Emotional Mastery

  • How to Break Up with Imposter Syndrome for Good

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    What is imposter syndrome and how do you fix it?

    Do you worry that the eternal “they” will discover that you are not exactly who or what they think you are? It could be imposter syndrome getting in the way of your confidence. It usually happens something like this:

    You have accomplished a goal and achieved success, but some of you cannot accept the success you have strived to achieve. Your inner voice tells you it was just luck and tried to convince you that you are not qualified, so watch out because “they” will find out! You might even doubt your skills and intelligence, even though you worked hard to get where you are. If you have ever experienced something like this, you have likely experienced imposter syndrome.

    Research on imposter syndrome in high achieving women found that even when people have much evidence of their achievements, they can still convince themselves that they have not earned the success they have. Put another way, their self-assessment of their success needs to be more consistent with the objective reality of their accomplishments.

    Imposter syndrome describes when an individual doubts their accomplishments and fears that others will discover the “truth” that they are an imposter. The research also found that almost 70% of people experience some imposter syndrome during their lifetime.

    When people experience imposter syndrome, they typically credit their achievement to luck, good timing, or connections. They also dismiss their hard work as well as taking ownership of learning the skills needed to achieve their success. Another factor is that people who struggle with imposter syndrome find it difficult to accept positive feedback or praise, making it much more challenging to break free from the belief that they are an imposter.

    Causes of Imposter Syndrome

    Like most things in life, there are many variables that contribute to life’s challenges. Here are a few:

    Life Transitions

    Imposter syndrome is common when starting something new, such as a new employment position after graduation. Other transitions like a promotion, creating a new business, and becoming a parent are major life events that can lead to low confidence and doubts about your ability to do the job successfully. Even high performing professionals with a history of achievement still determine that their ability to perform is due to factors outside of themselves.


    Harsh judgment often leads to imposter syndrome. Early research found that children harshly judged by their families or perceived as less intelligent than other family members increased the chance of imposter syndrome. On the other hand, researchers also found that imposter syndrome can develop among children when families judge their children as highly intelligent and competent. One thought is that the child feels pressured to please their families rather than believe in their abilities when their skills are challenged.


    We all have different aspects of our identities, such as gender, age, culture, or something else. When a person experiences part of their identity being criticized and belittled more than others, it can lead to imposter syndrome. Stereotypes that label an individual as less intelligent and competent can lead to an internalized narrative that accepts the belief as accurate. It happens when circumstances prove the stereotype is wrong, and yet the individual believes the stereotype more than their reality.

    Low self-confidence

    Imposter syndrome overlaps with the other characteristics of self-confidence. Imposter syndrome is linked to self-doubt, often leading to a failure. People who are both introverted and anxious are more likely to experience it. Generally, harsh criticism also increases the likelihood of imposter syndrome.

    3 Ways to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

    1. Emotional Awareness:

    Accept your emotional experiences. Remember that feelings are a response to an experience and are not a replay of reality. Writing your feelings down by hand and then looking at them from a few different points of view is often a helpful way to accept the positive aspects of yourself.

    2. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses:

    We all have positive and negative aspects of ourselves and are good at something, but no one is good at everything. When you accept that you possess skills and reflect on your abilities, it is easier to acknowledge your accomplishments confidently.

    3. Cancel perfectionism:

    Perfectionist habits are often a plague for those struggling with imposter syndrome and need to stop! Everyone, and probably everything, is a work in progress. The goal is to keep learning and growing. Here are a few ways to practice more self-compassion. Take regular breaks and days off, and use relaxation techniques to calm stress and anxiety. Remember, mistakes are a natural and inevitable part of life, and you must keep learning and growing to your full potential.


    Sometimes, the voice of imposter syndrome takes over your confidence, tries to downplay your accomplishments, and leaves you doubting yourself. When that happens, it is a signal to take a moment, acknowledge your strengths, and take ownership of your power to move your life toward your full potential. Imposter syndrome does not have a chance to keep you down!

  • 5 Powerful Ways to Stop Mindless Stress Eating for Good

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    Mindless stress eating may seem like it’s nothing more than getting a little relief from a stressful moment in life.

    It’s like a taste of something delicious will take the bitterness out of life.

    But, when it happens again and again and you feel guilty about it, it’s a recipe for shame and regret.

    We all have basic needs, like a roof over our heads, money and of course at its most basic level, fuel for our bodies in the form of food.

    Our more personally specific needs like love, companionship, a sense of purpose and belonging, a sense of feeling calm and at peace or knowing how to manage your emotions are just a few. These needs are more difficult to quickly identify how much you need and when – they’re a little more specific to the flexible.

    Sometimes a need bubbles to the surface slowly over time.

    At another time your impulses are strong and fully capture your attention, convincing you that changing the direction you’re headed in is a waste of time and energy.

    Reaching for the candy dish while thinking about a stressful client meeting is a relieves the unpleasant feelings of frustration. But the stressful meeting is still there waiting for you to fix it, regardless of the sweet candy distraction.

    Mindless stress eating can be a way to get your attention and be present, so you can make conscious choices that lead you where you want to be in your life.

    What makes the biggest difference in stress eating? Giving yourself a bit of space to pay attention to what really matters, so you make choices that matter in your life.

    5 unmet needs that lead to mindless stress eating and ideas to help.

    1. Connection – be around people who are a positive influence

    Creating this type of community, if you don’t already have it, is one of the most important ways to stop mindless stress eating.

    Being on the path of changing your mindset, habits and learning to regulate your emotions so you work well with them, is easier when you’re around people who are also on a personal growth path too.

    It’s energizing to have a conversation with another person who shares your interests, is open to learning and looks toward the future with hope.

    How does this help stress eating when it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with food?

    Maybe you’re into taking a photography class, joining a quilting guild, taking a painting course, going antiquing with a friend, joining a sailing club, taking a meditation course, or anything else you might be interested in that is creative, positive and growth-enhancing lowers overall stress and shift your focus.

    Creating new connections and being around people who are forward thinking supports a growth mindset. Your brain needs something to do or it will default to doing what uses the least amount of energy – like going back to old ways of thinking. Giving your brain something to do that interests you creates new neural pathways that help you shift your thinking to what you really want.

    2. Kindness and self-compassion

    When mindless stress eating takes hold, the usual response is to criticize, find fault and withhold self-compassion. For high achieving women there’s a bias toward being tough and not giving in. Since you’re already disappointed or frustrated with yourself it can lead to even more stress eating.

    The antidote is kindness and self-compassion. They both give you the opportunity to gain perspective, assess what worked and what didn’t so you can make adjustments and move forward with more useful self-knowledge.

    Kindness and self-compassion give you the perspective you need to make the changes that lead to less stress.

    3. Take a break from being busy

    Everyone needs a break sometimes. This doesn’t mean that you need to wait until vacation time to get the space you need. Our attention is pulled in so many different directions that it’s often difficult to choose what you really want.

    Sometimes unplugging helps to allow some breathing space, so you can see challenges as they are and avoid mindless stress eating altogether.

    Slow down, consider what you need. Give yourself the gift of time so you can figure out what it is that you need. It’s an opportunity and you might be surprised at what you find.

    4. Accept where you are while keeping your focus on your future.

    Acceptance does not mean giving up on your goals. Acceptance means being right where you are now, while remaining thoughtful about your future. Thoughtfulness is one of the most effective ways to prevent mindless stress eating.

    Acknowledge the work you’re doing and be aware of your need for rest. Allow yourself time to integrate the changes you’re making.

    When you’re present, you’ll have the energy to focus and rebuild your enthusiasm for your next goal.

    5. Transform your relationship with food.

    Nourishment, how you eat to sustain your energy and satisfaction is the key ingredient to permanently stop mindless stress eating – it’s not what, but how.

    A change in mindset can give you the calm you need to stop being led by impulse. It also stops the feelings of self-betrayal, body shame, overwhelm, and just plain not feeling good.


    You can enjoy food, maintain healthful goals, feel good about what and how you eat, feel good about your body, respect your need for movement, honor physical activity, and grow your self-esteem. These are big promises and they are also completely achievable results. You can live the life you desire with less stress and a lot more calm, clarity and connection – the key ingredients to stop mindless stress eating.

  • How Compassion Makes You A Better Person

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    Can compassion make you a better person?

    You might have heard how compassion help your own well-being. But why does it help you and how does it relate to your well-being? Compassion is defined as, feeling the other person’s suffering and wanting to help relieve it. The opposite of compassion may be harshness, judgement or even callousness. Generally, being indifferent to another’s suffering or hard-hearted is the opposite.

    Many researchers hypothesize that humans evolved to experience compassion because the resulting emotions and behaviors improved the survival of our ancestors. All people experience different levels of compassion depending on their own experiences and their values and beliefs about what is possible.

    Researchers also found that people are likely to feel compassion for those in their own social group since they are better able to understand the point of view their group holds. There may be an evolutionary basis for this as they were more likely to survive if they aligned with the group’s goals. Conversely, it’s easier to view competitor groups as outsiders or different and therefore feel less compassionate for them.

    How is empathy different?

    Many people assume compassion and empathy are the same since both emotions are similar and help you to feel connected with others. But it can be helpful to differentiate how they are different in a couple of ways. Researchers define empathy as sharing another’s suffering, while compassion adds another layer of also feeling warmth, concern, and care for the other along with a desire to improve the other person’s well-being.

    An empathetic response to another can lead the person to move away from the emotional situation to avoid discomfort. The biological drive to avoid pain is strong. However, a compassionate response which includes a desire to be helpful the person experiencing pain often means getting even closer to the emotional situation. Researchers also found that people who feel compassionate for others are more likely to help the sufferer than people who feel empathic distress.

    Can you learn to be more compassionate?

    Research in this area has grown over the last few decades and has shown that compassion benefits to both the giver and receiver. There are a variety of positive outcomes in experiencing compassion, including reduced depression and anxiety. So, just how do you increase your compassion?

    One recent line of research has involved contemplative practices such as meditation as a way to increase compassionate feelings towards others. Loving-kindness meditation or Metta is one example of this. This meditation focuses on a short phrase to wish well upon others and to notice the pleasant feelings they experience in the process. Long-term practice of loving-kindness meditation and other meditations with a similar focus functionally change in the brain. One study found that experienced meditators who include compassion in their practice have a stronger neural response in an area of the brain associated with compassion than novice meditators.

    Fortunately, you don’t have to practice loving-kindness meditation for years receive its benefits. Other researchers found that a short practice benefits both the meditator as well as the person being mediated for. There are numerous guided loving-kindness meditations available that you can try.

    Can you be too compassionate?

    What is compassion fatigue and how can you prevent it?

    The benefits of feeling and expressing compassion are clear. However, the research also shows that there are disadvantages as well and that’s when compassion fatigue can happen. Compassion fatigue is defined as, “a more user-friendly term for secondary traumatic stress disorder, which is nearly identical to PTSD, except that it applies to those emotionally affected by the trauma of another.”

    Compassion fatigue is an emotional investment many people experience with others they care about. Even if you’re not in the helping professions, you can still experience compassion fatigue related to someone you’re close to.

    Compassion fatigue is similar to burnout, but the difference is that compassion fatigue includes “absorbing” the other’s emotional experience. Burnout focuses on the stressful situations in your own life.


    Compassion brings us closer to one another and improves both the giver and receivers’ lives. While the feeling can lead to negative outcomes such as compassion fatigue, it has many benefits. Improving self-care practices that support healthy boundaries, emotional mastery and habits that increase well-being can prevent compassion fatigue.

  • 7 Ways ‘Should’ Leads to Stress and How to Breakthrough

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    Have you ever noticed that telling yourself – “I should…” leads to more stress, disappointment and self-criticism instead of motivating you to take action?

    Sometimes it seems like ‘I should’ is like a big electronic billboard in your mind flashing messages like, “I should do more work today” or “I should say yes” or “I should skip the cake.”

    ‘I should’ often leads to anything you believe will help you break free from being overwhelmed, overcommitted and stressed out to the point where you lose sight of your goals.

    So many negative thoughts designed to keep you in line and follow the ‘I should’ find their way into your life. They usually come in quick succession, “I’m lazy” or “I’m not a nice person” or “I don’t have any willpower” and the goal fades into the background.

    “I should…” functions as a limit that ultimately you set for yourself, but it lacks commitment to follow through. It’s like a way to feel bad about something you don’t want anyway.

    The result is feeling guilt, shame, hopelessness, etc. To feel better and lift your mood, it’s easy to reach for food and stress eating is the result.

    This the exact opposite of feeling motivated and adopting a growth mindset that leads to possibility. A mindset where your relationship with yourself moves in the direction of following your dreams and accomplishing your goals.

    Take a moment and close your eyes, think of the phrase, “I should.” What feelings do you notice? Are they positive or negative? Hopeful or hopeless?

    Now, take another moment and think of the phrase, “I can.” What feelings do you notice? Do you have options you can take? Do you feel like you have choices?

    This subtle shift from ‘I should’ to ‘I can’ opens your mind up to new possibilities.

    You might take a risk and see how it works out, you might make a decision that doesn’t really go anywhere and there’s a great possibility that with a bit of focus on “can” you will make decisions that propel you more fully into your life.

    Challenging the way, you talk to yourself helps you improve your self-relationship.

    What would change if you spoke to yourself in a similar way that a great coach speaks to their team? I can think of a few things that would change. You would need to be clear, encouraging, challenge any doubts and hold yourself accountable to move forward, especially when it’s difficult.

    This one change in your self-talk has the potential to change the way you think of yourself and your ability to go after a goal.

    I believe that you have what you need already. Since you’re here reading this post, it’s probable you believe that life can get better. But, even if you’re skeptical, that’s OK, keep moving forward. Simply the fact that you’ve read to this point is verification that you have hope for your future. Maybe what you need some ideas to get you there?

    Keep reading to learn how ‘I should’ holds you back and strategy to break through the limitations.

    Here are 7 ways that ‘I should’ holds you back and alternatives to keep you moving:

    1. ‘I should’ leads to shame

    Brene Brown referred to Jungian psychology’s view of shame as the swamp land of the soul.

    Shame is the feeling that there’s something wrong with you. When you make a mistake, it’s not about the mistake, it’s about the false belief that there’s something fundamentally wrong with you. ‘I should…’ leads to failing to do what you think you need to do and when you don’t do it, you’re a bad person. It’s an emotional in the swamp land.


    We all do things that we need to apologize for. We’re all human and trying to muddle through and mistakes are part of lifelong learning. You can create a more hospitable environment within yourself instead of a shameful one. Take responsibility when you need to and forgive yourself. You can use the experience to become a better you. Self-compassion will lead you out of the shame swamp.

    2. ‘I should’ leads to guilt

    ‘Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action’. -Audre Lord

    Guilt is the feeling of self-blame for having done something wrong. Like shame, we all do things that aren’t helpful or nice, things that are selfish or unkind. Guilt can hold you accountable so you understand the effect your actions have on others as well as yourself. When ‘I should’ enters the picture, you are grounding your guilt on something that didn’t or hasn’t taken place. It’s like feeling bad about not having the future you think you need but are somehow unable to make happen.


    Kindness and choice lead to action and give you the ability to make choices. Guilt traps you, stops you, you’re at a standstill. Choice is active, you lean forward and gain momentum toward action. Choice has the ability to change you and with a bit of kindness mixed in for good measure, you’re able to make choices that move your life forward.

    3. ‘I should’ limits possibilities

    When you start feeling bad about the future the ability to think about other possibilities or options narrows. Should create an environment where your thoughts loop around the perceived failure. Rather than looking at the situation clearly as it is and asking yourself what you can do better. Looking toward better outcomes in the future promotes growth and gets your creativity focused on new ideas for a better tomorrow.


    Take a moment or an hour or a day to step back from the “I should…” The distance can help you gain perspective on the situation. Feeling bad about something really doesn’t get anyone in a positive frame of mind. Spend some time in nature, get some fresh air, go for a walk. When you get your body moving, feel the wind on your cheek, the sunshine warming your skin, it’s easier to be present, think about what you really want and define your goal. The possibilities are endless.

    4. ‘I should’ makes your world smaller

    Should closes your world in around you. Keeps you fixed on the viewpoint that; this is the way things have always been and this is the way they will stay! It’s like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, his expectations are limited. He expects that he will always receive less than he wants or deserves. His world is small even when his friends offer to help him, his energy is low, his expectations are low and he stays in an emotionally low state. He can’t see past his current situation.


    There are problems in life. We all have them; some are of our own making and others not. What you can do is look at them as they are, consider your options and make a plan. Sometimes the process is slow and sometimes you’ll know right away what works. Problems come and go it’s your actions that make the difference. Being conscious of your choices makes your world bigger and you have more options.

    5. ‘I should’ keeps you from what you want

    Sometimes people reach back to their childhood, college days, early career, etc. They look at the events or choices they made and assume a direct cause and effect relationship between the past and the present and justify their regret about where they are today. Reviewing the past from this framework is one of the most effective ways to stay stuck on the disappointments you’ve suffered rather than focused on what you need to do to get where you want to be.


    With an abundance of self-compassion and kindness you can understand the underpinnings of the choices you made/make through the lenses of your history. The danger in giving a painful past more energy is that it keeps you locked in the pain. Understanding and action allows you to move beyond the circumstances that got you here. Kindness, compassion and love really do lead to better things.

    6. ‘I should’ keeps you wrapped up in a wish

    When should takes away your ability to move forward, hoping and wishing maybe even longing enter the picture. This is the stuff of fairy tales. Somehow, somewhere the hero will come to save the day and everything will be all better. This rarely happens. That another person would know you so well to know what you need and freely give it to you resulting in your personal fulfillment. Hopefully most babies receive this kind of love and care, but as you grow you become more complex and it becomes nearly impossible to know exactly what another wants.


    Hopes and wishes are essential to moving forward and they must be accompanied by doing what’s necessary to make things happen. You have to take the actions that move you forward. Without taking action, you are dreamer without a plan. Be a dreamer with a plan. That’s where you can be assured something will happen that moves you closer to what you need and want.

    7. ‘I should’ is the illusion of responsibility that masks fear of change

    Fear of change is real, even when change would give you something much better than you currently have. Responsibility comes in many forms and one form is not masking the reality. When you focus on being responsible when it’s not necessary it seems honorable, but that dynamic is serving a different need. The reality is that it takes you further away from where you want to be in an effort to keep things the same. Change takes courage.


    Change, even when wanted is very difficult – it takes focused intentional effort. It’s easier to stay the same and do nothing. The price is that your hope fades a little bit every day that you’re stuck. When you tell yourself, ‘I should,’ it’s an attempt to accept responsibility, but the end result is being stuck. Effective responsibility is to put yourself out there and take the short-term risk, be a little uncomfortable, so that you can experience long-term fulfillment.


    When you take the risk to move away from “I should” and step more fully into your life you get closer to what you really want. Action can lead you to growth in the direction your life needs to be. Life usually doesn’t guarantee happiness and fulfillment every day and at the same time, there are lots of wonderful days ahead.

  • 5 Easy Strategies to Quiet Your Mind and Stop Repetitive Thoughts

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    Learn how to stop repetitive thoughts and get practical tips to help you quiet your mind.

    Repetitive thoughts or thoughts that circle round and round, are called rumination. The repetitive thoughts usually focus on:

    • why a situation is the way it is or the cause
    • what could happen because of the situation or the consequences
    • how or what the person is experiencing or the symptoms

    For example, when something embarrassing happens it’s unpleasant which can result in thinking about the situation over and over after it is over. When you ruminate about something negative, it often feels like you can’t turn off the thoughts, which then usually leads to feeling even worse. That’s how repetitive thoughts transform a situation from a regular human fumble into a big event that leaves you feeling emotionally spent, ashamed and regretful.

    Here are some things that may lead to rumination:

    • Stressors (kids, work, relationship, money)
    • A traumatic event (chronic illness diagnosis, unexpected accident/loss, natural disaster)
    • Perfectionism
    • Low self-esteem
    • Facing a fear
    • Reminders of a past mistake or failure

    2 Types of Rumination

    Repetitive thoughts or rumination with a quality of being obsessive are one of two types: reflective or brooding. Reflective rumination is a cycle of thinking focused on problem-solving. Brooding rumination is passively comparing your situation to a standard that you haven’t attained.

    Brooding usually leads to negative self-talk, which can then lead to a cycle of negative coping behaviors, such as pessimism, comparisons, worry, stress related eating, drinking, over-exercise, the list can go on and on.

    On the other hand, reflective rumination, while uncomfortable is more forward thinking. It involves thinking about how to change the situation and relieve stress, so that you can get unstuck from the repetitive thought cycle.

    How to Stop Repetitive Thoughts

    1. Gratitude

    Showing gratitude can seem far too simple and yet the research suggests that gratitude lessons repetitive thoughts. Practicing gratitude can lead to being more appreciative of difficult situations and lead to strategies that transform them into a positive. Starting a gratitude practice is simple. It could be listing three things you’re grateful for in your day before you go to sleep or saying ‘thank you’ or even smiling at someone who has helped you. Small gestures of kindness and appreciation can go a long way.

    2. Body Scan

    Body awareness can help you be in the present moment instead of focused on the past which is what repetitive thinking does. A body scan helps you locate your body in space and time as well as supporting your ability to stay grounded in the present. The next time you notice thoughts cycling in your brain, do a quick body scan. You can start with your feet or at the top of your head. Pay attention to physical sensations – of your feet, legs torso, arms neck and head will all feel a little different. Allow the experience to ground you in the present moment and focus only on your body scan. What you’ll notice is that the repetitive thoughts quiet as you give your brain a new task to focus on.

    3. Meditation

    Consistent meditators with a long-term meditation practice report fewer instances of both rumination and depression. Meditating can help improve your emotional awareness by staying present and reducing your focus on regrets. Meditating also helps to improve self-compassion which is important when the repetitive thoughts focus on mistakes or negative situations.

    4. Stop Overthinking

    There are many studies in the psychology literature that show paying too much attention to your own thoughts leads to distress. Most people who struggle with repetitive thoughts report their thoughts are about negative situations or evaluations of their self. It’s likely that many repetitive thoughts are focused on shortcoming in your life, your ability to control your emotions, or your relationships. Mindfulness can give you some mental space and reduce overthinking so you can transform it into increased self-awareness.

    5. Self-compassion

    Rumination is often focused on a negative interpretation of a situation and self-criticism is what usually follows resulting in adding fuel to the repetitive thought cycle. The antidote be found in a self-compassion practice. The psychology research shows that a self-compassion practice makes it less likely that negative situations will lead to repetitive thoughts and depression. Another benefit of self-compassion is it can help reduce overthinking by getting you outside of yourself and connecting you with others. ​


    If you struggle with repetitive thoughts or rumination, the tips above can help you stop overthinking and break the cycle. The result is that so you feel less isolated so that you can interrupt the cycle. The first step is to take action and break the cycle, so you’re in control of your thoughts.

  • 3 Keys You Need to Practice Self-Acceptance

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    Have you heard this advice on how to practice self-acceptance?

    • love yourself regardless of your body
    • you need to love yourself and you’ll overcome your ‘trouble spots’ and learn to love them
    • you just need to (fill in the blank – work harder, practice acceptance, stop focusing on the negative, etc.) a little more

    If I had a penny for every time a client has told me some version of one of the statements above…

    It seems that this type of advice makes logical sense. But the problem is that it treats your body as a thing or object that you can easily change. It’s like you’re a sculptor and your body is a lump of clay that’s easily shaped, molded and manipulated.

    But you’re most likely not a sculptor and your body probably isn’t easily changed either.

    The reality is that you’re more than your body. Your mind and body can’t be separated and as much as you may try to treat your body as if you can mold it at will, the further down the road of disappointment you’ll find yourself.

    Developing a self-acceptance based on calm and clarity is the fuel for a self-relationship that moves you to what you want in life.

    Although you may have a guess, it’s impossible to know what someone is thinking or what their beliefs are. It’s possible for them to remain private.

    What isn’t private is another person’s body.  You might even have a judgment or two based on your observation.  

    In modern society, the boundaries about what is okay to comment or what is okay to wear or even what is the acceptable language to use in describing the body isn’t clear either. Yet, all of these things do communicate something.

    We see this daily from pop stars wearing costumes as bare as the censors will allow, to detailed discussions of meal and workout play-by-plays on social media, to commercials selling the idea of, “I’m so bad eating this decadently sinful treat!”

    It is through your body that you experience life in the form of shape, texture, color, vibrance, pleasure and pain. When you practice self-acceptance – all of your life – the full catastrophe as Zorba said in the movie Zorba the Greek, you have a fantastic chance of being happy.

    Who decides what’s acceptable?

    We’re also bombarded with images—visual and mental—of what is the correct, most desirable, perfect shape to strive to become. It comes from the media as well as family and cultural ideas about what’s best.

    The question is, who’s in charge of deciding what this should be?

    It is common to make assumptions about who’s healthy and who isn’t based on snap judgements about appearance. Sometimes you might even do this in your thoughts about your own body.

    One of the challenges in modern society is figuring out how to trust your self-knowledge when there is so much conflicting information available.

    Too many choices, coming at you really fast makes for feeling overwhelmed and unclear.

    The good news is that the process of change is directly opposite!

    Lasting change takes time.

    Change requires you to disconnect from the judgements you have and instead allow yourself to be in a state of curiosity.

    The most important place to start from is self-acceptance.  Now, don’t click away, that’s not code for – “let yourself off the hook.” Let me explain…there’s more than meets the eye here!

    Acceptance does NOT mean:

    • stagnation
    • giving up your goals
    • learning to love where you are right now regardless of your desire to change

    Life is constantly moving and shifting and so are you. You can change your life, your body, your relationships, how you talk to yourself and many more things in life at any time, so you can practice self-acceptance.

    Self-acceptance is a process

    What acceptance means will change over time as you grow.  It means integrating where you are right now while keeping your focus on the bigger goals you have for your life!

    The purpose of acceptance is to help you get from where you are today and pointed in the direction of greater consciousness and growth.

    With the increased consciousness you can thoughtfully plan with care and kindness.

    The benefit is that the changes you make are more refined and speak to what you truly want…the possibilities are endless.

    Making conscious change

    Conscious change is a process that works best with a focused step-by-step approach.

    It can look like:

    • learning
    • integrating
    • experimenting with what works or what doesn’t
    • shifting and adjusting
    • acclimating to the new reality

    When you get off track and lose sight of the big picture where patience, kindness and acceptance reside you can over-focus on specific results as proof of failure rather than a step along the way to creating the life you want.

    Immediate results would be nice, however what you learn about yourself in the struggle to figure it out will help you get what you need – faster!

    Ask yourself this question from time to time: how has your life improved, even when you make small changes?

    Conscious change allows you to focus on small changes, step by step. It helps you to keep you motivated so you continue adjusting what you’re doing so that you continually iterate, even if it takes a while.

    How people change

    In the past 30 years or so there has been much research and development published about change, the process of change and what motivates people to change.

    The Transtheoretical Model of Change was founded by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente (for more information look here) and is systematically and practically applied with Motivational Interviewing, founded by William Miller and Stephen Rollnick (for more information look here).

    The Model of Change, while initially used to understand how to help people struggling with substance abuse stay on the road to recovery, has been expanded. Professionals in health, business, conflict resolution, etc. also find the stages helpful to understand how people make changes and what helps at each stage of change to stay on course.

    For most people struggling with stress eating—those who have dieted and dieted and dieted and want to get off that particular merry-go-round—the insights about how people make a decision to change and what is necessary to pivot in another direction is helpful and self-acceptance is a big part of it (for more information on the decision to change look here).

    Truly looking in the mirror and being clear with where you are right now frees you from evaluation and judgement so you can practice self-acceptance and make the change you need in your life.

    There are three ways to do this – Knowing, Consciousness and Peace.

    1. Knowing

    You know that you have to do something differently for things to change and it’s painful to go through the process of change.

    When you want things to change, whether it’s for your body to be different, your relationship with food to be different or to feel like you can be present in the moment so you can change things is difficult.

    A question that helps to narrow the focus is:

    What is the most concrete thing that will lead to results you can see, feel, experience, and trust your self-knowledge, so that you can practice self-acceptance?

    Often, the answer reverts to a quick fix like a diet. “Six weeks to bikini ready” or “do this cleanse and break free from sugar cravings.” It’s enticing, but not sustainable.

    Ultimately you know that these tactics don’t lead to the long term change you really want freedom from stress, stress eating and burnout.

    It’s a challenge to keep moving forward when the path is unsure and the changes you experience are ones you only feel from the inside.

    Acceptance is the path to a long-term transformation of your relationship with your body, allowing yourself to begin where you are each day and keep moving forward.

    2. Consciousness

    Recognize where you are in the process of change and make a decision to take action.

    It takes fortitude to stay the course of the slow road to change.

    If stress eating is what you want to change, every time you log on to social media, go to the grocery store or even have lunch with a friend, you will be reminded that the process you have decided is best for you and it takes patience with yourself to stay on track.

    Trust the process, notice how you’re different today than yesterday and celebrate your success by honoring yourself – moment by moment.

    You are learning what you need to fuel you, mind, body and heart for the rest of your life.

    3. Peace

    Find what works for you and be confident in the changes you made so that you can live with peace of mind.

    Freedom is knowing that you’re in control of your life.

    In fact, you can get to a point where you no longer unconsciously give your power away.

    When you treat yourself with respect and love, you’re able to open yourself up getting stuck on short-term results becomes a thing of the past and you can self-acceptance happens.

    Self-acceptance is caring for yourself with kindness, love and compassion.

    Kindness is the pathway toward change.

    Compassion is the fuel for a more peaceful and fulfilling life.

    Self-acceptance ultimately leads to more self-love.


    For too long women, in particular, have accepted that feeling badly about their bodies and disappointment in their lives is the norm. The implication that women should accept being unhappy is madness!

    If you can take the leap of faith—that love, kindness and compassion are the fuel that will help you change and support you to be where you want to be in life—then you already have a strong, supportive foundation to accept yourself and live the joyful life you want!

  • 5 Practical Ways to Be Calm and Release Stress!

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    Be calm and release stress with these 5 science backed strategies.

    Maybe you’re feeling stressed out about the future, disappointed about a relationship, frustrated about the direction your life is going, or all of the above. These emotions can lead to an activated sympathetic nervous system. This matters because when you feel stressed or anxious it’s difficult to know how to release stress and become calm again.

    Calming stress or anxiety typically means that you’ve returned to back to your baseline level or your normal resting state called homeostasis. Most people experience a feeling of relief, fewer negative emotions, and a sense that well-being when they’re in this state.

    Stress has so many negative consequences that learning strategies to calm emotions and think clearly about your needs can have a direct positive benefit for your well-being.

    Check out these simple and effective strategies so you can be calm – no matter what happens!

    1. Mindfulness Skills

    Mindfulness-based skills can reduce anxiety and depression which are major stressors in life. Sometimes it’s a chicken or egg situation – did the stress lead to anxiety and depression or does anxiety and depression lead to increased stress? Regardless of which happened first, mindfulness helps a lot of people. Mindfulness isn’t helpful for everyone and can result in negative experiences, so if you find it’s not for you there are other options. But, when it works, it is a great tool to be calm and release stress. Often, mindful meditations are guided, which helps us stay focused on your breathing and not on the thoughts that lead to more anxiety, depression or stress.

    2. ​Thought Stopping

    It’s normal and even helpful to think about the difficulties in life. You might replay a horrible interaction we had with someone over and over again in your mind. Or you might keep going over what you would do if the worst happened. This can help you figure out what you need to do in the future to repair the hurt and hopefully prevent it in the future. But at some point, going over and over it like a stuck record becomes rumination or uncontrolled repetitive thought cycles.

    Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to stop. There is a saying, “neurons that fire together, wire together.” Basically, this means that your thoughts can become habits and it becomes easier for your brain to keep thinking in the same way. So, when you decide you want to break out of negative thought patterns, it can be difficult.

    One of the best ways to stop repetitive thoughts is to shift the brain by focusing on something else. Forcing the brain to stop—rarely works but action does. Your brain needs to have something to do for it to change. Distraction that is attention getting can’t help but shift the focus. Taking a cold shower or going for a brisk walk can grab your attention and work well. Science suggests that these strategies do help calm us down. You can try other things as well – reading, watching a movie or video, calling a friend, engaging in an artistic hobby, listening to music. There are many more, the key is to find an activity that captures your attention (fyi – you may need to try several to find one that works).

    3. Journal

    Journaling daily about emotional experiences can result in small and yet meaningful improvements in both mental and physical health. ​Repetitive thoughts about the past, playing it over and over again in your head is unhelpful, sometimes writing about a painful experience helps to get it out of your head. This seems to be freeing and breaks the cycle which might be why journaling can be such a useful tool.

    Other types of journaling can help increase your ability to be calm and release stress too. Gratitude journaling is another type of journaling that the research shows is beneficial for your well-being. When you shift your focus to what you’re grateful for, you can decrease negative emotions and increase positive emotions that can result in feeling calmer.

    4. Yoga

    Yoga has been a popular activity for mental and physical wellness for many years. It can help with your physical wellbeing by increasing your movement. It increases your flexibility and as well relax tense muscles. It’s also a way to calm and relax the body and mind together. The calming effect of yoga, something practitioners have known for centuries is confirmed by current research. Doing yoga regularly can lower cortisol levels, which is a hormone that increases when stressed. If yoga helps you feel good, it can also support your mind and body as you calm down stress and anxiety.

    5. ​Practice Acceptance

    Relaxation techniques like those described above can help to prevent and/or lower negative emotional experiences. But, for some people they can paradoxically increase negative emotional experiences. Mindfulness, yoga, journaling isn’t for everyone. Sometimes the solution is to practice acceptance and passivity (versus control) over the body and mind. This is to say that instead of focusing on the outcome – less stress- we need to focus on the process – do the calming or relaxing strategies improve your quality of life? For example, instead of taking deep breaths with the expectation of an immediate result, ‘am I calm yet,’ focus on being present, allow yourself to experience your emotions as they happen, and then resolve in their own time.

    In Sum

    Sometimes stress relief seems like it’s a distant goal but simplifying makes it easier. Practical tools support you to be calm and release stress can be as simple as paying attention, shifting your attention, getting ‘it’ out of your mind or even allowing yourself to accept the fact that stress happens and feelings can be both intense and diffuse. Tell me, which strategy do you think you’ll try?

  • 5 Ways to Stop Overthinking – Be in The Present Moment

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    Has anyone ever told you to stop overthinking things?

    I know that I’ve heard it a few thousand times! That might be an exaggeration, but probably not! In this article learn 5 simple steps that I take to stop overthinking and be present.

    You’ll know if you’re overthinking when you experience repetitive and unproductive thoughts – like your mind is on a merry-go-round that keeps circling around and around. The challenge is that overthinking keeps you focused on one thing. That one thing is usually what you’re unsure about and at the same time you’re invested in a particular outcome – that you can’t control.

    Since thoughts are focused in many different ways, the research has generally made the distinction between rumination which is focused on the past and worry which is focused on the future. No matter which word you use overthinking tends to loop around the same thought and there isn’t a resolution to what you’re overthinking. In fact, the overthinking loop is what keeps the cycle of thoughts running in your mind.

    One of the most frustrating things about overthinking is that it doesn’t get you any further and is generally just not helpful. A good way to know if you’re overthinking is when you recognize that you are stuck thinking about the same thing over and over again but your thinking doesn’t lead to a solution.

    Overthinking tends to follow a pattern

    Re-evaluating the past

    Rumination is the term often used by researcher that includes repetitive thoughts about the past (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991). Regrets (feeling badly about an event or missed opportunity) and resentments (anger about an experience) also fit within this area. Many people are disappointed that they didn’t pursue a different path in life or are angry about how they were treated in a relationship. But one of the things I hear a lot in my practice is when client’s keep thinking about something they said. It might be second guessing how a comment might be perceived or judging themselves about a comment and feeling embarrassed about it. No matter what your overthinking the past is about, the truth is that it’s not helping you to be present or confidently move toward your future.

    Be in the present moment

    Does overthinking lead to being stuck today? Many people overthink the present and it leads to feeling like they’re in quicksand. It could be that you question your choices and how they led to your current life circumstances, relationships or work.  Typically, this results in more stress and feeling less fulfilled in life.

    Your relationship with yourself is based on the thoughts you think about yourself, your life and the people in the present moment. Do you allow yourself to experience your life positively or overthink and focus on perceived flaws and mistakes? If so, this is an opportunity to reassess where you are in the present moment so that you can choose your next steps.

    Controlling the future

    Overthinking your future is what’s usually described as worry. Worry can be either short term or long term. Short term worry is something like not waking up when your alarm goes off two hours early to catch a flight or text anxiety – did I study enough or even the correct material. Long term worries might be, will I have enough money and be healthy enough to enjoy my retirement?

    Overthinking signals a problem

    When overthinking happens it’s a signal that there’s a problem and you don’t yet know how to solve it.  You might have thoughts –

    • I’m not happy with my career is it the job or me?
    • Is my partner my soulmate or is a soulmate even a real thing?
    • Is there a way for me to feel confident about my finances?

    While these are great questions to ask yourself, overthinking clouds or even prevents you from making decisions that lead to answers. van Randenborgh and colleagues found that rumination- replaying thoughts from the past, negatively affected decision-making. Participants in their study found making decisions more difficult and feeling less confident in the decisions they made (2010).

    Research has found that negative thinking is strongly associated with overthinking (Segerstrom et al., 2000). Another study found that, future-focused worry is associated with increased anxiety and thinking ability (McLaughlin et al., 2007). And lastly, research suggests that changing overthinking that leads to worry can reduce anxiety since they are interrelated (Gana et al., 2001).

    How to Stop Overthinking

    1. Relaxation techniques

    Not only can overthinking increase stress and anxiety, but it can work in reverse – anxiety can lead to increased worry – it’s a bi-directional vicious cycle. A powerful way to interrupt the cycle is to use relaxation techniques. There are many relaxation techniques you can use. One way to relax is engaging in physical activity like working out, going for a walk or practicing yoga. Another type of relaxation engages your mind and body like taking some deep breaths, practicing mediation or guided imagery.

    And then there is relaxation just because it helps you to shift out of overthinking and into being in the present moment. These techniques could be reading a good book, watching an enjoyable moving, spending time outside, talking with a neighbor, friend or family member journaling and the list could go on and on. When you notice that you’ve thought about the same thing more than once and it’s leading you to overthinking that’s the time to stop, plan some relaxation time and shift your thinking.

    2. Get some distance

    Sometimes it’s good to put a little space between you and what’s on your mind. Mindfulness allows you to take a step back from your thoughts so you can consider where you want to go with it. The ability to take an objective viewpoint of your thoughts is key to stop overthinking them. When you overthink, you can become consumed by issue you’re focusing on and lose perspective. When you realize that’s what’s happening, it’s helpful to future pace which is asking yourself, “will this be important to me in a year, five years?”

    3. Challenge yourself

    When you challenge yourself it’s easier to hold yourself accountable, so you can make changes as needed. Ask yourself, “are these thoughts helpful to me?” When you have more awareness of overthinking, you can put it into perspective and make a choice about how you’ll respond. A lot of the time overthinking is a way to pause taking action. We all have coping mechanisms, no matter how unhelpful they might be. Sometimes overthinking is a way to press the pause button and give yourself some space. Challenging yourself is one way to break through the overthinking noise and take action.

    4. Fact or fiction?

    Have you heard the phrase, “thoughts are not facts?” But we all know that at times it can feel like they are stone cold facts. Sometimes it’s helpful remember exceptions. It’s human nature to make mistakes or deviate from a habit.  When you realize that your thoughts aren’t helpful or reflect your reality it’s helpful to look for exceptions. Sometimes reminding yourself that very few things in are “always” one way or another can free you from overthinking.

    5. Spend time with a pet

    For the most part pets don’t seem to experience stress as humans do (Sapolsky, 2004). They don’t think overthink about or are embarrassed by their behavior. What they can show us is how to live in the present moment and enjoy it!


    Overthinking is not only unhelpful, but it can also actively harm your well-being by increasing stress, anxiety and negative emotional states. When you understand how overthinking functions in your life and how to stop it with the stress management skills above you have what you need to break free from the patterns that hold you back from living a fulfilling life!

  • 3 Steps to Stop Struggling with Stress Eating Right Now

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    Struggling with stress eating may go something like this…

    If I could…

    …find the right way to eat, I won’t have cravings.

    …gain some more willpower, I would be stronger and I could resist my urges.

    …detox from addictive/sugary foods, I would be free.

    …stick with something long enough for it to take.

    just get to the bottom of why I struggle with stress eating, I wouldn’t have a food problem.

    What’s so wrong with this way of thinking?

    These all seem like reasonable thoughts, if you buy into a diet mentality that focuses on food being the problem.

    But, when we’re working on healing stress eating from the viewpoint of Conscious Eating, it’s a whole other world out there!

    Fortunately, it’s a world of helpful information, growth oriented and focused on healing your relationship with yourself, food and your body.

    Struggling with stress eating isn’t about food

    The struggle with stress eating begins with a shift away from focusing on food. Instead, developing a richer awareness of your emotions, what to do with them and how to calm your mind and body is the pathway to long-term change so you don’t need stress eating anymore.

    You probably have a pretty good idea about what “healthy” eating is. Since you’re reading this online, you have access to lots of great nutritional information from a variety of sources here and here.

    The old way of thinking is that if you get the nutrition just right, you’ll have more control, but it doesn’t work like that. It’s an illusion that information instills motivation. The illusion leads to a belief that you’ll stop struggling with stress eating by changing what you eat.

    Relationships are complicated

    If it was this easy you would have accomplished this already. Relationships are complicated and your relationship with food and stress are both multi-layered. And, when you combine the two the layering is doubled!

    The problem is that making sense of emotional experiences and translating them into language or feelings is sometimes complicated. But, when it’s difficult to quickly make sense of the feeling this is when struggling with stress eating happens. Stress eating is calming and when you can think of it as one way to calm yourself, it can help to relieve some of the shame, guilt or regret about it so that you can explore other ways to calm and feel better without mindlessly stress eating.

    A lot of the time getting specific about how you feel is what helps. On the surface – ‘I’m mad or angry’ states how you feel. But, to prevent stress eating you’ll need to put a finer point on it like; ‘I’m feeling frustrated and disappointed that my thoughts and feelings aren’t being acknowledged and taken into account when a decision is made.’

    That level of emotional awareness requires a different type of response than one that is simply ‘anger.’ It requires you to take some time for you to focus on your needs. When you assess what you need, take into consideration what the best choice, so your stress level decreases you probably won’t be thinking about food too much.

    If your attention does shift to food, it could be for comfort, distraction, habit, etc. That’s okay since now you know what you need and you have the ability to choose to eat or not.

    You can assess your hunger or fullness.

    You can consciously assess if you want to eat and consider how you might feel and if it will help you. This is where you can freely choose if it’s wanted you want or if there’s something else that would feel better.

    The good news is that these are all decisions you are consciously making, one feeling at a time.

    This increased knowledge or awareness is at the heart of struggling with stress eating.

    When you develop the skills to calm your stress reactions you also interrupt the cycle of stress eating.  And as you learn more about your internal reactions and how to calm them, you’ll be well on your way not struggling with stress eating anymore.

    Emotional awareness is the antidote to struggling with emotional eating.

    Emotions can feel overwhelming, but let’s break it down into more manageable parts.

    How do you create the emotional space between yourself and food, so you can figure out what you need?

    The key to emotional mastery is learning the skills for greater emotional awareness, so you reduce your stress and prevent any struggling with stress eating before it starts.

    3 ways to change your relationship with stress and stop struggling with stress eating.

    1. Reconnect with your sense of calm.

    There’s a part of you, no matter how small or how long it’s been since you’ve experienced it, that can feel a sense of calm. At least once a day, create some space to be quite and notice how you feel when there isn’t anything pressing happening. The idea is to create a restful, calm sense of self.

    Creating a restful place inside yourself is a process. No one is perfect and sometimes tapping into your calm place is easier than at other times.

    Calming yourself is a skill that you can learn at any time in life and it gets easier with practice.

    The goal is to give your mind and heart a little space so you can increase your emotional awareness.

    2. Identify the feeling that most frequently leads to stress eating.

    The next step is to identify the feeling or feelings you experience before struggling with stress eating.

    When you begin the process of identifying your feelings you’ll most likely think of general feelings like, mad, sad, angry which is a good starting point.

    Now that you’ve got the general feeling identified, you can spend a little time breaking it down into smaller parts. Maybe thinking about the feeling from different aspects of the feeling as you fine tune how you really feel.

    One tool a lot of my coaching clients use is to look up alternative words in a thesaurus.

    Use the thesaurus to increase your emotional vocabulary and try on, so to speak, some of the feelings. Look up the dictionary definition and see if it fits how you feel. You might even find different words as you do a little investigation into your feelings.

    The more specific the feeling, the closer you get to taking care of your emotions and struggling with stress eating less.

    This part of the process can be both a relief and fun too. It’s very freeing to know how to describe your feeling since it helps you to know what to do to feel better. It gives you direction for improving your relationship with yourself.

    3. Develop your emotional mastery plan

    Changing the way, you take care of yourself-from struggling with stress eating to identifying and managing your emotion is life changing. When you have options about how you respond to your emotions is true freedom that dissolves stress.

    You are in control, not vague and confusing feelings that lead to stress eating. The result is that you’re back in control and struggling with stress eating isn’t an issue.

    A plan for identifying your feelings can look like this:

    1. Acknowledge that discomfort you feel.
    2. Take a deep breath and give yourself some space. If it’s not an emergency, you don’t need to treat it like one, you have time.
    3. Identify are you hungry, tired, thirsty? If it’s not physical then…
    4. Identify what you’re feeling uncomfortable about – is it work, home, or your relationship with yourself?
    5. What is the “big” overall feeling? This feeling could be the overall summary of how you’re feeling.
    6. You can then break it down into smaller more nuanced feelings and see if something more specific fits.
    7. Think about what you need and what type of self-care will help you move forward and take action for your well-being.
    8. Ask yourself do you need to open up to more possibilities?
    9. Is a conversation with someone needed?
    10. Do you need to use a different set of skills when the feeling comes around again?

    As you read this in protocol it’s a very linear step-by-step list. But as we know emotions aren’t that structured at all! They are messy and confusing and may feel very strong one instant and then morph into something else a few minutes later.


    The process for identifying your feelings is often one of mulling things over time. You can come back to it when you realize another aspect later.

    As you work on your emotional mastery your ability to name your emotions and calm them will get easier, faster and a lot less stressful.

  • Calm Your Mind with 5 Science Backed Strategies

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    Read on to discover science-backed strategies to help you calm your mind for more piece of mind.

    When you calm your mind, do you have peace of mind? Most of my coaching clients want to be in a state of calmness or tranquility and they also want to have the confidence that they can reduce stress as needed. Life is busy when you know how to manage daily stress it helps to have freedom from worry and anxiety. When your mind is overwhelmed with too many thoughts and feelings, it can be intense and stressful. A calm, relaxed, and content mind is just what’s in order!

    There’s a lot of research that gives many ideas or options on how to decrease stress and calm your mind. When your sympathetic nervous system is activated, it releases of cortisol, and other stress hormones catecholamines norepinephrine and epinephrine (Charmandari, Tsigos, & Chrousos, 2005). If you know what helps you to stay in a calm and relaxed state the stress hormones remain at a moderate level, which help your brain and body to experience fewer consequences of stress.

    There are a number of ways to reduce stress. Fortunately, there are also a number of science-supported ways to calm your mind.

    Here are five powerful ways to calm your mind and feel less stressed:

    1. Practice Visualization

    When your mind is full of stress, commitments and must-dos, it is helpful to exchange your thoughts with a more soothing state of mind. One way to do this is with visualization. For example, you can imagine yourself on a sandy beach, enjoying the sunshine on your face and a slight breeze carrying the scent of tropical flowers. This type of imagery can give you a little break and remind you that you have control over your thoughts.

    What’s great about visualization is that when you imagine situations, your brain reacts in very similar ways as if those things are happening in real time in your life right now. So, when you visualize a calming situation or image, some parts of your brain think it’s real. The result is that you begin to feel the emotions the visualization evokes for you (Quoidbach, Wood, & Hansenne, 2009). If you want to have a calm mind, imagine a scenario that cultivates peace of mind and assess how you feel.

    2. Practice Mindfulness

    Mindfulness is one of the most popular ways to slow down, put the brakes on a racing mind, lower anxiety, and help you be in the present moment. Many people do mindful meditations to calm stress and anxiety on a regular basis. Although mindful meditation isn’t a good fit for everyone (Krick & Felfe, 2019), it is useful tool to try it out and see if it has a calming and clarity inducing effect for you. Guided meditations, in particular, can help you stay focused with the meditation enough to experience beneficial results.

    3. Listen to Binaural Beats

    Research had shown that listening to calming music reduces cortisol for many people. As a reminder, cortisol is one of the key stress hormones (Khalfa et al., 2003). In addition, there is compelling research suggesting that there are benefits of listening to music with binaural beats. Binaural beats are when two tones with slightly different frequencies are played one beat in one ear and the other beat in the other ear. The research shows that listening to binaural beats before working on a task helps to improve performance. They might also help to calm the mind (Garcia-Argibay, Santed, & Reales, 2019).

    4. ​Go Outside

    One of the best ways to calm the mind is to go outside and breathe the fresh air. Getting outside no matter if it’s into the forest, a park, even your own backyard is beneficial for your well-being (Ulrich & Parsons, 1992). Whether it’s because of the fresh air, sunlight, or breathing in the scent of trees (all of which are good for our health), it doesn’t matter. What the research shows is that being outside helps calm and soothe both your mind and body.

    5. ​Do Things You Love

    If you’re prone to feeling the effects of stress it’s easy to get stuck feeling anxious when your life provides you with little inspiration, excitement, or fulfillment. Luckily, you have a lot of power to change this point of view of your life. What you’ll need is to do more of the things you love. Maybe you love painting, cooking, playing softball, playing with your pet, or watching old movies. Whatever it is, when you do things that make you feel good, you dissolve some of the negative thoughts and emotions that clutter your minds.


    When you calm your mind, it often leads to peace of mind. Building a foundation that supports you on a regular basis to keep stress low is important. Equally important are skills that you can easily use when life happens and your stress level increases. One thing I know is that the ability to calm your mind is one that keeps giving dividends year after year!