Knowledge

  • Top 10 Habits To Be More Calm Every Day

    Top 10 Habits to Be More Calm Everyday

    top 10 habits to be more calm every day

    Feeling good comes from experiencing less stress and more calm and the tiniest bit of success at this, as soon as possible helps to stay motivated. When you use these 10 habits to be more calm every day, you life changes!

    Habits that motivate you to keep going and building on each success is like a snowball the magically grows with each new day.

    As you begin the process and start experiencing progress it might be difficult to trust that it will last. Others might not notice your changes, but you know what you’ve accomplished and find valuable because you see it in yourself. The challenge comes when you need to trust that you have your own best interests in your heart and stay on the path of calm and clarity.

    These are the actions that can take you to the path of greater self-awareness as you grow in your relationship with yourself where you know what you want and need and you go after it!

    Here are the top 10 ways to connect with yourself and create a calmer life.

    1. Get Moving - a simple walk around the block can help

    Physical activity is one of the most common recommendations for feeling better - because it works! Countless studies have shown that improved physical and psychological health happens through movement. A simple as a walk around the block helps goes a long way. It shifts your perspective, interrupts negative thoughts and gets your blood flowing.

    2. Talk it out - use your words to give your feelings life

    Talk it out to yourself, a friend, the dog, etc. Sometimes we really just need to hear ourselves out loud. As you hear yourself it’s easier to uncover the thoughts and feelings just under the surface. You get clear on your own internal process, how you view the situation and what you feel. Abstract thoughts become more concrete, so that options about what you can do with them become clear.

    3. Create - creativity helps the mind open up

    The act of creating something, anything, helps you to think differently. Keep supplies on hand, so when you need to create, you have them available. In a pinch, all you really need is a piece of paper and a pencil. Scribble, draw, make patterns, etc. Just get the creativity flowing. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece since that’s not the point anyway. Leave perfectionism out of it. Your goal is to introduce more flexibility into your capacity for problem-solving and creativity helps.

    4. Eat - if you’re hungry you need food!

    Not everyone experiences hunger in the same way. Emotional or stress eating might mask the early stages of hunger. It could be that increased anxiety and irritability are early hunger signs that come before your stomach starts to rumble. Give yourself a minute to check in and see if you need nourishment to refuel. If you do, eat a well-balanced nourishing meal, preferably without looking at a screen while you eat. Enjoy your food and the experience of taking good care of yourself.

    5. Companionship - seek out community

    We are social beings and sometimes we just need to be with others. Spending time with a friend can take your mind off your current worries for a bit. It’s a break that can get you out of your head and the all-consuming thoughts that lead to emotional exhaustion and overwhelm. Your troubles won’t disappear and most things in life aren’t emergencies, it’s okay to give yourself some space and shift your focus for a while.

    Being with others and listening to their challenges will remind you that no one in life escapes difficulties. We’re all in this together and being together helps to shift your mindset from, “No one understands what I’m going through,” to “we’re all more alike than different and we all have struggles.”

    6. Entertainment - do something just for fun

    Escape! Yes, escape into something just for fun.

    • When was the last time you laughed just because something silly happened?
    • Or when was the last time you played a game, just because you like it?
    • When did you watch your favorite movie?

    Push the pause button and allow yourself to let go of seriousness and have a laugh.

    7. Journal - write it out to get it out

    Journaling has a long track record of helpfulness. In fact, it’s one of the time-tested ways of getting to know yourself. You can write it out in note form, bullet journaling with colorful pens and drawings and freewriting is always an option. The point is that writing out how you feel helps you organize your experience, clarify your ideas and stop them from cycling through your thought process without examination. You may even generate ideas and plans that take you where you want to go.

    8. Plan for your needs  and take care of yourself

    Take the time to slow down, stop thinking about the others and put yourself in the equation. What is it that you need right now? What do you think you will need later today? It can be as simple as going to bed earlier, having a cup of tea, paying a bill, making an appointment, getting a new pair of shoes, etc.  Feeling less stressed for having accomplished the task is the goal. Think about your needs and put them on the agenda of, the people you take care of list.

    9. Clearly identify your feelings - know what you’re dealing with

    Sad, Mad, Glad. These all mean different things to different people and I bet you can refine your feelings even more. You can begin by thinking about all of the feelings surrounding the first one that pops into your head. Sad can be broken-down further to include, disappointed, regretful, grieving, gutted, isolated, lonely, etc. The feelings you name give you more information about what you need to feel better. They give you direction.

    10. Take some quiet time - take some time out for yourself

    Allow yourself quiet time to sit through the distractions. Take some time to sit and be still. It will take practice. Turn off the distractions. Allow yourself to experience just nothing. Start off small and take your time. Experience what it’s like for 3 minutes, then try 6 minutes, then 9 minutes. Some days will be easy and some days will be next to impossible to quiet yourself and that’s okay.

    This list is just a beginning to help you get started. There are many supportive and nurturing ways to care for yourself.

    Life will happen and it will often interrupt your calm vibe!

    Conclusion

    Establishing these habits now helps to have what you need in place when stress flares up, so you’re calm every day!

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    5 Minutes to Calm & Clarity Guide

    It's your magic wand for stress!

  • How To Create A Reservoir of Inner Calm

    5 steps to create a reservoir of inner calm

    5 easy steps to create a reservoir of inner calm

    This article gives you five strategies on how to create a reservoir of inner calm which you can draw from when stressful situations arise. Since we can’t control when stress spikes, we can plan what to do when it does so when your patience is in short supply, you know just what to do.

    How many situations that test your level of patience in a day? If you are like most people, you have likely lost count, but this article will teach you how to ride out the calm in the eye of the storm.

    The secret to staying calm when you are in a state of stress is to hold your immediate reaction, even if it’s for a brief moment to regroup. The secret here is to rehearse. Your brain will do what it can to protect you by either fleeing, fighting or freezing, as if the treat is a mortal one. But that’s not what we’re talking about right now.

    Everyday stress like, traffic, work deadlines, your child can’t find the charger to his Chromebook and you needed to leave for school – ten minutes ago – we all have countless examples! Times of everyday stress are when you can safely hold your immediate reaction, so you can thoughtfully choose your response.

    Reservoir of inner calm

    All you need to do is start to build a reservoir of calm and use it as needed. It doesn’t need to be filled before you start. If that was the case it would never happen because the everyday stressors do not stop for anyone.

    There isn’t a finite supply inner calm. In fact, you’ll keep adding to your reserves as you grow in your ability to create space between you and the effects of stress.

    Here are five ways you can increase your reservoir of inner calm.

    1. Increase your emotional mastery

    Emotional mastery is the ability to identify what you’re feeling, what happens when you feel it and then take action, so the emotion moves through you instead of getting stuck.

    The practice of emotional mastery is what builds resilience. It’s your guide for what you need to feel better. It takes the work of thinking about it and strategizing your plan. You already know what helps you and you can do it right away and the byproduct is inner calm.

    2. Begin a daily mindful practice

    Being present with the world around you is grounding. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of life and lose yourself. For many of my clients, this is what prevents them from moving forward and reaching their goals.

    When you are feeling alone and out of control, it is important that you take time out of your day to meditate, be quiet and disconnect from “doing.” Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has often said that we are more like human doings than human beings.

    A daily mindfulness practice can be as individual as you are. It might be sitting quietly for five minutes or an hour or something in between. Or it might be walking and practicing your awareness of the birds, the sunlight on the tree leaves or the breeze on your cheek. It could also be doing something where you lose yourself in the process, like in a creative practice – drawing, painting, quilting, knitting, etc. The point is to disconnect from information coming into your being and connect with your internal sense of yourself.

    3. Challenge negative thinking

    Everyone has negative thoughts that creep into their head throughout the day, but it is how you deal with them that matters. When you feel yourself moving down the road of negativity, it is time to take a step back and identify the emotion that sparked those thoughts.

    By challenging negative thinking, you will begin to use the thoughts to help you shift your perspective. Even if you’ve felt this way for a long time, it is possible to regain your inner calm and peace.

    4. Limit negative influences

    “You are a product of your environment,” is a common saying for a reason! It is important to surround yourself with people and in environments that encourage growth and positive thinking.

    When you cut out the negative influences from your life, you will feel a sense of freedom and weight lifted. By choosing to eliminate those who drag you down, you will be able to open up new avenues for personal growth.

    One very important aspect of this is to also ensure, as much as you can that your environment is calming. Home is a place of respite, but not always. Clearing your space (home, car, purse, office, garage, etc.) of clutter is very important. A fancy car is nice, but a clean car you feel good in is great. Same idea with your house, it’s wonderful if you have the resources to live in a picture-perfect space, but most of us don’t. Living in a house free from clutter and disorganization – helps to keep your reservoir of inner calm full!

    5. Remove yourself from the situation

    It can be easy to get caught up in stressful situations that seem impossible to escape. Not getting caught up, means establishing a boundary between yourself and the situation.

    It can be frustrating when you are removed from a situation that you are trying to change. But there are times when it is more beneficial for you to take a break or even realize that you’ve done all you can and you may need to make a different choice.

    Conclusion

    The goal of this article is to provide you with five helpful strategies to fill your reservoir of inner calm. You can experience less stress in your life so you have more time and energy for what you really want! Really, isn’t that a big part of clearing stress, to live a mindful and fulfilling life?

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    5 Minutes to Calm & Clarity Guide

    It's your magic wand for stress!

  • 3 Ways Self-knowledge Makes You Emotionally Strong

    3 Ways Self-knowledge Makes You Strong

    3 ways self-knowledge makes you emotionally strong

    We are often blind to what our emotions are trying to tell us and they are the basis for self-knowledge. It can be hard to pay attention when your head is piled high with tasks, appointments, and the endless list of everyday worries that seem impossible to solve.

    Yet, when we pay attention and develop a deeper awareness, we have everything we need to make choices that move our lives in alignment with our needs and desires.

    It is impossible to say how much of this is a natural or an acquired ability, but it has been part of humankind’s evolutionary process since the beginning.

    We evolved to be aware of our environment and learn from our experiences to create a future full of purpose. This means that, without self-knowledge, your life will end up being filled with regret and regret leads to suffering. The longer you put off pursuing self-knowledge, the more times you’ll have to reinvent the wheel only end up making things worse.

    The process is simple. At the same time, it requires you to be patient with yourself. When you’re unsure, it takes time to figure it out what you’re feeling rather than making a snap judgement that isn’t really accurate. This is how self-knowledge makes you emotionally strong.

    Here is your 3 part recipe to increase your self-knowledge and emotional strength.

    Here is your 3-part recipe to increase your self-knowledge and emotional strength.

    1. Identify your emotions.

    When you are uncertain of yourself, introspection is the way to go.

    Identify the emotions you are experiencing at the moment. What is your gut feeling? Your breath? Your heart?

    Characteristics of an emotion include clarity, intensity, and pleasure or pain. If you don’t know what an emotion feels like, here are some examples for you to explore more closely:

    Anxiety – The immediate sense of irritation that may be present when faced with a particular situation.

    Disillusioned – The feeling that everything is not as good as it seems.

    Excited – A state of intense arousal, often with an accompanying sense of joy.

    Sad – A feeling of discomfort lacking clarity. It’s more like a vague melancholy.

    Anger – Clear sensations in your body signaling the need to take action and be defensive against certain situations.

    Joy – The highest and most enjoyable emotion experienced by humans. It is a state of permanent happiness and contentment felt after great success or accomplishment.

    It’s important to be as specific as possible with your emotions. This is one of the times in life where nuance matters a lot. Clarity about your internal state makes a difference. It’s too easy to get swept up in the immediate emotion put it in a broad category when really, it might be something much more subtle.

    Take for example anger and sadness. Many people become angry when they’re sad. They don’t want to experience loss and instead become angry as a way of pushing the feeling away.

    I’ve had this experience when I moved across country.

    I didn’t really want to move, in fact I loved where I lived and often thought, “man I love it here.” But, when it came time to begin the moving process, I started to pick out all of the flaws and justify why it would be better to live elsewhere. I pushed away the fond feelings for a place I loved as a way of making it easier to focus on the future.

    This process prevented me from acknowledging my experience of loss and the sadness I felt. Instead of letting go, feeling sad and being in the present I was misaligned with myself. In the end, it made the transition more difficult and take longer than expected to settle into the new location.

    2. Put your experiences into context.

    Make a short list of 3 moments of your life that made you feel strong.

    When you are doing this exercise, pay attention to the emotions that are present during each of the three experiences.

    What emotions were present for these three events? What characteristics did they have?

    Once you have this information at hand, it’s time to put them into context. As if you were explaining your life story to someone new, explain each of these three moments. This exercise requires a non-judgmental outlook – it’s just the observable information, not an evaluation of them.

    It’s helpful to make a note for yourself, on your phone, in a journal or a sticky note that you put somewhere so you can see it often. Reminders like this help you to keep the emotion and experience top of mind, so it becomes part of what you do during the day.

    This is another way that self-knowledge makes you strong.

    Make a short list of 3 moments of your life that made you feel strong.

    When you are doing this exercise, pay attention to the emotions that are present during each of the three experiences.

    What emotions were present for these three events? What characteristics did they have?

    Once you have this information at hand, it’s time to put them into context. As if you were explaining your life story to someone new, explain each of these three moments. This exercise requires a non-judgmental outlook – it’s just the observable information, not an evaluation of them.

    It’s helpful to make a note for yourself, on your phone, in a journal or a sticky note that you put somewhere so you can see it often. Reminders like this help you to keep the emotion and experience top of mind, so it becomes part of what you do during the day.

    This is another way that self-knowledge makes you strong.

    3. Determine what your future plans need to be.

    What would you do differently if you knew what your emotions were telling you?

    Simply imagine yourself in the future.

    If you know what was going on inside of you at the time, would this future change?

    Which ones?

    Why?

    What do you need to do in order to bring this future about, or how can it be brought about easier or faster?

    A word of warning.

    Many people think that they can skip over numbers 1 and 2 above and go right for number 3 to create a more aligned future. But it just doesn’t work that way. It would be a lot less painful and messy if it did, but it doesn’t.

    Alignment takes time and reflection to really know yourself and your needs. Don’t shortchange yourself by moving past this quickly. Most of us were never taught anything about emotions or feelings, other than being told what is “appropriate” to feel for someone else’s convenience. There can be a lot of unpacking judgements in this phase.

    Shaping your life into one where you draw on your sense of inner calm and self-knowledge makes you emotionally strong, so you can live your life in the way that is fulfilling for you.

    It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drudgery of life and forget that we are all just one step away from creating our ideal futures.

    Conclusion

    No one is born emotionally strong.

    It’s a learned skill that you can master at any point in your life. The process is simple but takes time to know more about yourself with each step.

    1. Identify your emotions.
    2. Put your experiences into context.
    3. Plan for the future based on the two previous steps.

    Self-knowledge makes you strong and able to handle anything with clarity, alignment and grace.

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    5 Minutes to Calm & Clarity Guide

    It's your magic wand for stress!

  • 10 Ways to be strong, feel calm and have clarity

    Being strong, calm and clear are three ingredients anyone needs when they’re in the middle of challenging times.

    10 ways to be strong and feel and have clarity

    Hectic schedules, long work hours, health problems and the fast paced changes aren’t easy to handle. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are the keys to being strong, calm and clear:

    1. Breathe!

    Taking a few minutes out of every day to just breathe can change your perspective on everything around you. It puts distance between the overwhelming thoughts and emotions that may be distracting you from focusing on what’s truly important. 

    It delivers more oxygen to your brain that lowers stress and increases calming neurotransmitters for more clarity.

    2. Change your environment.

    This is a big one. When you’re around people you don’t want to be, a change is needed. 

    If your physical environment is stressful with too much clutter or noise, it can increase anxiety. Even at a low level they distract you from what you need to do. 

    Think about what you need to create the positive environment for yourself. Ask yourself, if this helping me or stopping me from doing what I need to do for my well-being?

    3. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

    Realize that others may not understand your life as well as you do. 

    Maybe, you need time and space to understand your life too?

    The first part of being calm is to understand what’s going on within yourself. Sometimes we take our first impressions and the only impression. 

    Take for instance a feeling. When someone doesn’t hold the door open for you might be irritated at first.  You might quickly think that it’s rude and the person is a jerk. Which might be true, but often we don’t have the opportunity to find out. 

    When you find your feelings linger and you wonder why you can’t shake an insignificant situation, it’s probably something else, like feeling invisible, disrespected, unimportant or any number of other feelings that need care. 

    Understanding yourself is an act of self-compassion. Which leads more calm and clarity and knowing what you need in your life.

    4. Being strong comes from self-knowledge

    Each and every one of us has a reason to be here and a purpose. Seek that purpose. 

    You may not see the story line that made you who you are yet, trust it’s there and hang on to what you do know. Your life is unfolding in ways no one can predict. 

    As you go through life, it may not be what you expected it to be. If you followed the plan. Go to school, create a good career, find the right partner, have the kids or not and then you’ll have the life you dreamed of. But when it doesn’t turn out that way it,  is when many people begin to doubt that they’re on the “right” path. I don’t think there’s a right path, just the one you’re on. 

    Each path has lots of options and you can change your direction to a path that feels more in alignment with what you need. Sometimes it takes some exploring to find out which path that it. Take each day as it comes, make wise decisions and in the end, you’ll get to where you need to be.

    5. Build a reservoir of calm

    Strength comes from building your reserves of calm and clarity

    When you know where you end and the other begins it’s easier to not let the emotions of others upset you. Emotional boundaries aren’t about being unfeeling or lacking empathy, it’s about respecting yourself and others that you each have your own experiences. 

    Your self-knowledge along with the well-being habits are skills you can learn to keep stress low and reservoir of calm full.

    6. If something is bothering you, deal with it then and there.

    Don’t put it off for tomorrow. If you let the sun set on the problems that you have today because they will only create more mind-clutter. 

    Ask yourself 3 things: 

    1. How am I feeling? 
    2. What do I need?
    3. Which action do I need to take? 

    Sometimes your answers might be, “I don’t know,” and that’s completely okay. You might need to give it a few minutes and allow yourself some space to get clear. 

    The idea is to not let it linger and avoid dealing with something that needs your attention.

    7. Clear communication with yourself and others takes time

    Use it. Don’t talk yourself out of your ideas or accept less than what you need. Don’t settle for less than what you are for the sake of convenience. 

    Being heard and understood will help you to keep growing in your relationships – with yourself and others.

    8. Choose your words wisely and be sincere even when you’re wrong.

    Don’t try to manipulate yourself or others with your words by saying something different from what is in your heart. 

    When you’re clear it’s easier to speak how you would like to be spoken to, with compassion, sincerity and integrity. 

    Remember, personal integrity is a gift you can give yourself every day.

    9. Know what’s most important to you and cherish and protect it.

    No one knows exactly what will happen; don’t put your happiness in someone else’s hands. 

    Be responsible for your own feelings and trust that others can choose to be responsible for their feelings as well. 

    You job is to take care of your well-being.

    10. The simple things matter.

    A smile, a compliment or a walk through the woods can give you the energy you need to find inner clarity and inspiration. It’s the simple things that sprinkle the day with positive feelings and bathes your brain in feel good neurochemicals. 

    It’s important to take a step back and savor those moments. They are the antidote to negativity and false positives.

    Conclusion

    Being strong, feeling calm and having clarity are all possible. 

    When life feels overwhelming and your mind is cluttered with all the things you need to do, people you need to take care of and situations that need your attention it can seem impossible. 

    There isn’t a magic wand, but there is one thing that makes a difference – it’s your relationship with yourself. 

    When self-compassion becomes a priority in your life, it leads the way to more calm, clarity and makes you strong!

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    5 Minutes to Calm & Clarity Guide

    It's your magic wand for stress!

  • How To Stop Negative Thinking From Becoming A Habit

    Self-compassion is the missing ingredient that stops the negative thinking habit.

    how to break the negative thinking habit with self-compassion

    It’s not about being selfish but rather being kind to yourself, acknowledging that it’s okay to make mistakes or feel bad sometimes.

    Self-compassion helps you treating yourself with kindness and understanding when you make a mistake or experience a difficult situation.

    Self-compassion helps you to look at the big picture. Life is full of both positive experiences and negative experiences. Self-compassion is what helps you to look at both sides of life non-judgmentally, so you can move forward with clarity and prevent a negative thinking habit.

    Courageously embracing self-compassion will change your life in many ways.

    The immediate benefits are less negative thinking, more motivation, greater resilience, and more happiness. But the ultimate goal is to fully accept ourselves as we are – which can lead us towards living a fulfilling life.

    What’s the big deal about self-compassion?

    I believe that self-compassion is crucial for success, well-being and happiness because it’s an antidote for negative thinking and poor self-esteem. It might not be the most important factor in happiness, but it’s certainly one of the most important.

    So why is self-compassion so important in our lives?

    The short answer is that it helps us to overcome negative thinking. And to do that, we need to be able to feel compassion for ourselves— when we are suffering.

    The goal of the rest of this article is not to teach you how to be compassionate towards yourself when you are suffering, but rather to provide you with the knowledge that will help you understand how self-compassion can help you overcome negative thinking and achieve your goals faster. Hopefully, the result is less suffering in your life.

    Negative Thinking

    Imagine you are in a high-pressure situation where you can’t understand what’s going on and no one is willing to give you the answers. Think about the last time you had a client or employee who just isn’t getting what you’re communicating. You try to figure out how to communicate more effectively and yet, they blame you for not helping them get the result they want.

    As the stress and tension grows, so does your frustration and anger until finally you burst out in a rage of screaming at your family, crying and feeling life a failure too.

    Now imagine how you would feel if this happened to you. Would you feel content, happy and satisfied? Or perhaps sad, downcast and disappointed? More than likely it would be the latter. This is because we often judge ourselves very harshly on our own mistakes. When you can practice self-compassion, it helps to be more accepting yourself.

    Self-esteem

    High self-esteem doesn’t always result more motivation and success. A person with high self-esteem can still feel frustrated, disappointed and demotivated sometimes. In fact, some people with high self-esteem have a hard time overcoming their own negative thoughts and they keep on feeling frustrated or discouraged even though they believe strongly in themselves.

    Having a more realistic view of ourselves helps us to acknowledge our shortcomings while still having confidence in ourselves. This is where self-compassion comes into play.

    In psychology, the term “self-compassion” was coined by Kristin Neff, a researcher from the University of Texas. In her experiments, self-compassion has been shown to be crucial in overcoming negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves. It helps us to take a step back from our thoughts and see them for what they are – just thoughts.

    How does self-compassion help you?

    According to Kristin Neff’s research on self-compassion, it helps us in four crucial ways:

    1. It stops the vicious cycle of self-criticism.

    When you’re in a critical frame of mind, it can be hard to think about yourself in any other way. The more you beat yourself up, the more negative thoughts you have about yourself, and the more frustrated and demotivated you become.

    Many people get stuck in a cycle where they criticize themselves for not being good enough. “I don’t have what it takes to get where I want.” These thoughts can this quickly turn into a vicious cycle that keeps on going round and round.

    But sometimes we can outsmart ourselves by saying things like: “I know I haven’t been doing well lately and I’ll improve soon. I’m sure I can get better at this. I want to do better. I don’t want to give up.”

    2. It helps put things in perspective.

    When we have a positive view of ourselves, it’s easier for us to see ourselves in a calm and realistic manner instead of seeing ourselves in a negative manner that gets us down over and over again. Self-compassion allows us to be more objective when trying to resolve our problems instead of being stuck in the situation.

    The more self-compassion you have, the less you worry about things and the less often you experience negative emotional states such as anxiety, sadness and stress (Neff & Conner 2014).

    Empathy is one of the most important aspects of self-compassion, and it’s the major reason why self-compassion is so effective. Research shows that those who are more self-compassionate experience less negative emotions like anxiety and depression (Neff & Vonk 2010).

    3. It helps you be more resilient to negative events.

    A person with low self-esteem can feel bad about their self after not meeting his goals. A person with high self-esteem might not care as much. However, a person with low self-esteem can feel very discouraged and unmotivated.

    Although there is a clear link between low self-esteem and depression, there is also a link between high self-esteem and anxiety (Neff 2015). In her research, Neff found that anxiety can be reduced by practicing more compassion toward oneself. This led to less negative emotional states such as anxiety.

    This was a major finding for Neff since a major factor in the development of depression and anxiety is our negative thoughts.

    When you practice self-compassion it can help to relax us and bring us back to a more positive mindset. This can help to alleviate negative emotional states such as anxiety, frustration and sadness (Neff 2015).

    4. It helps you be motivated about your goals.

    If we judge ourselves based on our own actions, we feel like we will never be able to do anything right or achieve anything important. As a result, we feel less motivated about our goals and we give up faster. Self-compassion is a powerful motivator because it helps you to enjoy your accomplishments and learn from your failures.

    Neff found that self-compassion helps us to have a more positive mindset about ourselves and the world around us. This can lead to being more motivated to achieve your goals. When you trust yourself and look forward to achieving things with a good attitude.

    Conclusion

    Self-compassion has a direct impact on negative thinking and self-esteem. It isn’t “going easy on yourself” or “letting yourself off the hook,” so you can avoid accountability. Self-compassion helps you to view situations as they are. Which helps to improve your relationship with yourself as your life becomes less stressful and more fulfilling.

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    5 Minutes to Calm & Clarity Guide

    It's your magic wand for stress!

  • How To Stop Negative Thoughts That Result in Stress Eating

    what to do when negative thoughts result in stress eating

    I would bet that most people view stress as a negative. For my clients who struggle with stress eating that’s especially true.

    The human mind has a funny way of making things worse. When you feel that it’s going to be hard to succeed, it usually is. I’ll show how your negative thoughts manifest and I’ll give you steps to deal with them to prevent the problem. For food not to be a coping tool, you need to change those thoughts from negative to neutral. Viewing them clearly as they are and looking forward towards your future goals is the answer.

    A negative thought is not the same thing as a negative attitude.

    Most of us have experienced our share of stressful events in our lives. These can be work related or personal. The stress that comes with these negative events are often labeled as being negative thoughts, but they are both.

    Your mind can easily conjure up a scary image of what could happen if this or that happens, etc. This picture iis in your head and says; “if that’s true then I’m going to need something to eat.” And, that’s what makes it so difficult. It’s a coping mechanism.

    1. How negative thoughts work.

    So how does this work? How does the mind do that? Your mind creates a scenario that could occur if that negative thought were true. Let’s say you have been thinking negative thoughts about being fired from your job. Your could create a scenario in which you lose your home, you don’t have much money, and you become homeless. As soon as the thought comes to mind an image of what could happen appears and pressure bullds.

    Your blood starts to leave your brain. It flows down to the rest of your body, kind of like you’re a living zombie. More likely you’re not a zombie. But when you can’t think clearly because stress is flooding the areas of the brain that are associated with stress. This is what it’s like when you are try to cope with stress by eating – you are not really thinking straight. Now it’s time for coping mechanism number two-food.

    2. Food is security.

    What’s the second coping mechanism that your mind uses to cope with stress? It uses food. When you think negative thoughts about being fired from your job, the connection with food leads a desire for food. You see your mind’s picture of what could happen to you and it leads you straight to comfort food. What happens then is that instead of thinking about the future, or the present, you’re focused on how much comfort food can fulfill those feelings or needs for security because of all this stress.

    3. Food is distraction.

    The third and final coping mechanism that your mind uses to cope with stress is to eat. That’s why we see that when people suffer from stress eating, they eat comfort food-because it calms them down and takes away the stress. But the problem with eating this way because it does not resolve the issue of stress any more than rubbing a sore knee does because you still have a sore knee, only now you’ve added food to your list. The issue remains.

    Negative thoughts and stress eating solutions.

    So, how do you make this not happen to you? Here are some helpful suggestions:

    1. List your stressors.

    Make a list of all your stressors. Once the list is complete, divide them into the ones that are within your control and the ones that are out of your control. If there are any items on the list that you feel are in your control, then write down how you would try to change these things if they were yours to change. Next to each item that’s out of your control write down what it could be if it were in your control. For example, If the only thing out of your control is the weather, then write down what you can do to prepare for this. But if it’s something else, like your boss is a micro-manager, then make a list of things you can change within your work environment to make it better.

    2. List your negative thoughts.

    Write down the negative thoughts that you have most often. Once these are written down, look at them and ask yourself what they truly mean. Is there a reason why you’re thinking this? Is it true?

    Think of a time in the past when you faced similar stress and how you dealt with it. This will give you insight into what you’re thinking and why. Write down these things in your journal so that when negative thoughts come into your mind, you can look at it and ask yourself, “Is this true?”

    3. Challenge your negative thoughts.

    Finally, don’t let negative thoughts about something outside of your control go unchallenged. A positive way to deal with them is to challenge them and say to yourself, “if it were true then this would occur.” For example: “If I dropped dead tomorrow then all my friends would say they will miss me.” When this is truly true (and it might not always be) then the mind will believe it and do everything in its power to make sure that really happens.

    Conclusion

    So, remember, negative thoughts are not the same as negative attitudes. One is an attitude; one is a thought. But they are related to each other. So, if you have the attitude, “I’m negative all the time”, then that will lead you to think thoughts that are negative about things that may or may not be true. A habit of positive thinking will help you to avoid putting these negative thoughts into your mind which could lead you to harmful coping behaviors like comfort eating.

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  • How to Change Your Relationship With Stress!

    There are two ways most people think about reducing your stress:

    How to change your relationship with stress
    1. Using quick “fix” tools or strategies to push stress away.
    2. Shift the way you relate to stress.

    When you do both you have self-knowledge, tools, and skills. Which leads you to be in control of your emotions and responses to whatever happens in your life.

    Relying on “quick fix” strategies to deal with stress can leave you feeling stressed and stuck.

    Long term strategies can be so overwhelming, you can get swept up in not how to lower it right now.

    There are a lot strategies for coping with stress but what works when you need it most is the goal.

    Sustainable Stress Solutions

    A sustainable system for both quick reductions, like when someone cuts you off on the freeway. And long term, big picture way to keep your baseline level lower, like when you have small children or your business is expanding or anything else that happens over a long period of time.

    Changing your relationship so that you’re in control even when it seems like there’s no way you can be. The trite saying, the only thing we can count on is death and taxes. But I think we should also add stress to the list too. It will always be a part of life.

    Things will pop-up unexpectedly like:

    • The dog eats another sock and needs to go to the vet.
    • You’re computer crashes when you’re in the middle of a transaction.
    • Your kid needs to be picked up from school early because she has a sore throat.
    • You need to help your aging parents transition out of their home.
    • No matter how much you try, the 20 pounds you gained in lock-down isn’t going anywhere!

    So how do you change your relationship with stress and why is it a relationship anyway?

    We are always in relationship with someone or something.

    Relationships are about interactions with other and the environment. It’s true for ourselves too – we have relationships with thoughts, feelings, and actions that we take.

    We’re in the process of both experiencing and creating meaning at the same time.

    The more complex the relationship, the deeper and more important is the meaning the relationship has in our lives.

    Stress is part of our complex relationship with ourselves.

    One very effective way of dealing with stress is to understand that you are always in relationship with stress.

    Instead of trying to remove stress from your life, view it as an important part of your life. Stress is something to be aware of and always in relation to whatever else you are experiencing.

    As we all know, relationships have hundreds of different aspects operating all at once.

    Internalized Meaning

    We have internalized meanings based on all our experiences we have lived:

    • what our parents said to us
    • meaning we attached to specific emotions
    • what our parents’ beliefs are vs. our own
    • how we were treated by teachers
    • what value was placed on communicating our thoughts and feelings

    These are usually the unexamined assumptions we make about life. You might notice them when you have a judgement about someone’s decisions. 

    Take politics for example, if you have strong opinions on one side you might be completely perplexed at how the opposite side believes what they believe.

    Most likely the internalized meanings the other has are fundamentally opposed to your own internalized meanings that shape how you think the county needs to be governed.

    Externalized Meaning

    We have externalized meanings about a lot of things, like:

    • assessments from our teachers, bosses, parents, etc.
    • what we interpret others are thinking – without confirmation
    • values you receive from society, religion, work, school, etc.
    • implied meaning from laws and rules that give you a code of conduct

    Externalized meaning tells you what the larger culture’s viewpoint is on how to behave or what you should do to get along with others. Much of the time we assume that the meaning is correct and THE way to live your live.

    Sometimes they are, it’s not good to kill people and there will be both societal and personal consequences if you do. Most people will feel regretful if they kill someone. Regret may be a personal consequence, but there are exceptions to societal consequences like self-defence, war, accidents – which are all based on the meaning the external forces give to the situation.

    What changes our relationship with stress?

    The internalized and externalized meaning are what shape your relationship with specific emotions and guide you on which action to take based on the meaning. If you struggle with emotional mastery, it’s very difficult to be in alignment with what you need and want in your life, which increases your baseline level of stress. The relations with stress is one that changes all the time. You’re more likely to react out of self-protection than to mindfully make choices about what is congruent with what you need and want.

    We all need quick fixes some of the time. When you’re feeling an immediate escalation of distress or anger or fear, calming your brain as quickly as possible might what’s best. Tools, techniques, and strategies that you can rely on is what’s needed in the moment.

    The problem is that at best we’re taught quick fixes as if they are the only option. Sometimes we’re not taught anything other than, “just learn how to deal with it.” No very helpful, since there’s no instruction about what to learn!

    Stress will always be with us in some form since we have a relationship with stress.

    It’s a tension in life that can help to propel you forward to where you want to be.

    Wrapping Up

    When stress is kept at an overall lower-level burnout and overwhelm just aren’t possible.

    You can establish well-being habits that help you with quickly decrease stress spikes and to live with a lower baseline level of stress.

    If you can change the way you think about stress, love, life and its meaning you can make it work for you instead of against you. It’s different than trying to avoid, eliminate or ignore stress, it’s working with what happens in your life and making meaning that moves you forward.

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  • What is Powerful Calm?

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could reduce your stress in a few minutes? The good news is that you can.

    All it takes are three key concepts and one simple framework to get started. Powerful Calm, based on the latest research on stress relief. It provides an easy way to take control of your health and lower your levels of everyday stress. This article introduces you to the concepts and Powerful Calm framework, so you can experience stress relief for yourself.

    The Powerful Calm Formula has 3 components: emotional mastery, clear communication and well-being habits.

    It’s the formula that keeps you connected to what matters most – a satisfying and fulfilling life. This happens in all areas of your life – your family, your career and most of all yourself!

    The Power Calm framework is simple, but it’s not a band-aid!

    It gives you a guide to help you understand how to reduce your stress level and achieve what you want for your life. The Powerful Calm formula has three parts, emotional mastery, clear communication and well-being habits.  Each part of the Powerful Calm formula has its own action steps that will provide short-term and long-term benefits as they become part of your regular routine.

    Emotional Mastery

    Emotional mastery is:

    • building your mind/body emotional vocabulary
    • increasing curiosity about your emotional needs
    • using your knowledge to take care of yourself.

    What emotional mastery gives you is the knowledge about what you need for your own well-being. The result is the ability to choose how to respond to any situation, rather than allowing those situations to control you.

    When you become a master of your emotions you gain understanding of the emotional intensity of your experiences.

    This is important because it’s easier to respond in a way the matches your emotional need in the moment. Matching your need is important to move through challenging emotions more easily and enjoy pleasant emotions more. Whether you are feeling anxious, angry, or calm and happy the power to control your reactions is within reach.

    The choice about how you respond rather than being controlled by your emotions is where you find you power – it’s the ultimate self-control!

    Emotional mastery goes beyond assuming accountability for the situation or outcome. It helps you to  understanding what led up to the emotional response and where you can go from there.

    Emotional mastery is the foundation of clarity.

    When you’re cluttered with emotions or stuck on one, it’s difficult to move forward. However, when you master your emotions push them away with immediate mindless reactions. You can take your time and mindfully choose how you need to respond

    Clear Communication

    Every relationship needs effective communication in order for it to thrive. In fact, lack of communication can undo what you’ve learned about emotional mastery and well-being habits in the first place!

    The most important person to be clear with is yourself!

    No fluff or excuses, just self-compassion and accountability.

    The power of strong self-talk can help reduce stress levels in all situations, especially those where the stakes are high, or emotions run hot.

    Effective communication with yourself is being honest and having a conversation without getting too worked up about things that don’t matter, so you can respond to a situation congruently.

    Sometimes it’s taking the perspective of an observer and have the conversation with yourself like you would your most cherished friend.

    • Strong and loving
    • Kind and firm
    • Compassionate and honest

    You can only be clear with others and get your needs met when you’re first clear with yourself. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. You’re there all the time in your own head, so why not make it the most pleasant relationship?

    Clear communication is a skill you can develop at any time in your life

    Well-being Habits

    Most of the time we think we’re doing okay. Your head is above water, no matter how hard you’re kicking to stay that way. You’re fine and everything is under control, but then something happens, maybe a work deadline or an argument with your significant other.

    For most of my clients, stress has become such a big part of their lives without them even realizing. What leads them to seeking help is that the automatic stress reactions begin to have a negative impact on their lives.

    • Being short with others
    • Long-term irritability
    • stress eating/drinking/over-exercise/no exercise/not enjoying life

    Emotional mastery and clear communication give you the ability to respond to stress instead of immediately reacting. When you master your emotions mindlessly, impulsively over or under reacting doesn’t happen anymore.

    Well-being habits aren’t about becoming someone else or changing who you are, they’re about being open to change and making small changes over time that have a big impact.

    Well-being habits are:

    • meditation/quiet time/reading/listening to music
    • mind/body practice like walking, yoga, stretching
    • connected conversations

    These are just a few examples. Well-being habits are more than flossing every day, they are habits that enhance your connection with yourself and the people in your life.

    Like any good habit they become part of the way you live your life because you receive so much benefit from them. And an extra bonus is that those around you benefit too.  You’ll become a leader in living a mindful anti-stress lifestyle.

    When you recognize the power of well-being habits, it’s easier to become proactive in doing simple things each day that will help bring more calm into your life.

    Wrapping up

    Power Calm is a simple framework to support your stress reduction and increase well-being with emotional mastery, clear communication, and well-being habits.

    With the Powerful Calm Formula small changes in your thinking, behavior, and connection with yourself can make a huge difference in your stress level.

    This is what makes you powerful in your ability to keep calm.

    Each step along the way, gives you powerful results:

    • Self-knowledge that leads to clear action
    • Clarity that leads to needs being met
    • Satisfaction that leads to fulfillment

    It’s the power that comes from knowing who you are and what you need your life to be

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