Love Yourself

Hello Followers!

Welcome to day 7 of my Mindfulness Challenge! Please participate by leaving comments or reposting/sharing.

When you love and accept yourself, you treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated.

  1. What do you do to love and accept yourself?
  2. What can you do today to love and accept yourself?

Keep an eye out for day 8 of the challenge tomorrow!

Listen to Your Heart

Hello Followers!

Welcome to day 6 of my Mindfulness Challenge! Please participate by leaving comments or reposting/sharing.

When you learn not to get carried away with your thoughts and listen to your heart, you feel at ease.

  1. What do you do to settle your thoughts and listen to your heart?
  2. What can you do today to settle your thoughts and listen to your heart?

Keep an eye out for day 7 of the challenge tomorrow!

Savor The Moment

Hello Followers!

Welcome to day 5 of my Mindfulness Challenge! Please participate by leaving comments or reposting/sharing.

When you savor the moment you’re in, life seems sweeter.

  1. What do you do to savor the moment?
  2. What can you do today to savor the moment?

Keep an eye out for day 6 of the challenge tomorrow!

There’s Always Chocolate

Podcast: Introduction to Mindfulness

Hello Followers!

Welcome to day 4 of my Mindfulness Challenge! Please participate by leaving comments or reposting/sharing.

When you take time to do the things you enjoy, you feel better.

  1. What do you do to soothe yourself during times of stress?
  2. What can you do today to soothe yourself?

Keep an eye out for day 5 of the challenge tomorrow!

Just Breathe

Hello Followers!

Welcome to day 3 of my Mindfulness Challenge! Please participate by leaving comments or reposting/sharing.

When you focus on your breath, you can quiet your mind and calm your body.

  1. What deep breathing exercises do you use to relax?
  2. What breathing exercise will you use today to relax?

Keep an eye out for day 4 of the challenge tomorrow!

Press Your Reset Button

Hello Followers!

Welcome to day 2 of my Mindfulness Challenge! Please participate by leaving comments or reposting/sharing.

When you think before you react, daily stressors can seem less troublesome.

  1. What do you do to respond wisely rather than react blindly?
  2. What can you do today to think before you respond?

Keep an eye out for day 3 of the challenge tomorrow!

Take Care of Yourself

 

Hello Followers!

I am doing an 8 day Mindfulness Challenge. Please respond in the comments to participate! (Feel free to repost if you’d like)

When you take care of yourself, life can be wonderful.

  1. What do you do to take care of yourself?
  2. What can you do to take care of yourself today?

Tomorrow I will be posting another day of the challenge, so stay tuned!

More Spring Cleaning

Here are some additional thoughts on how to renew ourselves and release old, worn thoughts and habits. Spring cleaning from the inside out.

Discover what’s nourishing. Just as plants need water and sunshine to grow, we need physical, emotional, and spiritual sustenance. Start with eating healthy foods, getting regular physical activity, sleeping 8-9 hours, and taking breaks for your mind and body.  Do one thing you enjoy daily, whether it’s phoning a friend, listening to music or walking your dog. Nurture your spirit through prayer, meditation, or communing with nature.

Let go of un-nourishing relationships. Being honest about admitting and detaching from relationships which aren’t good anymore can still hurt especially ones involving family and long-term friends. If we’ve spoken to them about what needs to be different and things haven’t changed over time, release them with love. Clearing space for nourishing relationships to enter.

Cultivate optimism. Looking more on the “sunny” side of life can be learned by shifting attention away from negative thoughts to more positive ones. There are few situations which are all good or all bad.  Our great job may sour when we get a new boss.  An untimely move lead to a wonderful neighborhood with friends with love. Prune your mind of unnecessary negativity.

Practice gratitude.

Photo by Real Mom Kim

When we feel grateful, our souls are nourished and restored.  We have a more positive attitude toward today and what lies ahead. We feel connected to something bigger than ourselves.  Supported in the deepest sense. Abundant and alive.

 

Great article on “25 Gratitude Journal Prompts and Ideas” from Good Things Realized

Spring is in the Air: Time for Emotional Cleaning

Spring is in the air. As the days get longer and the weather warms, we feel a growing urge to refresh and renew our lives. The blossoming season brings with it the opportunity to release what we’ve held on to mentally or emotionally, which no longer fits. Spring cleaning indeed.

Clearing away old beliefs. Just like our physical space, our minds are often cluttered with wornout beliefs and ideas. In cognitive therapy, clients learn to monitor their negative beliefs and refute them. If someone grew up being criticized, they may have the belief “I’m no good”. As an adult however, they may have a successful career or be a caring parent, evidence that this belief is not true. Changing automatic assumptions is empowering and liberating.

Sow the seeds of intention: Step One. Along with releasing negative thoughts, we must clarify what we want. Why is this challenging? First, our minds  chatter constantly over urgent but not important matters. Like what we said that offended someone we hardly know or putting the laundry away. Instead, we need to quiet our “monkey mind” through prayer, meditation and relaxation.  Stillness allows connection with our deeper selves.

Sow the seeds of intention: Step Two. When our mind is still, we see more clearly how we want to live. Then during our daily meditation/prayer, we can set our intentions for serenity, peaceful relationships, health, etc., allowing our intention and energy to flow in the direction we desire. Creating the life we want one day at a time.

Great article on “Giving Your Emotional Life a Spring Cleaning” from Sharon Martin

Stress Getting the Best of You? Just Breathe.

Breathing-Medium-1080x675When first introduced to breathing as a relaxation technique, we wonder how something so simple can work.  My favorite story about “breathing” was finding my 10 year-old daughter playing the deep breathing/relaxation CD I’d made to a friend who was spending the night  and having trouble sleeping.  She said, “Just listen–you’ll feel better.”  Fifteen minutes later, they were both asleep.

Deep breathing works so well because we spend so much time physically  and emotionally stressed.  Psychologist Alice Domar states that the average US adult experiences the fight or flight response 50 times daily.  While adaptive for cave-dwelling ancestors running from saber-toothed tigers, the flood of stress chemicals through our bodies makes us edgy, irritable, and more vulnerable to physical and emotional health problems.  Likewise, it results in short, shallow breathing which fuels rather than diminishes the stress response.

The busier we are, the truer this is, especially for moms with small children who already feel physically and emotionally depleted.  The more rundown we are, the more likely the fight-flight response is to trigger.  Research has shown that five minutes of deep breathing several times a day leads to lower stress hormones by day’s end.  Why wait?  If we can delay bedtime to pick up the house, certainly we can take 5 minutes, 3 times a day, to improve our physical and emotional well-being.  Although it may feel strange at first to be still and breathe deeply, it feels good.

This week’s mantra: “I always have my breath to destress.”

Click here for my “Simply Breathe” YouTube exercise

Article from Well & Good on “4 Yoga Poses and Breathing Exercises that can help you get better ZZZ’s”