Saying Enough!

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.

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On Fragrant Pauses to Replenish

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.

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Nourishing Yourself … Smile

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.

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Why it’s important to know who’s on your Inner Council

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.

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Your Satin Finish…tapping into your quality essence

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.

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Breath of Fresh Air

It took me quite a while to realise how helpful taking slow paced, deep breaths was for restoring my balance … mind, body and energy.

If you are looking to reduce the tension in your body and come back to being more open and present… then taking a few slow deep breaths is a simple way to feel more at ease. It is natural, free and is always there.

Slow, deep breathing is an effective way to reverse the symptoms of the “flight-fight-and freeze” response that occurs when we perceive some form of threat to our safety. It activates what is called our parasympathetic nervous system, the body’s “brake response” which reverses the accumulated stress symptoms. Deep, slow breathing immediately slows down the heart rate and creates a calming effect.

The benefits of a regular practice of simple deep breathing is well documented, including: decreased anxiety and depression, increased energy levels, muscle relaxation, improved sleep, strengthened ability to regulate emotions and mood and decreased feelings of stress. Sounds compelling, doesn’t it?

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Your Embroidered Signature… owning what makes you unique

Do you have a desire to live more fully into your potential? Are you wanting to overcome your self-doubt and really step into becoming exceptional… owning and being your unique self? Feeling good about what makes you different? Do you have knowing within you that sparks the need to be discovering more?

This strategy is about defining your identity and what makes you an exceptional human being. It invites you to be true to the essence of you and then choosing to fully own it.  Being your own exception is about showing up in the fullness of your unique spirit. A myriad of intangible aspects and qualities make you exceptional. There is no-one else on the planet like you. You have been shaped by a combination of your genetics, energetic make-up, context and the results of choices undertaken daily.

Your embroidered signature is a recognisable and unique expression of your identity. For most of us, we live in cultures where people are hyper-aware of feeling a personal lacking, and not being enough.  We now have experts on everything who point out what we are not doing or should be doing more off to be a better person. This creates feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration and an incessant drive to the find the missing piece and get things sorted. This can manifest as a yearning to become someone you are not, a sense of missing out, and a feeling of not quite being there. If you don’t know who you are, then you are more likely to succumb to conforming to another’s expectations of you.

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Hydrating Emotionally

Relating with other people is one of our core fundamental needs. Just as water hydrates the body and keeps it functional, so too does having multiple connections with others … they keep us emotionally functional, healthy, balanced and “loved up”!

Social connections comprise the people we know, the friends we confide in, the family we belong to, our tribe of like-minded individuals and the community we live in. These relationships contribute to our physical and mental health. At a fundamental level we need each other to survive and thrive.

Studies show that interacting and relating with others leads to strengthening of our immune system. Having social support with people who evoke positive emotions helps us to recover from disease faster.  Typically, people who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression. When we are surrounded by loved ones, the feeling of being cared for and loved releases a flood of powerful hormones into our bodies which not only make us feel better but also significantly strengthen our immune system.

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