiring thoughts.

Here are a few thoughts that inspire me…

  1. Infuse life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope.  Make your own love. – Bradley Whitford
  2. Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.  – Og Mandino
  3. Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.  – Theodore Roosevelt
  4. Set your goals, write them down. Now you’re one step closer to achieving them.  – Richard Branson
  5. A jug fills drop by drop.  – Buddha
  6. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.  – Thomas A. Edison
  7. It’s more fun to experience things when you don’t know what’s going to happen.  – Louis C. K.
  8. Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy.  Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.  – Tony Robbins
  9. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.  – C.S. Lewis
  10. The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. – Carl Rogers

What now?  Start imagining a life that feels exciting, peaceful, and inspiring.  Grab a pen and jot down your ideas.  Uncensored.  Free associate all the things in life that you love. What do you notice?  What themes emerge?  Those are the people, things, and activities that bring you the most joy.  Make 2015 about that.  What one step can you take today to spark the forward trajectory? 

Welcome wonder, accomplishment, and uncertainty into your life.  Seek novelty.  It demands your attention and seemingly slows down time. It requires use of all five senses which result in a here and now experience.  This mindful attention influences your being. It develops a grounded and inspired baseline – you choose whether positive or negative. That experience sews the fabric of awareness and satisfaction. Use it to discover and actualize your best self.  You and your brain are more powerful than you realize.

In case you want more tips on how to live an abundant life, and set goals and see them through, you can find some here, and more here… If that’s not enough, here’s another one. Sign up for my FREE newsletter to receive a steady stream into your inbox here.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of StockImages at freedigitalphotos.net.

Putting the Brakes on Stress

man stressedHave you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right?  Maybe you’re rushed in the morning and get a flat tire on your way to work, making you late and stuck in traffic.  Perhaps your bicycle chain pops off in a busy intersection and you miss yoga class due to the time spent fixing it on the sidewalk, you’re stressed and your fingers are covered in black grease.  Or much worse, you get the bad news that a friend is sick and facing the uncertainty of an unknown diagnosis and unclear prognosis. You want to help but aren’t sure how.

Sometimes a series of unfortunate events unfold before your eyes, face, and entire being. I won’t bore you with the details of my less than inspiring day – but trust me, I’ve been there and done that.   Nevertheless, we don’t want to carry the negative feelings around with us.  That would make things even worse.  Yet, they seem have a knack for sticking around and exhausting our energy.   Here are a few quick tips for re-centering, rebuilding, and refreshing your optimistic energy…

1.  Tune into your body.  Take time to breathe.  Get comfortable.  Close your eyes.   Feel the new air enter through your nose and fill your belly.  Allow the negative energy leave with every complete exhale.  Visualize it.  Give your breath color, sparkles, or light.  Feel the chair, floor, or bed beneath you, holding you.  Do this 10 times.

2. Refocus your attention on the positive things in life that are important to you.  What’s one small step you can take today to inch a little closer to achieving a goal?  Maybe there’s an important phone call to make, more planning and research to do, or you need a massage. Whether its a career goal or a self care one, take the time to do it.  Your psyche and wellness will thank you. woman lying in field

3.  Regarding thanks, practice gratitude.  Start a gratitude journal.  Name three things you appreciate each day.  Take it a step further by defining your intention for the day. Don’t confuse intentions with expectations.  What kind of energy, awareness, and interaction do you want to have with people and your environment? 

4.  Pet a cat or dog.  There is scientific evidence that your body actually goes through calming physical changes that affect mood when petting an animal.  Cortisol – a stress hormone – is reduced.  Serotonin – a chemical associated with well-being – is increased. Lowered blood pressure, improved circulation, and increased pain management have been demonstrated through petting animals. 

5.  Get physical.  Movement helps build strength, flexibility, and energy.  It strengthens bones and builds muscles.  It reduces stress by requiring focus on exercise rather than the stressors of everyday life.  It increases the feel- good chemicals called endorphins and reduces stress hormones, like cortisol.  Go for a walk, bike ride, or do some yoga.  Choose an activity and make it part of your daily routine.

Most importantly, remember that you are not stuck.  You have power and choices. Consider your options for where to exert your energy and how to best use your time. Your time is valuable and finite.  Make every second count.

“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” – Bil Keane  

 

 

 

Images courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net