I have a friend that has a passion for roses. He has created a beautiful garden that is sensually fragrant and he tends to his roses with care and contentment. His preference for roses has broadened his world in such a way that he has travelled to visit the great rose collections of the world in his desire to learn more.
When the alarm goes off in the morning, and you feel like ‘Oh no, not another day,’ that’s when you need to stop for a moment, put that thought aside and give yourself some time to consider why you feel this way?
Have you ever noticed how you talk to yourself? For many us there can be a constant stream of negative self-talk and this can have a debilitating impact on confidence and mental health.
Your thoughts are things, they have energy. How you talk to yourself matters. Whether the thoughts are limiting… “No one cares” or they are bolstering … “I am loved” – both change your biochemistry instantly. Once the mind has a thought, the rest is history. There is a cascading flow of chemicals, either stress hormones in the case of a negative thought or feel good hormones such as oxytocin with positive, loving thoughts. The mind-body connection is powerful dynamic one which shapes who we are and who we are becoming.
The interesting challenge is that to take charge of our thoughts, we need to go against our biology. Research shows we tend to have a “negativity bias” in our internal chatter. This means that most of the time we are chatting away, it is not making us feel better or strengthening our self-worth. It is in the truest sense doing the opposite, eroding our sense of confidence and connection. So deeply is engrained the habit of replacing positive thoughts with negative thoughts, we do not even realise it. It is the brain’s inherent way of keeping us safe from perceived threat.
For most of us, we are “on the go” from the moment we get up to when we put our head on the pillow at night. We run our body’s battery flat out and expect a lot from it. What happens is that without taking sufficient rest, our body and brain can get fatigued. It is no wonder that we are losing our verve energy, the powerful capacity to go out into the world, and make things happen. Maybe we need a different strategy to keep up the pace.
Day time rest or “pauses” are a simpler way to sustain your physical energy. Taking brief and regular micro breaks through your day will enable you to sustain your physical energy and your mental concentration. Think of this approach as building a rhythmical flow throughout you day. You are not a machine. You were designed to pulse and to move from intensity to recovery. Ideally you build in recovery through your day and week. If you have been under high periods of intensity and stress in your life, create a period to recover.
Are you looking for ways to find and have more emotional nourishment? You’ve probably heard the saying, “a smile can light up a room”. The simple act of smiling and laughter can change your physiology. Even if you don’t feel happy, the mere act of smiling or having a chuckle will initiate changes which can uplift your energy.
Smiling has a positive effect on our happiness and physical health. It releases pleasure hormones called endorphins, natural painkillers and serotonin, which is a natural antidepressant. Physically it boosts our immune system, reduces our stress, lowers our blood pressure, helping the heart to recover more quickly after stressful events. Socially it makes people want to be with us because we look and feel more attractive and open. Smiling has also been shown to help people get over loss and bereavement faster as it facilitates the recovery process and protects the heart.
While smiling is wonderful antidote, even better if you can laugh at the same time. A good laugh relieves tension and stress in your body, and the subsequent relaxation in your muscles can last up to forty-five minutes. The science also shows that laughter boosts the immune system and keeps you feeling well.
Inside our heads can get busy and noisy. Have you ever noticed that the same voices turn up and start directing you, and more than often, it is they that make you emotional? Each voice will be connected to a specific pattern of talking to you and has probably been with you for a long time. This strategy helps you to lessen the grip from this demanding group of directors, and connects you with your wise and intuitive board of directors.
In adult life you can become the director of your own mind and determine who is making the decisions. For most of us, we are unconsciously aligning with the conversations going on in our heads.
Change maker and author, Gary Yardley has identified three default communication styles that can happen when we face conflict situations. These habitual styles area activated when we are not feeling safe, and move to protect ourselves. They are the Persecutor, Rescuer and Victim. Each is designed to help us cope with feelings of fear, stress, shame, guilt and other uncomfortable emotions. The Persecutor goes on the attack, looking to put the blame external and often uses anger and criticism. The Rescuer seeks to smooth over and avoid the conflict, wanting to appease others and gain their approval. The Victim takes a passive stance, feeling helpless and shrinking away to cope with feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. While these three patterns can be triggered to cope with an external situation, they can equally happen in our internal minds over a perceived slight.
Rather than looking at what is missing, what if you could give yourself a sense of progress by fine tuning your qualities? It is about your elegance and grace, a journey of refinement of character. Whatever you are doing or becoming, you can always be applying a finishing touch to your style for living life. A beautiful satin finish flows and shimmers, capturing the light and attractiveness of its surface and exuding a hidden quality and depth. This it about a continual sense of fine tuning you and who you can become.
We move in life from thinking about primarily ourselves to caring for others and then the larger community and planet we live on. Adding the satin finish to your life approach acknowledges that you have something of worth to offer and share with others. By continually refining ‘you’ and how you communicate your message will allow you to develop further and give yourself a much-needed sense of progress.
A silken response of refinement taps into a “quality” essence. You signal to yourself and the world that you are prepared to go that bit further. It is about a sustainable approach to life and a commitment to furthering your personal growth and spiritual maturity. It becomes a form of life celebration of your good fortune.