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”

Smell the Roses

On Friday, I went to see my breast surgeon and get my annual mammogram. Although I thought everything would be okay, I was ecstatic when I left her office with the news that I am still cancer free. These experiences always make me think about how grateful I am to wake up each day and be in good health-body, mind and spirit.

As a psychologist, I see so many people struggle with living in the wreckage of the future or regretting the past when all we have is this moment and making it the best we can. As a breast cancer survivor of two and one-half years, I know what it’s like to be faced with the reality of losing your life. Even on my worst days, I try to remain mindful of the gift that I am still alive and it gives me hope and calm.

If you live in the St. Louis area, I’ll be offering a workshop at The Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves about “Women, Mindfulness and Mood” where I’ll be sharing my professional guidance and personal insights about this. Here’s the link and info below if you want to register.

Register here!

Women, Mindfulness, & Mood: Workshop with Dr. Diane Sanford

March 21 @ 6:30 pm8:00 pm

$25.00

“Join us for another of Dr. Sanford’s amazing workshops – these sell out quickly and space is very limited.

Description:

Because as women our minds, hormones and lives are constantly changing, we need to learn a set of coping skills that will help us weather life’s storms. Mindfulness practice that teaches us to calm our mind and re-inhabit our body is a time-proven skillset for easing stress, anxiety and worry. Join Dr. Sanford for this introductory session to her Stress Less Live Better mindfulness-based program that instructs you on how to do this.”

 

This week, keep track of one thing you’re grateful for each day and see how you feel when you do. Until next time, all the best. Namaste.

 

 

Meal Prep Mastery for Moms: Free Online Series

Hello. Dr. Diane here. Hope your week is off to a good start. I met this fabulous mom who loves food and feeding her family without it becoming overwhelming and stressful. When she asked me to introduce her new mealprepmasteryformoms.com and participate in her expert summit to kick off her series, of course, I said yes.

As moms, we pretty much run the household, right? From laundry to dishes to bandaging scraped elbows, we often feel like we’re all things to all people … which is why, when it comes to cooking, so many of us feel burned out, tired, and maybe even resentful. We want to feed our kids healthy meals, but by the time it’s time to cook dinner, the kitchen is the last place we want to be.

Good news: it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right tools, information, and advice, you can learn to love the kitchen (and cooking in it) again—while you make quick, healthy meals your family will actually eat without complaining!

My friend Nichole Teering, nutritionist, is offering a complimentary interview series starting February 12 to show you how. It’s called Meal Prep Mastery for Moms, and it brings together more than 20 experts in cooking and nutrition, including me, to give you our expert advice on feeding your family well—without hating the process.

Grab your spot here, at no cost: mealprepmasteryformoms.com for tips and helpful hints to regain your Health AND Your Sanity-while feeding your family well.

Dr-Diane-Sanford-infographic-new

Remember, that mindful eating and food prep is a great way to ease stress and redirect your attention. For Nichole’s interview with me about my new program Stress Less Live Better and how to make self-care and mindfulness part of your daily routine, click on the following link: https://mealprepmasteryformoms.com/drdianesanford. Namaste.