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Showing posts with label mindset. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mindset. Show all posts

Taking Meditation Breaks

By On 8:36 AM

Do you feel like you need a break the second you get into the office? And then another 15 minutes later? Me too..

I always feel like I need a break because I am so mentally drained by my mind racing a mile a minute.

So what do i do about this? i take meditation breaks! but how?

I use my watch and phone to set timer's for myself. Every hour or so I take a minute to just breathe. It's just a minute, but it's helps me relax and bring myself back to the present and to stop stressing. Sometimes, if it's really loud around me, i will even go to the bathroom to do this. It's not about where you are physically, but where you are mentally and emotionally.

If you don't want to use technology, have no fear! You need not use technology to assist. Just take between 5 and 10 deep breaths.  During these deep beaths, you can count your inhale and exhale or you can feel the breath come in and the stress go out. Or a combination of the two.  

Meditation to Listen to Your Intuition

By On 10:04 AM

How to Listen to your Intuition

Intuition- what is it? Intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.

So who has it? Detectives? Psychics? You? Me?

Yes! All of the above.

Think of intuition as your inner guidance system. This is the instinctual answers and gut feelings that you just know are true, but may not want to believe.

So how do you listen to your intuition? You sit down, calm down, and listen. In other words, you meditate. You listen to what thoughts are going through your head without focusing on them. You acknowledge that they have been there, but you let them go for the next one.

The ones that are your intuition are going to be the ones that you feel strongly about. The ones that make your insides twist, in excitement or worry. This is more than your normal stress.

Meditation to listen to your intuition

Find a comfortable place on the floor or in a chair. Sit comfortably, but keep your spine straight as if someone is pulling up on a string from the top of your head.

Focus on your breath for 10 slow, calm breaths. Let the stress of the day fall to the floor and float away. You can either close and relax your eyes, or you can look up at your third eye chakra. The preference is yours, but try both ways and see which one works best for you.

Now just relax and let your thoughts flow by. Don’t grab any and hold on, just let them float by. If you have something that you are trying to find an answer to, think of one word and notice the feelings in your body. Do muscles tense? Do you feel sick or dizzy? Does your heart rate increase? This is your gut feeling. Now just focus on this one word and see what feelings come to mind. What thoughts go by.

This is your intuition.

The more your tune into your intuition, the easier this will become and you may not need to do a full meditation.

Once you feel you have gotten the answer you seek, or that you may need to try again. Slowly start moving your fingers and your toes and then work your way up to standing. Give your body a good stretch and then reflect on how the mediation went. What feelings it arose, what questions now feel like they have answers.

Top 3 Apps to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

By On 11:00 AM

Top 3 Apps to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

I am always trying to find a way to reduce my anxiety and stress throughout the day. As much as it may seem that I am looking for stress, I am really only looking for a way to not stress out. Below are the Android and iPhone apps that I have discovered that help me reduce my stress and focus on my current task.

Tide Focus Study App
Tide is a time management app, which plays calming music for a set amount of time while you work and then schedules in a set amount of time for a mental break. Whether it’s a physical break to get up and get moving, or just a mental focus switch. Then you go back to focusing for another set amount of time. The cycle repeats until you choose to end it.
I love the ability to play music while I focus. It helps                                  drown out talkative coworkers or just daily office noises. 

Moodalytics helps me monitor how I am feeling and helps to narrow down triggers for certain moods. You can have it set to remind me to log my mood. I can then track how long I am in each mood through                       the day or the week. 

I have just started using happify and I am falling in love with the concept. I love playing games which can impact the way my brain functions. One such games was a simple, yet quite entertaining game of click the balloons with positive words on them. This was a great 5-minute break. I do like that there are  lots of meditations that are specific for which ever track you choose.
I hope that you download and try some or all of these apps to help you reduce stress and anxiety.

Knowing Your Options- Anxiety and Depression

By On 9:11 AM
Anxiety and depression can be caused from over worrying and stressful situations or it can be a chronic problem that is caused by an imbalance in the body.

I have done some research into the two main types of imbalances that cause anxiety and depression. These two disorders seem to go hand in hand in most cases. Two of the potential causes of depression and anxiety are the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

In the case of anxiety and depression, an imbalance is caused when the neurotransmitters are too quickly reabsorbed after talking to the nerves to leave things like serotonin and dopamine in your system to be bioavailable for your brain to use. To put it simply, the neurotransmitters run out to the nerve with a message, and run right back to where they came from. With the neurotransmitter in hiding, serotonin and dopamine are not available to be absorbed elsewhere in the brain.

With less serotonin or dopamine available, you can start to enter into a deficit. This deficit is what leads to anxiety or depression. See the table below for the symptoms of each type of deficit.

The most common way that these imbalances are corrected are from anti-depressants. Most people respond well to one or the other and it may take some trial and error to find the right prescription and the right dosage. Below I have listed the most common, but not all, of the prescribed anti-depressants and treat anxiety and or depression.

The good news is that there are ways that you can increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine in your body naturally. Some minor lifestyle changes and changes in your diet can help increase the levels.

Dopamine is your body’s motivation and reward sensor. The more you feel motivated and rewarded, the higher your level can be. In order to keep your levels high enough to combat your current depression, you would have to have a some motivation to get started and set the goals first.

Dopamine is released when you hunt for things, think scavenger hunts. Or when you complete a goal, like finish a term paper.

Serotnin on the other hand is your happiness sensor. The more serotonin you have the happier you can be. Serotonin has a precursor that can be found in some foods, called tryptophan. Yes, the same thing that’s in that Thanksgiving Day Turkey and makes you sleepy.  This is what doctors assume to be the most prevalent type of depression, but it also comes with anxiety. In reality, only about 40% of the patients that have depression and are given serotonin increasing anti-depressants actually see results.

Serotonin is decreased after eating protein. Yet, it is increased when you eat carbs alone. The carb and protein mix nullify the potential increase from the carbs.  A snack of 25-35g carbohydrates with less than 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat is recommended when you snack. This will increase serotonin levels, especially in the dreaded 2-5pm.  You want to choose something like a graham cracker or a pretzel.

Another way that serotonin is decreased is after drinking or eating caffeine or aspartame. So it’s time to cut back on the diet soda and the artificial sweetener in your coffee. Affeine has a half life of 4-5 hours and can stay in your system for up to 14 hours after you consume it. So reducing caffeine in the afternoon can help you get to sleep better at night.

Random Facts:

High norepinephrine can cause anxiety, racing thoughts and high blood pressure.
Melatonin can reduce high norepinephrine is you take it and lie down.
Caffeine inhibits the uptake of GABA as well, which  helps to calm you down.
Green tea increase dopamine, serotonin and GABA. To get this boost have 3 cups of green tea a day, sans sweetener.

Note: I am not a doctor and am just providing the information. Your doctor should make the call on which prescription is best suited for you. Some of these medications can be taken together to get the affects of both, but should only be done under the supervision of a certified medical professional.

How to Improve Your Mood With Scents

By On 8:12 AM

An odor is the perception of an odorant (or chemical). This perceived odor is either pleasant or unpleasant to us.  Most times, an odor is given a bad name and only used when something is unpleasant. The affect that odors can have on your mood and mental health can make or break your day.

Pleasant odors can:
·         Boost your mood
·         Make is easier to learn/work
·         Make it easier to sleep
·         Give you a higher pain resistance
·         Decrease the occurrence of headaches and stomachaches.

Unpleasant odors can cause:
·         Nausea
·         Headaches
·         Depression
·         Increased anxiety
·         Elevated blood pressure
·         Decrease in physical energy
·         Compromised immune system
·         Asthma attacks in asthma sufferers
·         Physical discomfort (aches & pains)
·         Increase in anger and stress levels
·         Muscular control problems, fatigue (tiredness), confusion

What can you do to make your environment smell more pleasant?
·         Open windows and let in fresh air ( if you’re not near a highway or other pollutant source))
·         Air purifiers (ensure they are properly sized for the area you put them. One small purifier will not do much to improve the air in a decent sized room)
·         Flowers and other odiferous plants
·         Lightly scented candles and incense
·         Change you’re A/C filter more frequently

Why don’t I recommend Air fresheners and plug ins?
Air fresheners and plug ins are great when you want to cover something up. But that’s all your doing. Sweeping it under the rug and throwing a blanket over it. You’re not getting rid of the unpleasant odor, your only making it.

Think about it this way. You’ve got a glass of water and you add food dye to it. Have you really changed the water, or  just made it look different? It’s now just blue water. Unpleasant odors are just temporarily strong pleasant scents.

Too much scent, whether perfume, air freshener, deodorant or flowers can have negative impacts on your respiratory health. It can cause allergies and asthma attacks if the person is sensitive to that. It can also increase the frequency of headaches and make you feel quite crappy.

Finding the right amount of scent for YOU that you enjoy and is not detrimental to you is imperative.


“Health Effects of Odors.” Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health Chemical Hazards Program July, 2004.

“Odors and Your Health.” Ohio Department of Health, Division of Environmental Health and Radiation Division July 2015.

Logic Your Way Out.. Overcoming Fears with Logic

By On 1:05 PM
We all have fears, whether they are rational or irrational. Dealing with those fears is something that everyone says we should do, but no one tells us exactly how to overcome them.  For years I have been plagued by irrational fears from too many childhood horror movies like the Puppet Master and Chuckie- laugh all you want, they still creep me out!
Anyways.. Overcoming fears sometimes means facing them and out smarting them. By that, I mean just using common sense and logic when the fear strikes. Another example of one of my childhood fears is a fear of the wind.. I absolutely hate it. For some reason it scares me, and seeing trees bent over in the wind.. terrifying.
So last night while I was just about to fall asleep, I hear something that could be a train, or a car boom box going by, but my first thought is TORNADO! So my eyes shoot open and I listen really hard.. what other signs do I hear? And while listening I realized what I was doing.. so I logically listened for certain things.. was it coming closer and getting loud? Did I hear debris flying around? People screaming? No, I heard none of that. When I realized it really was just a car blaring their music going down the next street, I was able to calm down and fall asleep.
Sometimes when fear strikes, you are not able to think rationally or logically. This is something that comes with time and practice. Also, situations can add to the stress and lack of clear thinking.  Next time your fear strikes, even if it is something small and silly like the wind, logic your way out!

Defeat your Inner Critic

By On 1:04 PM
Everyone has an inner critic. A lot of people listen to their inner critic. Even people who seem really happy. Here's how you can defeat you inner critic for good.

Downsize your doubts- deep breaths and realize them for what they are

Stop trying to make everyone else happy

Kill your inner Critic- reflect but don’t criticize. Make a list with times you showed compassion for others, good things about you, and times you coped with difficult situations. Think about things from lists when you begin to criticize yourself.
Meditate with self compassion- I am filled with loving kindness. I am well, peaceful and at ease. I am happy and free of suffering.
Celebrate Success- Change jealousy for others into genuine happiness for their success.
Move your body daily- increases blood flow to the brain.

Nurture passion and strengths- when absorbed in something you can easily release doubts.

Accept and love your shadow- Accept all aspects of yourself. Be grateful for limitations and challenges.
Embrace your authentic voice
The action of confidence comes first; the feeling of confidence comes after- The Confidence Gap. You don’t have to wait for confidence to do something.

You can always get better. Mindset- Book. Fix mindset- failure is avoided at all costs. Growth mindset developed through effort and practice; challenges help you grow and learn.

Let the dancer become the dance- Make a decision to lose yourself completely in your work.
Choose an emotional state of success- remember past successes to push away the doubt
Empower yourself with visualization- visualize success to replace negative with positive.

Use past memories about failure to challenge your doubts. i.e. creative. You say you are not so you don’t have to try.

Edit your self-talk- be more confident and positive in your own head.
Train your body to manipulate your mind- Posture
Cultivate a positive opinion of yourself- value this over the opinions other others.

Use objects to leverage your way to confidence- holding memento’s of past success sends positive messages to your brain.

Identify and ease your doubts- I can’t do this yet, but I’m working on it. What if I fail? I’ll try again.

Stop comparing accomplishments- everyone is on their own journey- what works for me?

Forget about what everyone else thinks of you.
Just make a decision and then correct your course along the way.
Write yourself a letter- everything will be ok. List recent accomplishments to prove.

Listen or read positive material daily.

Gratitude journal daily
Identify biggest fans and nurture those relationships
Go to mantras for support- You are loved. You are good enough.


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